Supporting Sony and Amazon

There is a time when it is not about the dough (aka money), there is a time when it is about the principle of protecting the game and the gamer. And when it is supported by a civic duty to kick Microsoft in the mouth (for civic duty and personal pleasure) the money issue does not add up to much. You see, we can toss and turn over. Few coins now, but when gaming is slaughtered by Microsoft, what does that add up to in the end? 

So in support of what I wrote yesterday in ‘At it again’ I have decided that all gaming idea’s on my site are now free to use for both Sony and Amazon. I do hope that they will give me a bonus if the 50,000,000 consoles for Amazon becomes a reality, but that is not out of bounds is it? So I already created the foundation of an entirely new RPG (as I wrote earlier), so now I need to come up with an idea for something to counter Blizzard. I reckon that the Activision problem will solve itself soon enough.

This is seen in a few articles like ‘CoD Vanguard players expose ‘pay to win’ Double Barrel Blueprint after nerfs’, as well as ‘Call of Duty Acknowledges Problems With Warzone and Vanguard’, a setting that shows that with “The publisher released a statement on the official Call of Duty Twitter account, acknowledging the struggles these games have had, and its intention to move things in the right direction. Activision plans to fix as many of these issues as quickly as it can”, this indicates that the troubles brewing are not resolved, more important, they have been going on for some time and that tends to be disastrous. Even as game makers ‘hide’ behind ‘best selling in the US’ we see another flavour of “most powerful console”, which was done away easily enough by Nintendo and its “weakest of all consoles” to bash it, surpass it in sales in almost half the time. Now with Microsoft buying software houses for a total of $37,000,000,000 (most of it for Blizzard and Activision), we are introduced to “The bigger worry is that Sony is no match against its far-larger rival as gamers look beyond consoles” (source: Reuters), yet but the statement is not correctly given, is it? With “as gamers look beyond consoles”, we see the article catering to Microsoft and its advertisement budget, but the truth is that gamers always look beyond consoles, they look for the best gaming experience and so far Microsoft has disappointed too much and too often, as did Ubisoft, as did a few others. Looking beyond consoles makes sense, there is a case for both the Google Stadia and Amazon Luna, but Google does not develop games. As such the Amazon Luna has the better advantage and handing them (as well as Sony) free access to my IP works for me as a gamer and works for gamers in total. And I have always been protective of gamers. Not to mention that there is a surprisingly satisfying feeling if my RPG idea gains traction, when Microsoft Paid $7,500,000,000 for Bethesda, only to see that Sony and Amazon can bring a new competitive RPG at a fraction of the cost, not to mention the undisclosed option for Amazon to sell an additional 50,000,000 (or more) consoles on an idea Microsoft never saw coming in the first place. The idea to surpass Microsoft left, right and centre on their shortsightedness is massively satisfying and as I am considering now a Diablo like game where the stage is a combined Gauntlet like game, as well as a first person action slice and dice game, we see (in the earliest stage) that they got an additional lemon at $27,000,000,000. A stage that makes me laugh. Microsoft has the ‘lets throw money against the shortcomings we have’ and I countered it by handing over IP to Sony and Amazon that is new, fresh and optionally grows to be the equal of what they paid for at top dollar. It might not make me rich (never a priority to me), but I can fall asleep with the biggest grin knowing I pulled the carpet from under the feet of one of the biggest software companies on the planet. 

So when we look at “Microsoft will be looking to gradually lure PlayStation gamers to its own console with new content down the line.” We see subterfuge. And I feel 98.3245% certain (roughly) that my creativity can trump their subterfuge. So when we see the two parts namely “the huge bet on Activision signals the company is serious about building a virtual world beyond a console or device”, as well as “Sony is doubling down on games exclusive to PlayStation. It may have the air of a David and Goliath match-up, but Microsoft looks to be on a whole other level.” We see the courtesan move towards advertisement. Consoles have for the longest time aimed for exclusives, the Sony exclusives have proven to be exquisite masterpieces again and again. You see, THEY might tell you that gamers want “a virtual world beyond a console or device”, yet it is not gaming, it is a world of cheats, cheating and hacks and in that world there is a larger benefit for the maker to set the ‘pay to win’ environment by selling weapons and other micro transactions to fill the war-chest of its board of directors. At some point (sooner than anyone expects) the gamer will have had enough and dump these games. With the Sony games, with gaming on a console, the only cheat you get is on yourself.  But that part will not make the media, will it? Gamers will too often feel the need to chill and play the story, enjoy the world they are in, a setting that the Microsoft games will not offer. They will make lofty promises like “Activision has announced the worst punishment yet. In short, if you’re caught cheating in Call of Duty: Vanguard, you can be banned from every CoD game in the franchise.” A statement made in
November 2021. This in response to “Numerous players reported running into blatant cheaters on Vanguard on the very first day of the release.” And no one is asking the question why cheating was made so easy, so easy that it was ready on the first day of release. But I cannot find any media asking that part, and then the response ‘you can be banned’, not ‘you will be banned’, a subtle but unmistakingly difference that they are considering action, not promising that action will be taken and when the gamers get a few more of those issues, they will walk away. A good spending of 27 billion. So whilst we cannot deny that there will be a desire for virtual world combat, until you deal with the cheaters that world will be as appealing as a tax form. In this with the cheater active from day one, it seems to me that a lot more fixing is required. Darn and I was having so much fun surpassing Microsoft with creativity, all whilst common sense might defeat them before that. Because in the end it will be common sense. The common sense that gamers want to have fun, they want to exchange blows on an honest field so that s gamers they feel enabled and the last time I checked in a game filed with cheaters no one feels enabled, merely insulted and attacked on a false premise. 

So I do not disagree with Reuters on “Microsoft looks to be on a whole other level”, especially when that is set to the stage that the Microsoft level is an inferior one. Now, you are free to disagree, but consider if you go into a virtual world and there are a dozen cheaters waiting for you, how much fun will you have as a gamer? Not that much I reckon.

Enjoy the day! I am going to mull the new Diablo station a little more, the idea is taking form, but I do know it will not be easy to offer a Diablo alternative, that franchise is a really solid one. 

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At it again

Yes, Microsoft is at it again. This time it is costing them $68,000,000,000 for the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Associated Press released that information an hour ago (at https://apnews.com/article/microsoft-activision-blizzard-acquisition-call-of-duty-7a9e2bcc8f0b7b9049e4f93fe3e0a4dd). There we see “The all-cash $68.7 billion deal will turn Microsoft, maker of the Xbox gaming system, into one of the world’s largest video game companies. It will also help it compete with tech rivals such as Meta, formerly Facebook, in creating immersive virtual worlds for both work and play.” Yet what we do not see is the one Blizzard element missing, Diablo. We get “strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth.” Yet I feel that there is a large need to upset fan bases and move them from the Sony path into the Microsoft path. It is a clever tactic, but not at 68 billion, there is more and I get the stage, there will be more even though the ‘META’ references do fit to some degree. 

The danger is seen in the smallest quote. I believe that ‘the world’s largest video game company’ is part of the stage and it is part of the need for Microsoft. We forget that the revenue of Candy Crush is huge and it is not merely the value of that revenue, it is the number of people generating that revenue that matters. You see these numbers are also a marketing drive and therefor a stage of doubling revenue. We think that advertisement are the key and for some they are to a degree, but what happens when the pay system becomes a marketing tool for verifiable information? We think it is assumption and presumption and for most it is, but when that data is verified with pay-cycles that game changes. And when we consider “the latest acquisitions will help beef up its Xbox Game Pass game subscription service while also accelerating its ambitions for the metaverse, a collection of virtual worlds designed as a next generation of the internet” we see a few things between the lines. In the first there is the subscription (Game Pass), so when all these games fall under subscription the game changes, the system will set a larger approval for THEIR streaming solution. It foes not impact my 50,000,000, but it does change the balance of the gaming community. When the larger battle stations involve ONLY Game Pass, but passes over Sony’s head there is added revenue. It is a brilliant tactic and it is specific. Microsoft alls it the move toward Meta. I do not doubt that, but this time it is not enough, for 68 billion it cannot just be for Meta, Meta is the side effect as I saw it in at least one other setting. Yet to united gamers all under YOUR banner whilst leaving Nintendo and Sony out in the cold is about something more, it will be to set up virtual machines on those two so that we see a Nintendo logo, but we are still connected to a Microsoft virtual machine. I believe it is a dangerous move because gaming was kept at an all time high as vendors had to be clever to get the attention of gamers, Microsoft is taking away choice, as such taking way vetting of the best gaming solution and as such limiting the choice to one and from there our choices will become ever so limited again and again until all choice is removed, then it is what Microsoft says what it is and that is what it would be. 

In gaming diversity of game makers gives us the goods, the Microsoft method does not fit in, and with Diablo optionally removed from at least one system, I will have to come up with new IP to counter the move of Microsoft. It is a hard call but I am willing to set that to Public Domain, just to piss of Microsoft (as good a reason as any). 

I truly believe there is more to it all, yet I am not certain if we will hear it in time, no matter what there is more to this and Nintendo with 26,000,000 subscribers and over 93,000,000 Nintendo Switch systems sold, 104,000,000 active Sony users (PS4/PS5/vita) Microsoft is setting up a system to entice close to 200,000,000 people to come over. And when you consider the $14,95 a month, we see setting where they stand to gain $36,000,000,000 annually, if that goes well and that is 52% of the investment right there. They will not get all, but a chunk makes it all worth it and Microsoft had the money. They are vying to become the only remaining system with choices on the market, that tactic makes sense. How will gamers react? I reckon there will be anger, because the system that sets diversity to null is not a system we can ever trust, that has been proven more than once. 

And yes there is a meta fragment in there too and when Microsoft comes to the table with such a user group they do become the most formidable gaming community, there is no denying that, but at what cost? That will the larger game that is kept hidden from us all, because a player like Microsoft will not tolerate the negative side to gain traction, it would be working against them to the largest degree. I wonder who will keep us truly informed, I truly do.

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Evolution

We all see it, we all face it and it is programs, games and many other settings. Evolution is where it is at (at times). Take management survival. One of the best games ever made is Fallout Shelter. I even came up with some ‘improvements’ (read: additions) that could bank Bethesda (now: Microsoft) a few more coins, not that it was needed, as the game was free and I think they made more money on the microtransactions than any of there other games. There is no envy, there is no anger. The game can be played without ever spending a dime, so whatever they made, they earned it, no exception.

And now as we see all these fallout copies (to some effect) in many cases they are Zombie apocalypse games, we see another setting. A setting where Bethesda has the option to evolve their game into a larger game. I entered in my blog somewhere in the past a few additions (or improvements), but now I see that there is more to be done. 

It can show in a few ways. In the first there are additional support rooms, rooms that give added returns on rooms. There is the setting where localisation becomes an issue. For example a fallout shelter in Canada, Norway, Sweden, or Siberia has a much better return on water via snow. Yet food will be better in temperate settings and the tropics and loads of sun has power benefit. So what happens when you get no choice in the location, but it is handed to you. You need to seek more information and then we get a new location, a library. A library can offer a new book, common, rare or legendary. Each book has the ability to create a support room, or upgrade a support room. It now becomes a much more rewarding and harder game, especially long term. Especially when rooms have to be redone to accommodate for support rooms, with the larger station where we see that some rooms would need to be at the upper level the game changes. It changes a decent amount. Some support rooms are more delicate when it comes to attacks, so more repairs are needed over time. For example a wind support room for a power station. A snow capture room for water and a trap room for animal attacks giving more food. 

All kinds of additions that are possible and that was before the other additions I suggested (somewhere in the past). So why do it? I believe that some of the rip offs are nice, but they are nowhere as close to perfect as Fallout Shelter was. Even with all the critique of ‘lack of depth’, which is not untrue. The game offered more play than many games that are not free. And play is where it is at and this game delivered. There are fun parts, less fun parts, but overall a good game to play and even when you drop the game, you can pick it up a year later reliving the fun you had. It is one of the few games that I have had on nearly every platform available. That shows the game has appeal on many platforms. Bethesda showed colours and the colours were vibrants and appealing. They earned what they got and if a new idea helps them to maintain the game into new generations then I will happily oblige, because if the game offers true gameplay we all win.

There could be another room, a pet-store keeper, allowing the upgrade of animals, a weapon support room, giving in the first level a weapon for less resources, or return a weapon for more resources in the second level an upgrade to add to the weapon in the third level. It changes a few items and it has an impact, the same could be done for armour, with the a different setting, making some armour gender neutral. We can come up with all kinds of changes, but when we consider the stage where we are in a northern nation, warm armour becomes a lot more important. All stage that can be added to a game and it changes us from chasing a goal to enjoy and emerge in a game. You see when the game is too vanilla, we all see the same path, when we are in different locations the same path cannot apply and it gets people talking. It is merely one path of evolution that we see and optionally one we face, but what happens when we try to conquer what we did so easily before? We add to the challenge and create a new generation of fans, that is what I personally believe and I have seen similar paths in Eye of the Beholder and Ultima (4-7) to name just two franchises, there are scores and we all have the one we treasure the most, so what happens when you consider how to upgrade THAT game to be more challenging? I reckon that is one mistake Ubisoft made and in AC2-Brotherhood it was accepted, yet by the time we got to AC3 it was all about the ship, it was all about the hardware, yet the story and dance were too similar. So what happens when you add a wildcard that is handed to you and is the one you are stuck with? Can you then too rise to the occasion? That becomes a much larger question.  And that is before you realise that to some extent random factors will decide whether you find a library and even more what you find there. Perhaps some chests in locations will offer a common book, but the rare and legendary can only be found in bookshops or libraries you encounter. 

Call out any game and for the mot the dedicated player can come up with an addition, or additional challenge and that is when real evolution starts. And it matter, because in gaming evolution can at times lead to innovation and that is such a rare stage that it entices scores of gamers to your game. That is what matters, because innovation is rare in franchise games, so when we see it we jump to attention fast. So are my ideas here innovation? No, they are merely iteration, but at times in iteration can lead to an innovation, and we all want that, especially in games we love playing. We all do, no exception.

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Overlooked IP

Yes, we all look at ideas that make us rich, we all do. I am no exception. I have my IP, a few in 5G, a few in consoles, in movies, in TV series, in NextGen printable hardware and at least one in books. So until they are all sold I am content. This is the stage where I saw another piece of IP waiting to come to fruition. I see it, yet it is not my forte, in this Google has a massive opportunity and so far no one saw the setting on their retina’s, or on their displays. As I see it Google Maps could be extended and it could extent YouTube creators. Yet I see no start of this, as such I decided to make it public domain and let you all fight over it, or fight over it with Google. You see during lockdown I mentioned that there are all these city walks, yet no one considered to link them to Google maps and to combine them, so that someone looking at the map could click on the YouTube video giving us a real view (more than street view). So when we look at the Map of Toronto (Johny Strides), London (Mostly Walking), Monaco (Tourist Channel), yet also in the other direction. There is for example POPTravel giving us Stockholm, Munich, Heraklion and London. All stages many want to see, but no one made the connection to link these sources to Google maps (or any other map for that matter). I wonder why, if information is selectable, sliceable, dice able and optionally can be set into a funnel, why did no one consider that the funnel can be reversed and that sliced and diced information can be aggregated, so I am a little surprised that this service was not added, making more people look at the information that w could see (via
Youtube). I know that some maps show images, but the city walks are a great source of impression. I wonder if no one else made that leap and it could spur YouTube members into optional additional creativity.

Where is the walking route?

Just a thought I had at 10:34 (after a cup of coffee, who is demanding credit for the thought), A stage we all face, we all have and whilst we all make statements like this, until the thought is set to paper and set to the public it basically does not exist. It is one of the oldest rules. If it is not written down it does not exist. I think it comes from the age of Caesar Augustus (63BC-14AD), so it is not a new rule and many should know this part, or they should have been made aware of this.

Good hunting and good fortune to you all (or is that Google hunting for good fortune?) 

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Principle of a chair

Yes, we get that. We sometimes we rely on the principle of a chair until we figure things out, we sit on the problem. We aren’t hiding it, we aren’t ignoring it yet at times we aren’t sure where we are in such a situation. We contemplate and I am no different. So when I saw (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-59970281) the article ‘Is the pandemic entering its endgame?’ I was not sure how to feel about that. So when I saw ““We’re almost there, it is now the beginning of the end, at least in the UK,” Prof Julian Hiscox, chairman in infection and global health at the University of Liverpool, tells me. “I think life in 2022 will be almost back to before the pandemic.”” I was not sure how to feel, was the man openly optimistic? There is optimism and there is folly. Until November 2021 there was no Omicron, there was no enhanced danger to the global health systems. Now we see that we are seeing less cases, but it is still almost 2 million new cases a day. And that is whilst we openly see that the numbers from India do not make sense. A setting where the US has a health system that is near collapsing and the UK is in no better state. Then there is the one thought we all ignore, what comes next? Omicron slapped us across the face and when is there a next version? Is this Prof Julian Hiscox trying to sell us genuine pink salmon? (A Barnum and Bailey joke). Yet we also get the good stuff here, because we are told “What’s changing is our immunity. The new coronavirus first emerged two years ago in Wuhan, China, and we were vulnerable. It was a completely new virus that our immune systems had not experienced before and we had no drugs or vaccines to help.” I agree with that part, I agree that the vaccines are the solution, yet the evolution of Covid is still largely unknown, or at least we are not being told. So a next version could spell a lot of havoc in many lives. And that fear is confirmed with “The only major curve ball would be a new variant that can outcompete Omicron and cause significantly more severe disease”, as such the article makes a lot of sense and I cannot disagree, but at what stage do we ignore what might come? When do we accept the endemic path? People are all about to get back to the job and income, but the danger with endemic and a new version in that endemic universe means more death and even as I applaud that (we are as overpopulated as we need to be), will you feel the same when it is your children or your parents whose lives are on the line? We see the line that less die but this time around we have a new setting, the lack of hospital beds could also fuel deaths and Omicron made that clear in the US and the UK. Even if we see causality in these cases, we cannot continue on a path where people die because all the beds are taken by Covid cases. That was why I supported the stage where unvaccinated cases are not allowed hospital beds, and if required only through fully paid services (upfront), if you feel it is unfair, too bad. It is shown several times over that vaccinated people can get seriously sick, but shorter and for the most not fatally. So whenever I see another hack piece where someone claims that the unvaccinated take only 50% of the beds, I kinda go ‘Yes, and the pope is Jewish!’ There is a clear station where vaccines are the solution, yes there are a few dangerous side effects possible, but that danger is nowhere near the station of the unvaccinated dying of covid. So how do we react to anti vaccine people like Kelly Ernby, Marcus Lamb, Glynn Steel, William Hartmann? We need not react, covid killed them all and a lot more like them. My only issue is that they talked others in refusing the vaccine, optionally killing them all. 

Some say we need to to make fun of them. I am on the fence on that. On one side it might make those who listened to these anti-vaxxers wake up and get vaccinated, on the other hand their graves should be a clear message and in all this misinformation continues on nearly all fronts. The only issue is that even doctors are spreading misinformation. Not many, but those who do are fuelling into vaccination feelings under the average person and that is a dangerous stage. You see, the stage of an endemic is fine as long as we are ALL vaccinated, when that is not the case we will see more mutations and more deaths and that is the larger stage, the next mutation might be a lot more deadly than Omicron was. In Omicron it was about spreading the disease, but if that evolves into a more deadly version the game changes by a lot and to stop that danger we all need to be vaccinated, there is no other option. This is a stage we face, we either act in fear (for kids, siblings, parents), we act in denial, we act in support or in acceptance. I get it, they are all stages that propel us, but that is equally wrong, as is sitting on the problem, but at times when there are too many unknown elements it feels like the best solution. I got vaccinated in the early days, I am a product of vaccines (60’s) I lived through the eradication of Polio, difteria, TBC, measles and so on. Some of these diseases still exist, but they are now so rare that we act in surprise when a case does show up. At some point this will be the case for covid as well, but not now, there are still too many dangers and to some degree the anti-vaxxers are making it happen. It is my personal believe that a mutation can only come from an unvaccinated person. I know, it might be completely wrong, but that is how I feel and the medical people still do not know what drove covid, what brought mutations and why Omicron was regarded as ‘mild’ when we knew so little. Too many questions and we see no answers that is in part the problem because it fuels the feelings of anti-vaxxers. 

The principle of a chair is at times not the wrong position to have when enough information comes towards us, yet that too has not been the case with covid and w get it, there are a lot of unknown elements and scientists do need the time to study and prove parts. But this is a setting that has gone on for well over a year and the people are burning out on all sides and their less accepting side is becoming visible more and more, especially now.

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The images came

Yes, they came, the images. My mind played out the beginning of a new movie, one with Owen Wilson in the lead. I am not ready to tell that story yet. During that escape I also saw a few other things, it is there that we find ourselves. In the middle of a story not to be told, but with images that make sense in gaming. You see, in the early years (1993) Origin made a game that had potential, the game did not really exploit it, but it had created an optional new wave and even as the finale implied things in the end, they never came. Yet it is only one side. Games are always about options, but nothing ever comes from the tail side of that coin. What if choices are set upon us? More important what if the other side has equally strong negative sides? We can select the internet to do our work for us, or we can go forwards embracing the choices we have made. Too many games forget about that. I believe it was the wrong take to make on gaming. We grow and we get clever through adversarial settings. That as been proven for the longest time, yet we overlook it because it is not what the gaming community wants. By whose standards? Players like Ubisoft and Microsoft have no idea what gamers actually want and they have shown that lack over and over agains for at least 10 years. So let’s take this up a notch. You are at a shrine, there is a camera, a book and a potion. You can only select one, what do you take? When the clue is unfolded it makes sense to take one of them, yet each give a formidable advantage, yet you lose the other two. In the age of Gauntlet and Diablo based games we might take that part later, but what happens when the choice if final and the others are removed from choice? As I see it it enables replayability, it grows a much larger value in any game. You see a game that does everything will basically please no one. We forgot that the founders of gaming like Infocom with Zork enabled us to think things through, a side in gaming we tend to forget. And I did too, for the longest time I merely went from achievement to achievement. I forgot to have fun, I forgot what replayability enables, not the same track again, but another path towards the same destination. More to see, more to experience and more the encounter. Most game makers are about story experience and one story fits all, but that is seldom if ever the case. For the same reason two role playing gamers might select different races (orc, dwarf, human, elf). All part of the package, all part of 4 learning experiences. Yet most people stick with the one choice and work from there, yet I believe that they take the one path because no one explained that they can get more by taking another path the next time around. It does not fill the revenue bill and that is a shame, yet in the new stages, in streaming stages that option will become increasingly important. Streamers have a monthly fee, so if one game can be played 4 times the revenue meter fill up larger. More importantly the games would have to become a lot better, a lot more immersive and the stories would need to become a whole lot better. I do not believe this to be a bad thing, this is how evolution of gaming starts and it does need to start, you see fully deployed 5G is no more than 3 years away and at that point the console wars will go into a new dimension with the streamers (Google Stadia, Amazon Luna) will become fierce and a lot more decisive. I do not believe that they will replace the Nintendo Switch or the Sony PlayStation 5. Yet they will be next to a lot of these systems and that is where the $200,000,000,000 revenue ticket for 2022 is at, and with the Amazon Luna with an optional 50,000,000 more consoles that war takes a hard turn into better gaming and the ones not ready for upgrading gaming will lose out to a lot of revenue clambakes. It will not start drastically, it will be all nice, but it sets the stage for 2024 and there the numbers do add up to failure or success and none of the players are embracing failure, or so they seem to think, but which of these systems have truly embraced upgraded gaming?
Not many, I can tell you that much and that is merely the first wave, the second wave will add the previous revenue success to the next one and those who missed out on pile one, have little to no option for an increased pile two. That is where they all are, in denial. Phrases like ‘We are working on it’ or ‘this will sort itself out’ but behind the curtains they sweat, they have no idea where to take it next and I wrote about at least half a dozen options, and they all laughed, but in November 2023 they will stop laughing. They will face the shortcomings of choice and the lack of options they left their gaming community with, so these people will dump that system and cancel that prescription. So these people will face 2024 with limited revenue and no plan of implementation. That will be the losing streamer. The other one will take a bow and head for revenue piles two and three, at that point Sony will face a true contender for the first position in console wars, the field is wide open, but I believe that Microsoft has already lost, they did this to themselves. To be honest, as the information goes at present the Amazon Luna is the most likely winner in that direction, but I have no idea where Netflix is going, so there are options in a race where some horses cannot compete and some horses are unknown. In that race I see Nintendo in third position, with their gaming attitude they could go higher and they have what it takes, but they work on a formula that is almost guaranteed to keep them in the race, yet like any formula, it has limits and that is not a bad thing, it is what they chose and so far they kept 93,000,000 gamers happy with the Switch overtaking Microsoft by a lot, the weakest system defeated the strongest console in the world. Why is that? Technology? No, Nintendo listened to their gamers, gave their gamers what they needed. That was the simple truth since before the Switch arrived and when it did in 2017 the world saw a winner and Microsoft became the number one loser. This is about to happen again yet in 2023/2024 it will be the streamers who fight over the initial number three position, but some will have it within them to get to second place. And good games is where they get the winning positions, the better the games, the more the gamer wins and that is my stage,
I want gamers to win, because if they win, I win. I am after all a gamer.

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A woman’s voice

Something bothered me, it bothered me from the beginning, but I let it go. There are several important things going on in the world and this was not one of them, or was it? It was the Guardian that pushed me into action. The article ‘Hollywood stars back Emma Watson after Palestinian solidarity post’ gave me the view that is was essential to act, and believe it or not act is the central part of the whole story.

The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/13/hollywood-stars-back-emma-watson-after-palestinian-solidarity-post) gives us a few things. Now to be honest, for the most I tend to take the side of Israel, for several reasons. The setting was that Emma Watson showed an image, an image that gives us “a photograph of a pro-Palestinian protest with the banner “solidarity is a verb” written across it. It was accompanied with a quote about the meaning of solidarity from the intersectional feminist scholar Sara Ahmed.” I reckon that Emma Watson agreed and she posted the image. In the initial hours I saw responses and also the accusation of antisemitism and I thought nothing of it, I believed it to be an overreaction. In this, I also saw the tweets by Danny Danon and I believed he was wrong, he too overreacted, but I let it slide. Now that we see all these responses, I feel that it is important to respond. 

As I stated, in most cases I tend to side with Israel. Here there is a truth. The truth is simple “solidarity is a verb”, that is truth, it is a verb until it is followed by acts, commitment and actions. If you want to see that look in your history books on Poland in the 1985-1999 era, solidarity came from actions, until that is done, it is merely a verb. Yet all sources ignore the third side in all this. There is one side, there is the opposition and there is the photograph. You see the photograph is brilliant. It starts conversations,. It starts views and it does create opposition, yet nearly all ignored or overlooked the third party, didn’t you? We see the acts against a young lay, and let’s face it, she is only 382 months old. It is not an excuse, it is not negative, it merely is a fact, just like the fact that “solidarity is a verb”. And she identified with the verb, she identified with the thought. In this she is right and a lot of people are wrong. So it is good to see names like Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Capaldi, Charles Dance, Gael García Bernal, Jim Jarmusch, Maxine Peake, Viggo Mortensen and Steve Coogan standing with her. In this Danny Danon and Israeli officials did the wrong thing, perhaps Palestine was hoping for an overreaction, perhaps it was something else and in all this Miss Watson never uttered an anti-semite word and that needs to be seen and seen as soon as possible. And in all this we see a second failing. Did you pick up on it? The media merely gives us “the meaning of solidarity from the intersectional feminist scholar Sara Ahmed”. So what was the meaning? Why is it (as I personally see it) overlooked? And more important, who is Sara Ahmed? The Quote was “Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.” Do you know where I got that from? Vogue Magazine! They gave a more complete story than the newspapers, how weird is that?

So as we wonder who is right and who is wrong. I gave my view, yet I will not deny that Palestine has a hard situation, in part Palestine created it, but the truth behind the setting is that “Solidarity involves commitment, and work” it is an absolute truth and I wonder all those voices screaming and parroting that Emma Watson is an anti-semite, who did their vetting, who did their investigation? I fear that this group is far too small and that should sadden us all. 

But there is also good news Emma Watson turned 382 months today, so she can celebrate her day in life, her month in life and she can do it holding her head up high, she never did anything wrong here. 

So solidarity is a verb, so is judgemental. Who thought it through and who considered that the photograph did what it needed to do, to get people talking. As I see it +15 points for Gryffindor.

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This is weird!

Yup, it is weird and you will see what I talk about soon enough. You see, not unlike the Sony fiasco, some players are all about blaming the one we all see as a boogeyman, it happens and it lulls us all to sleep. Yet when the BBC gave us 18 hours ago ‘North Korea hackers stole $400m of cryptocurrency in 2021, report says’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59990477) I took a little time to mull a few things over. You see, it is nice that we are given a (state) hacker and a setting what apparently gave them $400,000,000, yet the danger is different. For me it started with the Sony hack, it gave me an idea to create a new hack that was never done before and the nice part is that it could be implemented in several ways and in several places. Yet then I started to think: “How can a nation observed by so many agencies pull this off, all whilst we saw evidence, journalist supported evidence, that military officers in North Korea had NEVER seen a smartphone, or one of its base functionalities?” This thought matters, because that lack tends to seep through the fabric of ANY organisation (to some degree). So I felt certain that the Sony hack was never done by North Korea, and several accredited and more capable cyber people than me felt the same way. 

So here when I see “From 2020 to 2021, the number of North Korean-linked hacks jumped from four to seven, and the value extracted from these hacks grew by 40%,” Chainalysis said in a report” I feel that I am in a stage where I am watching a blame game develop, all whilst the fault is somewhere else. And there is more, the report the BBC talks about gives us “These complex tactics and techniques have led many security researchers to characterise cyber actors for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as advanced persistent threats (APTs). This is especially true for APT 38, also known as “Lazarus Group,” which is led by DPRK’s primary intelligence agency, the US- and UN-sanctioned Reconnaissance General Bureau. While we will refer to the attackers as North Korean-linked hackers more generally, many of these attacks were likely carried out by the Lazarus Group in particular.” It is an issue, because “cyber actors for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as advanced persistent threats (APTs)” implies an infrastructure, one that a lot of open nations do not get to have. I am not stating North Korea is innocent (well, they might be of this), I am stating that someone wants us to think it is North Korea, so that others stop looking in THEIR direction. You see, the reference to the Lazarus group (one I personally take offence with) and the DPRK gives a rather large voice, but in that it could only be if senior ranking North Korean officers knew what a smart phone was and that part is weird as some journalists who were in North Korea (2019, I believe) saw the opposite. This does not make sense. As such we cannot ignore hackers, optionally hackers who for a fee took shelter in or near North Korea, yet that puts them in the most watched part of the internet by at least half a dozen players. Personally it makes much more sense if they were working from China. 

And now we get to the good stuff. This is seen in “Once North Korea gained custody of the funds, they began a careful laundering process to cover up and cash out,” the report on last year’s cyber attacks added. A United Nations panel that monitors sanctions on North Korea has accused Pyongyang of using stolen funds to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes as a way to avoid international sanctions.” I reckon that laundering is not beyond the abilities of North Korea. Yet the setting of “accused Pyongyang of using stolen funds to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes” something that is possible, but the knowledge North Korea has stops this, moreover, their ballistic programmes are set upon failure after failure. Which with $400,000,000 in merely 7 operations sounds goofy to say the least. 

It is my personal feeling that the hackers might be anywhere but in or near North Korea. The Sony hack is optionally a slice of evidence towards that. Consider that Russia has now Arrested REvil, yet no one is wondering how this group had “more than 426 million rubles (£4m), including about £440,000 worth of crypto-currency”, including 20 premium cars. These things get noticed, as such I believe that REvil had some massive levels of protection, a setting North Korea cannot do, it is too unbalanced. With REvil, there was a Russian valve of protection, a state player that is on the top tier, a place where North Korea has no access. When you see these elements questions rise and a lot more questions rise that one would expect. So who did steal that $400,000,000? I have no idea, but consider that someone offering North Korea in its current state is offering $100,000,000 for denying the blame, is that good business practice? It would allow the perpetrators months to set safe 75% and a nice settlement in a very nice place. I would definitely consider such a move and with the world searching, getting the not look in the wrong place is a good place to start.

In all this, I could be wrong, but am I? How much evidence of advanced computer technology (outside of Olympus has fallen) regarding North Korea have we seen? We saw the images of a North Korean president and his top staff looking amazed at a 3 year old Dell computer, one we see in many households. Where is the advanced hardware needed to remain undetected? All questions in addition to the dozens watching their every digital move. If they get away under these conditions, they would be more able than the NSA, DGSE, or FSB. How likely is that? When you look at the larger frame, too much of this is weird. On the other hand, it gave me the idea to create the Hop+1 listening systems, just a little idea I had to scare the Pentagon a little (I need my amusement too). So perhaps this will set me on track for another piece of IP, I have done more with less, so here is hoping.

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Mason, Sailor, Prosy, Spy

Yes, it is a reference, and if you do not see the reference in the first second, this blog is not for you (no judgement). The BBC alerted me to two events playing at this very moment and in light of the Al Jabri situation, I wonder how stupid people have become. Or better stated, how on earth did essential skills get lost this fast and this complete?

Article 1
The first article is ‘London ‘hitman’ on trial over plot to kill Pakistani activist in Netherlands’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59988413) a mere two hours ago. There we see “Kingston Crown Court heard that Mr Goraya, who was living in Rotterdam at the time, “was known for speaking out against the activities of the Pakistani government and appears to have been targeted for that reason”.” This gives me a few issues on the matter. In the first on what planetary scale is any activist worth £100,000? In the second, if this was a proper operation, there would be little or no intel on the matter before the deed was done. I am disputing the abilities of MI-5, MI-6 and the AIVD, but to have such a complete picture implies that the stage was not about removal, but about visibility. Basically the person known as Muhammad Gohir Khan was a dead spy from the start, the numbers were excessive because there was every chance he would fail, but colour me happy, there are a dozen Pakistani minded people in Rotterdam who will give it a try for €10,000. That is my thought on the matter. As I see it and as I see the information pass me by, I am reminded of the 70’s with Russians dressed in weird raincoats like they are Humphrey Bogart on route to a renaissance movie fair. So when we see “the prosecution alleging he reacted “enthusiastically” to a proposal by a man named only as “MudZ””, I see a setting where MudZ is leaving a message to Pakistani entrepreneurs in the Netherlands that there is a decent bag of cash waiting for them. No matter how we judge them, the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan knows what its been doing, they have been sharpening their teeth on Indian operations for well over a decade, as such the weird amount and the visibility that we see implies that Muhammad Gohir Khan was always intended to be a dead spy. The problem is that both sides (Dutch and United Kingdom) took the bait and now the contract is firmly on Dutch soil, no contact, a mere contractor needs to do the deed, send the image of accomplishment and the transfer (most likely via Western Union) will be in effect. And in this Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmad Anjum will be enjoying a lovely cup of tea looking and the chaos that two or three agencies caused for him, the bast spy in all this is the one who does not realise what he or she caters to, if the unknown is a cadaver, it will be a John or Jane Doe that does not realise what they were until the message that “Ahmad Waqass Goraya has been dealt with” is out in the open. Intelligence at its (almost) finest.

Article 2
The second article, which was also from the BBC is one that hit the wires 12 hours ago (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-59977916), there we see ‘Israel says it broke up Iranian spy network that recruited women’, now the news is not that staggering, it is out in the open that the state of Israel has a excellent record in stopping Iran and with the retirement of General Soleimani their work became increasingly more easy. So when I see “The Iranian handler, who called himself Rambod Namdar, allegedly approached the women on Facebook and then kept in contact with them for several years via the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp”, so at what point is Facebook a secure connection? And when I see “four Jewish women of Iranian descent, who the Shin Bet said were recruited by a handler claiming to be a Jewish man living in Iran”, as well as “Shin Bet said this was a “serious case” in which there was a plan to establish an Iranian spy network inside Israel, and that the women faced “severe charges”” I wonder if any of the women considered walking into Mossad HQ stating that something weird was going on and asking Mossad for directions. The idea that anyone from Iran trusts Facebook to hold a candle for them is ludicrous in a few ways and from there the pot stirs a little louder and a little less sincere. A stage that Shin Bet saw and prevented, hopefully in time to stop Iran causing any havoc. The weird part is that all this logically speaking should have had close to zero chance of success, so why did it? Did we forget to activate the common sense in our brains? Did we switch off critical thinking? I do not presume to know, because I wonder how this could have continued to this degree, on both fronts I might add. If people are that gullible, I do not envy the work Shin Bet has ahead of them, things are a mess. And people who cultivate such activities without vetting the intelligence are doomed to be a tool, optionally a dead tool. So whilst Shin Bet wonders where this Rambod Namdar is at present, I reckon that he (or whoever he/she is) needs to stay under the radar in Iran for some time, because Mossad is looking for that individual now. 

Two cases in a day and that is when we consider the previous issues with Al Jabri, I merely wonder what on earth is going on with global intelligence and illegal operations, it boggles the mind. Did Facebook make everyone stupid?

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Bitches be like….

This is the start of an issue I have with a BBC article. The article is not wrong, it is merely short sighted and incorrect, yet the BBC did nothing wrong here. Let’s be clear about that. The shortsightedness comes from the complainers who want to blame Google (YouTube) for everything, but the larger picture is ignored and there my issue starts. The article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59967190) gives us ‘Fact-checkers label YouTube a ‘major conduit of online disinformation’’ I do not disagree here, it is, but when we get to ““livelihoods have been ruined, and far too many people have lost loved ones to disinformation”. It goes on to accuse YouTube of not making enough effort to address the problem, saying that it “is allowing its platform to be weaponised by unscrupulous actors to manipulate and exploit others”.” This is as I personally see it the moment the wheels comes from the wagon. Let’s take a look. 

Example 1
In the Netherlands there is a person named Willem Engel, he was removed from Twitter for violating rules. The man is a Dutch Covid conspiracy theorist. Now the removal seems plain and simple, yet he created close to half a dozen new accounts within 24 hours, some people go through that trouble and this is merely one person. 

This reflects on YouTube as the same thing happens there, but the problem is a lot larger. First how large is this issue? Some sources give us that EVERY MINUTE 500 hours of video are uploaded, that gives us 720,000 hours of video EVERY DAY. This also sets a different premise as YouTube is visited by 122,000,000 people every day, over a billion hours of video are watched every day.

Example 2
We are given ‘too many people have lost loved ones to disinformation’, yet who of them vet the information? We have to take responsibility people, we need to check and check the data and numbers given to us, we all do. And let’s not forget the disinformation does not merely come from conspiracy theorists. There are over 30 hedge funds channels on YouTube, yet we also get (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQEpHwYer-o), which comes from the University of Buffalo. So is one evidence of the other? Hedge funds are too often about deception, to grow they need your money, yet in the end it is still a heads or tails game. Where is the disinformation here? Where is the disinformation when game makers use young kids offering them the game if they can write something nice? How do you think influencers are made? I have seen video’s that do not seem to be deceptive, but until you bought and tested the product, you cannot tell, so how can YouTube? 

Example 3
We get food, we get it all the time, so we are influenced what YouTube video’s offer us and (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHjbujGPX8Q) we get the view of ‘Tricky Ways Fast Food Restaurants Deceive You’ and we get it, people can often not be completely honest when they are in marketing. 

So here is the conundrum, which are misinformation? The first for certain, yet examples two and three? Who decides that? And whilst you are contemplating this, thousands more movies were uploaded. 

So when I see “YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez told the Guardian the company was already investing in ways “to connect people to authoritative content, reduce the spread of borderline misinformation, and remove violative videos”.” I get the steps, but there is another step that these 80 group are ignoring. The need to make the act of spreading disinformation criminal, that is a stage they could take, but in the US there is the First Amendment, the US cannot act in Russia or China and the list of limitations goes on, and even in the US and UK (and many EU nations) we see a lack of acts mainly because the law was never meant for such actions and too many fear a first step towards a totalitarian state. I get it, but to blame YouTube again and again is just folly (but it seemingly give places the limelight they desire). 

So when we we see ‘More context and debunks rather than just deleting videos’ we see the beginning of a dangerous premise towards censorship, also that is not on YouTube is it? Debunking information is YOUR job, it is called vetting information and it has been around since before the Sudan Wars (1885), Julius Caesar dealt with misinformation by coding his letters (2100 years ago) and the list goes on, so when did we become absent of common sense? 

So when you give premise to “a British man who died with Covid-19 after refusing to be vaccinated, made – according to his family – a “terrible mistake” of being influenced by online anti-vaccine content.” As well as “Florida taxi driver Brian Lee Hitchens lost his wife to Covid-19 after they were influenced by Facebook content that claimed the pandemic is a hoax” consider that Dr. Faucci has been blowing the horn of vaccination for the longest time, a real scientist, so when were you stupid enough to listen to a nobody on Facebook, whilst a doctor who

  • Joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a clinical associate in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’s (NIAID) Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI).
  • He became head of the LCI’s Clinical Physiology Section in 1974 
  • In 1980 was appointed chief of the NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunoregulation. 
  • In 1984, he became director of the NIAID, a position he still holds.
  • Fauci has been offered the position of director of the NIH several times, but has declined each time.
  • Fauci has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to contend with viral diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, the Swine flu, MERS, Ebola, and COVID-19. 
  • He played a significant role in the early 2000s in creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
  • Driving development of biodefense drugs and vaccines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

is largely ignored and debunked by nobodies, in some cases even by presidential nobodies. At what point does a nobody on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube have anywhere near these qualifications? So, we do not care if you kill yourself in one of the most stupid ways imaginable, however I think you need to stop whining like little chihuahua’s and just die so we can take your job and your house. The central point is vetting information and that is on us. Yes, I have been duped once or twice, but it needs to be a real clever person to dupe me (yes, it can still be done). So when I see another this will make you rich, or I can offer this house to you so cheap, I know it is a scam. You see people give good deals to friends and people they really know, if it is someone else then no one wants it, or it is a scam, scammers win by making you believe that you won the lottery even when you never bought a ticket.

My issue with the BBC article is that there is a much larger stage and the first step to that stage is the law, we all know it, but we all ignore it. Just like ‘Tax the rich’ (tax laws), we seem to fall for it every time and it saddens me. In the 70’s I was a youngling (almost a youngling) and I was trying to become smarter and around me were people that were smart (some only made that claim), now it seems that no one takes the trouble to investigate, the answers are on social media and there every minute another sucker is born. Yet in all this, how do the fact checkers look at government propaganda? How do they see through media filters that intentionally keep you in the dark? As the barrier between news organisations and filtered information bringers goes ever thinner, fact checking goes out the window. So let’s not blame YouTube for all this, perhaps more could be done, I will never deny that, but what an be done when people are unwilling to test the setting against the law, that first step? And in all this I reckon that TikTok and Facebook also bare some of the blame, but they are not mentioned here are they?

So when we see the article end with “It cannot be left to internet companies to decide how to tackle bad information or choose how transparent to be about it” we see an uncomfortable statement that is not wrong, but who will do this? Oh, and to be clear who will check TikTok? And how will these be checked? More important, what will we do about the disinformation up-loaders? That too deserves attention, if we are not willing to prosecute them and when we are unable to prosecute them, how can any of this be with YouTube/Google?

If you want to stop disinformation, you need to factcheck yourself, that has been a truth for millennia and we forget that part of the equation a little too often, do we not?

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