Pushing envelopes without a stamp

Yes, we all have moments where we are in a stage that is not quite the ‘Eureka!’ Point, but it pushes us, we feel that there is more and even if we do not see the complete road, we can see that there is are side streets that could be profitable for the soul (money is optional). I just had another of these moments. I was watching some ‘Harry Potter collector’ video on Youtube. It was a nice video and this one was about a Butter-beer place in New York. Something hit me, something was nagging in the back of my mind and it suddenly dawned on me. I set part of that route in ‘The other path’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/05/20/the-other-path/) a story I wrote on May 20th this year on new IP I was considering and exploring.  It was not complete and there were gaps, but the foundation was there, then the Butter-beer place showed up and I saw the Harry Potter newspapers on tables and my mind went into ‘wonder mode’. So what if places all over the world had a setting where the table was also the information provider? The table was not some monitor or TV, but in conjunction with the IP I created became an information provider that could be personalised in many ways. Setting aside languages, colouring and size, we had an information provider that could be nearly EVERYWHERE. And it would not be expensive. It would allow new channel creators, new information bases and whilst the ACCC is so much about their friends, their friends would be removed from the equation. I came up with the framework that makes a person like Rupert Murdoch obsolete. He became obsolete as his age surpassed the age of Egyptian mummies. Just like George Randolph Hearst became obsolete, time caught up, it is merely that simple. So now I am in a stage where I can give the bird to all the self inflated Rupert Murdoch wannabe’s on the planet and I gladly do, the bulletpoint managers who were clueless and I am setting the stage for all independent developers to become the next big thing.
All you need is in these two stories, if you are clever enough you could there without ever buying a stamp. If you are clever enough, you will be in a stage to get a great advantage, I leave it up to you and after a year someone big can buy you out for a lot of cash. I do not care, I have close to half a dozen other IP ready, there is only so many roads one person can walk at the same time and when the technology comes and some will realise that I wrote about it first, they will all want a piece of something that is public domain, the greedy never learn and now the innovative players will pass them by giving them the finger. Justice come in strides and exposes the wannabe’s as the losers they always were.

A stage found in a place that was open to the public, it tends to be that simple at times. 

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Sphere or Cube?

In continuation of yesterday, we have today. This is a direct consequence of time. Yet, that is not how some spin it and it is about spinning. In this we introduce Australia’s own spin master ACCC. They decided to inform us via the Guardian with ‘Google’s dominance of Australia’s online advertising needs to be reined in, says ACCC’, I personally wonder who they are speaking off (plenty of volunteers) but the article struck a chord, especially after what we saw today. I am not stating that limits should be drawn, I am not stating that the article is completely wrong. Yet the stage as it is painted does not add up, especially as some of the stakeholders are now in a stage where they painted themselves into corners. There is no real timeline here, because the article is actually quite good, but I am better (and a lot older). So let’s take you through the threads unravelling them one by one. Let’s be clear, there is no real lying here by the article writer. Yet when you see the unravelled strings, you might wonder how they got to this article. Time is the first element. The article is spun like it was a continuation of events, but it is not and more importantly the weavers seem driven to keep larger players Microsoft, Amazon and IBM out of the limelight. In light of this lets take a look at the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/28/accc-calls-for-new-powers-to-rein-in-googles-dominance-of-australian-online-ads) and look at that first thread. 

The first thread is “Google’s takeover of ad companies, including DoubleClick and Admob, as well video platform YouTube, have helped to further solidify its position, the ACCC said” the fact that these companies became part of Google is not in question, the statement “takeover of ad companies” however is. You see, YouTube was bought in 2006. In 2005 it was launched as a “an American online video sharing and social media platform owned by Google”, the players here namely Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim became multimillionaires overnight. After a golden idea a year later was tossed for a little over $1,500,000,000. In this we get from Steve Chen himself “he was inspired by how the search giant monetised without hurting their users. “It translated over to Youtube as well. There are people that create content, view content and pay for content,” he said.” Take here that the operative part was “without hurting their users” and it is important. Look at personal video’s, look at reviews of hardware (Hero 10, PS5) review of books, games and music, even video’s of songs. It all benefits the people, all the people. It was created in 2005 and sold in 2006. It was not until 2008 when they gained 480p videos, AFTER Google acquired it. Thanks to GoPro and DJI we now see 4K movies of cities. In all this time there was no mention of advertisement, the corporate world was not ready and not prepared for YouTube. 

Double Click was pure advertisement, and even as it was founded in a basement (behind the washing machine) by Kevin O’Connor and Dwight Merriman. It offered technology products and services for a mere handful of advertisers that included Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola, L’Oréal, Palm, Inc., Apple Inc., Visa Inc., Nike, Inc., and Carlsberg Group, and this is important! So why is this important? You see DoubleClick was acquired by an equity firm named Hellman & Friedman. Basically a greed driven Wall Street player who saw that this would be worth something over time. And the two clients that DoubleClick had (Microsoft and Apple) never saw the potential, even as they were trying to break through in all the markets that Google had created, we see things like MSN Search, aQuantive and adCenter (renamed to Bing Ads) as well as Search Alliance (renamed to Yahoo! Bing Network). Microsoft used a 20 year old tactic, why create when you can acquire. Google acquired too but evolved the segments into behemoth, all whilst there is every chance that the Bing Network would be unable to properly identify the word ‘Behemoth’. A stage we do not see in the Guardian article because it raises too many questions. The one given part here is that only Google knew what it was doing, the rest merely tried to invoke invoices on the corporate world, Google tried to cater to the greatest denominator here, they tried to adhere to the needs of the seeker, the searcher, and as Steve Chen states “without hurting their users”, a stage that was a winning mixture and we do not see that in the ACCC spin, do we?

Then we get thread two “Rod Sims told Guardian Australia a key issue facing news sites and other users of ad tech is they did not know how much revenue ad tech providers like Google were making from each advertisement served up to readers”, in this I find ‘a key issue facing news sites’ as well as ‘they did not know how much revenue ad tech providers like Google were making from each advertisement’. It’s almost like hearing a toddler ask “these juggling tits, do they always provide milk?” In all this does it matter how much the advertiser makes? How often was this asked of Yellow pages or the advertisement moguls in New York? And it is important, because this hits Microsoft as well (Bing Ads, or Microsoft Advertising) Google was upfront in this, they even made it public in their documentation. “No matter how much you bid, you are only charged $0.01 more than the previous winner”, so if we see the bids $12, $9, $2.36, and $0.99 number three pays $1.00, number two pays $1.01 and number one pays $1.02, not $12. A setting NO advertisement company EVER offered, it was all about how much they could rake in and in their defence a system like this was not possible before the digital age. More important, the digital innovators (Google) took that step from day one (well, almost day one). A customer facing setting that prolongs the visibility of marketing departments because they can advertise more and longer, a stage they never faced before, yet the Guardian never touches on that, do they? It was all about the threat that the friends of the ACCC see, not what we actually experience. Oh, and when it comes to advertisement. Why is there no mention of Facebook, or Amazon for that matter? 

The article gives us that there needs to be a border and there should be limits, but is that up to the ACCC? 

So when we see “if you want to block certain companies advertising on your website, it’s very hard to do that through Google” there is a choice, do not advertise on your website, or get your own channel, and, oh…. Here is a thing, Google states “To give you editorial control over the ads that may appear on your site, AdSense offers several options for reviewing and blocking ads. There are various reasons why you might not want certain ads to show on your site. You may have content or business reasons, or philosophical issues. Maybe you have a vegan food blog and you don’t want to show an ad for a steakhouse”, as I personally see it Sims engaged in some forms of non truths (aka lies). And that is the beginning of a much larger station. The ACCC is the BS caterer of their friends and the Guardian did exactly what it was told to do, not inform us but to perpetrate issues that are not really there. And the entire article gives no mention of AdSense at all, why is that? It might not fit the needs of the ACCC, does it?

Consider what you are offered and vet the information, it is important that you do, you are given a pile of goods that are glued together, a setting of 10.000 cubes, glued together so that we see a sphere, but is it a sphere? I will let you decide.

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Who is correct?

There is a larger stage on what is right versus what is correct. It is not always clear and we are all biased, me included. There are those who make claims that I am entertaining, but I do not know anything. It is their call and it might be correct. I worked in IT and in automation since 1981, so I have been around a while. When I offered my bosses some version of Facebook in 1997 they all rejected it stating that it had no future. It was merely n idea and it was nowhere near as advanced as Facebook. It was a free website and chatting platform with us in the middle offering advertisements in the middle, it had no future they stated. Now we have Facebook which arrived 4 years later, now a global economy surrounds it. 

So when I took notice of ‘Google, in fight against record EU fine, slams regulators for ignoring Apple’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/google-fight-against-record-eu-fine-slams-regulators-ignoring-apple-2021-09-27/) some thoughts went through my mind. We see “The European Commission fined Google in 2018, saying that it had used Android since 2011 to thwart rivals and cement its dominance in general internet search”, in the first most rivals were still trying to get their heads around the digital world. In this 2011 is important, TechCrunch gives us “Patents are increasingly used to block innovation in courtrooms rather than create innovations in the marketplace, and we saw this problem reach epic proportions in 2011. Patent trolls continued to extort tech companies large and small. But the patent wars spilled over to the major industry players themselves as everyone pointed their patent arsenals at Android.” In this, how many patent trolls did the EU arrest and there is a larger stage on the realisation that the secondary field of patents is used, the ability to block others. A legal setting that is validated by the short sighted and at ties greedy law entrepreneurs. And we see this more clearly in 2012 with ‘Why Microsoft spent $1 billion on AOL’s patents’ (at https://www.cnet.com/news/why-microsoft-spent-1-billion-on-aols-patents/), a stage the law and the lawgivers are eager to circumvent and in this Apple (Steve Jobs) was not innocent from either, but lets be clear, the law allowed for this. And we see the one Techcrunch gemstone “as everyone pointed their patent arsenals at Android”, Google was not innocent, they never were, but they were not the evil party here and that needs to be made clear. So when we are given (by CNet) “according to a source close to the situation, Google didn’t even bid on the portfolio”, it seemingly makes Google even less evil. And when we return to the Reuters story and we accept ““The Commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry, that between Apple and Android,” Google’s lawyer Matthew Pickford told the court.” We also need to see “Commission lawyer Nicholas Khan dismissed Apple’s role because of its small market share compared with Android”, I personally wonder what kind of drugs Nicholas Khan is on and can I have some please? The brands using Android are Samsung, Oppo, Huawei, Google, Motorola, Oneplus, Lenovo and a dozen others that use Android, yet iOS products are Apple products, as such we need to see that there is a 70% use of Android over ALL these brands and the 23% is Apple, Apple alone. When we see the bungles (forced USB-C chargers) and this setting, we need to wonder the words by Matthew Pickford “The Commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry”, that might not be far from the mark. There should be space for evolution, but is one sided evolution truly that or is that the beginning of handing the technology market to China? Especially with HarmonyOS in the design stage it is currently in. The middle East and the far east is ripe for HarmonyOS, the last thing we need is the EU screwing that up too. 

So does that make the EU wrong (not legally wrong)? To be honest, I cannot tell. Yet when we see “Bringing Apple into the picture doesn’t change things very much. Google and Apple pursue different models” we need to wonder what this is really about and this is after Microsoft destroyed Netscape to get sole advantage in browser world, even as some give us “The most innovative company in the computer industry in the last 10 years is dead”, it had been crippled around the time when we got Windows 2000. After which Microsoft screwed the world over again with an utter version of inferiority (Bing). That is how I see it, but feel free to disagree (which is your right).

So whilst we are eager to give Google the Clown card and all kinds of accusations, we see that an Apple phone costs $2369, whilst the Samsung is $1399, Oppo $1299, Asus $1199, Motorola $899, Nokia $449, and Google Pixel 5 $1199. A stage where Apple is pricing itself out of the market and it had been doing so for some time. But this is not about Apple, this is about Google, a brand that is open to others, It used what was available at the time and the rest was nowhere near. Am I wrong? Legally I might be, but then I never saw the 100,000 pages and I reckon I would be able to find a few options that blows the statement “Bringing Apple into the picture doesn’t change things very much. Google and Apple pursue different models”. You see, the Browser had another contender, Yahoo. It lost too much marketshare because the Google search was vastly superior and the patent shows just how superior it was because the people behind it took a long hard look at what the PEOPLE needed, Yahoo, Microsoft and others focussed on what businesses were willing to pay for, a very different stage. I personally believe that this stage of adherence and compliance has been largely ignored. A stage that puts Apple, Microsoft, and a few others in the dock of accusations as well. The stage of adherence to business and I personally believe that the EU is all about that, less about people and that bites me, that partially offends me. To lose in one setting and then openly and bias based attack Google is offensive. Google was never innocent, but they were not the evil player, we need to see this and we need to see this now. The EU is setting a stage where business moves out and then? An iPhone for $2999? The biggest iPhone is now A$2719, so it is not that much a stretch. 8 years of iterations got it from $299 to what it is now and Google? They are on a similar track, the hardware might not be iteration, but their software is not. Innovation software allowed people to make leaps forward and so far the other brands kept up as well, I wonder when that got investigated in the EU?

The case has been running a while, so there is no clear line to draw, but the media seemingly reports the final line and the history and context before it is forgotten, I wonder why?

Am I right?  Am I wrong? Am I correct? I leave it up to you to decide, but consider that I predicted the arms fallout and now we see, only 3 hours before ‘China’s biggest airshow to highlight military prowess’, others laughed about HarmonyOS and now it is here. And in all this not one government has shown any evidence regarding the Huawei accusations. I wonder when people wake up, realising that they are getting played by stakeholders who need to push forward the need need of corporations, American and seemingly European as well. All whilst those corporations have no patents, they have no innovations, merely marketed concepts, hyped hardware that draws short. How much more failures will push their agenda’s against actual innovators (Facebook, Google, Amazon and Huawei)? 

It might be a wrong point of view, I will admit that, but it is tainted what I have seen over almost 40 years in IT in all kind of fields.

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Stark contrast

There is an old ‘expression’, The people will rally against the injustice of children, yet for the most, only if it hurts THEIR children. It is a saying that most people ignore because there is a string of pain, the realisation that the need of ‘me’ overrules the need for all. And guess what, Apple joined those ranks a while ago. We see BBC News headlines (last year) like “Ricky Gervais slams Apple over Chinese factories” and we laugh, but the pain is a lot more real than you think. There is an ignored side and there Apple does not seem to give an ‘eff’ (as long as the revenue comes in. It is there advertisement section, the one that is ‘hidden’ in games. Games that give an advertisement and that is OK, but then they take you STRAIGHT to the installation page. Where did we sign up for that? And this is not some innocent ‘barbie game’ this is how pokie and gambling sites assault the weary and the vulnerable. They take the game and the problem to a whole new level. You see, the ad is not the real issue. The issue becomes when you want to close the window and the super-small ‘X’ that closes the window is in the top left corner, and if you miss it, the excuse will be ‘We assumed you wanted the program’, but the close icon is small enough to miss it way too often.

So not only is Apple setting a stage, they are doing this in the setting of “We do not want any issues in the schools where OUR children go, we do not care about the rest” it is a stage that is speculative, but consider the impact. How many children get exposed to that part? And they are not alone, there is more and more out there coming to all of us regarding a ‘game’ named coin master. Even if it has an ad with Joan Collins. In Change dot org (and a few other places) we see messages like “I have been playing coin master for about 8 months and saved up all my coins and spins and spent a fortune on the game then one day i open up my game and the 117billion coins i had and 22,000 spins are gone , i had been reset , apparently coin master are reseting accounts with high savings which is against their own rules because they cannot tell the difference between people who play honest and the cheaters”, now this is a setting of accusation that require data and evidence and I do not have any myself. But coin master is important as it is not only vying for your cash (which is fair enough). It is combining with the ‘sentiment and acceptance’ of pokies, but what we see is not a pokie, it is a game that looks like a pokie and there we see a problem. The makers were decently brilliant, but there is a new stage, “what looks like one” is not the same as one actually is and the makers are in the clear and there is a larger station where it is happening under the noses of Apple (and a few other places), but there the stage is not protective, because it is as I paraphrased “in the schoolyard where we see no Apple employees” so no one at apple seems to care. So when we take a look at some media that give us ‘Complaint Website Flooded By Angry Coin Master Players’ we think that there is a case for action, but that article is almost 2 years old, as such they are doing something really really right or Apple just does not give a hoot (or is that hooters) about their consumers? And the stage is rapidly getting larger. Deceptive conduct (like the gardenscape ads), several ads all showing something that the game does not have, or perhaps in some obscure mini game. And the people are getting less and less choice, because the in game advertisements are seemingly not policed. 

And Apple (Facebook and Google too) needs to start acting. 

And here is the rub, we might see the complaints, yet the game was downloaded in extent to 100,000,000 times, so their app will hold what Apple might see as a remarkable advertisement magnet, and there is the problem, when an app becomes too big too fail there is every chance that the three players will not act in fear of driving people to one of the other two channels, but in the mean time your children are just in danger, because if an app (or game) like ‘Happy Color’ can spout these two advertisements, what other apps will expose your children to the dangers of gambling? 

And consider the start contrast hat Forbes is trying to give us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2021/09/04/ios-15-apple-just-revealed-a-game-changing-new-iphone-privacy-feature/) a mere 3 weeks ago. There we saw “We already knew iOS 15 would come with multiple privacy features that will further hurt the data-hungry habits of Google and Facebook. But now, Apple has just revealed that iPhone users will finally get a choice whether to enable Apple’s own personalised ads on their devices” yet, how does that fare for the in-game advertisements? The Forbes article does not bare that out and I feel decently certain that Apple (Facebook and Google too) is not willing to put the foot down there. So in the end how much danger are your children in when they play a ‘free’ app? Consider that nothing is for free and a player like Coin Master makes on average $24,000,000 a month. I did not look into the revenue of Lightning Link, but that is clearly a pokie, so it is clear gambling. The problem there is that kids might not understand the difference. So you thought EA games was pushing a setting? I think parents have bigger problems and in this Apple (Facebook and Google too) have a much bigger problem protecting the vulnerable and that is something the media seemingly tends to shy away from a little too eagerly in my books. This whilst somewhere in February this year we saw ‘Apple slapped with class action suit over gambling apps’ where we also see “according to plaintiffs, users are unable to collect actual cash in the casino games, but they do have the ability to win and therefore acquire more playing time. This system — paying money for a chance to win more playing time — allegedly violates anti-gambling laws in the 25 states at issue in the case” and that is only the US setting, Apple et al could have stopped this by blocking that stage but it seems they were eager to get more cash, so even as some would voice “The people who play, are literally paying to kill time”, it is a point of view that is fair enough in some cases, but the advertisements seen are using the little tricks to get a few more vulnerable players into their fold and that is a larger station. If there was a much larger ‘X’ in the advertisement they might have been in the clear, but they did not and moreover they take you STRAIGHT to the app installation page whilst the sentiment to do so was not there. A stage of deception a few times over and there will be a larger invoice for all the players allowing for this. In a stage where political players all over the field are gunning for their coffers these players did something really stupid, they are making it easy to gun for them and when the politicians get to use the cards ‘gambling’, ‘vulnerable people’ and ‘easy exploit’ together (optionally in one sentence), places like Apple (et al) will be handed a fine that could end up being considerably larger than the $1,200,000,000 fine they faced in march. 

These players see it as mere parking fines. The fines are tax deductible, the 100,000,000 downloads seem to validate a speculative advertisement revenue of $10,000,000 a day in just ONE APP and that is the stage, if the case only takes 2 years, the players are looking at an optional $7,000,000,000 in advertisement revenue, the people do not stand a chance to get a fair shake here, so where can they go?

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Yaba yaba from the intelligence ignoranus

Yes, this is a story, but it is not bout the Flintstones, even if some of the players come from that era. To illustrate that we need to make a small trip in time. On August 23rd 2014 I wrote the article ‘A spooky situation’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/08/23/a-spooky-situation/) where I wrote “These people can convey messages, set up new ways to deliver news (like trough private channels in a MMORPG game in Facebook or freely downloaded, which is impossible to monitor) and recruit new people who have not left the UK, which would be a disadvantage to MI5. Now it is important to know that this is all speculation on my side. I cannot prove that this is happening, but is it not more likely than not that an extremist would like to propel his ‘rightness’ onto others?” Even though, I need to emphasise on ‘it is important to know that this is all speculation on my side. I cannot prove that this is happening’, I had no evidence, but I saw the stage over 7 years ago, so as we now see ‘Extremists using video-game chats to spread hate’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58600181) where we are shown “That’s when you start to go to other meetings, to smaller groups that aren’t necessarily playing games, talking about politics more explicitly.” So hurray for the BBC to get there 2 days ago, all whilst I got there 7 years earlier, so there! 

And consider why did it took them so long to catch on? Was it the Minecraft level of a concentration camp? I saw the dangerous setting in a Facebook game called ‘Lord of Ultima’ in 2014 and I feel decently certain that it is was not the only game. For 7 years a stage of unmonitored messaging by extremists, cyber criminals and organised crime. All out in the open, all going from public to private channel and no one is the wiser. Not even the members of the Bedrock Police force, the Slate Rock and Gravel Company security services and a few other players. The never had a clue and they never had a chance, the evidence is gone. These people did not mess around, they created private channels and removed them at the end of the chat. 

And that is merely the games we know of, there are several games where most people are in the dark. So whilst some are giving us the yaba yaba on all kinds of matters, the stage is that most of us (me too) are stumbling in the dark without a flashlight, and even if we do have one, we en up in a black room, where all the elements are black and no one has a clue where one particular object is, an object that is removed when the last person leaves. So when you realise that Facebook is only one of well over a dozen locations, when location and localisation sets the larger premise. So when I see the denial “DLive and Odysee have not responded to BBC News’s requests for comment” they might know, but more likely they were in the dark. All people trying to offer options so that they get traction and all players forgot that all traction is there but not all of them positive, some traction is the way to seek anonymity and that is seemingly happening and I predicted it first on August 23rd 2014. 

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Recap to the intro

This happens to us all, we need to remember how we got to where we were and I am the same as many of you. So today is about a recap of what I had written before (links given) and the station of where the setting is going. 

Title
Yes, every game needs a title and in gaming, too often it needs to be bold, to be brave and it needs to entice, but I believe that for RPG games that is not that much a given, it is the challenge, so I decided on ‘An almost ordinary generation quest’, it gives part of the station, it gives part of what you face and nothing beyond that. Too many games are about the spoilers, but the game is about the game and how you fare, you will fare different from your neighbour, that is almost a given, unless he married someone special, at which point you want to end exactly where he did (its a defining rule of the universe). 

Links
The story that drove all this was given to us in The Race is on (Sept 30th 2020), Playing the Stage (Oct 18th 2020), Door two of the Arcane (Oct 19th 2020), Chimes are wind translators (Oct 20th 2020), It’s in the Bones (Oct 25th 2020), RPG Arms race (Nov 25th 2020), Mummy and daddy (Mar 19th 2021), The quest for tea (Mar 23rd 2021), Until the lungs give out (Sep 21st 2021)

Separately influences are found in Eureka, sort of (Nov 26th 2020), What gives experience? (Dec 11th 2020), Building NPC faith (Jan 3rd 2021), First the sting (Mar 14th 2021), Then the bite (Mar 15th 2021), River of Choices (Mar 23rd 2021), Belated brilliance (Apr 9th 2021)

So this is the bulk of it, 16 stories (actually there are a few more) that are the foundation of a new game. As I had stated the story is everything and we are too often given a stage to get into, it makes sense, but is that how people like Roald Amundsen, Jacque Cousteau, Yuri Gagarin or Hugh Glass got started? It is always a challenge to set any beginning. As it is a game it is not set to reality, so we create the variables so that WE can become a larger than life character. In my case, I believe in the open beginning, a beginning with choices and it is not a good or evil choice, it is a direct choice. Will you go east, or will you go west? It is that initial choice that sets a foundation and when it is a simple quest like setting the prolonged safety of your house and household that drives a choice. It creates the explorer, it sets the stage of the adventurer and that adventurer needs skills, knowledge and drive. These three need to be adhered to and that is the choice we face, we face a similar stage in nearly all RPG games.

So what can we do to change the stage? That is the question that was in my mind as I tired to develop the idea of this game. And we always played the antagonist, yet what happens when that stage alters? That issue can be made more relevant as we enhance RPG games with machine learning and deeper learning. There is no workable stage to set the workaround on everything (not yet at least). So before we get into some lofty stage of ego, the one element is missing, it is the story or the main story. In RPG games in the past, we had the main story and side quests, so what happens when we alter it? We have 7 main storylines and as you go about it you will only find 1 optionally a second one. The games will still have side quests, but in a stage where we manage what is sought and found. We see the NPC characters, yet what happens when that NPC needs a set of triggers before additional dialogue is released? I saw that stage when we were treated to Neverwinter Nights, yet over the years no one seemed to have picked it up, so I decided to set a stage of ‘discrimination’(well sort of). Arcane quests cannot be given to no-Arcane people. So those who create a pure warrior will miss out on stuff, yet that same person will find other stuff, if someone abhors a non-arcane person, there will be another person who is the opposite.

As such we can look at the storylines to be 7 lines, or one rather long line over 7 generations and that is where the story takes us. A stage where the generations are important, but then so is the family line and the characters that become family. Because as you start as you, but the one you select to share your life is equally important, even if you have no control. You might not have it at that point, but the next generation is a combination of both and that is how the story unfolds and that is the change of creation, it comes with a handicap. And as far as I can tell, no other RPG has EVER taken that route. So as we consider how to design a new game, look at what I left you, consider the other stories, some with a quest line, some with a background and all with a much larger stage. A stage to replay the same game and find new challenges, finding new options traits and skills that will educate you and the generation that comes after you. As far as I can tell, no game ever considered going there, so it makes for one new true original RPG game. 

Have fun and enjoy the weekend.

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A short sighted wire

I was taken by surprise today, the BBC gave me ‘EU rules to force USB-C chargers for all phones’, the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58665809) gives us “Manufacturers will be forced to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices, under a new rule proposed by the European Commission (EC)” which is stupid on several levels. It remains a surprise on how we see the computation of IQ of a population being  AVERAGE(group), whilst the IQ of a collection of politicians seems to adhere to LOWEST(group). Now let’s be clear. I would love to see a stage where power supplies all adhere to the same settings, but the USB-C charger of my MacBook will not charge my Chromebook, my USB-Micro charger of my android phone actually does charge other devices and a generic charger will not work on my android phone, as such the entire setting of all using the same cable is a laughable stage. More important, generic power boards with USB points will not charge everything either (it would not charge my Chromebook), so where set the standard? Set the standard at what each battery has to accept? 

So when we see “EU politicians have been campaigning for a common standard for over a decade, with the Commission’s research estimating that disposed of and unused charging cables generate more than 11,000 tonnes of waste per year.” So how about a mobile phone that lasts well over 5 years? I reckon that this element will save a lot more waste space required. But under what conditions? So how about all chargers for anything battery operated like a wireless WiFi, photo camera’s, film camera’s, webcams, speakers (like Bose and JBL), bluetooth devices. The list goes on, they ALL have to adjust? How stupid is that train of thought? When any asian market decides to take a turn to the right, when they find a new innovative way, where will the EU be left? A setting that can be hammered straight out of gateway, set to ‘unused charging cables’, all whilst the charging cble is the one part that often needs replacing long before the charger is too broken to be used. And these charge cables are also used for consoles, printers, scanners and other devices. So who was the local yahoo that set for “All smartphones sold in the EU must have USB-C chargers”? Someone with a friend at Apple, or perhaps someone who hates non USB-C systems? Perhaps some yahoo who forgot his Android cable that still uses USB micro?

When we see the elements of that article, the numbers do not add up. Even Apple, the people who embraced USB-C give us: “Apple has warned such a move would harm innovation”. So when we see “In 2009, there were more than 30 different chargers, whereas now most models stick to three – the USB-C, Lightning and USB micro-B” we see a level of raw BS. You see my Apple USB-C charger will not charge my USB-C Chromebook, a simple test overseen in 10 second. Then there is “the Commission’s research estimating that disposed of and unused charging cables generate more than 11,000 tonnes of waste per year” I know that this is equally a setting of utter nonsense, because there is no division between unused and broken cables and they cannot, it is mere estimation work. The reason I know this is because I have three chargers that are still in my desk for backup. In case one of the other ones break, the cables are equally important. When at work I keep one cable there in case I forget to charge the night before. All reasons to have more than one cable. I have two additional cables for other reasons and some over time broke. All settings that are an issue, so when we are given that the cables changes are required for 

smartphones
tablets
cameras
headphones
portable speakers
handheld video game consoles

All whilst the console controllers are not part of that equation. This is an attack on the Asian market, it has nothing to do with landfill. That is how I personally see it and that is why I consider that compared to these politicians Homer Simpson is pretty much the Einstein of them all. Oh and then there is the stage that at times the same port is used in multiple ways, so what about portable speakers that cannot be connected to a laptop because the laptop does not have a USB-C port. Issue upon issue all whilst a group of people are now setting a technology limit? So consider one part not seen there (no blame to BBC) “The USB-C connector was developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the group of companies that has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard over the years”, so a filtering to less then 1200 companies? How is that not segregation and discrimination? And when we take that list of 1100-1200 companies, how is that drill down per nation? And when we take a close look at waste per nation we see “European plastics production almost reached 58 million tonnes” and we see an article on 11,000 tonnes? This adds up to 1% of 1% of an actual problem, I think the people in the EU needs to sack without any pay the people from that European Commission. To underline that part, consider that my Wifi Router and my Mobile phone use the same USB-Micro charger and when it is not charging it is disconnected, all whilst the Chromebook and the MacBook both need DIFFERENT USB-C charger, as such the line “encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device” becomes equally debatable. 

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Wake up or slumber more?

Yes, we all have that at times, the smallest doubt we give ourselves “Shall I slumber just a few minutes more?” We are allowed it, we were so clever, we set the alarm clock to 30 minutes early and we ignore the first alarm because we had 30 minutes left. At times that is the best sleep time of the night, to know there is 30 minutes left. And I feel the same way, yet I feel that this is the time to realise that the alarm went off a week earlier and we kept on slumbering a little more and a little more and now we are out of time. We are awoken by two articles, not related yet linked. The first is the Guardian who gives us ‘anti-vax radio shows reach millions in US while stars die of Covid’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/21/anti-vax-radio-hosts-dying-covid) we are told that Phil Valentine was anti-vaccine, he even plagiarised the song Taxman and made it his own. We are also introduced to Marc Bernier, Dick Farrel and Jimmy DeYoung. Yet, we need not worry, they are all dead now, they all died of covid and the millions of ‘fans’ they had, a lot of them will be dead soon too. That is the natural selection we are part of. And it is then that the claim “Media watchdogs suggest that some basic level of responsibility to the public should be required to keep a broadcast license” seems to seep in, but it is already too late. Even as some of the exploiters are realising that things are going overboard, they forgot the basic rules of the game, to gain riches you need a population and that population is now becoming redundant. Local radio hosts ignored by the big players, but the people are local people, they are the foundation that the US stands on and it goes way beyond USA, believe it. The stakeholders are the first and the direct franchisers of levels of exploitation and they are now seeing the impact I warned for for well over a decade. You can live on the premise of fooling people, but the strongest reality has now and always been “You can fool some of the people all the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time but you can never fool all of the people all of the time” and that is now pushing towards a reality the exploiters never realised. They realise it first because they need a population and it is dying, with 697,000 dead in the US and an expected 100% rise between now and February 2022 the numbers will take a massive offset. 

So how did I get there?
There are three elements driving it. The first is the Delta variant, the second is the anti-vaccine movements and lets be frank ‘stupid’ people driving anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown sentiments and the third one was given to us by Jenet Yellen giving us a mere two days ago that the US is in danger of defaulting on the US loans in October, the first time in history, all whilst investments in retirement funds are stopping. The three together giving us the waves that follow, waves in hospitals losing funds, funds in resources slowing down, so as hospitals are filling up and in June AP News gave us ‘Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated’, so as the hospitals are full, the unvaccinated die and more will die soon enough. The unvaccinated take up 98.9% of ALL the COVID cases, the vaccinated a mere 1.1%, the difference is that staggering and as the people are embracing stupid anti-vaccine hosts, they follow those people to their grave, quite literally and there is an upside, it will end unemployment in the USA, it will lower unemployment in the UK, Europe and Australia. 

So whilst people are ‘listening’ to some media watchdog, I need to warn you that they have been sitting on their hands for way too long. I alerted the people to hold media accountable in 2011, that was 10 years ago. 

So how is this connected to the second story?
The BBC is the one giving us ‘Covid vaccine stockpiles: Are 241m doses at risk of going to waste?’, so if we consider “The UK promised 100m of that pledge, so far it has donated just under nine million”, we can consider that they did nothing wrong, we can consider all kinds of things, and considering is perfectly fine. Yet there is a larger stage where they did nothing wrong and there is the rub, over a year, less than 10% was donated and the media let it slide, until people start realising that the media adheres to share holders, stakeholders, and advertisers. So who stopped it, or perhaps better stated, who silenced it to a mere whisper? 

And no one is looking into these stakeholders. So whilst we look at crowd after crowd we see more and more, but the three stages, the ‘normal’ people, the anti-vaxxers and the people in panic is now a larger unstable mix. The normalised people are a massive minority and the other two shouting are ahead of all, yet they are now dying and as anti-vaccine versus panic people are in a mix, we see that they all become panic people and they seek a solution but the hospitals are full. The nursing staff (doctors too) are tired and sick of them all so all these panic people have no one to turn to, merely their own undoing and that is the good news. 

Why is it good news?
In the first governments will have to act, so whilst the UK is dealing with Insulate Britain activists we see the tart of a new age, an age of draconian laws, a stage that follows when resources are dwindling down, and these two nations are not alone. France, Germany, Netherlands, UK, USA, Australia they all have to take larger steps in changing direction and this is the stage most of us did to ourselves and the media was kind enough to help, all whilst their stakeholders are running for the hills with a bag full of money. They are now trying to find a place where they can be relatively safe, that is, until the limelight hits them and their actions.

And it is escalating, as some are all about hating the rich and taxing the rich they still fail to see the larger problem. Governments are to blame, they REFUSED to properly adjust tax laws and that has been the case for well over 2 decades. Did you think it was different? Amazon was given the headlines “Amazon had sales income of €44bn in Europe in 2020, despite lockdown surge the firm’s Luxembourg unit made a €1.2bn loss”. Amazon is not breaking the laws, black letter law states what they are allowed to do and they did so, they never broke the law, governments let them off the hook again and again for over 2 decades and it is happening globally. As such the phrase “Kill the rich” should to be “Kill the exploiters” and that list is a hell of a lot longer than you think. The stakeholders have now become afraid that in the 11th hour their gig is up and they are hoping to score one more time before the gig is up forever.

And in this COVID is ending their song sooner than they had hoped. Yet it is a dangerous stage. We see that typical stakeholders are investors, employees, customers, suppliers, communities, governments, or trade associations. Yet in this list we see no facilitators or lobbyists, these exploitive players aren’t on any list, they are couriers from corporations, yet never in service of them, they are only in service of themselves and now when we consider the Economist on July 17th (at https://www.economist.com/united-states/2021/07/17/the-republican-anti-vax-delusion) we see “Populist conservatives are to blame”, yet is it that simple? Populistic people are easier to control as they need a place to voice ‘issues’, yet stakeholders see that these are groups of people easier to exploit too and there is the problem, so whilst we see the ‘Trump’ example which could be true, there are more players in that stage and those players all hate the limelight, as the populists love the limelight, they get it all and as such the stakeholder now seen as a lobbyist fades into the shadows. A game played for a long time and now that the fallout of their actions are backfiring their need to vanish becomes increasingly important. And when you think that this is out of thin air? Consider that the United Nations reported this in 2013, which was based on Constantinides et al, 2007. There is now a stage where stakeholders saw a portal to use media to set a much larger stage to fulfil corporate needs. It is given as “The rise of social networks has changed both the way we communicate and the way we consume information. Even within the relatively recent internet era, a major evolution has occurred: In the initial phase known as Web 1.0, users by-and-large consumed online information passively. Now, in the age of social media and Web 2.0, the internet is increasingly used for participation, interaction, conversation and community building”, a stage we have been seeing for over a decade. A stage driven by populists to become internet influencers and the stage of “community building” will be transformed into “sheep herding of the easily adapted” that is the stage we now face, and if you think that they can be changed, you would be wrong because it is already too late, the people saw the Yellen message, they see the overfull hospitals and the anti-Vaccine group is not becoming a panic group and those people listen to no one and it will be fuelled by ‘241m doses at risk of going to waste’ soon enough and the stage does not end there. So when the US (and other places) run out of vaccines the panic driven people will escalate and with statistics that 98.9% of all deaths are unvaccinated ones the state of panic is close to complete and in winter when isolation adds to the issues panic will reign on a global scale. So when you are in bed slumbering to get to the office and you consider taking a sickie, also consider that this is the one sickie you should not have taken. The safe zone is miles behind you and there is no hospital left in front of you and that merely fuels the panic. So when we take notice of “Nearly 70% of Florida hospitals are expecting critical staffing shortages” consider that this is not an American or a Florida issue, it has become a global issue. London gave us all (earlier this year) “London hospitals would be short of nearly 2,000 acute and intensive beds” and when we realise that millions more will die and that this issue has surpassed the 1918 flu pandemic numbers and estimates, consider that it will get worse, a lot worse. The last one is my speculation but the numbers are fuelling my point of view. So will you take a longer slumber? It is your choice, and if you are dedicated anti-vaccine person, the queue of Hades awaits. Feel free to oppose that view, it is your right, yet India a mere hour ago reported ‘India reports 26,964 new Covid cases’, which might be true, but the other numbers cannot be true, there is too much of a sliding scale in play. So how fast will the US emulate India? I honestly cannot tell, but the numbers show a grim reality and in the end the games that some people played will burn the soil in front of them, that is the realisation that history gave us. So do you really want to slumber a bit longer?

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The house advantage

It was early in the morning when ABC alerted me to news, this is not new. It happens all the time. And as I was glancing over the text, one little bit took my attention. It was ‘The West is playing the wrong game’ and it alerted me to reread a little more closely this time. As such, the article called ‘Despite what Joe Biden says, we’re not approaching a Cold War’ (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-22/joe-biden-cold-war-language-china-authoritarian-super-power/100482238). There we see a lot, several arts were known to me, but a few ones, like “the Rand Corporation think tank pointed out in a study in 2018, there is nothing straightforward about China’s role in the world. China’s engagement with the global order, it says, is a “complex and contradictory work in progress”” was not entirely new, but it was also a little unexpected. Apart from the fact that the paper is well over two years old (making us all wonder what the fuck Donald Trump was doing), the other side is less shown. If we accept “complex and contradictory work” I have to ask what on earth was driving the US and the UK to drive billions in revenue straight out of their coffers and in the hands of China? The initial steps between China and Saudi Arabia are now in an escalated stage of acceptance, implying that China is set to add $6BN-$24BN in revenue to its coffers whilst the US, UK and EU will lose it. So why be that stupid? 

So to emphasise, we see “the rules of Wei-Qi point out, it is about “breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting”. This concept is known as shi — creating a strategic advantage”, we see but we miss the line. It is simple, UK, US, AUS and China will play a game of monopoly and during the preparation the players are all told: “They need to bring their own dice, two dice are needed, so that they can throw 12”. The three players bring their two six sided dice, whilst China brings. 

China gained a black letter advantage of 100%, and this is the game, this is actually happening now, although it is not a game of monopoly. So as we take notice of “the Rand corporation study argued, it should look to “hedge” China’s power. The goal, it said, “should be to shape the context so that it is resistant to Chinese coercion and aggression”.” And it is here that the Rand corporation misses the goal, because they looked at enemies foreign, and forgot to weigh the actions towards the corporate enemies that were domestic. The Huawei bashers that engaged politicians without producing any valid evidence, the corporate short cutters like SolarWinds and several others and the digital organised criminals that found a scapegoat wherever they could and they all shaped the game into something they could use, yet the essential need what it needed to do was missed by well over a mile. And it is one of the final parts “it also requires preserving US power and strengthening alliances as a counterweight to Chinese influence. It requires more than just military might or more powerful submarines”, in this the Rand organisation is absolutely correct, but the game is already shaped in way the wrong ways and that will hit them in several ways. One of these ways is seen in “strengthening alliances”, but how is the question. That answer is not easily given as corporations and media rely on stakeholders and they answer to no one, more often the goals of these stakeholders who cater to corporations is almost totally opposite of what governments need to happen and that is also shaping the game in other ways. 

And in this we see the two elements that are at the very end. The first is “this is not the Cold War 2.0”, the second one is “Xi may prove to be destructive, and confrontation may be unavoidable. That’s not yet the game he’s playing”. You see, as I personally see it, this is Cold War 3.1b, corporations are an active player in hedging their needs and the needs of their board rooms, which comes with the notion that Xi might be destructive, mainly because Chinese firms are under attack, under direct governmental attack, because the corporations demanded it from THEIR politicians. And in all this no one adhered to any rules of evidence. There was no evidence and these board members were too busy to test the stamina of body parts when constantly exposed to the satisfying need of models and cheerleaders. So whilst they were adhering to personal tests, China took the time to develop 5G to a degree that outclassed them in a few ways and now corporations need all kinds of adjustments to keep revenue, even though they took the blue pill and Viagraded themselves out of the game. 

The house advantage works, but it also changes the game and I personally believe that the Rand corporation forgot about that element, especially when that element has grown way out or proportions.

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Consuming expectations

Yes, this happens, but it is not about food, it is not about what we expect, it is where our expectations lie and here I found myself in a weird stage. Due to lockdown events I have became an international man of mystery (sorry Austin Powers) by watching city walkthroughs. Places I had visited like Rotterdam, Stockholm, Munich Chicago, London, more London and places I had never seen before Monaco, Montreal, Toronto, and many more places. As such I became more and more interested in the Hero by GoPro. I wrote about this earlier, and over the week (yesterday and today) I saw a lot more on the Hero 10. Yet in all this, I also saw a few anti Hero 10 video’s. Most of them seemed to be people lacking expectations, some were people pushing a few weird limits two stood out, one was an Italian giving us why he did not recommended the Hero 10, but the reasoning was quite interesting. He gave us that the Hero 10 was an amazing great system, but compared to his Hero 8 overpriced and particularly as his Hero 8 was doing well above what he needed. I liked that. Yes, at times it is always about getting more whilst what we have is just fine. The other one is the one I want to focus on, it was all about the system being so expensive, He was a day 1 buyer of the Hero 7, Hero 8, and now the Hero 10. This is important because we need to consider what was and what we have now. 

I am a photographer. I was never much of a film geek. My first film camera came in 1998, it was the JVC GR-DV1, it had 100 times zoom (almost ridiculous much) and together with the docking station, it added up to $1049 dollars. I used it in my first long vacation that year after 10 years of not having a real vacation. And the camera was nearly always there. I never regretted buying it even if I barely used it. The film seed was planted. For the most I moved on with photography and filming was never forgotten, but it was in the back of my mind. It roared its head in 2010 when I was offered a really nice deal in 2010 with the Sony Handicam and I went for it, for two reasons, I was interested in filming, but I wanted digital video and the Sony offered it, it costed me $1100 with all the bells whistle’s and extra’s and I could afford it. There was also the added benefit that I could export to memory and edit it. I did not have the software, but overall the Sony was a leap forward, so now 12 years later there is the GoPro Hero, version 10. I missed the previous versions but there are a few parts that people seem to overlook.

The first camera only gave me 1080, it had sound but almost no smoothing, no colour settings and no frame rates. The Sony had a lot more and more importantly was able to export to USB. A few additional options, yet the larger stage was not there and we cannot blame Sony, they gave us a lot for less than the previous versions. Now we see the Hero 10 and people (quite a few) are complaining. Some places have it for a mere $499. The delivery is stated as 11 days but that is OK for plenty of people and for a system less than half the price that I paid for a system with less options, we are given 5.3K at 60 fps, 4K at 120 fps and 2.7K at 240 fps. The bundle includes a 32GB card. I looked and found a card with the same high speed and in 256GB for $40. A system that surpasses all others, has smoothing 4.0 which does things neither camera could ever do, have all kinds of colouring. And a load of extra’s that work on all Hero’s, batteries that are the same as the previous versions and we are told that upcoming software releases will give the consumer even more. And this camera is a mere 50% of my previous one. So what are people bitching about? 

We are so obsessed with getting things for free that we forget that compared over time a lot of electronics have become to that lowly priced. PC elements are pricing annual more and more, all whilst camera’s are in some cases the same, we seemingly get more and more for less. I am not digging into the wisdom of it, but consider that a GoPro cameraman can close to equal a TV News film crew and upload almost as quickly, so how long until someone sets that stage? As we see it in many places, the news is outdating itself more and more by going for the emotional story so that they do not need to report on things that matter. So when people figure out that one GoPro person can deliver equal to 5 news teams, how long will their future remains? 

This is not about the news, it is not about people and skills. It is about people and their expectations, or perhaps it is the expectations that are fed to them. I do not know, what I do know is that there are makers that drive creativity and that is always good. Where it ends we do not know and that is good too. Because as I personally see it, the creativity we never expected is the one that makes us smile and I do believe we need to find a reason to smile, even if it comes from a piece of hardware.

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