Category Archives: Science

The pope’s mobile is on the clock

 

Hickory Dickory dock, the pope ran up the clock,

The clock struck one, and hit his bum, Hickory Dickory dock.

An old rhyme slightly adjusted and gives light to a joke that mattered, it is old and it goes like:

Q: Why does the pope kiss the ground when he arrives?
A: You’ve never flown with Alitalia have you?

That is where we are, the clock is counting down; Alitalia is on its last legs and merely has two weeks left. As sources report that EasyJet pulled out of the race and even as Delta is still on board, someone needs to be found for the remaining 40% and that is the hard ball, consider on how much of an issue Alitalia is when people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates will not take a shine to it, it might be too harsh to call Alitalia a money pit, but that is what is amounts too. The flight market is close to saturated, even as we all needed to fly (quite literally) 20 years ago, the companies started to figure out not to give their profits to the airlines. On a global scale close to 9750 planes were in the air last year at any given time, transporting up to 1.3 million people. The operative part is ‘at any given time‘, so how much travel is required nowadays? In 1998 I was flying close to 21 weeks that year, giving trainings and doing consultancy round the clock, at times living from a suitcase with added support from my laptop giving IT trainings and software training. I circled the planet twice that year, from Amsterdam, New York, Atlanta, Sydney, Singapore, Istanbul, via Munich and back to Amsterdam. I thought it was great and as long as the profits were outshining the costs, my bosses kept on sending me to more locations, it was all fine by me. These days are over, even as we see more and more airports expanding to ‘facilitate’ for more passengers, we see a dangerous curve, Stockholm Arlanda is expanding to facilitate for 40 million visitors a year. The numbers give us that the top 25 carriers facilitated for 13,718,655 passengers and if they are all tourists, that would be fine, yet the business side is not adding up. You see 15 out of the 25 had a decrease the went up to 27.3%, the lowest 10 were below 4.5%, still they were all still decreases and the largest increase came from Riga, Latvia.

Now consider that on the other side, on the airline side, apart from the element where we see that Alitalia had no operating profit between 2009 and 2015 with added low points of well over minus a quarter of a billion, the setup of airlines seems to be too odd.

I do get it, a nations having a national airline is a matter of pride, we get it, but at what cost? The airline has about 100 planes as part of the mainline fleet and the cost of doing business is just too high, there is no decent chance that whomever owns the airline might do so, so that they can say that they own an airline, it seems the weirdest of reasons, but from the financial view that is as much as we are going to get and the bad news is not done at this point.

You see, the work I used to do can be done remotely more and more, when 5G is totally here, we can see the shift where the classes can be given remotely with a phantom screen and with the presentations running in the background, the speed will enable us to give individual service to all the participants in up to three locations at the same time, almost like remotely run classroom software with camera’s in all locations. At that point we will see even less traffic required implying that the business classes on these flights will be close to a thing of the past.

The more immediate and difficult part is that none of this is the fault of Alitalia. Yes, we can look at the scandals and the past sting operations, yet the foundation is not that, it is the need of people to travel. In that light the traveller will be the one using their local airline (like many would), some will select airlines for their service and there we see groups of people seeking flights by Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Emirates. So these airlines are also poaching local travellers as they have shown and proven themselves to be a cut above the others. When it comes to business and tourist Italy, we see decline of both and falling harder, yet Italy is still the destination to several countries, namely Germany, France, UK and US as the largest four. These four add up to 23%; the rest is from all over. So, what makes me the specialist? I am not; I am merely using common sense. 100 planes, in an age where their power is tourism and we are going into the summer season, but that setting is a stage that represents merely 18 weeks out of 52, the numbers and the economy do not support the fleet, or so it seems.

when we consider that Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino supported 42,995,119 passengers last year, there is a decent case that I am seeing it wrong, but that is from all airlines, beside Alitalia, we see Air India, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, United, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways, Asiana Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air China, Lufthansa, Ethiopian Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, SWISS, EL AL Israel Airlines, Air France, Saudia, Ukraine International, Jet Airways, Air Canada, Egypt Air, KLM, Kuwait Airways, Brussels Airlines, Aeroflot, Korean Air, China Airlines, Singapore Airlines, China Southern, Iran Air, all flying to Rome, now we see a different picture, even as the airport needs the space and growth, we see no decent numbers on how the Alitalia flights are doing, some sources were giving me ‘No Data‘ and that is fair enough, but it makes a much stronger case that unless there is someone with deep pockets that Alitalia is on its last legs and in its final stage of a mere two week notice until it shuts down. Planes would be auctioned off and the lot to be repackaged for other management styles. And I do believe that the end is not in sight, Alitalia is not the only one in such a sordid state of affairs. I believe that the business case of airlines should have changed a long time ago, and it will get worse soon enough, as the oil price goes up, so do the prices of flights. You see the one element we seem to ignore is not the drop in non-tourist passengers. It is the fact that one barrel of crude oil only facilitates for up to 4 gallons of jet fuel, the turnaround is that high, 42 gallons can only make 4 gallons of jet fuel, after that it boils down to gasoline, diesel and other items, so when the barrel goes up in price, the impact is seen quite fast. Consider that a flight from Rome to New York takes 9 hours and 40 minutes (or 2,088,000 seconds), now consider that a 747 needs 1 gallon a second, so if the oil goes up by $1, the maximum cost of a flight would go up by 2 million times the price increase and we can only get 4 gallons bet crude oil barrel making it an optional increase of $500K per flight (which is not completely true as diesel and gasoline would need to bear part of those costs too, but with only 4 gallons to the barrel, jet fuel would take the hardest hit).

That part counts too and as such tourist numbers would go down to some degree, especially from America. These are all still mere elements in the hardship calculations, but the elements are starting to add up, more optional other choices, more localised incentives and less options for Alitalia, that is the sad reality for Alitalia. As far as I was able to see, the press (the non-Italian press) did not take a look at these elements. Even as the BBC did look at one element “At the time the Irish airline was struggling to contain the fallout from a pilot shortage, which led to the cancellation of flights for about 700,000 passengers“, the abundance of competition, as well as the dangers of fuel changes were not looked at. Yet there are other sources, Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-18/easyjet-drops-from-alitalia-bidding-in-setback-to-government) gave us a month ago that Delta is “exploring ways to work with Ferrovie dello Stato and maintain our partnership with Alitalia in the future“, yet I am not convince that they are in it with their heart and soul. Merely a stage where their accountants can optionally see plans for the Alitalia infrastructure and options to give Delta a streamline boost and let Delta grow in other ways accepting Alitalia to some degree for some time, yet how that ‘for some time‘ develops will remain an unknown. Part of it is seen with “Delta would take a 10 percent stake, which would double within four years if certain business goals are met“, yet these business goals are not really heralded by any party. In that regard Lufthansa was open and clear by stating that Alitalia needs to shed 40% of the workforce and that is where the cost of the Delta business goals are likely to be seen as well and that 40% will remain part of the problem. The Italian government would had to euthanise 40% of the workforce in a time when it could not afford to do so and that is the issue to the larger extent. If that knife is thrust hard and deep Alitalia might be around on April 30th, yet at present that is not a given, the pressured parties are not willing to get to that point until the 11th hour and at that point it might just be too late, because in the end the airline is not the only player, the airports will try to make sure that their part of the equation remains safe and there are plenty of airlines offering to ferry people to these locations making the equation unbalanced and unrealistic for the bookkeepers of Alitalia, a sad story for an airline that only recently made it to its 10th year.

 

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At the end of a journey

Today is not for the faint of heart, or those who are hindered by emotional parts, today is not merely about gaming, it is about the game. We are currently confronted with a few issues, the first one is given by the Guardian, was for two weeks. My initial issues with ‘Apple Arcade v Google Stadia: which is the future for video games?‘ is a simple stage. Why can’t we have both? I was never anti one or pro the other ever. I was not about Atari ST versus Amiga, I was not about CBM-64 vs Atari 800, I was also not about N64 vs PS1. My issue with Microsoft was their stupidity, as well as their refusal to listen to their gamers, that is the mere reason why the Nintendo Switch is now on par with the total Xbox lifetime sold consoles, it took Nintendo less than 2 years to get there and they got there, the most powerful console is now actively being surpassed by the weakest of the three consoles, that is the impact of stupidity (optionally ignoring Karma was partially a reason too).

So I believe that there is space for both, a case can be made for either console and even as we are most likely to get one of them first, there is a decent case for getting them both down the track. We will have to wait what is in store for us, yet the Google controller clearly looks like something we have seen before. Yet wait; only two days ago we see Microsoft Stupidity strike again. This time in the shape of the Microsoft CFO giving us: ‘Xbox CFO on Google Stadia: “Cloud Won’t Match Local Experience”‘, so thank you Tim Stuart (apparently he is the Xbox CFO), thank you for confirming this, the entire push of Cloud and always online is proven to be a bad choice, as I stated for the last 6 years. Too bad that you never considered the stupidity of your console choices years ago, you might not have become the underdog, defeated by the weakest of all next gen consoles.

I particularly enjoyed the passage (at https://mspoweruser.com/xbox-cfo-on-google-stadia-cloud-wont-match-local-experience/) “Microsoft believes that it will struggle in providing gamers enough content as the company doesn’t have strong ties to Game developers and publishers.“, it is merely a temporary delay at best, you see, when it came to exclusive games, Microsoft was nowhere to be found for almost two years, and when we see on how the magnificent growth through indie developers is seen on the Nintendo Switch (which surprised me too), we see that new players giving free value like (Gems of War) on IOS, android, PS4, XB1 and Switch is showing to be an amazing journey and for those who have all the consoles 500% more joy than ever expected. By having micro transactions, but not pushing them, we see a much larger market that will also benefit Google Stadia, then there is Fallout Shelter and there is a whole range of games that will find a happy audience on the Google Stadia (and its Apple adversary). So when it comes to Microsoft, they gambled and lost, they have remained short sighted as I expected them to be and they (as I personally see it) openly forsake their gamers for illusionary short term goals end their loss against their competitors is not done yet, not by a long shot.

So when I see “In an interview with The Telegraph, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer for Xbox, Mike Nichols said, “Emerging competitors like Google have a cloud infrastructure, a community with YouTube, but they don’t have the content.”” I see a new level of shortsightedness. I see the failing from Mike Nichols. I designed three ideas in gaming in under a week and I am not even the visionary that some are, content can be corrected for; indie developers can make up the difference much faster than the barricades that Microsoft erected long ago.

Google has an optional trump card that none of the others used and as such has the open advantage much sooner than expected. The article has more laughable statements, but let’s move on for now. You see, Techradar had the right idea last week when it gave us ‘Google Stadia may be the first good use for 5G phones‘, the entire setting of 4G ‘Wherever I am’ and 5G ‘whenever I want it’ will find unification in Google Stadia and it will grow close to exponentially soon thereafter. Techradar also gives us: “Google executive Phil Harrison, meanwhile, confirmed that Stadia has already started gaining momentum and that Google received strong support from developers the game streaming platform which in theory solves one of the major concern regarding Stadia“, I do remain critical on the need to measure and keep in check those who are in it for the micro transactions and short term gain for themselves, they are not a joy, they are the Achilles heel of gaming soon enough, but the momentum counts and must not be ignored. Apple Arcade has a larger issue, Apple lost well over 450 billion in value and even as close to 50% of the loss has been regained, Apple cannot afford to be casual, there are 2 billion gamers in the world and if Apple does not play its cards right, they merely become another short term player in a game setting that they might not comprehend. Microsoft didn’t, that much is clear and they got hit and they got hit hard.

The other side

You see, the moment I ‘feared’ has come to town, there have been two games over the last year, two games that changed it all. The first is God of War 4; a game so amazing, so large and so perfect in almost every way that is boggles the mind. Even now, watching the total cut scenes on YouTube is a journey that is close to 6 hours. 6 hours that is a story supporting a game with graphic perfection that was unseen until that day. Now we see ‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice‘, a game with graphic and gaming perfection. Both games are PS4 exclusives, both are singular reasons to upgrade to the PS4 pro and both are challenges of the largest degree. It sounds morbid, but at the end of my life, I am finally seeing what should be regarded as the apogee of gaming. Finally I see something that equals and surpasses on what my imagination could perceive, after 40 years of gaming, we are finally getting the games that are the top in its field. Both for the Sony console. That is what Apple and Google are up against, yet they are not. With their solutions they are much more a trump solution for the 1 billion mobile gamers wanting a little more. Nintendo Switch with their docking station is proving the switch between on the road and the large TV screen, both regarded in equal measure on one system and with 5G google can do the same thing, Google Stadia could be a growth system (optionally much more than Apple) in the stage where systems are vying for a billion gamers. So even as Microsoft was (in my personal view) deceptive to hide behind “We’re developing Project xCloud not as a replacement for game consoles, but as a way to provide the same choice and versatility that lovers of music and video enjoy today,” they are eager to avoid the entire online only and pushing us towards their Azure desk. They opened that door and they are now learning that Google is much better in applying that very same portal, another battle lost for Microsoft (and they were never that ready to begin with). A game lost in one generation, what the Xbox360 build form the strong setting of the very first Xbox, the Xbox One pretty much lost and at present they have no options to regain that market any day soon, they wasted too much options on that road.

Google has an additional advantage, the bulk of all gamers have a modern TV, so form that part we see more than the Guardian gave us (at https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/mar/27/apple-arcade-v-google-stadia-which-is-the-future-for-video-games) two weeks ago. With: “streaming would open games up to millions – if not billions – of people who don’t want or can’t afford to buy pricey equipment“, take that consideration with a $59 Chromecast to stream to your TV, at that point a person’s Mobile is going to be the centre for gaming, stream to TV with merely a mobile and a controller. That is the true growth for Google and even those who have a console; it will be enriching to take a turn to the options Google offers, any gamer would want to take that path. As I see the gaming solutions that the CBM-64, the Atari ST and the Amiga offered, a mere high resolution upgrade will make hundreds if not thousands of games, none of them IP protected, all offering the original designers a stream of additional wealth, all there for the taking and all there for the streaming. Some of the most original games, even now still regarded as awesome passing of time, all ready for the next few years. So there we see just how the statement “Microsoft believes that it will struggle in providing gamers enough content as the company doesn’t have strong ties to Game developers and publishers” is not just a weak one, it is one that can be overcome close to overnight, a mere state of denial by what was once great and is optionally now soon forgotten, the mere application of not listening to gamers and keeping the focal point of greed and dependency got them there and now soon to be surpassed not once, but optionally twice. How is that for a lack of vision. Even as I see more solutions that could set a wining stage on the Xbox 360, now it will be the stage that fuels optionally both the Google as well as the Apple solution to gaming.

The games they provide will not equal the two games mentioned or what the PS3 pro offers for now, but as we clearly knew and what Nintendo Switch has proven to us, the most powerful console does not win, the best game does and when we see that, when we see that great gaming has existed for decades, yet some of these titles were forgotten, or better stated not played on current systems, they are not dead, they can be revived in the new gaming world that is introduced by Apple and Google.

So what was three is now set to the stage of 5 and in that stage we know the top  two, yet in the end Microsoft could fall back to 4th position soon enough, when that happens will they finally wake up in Microsoft land, or will we get more marketing and statements that can be laughed at soon thereafter. Gaming is a much more serious business than most realise and those who do not will not last long in that place, so the need to listen to the gamers was always a first, the one part that Microsoft never considered for the longest of times, that is why they are sliding from 2nd to 3rd and soon enough optionally 4th. If I am still around in 2022, I wonder if my words will be shown and proven to be correct. For Microsoft to gain momentum they will require to make massive changes to their way of thinking and with both Google and Apple entering that field, will they change fast enough, and more important, will they finally truly listen to their gaming population?

Time will tell.

 

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Creating denial as an option

All nations change, there is no way avoiding it. Sometimes we all wish that the setting is set in stone. Some would want to be philosophers in ancient Greece, some prefer the scandalous lives of ancient Rome, some see the comfort being a non-poor person in Victorian England and others seek the renaissance of Roma, Venice and Florence. We all have wants, needs and desires. We all wish it was another time. Yet some seek denial, some seek a change that requires events of the past to be deniable. If they succeed they can push for larger changes that are optionally profitable form them. That is how I see the news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/12/academics-launch-petition-against-racist-mural-in-french-parliament), where we are treated to ‘Academics launch petition against ‘racist’ mural in French parliament‘. The news gives us: “Two French academics have launched a petition to remove a parliament mural commemorating the abolition of slavery, which they said was a racist, humiliating and dehumanising depiction of black people“, I am not sure if these two appreciate the impact and history of art. One is a French writer (Julien Suaudeau), the other a film director (Mame-Fatou Niang), so when it comes to art, their view of art is likely to be better than mine, let’s put that up front. When I see the art, I see no negativity, I see the happiness and joy of the end of slavery, chains broken, so when I see “Its presence – in complete indifference – at the heart of one the highest sites of the Republic adds insult to injury”, I honestly don’t get it. The work is 28 years old, if it was truly racist, papers all over the world would have written about it for the longest of times. I personally believe that those who want to make a new move to the new iconographic of denial through art believe that this work of art is in the way. Perhaps it is just my shallow look, I will not deny that it might be me and that I am totally wrong, but I feel that after 28 years with non reported complaints I actually might have a case here.

The New Yorker (at https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-campaign-to-remove-a-shocking-painting-from-the-french-national-assembly) gives us only hours ago: “The painting, by the French artist Hervé Di Rosa, comprises nine panels, each depicting a key moment in the annals of French lawmaking: the institution of paid holidays, the recuperation of Alsace-Lorraine. Since 1991, it has hung in a hallway outside of the Assembly’s auditorium. Each year, thousands of tourists and schoolchildren pass by the work, as do their elected representatives. One panel is meant to commemorate the abolition of slavery in France, in 1794, but, to Niang and other observers, it perpetuates grotesque racial stereotypes.

And when we see “It features “two huge black faces, with bulging eyes, oversized bright red lips, carnivorous teeth, in an imagery borrowing to [sic] Sambo, the Banania commercials and Tintin in the Congo” we might initially think that there is a case, yet the painting is about iconography and when we consider Tin Tin, from the world famous Belgium artist Hergé, we need to take a step back and it is then that we should realise (those who have seen the murals), that the mural ‘1948 Le suffrage universel‘ shows similar iconography and that is not about black people.

The fact that the New Yorker went with ““I was just shocked,” Niang recalled. “I’m a French black person. The piece tells me that this is how my country sees me”” making the issue (from my personal point if view) a strange turn. They also give us: “Di Rosa says that his style is influenced by pop culture: comic books, science fiction, and punk. He often paints white people with similarly exaggerated features and considers “big red lips” a signature of his mythological world.” OK, that makes sense, and it is in the end not a photograph, it is art.

Yet, when we learn more on the two individuals (or better stated as the New Yorker hands it to us, we see: “Niang and Suaudeau’s ultimate goal, they say, “is to raise French people’s awareness of the colonial wound.” Both of them live in the United States. She is an associate professor of French studies at Carnegie Mellon; he is an instructor in the French and Francophone studies program at Bryn Mawr. Their insistence that a black woman’s experience of a work of art is as important as a white man’s aims in making it—their insistence on acknowledging context, subjectivity, and identity—has been taken by some French commentators as an attempt to inflict American notions of political correctness upon French culture.” I am faced with two parts. The first is ‘awareness of the colonial wound‘, which is fair enough. Yet that requires new art, new (read: different) views and view that creates a ripe stage of creating awareness, this assault on one of nine murals will not achieve that, it merely shows some level of subterfuge to remove 9 murals for whatever reason and not willing to come out loud stating that they want these walls for their needs or the needs of their friends. This is merely my personal view on the matter, the fact that they have gotten 2,500 votes so far seems to support my view, set that number against 70,000,000 voices on some view regarding Jamal Khashoggi whilst none of them had any view on actual evidence supports the numbers game. The second one is ‘inflict American notions of political correctness‘ is a much larger issue. It almost sets the stage where Walt Disney put Donald Trump in the White House telling the world that Technicolor productions are a thing of the past, how is that for analogy? I believe that there is a shift and in that shift the directness of some works of art are too much of a reminder that some shifts are actually a bad thing. The New Yorker also gives us: “On social media, the two have been inundated with vitriolic comments (more often targeting her than him, as is the custom). In the French press, they’ve been depicted as, at best, “fervent promoters of the black identity,” and, at worst, “fanatics in need of publicity.”” I refuse to target them, it is not my thing, as for ‘fanatics in need of publicity‘, I would need to know both a lot more than I currently do, yet one of my first thoughts was that: “They are probably in need of attention“, which is not a given, and ranks on the same page as people thinking ‘that person probably asked for a raise‘ when a cast member of a TV series is written out of the show.

And then we get the gem that matters, the part the New Yorker is getting right. With: ‘the history of slavery and racism in America is not the same as that of slavery and racism in France‘. It is an important distinction as it is a much larger issue. The Dutch had the colonies in Indonesia, that is, until 17 August 1945 when Sukarno read a statement on the radio and became the first president of Indonesia. Belgium had issues with the Congo and the list of events goes on. What some see in one light, other see different? Yes the US has slavery for the longest times, and the Dutch were not innocent as they traded New York for Suriname merely for the profit of slaves. The Dutch abolished slavery in 1863, 2 years before the US, 69 years after the French, and 30 years after the British, in that light the French were the most enlightened of the 4, a small fact we do not get to see here either.

Making denial an option is the most dangerous of all settings, even if this might not have been the case here, the event make me consider the dangers of creating denial. We see it around us all the time, the filtering through the media and the adjustment of perception, the outside intervention of awareness and social adjustments, the second part that we saw with ‘inflict American notions of political correctness‘ is the first indication of social adjustment, social adjustment “is an effort made by an individual to cope with standards, values and needs of a society in order to be accepted. It can be defined as a psychological process“, yet that’s not all and there lies the danger. You see from my personal point of view we should also consider “social adjustment is an attempt to shift standards to introduce adjusted standards, values and needs to make a new society acceptable, which facilitates for the needed psychological process“. It makes me wonder whether this was really about the mural or about the need to see other standards in a stage where the world economy is in a stage to push for changes on behalf of the largest corporations to make legalised slave labour a future option, in that stage the mural of Hervé Di Rosa becomes the largest eye sore in sight for those needing certain essential changes.

 

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As perception becomes awareness

That is the stage we often face, we perceive we acknowledge, we become aware and that awareness becomes the reality we face towards the new reality we did not comprehend before. It is usually not that great a path to be on, especially when you see that the path you are on has a distinct route taking you to exactly the place no one wanted you to be.

Yet for the CAAT (Campaign against the Arms Trade), especially Andrew Smith, and optionally both Martin Chamberlain QC and Liam Fox as well. It is important to see that these people are not evil, they are not delusional and they are not entirely wrong, yet the reality that was given by CNBC half a day after my article ‘When the joke is on us all‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/04/07/when-the-joke-is-on-us-all/) is now entering a new dimension. As CNBC gives us ‘Russian expansion in the Middle East is a ‘clear reality on the ground,’ WEF president says‘, we are also given: “Moscow has signed technical agreements and memoranda of understanding to sell its S-400 and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar“, there is now optional noise that this could include a nice batch of shiny new MIG’s, as well as a few other items where we see that the UK is soon to lose the option to make £5 billion for its treasury giving the BAE Systems now headaches to content with. Anything that is related or connected to the UK facilitating to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia could optionally not happen, or will be receiving the standard ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you‘ status. Isn’t ideology great?

We might all (including me) accept the quote: “There is “overwhelming evidence” of violations of human rights law by both the Saudi-led coalition and other forces in Yemen, lawyers for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) told the court on Tuesday.” Most will be forgetting that to all interpretation, the Houthi forces are terrorist forces. Their connection with Hezbollah and Iran is not enough, the short and sweet is that they were not an elected government, they merely moved towards a coup d’état and instigated the war we see now.

So there we are, I now have to talk to the United Aircraft Corporation, owned and founded by Vladimir Putin and the parent organisation of the makers of the MIG, so as I try to get a meeting with the ‘Pоссийская Самолетостроительная Корпорация‘, on being their new exclusive contact for sales to Saudi Arabia (yes, I know, I have no chance in hell there, but I remain an eternal optimist), we see on how the high nosed ideologists are costing the UK billions, all that whilst the opposite of what the Saudi coalition is facing has been ignored or trivialised by a lot of people. You merely have to see what you can on Al-Manar (Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon) to realise that Hezbollah is still a player there, it is less visible when it comes to Iran, Iran is playing the field low key and on what some call the down low. Even as the evidence is clear that Houthi forces have Iran drones, the way they got them remains unclear, speculated, but not proven and that too must be noted.

Yet in this era, and under these settings we now see that due to the CAAT, the UK will lose more footing and will have less of a voice at the grown up table that is trying to resolve the issues in Yemen. In the end the CAAT achieved nothing but the dwindling revenue stream for the UK, yet the Russian Federation will be grateful and if I get the job, I will send a huge hamper to the three parties involved (after my first bonus payment that is), the voice makers so to say.

This is the setting that governments and large corporations created form 2004 onwards, we all might have a huge national pride, but in the end, we need to sell, we need to make the cash that is required for rent and food and those in a stage where they set high moral borders in places where the impact is actually zero, you have no value, you have no gain, you merely end up with unpaid bills.

Now if governments had done something about the FAANG group 15 years ago, it would be different, but that is not the case, that is not the reality we face. You see, the fighters are just the start, as we enabled the Russians to get a foot in the door, they now have a direct path to both Syria (they already had options there) as well as Saudi Arabia (and optionally Qatar) to start deploying (read selling and training) these nations on the Altius-M drone. Especially in places where the price of a fighter is basically the same as three drones, drones will be the path many nations go and even as the America Predator looks leaner and meaner, the acts of US Congress as well as that from UK Parliament is now opening the doors for Russia, which is not a good thing (except if I get the job, it will be awesome at that point).

It goes from Bad to worse, especially for America. You see, the MIG-35 and the Altius-M are merely the start. In the end, the gold is found (for Russia that is) with the Sukhoi Su-57, I know little about that plane, yet the stories that it can outperform the F-35 are from sources that are not to be ignored, so even when we hear that the US has plans to counter that, in light of their failed USS Zumwalt comedy caper, those plans can be sneered at until they prove to work. And in the end it is almost as simple as: “Do you want this flag to be on a British, American, or Russian product?

This all matters!

You see, the arms race is important not because they are weapons, but because the economies get huge incentives through those commercialised items. The fact that at present 6 nations are on the list for that new gadget and in light of the high winded American response in the past on who was allowed to buy a F-22 Raptor and it was vetting its allies in a crazy way. Now, in all truth there might be a case for that (I honestly cannot tell), but now that we see that Russia is willing to sell to sovereign states and they have no bar, whilst we see the unconfirmed part of: “State-run Chinese media is claiming that the People’s Liberation Army has been able to track the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor” implies that the stealth part is less stealthy than we thought it was, and any evidence will drive sales towards Russia too. All parts that had much less chance of happening as the UK systems were proven, they were great and now, or optionally soon, we get the resolution that sales to Saudi Arabia are off. Whether that is right or wrong is not for me to decide, but the fact that the £5 billion loss of revenue is triggering a $12 billion shift in other directions, optionally towards Russia is a part that most ignored to the larger extent, a sales path denied because people forgot that in any war, especially against terrorist forces, the people will always be in the middle. Oh, and if you think that it is all bad, consider that the makers of the F-22 Raptor (Lockheed Martin) also has other paths, so the F-22 profits also forges upgrades and new options in commercial flying, cyber solutions, Radar solutions, Communication platforms and a lot more, in that we see BAE Systems that has services in finance, Cyber security, Compliance solutions and a lot more. Now, the one sale towards Saudi Arabia might not impact it to the largest degree, but a change has been made and the competitors now get a larger slice to play with, and it can lead to additional repeat business, it is not a secret, it is not even an unknown, any person with a decent knowledge in Business Intelligence could have told you that and there is the problem, the one-sided ideology of CAAT is now optionally going to cost the UK a lot more than anyone bargained for.

As I said, I have nothing against ideologists and ideology is great when it can to some degree adhere to commercial reality, and selling to a sovereign nation is intelligent and common sense packaged together, yet when soft-hearted people overreact on events in Yemen, whilst the stage comes from Iranian funded terrorism, how can we go against that? The fact that 16 million Yemeni’s are in danger form several sides (disease and famine) whilst the Houthi terrorists are depriving these people of food, whilst they do everything to stop humanitarian aid via Hodeida and other places, are we not buttering the bread of terrorists?

How can you sleep knowing that this is happening?

BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and United Aircraft Corporation are not evil, they are not a danger, they sell to governments and all three want to sell to the same governments making this a buyers’ market. The moment you forgot about that part of the equation, that did not make you an ideologist, it made you short sighted and that is my largest concern on CAAT, the fact they are needlessly depriving the UK government of treasury income, yet speaking for selfishly coated me, if it pays my bills, I am all fine with that in the end.

 

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The next gamer plus

We can speculate in all direction, but I believe that the next big thing is Transference. It will be on several fields and when it comes to gaming, it is perhaps the clearest field of all. Many players want to take their game with them, many players want a larger exposure to the games that they care about. Especially in RPG gaming.

Bethesda

Bethesda might be the clearest example of all, they decided to do something nice and gave away a free game called Fallout Shelter. Now consider that you could export a maximum of three vaults to Fallout 4, as soon as a minimum degree is reached, you could do a one-time export of that vault. This now becomes a much more revealing part of a game you just spend 30-70 hours of gaming on, but in addition to that, depending on the level of the rooms, that vault is exported to a 3D version where you can walk around. Now, we can understand that the connection might require a purchasable DLC (which is fine by me, but consider that you get three new vaults (three new personal spaces) in the commonwealth, who would not want that?

The upcoming Elder Scrolls: Blades, might offer a similar path when the new Elder Scrolls 6 is released. All that time, all the effort and you get to transport a set of weapons and armour to the big game, how awesome would that be?

It would optionally add to the gaming experience and fun. For example (going back to Fallout shelter), level 1 rooms will be 25-50% operational, level 2 51%-75% and level 3 rooms 76%-90%, so you might have to clean out that vault, make repairs and set the stage to make it operational. That could be an easy 10 hours per vault more.

The concept of transference is not new, yet the interactions of mobile and console gaming will grow, 5G is making it happen, dedication to a franchise makes it essential and the fact that any good mobile game would optionally being in a DLC (or via season pass) gives more and more value to the franchise we enjoy.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft dropped the ball initially around the Unity release, yet what bummed me out was that the mobile game looked spiffy and appealing, it looked like a real winner. The fact that this fell through in a disastrous way was quite the shame, even as the previous Facebook attempt with Brotherhood was actually really good.

There are games that could have added so much. Titles like Horizon Zero Dawn, The Division would have added more depth and more joy to the game. Now, this is not a solution or option to all games, yet for the most, the RPG games could benefit greatly. This push is more and more to likely to happen, especially as Google and Apple are entering the gaming arena. Also unknown games like Watchdogs 3 would prosper in bigger ways. There will of course be the interactive person who will complain that it could have been added as a mini game. This is of course a fair call and there is nothing stopping the makers to add these games on both sides, yet we should consider the smoothness of adding transference to games, especially when the games are online games.

It can go in several directions, consider a game like System shock that is being relaunched within the next year. What could you get when the mobile part is about hacking into consoles on the mobile giving you optional rewards that you can pick up when you log back into the game? Another example could be World War Z, a game that has no mobile game, but a mobile tag with the option that passing people could blindly exchange weapons, more so, the receiver will always get a +1 version of the game transmitted to them, that too is the power of an app; weapons and armour of equal levels are exchanged and they get a +1 version of the given item, it will push interaction close to tenfold overnight.

All options to keep the gamers interested, most of it free and in some cases a real dealmaker to upgrade to that DLC, or merely buy it on the spot. The more I think on it, the more sense it makes. It will also be interesting for Nintendo to make that jump. They had done so to some extent, yet the swapping of your Pokémon collection (from any Pokemon game) via the mobile? And the versatility of that approach just keeps on growing, so as we consider all the cursing we have seen over the last weeks regarding Anthem, was there no one at EA that gave the entire stage a much larger setting giving players all kind of options on the go.

The nice part on all this is that it does not merely give reason for interaction with others. The option will also give more gamers the consideration to buy that game, which is a win-win for maker and gamer. I believe that we will see a growth of this in 2020-2021, even as most are now already considering this to some extent (or optionally considering not doing that) there is the most likely stage that the makers want to offer 5G gaming as fast as possible and adding new options will draw gamers in.

It is becoming a numbers game and those with social media and online links will merely offer more for the same amount which is always a good idea to get the success rate of a game up in the beginning, on launch day traction for a title is everything and I predict that not unlike Fable 2 with ‘Pub Games‘ on early release is a path that will find a renewed interest for all the people gaming involved, especially as it could help create visibility and awareness for the game maker, as well as a much larger exposure. So I do hope that anticipated games like Fable 4 will consider renewing that path.

It is also a consideration on the amount that Mass Effect Andromeda missed, when we consider the options that the Mass Effect 3 data pad gave us, moreover, the additional opportunities (with no more than 4G) could have given the makers of that game a lot more to their gamers, I had forgotten about the app initially and of the 72 missed opportunities (OK, that was an exaggeration, I only saw 67 opportunities), we see a sad part on what was, yet we can rejoice on what the next several years bring, especially as 5G and tag technology will raise the bar for everyone, not merely in gaming.

The next gaming generation could be one where we get the partial unification of single players in a multiplayer environment, the one part that every single player has been looking forward to for well over 6 years at present.

So when you see these ‘hot air’ articles on the fourth industrial revolution, consider what RFID, beacons, sensors, and drones could also facilitate for. Pokémon go opened the door, yet in the next 2 years we could see a whole range of new applications of technology that could spell more interactions and additional awareness on a global scale. For close to 95% of the people, their most important device is their mobile, for consoles and games to properly connect to that device adding options for gameplay and awareness makes perfect sense.

 

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Saudi Arabia stands alone

I have seen hypocrisy in my time, people selling others down the river for the mere pleasure to afford their share of cocaine and hookers, or as they state it themselves, extra bonus for a family house. The benefit of selling whatever needs be short to afford a lifestyle their ego demands yet, it is a style usually preserved for CEO’s and higher.

It is not always the case, not 100%, sometimes people get ahead because they know someone; they have friends in housing, perhaps a police commissioner who gives them the goods in advance. These things happen. That is not corruption; that is at times merely a small advantage and we can agree that no hard was done, these things just are.

I have always believed that we need to do something when something wrong is done. Yet, what happens if we get played? What happens when there are too many questions and we see governments act on half-baked information? That is at the core of it all. This all started three days ago when I decided to write (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/03/28/because-skills-lacked/) ‘Because skills lacked?‘, It was all about the arms embargo for Saudi Arabia, enforced by Germany making both the UK and France uneasy. Yesterday (at https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-extends-saudi-arms-embargo-with-concessions-to-allies/) we saw that it was extended by six months, even as concessions have been given to UK and France, the issue is actually much larger and it is time to call for evidence.

In the first, my emotional response to issues is the question whether Agnes Callamard knew what she was doing. You see, Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/rapporteur-khashoggi-murder-perpetrated-saudi-officials-190207171824211.html) gave us a few things, issues repeated by many news casters. First there is “her three-member team had access to part of “chilling and gruesome audio material” of the murder obtained by Turkish intelligence agencies“, it is important we see no establishment of identity, we see no mention on authentication as that is unlikely to happen. Then there is “Woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation“, as well as “US intelligence agencies believe Prince Mohammed ordered the assassination“, and finally there is “His body has yet to be found“.

Her report might end up being more likely than not a failure (I have not read the full report as I have not been able to obtain it at present, and I might not be able to until the presentation this upcoming June. The initial issues seen at present are (with a lot more when we dig deeper):

  1. The authenticity of the tapes have not been verified, Turkey has been facilitating to Iran to the largest degree (who is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia), in addition several published quotes give a different light of the activities of Turkey (see previous blogs on the matter).
  2. As I mentioned, there is an issue on Turkey and Iran, making Saudi Arabia a little hesitant to give any credibility to Turkey. In addition to all this, the Consulate is Saudi grounds, It is Saudi territory, as such Turkey has no rights on those grounds. Three weeks after the event refused to share all Khashoggi evidence with Saudi Arabia. If it was actual evidence sharing it would not have impacted the evidence, the fact that it was not shared implies optionally that it did not exist. In effect the Saudi prosecutor did not have access to all evidence.
  3. Are those the same US intelligence agencies that vowed that there were WMD’s in Iraq? What evidence did the US intelligence submit? When we consider the Washington Post, we get: “the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence. Khalid told Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, that he should go to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so. It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call, which was intercepted by U.S. intelligence.” I am not stating that this is false or inaccurate, yet the parts ‘according to the people familiar with the matter‘, as well as ‘he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call’; these two parts call doubt into the complete stage.
  4. The absence of a cadaver also implies that there is no forensic evidence of any kind (at present or ever).

These four parts do not make Saudi Arabia innocent, yet the guilt cannot be established to any definite degree. I am not trying to twist anything, anyone on a jury in a capital crime knows that the establishment is ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ and that cannot be proven, even manslaughter cannot be proven at present. Consider that there was a beating, perhaps interrogation with a heavy hand; can we see evidence that this was the case? The audio is not evidence by itself, the simplicity is that we do not know whether the tape is a fake, is there any way to tell that the person in discomfort was Jamal Khashoggi? I have not heard the tape, I cannot tell, how was Agnes Callamard able to tell? In addition, if Turkish intelligence is so good, how did they get the body away and out of sight? The fact that the Turkish intelligence remained clueless should be an answer by itself. The newscasters go all out to contain people on their page, so when the Daily Mail gives us (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD06WLJH3Wk) ‘Khashoggi’s body parts carried into Saudi Arabia’s consul residence‘, what evidence is there that it was what they claim it to be? I cannot even tell whether they are carrying trash or books, let alone optionally part of a cadaver. CNN at least used the optional word ‘may’, there have been so many speculations, that and the fact that the Turkish government seemingly did not share all the evidence makes this a lost case.

And now for Germany

So in a stage where something went optionally wrong, yet no way to tell how far it actually goes, the Germans started an embargo on a non-event. There is no conviction, there has been no court on the matter, but for Germany it was enough to set the stage for the embargo. For me it is great, I need a second income and I will happily sell any weapon system to Saudi Arabia if that pays the rent. I see no problem to sell any weapon system to the Saudi government that I can lay my hands on. It is the simple application of American entrepreneurship: Ca$h is king!

So when I see: ‘Riyadh denies the powerful prince had any involvement, alleging “rogue” Saudi elements acted on their own accord‘, I am not willing to dismiss it, the optional evidence does not allow me to do so. In addition, “A confidential report prepared by Kroll, a large private security firm, for the Saudi public prosecutor found that none of the WhatsApp messages exchanged between Prince Mohammed and his top aide, Saud al-Qahtani” I see the reinforcement of that part. I wonder if the actual people who optionally caused the passing of Jamal Khashoggi will ever be found, the media made that close to impossible and Turkish posturing helped in the event, the fact that they have the most incarcerated journalists in the world does not help their attempts for the limelight and the Turkish use of the New Zealand tragedy is further evidence still that the Turkish government cannot see the difference to posturing and doing the right thing, making all the evidence they present even less valued and requiring more and more scrutiny to optionally see it as valid and not tainted.

It is the simple application of the Evidence Act 1995. When we look towards Ellis v Wallsend District Hospital 17 NSWLR 553, we see that it was: ‘open to a Court to disbelieve evidence tainted by hindsight‘, it is not about the case, but on the state of the evidence and there is a massive wave of actions giving a large rise to the fact that evidence is optionally tainted. I use the word optional as it would be to a judge to state it to be so, but the quotes and the application of what is not presented makes it optionally so. Time is the tainting factor on all the evidence. The Washington Post adds to this when the readers are treated to: “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved“, ‘Accepted position‘? By what standard, what definition and on what premise and applied evidence is that? The overall usage of ‘people familiar with the matter’ makes the issue worse. The stage of manslaughter and higher requires ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, whilst in the current state it is becoming less and less likely that the Torts premise of ‘is it more likely than not‘ would be reached.

And that is the foundation of Germany to stage an embargo? Well, if that is to be the case, than for the next 6 months I will try to find a way to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia. I have rent to pay, taxes to pay and I need a wardrobe as well as a new desktop (and iPad), all these things cost money and I have no issues to sell to most governments if the opportunity arrives.

As the media is showing us how Saudi Arabia stands alone, all whilst they seem to overlook the Iranian actions, they are ready to pound others whilst there is a lack of evidence, seems odd does it not? Although, according to the Hollywood Reporter, people in Saudi Arabia have nothing better to do than hack the phone of some Amazon CEO and gives us: “Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information. As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details” less than a day ago (at https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jeff-bezos-investigator-claims-saudi-arabia-behind-leaked-texts-1198348). I have absolutely no idea where that came from, it is not like that guy Jeff Bezos is a famous person, is he?

So is it about that optional famous person, the event, the leak, or is it about the new application of ‘several experts concluded with high confidence‘, exactly like the CIA used. It is a claim that cannot be vouched for; cannot be proven (or disproven) and no evidence is there, but the finger needs to be pointed at someone and the FBI learned the hard way on how blaming North Korea on Sony events was a bad idea. It is basically the Dutch building fraud example of: ‘Dat meen ik mij niet te herinneren‘, which means ‘I don’t think I can remember that‘, the trained response of a politician facing governmental scrutiny in a commission. That is the one sentence they had down perfectly (the Dutch denial version of a 5th amendment), and we see it applied in too many fields. So especially as it impacts larger government concerns, it seems that we need to take a look at the application of evidence towards assigning blame and guilt. Although, if this gets me my retirement fund of $24,445,000, so that I have a golden parachute. I would personally like to thank the German government, as well as the participating media for being this short sighted.

Saudi Arabia does not stand alone, there is always a person willing to facilitate to any government. It was the basic lesson Mossack Fonseca left the people on a minimum income, when a firm is facilitating within the confines of legal structures for 45 years, do you think that governments did NOT know? Give me a break, they merely played the flustered emotional card to keep the people at peace, in the end nothing changes and a new player takes over from the previous one.

The EU grave train provides one way or another, yet in the end it will provide and not to the people the taxpayers believe it does, on the larger international scale, especially in light if so much evidence failure, it was up to all of us to ask the hard questions but the media prevented it, the emotional curve are all the shareholders and stake holders required.

I think I will start Chapman Calibre Ballistics (CCB) and offer my services to the Saudi Arabian Defence Forces procurement division, so that others will readily confuse my acronym it all with either Child Care Benefit or China Construction Bank, giving the media more things to blame China for, because that is apparently how the game is supposed to be played.

 

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It is still a man’s world

It has always been a man’s world; it will remain a man’s world. If that upsets you, then so be it. We see all these pro-women events and so called pro-women options, but it seems like a scam and three days ago I was proven correct. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/mar/25/nasa-all-female-spacewalk-canceled-women-spacesuits), here we see some so called excuse: ‘Nasa cancels all-female spacewalk, citing lack of spacesuit in right size‘, the very first though (optionally a wrong one) would be the idea that there is either one spacesuit for every crew-member, or that there are suits that fit any crew-member. The idea that we see: “Nasa said its plans had changed, “in part” due to a shortage of outerwear. McClain had “learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso – essentially the shirt of the spacesuit – fits her best.” Only one such top can be made by Friday, the agency said, and it will go to Koch“.

Frustrated to the max

In part my frustration goes to Anne McClain, especially when the NASA spokeswoman states: “Anne trained in ‘M’ and ‘L’ and thought she could use a large but decided after [last] Friday’s spacewalk a medium fits better“. At this I would initially argue ‘Are you out of your flaming head? It is not a fashion parade, suck it up!‘ In addition, the issue that the suits were not ready is perhaps a larger issue still. So even as some proclaim: “An all-woman spacewalk WILL eventually happen“, we could optionally go with the response of: “well, you had your chance; you get another one in 2057“. You see, you cannot get a quicker deal than the time sequence of African American actors winning an academy award that would just be too unfair. You see, there was Sydney Poitier in 1963 and then we get Denzel Washington in 2001, so you cannot get a quicker deal, just one at the same length at best.

The entire mess of space suits gets me going into another direction too. Perhaps some may realise that ships have lifeboats, you see, in 1912 there was this dinghy called Titanic and the events lead to an extreme evolution of strict requirements to keep as many people alive as possible, should the requirement be any less in space? Even if that spaceship gets hit by a pebble, I saw the movie Gravity, I know that if we all give them a suit, they could ‘swim’ (read: spacewalk) to the nearest space station. The fact that they have to toss a coin on who is allowed to swim to safety seems a little too far-fetched for comfort.

This all seems like a rant and it seems to be told in anger and that is true. The fact that NASA was not ready in this day and age for an all women event is one part, the setting that in that same stage an all-male event was possible makes it the largest of failures to the human condition. Of all the progressive places on the planet it is NASA that failed the equality test, making them nothing more than a political red tape convention player at present.

How wrong am I?

The fact that there was more than one woman on that event and the situation that for whatever reason only women were left and it was up to them to save the day, NASA did not account for that? A situation that would have been a given, as it is coming from the one place that is known for having up to three redundancies for every condition? That place did not anticipate a situation where the women had to carry the ball to a required solution? I am not buying that story, so in this I wonder if NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz can live with herself having to sell the world the story that there was a lack of right sized spacesuits. The Titanic taught us what happens when we run out of lifeboats, in addition if we accept the definition: “Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure, and are necessary for extravehicular activity (EVA), work done outside spacecraft“, so if we accept: ‘as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure‘, can we assume that NASA was operating this flight with an additional risk towards loss of life?

Are men so afraid that they can no longer compete on skill levels, so that they have to tilt the seesaw of achievement towards their gender giving limitations to the other side? I am actually baffled that this is seemingly so readily accepted. In all the news we see all kinds of contemplated news on how acceptable this event was, in all the news pretty much only Stephen Colbert and a few true news cover people gave NASA a run for its money. For the most nearly all failed to spot the utter failure of their contemplated issue on what is supposed to be required. None of the redundant spokespeople seemed to have noticed the flaw either.

That is perhaps the saddest part of news in all this.

 

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