Category Archives: Science

The knife to use

The stage is not a real one, the stage is a speculative one, one for the silver screen no less, optionally what some used to call the boob-tube, no matter where it goes, perhaps it goes nowhere, it does not matter, it served the purpose for those it was meant to be, and they now know that I knew, so we leave that up to the historians to consider. There is a man, he walks with his little boy, they are on route to some event, we only know that the event was on military grounds. They go through the gateway, we see all the scanners working, but they set off nothing. This was how it was supposed to be, in the mean time the crowds gather more and more. And as the to had walked for about half an hour, they were closer to the airfield. The man asked if the little  prince wanted an ice-cream, the first show is almost an hour away, the boy smiled and nodded. He bought a large cone and made sure that thy were sitting next to a couple of ladies. “Excuse me ladies, I really have to go to the bathroom, can you look after my little prince for a couple of minutes?”, they all nodded and he told his prince that he was off to the bathroom and that he would be back soon, and told him to just enjoy his ice-cream and the ladies would look after him whilst he was away. He walked quickly in the directions of the toilet signs, but the moment he turned a corner, he repositioned his gaze to the floor-plan in his mind, he quickly passed two buildings and entered a third one. He snuck up to the second floor and past a few doors, there as the door he needed to be. He got a knife out of his pocket, one made from rubber, one that would not set off any detectors. He ripped of a slither of the spine, it showed a piece of plastic, almost like the tape of a cassette, only ten times stronger and sharp as a razor. He carefully entered, there was no one, he quickly looked though the desk, and found what he was looking for. The paper were exchanged and then he heard the footsteps down the hall, exactly like anticipated. He had left the door ajar for that reason, he hid behind the desk and waited for the person to come inside. “Hello? Anyone here?”, the man seemingly looked in the office but did not go all the way. As he turned around the man stood up and moved swiftly, he sliced the neck artery and pushed him to the floor hard, the blood never reached his side and he quickly departed. Walked back and into the first bathroom he saw. He dropped the knife in the toilet and added the chemicals from a hip flask. The knife dissolved almost immediately, he flushed and left the toilet, he went back to his little prince, he hd been gone less than 15 minutes. He shrugged at the ladies “Sorry there was a queue”, he looked at his prince, his alibi. Wanna see the planes now? The boy nodded and they left both holding a new fresh ice cream. 

This is as far as the story goes, but consider that some weapons can never be retrieved, some investigations are closed because they were politically inconvenient and for the most the players deal in pieces of paper that they often do not completely understand, they are attracted to the number on that piece of paper (most often with a $ sign). So as we see the truths of political inconvenience, how long until we are told that sources are not as reliable as some stated they would be and in all this we see a continuing wave of people filling their pocket, so where does that leave the people who do not get a voice or a vote in the setting? As such how much faith can we have in the statement ‘China-Iran 25-year deal not aimed at any country: Iranian envoy’, or perhaps ‘Iran admits saboteur derailed nuclear program and escaped scot free’, so as such should we give value to ““There is no credible explanation or civilian justification for such an action on the side of Iran,” Stano said. The narrow scope of the new enrichment provides Iran with a way to quickly de-escalate if it chooses, experts say, but time is narrowing. An Iranian presidential election looms on the horizon as Tehran threatens to limit international inspections. While 60 per cent is higher than any level at which Iran has previously enriched uranium, it is still lower than weapons-grade levels of 90 per cent”? Yes what they are stating is true, yet any dirty bomb is happy to blow on the premise of 60% and that I still a very large danger, the situation is not merely the 60% marker, it becomes a time scale that if that goes correct, how far will 90% be from reality? Th political powers in the US and the EU are sitting on their hands, way too much. So when we are given “European Union spokesman Peter Stano called Iran’s decision “a very worrisome development” we see a quote absent of action. So when they give us “Talks will continue “for a few days and then I think the two most relevant delegations will go back home to receive more precise instructions and then, I don’t know when, we will resume,” the EU official told reporters in a phone briefing”, talks all talks and still no plan, even though Iran has broken pretty much every accord on a whim, that is why they are too dangerous to continue. And when Israel faces that dirty bomb, will we see strong words without action from the EU, they let the Jews be pushed into genocide once, the second time should be easier. The problem is that such a bomb will make most of the Mediterranean countries a danger to live in and for that matter, it will end options for Malta, Cyprus, Crete and a few other places, then the currents take that irradiated dust to Italy, Greece and Turkey to options are gone, Iran will blame some sod in a high place and the EU will smile because they got an Iranian accord, they merely had to be willing to sacrifice a few nations no one cared about. So is this how it is going to be?

A knife does not need to be metal, ceramics or even mistletoe to cut and slice, anything sharp will do and when the right people figure it out it will most likely be too late, the wrong people will relocate to a safe place holding on to riches they were never meant to have, so how many people were investigated, not merely them, but the bank accounts under their mother-in-law maiden name too. I wonder what that will result, if that person was working from the EU, the chances are that it will go nowhere. 

Those who wield a knife in the house of kitchen, they are all aware that the knife is a tool and/or a weapon, but the one element that we tend to forget is that a knife optionally extends the reach of a person, did you consider that? It might not seem much, it might not be much, but at times it is enough.

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When anger wins

We all have that moment, some call it ‘enough is enough’, others refer to ‘the straw that broke the camels back’, we have all kind of expressions, but in reality anger took the forefront of the debate and emotions run high, so whilst we get the view (by Al Jazeera) ‘Houthis say they attacked Aramco, Patriot targets in Saudi Arabia’, all whilst CNN, BBC, and a whole range of sources are quiet, in a stage where we get the news from merely Al Jazeera and Bloomberg. The other players were not that quiet when it concerned a journalist no one cares about, they were all screaming then. So this was my moment of anger, if news has to be filtered to this degree, it is time to set the  premise to a different scope. This first weapon system I designed (to sink the Iranian navy) is now public domain and in the hands of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the next step will be a new weapon that can meltdown the Iranian nuclear reactors. The hack that (allegedly) Mossad did was nice, but soon Iran will figure out how to set the nuclear reactors to closed systems with two separate systems with people at both ends and that ends the hack option, but I am still here, so a weapon (based on a novelty snow globe), should (in theory) create a nice and solemn Chernobyl reactor setting and it should work on most reactors, well at least the Russian reactors. I am nothing if not creative and I personally do not think anyone had considered that approach, so my science teacher in secondary school was right, I will not grow up to be any good, but I was preceded in this by most media and most politicians, so I am apparently in good company if I get to hell. 

At times anger gets to win, there is no other way, it brings to mind an old saying ‘Change is valuable, it lets the oppressed be tyrants’ and most of us have had enough of the current tyrants, even if we live in a golden cage. Yet I see no other option but the make matters worse, perhaps it will wake up the media and as they have to explain the essential need of share holders and stake holders, take notice of ‘their’ essential need. We wanted the news, we wanted all the news, but the share holders and stake holders did not agree, so I decided to pave the way for them to take the front seat in the limelight. It is not subtle, it is not a decent approach, but it was the only one left to me. 

You might oppose and that is fine, but consider all the actions that Iran was behind in the last two years and the amount of actions that somehow never reached many of the western media, now also take into consideration all the transgression Houthi forces did in Yemen, whilst we got one sided news on the actions of Saudi Arabia, how long do we tolerate a corrupt media circus? That is how I see it, filtered news is a form of corruption. I personally see no other way to interpret this.

It is my view and optionally my flaw as well, but as I said, as some point anger takes over and in that stage anything can happen, the media banked on that premise too often, but did they ever consider the fact what happens when that premise goes into another direction?

So, my weekend will be a weird one, but an essential one.

Have a great weekend.

 

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Real life in virtuality

The other night I was pondering the setting (as you might have read in the previous blog) on RPG’s and the setting of a dream within a dream. The idea took another turn as I was considering the interaction of reality with virtuality, and in this a game based on a 1 exabyte setting, an online multiplayer game based on virtuality. A game where players fight each other, they create alliances and they conquer. To get this done, we either create a world that is believable, or we turn it around and let the world create our reality. 

And as I was pondering this, I remember a game called ‘Virus’, in this shooter the game created the levels depending on your hard-drive, that was when the cogs clicked together. 

The new game an entire exabyte of challenges.

The world where we are thrown into is not unlike TRON, but in this setting we become citizens of a cloud environment, we are kidnapped and as we scape we end up getting left to our own devices. So as such we see a challenge, but consider a cloud environment, one that has a dozen Fortune 500 companies, thousands of mid sized companies and a lot more small companies. So will you take on a large player, or do you start small? A game with settings unlike we have ever seen and it is a game that develops further as more players sink into a company, a game without a timeline, but with time as either an ally or an enemy. A stage we have (as far as I know) never seen before and as the cloud evolves, so does the world and the enemies we face. So consider creating a cloud environment for that event and turning it into a game, we are always looking for a challenge, so why not become the infecting part and take over companies, corporations and grow in that way and this is the game with a difference, it is hard core only, one life! You can restart as often as you want, but one defeated you start at square one, until you have complete control of your first company, corporation or enterprise. So as we see and as we get into one cloud, it will be close to an all out war with anyone you face, that is unless you can strike an alliance, and alliances require all parties to see the benefit of one another. The nice part here is that this might (or might not) be the stage where we either love it or hate it. You see this will not appeal to all, there is no doubt it is, yet how can we create the challenge of such a game? We appeal to the player and we set the event that the player will embrace. An approach where the benefit of both sledgehammer and scalpel are seen, and the creation of an environment where both can thrive. And that is the challenge, creating the environment where everything piece of hardware is shown as something, where every router and its components are shown as challenges, I wonder if it can be done.

The question
Yes, I do ask myself the question if it is feasible, if it is even remotely possible. You see, we all have Monday morning quarterbacks in one end, but the other end is also taken. Usually by some manager that has a new plan every Monday morning, but it never pans out to be possible, achievable or even deeply contemplated. I see that, I always question my own thoughts, you see the person who does not question their own thoughts ends up drawing castles in the sky, and then expects a dot matrix printer to print a 1200 DPI photograph. We must question ourselves at all times, especially when we caress our creative side. 

So is my idea a castle in the sky? Perhaps it is, there is no doubt on that. Yet for every 8-10 failures, that one idea will push through and become a real winner. In 1997 I opted and idea to my bosses to use a marketing strategy that used websites as the central core for reaching out to others, my bosses laughed, stating that there was no business model for something that delusional, and stupid me, I listened, 4 years before Facebook, I had the idea for a digital marketing path and it was ignored, silly stupid me, as such I am putting ALL my ideas on the public domain, some will find ground, some will not, perhaps most will not, yet in this I am setting the stage for some to take the idea and push it into a direction that I am currently unable to pursue, for a few reasons, but I digress.

We can try to literally translate a cloud, or we can set the inventory of any given cloud and create a converted one that boggles the mind. Consider that a company has a server, users, computers, routers, Cloud Connectors, Data Center Interconnect Platforms, Mobile Internet Routers and a few other devices, and the larger the company becomes, the larger the hardware and that is before the cloud, in the cloud we see all kind of other issues and to map these out we need a different set of rules, a different set of limits to add to the game, to give some version of ‘reality’ to the game, a set of spawning rules (I hate spawning in games) or to set a better stage, if a cloud is represented in elements (see image) now consider that each company has larger or smaller elements of all, how diverse will be the challenge a gamer has, even as the gamer goes from place to place, he is still in one cloud and there is the larger cloud security to content with. Perhaps the game is a fools errant, yet I believe that if gaming is the edge of technology, the only way we get beyond what we have now, is to push the stage of a new game towards and beyond the horizon of what we now can see. Sony gave us the console to do it, so let’s push into a realm we have never seen before, it is the only way to keep gaming at the height of any system, if we do not do that, we are hopelessly lost.

So where is your virtual gaming life? In a new version of an existing game, or in a stage of gaming we haven’t seen yet? I have nothing against the next iteration in gaming, I played Tombraider, 1, 2 and 3 and never regretted that, yet even there, we saw evolution of gaming. That part was less and less visible in some other franchises and that is a sad part, because only those who push gaming beyond the limits will show a game worthy of conquering. We have all kind of views on this, some hate them, some love them and that is OK. I was never a GTA fan, but a lot are, some hate Watchdogs 2, I loved it (3 as well). Some love Breakpoint, me not that much. That is fine, I always state that those claiming to create a game that appeals to all, will create a game that pleases none, so if I am not part of any equation, that is fine by me. Others, will serve the game I like. 

This is how it should be and in all this creativity will push limits and creativity will open up other doors, such is life and we need to push as many doors as we can if we are to make life better all around us, the iterators never will, they are part of the margin spreadsheet, sailing a safe course to last longer, it will never ever go their way. Nintendo is perhaps one of the shiniest examples. It pushed the Wii, which was a decent success, then the WiiU, an abysmal failure, yet it resulted in the Nintendo Switch, an absolute home run in gaming and there we see that failings will optionally turn to wins, an iterator will never see that, only the innovator will get there. Nintendo at present is close to 75,000,000 switch consoles sold, that implies 2 Nintendo’s for every Xbox, so where is their ‘most powerful system in the world’ now? Iterators always have a good story, but they do not yield results, we will get another ‘We’re not driven by how many consoles we sell, it is the same all over, the losers will say the numbers are shallow, but when they are in pole position, it is everything. A brand gone to the dogs, largely because they ignored the voice of the gamer, I saw that almost a decade ago. And now we see a new world rising, one run by Sone ind Nintendo, it is fine by me, although I needed Microsoft to keep Sony on their toes, this idea will soon be a bust. So the best I can do is to set a stage of creativity and hope that some will Create more and more Sony exclusive games, those who do will be able to use my gaming IP free of charge, I do have commercial needs (income) for my 5G IP, such is life and I do like to enjoy a good meal.

So is my cloud game a bust? Perhaps it is, but for now I will try to envision more and more of that approach, consider a complete created cloud, one where you travel and set the premise of ruling the cloud, yet not alone, it is too big making alliances more and more important, a stage that several have attempted, some a lot more successful then others, I merely want to add to the success rate, or at least attempt to do so. It is the price of creativity and its push to innovation, only the successful continue that battle stronger, the failures continue too, but on a smaller scale, and that is fine, every person will fail at some point, it is what they do next that matters, because Steve Jobs had its successes, but he also had the NeXT computer. We recognise success, but we fail to recognise the failures and where they lead to, it is the flaw in many of us. And this is a larger stage, so how can we set that stage, when people keep on pushing Microsoft and their Blue solution. So as ZDnet reported “Microsoft acknowledged it was a service update targeting an internal validation test ring that caused a crash in Azure AD backend services. “A latent code defect in the Azure AD backend service Safe Deployment Process (SDP) system caused this to deploy directly into our production environment, by passing our normal validation process,” officials said”, a lot of bla bla and yada yada, yet the flaw is not merely within Microsoft, it is the same approach that is replicated again and again. So as we see mentions of Active Directory, we also see ‘a validation ring that doesn’t include customer data’, as well as ‘the SDP didn’t correctly target the validation ring due to a defect and all rings were targeted concurrently causing service availability to degrade’, so how long until there are more and more failures and the rollback merely adds to the problem? This is what I saw when I considered the NSA approach towards Trust Zero, the idea is good, but larger players will screw up making any rollback a much larger issues over the whole field. This is part of the idea to make the cloud a game, we could optionally see something we never noticed before, because thousands of gamers will kick the one part everyone ignored. 

Whether we see the issue in reality, or merely virtual. We need to look with different kind of glasses, I see that because 20 years ago I listened to the wrong people, those relying on bullet points, memo’s and ego. There is no space for that in gaming, or in innovative design, I wonder when Microsoft will figure that part out, they are now in 3rd position, what happens when they become deal last (behind Amazon), will they blame metrics or will it be a Covid set of variables? No matter what they will rely on, they are in a stage where they are losing more and more slices of business cake, they are losing slices in a time where they should have had the entire pie, as I personally see it stupidity, greed driven short sightedness and ego driven conviction made them lose field after field, and now they are in a ratchet state, they have no ability to get close to Amazon and at the same time there is every chance that Google could catch up with them. When that happens, Microsoft will be holding a losing hand in the both the cloud and the gaming field and as their surface solution falls short, we see them handing over slices of that pie to Apple, a three sided losing streak, it is a rare but slightly satisfying field. Why do I think that Microsoft will fail? ZDnet stated it best with “There is still no publicly available data on Azure sales. Azure is the part of Microsoft’s cloud business that most rhymes with AWS, but is buried in the commercial cloud”. In a lifetime of working in IT, I have learned that when commercial driven players rely on ‘no publicly available data’, it tends to be because someone is too close, they are too far behind, or the results create questions, and as I personally see it, Microsoft does all three, Google is too close, they are too far behind with Amazon and the Exchange server issues call in question issues with the Microsoft cloud as a whole. As we saw (from 2019 onwards) more and more hacks towards clouds, there is every notion that together with one source claiming that 90% of clouds are in danger, Microsoft has a lot is problems coming their way, I do not know if this is completely fair on Microsoft, as all three have issues, but the replicated approach Microsoft has (Active Directory anyone?), we see a larger issue, if hacks can be transposed from one system to the other, Microsoft hacks might be seen as lucrative (from the organised crime point of view), it makes the NSA approach more and more essential, yet I personally feel that any rollback has hidden flaws and flaws are a problem, especially in a cloud where one flaw transfers to a whole number of corporations. I will be the first to agree that my view is speculative, because it is, but to see that part you need to grasp back to 2003 where the people got “Erroneous VeriSign-Issued Digital Certificates Pose Spoofing Hazard”, this needs to happen only once on the cloud and the mess is almost complete and I believe that a rollback will make it happen. So how do you feel about ‘due to a defect and all rings were targeted concurrently’ now?

So perhaps my idea for a cloud game has a few additional benefits, apart from it being an interesting approach to a new game. 

Have a great day

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Belated brilliance

Some of us know what I am talking about, when we first see it, we think ‘nice’, nothing negative, just a plain nice. We liked the story, the girls loved Jude Law, the men were all over Jennifer Jason Leigh (virtually). The story was good, there was nothing bad about the whole thing, but now 20 years later some are realising just how brilliant David Cronenberg really was at that moment, our computers are catching on, our approach to virtual reality is catching on and suddenly what was once nice, is now regarded as the Koh-i-nor diamond. I am off course referring to eXistenZ the movie. We can take it apart from any angle, but consider the side we can now use on the PS5? What if we create an RPG that is a dream within a dream?

Not unlike the book the Talisman, consider a map, the normal game map set to a normal grid (whatever you call normal). Now we see a second map, that map has relative places in the same place (not the same place), but you are placed in wherever the temple, or resting place was. So in map one we have something resembling Japan, whilst Map 2 is more like New Zealand, as such map one is 50% larger, yet in relative places we see similar places and the resting places is an option to travel between the worlds, both worlds having duties, quests and achievements, but if you are a Shaman in one, you are an artisan in the other, a ying to every yang. Now that we have the power systems (like a PS5), we should use that to fuel gaming imagination, not merely a more buggy and textured killing game, but a sandbox game with several sandboxes, optionally they have very different kinds of sand in that box. Optionally there aren’t 2 worlds, but three or four, the opportunity offered will be staggering. 

Now consider that no game designer has ever considered creating such a leap, well, apart from serious Intel computers, the power was not there before, so why do we see more Assassin’s Creed 2022 LEAKS, with references to Africa, why more of the same whilst the last two games are still buggy? Why more existing IP, and what makes for the massive absence of new gaming IP? The creativity is out there, some of it is 20 years old and never considered for gaming, all whilst that movie was all about virtual gaming. What allows for an iterative mind to exist in a world that relies on true innovation? I mentioned that before, when you try to make a game that appeals to all, you end up with a product that pleases none, I would think that some game makers would have learned that small truth by now. I created (in my mind) in the last three months close to half a dozen games and if I can do it, why not these self proclaimed experts? 

I will let you decide, but if you get jumpy and overly exited when you see the next Assassins Creed, like a teenage boy seeing his first photo model topless shall we say. In a stage when we can be exploring life as a tailor, designing cloths for her naked body, I reckon you got exited for the wrong deal. By the way, according to some ladies that same formula works with Daniel Craig too, so he should be happy for now. 

For me, these ideas came to me as my mind was arranging books and movies, rearranging ideas in all novel ways to make connections that were not there before, so why aren’t others able to do just that?

And if you think gaming is a mess, consider that I completed the concept of a stealth systems to deploy a solution giving the Iranian navy a unique view of the Sea of Dammam (the view from the bottom), so what gives? Northrop Grumman lost idea’s and is relying on the Next Generation Interceptor program to stay alive a little longer? Well, if software iteration x.53 is anything to go by, it will not last long. Iteration was the game of financial stability, it is now the deterrent of innovative leaps ahead, it was the one part that the weapons industry had in common with the gaming world. Innovation was everything, and that is falling away more and more. 

So even as the Wall Street Journal gave us in 2018 “a payload adapter—that failed to operate properly in space”, it is interesting wording, apart from the silly notion that more than one thing went wrong, so as I gave two maps with different scaling, what else causes a person to be in a different place when he falls asleep? The person who never really knew where he (or she) was and that is important in gaming, because there we do not sleep, we merely pass time, so what happens when location and time are triggers? What if one life is set to time, but the other one is depending on a sun and a moon? In a real stage where we have two worlds where both work in a different premise, understanding that premise is essential if you want to efficiently win the game, that has been a cornerstone setting in RPG games for a long time, so why not change that stage, the technology is now powerful enough.

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SET trust = 0.

Yup, we all have a stage when there is no trust, there is no confidence and we wonder the why part. In this, I had questions, so I asked the agency, but they did’t know, then I asked the FBI, I asked Langley and I asked Commander Andrew Richardson, they all gave the same story, there is No Such Agency, so I Googled them and Yes! There they were, complete with phone number (+1 301-677-2300) and all, yup, we got them, so now we get to their story (at https://breakingdefense-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/breakingdefense.com/2021/04/nsa-about-to-release-unclassified-5g-security-guidance/amp/).

Via the BBC, we get ‘NSA About To Release Unclassified 5G Security Guidance’ and I started to read, the article makes a lot of sense. Which gave me “Noble’s speech highlighted the importance of zero-trust architecture in 5G networks”, and it got me thinking, the approach makes a lot of sense, just like SE-LINUX, the setting of ‘no-trust’ makes sense, especially in a world where Microsoft keeps on fumbling the ball, not merely their exchange servers, but the (what I personally see as greed driven) push towards Azure, it comes with all kinds of triggers and dangers, especially as they are ready to cater to as many people as possible, the no-trust rule is pretty much the only one that makes sense at present. I have written about the dangers more than enough. So when we are given “it’s reasonable to expect that future NSA 5G security recommendations will emphasise zero trust as a key component”, I believe that the approach has a lot of benefits, especially when such a setting can be added to anti viral and Google apps, it could increase safety to well over 34% overnight, and option never achieved before and we should all applaud such a benefit. There are a few thoughts on “NSA has characterised zero trust as “a security model, a set of system design principles, and a coordinated cybersecurity and system management strategy.” It’s a “data-center centric” approach to security, which assumes the worst — that an organisation is already breached or will be breached.” A choice that is logical and sets the cleaning directly at servers and ISP’s, and they are the backbone in some cases to close to 75% of all connections, so to set a barricade on those places makes sense, there is no debating, the choice of calling themselves No Such Agency wasn’t their best idea, but this is a game changer. 

I have been critical of the US government in all kinds of ways for years and on a few topics, yet I have to admit that this is an excellent approach to prevent things going from bad to worse, moreover, there is every chance that it will make things better for a lot of us overnight as such a system deploys, it will have a trickle down effect, making more and more systems secure. 

That one thing
Yup there is always one thing and we see the dangers when we consider Solarwinds and Microsoft (their mail server), the one part is when we rely on rollbacks and we see rollback after rollback creating a hole and optionally a backdoor, the most dangerous system is the one deemed to be safe, ask Microsoft, or their exchange server. When you believe all is safe, that is when the most damage can be made. And as the article looks at 4 parts, we see ‘Improved network resiliency and redundancy’, yes it makes sense, but rollback efforts are possibly out of that equation and when we get some people tinkering there, there is a chance that the solarwinds paradox returns, yet this time with a dangerous seal of approval by the No Such Agency, it will be the one part all criminal minds are hoping for, in this I personally hope they fail, but these buggers can be resilient, tenacious and creative, the triangle that even the Bermuda Triangle fears and that is saying something.

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Feel free to lose control

Yup, we all have that. You, me, pretty much everyone. Even the Catholic cleric in [censored], should you doubt that, ask any choir boy there. So when the BBC gave us ‘Facebook sued for ‘losing control’ of users’ data’, I merely shrugged and went ‘Meh’. You see, it is not about “the case against the technology giant, expected to last for at least three years, will argue a “loss of control” over users’ personal data warrants individual compensation”, which is hypocrite on a few levels, we see people handing over data and fact to complete strangers in Facebook and plenty of other social media paths. We laugh at “Coolum resident Essena O’Neill, 19, said she was paid up to $2,000 for the posts, which show her posing with products and often in revealing positions. With more than 600,000 followers on Instagram and 260,000 on YouTube, Ms O’Neill has deleted many of her original photos and re-captioned others with more honest descriptions” (ABC, 2015). We also get (two weeks ago) ““I accidentally posted a picture on Instagram of my wine glass and I was naked,” she said whilst nervously laughing. Then, she went on to explain that you could actually see her naked body in the reflection of the wine glass”, is anyone buying this? Social media has been used on a huge number of settings revealing ‘accidentally’ facts that normally do not get to see the light of day, and in all this we are given ““loss of control” over users’ personal data”? Go cry me a river! In the mean time, did anyone see Alexander Nix, Julian Wheatland, Rebekah Mercer, or Steve Bannon in the dock of a courtroom in any of the hit countries? In this the quote “harvesting of Facebook users’ personal information by third-party apps was at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal” applies, a third party app, was there any documented agreement, or documented acceptance of the harvesting of personal data? I do not see Microsoft in the dock in court over their exchange failure that had hit 250,000 businesses, so why not? And when we see “Cambridge Analytica’s app on Facebook had harvested the data of people who interacted with it – and that of friends who had not given consent” did anyone consider putting the board of directors of Cambridge Analytica in prison? I wonder how far we have strayed from the flock of convictions to go after the money and not the transgressors. I do get it, it is a rule or Torts, the mere “go where the money is” is not a wrong setting, but in this setting all the blame on Facebook seems wrong. They are not without fault, I get that, but to see a reference to Journalist Peter Jukes giving us “leading the action, claims his data was compromised”, so how was his data compromised? What evidence is there? In turn I have equal issues with “The Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into these issues, which included seizing and interrogating Cambridge Analytica’s servers, found no evidence that any UK or EU users’ data was transferred by [app developer] Dr [Aleksandr] Kogan to Cambridge Analytica”, I wonder how far backup investigation went, in turn the setting of ‘no evidence that any UK or EU users’ data was transferred’ is almost preposterous, the data was collected, as such it went somewhere, the fact that the Information Commissioner’s Office couldn’t find that part is mere icing on the cake of Cambridge Analytica. In addition, when we see “Mr Jukes told BBC News it was not about “where the data went” but rather “that Facebook didn’t care”. “They didn’t look after it,” he said.” Can this be proven? ‘Didn’t care’ is subjective and presumptive, we can agree that security measures failed, yet ‘They didn’t look after it’ is equally unproven, and these people are not going after the people of Cambridge Analytica as THEY transgressed on the data. As such as we look at Eton boy Alexander Nix, in the setting of “Nix agreed to a disqualifying undertaking prohibiting him from running U.K. limited companies for seven years after permitting companies to offer potentially unethical services, while denying any wrongdoing”, he got a mere slap on the hand, with a mandatory 7 year vacation all whilst we are told ‘denying any wrongdoing’, in addition there is “agreeing to delete previously obtained data”, a 2019 agreement, so where was the data all this time? Let’s be clear, Facebook has made blunders, huge ones, yet in light of the fact that Microsoft gets a mere fine and the issues is closed after that, why keep on going after Facebook? When we see ZDNet give us ‘Microsoft Exchange Server attacks: ‘They’re being hacked faster than we can count’, says security company’ two weeks ago (at https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-exchange-server-attacks-theyre-being-hacked-faster-than-we-can-count-says-security-company/), what gives, why are they not being sued for setting a dangerous precedence on corporate information? We go after Huawei without evidence, we ignore alleged criminals and their app transgressions with our data, but it is fine to go after Facebook whilst ignoring the massive flaw that is Microsoft? So what gives?

So yes, we can lose control all we like, but if we hamper the courts with empty cases that are set on emotion, all whilst people like Alexander Nix, Julian Wheatland, Rebekah Mercer, and Steve Bannon are allowed to return to positions and try again? And what about Cambridge Analytica? As it was soon thereafter acquired by? The only reason I see to acquire Cambridge Analytica is because of hardware, because of software and because of data, so who is looking into that, preferably all before we lose time slapping Facebook around? I see very little after 2018, but perhaps Peter Jukes is too busy to see were his alleged compromised data optionally went. 

So whilst we giggle on statements like “I accidentally posted a picture on Instagram of my wine glass and I was naked”, we see a setting where a large group of people are using social media for all kind of things, the limelight most of all and in this we need to separate the real issues from the fictive cash cows. In this, did you wonder if the people are realising that Wired gave us a mere hour ago “collaboration platforms like Discord and Slack have taken up intimate positions in our lives, helping maintain personal ties despite physical isolation. But their increasingly integral role has also made them a powerful avenue for delivering malware to unwitting victims—sometimes in unexpected ways” (at https://www.wired.com/story/malware-discord-slack-links/) and that is a mere tip of the iceberg, a massively large one. How many apps are a gateway to YOUR system? So when we take notice of “hackers have integrated Discord into their malware for remote control of their code running on infected machines, and even to steal data from victims”, as such in that case it is not the nude reflection shot that matters, it is the wineglass porn that some people decided not to post that is out there for everyone to see. Consider the words by Stephen Fry on 2014, when he said “The best way to prevent nude pictures online, is to never pose nude”, or something according to those lines and he is right, the best social media is the boring one, where you just say hi and connect to relatives. But the limelight is for some just too appealing and to give everyone the lowdown on all your needs and that is what players like Cambridge Analytica were banking on. As such, when we add that light, that spotlight, what data of Peter Jukes was transgressed on and in light of the Exchange server issues, the Cisco issues and the larger stage of interconnecting apps, can it even be proven that it was Facebook? 

I’ll buy popcorn for that court case, it should be fun.

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If not, then; else, return;

How cryptic is that? It was a sentence that I used in the 80’s, I sounded clever and cryptic at the same time, yet it was not for that, it was the stage where some had no idea how some things worked in IT programming (Clipper), the use of Boolean variables wasn’t alien to them, but it was close to the unknown and just now, the idea hit that in all these stages of ‘showing’ things, I wonder how many have shown the stage of choices, Boolean choices?

A stage overlooked for such a long time and why was it overlooked? The people who need it are in a stage of wondering things out, now for the most it does not matter, but what happens when the dataset you are looking at is a few million cases?

As such as you look at this small triangle, can you answer the 4 results? And this is a setting with merely 3 variables, and merely 2 Booleans used. When that list grows in variables and Booleans, it becomes a larger scene of people wondering if they missed anything, wouldn’t it be nice to see an answer there? In an age of dashboard people whose Business intelligence setting is absent of a degree in advanced mathematics, statistics is the best we can hope for, at least in this setting someone can give them a better tool? What do you think?

When we look at the stage of larger datasets, do you think such a tool is less needed or more needed? And when IT makes these people the 14th export, will they agree with the assessment?

I will leave it up to you, gee, another day another set of ideas added, in an age where marketing hands iteration over and calls it innovation. I wonder how many software solutions have this option at present.

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The stage is the play

Famous words given to us by William Shakespeare, but are they actually true? I am not debating the insight or wisdom in this, but in a stage with Alien life, how far does it apply?

I have been working on Keno Diastima again and a few things were bothering me, well bothering is not really the right word, or the right sentiment. The stage became debatable, or perhaps shallow was the better definition. I needed a larger stage and the stage became the play. SO I decided to look back at some of the earliest original writings. There was Sun Tsu (the art of war) at 490 BC and the two works by Julius Caesar at 60BC, they are important because there was pretty much nothing of that calibre before that in their fields and their dome of influence. For me I focussed on Bellum Gallicum and on Bellum Civile. I wanted to avoid an intersection of ‘oriental thinking’. They are original as they were all ahead of their time and they set a stage that is still used today, the works were that good. It was an important stage because in any alien encounter we need to know where THEY are at and it is not some kind of wisdom puzzle, when we get visitors from the Sombrero galaxy it is not for mere tea and crumpets, there is a larger stage and that is what I needed to focus on.

I will not divulge too much, or set the stage too open, because it might still be a work of art to some stage (book, movie, TV series, etc), as such I cannot reveal my entire hand, but consider the use of Caesar, the fact that he wrote the two books in an age where writings were utterly rare and the idea that he was heading the battle in Thessalia, in a stage where the cavalry of Pompeii vastly outnumbered the one Julius Caesar had, all whilst the infantries were close to equally matched, still Pompeii missed out and lost that decisive battle, numbers matter, especially in a stage where two generals are grounded experienced veterans, in a stage when communication between parties was set in hours, not minutes or seconds. That part matters too, even as we look at our not so smart phones and forget that part altogether. 

My mind remained in brooding mode and I was starting to think things through, I was aware of the reasoning of the other side (trust me, you do not want to go there), but how and why are we reacting? Is it wishful thinking that they like tea and crumpets? It is not completely unrelated though, especially when you consider the building that once was in a place now known as Islam Abad (Iran) I think, if the right satellite looks in a proper way, they would see something that is odd, the evidence should still be there, even now 5500 years later, the evidence is still there, and I am covering that in something else, but that I keep under wraps for now, when I realised what I had found, when my mind perceived a stage that is almost undeniable I started to work on one part and in the back of my mind, my brain started to work on Keno Diastima, even the Greek part has meaning in ways that boggles the mind (well, at least to some degree). 

So as we consider the stage, the stage we are shown, what happens when it all goes topsy turvy? What happens when we become (have been for a long time) our own worst enemy, how will others react? How can we see the failings of us when we ignore what was in front of us the entire time? That is the stage I am digging through, because in all that mud a few nuggets can be found and I want to find them, they need not be there, but the mind can create them and as they are close enough to some presumptive truth, I am on the right track to create actual nuggets, not chicken, or pyrite, but golden nuggets, hoping that I can turn them to platinum bars (complete with a coca cola on the rocks), I an not driving a vehicle, as such I can have my coke on the rocks, so there!

Yet in the back of the mind, the two stations are more and more complete and soon there is a line between us and the Sombrero galaxy. Bioware, eat your heart out! What was once written can be written again in different ways, so as we see “The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look”, as well as “Experience is the teacher of all things”, two truths that have been out there for well over 2000 years and now I am trying to set an entirely new stage to part of that, or basically, I am incorporating the stage for 16 people on a space station, and in all that, what happens when we become our own worst enemy? 

The University of Melbourne published Farrago, there we see “The space that fills the gap between us and those stars, is perceived by us to be empty. From a conceptual standpoint, this is a perfectly valid definition, yet from a scientific perspective we can do better”, they are correct in more ways then one, they cannot see beyond a certain spectral point and the equipment that we design has similar limitations, we see in frequencies, yet an event 5500 years ago showed us at one point that we are limited by ourselves, and we forgot what we experienced, so at that point, what are we not seeing? We merely observe the parts we can see or measure, yet what happens when we mis out because we are focussing on a ruler, all whilst we need to use a version of a spatial Inclinometer, one that also measures spatial radiation, we never did that, did we, because we were never there, but evidence of that still exists, yet as we reach the limit of our expanded imagination, we forgot to push those boundaries and that in part made us our own worst enemy, a stage where the play is us, the stage was not the play, it was to show us the boundaries of the play of us. 

And as we go forwards, there will be people stating the list of original writers, but that was never the issue, Thessalia was. It was the place where the play showed a shift of borders, you can read it in Bello Civili, the set stage we see is “The book was for a time lost, but was rediscovered in Italian city archives in the Middle Ages”, it was found, but parts were missing, the papal powers feared the missing passages, did no one ever wonder why? I cannot tell how much is missing, but a part was omitted and another side of Thessalia optionally shows that. It is speculation, but when we consider a commander like Pompeii, a person as veteran as Julius Gaius Caesar was, did you actually believe he had no records? A stage with two sides, two sides of coins, not the same coin, but the same currency and that is where we see the play, the stage of Keno Diastima, not one coin, not more coins, but two distinct currencies, and the second currency we forgot about, but it was here all along. You merely have to open all eyes, we need to focus not with one mind, but with at least two. 

The stage is not the play, it defines the edges of the play, it makes all the difference.

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Is it real?

Yes, that is the question we all ask at times, in my case it is something my mind is working out, or at least trying to work out. The idea that my mind is forming is “Is it the image of a vision, or is it a vision of an image”, one is highly useful, the other a little less so. The mind is using all kinds of ideas to collaborate in this, as such, I wonder what is. The first is a jigsaw, consider a jigsaw, even as the image is different, the pieces are often less so different, one could argue that hundreds of jigsaws have interchangeable pieces, we merely do not consider them as the image is different and for the most, how many jigsaws have you ever owned? With this in the back of the mind what happens when we have data snippets, a data template, with several connectors, the specific id of the data and then we have the connector which indicates where the data comes from, both with date and time stamps. But like any jigsaw, what if we have hundreds of jigsaws and the pieces are interchangeable? What is the data system is a loom that holds all the data, but the loom reflects on the image of the tapestry, what happens, when we see all the looms, all the tapestries and we identify the fibres as the individual users? What happens when we create new tapestries that are founded on the users? We think it is meaning less and useless, but is it? What if data centres have the ability to make new frameworks, to stage a setting that identifies the user and their actions? We talk about doing this, we claim to make such efforts, but are we? You see, as IBM completed its first Quantum computer, and it has now a grasp on shallow circuits, the stage comes closer to having Ann actual AI in play, not the one that IT marketing claims to have, and salespeople states is in play, but an actual AI that can look into the matter, as this comes into play we will need a new foundation of data and a new setting to store and retrieve data, everything that is now is done for the convenience of revenue, a hierarchic system decades old, even if the carriers of such systems are in denial, the thinking requires us to thwart their silliness and think of the data of tomorrow, because the data of today will not suffice, no matter how blue Microsoft Italy claims it is, it just won’t do, we need tomorrows thinking cap on and we need to start considering that an actual new data system requires us to go back to square one and throw out all we have, it is the only way.

In this, we need to see data as blood cells, billions individual snippets of data, with a shell, connectors and a core. All that data in veins (computers) and it needs to be able to move from place to place. To be used by the body where the specific need is, an if bioteq goes to places we have not considered, data will move too and for now the systems are not ready, they are nowhere near ready and as such my mind was spinning in silence as it is considering a new data setup. A stage we will all need to address in the next 3-5 years, and if the energy stage evolves we need to set a different path on a few levels and there we will need a new data setup as well, it is merely part of a larger system and data is at the centre of that, as such if we want smaller systems, some might listen to Microsoft and their blue (Azure) system, but a smurf like that will only serve what Microsoft wants it to smurf, we need to look beyond that, beyond what makers consider of use, and consider what the user actually needs.

Consider an app, a really useful app when you are in real estate, there is Trulia, it is great for all the right reasons, but it made connections, as it has. So what happens when the user of this app wants another view around the apartment or house that is not defined by Yelp? What happens when we want another voice? For now we need to take a collection of steps hoping that it will show results, but in the new setting with the new snippets, there is a larger option to see a loom of connections in that location, around that place we investigate and more important, there is a lot more that Trulia envisioned, why? Because it was not their mission statement to look at sports bars, grocery stores and so on, they rely on the Yelp link and some want a local link, some want the local link that the local newspapers give. That level of freedom requires a new thinking of data, it requires a completely new form of data model and in 5G and later in 6G it will be everything, because in 4G it was ‘Wherever I am’, in 5G it will become ‘Whenever I want it, and the user always wants it now. In that place some blue data system by laundry detergent Soft with Micro just does not cut it. It needs actual nextgen data and such a system is not here yet. So if I speculate on 6G (pure speculation mind you), it will become ‘However I need it’ and when you consider that, the data systems of today and those claiming it has the data system of tomorrow, they are nowhere near ready, and that is fine. It is not their fault (optionally we can blame their board of directors), but we are looking at a new edge of technology and that is not always a clear stage, as such my mind was mulling a few things over and this is the initial setting my mind is looking at. 

So, as such we need to think what we actually need in 5 years, because if the apps we create are our future, the need to ponder what data we embrace matters whether we have any future at all.

Well, have a great easter and plenty of chocolate eggs.

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Right & wrong, 2 multi-dimensional sides

There was an article at the BBC a few hours ago and I had to sit down and ponder for a moment. I can revisit my view again and again, but the BBC gave a very specific side and it stopped me. As I see it loot boxes are not gambling, but the article ‘Loot boxes linked to problem gambling in new research’ gave an additional side, and it matters.

The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56614281) gives a lot of the same, including the view of “About 5% of gamers generate half the entire revenue from the boxes”, which is an optional valid view, my emphasis is on ‘optional’. You see, even as we are given “Loot boxes are a video game feature involving a sealed mystery “box” – sometimes earned through playing the game and sometimes paid for with real money – which can be opened for a random collection of in-game items such as weapons or cosmetic costumes”, I noticed ‘sometimes earned through playing the game’ before, I got most of all gear in NHL19 without ever paying a cent! This is important, and there is a stage where we need to recognise the games that offer loot boxes as a reward from within the game. It is “The upcoming Gambling Act review is set to look at the question, with the UK’s House of Lords already having weighed in to say that loot boxes should be firmly regulated as “games of chance”” that made me pause, loot boxes are not gambling, but when it is stated that they are ‘games of chance’ I do not disagree. We can argue in all manner that EA games took loot boxes in FIFA and went overboard, I will not disagree on that. Consider that FIFA21 “In FUT, there are more than 16,000 Day 1 cards, corresponding to as many players”, as such, if there are 1,000 it would be a low estimate, 2,500 would be more likely, but I have no official numbers. This implies that to have them all you would have to buy a minimum of 2,500 packs, if each pack has only one rare, that is just insane. 

It is not gambling! You see, to have that premise, that needs to be a setting that buying one pack gets you one cards stating ‘Thank You’, that is not the case, you always get a set configuration of common, uncommon and 1 rare card. But the House of Lords goes with ‘games of chance’, which is the seemingly the case and even more, it has an exploitative side, I never denied that, and there is a difference, I opted in the past for an alternative. It is what is called ‘A factory set’ a set with every card, the set is not tradable and has no value as you cannot trade them, but you would have all the cards and to offer that set in the last quarter of the game might be an option. 

My issue with the article was “The link between gaming loot boxes and problem gambling has been “robustly verified”, according to a new report”, I have issues with that straight of the bat and I would want to see that full report and its data before giving it any validity. You see, in the last 6-12 months I have noticed that gambling and in game advertising that is pro gambling has been popping up all over iOS and Android, Google’s own YouTube now has an increasing amount of gambling advertisements, so the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

This included advertisements on how to win at gambling, a stage that in my mind has nowhere to go and shouldn’t be allowed in any advertisement setting of Google. I wonder if that factor was considered in that report, was it even investigated? Let’s take a look!

A stage that is on a sliding slope, as we see more and more pagers on the internet all set to the stage where you can win real money playing games, so the game is already rigged and it has nothing to do (as far as I can see it) with loot boxes. And the report by the GambleAware charity is off to the wrong start with “Loot boxes are purchasable video game content with randomised rewards. Due to structural and psychological similarities with gambling, they have come under increasing media, academic and legal scrutiny. The UK government is currently reviewing evidence on loot boxes, which will be considered in the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005”, you see plenty of games allows you to win these boxes by playing, Mass Effect 3, NHL 19 and several others, some give several packs a day, you only have to enter the game to get them. The report (at https://www.begambleaware.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/Gaming_and_Gambling_Report_Final.pdf) has more. “relationships between loot box engagement and problem gambling have been robustly verified in around a dozen studies”, I have an issue with that statement, but lets continue for now. When we see “Participants also purchased loot boxes because of a ‘fear of missing out’” I wonder how this was proven, you see, when we see on page 6, ‘A game will offer loot boxes for free. Encouraging later real-money purchases’ it is an assumption, a speculation. I never spend money on NHL19 and I have all the jerseys, all the goalie masks and all the arena’s. In addition, Mass Effect never pushed for spending money, you can get it all by merely playing. That is a setting of two games straight of the bat. Yes, it was possible to spend money, but it was never needed. The research then give us Overwatch which is a free to play and loot boxes are their only revenue, but what is there?

The report gives Fortnite a pass on a few settings, yet the Verge gives us ‘Epic Games will settle Fortnite loot box lawsuits in V-Bucks’ with the additional “The class action settlement also provides an additional $26 million in benefits” (at https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/22/22295676/epic-games-fortnite-loot-box-lawsuit-settlement-rocket-league-v-bucks), as such the report already has a few sides I find debatable and optional rejectable. When we are treated to “the game’s cooperative survival mode, “Save the World,” did — at least until 2019 when Epic changed its loot box system to allow players to see the item inside prior to purchase”, so why did that report not contain the part that gives us ‘when Epic changed its loot box system’, and all whilst another source gives us regarding Ubisoft “The Division 2 has both microtransactions and loot boxes and we said that Ubisoft didn’t go overboard with recurring revenue”, this was given to us in 2019, so why is a 2 billion dollar company excluded from this research? Is this EA games bashing?

There is more, and as gambling influences on other fields that the same group finds itself, the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

The report has some conclusions that make sense, they do have some grasp of the issue and as I personally see it, there needs to be a larger stage here, one that is beyond ‘self-regulating’, in this EA Games made several massive blunders on the stage and that Needs to be acknowledged too. I am all for the full disclosure of odds as well as a FULL LIST (including rarity) of all cards that can be obtained. I believe that a factory set, one that cannot be used for trading and optionally not for playing either, it might lower the ‘Pokemon’ impact (gotta catch them all) of those spending cards on it, some do want to have them all, merely for the having. Anyone who ever collected Football, Hockey or Basketball cards will get that part. A stage that will evolve over time and one that could reset the barriers we have now.

So yes, I feel I was right, loot boxes are not gambling, but they are a game of chance, even as every pack has the same dimensions, they tend to have 1 rare card and in case of EA’s FIFA that will not do, not in a game with 16,000 playable characters. There are several solutions, but it is up to EA to steer their ship to one of the solutions that gamers can live with, I for one think that the EA NHL solution is one that should limit damage, yet with 16,000 characters, the packs should be 500% larger, including at least 5 rare cards, but that is merely my initial view.

I have a few issues with the report, but it does give us a view that is not entirely wrong and it also gives us a few sides that matter. As for the BBC article, loot boxes might to some degree correlate to problem gambling, but that stage is a lot bigger than the report gives. And it starts in both the Android and the Apple store with their collection of free games that offer in-app purchases, the fact that these makers set the game up to mandatory show one advertisement EVERY level is a larger stage, and the oversight of that makes it an issue, if gambling is a factor, these influences should be looked at as well, as well as the deceptive conduct that we see in the advertisements with increasing amounts. 

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