Category Archives: Science

Refraining

It happens, sometimes we need to stop ourselves from acting, from jumping, from engaging. It is not that the action is wrong, it is because it is wrong at that stage. I do not know what pushed the act, yet the stage is larger and as I almost decided to trot on the novel I am still working on, optionally by giving away in another setting what comes afterwards, I was able to stop myself from doing what should not yet be done. 

It might also be the impact that Dracula (the Claes Bang edition) has on me. It was probably the first time that marketing drove me to watch anything. The ad (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIEr1Pcu03Y) and it is not merely the billboard (which was all kinds of perfect), it was not merely the cast Claes Bang and Dolly Wells are beyond believe, it is the way the story is set, it is a new and novel gander into the path of the undead, all whilst exposing us to all kinds of fears and in this the vampire fear is actually not the worst one. It pushes the envelope and it pushes us all to  surpass ourselves. Yet whilst doing that, we need to refrain from overacting on our impulses. It is a sort of balance between 2 innovations on one side and 4 iterations on the other. We want to be the 2 innovation side, but over reacting, reacting without some level of self discipline and we become mere iterations of the same. 

In this I created an approach to one game in my article ‘Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/10/electronic-entertainment-expo-2019/), yet there I merely considered the approach to one game. 

Yet in the larger stage we create a very new kind of sandbox. Where every coloured ball is a new addition, a new DLC if you must that is added to the game, making the game a lot larger over time, so what I started with the teaching of Islamic religion using Medina as a centre stage, could evolve into another direction, a sandbox game that allows your person to evolve, to increase into a larger game where religion now becomes a segment, as we added new forms of gameplay, we didn’t alter religion, we merely enlarged the stage, a side of exploring, a side of economy, allowing you to get a house (in the game) and interact with others, whilst exploring the knowledge that is given to you, teaching you history and economy in new ways, altering what you know by letting you see what others saw. But in this, refraining becomes a much more essential stone. It is not like some Americans do, adding and adding. Sometimes more is not more, it is merely clutter and the overall experience is lessened. But how to go about it?

This is where QA becomes the essential side of developing any game, in the streaming world we will be able to create more, but it becomes a lot more important to create better and that is an essential lesson a maker like Ubisoft never figured out, not over at least a decade and I have no time to hold their hands, but the right people can take lesson from what I say, they can create and optionally create the right way. And my bonus is that Microsoft is equally not on the learning side, they are all about their azure and it will cost them, the sales of their latest Xbox One series X-file is so far proving me right. Between all the ‘hidden’ numbers, we see that the PS5 has well over 250% more consoles sold than its Microsoft counterpart and that difference is merely increasing. Yes, their golden boy talks a good talk but they are faltering in the field, all about cloud gaming now, optionally deserting the gamers on what they call the most powerful console in the world. There is an acceptable understanding that games need to evolve and that exclusive games take the cake (one Microsoft cake versus 15 Sony cakes), and we see that streaming will be the long term battle, but there they are falling hopelessly behind Amazon all whilst Google remains a player in that field and Netflix is yet to show it serious intent. And as we look at the options out there, they are also optionally restricting their stage and setting. All whilst I (mere little old poor me) came up with three games, one with the optional stage for up to 1,000,000,000 interested players and one stage where I redesigned three AAA+ games in new editions. And why is Microsoft failing? They have seemingly no alternative options to show in any direction. One UK newspaper gave us three hours ago “GAMES with Gold subscribers are getting closer to the official reveal of the free Xbox games for August 2021, but will Microsoft add a new Xbox Series X optimised game to the lineup?”, with all the careful leaks we see, this list is apparently more secure than the Windows source code, odd, is it not?

And these races are important too, you see, these races show the essential gaming experience that streamers can have, the consoles have too many ‘more of the same’ titles, all of them, even as we accept that there are markets and exclusives, but they are not the full range, mere icing on the cake, in a world where the three big cakes are the taste makers, two are too much alike and that is the market where the streamers and cloud games can rule. This why the Google decision on Stadia made no sense and I reckon that Amazon is loving that approach, it gives them a massive advantage. To be honest, I am a little shocked, 2 years ago I had no view on Amazon Luna, they were mostly one of the lot, a position 3 or less, now there is a decent indication that the Amazon Luna could evolve into the second best system in less than 4 years, that is impressive, they have a chance to overtake Nintendo by 2023, Sony will take longer, but if they push innovatively, they could be the ruling system by 2025 a setting I would never have anticipated in January 2020. That is the second marvel of gaming, true gamers are always on the edge of technology, a setting a few makers forgot about. Amazon apparently did not, is it a given, no it is not, but the fact that this stage is entertained implies that Amazon got a lot further than anyone anticipated. 

Is this till about refraining? To some extent it is, Amazon is not alone, even as the story of Microsoft can be dumped overboard, their story remains the same in the end, Google could change if they alter their current course and Netflix remains an unknown for now. So, Amazon Luna has the stage, it is what they do over the next 6 months that will decide how large their cake might be. Google sees (in their search) that refraining is merely another word for abstinence, a big mistake, refraining is halting action, stopping to act, it is also a setting to pause and reconsider, a tactical move to oversee what can be done, what is the best path to go and an optional form of balance between the fastest road and the shortest road, because these two are not always the same. I will need to keep my eyes on Amazon Luna for now, I wonder how close they end up getting to what Sony has achieved. 

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Out of my depth

It happens, we all have ideas, or thoughts, but we are out of our depth. In my case, we will soon see just how out of my depth I can get. Yet I del that it matters. You see, I was watching an old episode of NCIS (season 6) and for some reason my mind started clicking things together. I don’t think it is even connected, but for some reason my mind wandered towards the old drone problem, as well as the attack drones flying into Saudi Arabia. It gave me an idea when I remembered an old physics class. And then my mind went towards an old toy named Meccano. 

Meccano

The combination made me consider an idea to down attack drones. There are are a few parts.

The first is that the drone needs to be shaped like the image, the drone needs to be more circular in body and it needs the space from wing to point to be extended by 40cm – 60cm. That is merely the first part. Now the Meccano part comes into play (optionally something more advanced), the idea is that two circles extent in flight. Within the circles we have copper parts (see image), at the edge we have 2-4 wires and one of the circles has 4 spokes that are shaped like propeller blades, so the drone in flight will power the blades and make one of the circles rotate. Now the elements between the two circles are copper parts, perhaps you remember the old physics device (the electrostatic generator), used to create lightning. This is exactly the same principle. Some of you (some with aero engineering degrees, a degree I do not have) will state that you can put the electrical elements within the drone, but in this situation you need no large battery, saving weight, more important you can fly close by the other drone and do not need a targeting system, all options that require weight and additional electronics. If the wire hits the other drone, the shock should end its systems and optionally its electronics as well. That was the thought that came to me, and for some reason, it feels important to push anti drone activity forward. 

Yes, I am out of my depth, but the idea was there for a reason, I have no idea why, merely that the creative part in me needed to stretch its boundaries and my keyboard helped out. I now merely miss my old Adobe suite. I love my Apple pages and keynote, but it misses out on a few design elements. So as my mind is going over what else could be done, I cannot see any, but then, I do not have a degree in aerodynamical engineering, I do have one in ships engineering, got it in 1979, never used it though, such is life.

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The New business

The BBC informs us(via another route) that there is a new business in town, this business works on the old premise of the bully and the backstabbing method called Ransomware. Now, this method was not unknown, we have seen it before, yet the article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-57946117) called ‘Ransomware key to unlock customer data from REvil attack’ gives us “US IT firm Kaseya – which was the first to be targeted earlier this month – said it got the key from a “trusted third party”.” Yes, this might sound true, but I still have an issue here. And the quote “Kaseya’s decryptor key will allow customers to retrieve missing files, without paying the ransom. The company’s spokeswoman Dana Liedholm declined to answer whether Kaseya had paid for access to the key”, I get it, Kaseya accepts that there is a cost to doing business, without the key they are helpless, but in this instance they have also given voice to the new business. This is not on Kaseya, ransomware is a much larger stage and the law is not ready to deal with it. So when we get “But members of the group disappeared from the internet in the days following the incident, leaving companies with no way of retrieving the data until now”, I think that it was not merely fear. I think that they found a weakness in their armour and they needed to fix it, perhaps the FBI and NSA got too close? It is speculation, but I reckon that any hacker inviting the wrath of the NSA has something to fear, only the stupid do not fear that hunting machine. So when we get to the jewel of the article, a setting that describes a few elements by Joe Tidy (Cyber reporter), we see “Firstly, giving away the key now is far too late for most of the victims of this massive ransomware attack. Secondly, the mystery gifter was most probably linked to – or working with – the criminals directly.” I feel that he is on the right track, I get that Kaseya prefers the term ‘trusted source’, but that does not put Kaseya in the clear, moreover, as I reported the massive bungles that were made and the lack of oversight within Kaseya gives them a reason to cooperate with organised crime, but not a right, a right to do that is a form of treason towards ALL their customers and as Joe said it “giving away the key now is far too late for most of the victims of this massive ransomware attack”, if you doubt that call Coop (at +46107400000) and ask them the damage of 500 supermarkets shutting down, as well as a loss of data. And then Joe gives us the gem at the heart of this “I’m told by a hacker who claims to be a part of the inner circle that it was “a trusted partner” who gave the key away on behalf of the group’s leader, who calls himself Unknown. My contact says it’s all part of “a new beginning”.” I understand that this is hard to swallow and optionally it is a form of bragging, but I am not convinced that this is the case, as Joe gives us “it could well be the start of something else”, yes that has the ring that sounds true. It is the start of a new business venture and Kaseya is merely the pilot. In this we have two sets of minds, the first is that the shortsighted greed drive of Kaseya (as I discussed it in ‘Dream number three’, at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/06/dream-number-three/) needs to have consequences. The dominant sales types with their ‘we’ll fix it down the road’ can no longer be allowed in this industry. The second part is that we have no choice but to return to a stage of targeted killing, and I do not care whether one of the hackers is a poor little 16 year old person hiding behind  ‘minor protection laws’, they guilty they get the $0.17 solution (price of a 9 mm bullet). We have no choice, the law did nothing for too long, giving hackers pass after pass as they ‘claimed’ that it was the only way. Well, so far it did nothing for a lot of people spanning a timeline that is a little over a quarter of a century, it is like an armistice race with too many casualties and the law merely shrugging at the damage that was not theirs. With Kaseya a large corner is turned and Kaseya partially has itself to thank for that. And in all this is has become time to recognise that Kaseya is not merely a victim (no matter what Dana Liedholm tells us), it did this to themselves as the source in the other article “were helping Kaseya plug the hole long before the hackers found it”, as such the ‘we’ll fix it down the road’ no longer holds water, especially as we take tally of the victims that are victims because of the shortsightedness of Kaseya. And they are not alone, there is every indication that the Microsoft exchange group and Solarwinds are part of that same stack. I have personally seen how the needs of proper testing took a back seat to Marketing and the board room drive of greed in more than one instance and that too needs to be addressed, yet I feel that the media will paint over that part with articles in emotional ways, their stake holders will not allow that to be any other way, adhering to their bonus whilst relying on marketing and sales to set out a new path based on ‘we’ll fix it down the road’, should Joe Tidy be correct (and I believe he is), we will soon see a new wave of REvil attacks and the law will be on the sidelines, as will governments all pointing at one another, all whilst keeping their ‘friends’ out of the line of fire.

It is merely my look on things, and I expect to be proven correct before the end of 2021. 

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From horse to course

Yes, there is a horse, it is not Mr. Ed, there is no kind conversation. This one has wings, and there are a few versions, including the off-spring of Lord Poseidon. Whether we believe Hesiod or not, it does not matter. Pegasus became a part of our oldest mythological stories. Yet today, Pegasus is something else, a figment from the imaginations of the NSO group and it was made real. It has been out for some time and last week we got the media and their overemotional response that it had a connection to 50,000 people, with 0.36% of these people journalists.

So what gives?
It is important to look at a few sources. The first is the BBC (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-57922543) who gives us ‘Princess Latifa and Princess Haya numbers ‘among leaks’’, perhaps yes, perhaps no, who cares? We do get “The discovery of the princesses’ phone numbers on the list – and those of some acquaintances – has raised questions about whether they could have been the possible target of a government client of the group.” And here the questions start and the BBC is not asking them. Just like it is steering clear of alleged man-slaughterer Martin Bashir. So when we see ‘could have been the possible target of a government client of the group’ could is here the operative word. You see, no one is doubting that list, no one has given us a clear rundown of the names, a dashboard if you like, with the option to drill per nation and per class of person. This could all be a ruse of anti-Israeli groups, optionally the ruse of a competitor. And when we see “NSO has denied any wrongdoing. It says the software is intended for use against criminals and terrorists, and is made available only to military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies with good human rights records”, so which government leaked the list and how did THAT government leak what is implied to be a complete list? Then we get to the option that the leak came from within the NSO Group, which might be the most ludicrous thought, but I tend to look at all angles, so it is an angle that is most unlikely, but the chance is not zero. The article is all about Princess Latifa, not much about the NSO Group, it is an emotional lamentation to steer clear of massive screw ups like Jimmy Savile, Lord McAlpine, Sir Cliff Richard, and Lady Diana Spencer. As some say, the credibility of the BBC has never been lower. 

The second article is also from the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57922664) less than a day ago gives us ‘Pegasus spyware seller: Blame our customers, not us, for hacking’. Here we are given “Investigations have begun as the list, of 50,000 phone numbers, contained a small number of hacked phones”, silly me for thinking that when we see ‘Investigations have begun’, we also get ‘a small number of hacked phones’, as such there is a much larger stage, and the BBC gives us “Pegasus infects iPhones and Android devices, allowing operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras”, so if there are only a small number of hacked phones, how does that part matter? And when we get “a consortium of news organisations, led by French media outlet Forbidden Stories, has published dozens of stories based around the list, including allegations French President Emmanuel Macron’s number was on it and may have been targeted.” We get the real deal, a consortium of news organisations, led by Forbidden Stories hide behind ‘allegations’ and ‘may have been targeted’. Is anyone catching on? The media want to create emotional waves, yet does not want to be held accountable for their actions. The stakeholders are key here. A ‘consortium’ implies shareholders and stakeholders. It implies also that their issue is not that the NSO Group might do something outside of governments, it might show that the media does a lot more to anger the audience it desperately needs. 

And then the media does one more jab towards a currently missing journalist no one cares about with “including those close to murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi”, this is the emotional stage handed to us. It is “67 agreed to give Forbidden Stories their phones for forensic analysis. And this research, by Amnesty International Security Labs, reportedly found evidence of potential targeting by Pegasus on 37 of those”, so out of 50,000 we see that 67 are investigated and potentially we see 37 are targets, but there is no evidence that the NSO Group did this, these 37 might have been targets of the NSA or even the DGSE. 

And at this point there is one interesting flaw. If it was me, the first think I did was set up a dashboard that allows us to see where these 50,000 names are part of, where they are and how they were hacked. They have had a week and the stretch of media that gives us emotion after emotion is a much larger stage of stakeholders that need a negative view to be pushed onto the NSO Group. I admit that my view is equally speculative, but is it a wrong view? 

Finally there is the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/22/israel-examine-spyware-export-rules-should-be-tightened-nso-group-pegasus) where we see ‘Israel to examine whether spyware export rules should be tightened’. Here we are treated to “An Israeli commission reviewing allegations that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was misused by its customers to target journalists and human rights activists will examine whether rules on Israel’s export of cyber weapons such as Pegasus should be tightened”, I can accept that view, but that also means that governments are largely to blame for this mess, if the list is real that is. There is every chance that this was a ruse to make the NSO Group less large, less of a challenge to a competitor and this is exactly what stakeholders tend to do, and using the media as their bitch is not out of the question.

My view is reinforced by “NSO has said Macron was not a “target” of any of its customers, meaning the company denies he was selected for surveillance using its spyware, saying in multiple statements that it requires its government clients to use its powerful spying tools only for legitimate investigations into terrorism or crime”, so as Macron was never a target, the BBC articles are less than accurate and that leaves the media open to all kinds of attacks. Yes, I will admit that it is a he said she said setting (she being the media), but that also means and implies that the NSO Group is not out of the woods at present. And let’s be honest, who needs a tool like this to keep track of the Dalai Lama? The man is out there in nowhere land and when he is travelling we see 50-150 reporters surrounding him, all ways to keep track, no NSO Group required.

As we see the horse Pegasus go on a course towards the government destinations, I see less of an issue with the NSO Group and a hell of a lot more with the Stakeholders who do not have the ideas, the innovations, but they really like the money attached to it. Do you still think I am on the wrong horse track?

There is always the time will tell part, but consider that if the media has not released a dashboard of these 50,000 numbers, I believe that my case is rather clear, I would personally consider that list is nothing more than the fabrication of a stakeholder who needs the revenue that the NSO Group currently has.

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Why is an official like a quilt?

The answer is simple, they both cover up. And it is this part that is the larger stage. The Reuters article reports mere hours ago in the article ‘India reports 3,998 COVID deaths after state corrects its data’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-india/india-reports-3998-covid-deaths-after-state-corrects-its-data-idUSKBN2ER0BF) gives us “India reported its highest death toll in a month on Wednesday – at nearly 4,000 – after its richest state reconciled its death count with 3,509 previously unreported fatalities, the health ministry said”. This is entertaining on a few levels. Most of the media passes this by, it passes this by even as I found in my article ‘The worst is yet to come’ on September 6th 2020 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/09/06/the-worst-is-yet-to-come/) where we see “In the Coronavirus numbers we see yesterday that a new number is reached, 300,474 new cases, a new height. We are only one day away from the US with 3% of its population with the Coronavirus, 50% of all cases are in the USA, Brazil and India (based on the numbers), yet there are several indicators that we aren’t even close to knowing how many cases India actually has. Even as ABC gave us last month ‘India’s biggest slum has so far nailed coronavirus. Here’s how they did it’, I am not convinced and the data is siding with me.” Which shows that I was aware of the faulty Indian numbers almost a year ago, so to see now “The ministry did not give a reason but authorities have in the past attributed other instances of deaths going unreported to administrative errors, before the mistakes are discovered and the numbers appear in official data”, yes it is nice that Reuters takes ‘unreported to administrative errors’ as read, but is not asking the deeper questions in any way of form. We get it, what is reported is what is given. But the numbers have not made sense for close to a year and others have reported on the matter and I wrote about that too, but what is the point to fighting a sickness when governments are hiding the real deal, the real impact and are optionally masking THEIR statistics. As I stated before, India might be the most visible but I doubt that they are the only one. 

So when we are treated to “Last month, the poor northern state of Bihar raised its death toll by more than 5,000 in a day when it included some unrecorded data. The sudden appearance of previously unrecorded deaths has lent weight to suspicion that India’s overall death tally is significantly more than the official figure.” And that is not all, consider that 5.000 death were unrecorded, if that is the case, the setting that 100,000 sick are unrecorded is equally a danger. When we see India at present with 31,216,337 cases whilst making the claim that 30,390,687 recovered, we see the difference should be the active cases and the dead, now consider that the active cases (as reported) are 407,139. Now consider that they are off by 100,000, do you now see that India has a much larger problem? This is not merely a case of ‘administrative errors’, I think it is a lot more and I feel certain that there are several Indian government officials trying to hide the setting that they are in over their heads. 

That part is reinforced by ABC 5 hours ago with ‘India’s COVID-19 deaths could be 10 times higher than the official toll, according to research’, the article (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-21/india-covid-deaths-could-be-in-the-millions/100310602) gives us “India’s excess deaths during the coronavirus pandemic could be a staggering 10 times the official toll, according to the most comprehensive research yet on the ravages of the virus in the country”, I personally never considered that the numbers were off by 1000%, I did it all in my head, so I must have misplaced a comma. Yet the stage is now that we see a much larger stage, a much larger impact and not just for India. In this we see a larger premise, and if I need to be the optimistic one, when we see all the anti-vaxxer protests, it is fine by me. If they get sick they will die and I can get a more decent job (until each of the other three buy my 5G IP), so one mans needs will be filled by the death of someone else. That is how the world turns, but I wonder how the world reacts to these thousands of administrative errors?

What do you think?

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Powers that were

Consider the stage we are in now and the stage we were in once. We were driven by stories, stories with a centre of truth, but what that truth was, we might never know. Even now as we try to set the new stage to the current state we know about, we are almost desperate to see ourselves better than we are. So what if we go back?

In the age of Ancient times there were the gods, the Greek gods for one. They once made weapons of immense power, Devine weapons. Not because they were simply better to anything we hd then, but because they had an element that is not available now, it never was. The tinkerer (smith) in that company was Hephaestus, he had enough for 5 weapons, 5 choices imbued with that one element making the weapon  hundred times more powerful than anything available at that time. One already existed, the hammer of Hephaestus. It is the weakest of them all, but it already existed. A hammer that can hit any object in exact precision in angle and power. It could also hit another person with the strength of a thousand sledgehammers, it allowed Hephaestus to do what needed to be done. The five weapons were tremendous and Christianity borrowed from these ideas, but they were never theirs and whatever they claimed was nowhere near as powerful. So when we hear speak people about weapons of power, do they know what they mean? The third most powerful weapon is supposed to be the trident of Poseidon, the most powerful one is the bolt of Zeus and the stories seem to collaborate that, but why? Because he is king of the gods? The second most powerful one is the one you might not expect, it is the bident of Hades. Yet why are these weapons so powerful? A man named Erich von Daniken looked into this for years and wrote a massive amount of books on the subject. He started in 1968, I became aware on his books somewhere in the 70’s, in total he sold well over 60 million books spanning over 30 languages. Even as some people (to some degree me too) thinks he goes over the deep end, there is something to be said on this and my book (still writing it) touches on that part. So when the Ancient Greek gods came here (after they made a mess in Persia, now Iran), they had technological advantages, for reasons not that much, but they did. 

They brought the secrets of Celestrium, and more important, they allegedly had access to terahertz radiation devices , a substance we are only now considering to have medical implications. In 2019 Joo-Hiuk Son, Seung Jae Oh, and  Hwayeong Cheon found that ”Terahertz radiation has significant potential in medical diagnosis and treatment because its frequency range corresponds to the characteristic energy of bio molecular motion. Advantageously, terahertz-specific low energy does not cause the ionisation of biomolecules” We can speculate on how healing that source is, but it would seem that. Person in those days could not be hurt by arrows, spears and swords. Yes, this is off the deep end, but we are finally looking at the stories and that is not the only part, the same application on observation and identity safety goes on a much longer road, and we have not even scratched the surface. 

It is George Alexander Gazis who wrote “Homer and the Poetics of Hades”, he gives us Hades as a place of darkness, where even the gods cannot see, and from this he concludes that “Hades remains impenetrable even to the omnipresent Muses”, a point never made in the poem. “In this sense,” he adds, “life and death are equated with seeing and been seen or not seeing and been invisible”; hence, the negative epithets characterising Hades. But this is a common conceptual metaphor, and death is also presented as a journey.” Hades has a landscape as well, and it is shut in by gates, features Gazis does not explore and why would he? Yet now we know that the application of TeraHertz technology would have setbacks, It was not bout the dark, it was about what non-TeraHertz technology would not be able to see at that point, not for 4000 years. 

Is this all speculation? Yes it is, but so are the writings of Homer and Aristotle, we merely accept them as they are old, I wonder what they never considered because no one would in those days, and until recently no one had reason to, yet the clues were always n front of everyone, and I am merely speculating, yet if someone looked at specific maps of what is now Iran, if they were able to look at rock pressures, someone might notice an almost perfect square with sides that were about 3500 metres each side. Did anyone make any connection to the this sizeable amount of pressure and the Ancient Greeks? So what is this about?

As I stated, it is all speculation, but I am taking another gander at the classical writings and the paths no one walked on, because we only now start to get access to the technology that alters the view we now have and that is also a setting we need to have for all new IP, games, movies and TV series. Most of the writings point towards Hades and how he is the weakest of the brothers. Now we see an optional path where he is the loner, the most secretive and optionally right behind Zeus in strength. Does that not alter the perception of a lot of writings? And when we see that some of these speculations do have an acceptable setting of alleged truth, what happens after that? In a factual life we need to get evidence, but the creative IP has a few additional paths at their convenience and they merely need to be original. 

The powers that were can imbue the powers that want to be, they only need to grasp what is readily available out there. 

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The devil rang

This is too good, I had just finished yesterday’s article and the Guardian gives me ‘Spyware can make your phone your enemy. Journalism is your defence’, in this that I have some troubles accepting that journalism is my defence, they are al about circulation and satisfying their shareholders and stakeholders (optionally advertisers too). But the article came at the right moment, even as this is about Pegasus and the NSO group. Whenever I look back at the title ‘Pegasus’ I think back to Pegasus mail and windows 3.1. It is a reflex, but a nice one. So, the article gives us “The Pegasus project poses urgent questions about the privatisation of the surveillance industry and the lack of safeguards for citizens”, which is nice, but Microsoft, Solarwinds and Cisco made a bigger mess and a much larger mess, so pointing at Pegasus at this point seems a little moot and pointless. (Microsoot’s Exchange anyone?)

Yes, there are questions and it is fair to ask them, so when we see “This surveillance has dramatic, and in some cases even life-threatening, consequences for the ordinary men and women whose numbers appear in the leakbecause of their work exposing the misdeeds of their rulers or defending the rights of their fellow citizens”, yes questions are good, but the fact that millions of records went to the open air via all kinds of methods (including advertiser Microsoft) is just a little too weird. And it is not up to me, it was The Hill who asked the people (5 days ago after the Kaseya hack gone public, the larger question that actually matters ‘Kaseya hack proves we need better cyber metrics’ and they are right, when we see “Once “infected”, your phone becomes your worst enemy. From within your pocket, it instantly betrays your secrets and delivers your private conversations, your personal photos, nearly everything about you” we read this and shrug, but at this point how did a third party operator (NSO group) get the data and the knowhow to make an app that allows for this? Larger question should be handed to both Google and Apple. The fact that the phones are mostly void of protection comes from these two makers. This is a setting of facilitation and a lack of cyber security. The NSO group decided to set a limited commercial application (more likely to facilitate towards the proud girls and boys of Mossad) and they took it one step further to offer it to other governments as well, is that wrong?

So when we see “All of these individuals were selected for possible surveillance by states using the same spyware tool, Pegasus, sold by the NSO Group. Our mission at Forbidden Stories is to pursue – collaboratively – the work of threatened, jailed or assassinated journalists”, if that were true, we would see a lot more articles regarding the 120 Journalists jailed in Turkey, not to mention the 60 journalists that were assassinated (read: targeted killing exercise) there as well. The papers are all about a journalist no one cares about (Jamal Khashoggi) but the other journalists do not really make the front page giving pause and skepticism to “the work of threatened, jailed or assassinated journalists”, my personal view is that the advertisers and stake holders don’t really care about those lives. Then I have issues with “This investigation began with an enormous leak of documents that Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International had access to”, was it really a leak, or did one government take view away from them (by Amnesty International) and handed it towards the NSO group? A list of 50,000 numbers is nothing to sneer at, as such, I doubt it was a leak, it was a tactical move to push the limelight away from them and push it somewhere else. As we consider Kaseya, Solarwinds, Microsoft and Cisco, the weak minded democratic intelligence players from the Unified Spies of America come to mind, but I admit that I have no evidence, it is pure speculation.

And then we see the larger danger “But the scale of this scandal could only be uncovered by journalists around the world working together. By sharing access to this data with the other media organisations in the Forbidden Stories consortium, we were able to develop additional sources, collect hundreds of documents and put together the harrowing evidence of a surveillance apparatus that has been wielded ferociously against swaths of civil society”, who did they share access to? Who reports to another faction that is not journalism or is purely greed driven? In this, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/jul/19/spyware-can-make-your-phone-your-enemy-journalism-is-your-defence) gives us one other gem, it is “not to mention more than 180 journalists from nearly two dozen countries”, as such we see 0.36% of the data is about journalists, so if I was to look at a slice and dice dashboard, how will these 50,000 people distribute? So when we see “If one reporter is threatened or killed, another can take over and ensure that the story is not silenced”, yes, how did that end up for those journo’s in Turkey? What about outliers in data like Dutch journalist Peter R. De Vries? He is not getting the limelight that much in the last three days, you all moved on? You pushed the limelight towards Jamal Khashoggi for well over a year, who achieved less than 0.01% compared to Peter R. De Vries. I reckon that this article, although extremely nice is there to cater to a specific need, a need that the article does not mention (and I can only speculate), but when we see all this holier than though mentions and we see an inaction on Turkey’s actions, as well as a lack of news regarding Peter R. De Vries, I wonder what this article was about, it wasn’t really about the NSO group and Pegasus, they are mentioned 4 and 7 times, the article was to push people towards thinking it is about one thing and it becomes about the 0.36% of journalists in a list of 50,000, all whilst the number is mentioned once in the article without a breakdown. Someone else is calling, when you answer, just make sure the local number is not 666.

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From scatterplot to Unicorn

We all have these moments, even if we deny this, even if we do not want this, we get drawn in. We see the point in a plot and the mind fills in the connections. To see this, we need to take a look at two articles. The first one is ‘Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data’, which was given to us by Ted Crunch (at https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/24/australia-spy-agencies-covid-19-app-data/) last November. There we see “Australia’s intelligence agencies have been caught “incidentally” collecting data from the country’s COVIDSafe contact-tracing app during the first six months of its launch, a government watchdog has found”, in this I do not really care, I do not trust ANY contact tracing app. Most of them are quick designed apps with a need to make a few quick bucks (evidence to follow). The article also gives us “For some, fears that a government spy agency could access COVID-19 contact-tracing data was the worst possible outcome”, why? If you think that the government is your worst enemy, then read on. 

The second part is seen when we turn towards the Netherlands. They give us ‘Data leak test provider: anyone could get fake test results in app CoronaCheck’ (at https://nos.nl/artikel/2389818-datalek-testaanbieder-iedereen-kon-valse-testuitslagen-in-app-coronacheck-krijgen), there we see “Due to a major leak at a company conducting corona tests, it was possible for anyone to obtain fake travel or access certificates in the CoronaCheck app and manipulate data. The company works for Testenvoorjereis.nl, which has been set up by the government”, it is only the beginning. The additional part is “Not only was it possible to create false evidence, but sensitive personal data was also leaked from more than 60,000 people who had been tested by the provider”, here we see the issue, not only is there a pool of data from people going on, or recently went on vacation, it is possible for criminal elements to create false papers for all kind of reasons. And there were people calling me mad? I think that these two parts show just how shortsighted those pushing for quick creation are. One could argue that any of these 60.000 households can make a claim towards the people behind testenvoorjereis.nl if they get burgled. Is it me, am I seeing the unicorn in the scatterplot, or is it the alleged delusional making claims like “Incidentally, there is still no evidence that anyone other than the RTL journalist has gained access to the system, VWS informs”, a stage that is not a given and and there is a chance that they will never be able to prove that there was no access. It is a stage that can fall either way. I tend to side with the cautious side, and there is a larger stage of denial from the other side. 

The problem is not the precautions one side makes, it is the uninhibited hype towards apps and data. And in this stage the criminals are laughing their heads off. They get way too much access to too many datasets. It might be small, yet when they aggregate 2-5 of these sources, they end up with a rather large dataset that is a lot more complete than too many sources are willing to admit to. These apps all rely on phone number, or mobile serial number, optionally even with connection details. Now consider that people have been kindly logging into EVERY place, all in the name of safety. So a person goes from Whole Foods, to the Trocadero, to Regent Street, to Liberty London, the get a Corona test, they register everywhere and the criminals are taking note, especially when some are about to go on vacation. This is a lot larger than the Netherlands. I am willing to go on faith (faith of the greed driven) that most Commonwealth countries have similar flaws, if not bigger ones. 

Is it me? Am I seeing the unicorn in a scatterplot? I am willing to admit that I am on a piece of slippery ice, yet personally I do not believe that to be the case, there is too much out there to support my point of view.

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The choices made for us

Yes, that happens. It happens all the time. We vote and the elected people make choices for us. We support charities and that allows them to save who they think are important. These are choices that happen, to some degree with our consent. In the other hand we are confronted with choices made FOR us, without permission and without consent. And there the problem starts, we cannot make all our decisions and all our choices, in this we also set a larger stage that we can never control, and that is where the issues begin. 

In the first stage we see ‘Covid misinformation on Facebook is killing people’, the article by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57870778) gives us “The White House has been increasing pressure on social media companies to tackle disinformation”, which is nice, but utterly useless. As I see (as a Republican) that there can never be freedom of speech without accepting the accountability of what we say. To put it mildly, I wrote ‘The accountability act – 2015’ On June 4th 2012, almost 10 years ago I saw the solution that all the high and mighty lawyers are steering clear from. My thoughts never became reality, and you might wonder why not? When we see today at the BBC “Earlier on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Facebook and other platforms were not doing enough to combat misinformation about vaccines”, I am stating that people like Jen Psaki are wording the thoughts of people who are at times too stupid for everyones good. We need to accept that solutions like Facebook are mere publishers here, the people uploading their views are to be held responsible for what they say, but politicians for well over a decade refused to do so. I get it that there should be freedom of speech and freedom of expression, but in that same setting those freedoms need to be enriched with  accountability. 

In the second stage we see ‘Under the skin of OnlyFans’, also by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-57269939). There we see “Soon Tina was making $2,000 (£1,450) a month and able to rent her own flat. But in January, a hacker seized control of her account, blackmailed her for $150 and uploaded streams of IS terror videos”, as such we see “one of the million content creators on OnlyFans”, yet how much is revealed on the terrorist that resorted to blackmails. So the BBC and others are all about the OnlyFans part, but only (in passing) the BBC mentions blackmail and terrorism. So how much is there on that hacker and has that person been arrested yet? We can optionally see that Tina takes accountability for HER material, but who holds the terrorist accountable? 

Then there is level three, which comes from the Dutch NOS. There we see (at https://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2389685-zo-opereert-de-digitale-maffia) ‘This is how the Digital Mafia operates’. The articles gives us “We were able to listen in on a piece of negotiation between a Dutch security company and a hacked company. The online criminals are so professional that the negotiators work in team services. They even seem to use scripts during the negotiation – as if you were calling a customer service”, they even give a video on how a ransomware kill chain is operated by seven different groups, and the US president Joe Biden is all about blaming social media, instead of hunting down these digital criminals with optional targeted kill orders. 

As I personally see it, our freedom has been given away hiding behind ‘freedom of speech’ posters, and the freedom of expression for digital criminals is to get every penny they can get. No one is held accountable for their actions. A choice made FOR us, against us and in opposition of our safety and freedoms. 

So how does that sit with you?

Yes, we might see one side of the table, all whilst the other side is covered with a table cloth. And the Dutch version matters, in this age, after criminals executed the crime journalist Peter R. De Vries the public might get angry enough to force the issue and that gives us a new stage, the dozens of criminals feeling safe in the Netherlands might suddenly lose that freedom of action because of the acts of a person allegedly acting for (or in response) Ridouan Taghi. I reckon that it will take time to ascertain one or the other, but the public does not wait, they will act in loud response and that might be just the coin toss a few people are hoping for and especially the digital crime circles dreads, they are all about white collar crimes, all whilst the response is well above their heads and others will respond in kind, even criminals will react, all to push the limelight away from them. This is the response we get to have in a world of ‘freedom of speech’ without accountability.

In a world where no one wants to pay the bill for what they caused. This might be most visible on Covid and disinformation, but soon enough the Trumpists (drummers as well) and others will see the consequence of action without accepting the liability attached to it. Even now as life in the US becomes close to unliveable, we see that politicians are allowing QAnon speakers to take the limelight. You think the age of Donald Trump is over? Think again, as long as there is a lack of accountability is continuing this wave keeps on going on. 

And the opposition? That is easy, it will not take too long, but the intelligent people could pick up their IP and take it to Canada, the UK and the EU, when that happens and the US Credit card is considered too overdrawn, the stage of life in the US will soon change and not due to a heatwave. In 2021 $15 billion in drugs patents will expire, the year after $36 billion more, and over the next 5 years the US will see well over $20 billion in technology patents expire and now consider that an estimated $25 billion in patents move somewhere else, an economy with an immediate write-off that goes optionally beyond $100 billion lost. Now consider what happens to your credibility when your collateral is diminished by 100 billion? The US might need a new song, one that is different from blaming big tech, they are keeping the US economy alive. All drenched in choices made for us, made for us all. Yet how many of them were made FOR us? And this is not merely about the US, when they go under so does Japan and soon thereafter the EU as well. Do you still think that freedom of speech is the real saviour? It is a one sided coin of a larger stage that ignores the other side of that very same coin. 

Good luck!

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What one reads

We all have that what one reads can be the opportunity for the other. I wrote about this in the past. On June 4th in ‘The left corner’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/06/04/the-left-corner/). Today, Reuters gives us ‘Facebook says Iranian hackers used site in spying on U.S. military personnel’ (at https://reut.rs/3rbz5Uf), and yes that is the direct result from Digital Direct Marketing. They all get to have a bite, so when I see “Facebook said on Thursday it had taken down about 200 accounts run by a group of hackers in Iran as part of a cyber-spying operation that targeted mostly U.S. military personnel and people working at defence and aerospace companies” I am not that surprised, I am just giggling that it took them that long. On the other hand there is a chance it took Facebook this long to wake up, either way is possible. Yet that also gives the opportunity for Cocoon to grow their marketshare, by a lot. Consider that one in the cocoon pays the $40 a year, no matter what the size, no matter what the trade. And in all this time no one in the Defence department (not even the DARPA boffins) made clear consideration to adapt Cocoon for military messaging. A stage that was out in the open when Google created Google+ in 2011. Yup the uniform people did seemingly not catch on. So when we see optional a whole range of security issues, is it that much of a stretch to set the IP of Cocoon to a much larger base (it will piss off Facebook, but who cares). A stage that is international is governmental and as we see it, there is an almost boundless level of custodians and customers and they all need privacy. So, as we see the setting of the digital sun on some, we can hide behind “Facebook said the hackers mostly targeted people in the United States, as well as some in the United Kingdom and Europe, in a campaign running since mid-2020”, whilst hiding behind the spoof “its head of cyber espionage Mike Dvilyanski said it was notifying the “fewer than 200 individuals” who were targeted”, yet this is Iran (and others), do you really think that they are merely hitting 200 people? Even at 1-3 per day it implies that in 2021 alone 197-594 would have been targeted, as well as their family members to find leverage. And all that time there was an alternative. 

And let’s be clear, this is not on Facebook, they did what their solution intended to do, Iran merely saw more and it is time to change that, Cocoon came at the right time and they have the inside track to a lot more. 

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