Change the question

If the answer does not fit the situation, change the question. It is one one of the oldest concepts in political sciences and Microsoft needs to hold onto that thought. Even as we saw a little over two weeks ago ‘Xbox exec insists that Microsoft is no longer competing with Sony and Nintendo‘, we see the setting, but we forget that the Xbox One, the most powerful gaming system was surpassed by the PS4 in the early beginning and has been surpassed by the weakest gaming system (Nintendo Switch) as well. So as Microsoft people are making some claim of “we see Amazon and Google as the main competitors going forward“, they are leaving out that Google Stadia has the option of beating Microsoft as well, leaving Microsoft in 5th of 6 positions. And as I see it, there is no guarantee that Apple will remain in 6th position, implying that in the console war, Microsoft will end up being the massive loser of the lot. 

Reasons (as I believe them to be)

I believe that stupidity (read: non-comprehension), deafness (the lack of listening to gamers) and the short sighted Azure stage all interfered with the Xbox. And that is before people realise that bullying people to go online as well as having a 1TB system and the lacking the options for gamers to replace the drive without nullifying the warranty. All solutions that Sony adhered to in a much earlier stage, after which the brilliant execution by Nintendo (with their Switch) pushed the console to third position, two elements that could have been fixed upfront in 2012, is now the massive anchor chain around the neck of Microsoft games and I believe that it was the board of Microsoft that pushed stupidity, not Phil Spencer, issues that could have been fixed in the month of release never was and now the people are a little fed up with Microsoft and left for happier shores. More importantly, Sony and Nintendo are actually not rivals, they both have packages of software that are not competing, in a more drastic light, the group that has the larger console next to the docking station of the Nintendo Switch is growing fast.

And in all this, the PS5 is coming (as well as the new Microsoft console) leaving Microsoft behind even further, even as some might bite towards the hype creation video’s, there are a lot of gamers that are not willing to trust Microsoft anymore, implying that Microsoft is heading for even more news of dread on a large scale. It is still too early to tell, yet the video’s we see are still part of the hype creation whilst essential facts are left out. For example (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Nl9Aj8N7ew) we see the hype of SSD, yet the size and size options are left out of the equation, all whilst the hype is hiding behind all those lovely downloads, it is interesting how size (which actually matters here) is left untouched. Whilst we see ray tracing and 4K, everyone is forgetting that this implies the need of 50Gb-100Gb per game extra. for example Fallout 4 required 100GB install sizes as a minimum in 4K, so with a 1TB drive it will only hold 8 games like that, or the essential need to reinstall games, especially in RPG, size will be an issue, yet not only that Gears of War 4, for example, required a chunk the size of 103GB so count your chooks and smoke those! And that is before you consider the storage that 8K gaming takes. 

This is merely one source, yet the amount of sources (including Microsoft) is vague on the space available, they give “NVMe SSD (we’ve heard read speeds of anywhere up to 2GB/s)“, just the size of their bloody drive is avoided as much as possible by everyone. Even at this stage, several sources make the claim that the PS5 will have 2TB (which is not enough) yet in the past we could upgrade that drive to our content without invalidating the warranty, and at present you can get 4TB for $650. Yes, I understand that not everyone needs that and that is fine, there are however plenty of gamers who want to upgrade and as the price is now $650, there will be every indication that this price within the first year will diminish by a lot (as it always does), the idea of 4K gaming without space restrictions is a lot more realistic in 4TB than in what the Xbox has done so far (1TB), as such the issues will become cumbersome sooner, not later. 

Microsoft never learned that lesson, all whilst Sony told the users what the needs were and they could upgrade at their own leisure. Microsoft did not see a reason to offer that, because you could buy a second drive, which means more stress on the machine, another cable and more devices, whilst most people merely wanted one device.

The Nintendo (Sony too) never had the demanded requirement to be online, you could sync when you were online and that was a gift to many, Xbox demanded to be online with their little issues (like achievements). So, whilst the Tech Insider gave us last week ‘The price of the PlayStation 5 may top $450, and that could cost Sony the next major battle with Xbox in the console wars‘, I personally have a hard time believing that this is the actual case, the drawbacks that Microsoft pushes for and the benefits that the PS5 give you leave us with the reality that $450 (perhaps $499) is not the worst feeling for all the benefits that Sony offers. 

It is in that same article that offers “More than just a high price, the history of video game console pricing dictates that charging over $US400 for a new game console is likely to result in a sales flop.” Really? When was that? Perhaps you all forget about the Xbox 360, I paid $699 for that one and it was a hell of a lot more successful than the Xbox One ever was, almost 100% more successful. And that was with the 20Gb drive, the 120Gb drive was an additional $119, an amount I was happy spending, giving me all that storage space. The PS3 was initially $599, and that was before I replaced the 60GB for a 300GB solution ($79 extra), Yet, we now need more storage, but that is the consequence of resolution, and that is all before we consider the offline issue. You see in many places internet is a drag, not all the customers of a console live in London or New York, as such there are places where the broadband is an issue (the places are more and more rare nowadays), yet when we consider that the EU gave Belgium (the entire nation) a fine because its internet was too slow, how much fun will streaming and downloading of games bring? And they are not alone (but the group is not that big either), yet these are all issues that Microsoft does not seem to ‘care’ about, they still bully (as I personally see it) people to be online. Good luck!

The Dutch give us that around 180.000 houses will get 9 MB.sec maximum, so there is that, and I believe that there is a group that is between that and the 30MB/sec minimum of streaming, and that is before we consider the additional issues of going online and updating your profile or download patches. Or perhaps you want to consider “Many rural areas of France have slow and unreliable internet connections” and lets not forget that these are the better places in Europe to be in. We still avoid Germany and a few other places, so in all, there is a group of Europeans that are not regarded as gaming material by the Microsoft standards, they can be happy with the other two players, as such they will not be unhappy, but it shows just how far behind Microsoft is, they could have fixed their issues a long time ago and for them issues will be harder soon enough.

So as we change the question from the price of a console (‘Xbox Series X Vs. PlayStation 5: Microsoft Is Still Holding A Huge Wild Card‘ source: Forbes), to who will have the infrastructure to enjoy their console, Microsoft is not doing that great at present. So even as Forbes gives us: “Sony has been struggling to get its build price for the PlayStation 5 below $450“, all whilst we see that the PS4 Pro 1TB (on Amazon is $319), whilst the launch date was set to $399, in a stage where we now see a new console, well over twice as powerful with an SSD drive and a few other issues, in that setting $500 is not the weirdest price and even as Microsoft beats that, the downside that the issues that Microsoft has not fixed is still dragging their gamers down (as I personally see it).

As I see it, Sony has over time done what Microsoft seems to refuse: ‘How can I include the most gamers towards our Sony console‘, they achieved this to a much larger degree by allowing for larger drives (at the need of the gamer) and set the policy towards off-line gaming without having to mess up achievements or other needs, Microsoft never properly fixed it, all whilst the Xbox 360 had that in perfect working order (like the Playstation then). So whilst Microsoft needs to consider a switch (pun intended) from the board of director choice of console towards a gamers need for a console, we see that their need to change is massive and at present missing, they are much more in the need of some hype creation whilst the gamers miss out too much and that is not including the lack of exclusive console games.

No matter how we slice it, the Sony consoles have an advantage and Microsoft has too much to catch up on, we will see how 2020 ends and as both systems gain traction over 2021, we will see who ends up being the winner, my money is on PS5, price difference or not, when the first issue hits the Xbox Two (or Scarlett), the people will start running towards the Sony solution fast and hard, there will always be those who worship the Xbox and that is fine, dedication is part of the gamer credo and as such there will be enough people going for the Xbox Two, yet the population of the Sony system is well over twice as large, with backward compatibility on both systems, the numbers on the Sony side will unlikely be the one dwindling down, the fact that the PS4 games work and they will now work in 4K mode, will imply that there will be a dozen games that will be replayed under those conditions. The idea of my replaying my Fallout 4, God of War 4, Skyrim, Horizon Zero Dawn and several others can now be admired in 4K is appealing. Yes, I know that the Pro and the Xbox One X had these options, yet buying a new console and a 4K TV was not in the cards, in addition, I was really happy with my PS4 original edition, now I will (have to) upgrade both, especially as I can now get a 4K TV for well under $400, which is a lot cheaper than it was in 2016 (almost 1/3rd the price), so well worth the change.

When we change the question we can look at the old axiom, we can have something cheap, fast or better, but we can only select 2 of the 3, I believe that in gaming, most people will select fast and better quality and accept the price that comes with it, because when the numbers pan out, I will have used my PS4 for almost 7 years and in all 7 years without any issues at all (one small one in the very beginning), only now 7 years later am I in a more essential need to upgrade my 2TB drive, that is a very good run (and deleting 1-5 games makes sense in this day and age). All whilst I had that issue on and off with the Xbox One since I had it past 2 years, so as such the PS4 was efficient and banked on my needs, other systems should take a lesson from that.

Cheap system – Expensive system

Fast system – Slow system

Good Quality – Bad Quality

What will be your needs? And in the end, will the two choices you make hinder or help you, in finality, how will you feel when the choice you made hit you in a less nice way?

When I look at those questions, I am left with the personal conviction that Sony wins, which is actually a large issue when you compare the PS3 and the Xbox360, Microsoft gave up the benefit that they had and they only got surpassed near the next gen console release dates, an advantage they lost completely in one generation of console, we seem to forget that. Which is weird because even today, the Xbox 360 is still played by some and the games have always been decently amazing, even by today’s standard in gaming (not referring to resolution). It took Sony nearly everything to keep up with the Xbox360, a field they need not worry about with the nextgen systems and optionally even less with what comes.

Now Microsoft needs to wonder if they can get close to the Nintendo Switch, an issue that the PS5 is less likely to have, that is how I see it and whilst Microsoft hides behind ‘Xbox exec insists that Microsoft is no longer competing with Sony and Nintendo‘, all whilst the reasoning should be how can we become part of the larger population again, we see the optional stage where Microsoft is no longer worthy of real consideration, a sad day for gamers indeed.

 

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Some small bits

We all see them, we all face them and even as there is no overwhelming story out there, I think it was time to set up a look at the small bits, the parts I have already given view to and now I am adding to them. 

Huawei

The first part is ‘Huawei row: Trump chief of staff to meet Dominic Cummings‘, here we see another media driven attempt to ban Huawei from the UK, the UK is now as much a bitch as the Australian government. So far the US has not given any evidence that the Huawei hardware can be used to spy on people by the Chinese government, so far the US is not even sending that person with a really bad haircut, so that he could compare barbers with Boris Johnson, no he is sending his acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. Even after Richard Grenell gives us “to make clear that any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level“, in my response ‘what intelligence?’ at present the CIA is regarded as one of the least trustworthy intelligence providers, we could argue that Facebook has better intelligence than the CIA does (hurts doesn’t it?)

Now, if the US had provided intelligence on Huawei several Cyber experts would nitpick that intel, yet the setting is out there, there is no evidence whatsoever, the US is fearing for its life and its economy. The backdraft is also there, any nation will get an advantage over whatever paperback spinal cord is supporting the US without evidence. All because the US cannot control its national corporations, we all must pay.

We can treat “A group of backbench Conservatives also wants Johnson to commit to remove all Huawei kit from British phone networks over time” with optional disgust as well, even as there is no stage set on ‘over time‘, as I personally see it these acts are profit driven, not national security driven, even as some will make a claim in that direction. 

Jeff Bezos

You know the man, the intelligent man with the really long forehead (read: bald), was hacked, it happened in 2018 and the media keeps on blaming the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, yet there is no evidence. In light of all that had happened, the idea that any Crown Prince is THAT hands on with an issue is overlooked on several levels. The FTI report reads like a joke and personally, if Mr. Bezos pays THAT much for what I personally see as trash, than I have optionally 4 IP stages, one unfinished book and over a 1000 articles for same for the mere price of $50,000,000 post taxation (50% for the IP and the rest is a gimmick), you see at least I am willing to say that upfront. In addition, his own paper gives us on January 28th “Indeed, in October 2018, Michael Sanchez and AMI entered into a nondisclosure agreement “concerning certain information, photographs and text messages documenting an affair between Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez,” according to three people who have reviewed the agreement. The existence of the contract was first reported by the New York Times. One of those people also confirmed a Wall Street Journal report that federal prosecutors who are investigating whether the Enquirer tried to extort Bezos have reviewed the text messages that Lauren Sanchez allegedly gave to her brother and that he then provided to the tabloid.” as I personally see it several parties owe Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud a few apologies and all kinds of Saudi catering hoping that it will appease his royal highness. On a personal note, I reckon he will be jealous of my yacht by the CRN ship wharves, so as we see the wealth of Jeff Bezos, he might just want to say ‘Sorry!’ to his royal highness and spend 0.5% of his wealth to appease that rather rich party with a yacht (so that mine will remain optionally safe, when it is completed). And no matter how it all get spinned, the UN report needs to be nitpicked and rather quickly, too many questions remain and even as we see that a person with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly about its progress, or as the Washington Post is skating around the trandsetting term ‘anonymous source‘, which would place them on the same scale as the Enquirer, they give us “It’s possible that the Saudis hacked Bezos’s phone and Michael Sanchez independently got the photos from his sister and some people were trying to get paid and some people were trying to get Bezos,” all whilst there is no actual evidence that the hacker was Saudi, I did away with that quite nicely in ‘6 Simple questions‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/02/03/6-simple-questions/), whilst the 6th question ‘Why on earth is the UN involved in an alleged Criminal investigation where so much information is missing?‘ was never answered by any media EVER! (OK, as far as I know).

Yet there is a reason why we bring this all, it is seen (at https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/facebook-says-apple-is-to-blame-for-hacking-of-jeff-bezos-phone.html) where we get introduced to ‘Facebook Says Apple Is to Blame for the Hacking of Jeff Bezos’s Phone‘, with the optional part “Nick Clegg, said that the hacking of Jeff Bezos’s phone wasn’t the fault of WhatsApp, pointing instead to the Apple iOS that powers the iPhone X Bezos was using. Or, at least, that’s presumably what he was trying to say, though his answer when asked by the BBC was largely incomprehensible“, as well as “he argued, “It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself.” To be clear, he didn’t specifically mention Apple by name, however it had been previously known that Bezos was using an iPhone X at the time he was hacked“, I find it debatable, but it takes the court away from the Saudi Crown Prince and a few others, if that hack is not one that NSO Group’s Pegasus or Hacking Team’s Galileo uses, then we have a much larger issue, one that is not identified and even as it takes the Saudi players off the board, it does not take the issue away. The NSO group has loudly denied the entire issue and this gives them the option to do that, so far the FTI report is too shabby, it does not seem to warrant or deny the optional allegations. So as we see: “someone actually took advantage of a vulnerability that WhatsApp itself has already acknowledged was an issue and issued a fix. It’s even more confusing that he attempted to pass the blame to Apple“, I personally feel in agreement with the writer, the entire WhatsApp feels like to comfortable solution, yet that vulnerability was out in the open and there is still no evidence that it was done by Saudi hands, even now, the list of perpetrators is growing, pushing the optionally (and alleged) Saudi players to the bottom of that list. I would advise Brainy Smurf Jeff Bezos that he pays up as fast as possible (and sizeable) before it becomes a behemoth of an issue that a mere sorry and a box of chocolates will not solve. 

Yemen

You might have heard of that place, apparently there are a few humanitarian issues playing and even as we now see ‘UN Condemns ‘Shocking’ and ‘Terrible’ US-Backed Saudi Coalition Bombing That Killed 31 Yemeni Civilians‘, we are given “Those who continue to sell arms to the warring parties must realize that by supplying weapons for this war, they contribute to making atrocities like today’s all too common“, yet the EU and the US are happy that this all continues. My evidence? Well consider that we see today ‘The EU has agreed to deploy warships to stop the flow of weapons into Libya‘, all whilst a similar action in Yemen would have diminished the dangers over two years ago, so how many ships had the EU to set up a blockade to stop weapons going into Yemen? As far as I can tell, there is an unwritten consensus to give as much freedom to Iran as possible. I gave that part in ‘Media, call it as it is!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/11/03/media-call-it-as-it-is/) almost 18 months ago, so why exactly is Yemen not an issue and Libya is? It is oil and everyone is dancing around the stage hoping for a barrel full of the substance. Yet the Yemeni don’t matter, if you doubt that you merely have to read the articles, all about complaints and condemning, not about action packed events, are they? And in all this Xavier Joubert, director of aid group Save the Children Yemen is equally to blame, does he give the stage in a proper setting? Does he give any information on the actions that Houthi forces have been eager to take forward (including those on children)? Nope! So when we see “after Houthi rebels claimed to have shot down a Saudi Tornado jet Friday in Al-Jawf province“, as well as ““possibility of collateral damage”—a common euphemism for civilian deaths“, yet how many enemy troops were there? that part is not given as it takes the power away from their own story, yet the story they give us is out of whack. So whilst people like Lise Grande come up with “it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified“, all whilst for well over two years a blockade could have optionally limited the damage that could have occurred, yet no one is willing to skate that track, are they?

All whilst we see (at https://www.timesofisrael.com/pompeo-calls-for-action-against-iran-after-us-navy-seizes-weapons-sent-to-yemen/) ‘Pompeo calls for action against Iran after US Navy seizes weapons sent to Yemen‘, a stage that was set this week, we see the laughingly entertaining ‘World’s silence has emboldened Saudi-led war crimes in Yemen: Iran‘, all whilst we see Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi giving a speech on what he calls War Crimes, at the same stage where they send hundreds of missiles into Yemen, there is only so much hypocrisy I can stomach and Iran is handing us way too much. So whilst the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to defy the UN Security Council, we need to start being honest about the Yemen situation, the EU does not care about Yemen, it has nothing to offer, yet the US has on this occasion stopped one of several Iranian supply ships. I wonder how many were missed, the ongoing war clearly gives rise to the fact that this war will not be over soon and as such more civilians will die, it is the clear consequence of a war.

These are three of the small bits that I am adding today, there have been a whole range of issues I touched on in the last few days, yet these small bits are important parts to other information I gave out. 

Have a great day, see you all tomorrow

 

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Death by tabloid

Yes, we all see it, we all know what is going on, yet there is the distinct stage where the tabloids get away with it as they still give the readers what they want, the people need entertainment and there is no entertainment that is so sincere when it is laced with a corpse. If there is one message that is true, then it is the message that Caroline Flack gives the story to, the stage of non-life. When we see “Articles about the death of the former Love Island presenter topped the media ‘most-read’ lists this weekend” we merely see what is above the waterline, it is what is below the waterline, that is the killer, ask the people on the Titanic, they can vouch for that part. 

So even as we see “The former director of public prosecutions said the presenter’s death “shocked a lot of people”, adding: “It wasn’t just social media, it was the media amplifying what social media was doing. It was both strands. There is a human impact.” We will be getting confronted by a part so incomplete and lacking. The Guardian is filled with responses, yet they read as incomplete, partially even insincere. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/feb/16/politicians-condemn-press-intrusion-after-caroline-flacks-death) gives a lot and shows remarkable little. We even see “Daisy Cooper MP, who worked for the campaign group Hacked Off before being elected in December, said there must be more self-regulation before content is published online“, yet the issue is ‘self-regulation‘, if there is one part that is a given, it is that the Leveson inquiry shows that press standards are waning and self-regulation is nothing more than a bad joke. 

We also see “Despite Whitmore’s pleas, there is little sign that change is on the cards. Individuals who work at leading British tabloids privately pointed out on Sunday that many of the people now criticising press intrusion into Flack’s life were likely to have been among the millions of readers who had previously rushed to click on articles about the presenter’s arrest in December for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend.” We could argue that those that the media turns into Clickbait tend to be of no other use than to create flames and to preserve flames that have been created, that and a few other parts is shown with “The Sun, which in December obtained exclusive pictures of her bloodied bedroom following the alleged assault, used its leader column to point the finger at prosecutors rather than media coverage of the star: “The Crown Prosecution Service needs to take a long look in the mirror and ask why it pursued its course of action given what they knew about her vulnerability. We may never know exactly what drove Caroline over the edge. But we will always remember how, like the weather at the TV villa, she brought so much sunshine into our lives.”” all whilst the CPS does what it needs to do, it is remarkable how the Sun points fingers at the CPS instead of their own mirror image. 

And at the end, we see the inescapable truth “Backlashes against the media’s coverage often accompany deaths; after Princess Diana was killed in Paris in 1997, the Daily Mail went as far as to pledge it would never again use paparazzi pictures amid widespread anti-tabloid feelings that were soon forgotten as the British public took an interest in a new round of celebrities. With Flack’s death likely to result in lengthy debates about how broadcasters treat their stars and an inquest into the circumstances, there will be no shortage of material for months to come.” There is at present every indication that the value of Caroline Flack will be a lot higher to tabloids then she was alive, is that the future that every presenter faces? If so, we better find a beter law to protect them from the intrusive tabloids, even now as we see 58,700,000 results on “Caroline Flack” It is not the first, yet Women’s Agenda (at https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/caroline-flack-life-under-the-tabloids-microscope/) gives us ‘Caroline Flack & life under the tabloids’ microscope‘, when we consider the assault she faced, the loss of a presenting assignment and other elements can we consider the optional issue (in light of) “On Sunday it was reported that 40-year old British television presenter, Caroline Flack, had died by suicide at her London home” hat she was murdered (pushed into suicide) by the media? When the media is facing that accusation, is it perhaps the stage where the media went knowingly after a vulnerable person that it becomes the optional responsibility of the CPS to dig in and have a look at all the articles published by the British media (read: tabloids)?

One person (Matt Haig) gives us “If a celebrity dies by suicide after a massive media onslaught this is manslaughter via the press. The media love ticking boxes and doing their mental health campaigns but fail to take any accountability when they impact people’s health.” it becomes time to hold the press accountable to their actions, and that need was already clearly established in the Leveson inquiry. Even as the article still blames the CPS with “The Crown Prosecution Service pursued this when they knew not only how very vulnerable Caroline was but also that the alleged victim did not support the prosecution and had disputed the CPS version of events” we need to realise that the CPS is following the optional investigation in an optional  criminal offense, that is THEIR job, the tabloids merely latched on like imaginative leeches and published whatever usable facts they could hold onto. 

So whilst we consider “The Sun, which had blanket coverage of the assault allegations against Ms. Flack, called her “Caroline Whack” in a December story. The tabloid faced online backlash in the aftermath of Ms. Flack’s death as social media users attacked it for its articles about her. At one point, #dontbuythesun and #thescum were both trending on Twitter.” we end up having to wait with baited breath if anyone will do anything about the tabloids, I once gave the simplest solution where tabloids will be sold including 20% VAT, as such the price of tabloids will increase with optional reduction in cisculation, it is time to gut the tabloids as it is gutting people under the guise of ‘the people have a right to know‘.

And in this case they might sell the story under the same price and will digress from ‘our articles are more likely than not the cause of death to others‘, because that would give too much consideration to the reader, would it not? Yet as I write this article, I see that the search now has gone from 58,700,000  to 57,700,000, as such we can see that in one hour 1,000,000 seemingly applied their right to be forgotten, making sure that THEIR article is no longer found under Google Search, I wonder which articles and stories are suddenly missing, that difference took less than an hour to take place. 

In this I wonder who is hiding and who is deciding to clear the stage, even as the Guardian gives us “The Sun, which in December obtained exclusive pictures of her bloodied bedroom following the alleged assault, used its leader column to point the finger at prosecutors rather than media coverage of the star: “The Crown Prosecution Service needs to take a long look in the mirror and ask why it pursued its course of action given what they knew about her vulnerability.” another press outlet handing a guilty verdict to the CPS, whilst the part of ‘her bloodied bedroom‘ is actually a clear reason why the CPS is investigating, blood tends to do that. and when we see ‘given what they knew about her vulnerability‘, doesn’t that make the Sun doubly guilty? #JustAsking

In all this it is time for the CPS to gather the media into a court and let them talk themselves out of these courts whilst this gets filmed ‘live’ so that the readers get a much bigger picture, the picture of spin doctors trying to keep the media out of the mess they get themselves in and as we see a much larger and much more debatable circus, it is time to give the media and their writers the limelight they push onto others.

 

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The interpretation of a citizen

It is odd, is it not? That the image of a citizen, any citizen is merely a presentation of what might be, that is at today’s conundrum (whilst I am trying to formulate answers asked of other matters). When we read ‘This government has failed Shamima Begum‘ according to Anish Kapoor (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/11/this-government-has-failed-shamima-begum), we consider the matter, but the reality is that ‘Shamima Begum failed her government her family, her nation and optionally her beliefs‘, yet that is not what we are told is it? Even if we accept to the the smallest degree the words of JFK ‘Ask not what your country can for you, ask what you can do for your country‘ we see the larger failure. We get to ask ‘How can my country protect me?‘ yet we should consider that this comes with the need to do something for our country, in the first we need to warn them that there is a danger. Shamima did seemingly not inform her parents, she followed (after some time) a stranger to another nation to become the enemy of the UK, she joined ISIS, and even as we see Anish Kapoor give us “Shamima left the UK when she was 15, after she had been extensively groomed under the noses of the very authorities tasked to protect her” she casually leaves out the fact that Shamima at 15 kept vital information from her parents, she kept vital information from the people around her who would have stepped in. So as I read “Shamima has undoubtedly said some stupid things; it is clear some of her words were uttered under duress and threat“, I would counter that with the fact that if she kept her family informed the situation would not exist. This was not a new situation, ISIS was a clear and present danger to people all over the world, and as I see “Is it now the new norm that we have to prove how British we are? Are some of us more British than others?” The writer needs to consider the simpler setting that those in WW2 siding with Germany would be strung up by the nearest tree without waiting for an optional trial.

And we can see that this was a political hest by the simple last line “It is clear that this Tory government is bent on excluding from these shores all those it can label as outsiders“, I do not believe that to be true, a person sided with enemy forces and joined an enemy army. Even as the given path of a war in terrorism is not the same, a path was crossed, she sided with the enemy and she can appeal to ISIS to give her an ISIS passport, she can await her next battle with death and in the end she will die. Our enemies die and we feel too often indifferent, and for the most we all know it, but the stage of ‘this poor poor poor girl was 15‘ does not fly with me and it should not fly with anyone seeing ISIS as the enemy. 

The BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47240100) gives us “left home in 2015 at the height of the power of the self-styled Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq“, she left her family and her nation, she joined ISIS. the fact that we also get “Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana – flew from Gatwick Airport to Turkey after lying to their parents about their plans for the day. Their aim was to join another friend, Sharmeena Begum, who had left in late 2014” shows a slightly different part, we now see the path where Shamima if stronger connected to Sharmeena Begum ushering others to follow her trail towards ISIS, she was ‘elevated’ to the role of assistant ISIS recruiter, in my mind that makes her even less worthy of UK citizenship and optionally more worthy to become a guest of Hotel CIA Black Site (currently at an undisclosed area somewhere on this planet). 

So as we are given “Eventually the teenager gave up and headed to a refugee camp“, so after ISIS was hit in devastating ways, she decided to take the money (her life) and run. Why would we ever allow her back? And in this we see the valid argument “the security services in London were also deeply concerned that the girls would be a propaganda tool to help IS recruit others from their community“, I wrote a year ago in my article ‘Living with choices made‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/02/15/living-with-choices-made/) “Shamima Begum is merely one of several risks at present and it is important to realise that a Queensberry Rules approach is not merely making us human and humane, it is getting us killed with 99% certainty, the opposition does not warrant, endorse of accepts any kind of rules. I do hope that the recruitment of 15 year old girls will suffice as evidence at present.

I gave that station a year ago almost to the day, now consider (as we are being paranoid) the bible of paranoia (to some degree) by a man named George Orwell who gave us the classic 1984. He gives us “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship” that is the danger that Shamima Begum represents, if you doubt that, consider what she kept hidden from her parents and HER community for a long time before she moved to Syria, that is not a path that took a day, it took a while and no one was seemingly aware, the fact that two other girls were part of it and in on it gives a larger problem, one that we are not ready to fight and to have them return to the UK is making matters worse. At times we get to live with the choices WE make.

In support of this I will give you the BBC quote from the article “From the tone of Shamima Begum’s Times interview, she does not appear to regret her decision. She describes being unfazed by seeing the decapitated head of an anti-IS fighter, whom she described as an “enemy of Islam”” that is the danger that Anish Kapoor wants to allow back into the UK. Even as The Telegraph gives us “I said those things then to protect myself and my unborn son.“, we see that opposite the BBC view “From the tone of Shamima Begum’s Times interview, she does not appear to regret her decision.” the images collapse and from my point of view, not in favour of any part that Ms. Begum would want to consider. In addition, the Telegraph (at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/09/26/shamima-begum-says-really-bad-way-syrian-camp-wants-return-home/) gives us “Ms Begum served in the jihadist group’s “morality police” and also tried to recruit other young women to join the jihadist group, well-placed sources told The Telegraph in April“, Shamima represents a much larger problem and it is interesting how Anish Kapoor skates around that part and is optionally willing to endager the lives of many to get someone back into the UK who gave up her nationality and her allegiance to her family.

And that was before we consider “earned a reputation as a strict “enforcer” of Isil’s laws, such as dress codes for women, sources claimed“, I will accept that this is out in the open as I tend to not give too much credence to ‘sources claimed‘, especially when these sources are unnamed and unidentified. Yet there is a larger identity shown and that part of any identity is a direct and credible danger to the British public, I wonder if Anish Kapoor took that into consideration when she gave us “The foolish utterances of a teenager, however, are not enough reason to deprive her of the rights and duties of citizenship“, one view against three optionally established and identified dangers.

I know how I roll and it is not on the side of Shamima, that part is hopefully decently visible. Yet I feel it is important to make sure that we do not ‘attack’ Anish Kapoor. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/09/britain-has-moral-duty-to-bring-back-shamina-begum) gave us earlier this week a piece by Kenan Malik, there we see a lot, yet he is trying to dissuade us by ‘her support for Islamic State‘, all whilst she JOINED ISIS, he then gives us ‘It’s about Britain and its moral responsibilities‘, which is fair point of view, yet that same britain needs to keep 68 million innocent civilians safe and adding someone who had (optionally still has) terrorist views does not hold water, not when it could endanger a lot of others. Even as he set it to a different premise he also gives us “The fact of their crime should not change that moral principle“, he now basically sets a criminal and terrorists on that very same premise, as the basic axiom goes, all squares are rectangles, not all rectangles are squares. As such all terrorists are criminals yet not all criminals are terrorists. And we get loads of comparisons by what I tend to call the ‘wooly sock’ group, we are in a day and age where we can no longer afford the impact of such acts, and when we offer to lets these people in, yet the entire intelligence cost of observing a person like that is funded by education, we will get all kinds of ‘nasty’ responses on where to put that invoice, but the foundation of it is a give to all. If we need to monitor the ‘re-education’ of these people, education gets to pay for it and from that point onwards we will get the carefully phrased denials. 

We need to accept the consequence of acts, and letting people like Shamima Begum back is no longer an option. She wanted to avert the wisdom of family, she wanted to set the new age towards optional marriage and union with ISIS, she now sees the cost of that choice, and she must live with that choice. 

As such we also see the part that Kenan Malik gives us “I observed that politicians often claim that “what separates a nation such as Britain from the barbarism of Isis” is “its humane values”“, he does forget the option that some remain British by not joining Barbarians, that is the element he forgets about and that is where Shemima is, she chose the other team, her choice, her consequence and the worst part in all this is that people like Kenan Malik and Anish Kapoor are willing to play dice with the lives of others, but when the cost is harshly presented, they are optionally on vacation, or they moved on to other matters and merely state that this is the responsibility of ‘this government’, well ‘this government’ made a decision and they are making Shamima live with her consequences. 

As I see it ‘This government’ did not fail Shamima Begum, Shamima failed her government, her nation and her family (in any given order), it might be harsh but accurate.

 

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Middle of the seesaw

To be honest, I am not sure where to stand, even now, as we see ‘Google starts appeal against £2bn shopping fine‘ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51462397), I am personally still in the mindset that there is something wrong here. 

We can give the critique that my view is too much towards Google, and that is fine, I would accept that. Yet the part where we see 

  • In 2017, €2.4bn over shopping results.
  • In 2018, €4.3bn fine over claims it used Android software to unfairly promote its own apps.
  • In 2019, €1.5bn fine for blocking adverts from rival search engines.

Feels like it is part of a much bigger problem. I believe that some people are trying to stage the setting that some things are forced upon companies and I do not mean in the view of sharing. I personally do not believe that it is as simple as Anti-Trust. It feels like a more ‘social mindset’ that some things must be shared, but why?

The BBC also gives us: “Margrethe Vestager, who has taken a tough stance on the Silicon Valley tech firms and what she sees as their monopolistic grip on the digital landscape” this might feel like the truth, yet I personally feel that this was in the making for a long time, Adobe was on that page from the start. I believe that as the digital landscape was slowly pushed into a behemoth by Macromedia, who also acquired Coldfusion a change came to exist, for reference, at that time Microsoft remained a bungling starter holding onto Frontpage, an optional solution for amateurs, but there was already a strong view that this was a professional field. that stage was clearly shown by Adobe as it grew its company by 400% in revenue over a decade, its share value rose by almost 1,000% and its workforce tripled. There was a clear digital landscape, and one where Google was able to axe a niche into, the others were flaccid and remained of the existing state of mind that others must provide. Yet in all this Social media was ignored for far too long and the value of social media was often ignored until it was a decade too late. 

For example, I offered the idea that it would be great to be in the middle of serviced websites where we had the marketing in hands, my bosses basically called me crazy, that it had no functioning foundation, that it was not part of the mission statement and that I had to get back to work, I still have the email somewhere. This was 4 years before Facebook!

I admit that my idea was nothing as grandiose as Facebook, it was considered on other foundations an I saw the missing parts, but no one bit and now that I know better on the level of bullet point managers I am confronted with and their lack of marketing I now know better and my 5G solutions are closed to all but Huawei and Google, innovation is what drives my value and only those two deliver.

But I digress, the Digital Landscape was coming to be, and as we realise that this includes “websites, email, social networks, mobile devices (tablets, iphones, smartphones), videos (YouTube), etc. These tools help businesses sell their products or services” we can clearly see that Microsoft, Amazon and others stayed asleep at the wheel.
some might have thought that it was a joke when Larry Page and Sergey Brin offered the email service on April 1st 2004, yet i believe that they were ahead of many (including me) on how far the digital landscape would go, I reckon that not even Apple saw the massive growth, perhaps that Jobs fellow did, but he was only around until 2011 when it really kicked off. IBM, Microsoft and others stayed asleep thinking that they could barge in at a later stage, as I see it, IBM chose AI and quantum computing thinking that they can have the other niche no one was ready for. 

When we consider that we saw ‘Google faces antitrust investigation by 50 US states and territories‘ 6 months ago and not 5 years ago we see part of the bigger picture, of course they could have left it all to China, was that the idea? When we get “Regulators are growing more concerned about company’s impact on smaller companies striving to compete in Google’s markets” we will see the ignoring stage, when it mattered smaller places would not act, as Google acted it became much larger than anyone thought, even merely two years ago we were al confronted with ‘companies’ letting Google technology do all the work and they get all the credit and coin, why should Google comply? Striving to compete with Google is no longer a real option and anyone thinking that is nuts beyond belief. The only places that can hold a candle are the ones with innovative ideas and in an US economy founded on the principle of iteration no one keeps alive, but they are all of the mind that franchising and iteration is the path to wealth, it is not, only the innovative survive and that is being seen in larger ways by both Google and Huawei. Those who come into the field without innovation is out of options, it is basically the vagrant going to the cook demanding part of the pie the cook made as they are hungry, yet the vagrant has no rights to demand anything. 

And as we are given (read: fed) the excuse of “Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820bn and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s fairly impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data” we can give others the state where Microsoft did its acts to take out Netscape, how did that end? It ended in United States v. Microsoft Corp.. In all,  we see that in the end (no matter how they got there) that the DOJ announced on September 6, 2001 that it was no longer seeking to break up Microsoft and would instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty.

As such, in the end Microsoft did not have to break up hardware and software, they merely had to adopt non-Microsoft solutions, yet how did that end? How many data failures and zero day breaches did its consumer base face? According to R. Cringely (a group of journalists and writers with a column in InfoWorld) we get “the settlement gave Microsoft “a special antitrust immunity to license Windows and other ‘platform software’ under contractual terms that destroy freedom of competition.”” (source: Webcitation.org). 

Yet all this is merely a stage setting, it seems that as governments realised the importance of data and the eagerness of people giving it away to corporations started to sting, you see corporations can be anywhere, even in US hostile lands and China too. That is the larger stage and Google as it deals in data is free of all attachments, as governments cannot oversee this they buckle and the larger stage is set. 

From my point of view, Google stepped in places where no one was willing to go, it was for some too much effort and as that landscape shaped only google remains, so why should they hand over what they have built? 

It is Reuters that give is the first part of it all (at ) here we see: “EU regulators said this penalty was for Google’s favoring its own price comparison shopping service to the disadvantage of smaller European rivals“, yet what it does not give us is that its ‘smaller rivals’ are all using Google services in the first place, and Google has the patent for 30 years, so why share? This is a party for innovators, non-innovators are not welcome!

Then we get “Google’s search service acts as a de-facto kingmaker. If you are not found, the rest cannot follow“, which is optionally strange, because anyone can join Google, anyone can set up camp and anyone can advertise themselves. I am not stupid, I know whatthey mean, but whe it mattered they could not be bothered, no they lack the data, exaytes of data and they cannot compete, they limited their own actions and they all want to be head honcho right now, no actual investment required.

In addition when it comes to Browsers, Wired gives us “I spent the summer and beyond using Bing instead of Google for search. It’s a whole new world, but not always for the better“, I personally cannot stand Bing, I found it to have issues (not going into that at present), so as we are ‘not found’ we consider the Page rank that Stanford created for Google (or google bought it), when we consider when that happened, when was it reengineered and by whom? And when we got to the second part “Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords“, that was TWO DECADES AGO! As such, who was innovative enough to try and improve it with their own system? As I see it no one, so as no one was interested, why does there need to be an antitrust case? As such we see the Google strategy of buying companies and acquiring knowledge, places like Microsoft and IBM no longer mattered, they went their own way, even (optionally) better, Microsoft decided to Surf-Ace to the finish, I merely think, let them be them.

We are so eager to finalise the needs for competition law and antitrust law, but has anyone considered the stupidity of the iteration impact? If not, consider why 5G is in hands of Huawei, they became the innovators and whilst we are given the stage of court case after court case on the acts of Huawei, consider why they are so advanced in 5G, is it because they were smarter, or because the others became flaccid and lazy? I believe that both are at play here and in this, all the anti-Google sentiment is merely stopping innovators whilst iterators merely want to be rich whilst not doing their part, why should we accommodate for that?

so when we see (source: Vox) “United States antitrust officials have ordered the country’s top tech companies to hand over a decade’s worth of information on their acquisitions of competitor firms, in a move aimed at determining how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant” who does it actually serve? is it really about ‘how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant‘, or is it about the denial of innovation? Is it about adding to the surface of a larger entity that governments do not even comprehend, let alone understand? They have figured out that IP and data are the currency of the future, they merely need to be included, the old nightmare where corporations are in charge and politicians are not is optionally coming to fruition and they are actually becoming scared of that, the nerd the minimised at school as they were nerds is setting the tone of the future, the Dominant Arrogant player beng it sales person or politician is being outwitted by the nerd and service minded person, times are changing and these people claim that they want to comprehend, but in earnest, I believe that they are merely considering that the gig is up, iteration always leads there, their seeming ignorance is evidence of that.

Yet in all that, this is basically still emotional and not evidence driven, so let’s get on with that. The foundation of all Common Law Competition Law is set to “The Competition and Consumer Act prohibits two persons, acting in concert, from hindering or preventing a third person trading with a fourth person, where the purpose or likely effect of the conduct is to cause a substantial lessening of competition in any market in which the fourth person is involved“, yet in this, I personally am stating that it hinders innovation, the situation never took into proper account of the state of innovators versus iterators, the iterator needs the innovator to slow down and the foundation of Competition Law allows for this, when we see ‘preventing a third person trading with a fourth person‘, in this the iterator merely brings his or her arrogance and (optional) lack of comprehension to the table and claims that they are being stopped from competing, whilst their evidence of equality is seemingly lacking (as I personally see it). 

In this the Columbia Law School is (at least partially) on my side as I found “Scholars and policymakers have long thought that concentrated market power and monopolies produce more innovation than competition. Consider that patent law—which is the primary body of law aimed at creating incentives for innovation—was traditionally thought to conflict with antitrust law. Known as the “the patent-antitrust paradox,” it was often said that antitrust is designed to prevent monopolies and other exclusionary practices while the patent system does the opposite, granting exclusionary rights and market power in the form of patents. Given this framework, it makes sense that scholars, courts, and government agencies have only recently considered antitrust and patent laws to be complementary policies for encouraging innovation.” it gives the foundation and when you consider that iterators are the foundation of hindrance to innovators, you see how competition law aids them. In the old days (my earlier example) Microsoft and Netscape that was a stage where both parties were on the same technology and comprehension level. Microsoft merely had the edge of bundling its browser with the OS and got the advantage there, Netscape did not have that edge, but was an equal in every other way. 

Another name is Gregory Day, who gives us: “a greater number of antitrust lawsuits filed by private parties—which are the most common type of antitrust action—impedes innovation. Second, the different types of antitrust actions initiated by the government tend to affect innovation in profoundly different ways. Merger challenges (under the Clayton Act) promote innovation while restraint of trade and monopolization claims (under sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act) suppress innovative markets. Even more interesting, these effects become stronger after the antitrust agencies explicitly made promoting innovation a part of their joint policies” yet I believe that iterators have a lot more to gain by driving that part and I see that there is actually a lack of people looking into that matter, who are the people behind the antitrust cases? Most people in government tend to remain unaware until much later in the process, so someone ‘alerts’ them to what I personally see as a  ‘a fictive danger’. In this I wonder who the needed partner in prosecution was and what their needs were. I believe that iterators are a larger problem than anyone ever considered.

In the case of Google, Amazon and Facebook, we see innovators driving technology and the others have absolutely nothing to offer, they are bound to try and slow these three down as they are trying to catch up. 

Ian Murray wrote in 2018 (CEI.ORG), “Yet there is no such thing as a dominant market position unless it is guaranteed by government. AOL, Borders, Blockbuster, Sears, Kodak, and many other firms once considered dominant in their markets have fallen as the result of competition, without any antitrust action” and that is a truth, yet it does not give that the iterators merely want innovators to slow down, so that they can catch up and the law allows for this, more importantly, as the lack of innovations were not driven over the last decade, South Korea became a PC behemoth, and China now rules in 5G Telecom land. All are clear stages of iterators being the problem and not a solution, even worse they are hindring actual innovation to take shape, real innovation, not what is marketed as such.

As such, governments are trying to get some social setting in place by balancing the seesaw whilst standing at the axial point, it is a first signal that this is a place where innovators are lost and in that are you even surprised that a lot of engineers will only take calls from Google or Huawei (Elon Musk being an optional third in the carbon neutral drive)? 

It gets to be even worse (soon enough), now that Google is taking the cookie out of the equation, we get to see ‘Move marks a watershed moment for the digital ad industry to reinvent itself‘, this is basically the other side of the privacy coin, even as google complied, others will complain and as Google innovates the internet to find another way to seek cookie technology, we will suddenly see every advertisement goof with no knowledge of systems cry ‘foul!’ and as we are given “Criteo, which built a retargeting empire around cookies, saw its stock tumble following Google’s announcement. Others such as LiveRamp and Oracle-owned businesses BlueKai and Datalogix, as well as nearly all data management platforms, now face the challenge of rethinking their business” (source: AdAge) we will see more players hurdling themselves over Competition Law and optionallytowards antitrust cases because these players used someones technology to get a few coins (which is not a bad thing, but to all good things come an end).

And I am not against these changes, the issue is not how it will be reinvented, it is how some will seek the option to slow the actual innovators down because they had no original idea (as I personally see it). Yet we must also establish that Google did not make it any easier and they have their own case ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC. to thank for.

That verdict was set to “With respect to Google’s cross-appeal, we affirm the district court’s decisions: (1) granting Oracle’s motion for JMOL as to the eight decompiled Java files that Google copied into Android; and (2) denying Google’s motion for JMOL with respect to the rangeCheck function. Accordingly, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, and remand for further proceedings.” in this situation, for me “The jury found that Google infringed Oracle’s  copyrights in the 37 Java packages and a specific computer routine called “rangeCheck,” but returned a noninfringement verdict as to eight decompiled security files. The jury  deadlocked on Google’s fair use defense.“, as I see it in that situation Oracle had been the innovator and for its use Google was merely an iterator (if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it).

Basically one man’s innovator is another man’s iterator, which tends to hold up in almost any technology field. Yet this time around, the price is a hell of a lot higher, close to half a dozen iterators ended up giving an almost complete technology surge to China (5G), which is as I personally see it. They were asleep at the wheel and now the US administration is trying to find a way around it, like they will just like ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC.  more likely than not come up short.

And one of these days, governments will figure out that the middle of the seesaw is not the safe place to be, it might be the least safe place to be. As the population on each end changes, the slow reaction in the middle merely ends up having the opposite and accelerating effect, a few governments will learn that lesson the hard way. I believe that picking two players on one (or either side) side is the safest course of action, the question for me remains will they bite?

 

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You become what you are

I stumbled upon news a mere two hours old, now this is nothing special, but the content was. It came from Reuters and even though I cannot tell who the writer was, it is not about the writer. For the most it is an account of details that had passed, it is the accumulation of acts by people so intensely short minded, that is what baffled me. As such you become what you are, you become dead as your brain was dead. 

In the first we see Stephanie Simpson, no idea who that is, or who she thinks she is, yet the situation is given that she is from Essex. This is not against her, she might be an expert in the hiking field and for those feeling frisky and having an attempt at hiking in the  Mount Aspiring national park I have one small advice, I have never been there, but hiking, climbing, diving and a few other options, YOU NEVER EVER DO THAT ALONE!

Nature does not budge, it does not give in and it does not compromise, the smallest kindness shown by nature could be the start of its next serious attack on your body and senses. This is not negativity, this is reality. Even when it is a fluke event like “Flash floods and incessant torrential rains hit New Zealand’s South Island last week leaving several hundred tourists stranded for days and forced many residents to evacuate their homes“, in these matters the expression changes, it becomes pain shared is optionally pain avoided. In natural places like New Zealand, that is very much the centre of the hurricane.

I even have some issues with the statement “In 2016, a Czech women spent nearly a month alone in a warden’s hut on a remote hiking trail on South Island after her male partner was killed in a fall“, I am not denying this, yet the larger truth is ‘How many deaths did this Czech women avoid whilst her husband was alive?

I got it, she made it and I am happy for her and sad because she lost her husband, yet as they were together, how often was stated ‘Watch out, that looks lose!‘, or ‘That road seems dodgy, let’s take the other direction?‘ for the simple reason that 4 eyes see more than two, gender was not part of this equation, nature does not care about gender, in its eyes both genders are equally worthless.

So even as we see: “Thousands of hikers visit New Zealand each year to explore its mountains and wildlife“, in this we do not get to see the parts that matter, even as there are dozens of pages with ‘Hiking Solo‘ some giving us their goods with “Adventure, depending on your taste in activities, is supposed to be exciting and fun! It should get you out of your comfort zone, get the blood flowing, the adrenaline pumping, and maybe if it’s really scary, make your heart pound and your stomach jump into your throat. Adventurous activities are not usually for the faint of heart. But they also aren’t just for a certain group of hardy people either. Everyone can be adventurous. It just takes the right people connecting, an open mind, an adventurous attitude, and responsible planning! Anything is possible when you make up your mind!“, we also need to realise ‘It just takes the right people connecting‘ which infers that they get their solo and hooked up, which makes perfect sense. Other places give us “Saying that, hurting yourself, getting lost and getting caught out by the weather can happen, so you still need to take proper safety precautions when hiking, especially if you are going it alone“, and when you go this trail, ‘take proper safety precautions‘ will be everything. 

You see, we seem to forget that New Zealand is not rugged, it is not unexpected, it is sturdy as a rock, the weather breaks its back on New Zealand and with that crushing anything in its way as well. We oversimplify matters too often, we think of an earthquake and firmly believe that it does not hit us, yet in New Zealand the Alpine Fault is a geological fault that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s South Island, and we know that the last 7.8 was in 2016 and at that time “the recent massive earthquake pushed a chunk of coast several feet up“, yet a much smaller one (like a 4) could loosen a rock that shatters your leg, or if you are lucky your skull. Now, this is not some scary story telling, it needs to be firm that there is an important reason to be aware, nature will not give in. Consider “Every year GNS Science locates over 15,000 earthquakes in New Zealand. About 100 – 150 of these quakes are large enough to be felt“, a rock needs not feel, it merely needs to move, at times merely an inch. Still, from all pictures and accounts, New Zealand is more than just beautiful and the appeal to go there is there, I feel it too, but I feel that something like that is never ever to be done alone, it does not matter if you hook up with a team there, or if you follow a group, even a small tour, just do not do that alone. I also need to be clear, I am not talking about hiking tracks like the Queen Charlotte Track, or the Routeburn Track. They are hikes, yet it is different when you are alone, one of 10-20 alone on a clear given track, in the unspoiled terrains it is a different setting, the hiking places where others do not go. I get it, it is like skiing on fresh snow, not a piste, it is for many an overwhelming desire to do so, but at that point it is you alone and in nature, a little snow can become a blizzard, some rain becomes a flood or a flash flood, nature simply does not budge.

I have an additional feeling, the idea that an entire rescue team needs to become active for one useless person (me), offends me too and I used to be a rescue worker when I was younger. I have seen the impact of the sea and the ocean. You see on a large cruiser it seems harmless, on a fishing boat the ocean is something else. I personally still believe that of the three gods, Poseidon got the best deal of all three and I respect the ocean, it is not my element, as such one could argue that  have no business being near it, but the call to the sea is strong.

I write this with a special view on the last part of the article, which was “a 22-year-old British backpacker was murdered by a man she met on dating app Tinder. A jury convicted the man in November and he is to be sentenced on 21 February“, which is (as I personaly see it) a different level of stupid. As such we need to realise that New Zealand is a safe place, it has been and optionally always will be, at times people are not safe and the weather is never ever safe. As such look at Australia, first that island scorches through the kind assistance of the sun and 11 million hectares was burned, including 23 people and over 2,000 houses, then the rain helped out flooding thousands (me included), and left 100,000 houses without power. I had rain damage, but not as bad as some who had to throw out the bulk of their living room, my landlord found a new way to live green, he ended up with a tree in his living room. 

So lets realise that nature will NOT compromise and if it is devastating in a city like Melbourne, how bad can it get in rural conditions? Yet I still stand still with the Tinder girl, it is my personal believe that Kiwi’s (New Zealand natives) are not homicidal, they have been around a long time and tend to be friendly and at times direct and even now, this act stands out, it stands out a lot more than the people trying to hike in Australia (the movie Wolf Creek is based on it), to see such an event in NZ is weirdly uncanny to say the least. 

So no matter if you agree and how you feel, remember that when you are alone, it is the weather you must fear and the moment you take your eyes of it, it swamps you. It stands out against something that happened a year ago “both men were experienced climbers, active in the Canberra Climbers’ Association. They were attempting a challenging route across the top of the Remarkables mountain range” this is not the same as hiking and we can speculate on the exact issues as much as we want, in these places we are out in the open, we are where we do not belong and nature does not believe in capturing or taking a prisoner, it merely kills you or it optionally makes you stronger. It has nothing to do with gender and nothing to do with expertise, in a match between you and nature, you will always lose, that is the reality of it all and whilst New Zealand has the most beautiful sites any place on earth offers, being overwhelmed by it is a dangerous stage to be in. My point of view was partially seen last September “Two tourists ignored advice against hiking the Routeburn Track in winter, and went out under-prepared for the conditions they faced, a Coroner’s report has found“, I see it as a double whammie, overestimating your own abilities and forgetting the power of nature, oh and there is also the stupid factor as ‘ignored advice‘ is part of all this, and they went to see the Department of Conservation (DOC) centre in Queenstown to get information before they went. As they were told “not to go because it was winter and there would be winter conditions“, so how high does ‘giving it a go‘ rank in stupid levels? As I said Nature will not care, it will simply carelessly kill you. Even as Stephanie Simpson took all the precautions, did everything right, she was seemingly alone and there was no one to raise the alert, give a hand if she slipped on wet rocks or chase her if the water caught her, all speculated options in what might never be known, my personal view is never go alone, even if it is just you and the guide, he/she can still take pics of you for you to show off when you get home.

I do feel sorry for Stephanie Simpson, it doesn’t matter who she is, her age, her interests, getting stuck alone in nature is perhaps the harshest death there is (apart from a rock pushing you in a crevice instantly killing you), being helpless and crushed by nature is something overwhelming, because you tend to have no hope at all to survive that.

Consider that the Czech republic has quality snow, harsh ice and real winter conditions to read “they had underestimated the snow conditions” is simply a new level of stupid (like flying from the UK to NZ to meet a tinder guy). And my view is not the only one, the SCMP (South China Morning Post) gives us “A growing number of tourists are getting into trouble while hiking in New Zealand. Local knowledge could help prevent these incidents” anyone needing a travel guide? We also see the Kiwi preemptive stage of “New Zealanders are being called on to talk to tourists in hotels, pubs and shops to educate them about the dangers of the nation’s countryside, after a spate of emergency rescues and fatalities“, which is awesome, it might not save the stupid ones who are willing to ‘give it a go‘ but those with genuine self interest (on living) might take notice that New Zealand nature is like a Cobra, it looks amazing in many ways, yet too close and it can turn deadly in seconds. Remember that nature never cared about you in the first place, so accept that there are no dangerous snakes and spiders in New Zealand (unlike in Australia), in New Zealand nature and its weather is a much larger danger and those unprepared pay the price with their soul, so never ever go it alone, even if the second person can only call for help, you could not move as you slipped on a wet moss covered rock and fell the wrong way. Yes you might walk alone on certain trails, but that is because there are well over a dozen on that trail and you will most likely be spotted, hopefully in time.

Even as we are given “the second preventable death“, it was not the fault of any Kiwi, it was the fault of the tourist not comprehending just how dangerous nature is and how deadly the weather can become in seconds.

That is how I see it!

My bucket list still has the need to visit Antarctica, its unreaped snow fields, the azure freshwater lakes and the direct view on a complet nature and weather setting has its appeal (and the appeal to photograph it), but I too know that it could kill me when I am alone. So just me and a local guide it will be, I prefer to be around one day later, that’s how I roll.

 

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Value of original gaming IP

When my mind designed the sequels to a new Elder Scrolls game, Far Cry and Watchdogs I did not care about the revenue, I did not care about the revenue factors in gaming franchise, I was merely one creative mind devising new ways and new stories, because the story is everything, it really is. 

Consider the intro and staging of Far Cry 3 against Far Cry 5, the stage of Assassin’s Creed 2 versus AC Unity, or AC Origins versus AC Odyssey and you might get a glimpse of that setting. In all honesty, I never considered revenue in any of it, but I realise that it is a driving force of the houses that publish them. Lets face it, would Mario exist if we did not consider the value of the $650 million it represents? In that same light Call of Duty, GTA, FIFA and Zelda, they all represent a serious level of coins. As such I see the need to continue some franchises, yet  wonder when we test their push for the storyline, how far will some get?

Consider in all this that the Elder Scrolls represent less than a billion, Skyrim alone represents half a billion dollars and has sold over 20,000,000 copies. And let’s face it, we always want to do better than the previous one, which is what drove me to set the story design of Elder Scrolls: Restoration.

Yet even as we see more versions of a game, Apple and Google are driving the need for original IP, it is the larger drive in gaming, not because it is Apple and google, but because the makers see that the original IP can be the beginning of a massive drive towards a system. There is also the fact that when we get a new system we do not want to play the same game over again on that system. 

Yet there are exceptions and they tend to be System driven. The Last of us on PS3 and PS4. Skyrim xbox360 – Xbox one and PS3 – PS4. Pretty much anything involving Mario, and the list goes on, yet Google and Apple do not have that yet and they need to rely on original IP to get the people in. That part was shown all the way back to the Nintendo 64 and the first PlayStation. 

IP that is owed is easier to evolve and more important, when the first game is a hit, it tends to be easier on revenue expectations as well. However, as we look at Apple, we see the need and the logic to have the subscriptions, yet when we see a game like Pilgrims with a mere 14,000 subscribers, the path for Apple is still less than stellar. Now we can push franchises like No Man’s Sky (Hello Games) there, however if Apple is to make a name for itself, it needs original IP, an original RPG, and original racing game and so on. that will drive sales, that will drive longevity in gaming and in a $120 billion industry last year alone, it makes sense to carve a name for yourself.

Yet there is also the stage where the expected and the non-considered walk. When I started to first design an original IP, was it truly original? It was (for the most) and I even added a new game mode that none had considered. Arcade is the way we consider, yet who has considered ‘historically accurate’ as a game mode? 

In this I wanted a more original RPG were the stage is Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden mapped), where you start in the land and get a choice of three places to start, from there you grow your village, grow your interest on the terrain and grow, after which you need to plunder, need to destroy your neighbours and add to your place (and take it from there), an RPG where you can set the rune tone to one god and receive the back handed prayers in success. Yet how can we link ‘Arcade’ and ‘historically accurate’? Well there we get the test of how good a person can play and basically they play two games. Even as a person buys provisions (with real cash) to get an advantage, they buy more, because the purchase in an arcade also comes with a ‘boon coin’ in the ‘historically accurate’. So if a person buys a load of fish in Arcade, they also get a boon coin with a fish in the historically accurate, which sets the chance to find a fish shoal to 100% there. Get two for the price of one. The same for weapons where a kart is bought for one side and the other side gets the smithing coin, giving them a 100% chance of a quality forged weapon. I even set out the stage that an actual player in one village would influence the growth in the virtual version where another player is a neighbour (like choice of stone, location and direction of growth)

I also wanted to make sure that ‘historically accurate’ was there to show that life is not a game and when we slice and dice like in Viking: Battle for Asgard, yet I thought that the game was too small, it was too easily defeated (except the boss at the end) and even as the game had good points, I wanted to see this game in a much larger setting. I wanted compelling to translate to addictive and I wanted a lot more to stand out, I also wanted to make sure that the choice of a god rune had a much larger impact, so over time as people played the game, they would have a new experience if the village rune stone was not set to Odin, but to Loki, Thor, Balder, Frigg, Vidar, or Tyr. What benefit do you want to see? And when chosen in Arcade it will be the set stone for ‘historically accurate’ as well. As such as the history of your village evolves we see that people realise that the impact one would hope for in Arcade would have a different term in the ‘historically accurate’ (HA), we forget in playing that famine was a real think in those days, as was disease and that could go from village to village. We could push it to Greece on the same premise and see where this leads, yet Scandinavia where the weather would have a much larger impact seems to be a more preferred personal feeling in this. So how many games take that into consideration? 

Yes, games like Fallout have a survival mode and there we see “The only means of physically saving the game is to sleep in a bed, on a mattress or in a sleeping bag. The exit save function is still available, but is a temporary save that is deleted automatically upon loading“, it is almost like hardocre mode in Diablo, how many times did you have to die before you figured out that running into batle is as stupid as it could be? As such the HA mode will give the player a much larger consideration to what he’s doing, it is not intend to drive microtransactions, which is why you can optionally only buy stuff in the arcade mode and only the real gamers and winners will get through the game without ever buying anything, that is why I would add an achievement named ‘no purchase required’, how many games heralded the need to not embrace microtransactions? 

It was a stage that my mind evolved over a few days and that is the easy part of the creative element in a game, I wonder how many creative minds are out there in the gaming industry, because I feel personally that people like Sean Murray and David Braben are as rare as it gets in this industry (no insult to other game makers intended), for me it is a stage where I see where places like Apple Arcade (and Google Stadia) are and where they go, so far I am actually not that impressed, not when it comes to companies this big.

 

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