Category Archives: Media

The ice and the icing

Ah, it is the environment that was taking a hit yesterday. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/18/arctic-permafrost-canada-science-climate-crisis) is giving us: ‘Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted‘, and at this point, we can all agree that we have a really serious problem. I know, the people at Wall Street would more likely than not be in a stage to dismiss and debunk the news, yet this is not about merely melting ice, this is about permafrost melting. This is no small matter; you see the Arctic and Antarctic both have places where the ice never melts, that ‘never melting’ ice is now actually melting. Consider if you can, a piece of ice on Antarctic, twice the size of the state of Texas, close to half a mile high, that is now becoming water (which in Antarctic terms does not seem much). Now we also know that ice loses volume when it melts, yet it is only 10%, so over the foreseeable future we end up with a water mass 800 meter high and the size of Texas being added to the oceans. Water levels will rise and to a decent amount, in all this, there is also the arctic to consider, it is not land, it is all water and they too will add levels of water to it all.

Then there is a new development, which we see at (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/19/himalayan-glacier-melting-doubled-since-2000-scientists-reveal), the problem is are we have been sold for too long and too often a package of goods? Is it such a stretch that the media ‘suddenly’ has a whole range of ‘revelations’? I am not stating that these are fabricated, but the timing is an issue. As I personally see it the people have been ‘handled’ for far too long, giving less and less reliability on what we see. Even as we see ‘Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show‘, more important, why did it require a spy satellite? Yes, I get it when we see “more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed“, so when was that revealed? It gets to be worse when we see: “This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting since 1975, and why“. Fair enough the work ‘Acceleration of ice loss across the Himalayas over the past 40 years‘ published in Science Advances 19 Jun 2019: Vol. 5, no. 6, eaav7266; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7266 is seemingly an academic work by J. M. Maurer, J. M. Schaefer, S. Rupper and A. Corley might be good and it might all be top notch work, but the timing of it all gives it a little bit of a bitter taste. Now, this is not some hidden attack, the work looks really good (at https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/6/eaav7266), it has uncertainty assessments, how it was dealt with, how the data was captured, this is a real piece of academic work with references and all (a lot of references), yet timing is everything we know that and it still feels like we are being handled. Part of me is speculating that this game is not by the scientists, but that certain previous white house players have been suppressing or delaying certain reports. It is highly speculative and I have no evidence, but that is what it feels like, the more the political player gets into bed with big business, the less environmental consideration we tend to see.

The entire matter increases when we consider: “The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually” this implies another part which we see in the National Geographic (at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise/). When we see: “Rising seas is one of those climate change effects. Average sea levels have swelled over 8 inches (about 23 cm) since 1880, with about three of those inches gained in the last 25 years. Every year, the sea rises another .13 inches (3.2 mm)“, we see the other part of the coin, so how about your beachfront property in 2045?

We can go long on the yay and nay sayers, but in all this, the media needs to stop facilitating to their shareholders, their stake holders and their advertisers, because the bulk of them are clearly in denial of environmental changes, as well as clearly opposing change. In 2012, the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/may/30/companies-block-action-climate-change) gave us: “An analysis of 28 Standard & Poor 500 publicly traded companies by researchers from the Union of Concerned Scientists exposed a sharp disconnect in some cases between PR message and less visible activities, with companies quietly lobbying against climate policy or funding groups which work to discredit climate science“, I believe that this is still going on, however these companies have become more clever in their actions and acting indirectly. In 2014 we see a Journalist names Mark Green giving us (at https://www.api.org/news-policy-and-issues/blog/2014/10/21/americas-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-be) “97 percent of all oil and natural gas company stock – held by millions of Americans across the country. These include retirees and middle-class Americans saving for retirement“, it is now less about the opposition it is that being ‘in favour’ is dooming the middle class a reversed reverse psychology if you will.

Do you still think that shareholders and stake holders are a stretch? How many financial institution advertisement have YOU seen in the last week alone? And when it comes to the sceptical and the 197 excuses they have, let me add utterly bogus excuse 198: “Women warm the hearts of men and with 4 billion men one woman can raise the planetary temperature by at least 1 degree, so what about the other 99 in the hot 100 (graphic evidence added)?” We see lists of excuses yet to overall need to take a serious look at the matter and give serious airtime to those trying to warn us is also a topic for debate.

When we pass over that episode and we add to the matter (Antarctica, Himalaya, Arctic, Greenland) there is a stage where we have surpassed essential milestones, milestones that can no longer be undone (not within the next two generations). Me, I am still all in favour of culling the human population by 85%, and fortunately for me this time around, the politicians are actually helping me.

It’s the Icing

When it is about the icing we can go in two directions, in the first it is about the topping of a cake, we all have tried it, yummy chocolate icing, marzipan topping, our sweet tooth desires a scrumptious load of icing and the larger your slice of the cake, the better the sugar rush. The second direction is mostly for Canadians (LOL), it is seen in hockey when a player shoots the puck from behind the centre red line, across the opposing team’s goal line, whilst the puck remains untouched. It is a rule to oppose a quick win, netball has a similar option; you need to win by being the better player in each segment of the field. It nullifies a play like Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos achieved in 2013 by kicking that piece of air filled leather for 64 yards, an achievement for sure, but at that point the game becomes about the kickers and it becomes less about the full game. An icing stops this option, making it about the game and this matters as we see in: ‘Diplomatic offensive aims to dissuade Tehran from breaching uranium limits‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/uk-france-germany-last-ditch-effort-save-iran-deal), you see I am slightly less convinced that they are not their yet (or disgracefully close to it). When I see: ““We want to unify our efforts so there is a de-escalation process that starts,” Le Drian said. “There is still time and we hope all the actors show more calm. There is still time, but only a little time.”” to be honest I wonder what drugs Jean-Yves Le Drian is on (and can I have some please?) The idea that Iran adheres to any kind of agreement is short sold to begin with, the entire Hezbollah proxy war counts as evidence in that matter.

So when I see: “We need to de-escalate through dialogue. It is a time of ‘diplomacy first’ and that’s what we are committed to” I merely wonder who is fooling who. It is seen when the most stupid of all actions is given with: “If Iran did breach the uranium limits, the deal, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, gives both sides time to go into a disputes mechanism before it is declared void“, is it really that bad, after the ‘breach’ Europe still wants to talk? Did you learn nothing from the Adolph Hitler European tour of 1939-1945? We could ask the State of Israel with its 15 million votes, oh sorry, there are apparently 6 million absentee ballots, they can no longer vote; does anyone remember that little fact in the entire equation?

If it is slightly too crude, then it is intentional. We have facilitated for tea parties and long winded talks going nowhere for too often and for far too long. It is now time to act before it is too late, or merely accept the culling that comes afterwards, which will be good for the environment as well.

Ice and Icing, all events linking to intentional violations to norms, to boundaries and to standards of life and living, how many more violations will we endure until we are given the sad reality our children and grand children face soon enough, we have left them nothing and for too long we would not adhere to that reality until it was too late for the next generation. We are shown too much pieces of evidence that we are doing this, whilst denying the facts presented. This might be the best evidence that we are bad parents and that we are unworthy of titles of parent and custodian, the evidence is all out there in colour, in black and white, on all levels including the academic one.

If this was a match, then it would be the face-off between the two Global Hockey teams: the Bogusses versus the Professinators, the problem is that no matter who wins, the people lose, this game has been on for too long and time is a luxury we actually no longer have and the media have been all about getting the limelight and the time to let all the voices be heard letting exploitation reign (aka circulation and clicks). The Great Barrier Reef with over 50% now bleached to death (source: National Geographic), is merely one casualty of all talk and no actions, I wonder how many more needs to be lost for people to finally force actions against politicians and corporations. In opposition we see the New York post giving us (at https://nypost.com/2018/09/12/the-great-barrier-reef-was-never-dead/) “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is “showing signs of recovery,” a new study shows, after massive bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 threatened the world’s largest living structure”. It is time to properly vet the media for what they publish and cater to on a much larger scale, because in this age of strife they win, as do their advertisers. We could of course accept the second option and allow for the culling, it will solve both matters at hand as it means that there are too few left to advertise to.

6 of one, half a dozen of the other is a term we see, and we think that it is the same, yet we are too often not told that it was no longer about apples or oranges, it was relabeled as an issue about fruit, now we get to deal with fruit whilst our individual preference of apples and oranges is no longer an option to cater to, did you realise that small part of the equation as well?

 

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London Bridge had fallen

This is not some event involving Mike Banning as the never failing US Secret Agent, it is also not a movie involving Gerard Butler in command of a Nuclear Submarine (Cool movie though). No this is reality!

In 2017, on June 3rd an attack took place, the inquest is still going on 2 years later. 3 people ramming pedestrians and after that ran into the public in the Borough Market area and decided to stab a whole lot more people. They were wearing fake explosives, carrying knives. That pretty much sums it up. In the end 8 died and 48 were wounded, the three ‘terrorists’ were killed in the process.

According to all sources these three were ‘inspired’ by ISIS.

I took notice of it initially, but it was not high on my radar, it got my attention again last week, but i was looking into the Strait of Hormuz issue. It kept at the back of my mind. So let’s start with last week: ‘MI5 admin errors meant attackers link ‘was missed’‘, it got to me as MI-5 does a whole lot of things, errors are actually quite rare and anyone stating that there should not be any errors is an idiot. Anything involving intelligence gathering is prone to issues. The right stage, the right interpretation, the right connections and the right actions. These are all matters that influence the stage. You can check this for yourself, go to any recruiter and apply for a job, what are the chances that he/she places you wrong or gives you less useful advice, considers you not to be the ‘right’ person for the job? That chance is rather high.

So when I see the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48626134) giving me: “Youssef Zaghba was stopped at Bologna airport in 2016 after telling staff he was going to Turkey to be a terrorist“, so in the clear setting of a first, a terrorist does not tell anyone he/she is one. The more verbose version is: “Asked why he was going to Turkey, he said to be “a terrorist” before quickly changing his answer to “tourist”, the court heard“, o now we get a person who is basically an idiot and customs has to deal with hundreds if not thousands on a daily basis. This part is already numb and done for. So at best we have a video game wannabe, at worst we have a person with mental health issues. At present neither two score high on the list, at most a police chat would have been warranted.

Regarding Zaghba we also see (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40169985) In 2016, Zaghba was stopped at Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport by Italian officers who found ISIS-related materials on his mobile phone. So what materials were they? He apparently was placed on a watch list, which is shared with many countries including the UK, as such is he merely watched when he travelled or 24:7? There is a difference and one does not warrant the other.

Yet now there is a clarity of optional failure that is increased with: “Witness L, who is head of policy, strategy and capability for MI5’s international counter-terrorism branch, told the court MI6 did not translate the Italian request for two months – and then sent it to the wrong person in MI5“, not only is my question:

  1. How could this be send to the wrong person and why was there no return/response on wrongful send information?
  2. Then we get: ‘The optional escalation had 1 year to find corrections and optional change in surveillance. Why was this not done?
  3. How often is the shared list vetted and checked for additional information whether the watch list is still accurate and more important useful?

Three direct questions that now put MI-5 on the radar for a few failings. In addition we also need to enlarge the scope, if SIGINT is GCHQ, how was this optionally missed twice over?

There are also serious questions regarding the Lawyer of the 6 victims. When we see that he had: ‘previously told the court there had been missed opportunities to prevent the attack.‘ It is important to see this part. In another story we get: “Gareth Patterson, the lawyer representing several victims’ families, said there was evidence the attackers had been in contact since January 2017“, here I disagree to some degree, and with ““any reasonably competent investigation” had the chance to detect the planning that was going on between the three men” I disagree even further.

You see, when we look at the elements. The fake explosives means that it could have been made in any way, for the most stuff from a toy store might have sufficed, at most a stroll through B&Q or Wickes would have sufficed. Then there is the stage of interpreting the Zaghba part, a terrorist claiming to be one is not one. I would have been able to do all the needed parts without setting off any flags or alarms. The biggest risk I run is getting a lorry, they did not get one either for mere payment issues that one element also shows that they commenced a terrorist act, but were not terrorists (or almost the worst prepared one). The absence of planning, the absence of dotting the ‘i‘ and crossing the ‘t‘ is what sets them apart. Merely three men with water bottles, pretending that to be explosives, knives that one can buy at IKEA and when we learn that the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/10/worse-terror-attack-on-london-bridge-foiled-by-chance-police-say) that the van had “13 wine bottles containing flammable liquid with rags stuffed in them, essentially Molotov cocktails” that were either forgotten, or just ignored by these three, we see a wannabe terrorist who forgot that they had options to increase the death count by a lot. These are all elements that count, because MI-5 is there for serious threats and these three were seemingly ignoring all their options even during the event. Going back to the lorry, that one might be easy when I stalk the right bars and mickey the right person, with him tied up in the back of the van I could start my spree, no flag raised at all. In my case I would have been able to get the stuff that goes boom; I merely needed to change perspective on the how. All issues that would never raise a flag; that is what MI-5 has to deal with and they have the one additional benefit that they are on an island.

We agree that steps were missed on Zaghba, but none of this is still evident that it would have prevented the attack. The higher part is Khuram Shazad Butt, he has enough flags that warrant consideration, his presence is a real issue, yet how much flags did he raise before the attack? We seem to blame after the effect, yet in the UK we see more whingers and whiners on freedom and privacy than in most other places in the world, well, congratulations! If MI-5 had that data this might have been prevented, they did not. You wanted the Data Protection Act 2018, you got it, you wanted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it was handed to you, you also face additional dangers because of it, so stop crying!

Back to the attack! I see Rachid Redouane as the actual fuse here. An illegal immigrant, a failed asylum seeker and he remained under the radar, also implying he could get a lot of stuff done whilst not being noticed, not getting noticed and working as a pastry chef, so how did he get that job? He was the part that Butt needed, and as such MI-5 had optionally even less to work with.

You see, when we look after the event, we might see issues to blame MI-5 (optionally GCHQ) with, but there are a lot more markers making at least 1 out of the three a dud from the start. And in all this, no one seems to realise that a failed Asylum seeker was hopping back and forth between the UK and Ireland, there is a larger failing in all this, yet I am stating that MI-5 was not it.

Yesterday

The Guardian yesterday (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/17/communication-issues-left-london-bridge-attack-casualties-without-first-aid) gives us the larger failing, but not in regards to the attack. When we see: ‘police waited for help that wasn’t coming‘ we feel anger and frustration, yet in which direction?

The first is seen with: “police and members of the public being left to treat victims of the London Bridge terror attacks and not knowing why paramedics were not coming to their aid“, as well as “when paramedics were told to evacuate the area, the officers in the courtyard were left treating the casualties on their own awaiting help that did not arrive” we get the first gist of it. You cannot send paramedics in a dangerous situation, we get it we understand it and we accept it. I believe that an alteration to the armed response unit is required. I believe that any armed response unit requires a trained medic to give first aid like in a metropolitan war zone. Yes, it would be great to send in the paramedics, but let’s be honest how would you feel when a police officer tells you: “Look, there are three terrorists over there somewhere, can you go into that place ad see if you can treat some of the wounded people?” I get it, plenty of them medics would, but it is optionally super reckless and highly irresponsible. The fact that the police was not properly warned on the spot could have been for several reasons, all unintentional. This is a situation that is not merely fluid, it involves a lot of people thinking on their feet, whilst running trying to scope the size of the issue in absence of reliable information. These are not mistakes made, they are to some extent coming from experience and actual successful attacks have been really rare, besides that at some point you cannot just call for boy scouts (SAS) at any point, time is a factor. So when I see: “Five people died in or around the courtyard, one of whom, Sebastian Belanger, 36, a French chef, could possibly have been saved if he had received swifter, higher-quality medical attention“, I accept the stage and I accept the premise, but the score on getting ‘higher-quality medical attention‘ is optionally not a realistic one, not in a location of armed conflict and so there we see the stage of time versus location versus available intelligence. We can jump high and low, but reality is a factor and I feel that the after the fact Monday morning quarterbacks are now feeding an inquest of what ‘might have been done’, and I accept I am in this view a Monday morning quarterback as well.

For the larger view we need to go to the actual inquest and I noticed something in day 20 (at https://londonbridgeinquests.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/LBI-Day-20.pdf). The transcript gives us a side that was not part of the actual attack, yet it does involve Khuram Butt, it is actually a lot more important than you think for two reasons on opposite sides of the scale. The transcript gives us:

Witness M, you will appreciate that the investigation that you are here to help us with lasted for something in the region of two years, so I ’ ve got a fair amount to cover but I ’ ll try to be as concise as I can be.

You were asked questions by Mr Hough about the Transport for London employment and you told us that there came a time when you and your team learnt about this job that Khuram Butt obtained working at Westminster underground station.

A: That is correct , yes.

Q: So can I be clear : you learnt about this after he had begun working at that station ?

A: I cannot recall at what stage we learnt about him either seeking out employment or having that employment.

Q: Was that something that you – –

A: But we were aware of the fact that he was working at London Underground.

Q: So it wasn’t something that you learned at the application stage before the decision had been made as to whether they should give him the job?

A: I cannot answer that.

Q: Were arrangements in place at the time for the counter terrorism police to be notified by Transport for London of the names of people applying to be employed by Transport for London in vulnerable locations ?

A: I ’m not aware of any such arrangement. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist , but it ’ s not something I’m aware of .

Q: So to this day can Transport for London receive applications by people who might be terrorist suspects, the subject of ongoing investigations , and then a decision made to employ them without you or your partner agency being notified ?

A: So, again, I can’ t categorically say whether that process exists . That sounds to me that it’s something, if it did exist , would be more in the ”protect” side of our business.

It is important, and let us look at both sides of this equation. On the one hand if there was stronger vetting there was a chance that Khuram Butt might have been stronger on the radar, yet the attack would not have been prevented as the London Underground was not a stage and was not used to set the stage, more importantly there was a chance to set off alarms within Khuram Butt making him a lot more cautious, optionally resorting to a different style of attack. On the other hand, we see that this path would have given MI-5 up to 1500% more work, so a lot less resources to deal with optional more serious threats.

We see more in Day 20 (on page 4, paragraph 9, 10). Here we see the flags issue I raised earlier and the questioning party who is seemingly not all up to date on intelligence, more on finding a part to blame. When we see:

Q: In September 2016 the categorisation was downgraded to P2M, so the risk is now a medium risk, you told us?

A: That is correct. Yes, it was categorised down to a P2M.

Q: And when you dealt with this in your report at paragraph 5.9, you linked this decision to the fact that there had been no indications of actual steps to plan an attack.

A: That’s correct, that is in my report.

Q: But as you’ve accepted a number of times, from the very start, this is somebody who had, throughout, exhibited a degree of operational security.

A: We see that across the entire range of individuals we investigate.

Q: Yes. But an ordinary member of the public with nothing to hide is unlikely to be taking steps to avoid surveillance or to hide their activities; would you agree?

A: He’s not an ordinary member — he was not an ordinary member of the public; he was under investigation.

Q: But that of itself rings alarm bells, doesn’t it , if he is positively taking steps to disguise what his activities are?

A: It’s concerning, but it becomes more concerning when it is attached to other intelligence around other activity. And that will elevate the risk and elevate our posture and our response.

Q: After that decision to recategorise as medium risk, he then re-engaged, you told us, with ALM in the autumn of 2016.

A: So that – – that’s correct, that was the assessment at the time that he started to re-engage with other ALM individuals.

Q: He was also identified as having an inflammatory presence around other extremists, wasn’t he?

A: How do we know that?

Q: Well, you confirmed yesterday that you were aware of that and that’s information that reached you via MI5. We see it in the report of Witness L at paragraph 116.

A: Okay. So I can’t say with any certainty I was aware of that before that time, but just the mere presence — the mere fact that he was associating with other ALM individuals or becoming further engaged is of concern

I see this as an issue. The issue is not the interview, the issue is the available resources and the questioning party seems to live in la la land as there is the consideration that at any time all resources are available, that one clear failure makes the inquest a problem to some extent and that is merely looking at one day, merely Day 20. The focus on Khuram Butt being an ‘inflammatory presence‘, we could argue that this is a good thing, we could argue that pushing other extremists before they are ready is one clear sign to botch attacks (MI-5 will be pleased), the two parts in the transcript give rise to a larger failing, in part the inquest is set to a stage it does not comprehend, it does not facilitate a stage of comprehension where it concerns lone wolves and wannabe’s. In the second degree we see the push regarding re-engagement and the consideration of a medium risk person. Even as there is no valid intelligence giving us that direct action was called for (implied at least). So when I see ‘there had been no indications of actual steps to plan an attack‘, my less diplomatic view towards the barrister would be ‘move the fuck onwards barrister‘, if there is no indication of actual steps, there is no indication for acceleration of increasing profile surveillance, the resources are just not there.

It is the largest failing, not merely the fact that there is no SIGINT working on data that could have been worked on, the stretch on resources, what is available, its definition and the stage of recognising on how to use resources are in the wind and that failing matters, because that recognition is essential to stop attacks by an actual terrorist, a lone wolf or a wannabe, and as long as that part is not clearly in play, there will be more successful attacks and here I regard the premise of a successful attack any attack where more than 5 lives were lost.

We need to accept that choices have impact, we need to see that the attacks will continue and until we find a better way to register dangers this is how it will be and we need to see that the failing was larger, but there is no one to actually blame.

Consider blaming customs for allowing a failed asylum seeker (Rachid Redouane) going back and forth between the UK and Ireland, getting other places to live, is that landlord to blame? There are cogs that are not working for numerous reasons and when we realise that ‘the machine‘ is off its mark by a decent amount, we do not get to blame MI-5 (or GCHQ for that matter). When we consider that Youssef Zaghba might have made a claim and if GCHQ had a right at that point to capture all data regarding that person, there might have been a chance that together with the Khuram Butt data there was a decent chance that this could have been stopped (in theory), but that was not an option was it? Here the Data Protection Act 2018, as well as the application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) stopped GCHQ from getting essential results to report to MI-5, you wanted this so from my point of view you have to accept the dead people too. You cannot get it both ways, it is just not on.

There is, as I personally see it a larger failure in play, it is not MI-5, it is not GCHQ, it is not the police, it is us and the bullshit setting of privacy whilst we hand over all of our private lives to Facebook and mobile game data collectors, we are doing this too, we ourselves. We can optionally argue that there needs to be a better direct action armed response unit with a trained medic in these teams, but that is an optional investigation for another day, one that is far far away.

 

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Blackadder to the rescue

Yes, now for something completely different. Today only partially continues yesterday’s conversation. The article ‘Iranian puppets‘ gives us (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/06/14/iranian-puppets/) where I mention: “I will never proclaim myself towards Iran“, I also made mention of the 15 bitches and a serve of coffee (between the lines), yet I will always proclaim towards evidence. Evidence is everything and even whilst Iran is the most likely guilty party, I tend to follow the evidence. The evidence puts us with Houthi forces, optionally there is enough circumstantial evidence involving Hezbollah, however, this seemingly changes today as more than one now give us: ‘UK joins US in accusing Iran of tanker attacks as crew held‘, here I remain cautious. You see, the US had graphics in the Iraq WMD part and that got us in different waters, even as much better questions should have been asked with that clusterfuck in the making. The UN secretary general António Guterres called for an independent investigation, a part I very much support.

The intelligence suckers tend to be driven by EGO and whoever their Commander in Chief is and that tends to be needlessly politically driven and there the not guilty tends to be a target, this is not the same as the innocent, but you see the impact I am referring to. In the UK the Foreign Office is giving us: “It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible“, I am willing to agree with this, however we have seen decently clear evidence that in more than one case Iranian flag officers acted on their extreme self, not with the official support from the actual government. It is the consequence of the Iranian clerics having direct access to Iranian generals and acting on what they proclaim is the will of Allah. Those who do not grasp that part are out in the cold, pointing at the wrong party and creating escalations.

So whilst the world goes with: “Iran did do it. You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it … You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off – and that was exposed” that is one view to have and it might be the correct view, yet we already have two parts here. The fact that the mine did not work implies that Iranian hardware has additional issues (or optionally a non-trained individual had access to that hardware and did not set it up correctly, which is actually more likely). The second part is that the act was about deniability, giving more need to point at a state actor, but was it one with clearance or one deciding that they had to make their government look good? The issue around deniability is set not in stone, but it seems to be on a tablet where someone else has the erase function active. And in this the US and the UK have played similar games over the last 10 years. So let’s set this in a speculative example.

The Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation is run by Ali Nikzad. He decided that the boats were transgressing on Iranian sovereign waters and ships are transport, so Ali Nikzad decided to give these transgressors a lesson, he gets a hold of officers who are eager for promotion and he plays the ‘I need to test our equipment for transportation of dangerous goods’, he gets mines (plural) and he tests the mines with an engineer who is not really qualified to operate mines. The attack works, but one mine was not set properly. Now he has a problem, because even as he got the equipment, he was not allowed to operate in the way he did as that was a military action, and he is merely a lowly Minister of Roads, commercial shipping lanes and Transportation, he now has to resolve the issue before it taints him and he gets someone to remove it (most likely the engineer who wrongly set the mine).

In addition to this, when we see how Belgium defused a mine situation according to the Dutch, will we see more or less reliability? Was it the image that made for the change?

All this a speculation, but the play is not that speculative, several players have engages in similar games, optionally the IRGC knew of the operation, and they did not act because their fingers were not in the cookie jar; they all have a scapegoat and there is no physical evidence to support any story that anyone tells.

This is one of the intelligence games that are out there and now we have a state actor and everyone (led by the US) are now pointing at the wrong state actor and the evidence is out there proving some right as the involved person is seemingly Iranian, but wrong as this is a bogus action in the first place. Now we see Hamid Baeidinejad (Iranian ambassador to the UK) all huffy and puffy because he is doing what Tehran told him to do and the game he plays looks good, because he truly believes that he is playing the proper game as instructed by Tehran and let’s face it, the US does not have a great track record when it comes to Intelligence data and parsing intelligence data to create actual verifiable data, do they. When in doubt, call the NSA at +1-301-688-6311, ask for Deputy Director Barnes (General Nakasone is often too busy according to his personal aide).

In all this, there is a surprising realisation, you see, the opposite is also an option and I wonder why it is not actively investigated, there is an opposing solution that takes Iran out of the equation and it is a solid solution that stretches 74,967 meters in length and could change the game, in addition to that it could hinder Iran to the larger degree, basically to the degree where Bandar Abbas would financially be decimated, its economy would plummet to below basement levels.

I wonder how willing the UAE would be to change the game to benefit their economy. Oman could optionally benefit as well, so there is a solution that could propel two nations, whilst freezing the Iranian economy twice over. You see, as I look at the state of play, a proxy war can go in two directions; you can be in denial as there is no proof, or you can go into proclamation to set the stage of something that is legally allowed, people look at the first and then ignore number two. I let you work out the puzzle and let you figure out what some never considered.

A Monty Python solution presented by Blackadder gives us the second option in two ways (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzXhLp2wLQo) we see the approach to a literal following of orders then (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBhN28eTuP8) we see the application of intelligence: “I beg leave to commence a private prosecution the accused for wasting the courts time“, and in all this, the stage is set and optionally correctly set, yet there is a range of issues that have not been addressed.

Some will go with the smoke and fire part and that is all good and fine, yet when did we get a proper investigation before pointing the finger (optionally through the slipping them the bird)? To let this sink in, let’s take a look at American accusations: “By labelling some of the high-level waste as low level, the US would save $40bn in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The waste which has been stored in South Carolina, Washington and Idaho would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas“, whilst the clear danger of radioactive waste has been out in the open for decades we are confronted with: “This administration is proposing a responsible, results-driven solution that will finally open potential avenues for the safe treatment and removal of the lower level waste. DOE is going to analyze each waste stream and manage it in accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards, with the goal of getting the lower-level waste out of these states without sacrificing public safety“. In this application of rules, we are not merely rephrasing the stage of what is regarded as ‘safe treatment‘, it changes the face of danger by diminishing risks on the need for cutting 40 billion. Now we can agree that 40 billion is serious cash, yet after it passed the facilities in Utah and Texas, what damage will be left behind because standards and definitions were changed by people who desperately need things to get cheaper? And when this backfires, how will the US afford the reparations that will be in excess of a trillion dollars easily? saving $40 with a decent certainty that it will cost you $1,000 around the corner is not clever, it does not save anyone anything and it decimates the quality and value of living in Utah and Texas, so how good is that step once the proper denials are in place?

The same can be said in the UK and their approach of Fracking, shale gas options. In a stage where the Netherlands has had: “A total of 127 damage reports were received after a fracking earthquake in Groningen on Sunday morning“, in addition “the TCMG receives around 200 damage reports per week. Over the past two weeks, the committee received at least 200 reports per day“. Also before I forget, when I was young and living in the Netherlands, Groningen was plenty of things, there was even a rare occurrence of an earthquake (once ever whilst I was in primary school), the entire stage of living in Groningen changed after Fracking, a clear change in values and cost of living as properties have diminished and the entire area is now a minefield of accusations and litigations, how much will that cost the government in addition to the claims they get? There is a second danger, if any of those chemicals ever make it into the groundwater; the Netherlands has some options, whilst the UK as an island does not. Dangers that we see give the rise towards people and politicians seem to regard the element of denial, a dangerous stage on two fronts, in the UK the danger for living expenses as it goes up by 1500% when UK tap water is no longer safe to drink; in the US where radiation contamination when found too late will have new long lasting disastrous effects.

Merely two elements that have the same stage; the stage of denial can be a very dangerous one and in Iran we see a stage where we cannot afford to give in to that danger. We need to be certain, an actual war, one that Iran will lose regardless will still impact and optionally disrupt crude oil paths for decades, consider the next decade when oil returns to prices like $163/barrel. The restoration of any economy becomes close to nil, unless you make money from the oil industry. That is why I want to make sure that Iran is properly dealt with and in all this, my plan B remains valid and an optional alternative path to increase pressure on Iran.

Nobody is saying, stating or implying that Iran is not involved, the issue is WHO placed the mine and there is where we get the issue. The US and the UK clearly know this. In case of the US we have Timothy James McVeigh. Now consider what would have happened if that attack was post 9/11? I am not stating that anything wrong was done by the FBI, I am however decently certain that the entire investigation would have had a dozen other turns and double turns. There is absolutely no guarantee that the same result would have been presented. I am not stating that the FBI did anything wrong, I am not stating that anything else happened.

To look at this setting we need to consider a quote by Counterpuch.org. Here we see: “The FBI suffered another debacle last Friday when an Orlando jury returned a not guilty verdict for the widow of Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 in his attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June 2016. The biggest terrorism case of the year collapsed largely thanks to FBI misconduct and deceit” there are more sources. NPR Radio gives us: “the prosecution had withheld crucial information for the development of their argument. It was not until after the prosecution had rested its case, nearly two weeks after the trial opened, that prosecutors disclosed the information in an email last Saturday“, as well as “federal authorities had also opened an investigation of Seddique Mateen after the shooting, basing the probe on a series of money transfers he made to Turkey and Afghanistan not long before the massacre. The defense argued that without those details, the defense had been unfairly hamstrung — an assertion that Byron rejected. He denied the motion earlier this week and allowed the trial to proceed” denial of facts as well as denial access to facts, denial of due process in light of whatever reasoning was given and as denial of circumstances. At this point the widow of Omar Mateen was regarded as not guilty and there is no way of knowing whether this was just, correct or merely the consequence of stacking the deck knowingly and willingly.

When you consider that personal ego made these leaps of consideration, and we see the impact, the need for higher intelligence usage and the better investigation of what is happening in Iran and by which person becomes a lot more essential. When we see three players all in a stage to wage war on Iran (an idea that I do not oppose) lets at least do it for the right reasons. Doing the right thing based on flawed and incorrect intelligence corrupts the act and over time degrades the reasoning of the act. It is important to see that difference, and whilst there are optional paths to making the Iranian economy tanking it to the bottom of the Strait of Hormuz, I will remain in favour of doing that. You need to have seen war in all its majesty of cadavers and victims to appreciate alternative parts, only those who played call of duty might like a direct war, which will only last until you actually get to wash the blood out of your hands, that sweet smell of blood will follow your nose until the day you die.

Iran might be going into a wrong direction, yet we do not have to follow them like stupid lemmings, as I stated, I am not against setting a war against Iran, I merely want alternatives that gets us the same result. A proxy war goes both ways, we merely have to alter the signs on the entrance door; it is our door, so we get to do that.

 

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The 11th hour of Chapter 11

It was around 01:00 this morning when a ‘recommended video’ made it to my stream. Now, I am known to have a sense of humour, a flaky one at best and to see the name Jon Stewart (yes the comedian) to be on that ‘recommended stream’ regarding a PBS News hour was something new to me, but I was a little curious and I took a look.

What I was confronted with did not merely blow my socks off; it gave the impression that America is currently in such a bad state that it makes me wonder why at present this issue does not grace the front page in EVERY NEWSPAPER on the planet.

I have seen my fill of political windbags, their past acts gave Chicago the name ‘the windy city’, it gave the impression that a cocaine dealer has seemingly a higher regard for ‘their word’ than most members of the US Congress. Still, there was no stopping Jon Stewart as he gave his view in congress.

The story (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5FTrIZN-E) shows that Jon Stewart is not merely a person with a sense of humour, the man talks up a storm, not a windy one, but a perfect storm. You need to hear it to believe what America and American politics is doing to the first line of defence of the city of New York, what has been done to those running into the area where the World Trade Centre, to give aid and to save as many people as possible. In a room that was filled with first responders, a room that is filled with the pain and agony of what they had gone through and the members of US Congress (the bulk of them) are not there, not there to stand protecting the first responders of America, not there to protect the first responders of America and not there for those putting their lives on the line for the annual amount that is less than 0.1% of what an average Wall Street banker takes home on an average month.

The headline pretty much states it with: ‘Congress ‘should be ashamed’ over inaction on helping 9/11 first responders‘, but that would be a disservice, US Congress failed on a much larger scale than that. The members of congress did not even have the respect and courtesy to show up. And during all this is the voice of Jon Stewart advocating for these people intentionally forgotten. Stated is that one member got there as he is up for a 69th round of chemo. I cannot even fathom anyone living past 2 dozen treatments, let alone an additional 45 treatments past that point. I personally have never felt such pride in being a witness to a person like Jon Stewart, what some would call merely a comedian standing up and advocating for a group that should have been protected by 320 million Americans calling and shouting at their senators, their congress representatives, their governors and their alderman to fix this immediately. Is America this broke, this bankrupt that denial of an essential and required need for first responders to be given at any given time? As Jon states, they were there in 5 seconds, the first responders were actively aiding and assisting the fallen and the wounded in 5 seconds. And it gets to be worse!

FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, EMS responded they all did and Congress is now holding the implied ‘were out to lunch’, ‘we are currently unavailable, have a nice day’ signs, in my view every American should stand shoulder to shoulder with Jon Stewart making their voices heard making sure that first responders get better service and better protection than any member of congress every could hope to get. We are after this exposed to details that I have (to the best of my knowledge not seen anywhere, not to the degree it should be exposed to). The never ending waves of denial from those who should have been a circle of protection is not merely baffling, it should be beyond shameful. Anyone on that track should be barred from public office. that is how it should be, but it is not. It merely shows that government is not in charge, Wall Street seemingly is and these people have become too expensive to the American way of life.

Consider this

Even in the wildest time when the US was merely known as part of the British Empire, these people had a better standing and better protection than they now have in American society. Can you imagine the shame where rescue services as a member of the British colonies, serving the British Empire and the King of England in 1760 would have been treated better than those of the United States of America in 2001-2019?

Can anyone imagine the shame of it all?

Then optionally making an attack on America a New York issue, I wonder how congress would have treated this if the jets had flown into Mount Rushmore, would that have been an unfortunate collision with a shaped hill? The fact that the ‘pile’ had such dire issues to the health of first responders is also a much larger concern. Evan as ABC news gave us (at https://abcnews.go.com/US/911-toll-growsl-16000-ground-responders-sick-found/story?id=57669657) “Twenty-three NYPD officers were killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. In the 17 years since, the department says another 156 have died of illnesses contracted from their time on what was then known as “the pile,” the mountain of toxic debris from the fallen towers.” the fact that there is every indication that the number of people dying of disease directly due to the toxic elements of the WTC debris is staggering, the fact that 23 NYPD members died on the day and 156 died of health related issues, directly related to the WTC toxicity events since is a much larger concern. How did all that toxicity be part of that building in the first place?

Last august to total tally was a mere 28 people difference, there is every indication that the total deaths since 9/11 will surpass the first responders casualties on the day it happened in early 2020 and they did not go direct, instantly and gently, they were hollowed to nothing by toxicity and left to their own devices. How can any nation stand by and let this happen?

And when Jon Stewart mentions the hundred, nay thousands of tweets by officials giving us ‘Never forget the heroes of 9/11‘ and we now see that they are shunned and ignored, we see the anger that every American should have, because who will you count on when this happens again? Do you think that under these conditions first responders have any actual responsibility when their government, their congress abandons them?

It is hard to not be hit by the directness of Jon Stewart, I is hard to ignore that what Jon Stewart brings, but for the most, the media was silent, but not anymore, only a few hours ago I learn that ‘House panel unanimously passes 9/11 victims fund bill after Jon Stewart bashing‘, this is great in some respect, but why was the international media silent for so many years, and why did it take so long for this bill to pass? I reckon that the success that Jon Stewart booked will be reason enough that the global media picks up on this story, but as I personally see it, that act is a decade late and for the world of me, I cannot fathom why the media stayed silent on the plight of first responders for to the degree it did for such a long time, can you?

The only remaining part is now, why was action absent for that long, is America truly broke? If so should catering towards large corporations not end, or better stated has facilitation to this degree and for this long not been one of the most shameful acts? Who is to blame for such levels of denial and facilitation? Just image the reality of what I say and what I just proved. In one month we got close to 70,000,000 articles filled with speculations (often absent of actual facts) on what happened to one reporter no one cares about (harsh but true), yet how much awareness and articles were created since 9/11 2001 on the plight and hardship of first responders? When we realise this, how big was the failure to American first responders from 9/11 2002 onwards?

 

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The shows on E3 (final part)

Time for part 3, this time it is Nintendo that makes the waves and they did make waves. Right off the bat, my first issue was a slight lack of game play, but that is not quite fair, there was plenty of gameplay, it was so mixed in with the other parts that it was at times impossible to tell what part was game play and what was not.

Smash bros got the highlight in several ways and the arrival of everyone’s favourite bird and bear gives us that there will be Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for a very long time to come. It has been nominated for 20 awards these last two years taking home 6 of them and Metacritic gave the game 93% (Ubisoft please take notice of this part). Lisa Dahlgren reported recently that the game had sold over 13.81 million copies worldwide in March 2019, making it the best-selling fighting game of all time and still Nintendo adds more.

Then the focus goes to Luigi Mansion 3 giving us a lot more in a new game, with local and online co-op play that you can do alone, or with a friend, (Gooigi), optionally known as per today as the Google Janitor.

Dark Crystal Tactics did not give us much, but it looks good and it is based on the famous movie by Jim Henson, so there is plenty already and that was just the start. Now I have to make a sidestep to something I wrote in May 2013 in the article ‘Previous Generation towards future Games‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/09/previous-generation-towards-future-games/) where I stated “They were able to deliver a game that was able to run on a 640Kb system (yes, I know that most do not even have a memory card that small). So, consider how the bulk could be transferred to something as ‘simple’ as the Nintendo DS. Add slightly better graphics and several of these titles will soon be more coveted then several high marketed products on the game store shelves today. After 20-25 years that is some achievement” and now we see that Nintendo is doing just that. Not merely a new Trials of Mana (2020), but in addition to that we got collection of Mana which were the previous three and they are now available as per today, some of them were never released outside of Japan, the digital version is available as per today, there is a limited version that is physical, so if you see it, buy it immediately! It goes further the remastered games kept on going Resident Evil, Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil four, five and six. And the avalanche just kept on going, Dragon Quest Builders 2, AI: The Somnium Files, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Daemon X Machina, Grid Autosport, Spyro Trilogy, Witcher 3 and many more.

We got very little regarding Pokémon sword and shield in the presentation, but there were playable versions at the Nintendo stand (bastards!). We can even do some predictive steps as Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is all about Tokyo 2020, but coming to us in November 2019. Seeing that gameplay made me think back to the days of Epyx and the summer games on CBM-64. These graphics were truly new and amazing, yet that playful competitiveness is something that had been missing and Nintendo must have noticed it too apparently. We also got some Animal Crossing on Switch, so almost all the big hitters of the previous console are now on Switch.

I had to re-watch the show more than once, there was so much information and even if not everything is for all (we all have different tastes) there is no denying that Nintendo is about to unleash a tidal wave of games over the coming 52 weeks alone, and that is besides all the games that Bethesda, Ubisoft and Square Enix announced for Switch.

My final rating for Nintendo is 92%, making it the best E3 presentation in 2019.

There is more on the E3, but mostly now Steam, PC gaming and a few small ones; I will let the gaming community reviewers like Eurogamer work on that. As I see it, for gamers this will be a decent year, if you have a Switch as well, it will truly be a fantastic one.

So in the end, the trophies for best E3 show go to:

Gold: Nintendo

Silver: Square Enix

Bronze: Ubisoft

Honourable mention: Microsoft for Cyberpunk 2077 (the Keanu Reeves surprise) and the three WW Superstars under the podium.

To all, have a great year of gaming and let’s see what E3 2020 brings, because that one will have a lot, a lot more than we saw in these four days, that is an absolute guarantee.

 

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The shows on E3 (part two)

It was time for Microsoft to give us the goods and they started really well. The Outer Worlds (by the makers of Fallout New Vegas), Minecraft Dungeons, Blair witch, and a few others giving the intro towards 60 games, 14 by Microsoft Studio (implying 14 exclusives) and 30 gamepass titles. Then we got to see a new side to Cyberpunk 2077 and it looked amazing. That part ended with Johnny Silverhand, who looked a lot like Keanu Reeves, at that point Keanu Reeves walks on the stage and the roof came down, the crowd went insane and rightfully so. Eurogamer took a moment to highlight that (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2qAUP1m_vE), see event two for that part, it is so worth it. We get to see that the flight Simulator is coming to Xbox One, which is pretty cool and a whole range of other news. At this point I rated the show at 97%, it was that good. There was plenty of stuff I did not really care for (like Gears 5), but there are plenty of fans of that franchise and it seems that they are upping the bar on that game so gears fans will go nuts soon enough. This is when they screw it up at the end on going towards Project Scarlett. As we hear ‘It is all about choices’, yet are there? The Verge also noticed something I picked up on, but I thought it was just me. the Verge gives us ‘Microsoft’s new Project Scarlett console is now a key part of xCloud‘ (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/10/18659448/microsoft-xcloud-game-streaming-e3-2019) and we get that, yet they also give us: “If Microsoft sticks with its Xbox One S hardware for xCloud, then it won’t be able to immediately compete with Stadia’s promise of 4K gaming at 60 fps. There are still far too many games that only run on an Xbox One S at 30 fps, and the console won’t even support most AAA games at native 4K.” I believe that Microsoft has the same premise to face as Google Stadia, but Google is playing the long game and they know what they are in for, something Microsoft did not grasp in time (or too often for that matter) and they are keeping quiet as a previous president loudly boasted ‘always online‘ and nearly sunk the entire Xbox One before it had been released. For me the giggle came when I got told ‘up to 120 fps‘, ‘8K capability‘, ‘the combination of SSD and Solid State Drive are really what is giving you a totally new experience‘ was the one that did it for me, was this not properly vetted, were these actors or engineers? The presentation just went down to 80% and that is where it stayed at, silly move Microsoft!

There was no reprise of two step in models (the low and high end as stated a year earlier and all these catchphrases are given by different people, so you can more likely than not forget about 8K and 120 fps, all hype giving comments but totally wasted on the people who want clarity beforehand. It is true that there is still a full year, but the Microsoft method of trying to create hype has backfired too often and now I hope it will do so again. Even as the console is not coming until holiday 2020, giving clear information on storage and several other parts would have been nice at this point. I personally believe that this will be a total push to XCloud and streaming your games, there will be some storage for older games and the fact that optical drive is there implies that there is still physical storage, as direct to cloud installation seems meaningless and it would be too cumbersome, but that is what it feels like, when I am clearly proven wrong I will give you all the goods. for now, the realisation that 5G becomes essential and the congestion issues that many will face between 2020 and 2022 will be a sight to watch, just you wait.

Bethesda

Bethesda was a solid 80% from beginning to end. there is more for the games with Fallout 76 (year two) added options, as well as a battle royale mode and additions to rage 2 we got the largest part, there will be two Wolfenstein games, but we knew that last year. The big parts were that the Wolfenstein games are coming to Switch too, which was nice as well as the fact that the mobile Game Blades was coming to Switch and just like Fallout shelter it was going to be free. The part that I like the most is that there is an option for micro transactions, yet I have never had to spend a dime on Fallout shelter to enjoy it, if Blades continues that, it will be an amazing ride. New is Ghostwire Tokyo which looks pretty good, but it was an intro movie only. Some new Commander Keen, Deathloop which is coming from Arkane, as well as a new streaming technology called Orion, optionally making bandwidth a lesser issue, and Doom Eternal was given a first light. Finally we got a little more Elder Scrolls Online, now with Elsweyr and that wrapped it up. I would have liked more actual gameplay which was missing too much as I personally see it and that is why Bethesda only gets 80% this time around, still a solid presentation.

Ubisoft

We start off with the Assassins Creed Symphony. A decent start for the mere reason that the music of Assassins Creed has been pretty amazing from the second game onward and never stopped being inspiring and extremely amazing. Watchdogs Legion kicks off with actual gameplay and a display of Permadeath in action, so there is that. Plenty of sarcasm and a super granny (retired assassin) that makes any bull look like a calf with snow peas instead of actual balls. Stealth looked decent and that was the Ubisoft intro to the presentation, which gives me the consideration that Ubisoft has gone serious on Watchdogs and it is seemingly taking Legion to a higher place than Watchdogs two was.

After that the presentation starts and Mythic Quest is first, and that presentation needs to be seen to be believed (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9mRj_tzNH4) starting at 25:10. After that more Rainbow Six, Adventure in Time, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, at which point Jon Bernthal walked in (the Walking dead, Punisher) and gives us his intro to the game. He did well; he is a charismatic presence as he gives the talk on the game and challenged the gamers to take him on. At this point we had not seen a lot of games, but the intro’s, the views (legion) and new reveals on AI with solo play we see that the focal points were stronger. Then we get elite squad, a mobile game, and more of Just Dance (10 years), with a funny video. Just Dance 2020 is coming to all systems, after which For Honor took over and gave us a new addition named Shadows of the Hitokiri, and another Rainbow six option coming, this one called quarantine and the Division 2, Kenly college, and in the fall episode two, the pentagon (a big building in Washington DC with 5 sides), with a second raid which have 8 player action. More games and at the end a new game called Gods and Monsters.

I give the presentation 86%; I would have added 4%-5% if there would have been more actual gameplay shown. Still the first part showing us Legion was pretty overwhelming and it took that wow through most of the presentation.

Square Enix

They start with the Final Fantasy VII remake, I remember playing that puppy on the PlayStation, I was never a big fan, yet I was overwhelmed on those days on the depth of the story and the intuitive side of the game play. The part here iis that we are casually introduced that this game will be on 2 Blu-ray discs gives rise to the fact on just how huge this game will be. Here we get to see active and tactical play and just how evolved this game is. This might just call over all the players who never got into the game originally (me included). After that Life is Strange two makes an appearance and a new Chrystal chronicles, a game I loved on the GameCube, now on mobile phones, so there is the option to relive a few lovely moments. Some Octopath Traveler, a dash of the last Remnant remake which is available now for Nintendo Switch, a look at Dragon Quest builders 2, a PS4 game that seems to combine RPG co-op with elements of Minecraft, making it an interesting and optionally an addictive one straight off the bat. As the game is seemingly in game footage, we get to enjoy more playtime than expected. Then we get Luminary on Switch aka Dragon Quest XI; after which Square Enix focusses on indie developers. There were more intros and videos coming, Shadow bringers (FFXIV) and an extended intro to Dying Light 2, now with the launch date of spring 2020. It is clear that the entire Final Fantasy universe will get a lot more games on consoles soon enough.

Ending the presentation with the announcement of FFVIII remastered coming, we see that this year will be nearly all about the Final Fantasy universe and the remastering of the IP they had, and on all platforms, and as such the Switch is gaining even more momentum. Then the crowd goes wild, Marvel Avengers makes its entry showing us a little of what is to come, the game will have additional element over years (at no additional cost), the ‘no loot boxes ever’ statement made people go wild. The game will release in May 2020. Like Ubisoft it would have been nice to get a little more actual gameplay, yet overall the presentation rocked and it gets a solid 91% making it the best presentation of the show at present, now only Nintendo remains and that is for tomorrow.

 

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Games and more

Yes, the E3 is upon us, it is now mere hours away and anyone who is into gaming will be hyped to see what comes. It might be about their franchise, it might be about a maker, or it will be a little more generic. No matter how we slice it the next 4 days will be about that is likely to come, what will be hyped and let’s not forget the giveaways, free DLC codes and optionally the speculated hardware.

What makes the headline?

It is important to see the headline in this, and the headline is Google Stadia. We see several sources giving us information, yet the direct impact is there and it is less positive than one might gather. Let’s look at two quotes, first there is Techradar giving us: “A world in which all you ever have to do to start gaming is open up your browser, select a game and start playing – no lengthy download required. This could soon become a reality if Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia, delivers on its promises – you’ll be able to go from opening a Chrome tab to playing a 4K, 60fps game, in five seconds, no installation required“, this seems awesome, yet I have been around long enough in this business to notice that when someone states ‘look left’ I also ‘look right’. So when I look to the right, I see PC Gamer giving us ‘Stadia 4K streaming will use up 1TB of data in 65 hours‘ and that is not a good thing. Now, we all accept that gaming takes power and resources, yet 4K gaming in a setting where in some countries that could set you back $1,000 per month is not something you want to consider. Here in Australia (no Google Stadia coming here for now), a person pays (when it is not unlimited) $10 per GB, so that adds up really fast in a non-unlimited contract stage, yet with unlimited there has been noise that above a certain usage the download speed gets throttled, so there could optionally be that risk to consider.

Before we start crying, there is the additional info given with “That works out to around 15.75GB per hour of 4K streaming, 9GB per hour of 1080p, or 4.5GB per hour at 720p“, when you have a 1TB contract, which is a lot, you get 65 hours, 110 hours, or 227 hours of gaming. So options 2 and three should be fine, it is a reality to face that 4K gaming is not immediately available for usage for all, and that is beside the setting whether you have a 4K TV or not.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo was a lot less positive (at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/06/is-stadia-already-screwed/), and when we see: “We have an updated guidance here,” he said. “You actually need 10 Mbps to stream at least 720p, but actually, it could be higher depending on specific details of the kind of network situation or your game. And then to comfortably stream 4K—the best experience—we recommend 35Mbps.” It takes out all the wireless 4G players, they can pretty much forget about it and even in the lowest mode there will be issues, even if you are with a major Australian player like Optus, it is the direct impact of bandwidth and it is likely to remain an issue in the foreseeable future, yet only until you get 5G, at that point speed is no longer an issue, total usage might remain, but that is depending on the providers and no one has any clear information at present which makes sense for now.

The writer gives us: “as long as it’s streaming over a broken internet, it’s fucked” at the very end, which is only a truth for today, and even then it is still only a partial truth. Google has been playing the long game for enough time to know that anyone getting 5G will seriously consider Google Stadia, especially Online players in MMO games. It gets to be even better when you consider the Verge who has the list (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/6/18655380/google-stadia-games-list-cloud-streaming-service-e3-2019), It includes the newest games as well as other games like DOOM Eternal, Rage 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Final Fantasy XV, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, NBA 2K, Borderlands 3, Mortal Kombat 11, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Trials Rising, and The Crew 2. I believe that to be a decent start of any service. There is a little too much uncertainty on pricing; one source gave me $10 per month for a pro license, which is not outlandish when you consider the game list. In addition Google Stadia has started its own game development studio, headed by Jade Raymond. A well-known producer who has earned her marks at both EA and Ubisoft.

In this regard, I believe it might be seen as a rocky start, but not a fatal one, in the long run Google is now set up to remain a force to be reckoned with. I also disagree with the view that Forbes has. Paul Tassi gives us trivialisation like ‘this offers something like Microsoft’s Game Pass the ability to eat Stadia’s lunch‘, which is true, yet Microsoft never fixed their problems, did they? Not in 6 years, and as he gives us: “While Google is indeed starting to develop its own games in-house, it could take years for those to arrive, and there’s absolutely zero guarantee of their quality when they do“, this is true too, yet the failing of quality by Ubisoft has been noted for years, what has he done about it to illustrate that? And when we saw the lack of Microsoft exclusives last year, the mention of ‘their lengthy roster of must-have exclusives‘ should be regarded as work in progress. That few to none part is easily rectified, and even the PS4 had loads of long delays for some of their games and exclusives, with the Ubisoft Watchdogs the delay was long enough to get your wife pregnant and still not being able to play the game until the child was born, so pot and kettle are both utensils of a similar colour in this setting.

Then we get the last overstated statement with: “but with 200 million consoles sold every year and untold number of gaming PCs“, I wonder how he got those numbers, over 6 years Sony sold 93 million consoles, Microsoft is on that same stage at 41 million at best and Nintendo in 2 years got to 34 million, so his math is in the toilet as well, unless he includes the handhelds which is a skewed finding, still there the 200 milllion a year will not be reached, not even close.

I believe that Google is an early starter in a stage where Microsoft hoped to get their Scarlett (whatever they named it in 2018) system, I am not sure it has a real chance, but I have been wrong before, it might work, Google on the other hand still has a lot to learn and optional plenty of promises to break, time will tell where they go, but there is space to succeed, especially when 5G arrives at homes it is then that Google Stadia truly gets an option to earn its laurels, and it is likely to do so.

There is a part that matters, Paul rightfully asks the question: “it’s hard to know how this actually poses a threat to traditional industry staples like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft“, it does not as such, but Google has the option to grow on the side, the fact that many consoles have online and multiplayer issues (mostly due to the software), we see the setting where this failing falls away (having to download massive patches again and again will not be an issue for the Google Stadia), MS Scarlett might have been the initial option, but Microsoft has issues and they have also been in denial of that to some degree (that is my personal view).

As I stated it will be a rocky start, yet those with a good internet stage and a decent income will have this option there as early adopters. For these people they have no interest in walking into a game shop trying to find a game, Google Stadia, like Netflix lets you browse and try and try and try, until you find something you like. It is optionally the stage where gamers are born and is Google Stadia the worst place to start gaming? For years people started their gaming habit on Facebook and was that such a hi-res 4K solution?

Paul Tassi asks good questions and they are real questions that need answering, but he also overlooks (as a hard-core gamer) on something he forgets. When a person wants to do 4K gaming, he needs a console or a PC, when you see the cost of a good 4K system; you have the risk of cardiac pressure issues. With Console, will you go Sony, or Microsoft? The fact that Google is now option 3, but not set in hardware is a choice, an option, one that was not there before. So what is needed? An internet connection and a TV, yes when you look deeper it is a 2 choice system, now with option 3. He is right, there are issues (for now) and I believe that with the arrival of 5G many issues will resolve itself immediately, yet at that point, will Google be standing as a survivor? I believe that with the right games it will and that too is the setting for the E3, how much more support for Stadia will we see. It seems that Ubisoft is on board and so is Bethesda, yet how many more players will commit to Google Stadia? That is where Google Stadia could win making unique or remastered good games. There are dozens who could become Stadia hits, 3 generations of games that are still regarded by some as excellent games, some are even legendary.

We will just have to see and wait how it all unfolds, there is plenty of space for a new player in this game and it also means that some of the other players will have to up the ante to remain a choice with consumers, which is equally a good idea.

Then there is another reason, for well over a year we have seen the stage: “a higher-end Xbox One X replacement as well as a less-expensive entry-level machine“, yet there is a host of issues especially with Microsoft, can the entry model update to high end? If that is not possible will we see any other impact on gaming? Will Microsoft keep their bully to ‘be online’ issues. Will Microsoft force advertisements on their consoles (like with the Xbox One)?

Microsoft has lost so much credibility (as I personally see it), the fact that the correlation between entry model and Google Stadia is so high that plenty might consider Google over Microsoft and I think that they know this. Another issue is how close Microsoft streaming service ProjectXCloud is next to Google Stadia, all issues that will optionally come head to head in the next 4 days. We can lose time reading on speculations or wait, I decide you need to wait and even better watch the live shows on YouTube.

The biggest issue will be on the last day, Nintendo have amazed nearly all with the Switch and all they have done in these two years, now that the larger games are due this year, it will be a sight to see, at the very end one or two little spoilers. It seems that Sony has gotten themselves in a little spot of hot water. Tom’s Hardware (at https://www.tomsguide.com/us/ps5-120hz-ps4-cross-save,news-30268.html) gives us: ‘120Hz Display Support‘, this is really good news if it was not for the fact that most 4K TV’s, even the ones from Sony do not support this speed yet, so yes the PS5 will be a sight to see, when you  get the TV that supports it. Then there is crossover play, so you can continue your ps4 games on ps5 forth and back (switching between consoles so you do not lose anything like friend lists and game saves, this is really good news, and a nice feature to have when you get the console in 2020. I have my mind set on that and do away my Xbox One completely, the one game I bought it for is on Sony as well now so there is no reason to keep it around any further, especially when it options me to remove Microsoft from all considerations, it is not like they have been considerate.

Even as it is about the games, I do hope to see some hardware as well.

See you all on the flip side, and don’t forget to seek the YouTube streams of the E3, missing out is such a drag.

 

 

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