What news is news?

There are several pieces, not just in the Guardian, the BBC, the Independent or the Times. They all tell us that they have news, but do they have any actual news? The Guardian shows us a tech article (in the Tech section) called: ‘the node pole: inside Facebook’s Swedish hub near the Arctic Circle‘, all innocent news, one could surmise that it is just a space filler. Or was it done to give extra view to the article ‘Facebook is making more and more money from you. Should you be paid for it?‘, or perhaps to give extra light to ‘Facebook case may force European firms to change data storage practices‘, which I gave my views on in my previous blog. You decide!

In the business section we see VW to get some centre stage, which makes perfect sense and that is just the Guardian. The independent also has a go at Facebook, but now has a go at its users, well, actually it is not the Independent, but the employee tribunal. Now the article shows all kind of signs of bullying, which is never OK and in that regard Rachael Roberts has a real case, but in light of the events, Mrs Bird does not seem to be a friend of Mrs Roberts, so why is the act of unfriending on Facebook the killer? Yet it is the quote “But employment lawyer Josh Bornstein told ABC news the unfriending incident was found to be workplace bullying in the context of several other issues“, which baffles me, if they are not friends, one or the other could unfriend the other party, that part seems clear cut to me, not bullying. So out of the 18 allegations of bullying in total, the unfriending in Facebook took the cake? It does not add up to me!

In addition we see two whole articles on Facebook being down and oh yes, the new iPhone is for sale! Let’s not forget the fact that the iPhone now allows for sextracking. So, parents buy your boy or girl on of these bad boys so you can find new ways on how you are about to become a grandparent! Really? You need to keep scores on your phone now? Didn’t Ashley Maddison teach you anything regarding sex that is on the internet, everyone will know soon thereafter?

Finally they also gave visibility to ‘Hospital apologises for removing RAF sergeant from A&E because uniform could ‘upset’ patients‘, which is a can of worms in its own right. In that light I expect the NHS to move all drug and binge drink casualties to their basement as not to invoke bad thoughts from the Presbyterian community. How insane was the idea to move a wounded RAF sergeant in the first place!

All these events, some are actually news, but no one seems to have any balls. No one is looking at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Which of course ties in nicely with the words of the Dalai Lama ‘Dalai Lama on Britain’s policy towards China: ‘Where is morality?’’, the answer might not be such a high moral one, it goes a little like “Who is willing to suck the smallest extremity for the good of one’s career?

To some extent we can accept that the SFO is silent, only to the smallest extent. You see Tesco is dealing with a write-off of £6.4bn, which of course is massive. We have seen all the news on how some former Tesco entities are getting grilled (as they should) but the press on many levels in many nations keep on rehashing the old news and no one is digging into PwC. No one is digging there. Does that not sound awfully weird? Yet here is the kicker, we see more and more messages like ‘Multinational tax avoiders targeted’, with quotes like “while the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia warned about throwing up new hurdles in what is already a high-cost economy. The chamber’s board includes representatives from ConocoPhillips, GE, Boeing, PwC and Exxon Mobile“, yes it seems it is never a good time to go after tax avoiders (not to mention the impact it has on the bonus benefits for those working in that part of the financial branch).

Before you whisk this away as mere banter (which you are of course allowed to do), take a look at this article that is a little over a week old. It is from the Wall Street Journal, which I do not look into too often. The article (at http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/09/15/the-morning-download-identity-theft-key-to-attack-on-cisco-routers/) called ‘The Morning Download: Identity Theft Key to Attack on Cisco Routers‘, starts with: “Good morning. The international attacks on Cisco Systems Inc. routers, disclosed earlier today by security firm FireEye Inc.’s Mandiant unit, began with the theft of legitimate network credentials. Securing and managing the identity of network users continues to be a massive challenge for CIOs and CISOs and ultimately, the CEO and the board. The attacks have been named ‘SYNful’ because of how the malicious software moves across routers using their syndication functions “Cisco said SYNful did not take advantage of any vulnerability in its own software. Instead it stole valid network administration credentials from organizations targeted in the attacks or by gaining physical access to their routers,” Reuters reports today. Mandiant said in a blog post that it had found 14 instances of router implants, which replace Cisco’s operating system

Now, to complement that statement, I will add the following. On June 5th (more than 3 months before the WSJ article), I wrote ‘In reference to the router‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/06/05/in-reference-to-the-router/) , here I stated: “Soon thereafter no more firewall, no more routers, just the bliss of cloud servers and data, so much data!“, which reflected on the article I wrote on February 8th (more than 7 months before the WSJ), there I wrote “I think that ‘hackers’ have created a new level (as I mentioned before). I think that Cisco IOS was invisibly patched“, (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/02/08/the-next-cyber-wave/). I was literally accused by some to be insane, there was no way that this would EVER happen. Now we see in the Wall Street Journal: “Mandiant said in a blog post that it had found 14 instances of router implants, which replace Cisco’s operating system“, interesting how I am now proven correct. Are the members of the Baboon family (usually found in the FBI) reconsidering their North-Korean option? Let’s face it, this took top level skills, we can (as I pointed out in the past) find those boffins in the US, UK, FR, the FSB and Chinese Intelligence, however in North Korea not that much!

The Reuters article shows a lot more (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/16/us-cybersecurity-routers-cisco-systems-idUSKCN0RF0N420150916), however, they are just rehashing something I stated for almost a year, the quote ““That feat is only able to be obtained by a handful of nation-state actors,” DeWalt said, while declining to name which countries he suspected might be behind the Cisco router attacks” adds to my view that I was correct all along (finally another ‘I told you so!’ opportunity). The only difference is, is that DeWalt includes Israel, I have no real quality data on the Israeli cyber capabilities, so I am willing to give him that one. Finally we should consider the quote “Infected hardware devices include Cisco routers 1841, 2811 and 3825“, which is fair enough, yet in my article I offer the option that the CF unit found in nearly EVERY router could also open doors, so the danger could in theory go far beyond those three routers.

I also stated that my thoughts were based on sound speculation. You might wonder what sound speculation is. Basically, it means that even as I might not have them skills to program, I do understand that my solution is viable, the fact that routers are getting programmed with a new OS is clear evidence of that. In addition, it also gives weight to two infestation systems I speculated on as well as the weakness that those believing in the cloud are not realising at present. I was willing to look beyond the veil, a side everyone ignored. Yet when a router can be reprogrammed to the extent it was, also clearly means that data in motion is no longer safe, which means that pretty much any cloud data can be gotten too, the user only has to access the file to make that happen.

I even had a thought on dealing with the Iranian glow in the dark power plants when the time is there, just by thinking out of the box. It does involve a Piranha valve (which actually already exists in name, but mine is so much cooler). None of this is newsworthy, speculative opinion one might state. Yet in my speculation, I have shown solutions to be real in several occasions and in addition to that I also clearly outlined long before the press decided to show the minimalistic amount of balls (read testicles), that a look into Pricewaterhouse Coopers was adamant. It seems that apart from a December 2014 message from the SFO (rehashed by nearly all papers) not much happened, apart from that news, the press at large stayed clear of mentioning PwC and Tesco in one sentence. Is that not utterly weird?

Of course the luggage of someone’s mum in Tenerife (shipping at £122) gets front seat exposure, yet, the issue on £6.4bn getting lost due to assistance (better stated too weak opposition) by Pricewaterhouse Coopers seems too trivial to keep pressure on. Way to go Consumer Champions, Money! I actually mean that! They did do a good job and they have done so in the past, yet I fear that a letter by Dave Lewis on how his firm lost £6.4bn as the keeper of his books was not prudent, or is that tenacious enough to ring that bell very loudly when things looked too odd. Will Consumer Champions find that money? Will they write “Pricewaterhouse Coopers must accept responsibility for the signing off on books as the “accountant”?” Consumer Champions might not get this done, which is fair enough. It should not be on their plate, but the parties this should be very visible on are also not doing anything as far as we can tell, they remain silent, they remain this silent after 9 months.

Yet in all this there is one part both the Guardian and the Independent are getting right. It is the news on the NHS, there are massive problems and knowing them all is essential in finding a solution. In this matter the press has played a good role. In my view exposing former and current politicians a little more on the political game they play, so that we all understand that a proper solution is needed and taking the politicians out of that equation might not be the worst idea, the end result stays the same, the NHS is now too close on the edge of collapse to be acceptable, yet where lies the solution? Although I understand the issue the Independent shows, I partially disagree. The headline ‘New NHS junior doctor contract would discriminate against women, senior medics warn‘ is not incorrect (at http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/new-nhs-junior-doctor-contract-would-discriminate-against-women-senior-medics-warn-10516885.html), yet in all fairness, the quote “Under the new contract, trainees who decide to work part-time would see their pay increase more slowly than their colleagues” is a can of worms! Why would my co-worker doing 32 hours get the same raise as myself working 60 hours? (Remember, I am not a doctor). A choice was made! Yet, there is a level of fairness here too. Which means that to tackle it should be done in another way. Even as there is a shortage, the burnout of physicians is a known issue and making a maximum of 40 hours a week a mandatory status could be close to the only solution. Perhaps we have been too indulged, perhaps some options should only be there during the week. Perhaps the change to healthcare is essential (like hiring 40% more staff), but we also accept that at current not one government remains to afford that change (well perhaps Easter Island where there are less than 10 doctors). In the end the system has been ignored for too long. Too many politicians are on the ‘let’s get the computers up and running‘ whilst they know that staff will remains a problem for a long time.

That is news! That is what matters, but too many papers and too many news broadcasts are about the emotions and not the actual news that matters. That might be an incorrect view and a very biased view. It might be that some news is more important than other news parts, I will instantly agree, yet in all that the complete silence from pretty much all the papers regarding Tesco and some involved book keeping parties remains a mystery to me, how is that part not news? We will see more events that will not get the proper light in newspapers, both in paper as well as online, I’ll let you decide how that measurement applies to an involved party to events that started a £6.4bn downgrade.

 

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