Tag Archives: ACCC

Saved by the Ding Dong

Yup, we all have these moments, you are about to take a dive into one direction, hen just in time, you see the shark swim by and as it goes, you end up jumping the shark by jumping away. I was about to go into a stage of my opposition to existential philosophy, it does not matter why, but the stage is seen as the shark (scammers) give me a reason to jump the other way. So as ABC gives us ‘Scammers target desperate renters on Sunshine Coast as housing crisis continues, the article (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-12/scammers-taking-advantage-of-desperate-sunshine-coast-renters/100032390), where we see “Late last year Morgan Smith, a single mother of two, found “a gorgeous house” in Peregian Springs at a reasonable price, listed on Facebook”, it is a state of as close as pointless and useless as a situation gets. This is not about the almost victim Morgan Smith, she did as much as she could have, the idea that in a stage of 0.4% availability. Do you seriously think that anyone would would offer a ‘reasonable price’ location via Facebook to complete strangers? A person with available rental property will soon have more fake friends than Kim Kardassian ever had. 

The stage of Facebook is overrated and to some degree outright dangerous and the federal government there (QLD) is clueless, outmatched and overwhelmed to the largest degree. I will bet you that there is not a viable trace to work on with these scammers, is there? 

So when we take notice of “Since the start of the year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has received 32 reports of rental or accommodation scams from Queenslanders, totalling $8,000 in losses”, we see the larger failing of places like Facebook, a stage not for the openminded and openly communicating people, but the ones seeking scams and phishing opportunity against unknown people and the stage is set by not INFORMING the people on the dangers of Facebook, because like that shark in the deep blue sea, Facebook has it own level of vermin and they hide better online than the roaches in your living room. So, as we start to take notice of ““The second one is that Australia has really lax laws around cybersecurity.” Mr Connory estimated there were about two million cyber crimes committed last year”, some might take notice of just how clueless the federal government is. A stage that has been there for several years and a stage that has according to some ‘two million cyber crimes committed’, and still we see the federal government fighting for advertisement money and a lot less for increased protection for it citizens and increased options for hunting down cybercriminals? Aren’t you wondering why that is? Is it because the bill is only $8,000? I wonder what ill be found when we consider “1.93 million of those cybercrimes were never investigated, never looked at”, as such when we see ““If somebody has your date of birth, your tax file number and your driver’s licence  they can act as if they were you. “They can go and create companies, they can try to set up phone bills.” Mr Connory said that a driver’s licence and tax file number could not be changed in several states. “Once they’ve been compromised, you’re always going to have issues, pretty much for the rest of your life,” he said.” In this I take offence to: ‘Once they’ve been compromised, you’re always going to have issues, pretty much for the rest of your life’, if the Federal Government has that much problems fixing the matter, give me the name and address of the roach, I will personally cap their fucking brains, it needs to end and there needs to be a clear consequence there too. If if cannot be fixed we need to find another solution and if the only good scammer is a dead scammer, then so mote it be. We see the government coming up short, we see tech firms coming up short and we merely see victims, so who is with me on this?

I do not fault the ACCC, I get it when they give us “A spokesperson for the ACCC said to be wary of “any property you are told you will be unable to view in person before handing over any bond or rent money”.” And it makes sense to do the research, it really does, yet the stage we see now is a stage with two players (government and Facebook) letting the scam ride and none of them have a clue to stop it, especially when they rely on AI, and when we consider that AI is still a decade away, they are basically telling the scammers that they have a decade left to make a killing, so why do we not invoke our own killing? 

Emotions?
This is indeed overemotional, yet the stage of people in pain (shortage of budgets), people hurting (impact of budget) and we see some scammers having a field day. We need to make sure that they understand that they must be willing to put their lives on the line, if they are relying on the minor defence, too bad, their parents should have been there to teach them the lessons that matter, if they are adult they should accept that there is a price for everything. We played the nanny state to these clowns for too long and now when we realise that there are well over a million optional victims, it is time to make the tally. It is the cost of doing business and if so, business will be good. When you consider that we can buy a 9mm bullet for $0.61, we can conclude that business will be good for us and perhaps a little less good for the scammers. We can twist and turn all we can and come up with some kind of ‘compromise’, yet I feel that it is way too late for that, especially as the law and Facebook seem more protective of the scammers, than the victims, so why do we not turn that around?

I am all for the law, yet I believe that the law has failed its victims too often and it is time to give the scammers less protection, also less life, but that might merely be me. 

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Filter by Gender.

Yup we have all done it, we tend to filter. The horny (especially teenagers) want to talk, chat and video whatever to the members of the other gender (well, most of them anyway). We filter by the needs we have, business needs, personal needs and artistic needs, we filter. There is for the most nothing wrong with that. Yet it also tends to keep you in a little box. I come from the previous internet era, I never got into Napster but I loved Audiogalaxy. I had it so I could listen to music when I was travelling and it opened up doors. I learned about the Corrs, Bond, the Dixie Chicks, Linkin Park, Orbital and a few others. It grew my CD collection by leaps and that made me happy, in an age where my work kept me from MTV, Audiogalaxy showed me other venues of music. I forwent the filter and I learned about and got to appreciate bands I would never have considered. Filtering is not all bad.

Yet what happens when filtering goes overboard in another direction? Today I learned a new word, I word I should have been aware of but I do not remember hearing it. The word is ‘Femicide’ and it is not a good word. It was Al Jazeera that made me aware, the article ‘Rage boils over amid Argentina’s unrelenting femicide crisis’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/24/rage-boils-over-amid-argentinas-unrelenting-femicide-crisis). It got my attention in the first as it was about Argentina and my mother was from there. In the second it was the by-line “Femicide of 18-year-old Ursula Bahillo pushed thousands into the streets of Buenos Aires this month to demand action”. In this there are two parts, the first is “About 87,400 results” (when we look for Ursula Bahillo) and the second part is that the big newspapers are missing on the news search result on the first page. A Spanish version from the BBC is at the bottom of the page, no Washington Post, no NY Times, no Times, no Guardian (the list goes on) and it sickens me for another reason. You see, one hour ago the Guardian gives us ‘Princess Latifa letter urges UK police to investigate sister’s Cambridge abduction’, some princess gets the news on optionally being abducted and whilst Al Jazeera reports “Nearly 300 femicides were reported in the country in 2020”, other newspapers keep us in the dark and these idiots demand money from Facebook and Google, whilst not informing us? I see this as one of the clearest ‘What the Fuck?’ moments of the year.

I never felt comfortable bout honour killings. I understand that it exist and in those countries there is an issue, I am massively against that setting in other nations. I cannot convict it as I am not Muslim, yet outside of Muslim nations it is an issue, yet femicide should not be ANYWHERE and the fact that we are kept in the dark by most papers is a larger issue, but I will let you worry about that. It kind of intersects with ‘Australia urged to follow allies in denouncing China’s repression of Uighurs as ‘genocide’’, the fact that genocide is happening and someone needs to ‘urge’ Australia shows that we are not as evolved as we think we are. By the way, the first 5 pages of that search shows no Australian papers at all, as such should they be allowed to exist? That is a more serious question than you think. If the ACCC are all about media laws and the need to blame tech companies, in this my message after seeing ‘ACCC chief claims victory after Facebook standoff’ to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims will be “Sir, I consider you to be a fucking joke! You are hereby responsible to make sure that the events around Ursula Bahillo are to be seen in EVERY Australian newspaper as per immediate. If you (as it seems) champion discrimination, you need to be openly told this”, my issue here is that Microsoft was left out of the media consideration, they were waiting all their resources on their Azure cloud and now that we see “Microsoft will ensure that small businesses who wish to transfer their advertising to Bing can do so simply and with no transfer costs.  We recognise the important role search advertising plays to the more than two million small businesses in Australia” (source: Microsoft) all whilst we see western media absent to the plight of Ursula Bahillo and hundreds more shows that the media was never to be considered any options (if the Leveson report was not enough evidence). As such, how much action did the UN take to the Femicide cause? I know they have done some work, yet when I see ‘United Nations asks UAE for proof that Princess Latifa is alive’ all whilst the Google Search “Ursula Bahillo United Nations” gives no real links on the western media, why is that? That is even beside the fact on how active UN essay writers became against the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they even went so far to push for issues regarding  cyber crimes on an American Industrial (Jeff Bezos) all whilst the presented evidence had several shades of debatability. As I see it, we need larger changes and if the media relies on political bitches (as one might say) to do their revenue work for them, they will need to be held liable, yet I reckon that some editors will cry like little bitches and point towards ‘freedom of the press’, I wonder how long it will take for someone to consider that ‘accountability of the press’ is also a matter that needs consideration. Al Jazeera brought more to the surface than some media players are happy with. Consider your paper, or their website (whichever it is) and look for Ursula Bahillo, how many articles did you find? What we are shown matters, whether is be Femicide in Argentina, persecution of Uighurs or any other news. As I personally see it when we filter by gender and the filtering agent is the media we have lost control and the insane are at the helm of a ship called sanity. That’s merely my $0.02 on the matter.

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The danger of being wrong

It happens, to you and me, sometimes we are wrong. It can be because of belief, it can be because of presented facts, or it is linked to the faith you hold. Faith, not religion! In this I have a surprising large foundation of preference towards being incorrect, not being wrong. They are not the same. When you are incorrect, it tends to be towards a specific part of the equation, when you are wrong, you are looking at another equation. That tends to set you on the wrong foot, the one that cannot kick the ball.

For me it started roughly 780 seconds ago when the BBC gives us ‘Facebook Australia: PM Scott Morrison ‘will not be intimidated‘ by tech giant’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-56109036). To be honest this mess started a few weeks ago when politicians were starting to suck up to a desperate media setting. The larger fear is not merely the new linking and cookie solution that Google is working on, and that is before they realise that my new IP takes the newspapers out of ALL equations. It was not intentional, but the fact that my solution gets rid of ‘filtered information’ carriers is just icing on the cake. So the article gives us “Australians on Thursday woke up to find that Facebook pages of all local and global news sites were unavailable. People outside the country are also unable to read or access any Australian news publications on the platform”, which suit me just fine, it is not my use of social media, as such I do not care of seeing news (read: filtered information) there. So when we consider the information from the same source giving us “The world-first law aims to address the media’s loss of advertising revenue to US tech firms” my initial somewhat less diplomatic view tends to lean towards “Who the fuck are you legalising advertisement revenue and who gets it?” From my seat it looks like that everyone is all about free trade until the friends of politicians lose their trade, then it becomes a political setting towards protecting those moneybags, that is how I see it. The fact that the media did not comprehend what digital media and digital advertisement was until it was much too late, why do we cater to them? In that same setting how much protection will the Yellow Pages receive against that same media outlet trying to rip dollars from tech companies? The world evolves and those who cannot adjust die, or go under. This is how capitalism works. The stage is even less acceptable when we consider the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/oct/11/the-press-were-never-in-a-post-leveson-straitjacket) giving us “It has always suited journalists to suggest it is unwise for victims of illegality to pursue justice against newspaper publishers”, so not only is it unwise for victims to get against their media harassers, we see a larger stage where politicians and laws are devised to protect them from acts of technological evolution. In this at what point are they held to account for their actions?

So when we consider the part where we see “Under the code, news outlets will be required to negotiate commercial deals individually or collectively with Facebook and Google. If they cannot reach an agreement, an arbitrator will decide whose offer is more reasonable. If Facebook or Google break any resulting agreements, they can be fined up to A$10 million ($7.4 million) in civil penalties”, we see discrimination. Microsoft Bing is not in that equation, why not? In addition, why would we want to see any Australian news in our social media? Come think of it, the setting that Facebook has with advertisements goes back to 2007, so over almost 14 years, the media was incomprehensibly incompetent toward advertisements and the impact. 

In 14 years they did almost nothing to counter it with their own version, by the end of 2012 they had passed 1 billion users, 5 years later they doubled that. (at https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/)
And the media sat on their hands, they sat on their hands to such a degree that now politicians are aiding the filtered information bringers to get some more undeserved revenue, in addition these same politicians did nothing to overhaul the tax laws, so how does that play?

As such why do they deserve that leg up? Oh and in this stage if the population is a solar system, planet earth becomes a system with planet Bing, planet IBM, planet Google, planet Facebook and planet media. In this planet media is mercury, scorched from being too close to the sun, Saturn and Jupiter are Google and Facebook, each with their own asteroids and moons, al having their own function, Mercury, like the media has no moons, no services to offer, merely a printed media solution, as such, how much protection did the parchment guild get when the news went to the pulp business? What was left for the paper mills?

The paper mill is a nice touch, I actually went to one, I saw how paper is made and we all go towards: ‘Yes, but that is now obsolete’, this is true, but in that same light, the media we see today made THEMSELVES obsolete. They did not apply the brakes when they had the option and the Leveson inquiry is merely one of a few examples. When one side of media becomes too populistic, people can no longer tell or differentiate, that made them obsolete and now that this is the stage they want to hang to any solution they can, even the ones that require legality, all whilst they hang freedom of speech and freedom of expression somewhere else so they can accuse others of negating their right to show that freedom of filtered information.

Another voice is journalism professor at City University New York Jeff Jarvis, he gives us (at https://pressgazette.co.uk/media-bargaining-code/) ““The Code is built on a series of fallacies. First is the idea that Google and Facebook should owe publishers so much as a farthing for linking to their content, sending them audience, giving them marketing. In any rational market, publishers would owe platforms for this free marketing, except that Google at its founding decided not to sell links outside of advertisements. The headlines and snippets the platforms quote are necessary to link to them, and if the publishers don’t want to be included, it is easy for them to opt out…”, he gave this yesterday, I was on that train a week ago. And as I see “if the publishers don’t want to be included, it is easy for them to opt out”, the ACCC was eager not to include that little snippet of the equation making them a tool and optionally a joke too. As such we might wonder what politicians are dong (apart from helping their media friends remaining a non-poor entity), I could be wrong, I could be incorrect. I believe I am neither and that is the stage we see, all whilst the bringers of filtered information continue their revenue round one more lap, that is until the race is called. I believe it was called some time ago, but that is merely me. I could be wrong.

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From drain to sewer

To be honest, I am not surprised. In this day and age of overruling greed and the lack of care I see a change and this change will set woe to Australia and its local brands. It all started with overly stupid shareholders and stake holders, who engaged greed driven politicians on prolonging the lifestyle that some would and should never have been allowed to continue. I am of course talking on those relying on journalism. This is not about the journalists, although they are not entirely without blame. The news was happy to side with a player who has less than 5% of the market. So they were happy to go towards a player who has a mere 1/20 slice of the advertisement cake, this was never about fair, or about realism. 

In the first when we see “Under the proposed bill digital platforms would be required to pay media companies for content” EVERYONE is ignoring the part where the media can decide not to be on the digital format, they can decide not to post their messages on Google Search or place them on Facebook. So why is it an option. It is like advertising on the Yellow Pages and demanding the Yellow Pages for payment for the privilege of showing these articles. The ACCC and a few other players were happy to ignore that part, in addition we see them ignoring the fact that some of these papers have articles that ALWAYS push the link to a payment portal. There is more, these greed driven silly people relied on Microsoft and their Bing flaw to take the forefront into staging the response of “both would have to better compensate news publications for displaying their content, as well as give outlets more information about their search and newsfeed algorithms”, in this, the stage of ‘better compensate news publications’ as well as ‘give outlets more information about their search and newsfeed algorithms’, in this Microsoft who only has at best 5% is eager to increase its market share, yet there is a reason that they only have 5% and the news is only getting worse. As Australia moves away from Google search, they are cutting their fingers in a few more places as well. As silly people are all about their personal gains and personal wealth, the idiots owning the media that they are demanding payment for are all in a stage that they never understood in the first place. The Conversation gives us ‘The old news business model is broken: making Google and Facebook pay won’t save journalism’ (at https://theconversation.com/the-old-news-business-model-is-broken-making-google-and-facebook-pay-wont-save-journalism-150357). There we see “The code is meant to help alleviate the revenue crisis facing news publishers. Over the past two decades they have made deep cuts to newsrooms. Scores of local print papers have become “digital only” or been shut down completely”, as such, we seem to overlook that the elderly owning news media (example the Murdoch wannabe’s) never understood the digital part. We optionally see this in “To understand why the commercial news model is so broken, we first need to recognise what the primary business of commercial news media has been: attracting an audience that can be sold to advertisers”, Google already has the audience and Microsoft wants them too, so silly people (optionally including the politicians) are setting a slippery slope and Australia is about to lose whatever global foothold they have. In this the silly people are clueless on the damage that will hit. 

This is seen in two parts, the first is “2021 Cloud Report from Cockroach Labs ranked Google Cloud Platform as the best-performing of the three major public cloud platforms, offering an impressive threefold advantage in throughput capability”, so not only is Microsoft out of options, they are severely outclassed by Google (and optionally IBM as well), a stage that is influencing a global stage that we see (at https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/consumer-industrial-products/articles/global-powers-of-retailing.html#), so consider the players that have some global visibility. Players like Wesfarmers, Woolworths and JB HiFi. All players that were until 2020 in the top 250, now consider that they are removed from that field. This is because Microsoft does not count on the global field, not with a mere 5%, 7% on the global stage, we get it that Microsoft wants it desperately, but the silly people never realised that the media is now influencing a stage where others will no longer count as well. It is the purest form of ‘Think local, act global’ it would sound nice, but it merely makes Australian brands no longer a global player, a stage that will make New Zealand the number one consumer target for Australian brands and wherever they are second place, they become obsolete. The ACCC should be proud of not comprehending the larger stage. And in all this as the Conversation informs us of “before 2000 print media attracted nearly 60% of Australian advertiser dollars, according to an analysis for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Digital Platforms Inquiry. By 2017 it was just 12%”, we see the initial folly, it almost reads like the setting of Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin where we see ‘There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader’, but the media was never a leader in the digital media (or media for that matter), they were merely facilitators to shareholders and stake holders, as such ‘their’ people are already the population of planet Google and Microsoft wants to annex that population in any way they can. So whilst the ACCC is setting a Microsoft stage, the media is still clueless on what is required. As we see “the core of the problem is that funding such journalism through advertising is no longer viable. Other solutions are needed – locally and nationally – to ensure its survival”, it is the larger setting they all relied on advertisers, advertiser whores for a better reference, yet in all this the newspapers are all drowning most pages in advertisements, it is partial evidence of remaining clueless. The owners needed to act over a decade ago, that is seen in the decrease from 60% to 12%, a decade of decrease and nothing was done and now that they are desperate Microsoft steps in, they will save the day, or so they say but will they? They only have a 7% global penetration, they did this to themselves by forgetting that the consumer had become in charge to some degree, it is what Google wanted all along, they merely became the facilitator of whatever the consumer required and requested, the media does not understand as they think that they are the centre of the universe, but in a global setting with thousands of voices they are merely a discord in a choir at best. 

So as the small players listening to the media are throwing away whatever options they have to the media, the media is locally acting to fill its pockets, although they will not see it that way and Microsoft is in a stage where they gain 25,000,000 bing users. And in that stage where 5G passes Microsoft by, the Australians will see a decade of hardship with no future options at all. Well some players will proclaim in their presentations that this is not the case, but when their presentations run dry and when we get to 2023 and players like Wesfarmers, Woolworths and JB HiFi will no longer be on a top 500 list, at that point some people will wonder why they listened to the silly people. I can only hope that my IP is sold before that because the hardship Australia faces with no global audience is not one I hope to rely on, and when you realise just how dangerous this setting is, you will not want that either.

In this when you realise that the media pushed you to a room in the sewer with that view, will you finally realise that the media, their shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers have sold you a bag of goods whilst calling it ‘life on quality street’? Who will you hold accountable the moment you realise that?

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Click bitches

Yup, that is what they are making us out to be. We can offer the thought that Facebook and Twitter are not aware what is happening, but the reality is that they do not care. It is the price of a free service. I knew that from the start, nothing comes for free, but the choice of advertisement that Twitter and Facebook Arte giving us is becoming a larger issue, in addition I received some news that some people were allegedly approached to get scammed, this happens, but one person gave me that from 2-3 times a year that there has been an attempt to scam through his phone once a day for the last three days, the scales have been altered and in all this we need to set a much larger stage. And as some advertisement is aimed to turn us into click bitches to go from picture (with a dozen advertisements) to another picture we have no way of knowing as to what the role behind it is, perhaps it is $25 on the house from +6797234009, perhaps it is allegedly winning GBP 6,500,000 from www.m65s.net with the helpline info@mobcollas.com, or even it is facing jurisprudential fines from 18000243109. The numbers start adding up and Australian law is seemingly clueless on what to do, because it is not their prerogative, merely stating the face of the Sydney Morning Herald and Rupert Murdoch through the stated news ‘Google clashes with Australia watchdog over proposed law to force it to pay for news’, so how about changing the setting to avoid more issues by also stating that newspapers and media are not allowed on social media? Would that level the playing field? When we do that, we see that ALL the remaining news on social media is fake, is that a solution? Does it fall back to the ‘News Media Bargaining Code’?, I do not belief that to be the case, I think that there are two issues and I think that they influence one another. The ACCC gives us “The Government asked that a draft mandatory code be released for public consultation before the end of July 2020, with a final code to be settled soon thereafter.” It is perhaps the first time that a law was drafted up so quickly, and in that view when we see “The development of a code of conduct is part of the Government’s response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry final report to promote competition, enhance consumer protection and support a sustainable Australian media landscape in the digital age”, in all this the lacking ‘enhance consumer protection’ is very much out in the open and it is failing more and more.

So when we look at ‘Protecting yourself from scams’ on the ACCC website, and the ACCC Scam watch had NOTHING on the dangers of advertisements handing over details for scamming, in the same way there is a chance that data is being gathered by games, so how far is that investigation going? It seems that some are waiting for us to become click bitches and as we consider Click Fraud with the underlying quote “Click fraud is a type of fraud that occurs on the Internet in pay-per-click online advertising. In this type of advertising, the owners of websites that post the ads are paid an amount of money determined by how many visitors to the sites click on the ads”, as such, how much investigation did the ACCC do into the danger to the consumers before running to help the media? 

The dangers to the consumers is larger than Hacking, Identity theft, Phishing and Remote access scams and seemingly too many people are unaware, perhaps they have been turned into click bitches. 

 

 

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The Australian Catastrophic Colliding Canine

I tend to keep my eyes on Europe, mainly because what impacts the UK today will have an impact on Australia a week later; in addition to that, what happens in Japan today when it comes to consumer electronics and mobile events will get to Australia 3-5 years later. In that respect having a larger view on matters is essential to keep an eye on what could become an impact tomorrow.

Yesterday was different, with ‘Regulation needed to save Australian journalism from Facebook and Google, watchdog says‘ we see the impact for Australia now and to be honest, I can’t stop laughing at present. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/11/regulation-needed-to-curb-facebook-and-google-competition-watchdog-says)

When I read: “Rod Sims, said the digital platforms inquiry, which delivered its preliminary report in December, reveals that the market power enjoyed by the digital behemoths is weakening Australian media“, the giggles increase. Especially when we consider ‘the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news’, well we could consider that the Australian media is for the most not doing that either. For the most Australian media is weakening Australian media plain and simple. To name but a one issue, October 2012, I alerted the media to an issue impacting 30 million gamers within the commonwealth. I directly alerted Channel 7, Channel 9 and the Sydney Morning Herald; the all ignored it to the largest degree. There were clear screenshots on how the impact was given, yet the left it on the left of what was important. A change by Sony for their gaming community 3 weeks before the PS4 was released, they all (except for the Australian Guardian) ignored it for the most, and perhaps it was not news? What they (as I personally see it) intentionally ignored is that the Sony Terms of Service is a legally binding contract, the mention of a memo is merely a piece of paper that could be ignored the very next directors meeting. The press needed advertisement dollars and Sony is high on that list of needs, PlayStation 4 was big bucks, plain and simple. In addition there were debatable reviews of Microsoft for the period of two years and the least said about Apple the better, as I see it Australian Media is its own worst enemy. It is my personally view to size up global media as a collection of prostitutes with a priority towards the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers, the audience comes in 4th position at best. So when I see: “However, while taking the lion’s share of advertising revenue, the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news“, we need to wonder where Australian quality news is found. I will agree that this is found at SBS and ABC, but they are the two exceptions to all this.

When the British Daily Mail gives us on the 9th of February “Respected Channel 7 news reporter Emily Angwin (pictured) was said to be furious at a number of work emails questioning the integrity of the newsroom in Melbourne” is anyone actually surprised? Is it true? We cannot tell because in many ways most of the Australian media is no longer that reliable. And from my vantage point it becomes worse when we go to https://au.news.yahoo.com/. Here we see above the fold ‘Hero pitbull breaks out of home to find help for owner during gas leak‘, ‘Restaurant blames waitress for ‘incredibly racist’ receipt‘, and ‘‘Whoah!’ Man’s breath test returns ‘biologically impossible’ result‘. This is the kind of emotional reporting that gives news a bad name. Compare that to abc.net.au where we see: ‘Global drug trafficking operation run out of Villawood detention centre, phone taps reveal‘, ‘Missing persons expert slams investigation of young mother’s suspected homicide‘, as well as ‘Why the AWU wants to question Michaelia Cash in court over union raids‘. So one is clearly about news, the other is about creating emotional events. I let you decide which is which, and as we take notice of: “Given all this, it is also vital that media businesses are not disadvantaged through the exercise of market power or other mechanisms that make it difficult for them to compete on their merits” We see that the there is another case in dispute. The dispute is ‘media businesses‘ versus ‘journalism‘, so I hope that the ACCC realises that not only are they not the same, they are at present mere dimensions apart.

And questions need to be asked at the Channel 9 address as well. We can agree that the headlines are better than those of Channel 7 when we see: ‘Exclusive: Vampire Killer Tracey Wigginton’s disturbing new posts‘, ‘Man found with gunshot wound to his stomach in Melbourne’s north-west‘, as well as ‘Snorkeller found dead on sea floor off Mornington Peninsula‘, yet there too we have issues as every news item gives us headers and banners of advertisement. News is news and the main players have resorted to self-indulgence of advertising, reloading at every page. The journalism is merely second best at best.

It becomes a different puppy when we look at the mention “The financial viability of these businesses is also not assured as demonstrated by BuzzFeed and Vice recently announcing redundancies in Australia, as well as worldwide“, you see from my point of visibility, we see the Wikipage part (for mere illustration) where the visible information is: “Originally known for online quizzes, “listicles”, and pop culture articles, the company has grown into a global media and technology company, providing coverage on a variety of topics including politics, DIY, animals, and business.” Now, I have seen those buzzfeeds on my Facebook page and I decided not to give them any consideration (as a news source). Even as we now see (I was honestly not aware) “In late 2011, Buzzfeed hired Ben Smith of Politico as editor-in-chief, to expand the site into serious journalism, long-form journalism, and reportage.” We can accept and appreciate that Buzzfeed was taking a serious gander into journalism, yet when people are not aware (or another part of them has created more awareness), we get the impact of consideration versus awareness and non-awareness loses clicks, it is that simple, and the same applies for Australian sources. For the most, the only Australian sources I give consideration to are: ABC, SBS, the Guardian (Australian edition) and that is pretty much it; the rest is too often a waste of time. When we are serious about news, we go to the places where they offer it, not where they claim to offer it. That is how I personally see it and I use the Guardian as a source (as it is free) and I neglect the Times (most often) as I am not a paid subscriber and I feel it is money not greatly spend when I am, like most others on a budget, as such it is not money I have available to do that. It is an important factor as I am merely one of many that need to get by on a budget, that too impacts the news and the ACCC is a little ignorant on that part as well.

They might want to strike out at Google and Facebook. Yet Google News gives us ALL the headlines, from almost every source and that links to the local news articles. So when we see “The preliminary report recommended a powerful new authority to oversee the commercial activities of Google and Facebook” My question becomes ‘How is that going to make a difference?‘ In the end this is not about journalism, but about media and they are not the same, if the ACCC wants to make an actual impact, looking at the quality of journalism we will see that Australia will be left with the Guardian, ABC and SBS. When we were introduced to: “The Turnbull government has announced a funding freeze for the ABC but a boost for the Special Broadcasting Service“, whilst the boost is a mere $14.6 million over two years, when we realise that this all reads like a joke, how useless is the ACCC in all this and whilst we see the decimated pool of journalists, what are they doing (apart from wasting our time on something that the seemingly see as a waste of effort and budget), it is from my point of view a mere article on the foundation that reads: “Australian media is seen as irrelevant, we do not know what to do“, and it is shown against the likes of Facebook and Google, where we need to realise that they are also two different dimensions. Facebook is a mass advertisement channel, a channel that assumes that they know what their granular population wants through scripted likes and the scripted likes of the connections of that person, and Google shows the news in directions that the people searched in, or searched for. One is budget based, the other is user keywords based and the ACCC is seemingly in the dark on the fact that for the most people no longer see Australian media as relevant. That is shown a mere 34 seconds ago when I searched for “Channel 7 News” in the News tab, I was treated to: ‘Channel 7 presenter makes heartbreaking plea‘, ‘Ripped bodybuilder ends TV interview on a wild note‘, as well as ‘Caesarean birth to be broadcast live on Channel 7‘. As I see it, when it comes to visibility is seems to me that Channel 7 has a lot to learn as to the bidding on keywords as well as their methodology on how to properly position news, as well as their approach on how they want to present the ‘news’ (https://7plus.com.au/seven-news-sydney), for most people a 44 minute newscast is not the way to go (having one is still important for many though).

In the end, as I see it, the ACCC is up against the image of certain channels, their digital policies, as well as the approach they have towards news and advertisers. It is becoming less about journalism and merely about the positioning of media which is done tremendously below average. If you want to see how it should be done, watch The Guardian (UK) and BBC News (also UK), for those with language skills, the Dutch Volkskrant (at https://www.volkskrant.nl/), as well as The Swedish SVT (at https://www.svt.se/). As I personally see it Australian media has a lot to learn and that lacking part is not up to the ACCC, apart from them bashing the Australian media from drowning people in advertisements to a level that is just making them irrelevant. It is merely my point of view and I might be wrong, yet I personally do not think so. The foreign amount of visitors to the Guardian, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the French Le Monde (at https://www.lemonde.fr/) are indicative of my views.

So in all that, how are regulations going to solve anything in any near future?

 

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Two sides of fruit

There are always issues when you get to the topic of fruits. One is the question whether it applies to the members of the US congress (the members of the US Senate are usually labelled as nuts). Is it an issue with actual nutritional products or are we talking about the device that Newton used for gravity? Yes, it is the third one as Newton discovered gravity with an apple.

Yet even here we see two sides at present. The first one is seen with ‘iMac Pro: Apple launches powerful new desktop – starting at $4,999‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/05/imac-pro-apple-launches-powerful-new-desktop-macbook-starting-at-4999). Here we see the quote “The new iMac Pro starts with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, but can be configured with an 18-core processor variant, as well as up to 128GB of EEC RAM, 4TB of SSD storage and Radeon Vega discrete graphics cards with up to 16GB of memory“, you see, Apple, like Microsoft, IBM and since resent ASUS have become agents of iterations, true innovation has not been on their shores for too long a time, which is why my new device is for consideration with Huawei and Google alone. Only they have shown the continued race for actual innovation. there is also Samsung, but as I had a legal issue in 1991, I took them from the consideration list, I can hold a grudge like only the Olympian gods can. Still in their defence. the question becomes how can you make a computer truly innovative? It is a question that is not easily answered. there are a few options, yet some of the technology required is still in its infancy here.

In addition, in similar ways, iWork has been unable to grow due to the restrictions (read: limitations) that the suite offers. Instead of trying to persuade the Microsoft Office users (which is not a bad path), iWork has not grown in the directions it could and they are now paying for it through reduced exposure. Still, there remains a valid opposition to my accusation of: ‘have become agents of iterations’. To see this, we cannot just state that there is a new iMac and as such they are merely iterating. There is in addition the issue of hardware versus software. So in my view, a true innovation would have been a Wi-Fi upgrade, not just a faster system, but a system that is keyed to the home and mobile devices. As we are now a little over a year from the first steps of 5G, as we are all more and more connected via different devices, Apple left out in the open a huge sales opportunity by having the options of having devices linked and interlocked. A missed opportunity. You see as bandwidth becomes more and more an issue, as we tend to have a home bandwidth that is 100 times larger, having the option of the auto upgrade manager on your desktop device (iMac). So when you come home, apps and content will be distributed to the devices you want them to placed in. So at home ‘without even thinking’ (sorry Microsoft for using your Windows 95 slogan). the devices will do what needs to be done and you need not mind. You see, as people are trying to push Block chain into every financial corner, those people forgot on how block chains can also be the foundation for users on multiple devices. Now that is not always needed, because we get mail in the cloud, data in the cloud and via the cloud, but that is not for everyone. In addition, people forget about the photo’s they took and they do not always want that in some cloud. There are legions of options here, but at time we want some of this offline. finally, as we do specific tasks (for example on a train), we prefer not to lose too much bandwidth whilst on a train. Tablet and mobile bandwidth can be expensive. In equal size we tend to forget how large some files are and as such we could rush through our bandwidth in no time. This is just one of two options and we have seen very little development in that regard. Apple might want to let others develop it first, but that also leaves them with less when they need to have that additional step forward. It was a mistake Microsoft hid behind for the better part of 2 decades. In that same approach we see how consultancy and project software could benefit a different side in their designs. Now, that is not for Apple to side with, but it could have been an opportunity to grow in new directions. Anyway this is not about starting a fight on 3rd party vs others, this is about iteration vs innovation and Apple has been reluctantly innovative.

This gets us to the other side of it and here I am not siding with Apple, but I am wondering if Apple has been treated correctly. This we see in ‘Apple ‘error 53’ sting operation caught staff misleading customers, court documents allege‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/05/apple-error-53-sting-operation-caught-staff-misleading-customers-court-documents-allege). Now first let’s take a look at the error 53 part. The issue is that “‘Error 53’ is a message that occurred after updating to iOS 9.0 on iPhones of people who had had their TouchID fingerprint sensor replaced by a repair shop not licensed by Apple. The phones were rendered useless because the operating system update detected a mismatch between the sensor and the phone, and locked the device, assuming unauthorised access was being attempted.

Now here we see two sides.

In the first side we see “Knives damaged by misuse, improper maintenance, self-repair, or tampering are not covered.“, this is something Buck knives has in play. By the way, this comes with a life time warranty so that remains awesome. In addition, for decades TV warranties were voided if unauthorised repairs were made (or repairs by unqualified repairman). With laptops there was Compaq, who would void any warranty if a non Compaq technician had worked on it. They even created special Compaq screwdrivers to keep a handle on it all. So when we see ‘replaced by a repair shop not licensed by Apple‘, I am not certain if the ACCC has a case, they have not acted against Philips, Sony and a few others for the longest of times.

So when I read: “accuses Apple of wrongly telling customers they were not entitled to free replacements or repair if they had taken their devices to an unauthorised third-party repairer” I remain in doubt whether they have a case.

So when we see “Australian consumer law clearly protects the right of a customer to a replacement or free repair if the product is faulty or of unacceptable quality“, which I agree with, yet the owner did not go to Apple, did they? I have had my own issue with Apple in this regard (different device), yet can we agree that when we read: “It is however important to note that if a non-genuine part is fitted to your Toyota and that part’s failure or the incorrect fitment damages your vehicle, then that damage may not be covered by your Toyota Warranty“, so how can something that applies and is valid for Toyota is not valid for Apple?

I believe that ACCC acted out with another agenda. The need for warranty protection by having repairs done by authorised service people has been in the axial of repairs for decades. In addition, when we look at the facts, why would ANYONE go to a third party for warranty repair? That is just insane. So when we read “wrongly telling customers they were not entitled to free replacements or repair if they had taken their devices to an unauthorised third-party repairer“, I am actually wondering how they could come to the conclusion ‘wrongly‘. You see when we read: “Australian consumer law clearly protects the right of a customer to a replacement or free repair if the product is faulty or of unacceptable quality” we now wonder how true that is. You see, warranty is either valid (Apple fixes it for free), or it is beyond the warranty term and you have to pay for it and then it is no longer done for free, so you might select a third party. Yet if this is not an Apple authorised dealer, don’t you have anyone but yourself to blame?

So this is the other side of the apple, what constitutes voided warranty.

You see, if Apple loses this part, I can start repairing Raytheon’s Griffin systems. You see the upgrade (from C to C-ER) and equipment alignment costs are roughly $15,000 per day (excluding parts), if you do not have the proper Service Level Agreement. I can offer to do it for $5,000 a day. so if my work is shoddy (which they will not know until they fire the device, I can be very innovative towards my income), can they apply for warranty at Raytheon, or have they voided their options? You see I will have a NDA with a ‘this repair has been completed to our highest corporate standards’, so I am in the clear and the way the world goes, with 225 upgrades, I will have a decent Christmas this year. Yet at that point the ACCC will not go after Raytheon, it will go after me (what a whuzzes). So how come that the rights of Raytheon are better than those of Apple?

It seems that people assume so much with their mobile devices nowadays, I need to wonder if people comprehend what they buy and what responsibilities come with it. In this the initial question ‘Why did you not take your device to Apple?‘ is one that is not addressed at present and as such I have little faith that the ACCC has a decent case at present (in the shape we saw presented today).

the second and first part interacts as the upcoming shifts will in equal part see new frontiers in Service Level Agreements, Customer Responsibility and the comprehension of the elements covered in a warranty. Because what is included is likely to shift a fair bit over the next 2 years. In addition, innovation is also a shifting concept. Whilst it was “a new idea, device or method”, we (read: the corporate marketing departments) have often seen it as ‘the application of a solution that allows to meet the new or altered requirement of the customer‘ which we get when we iterate with a more powerful processor, more storage, larger screen. So going from 1080i to 5K screens might be accepted as truly innovative, because that took another level of screen and electronics. Yet at times, the pass through of merely upgraded speeds are also seen as innovation, yet at what level is that? When the device remains merely the same to the largest extent, is that not merely iteration?

So here we see the two sides of the other Apple. What we see, what the maker offers and how we both interpret the presented term of innovation.

 

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Taking Xbox to Court?

Microsoft seems to have done it again and if the evidence holds up, there will be a powerful backlash towards Microsoft which will have interesting repercussions for Sony. Now, we have seen this all before and even I have a few issues with this all, which was until the following evidence was presented.

  1. The Broadband 4G modem had been exclusively used for the Xbox One.
  2. Security was properly in place (as far as I have been able to confirm)

The following had happened:

Without consent, the Xbox One has seemingly uploaded the following amounts of data:

Date Uploads Date Uploads
2017-01-13 339.1 MB 2017-01-21 591.0 MB
2017-01-14 445.1 MB 2017-01-22 277.6 MB
2017-01-15 242.3 MB 2017-01-23 607.5 MB
2017-01-16 268.8 MB 2017-01-24 210.6 MB
2017-01-17 113.1 MB 2017-01-25 358.8 MB
2017-01-18 793.6 MB 2017-01-26 493.5 MB
2017-01-19 251.6 MB 2017-01-27 482.4 MB
2017-01-20 332.0 MB 2017-01-28 65.2 MB

 

According to the mobile provider the uploaded files are all labelled Windows Azure – support large files download? When calling Microsoft, the help was not any better, the lady was trying to be nice, yet not really aware of what she was talking about. Her response was: ‘we have no influence on uploads, that is the responsibility of your ISP!

So, as the Xbox is uploading, that is suddenly the worry of the victims ISP?

So far the player has only played Fallout 4 without DLC’s, Diablo 3 and the Ezio Collection (Assassins Creed), all these games were played in single player only, so there is absolutely no reason to upload at all. What is even more disturbing is that there are no checks on this part, the mobile provider data so far matches the times that the system was in use for gaming and the times the uploads were happening.

What Microsoft would not be realising, which was a former Microsoft executive referred to as Don Mattrick, who tried to be funny with: “Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called Xbox 360“, yes and as orders were cancelled all over the place Xbox suddenly had a new boss. This all started in November 2015. Well as we seem to gather Microsoft is at it again and they haven’t been thinking this through as per usual (that is, if the facts handed to me and collected are correct), because some gamers are now facing a $120 a month additional bill, so year one for these gamers would be 12 * $120 + $450 for the console, making this device at $1850, three times more expensive than any other console. I think Microsoft forgot about mobile broadband users, they just get additional hardship. What is the issue is that all this is happening without consent and as far as the absent help from Xbox support has indicated, without the ability to switch it off. You see, there are plenty of places where broadband is an issue and those people are depending on mobile broadband and at $10 per 1 GB it adds up really fast.

So, even as Microsoft has now changed this approach (again), would customers have a case to get a full refund for console and all purchased games? Let’s not forget that Microsoft has done a 180 degrees turn on their ‘online requirements’ twice now, as well as it seems the requirement to be online to upload, which in light of single player games should result in several additional questions by parties involved.

So this is where I now stand. Awaiting two additional pieces of evidence. Should they arrive, the plan as the victim wants it is to prohibit Microsoft to continue sales of their devices until the forced uploads are deactivated, as well as reimbursements have been made. I do not think that this has any decent chance, but I will lend my support to all this. Microsoft has been playing their game via third party ‘players’ and as such there have been a few things rising to the surface. I personally believe it to be a harassment approach by Microsoft ‘to be online or else‘. I tested that with the Ezio collection. I went offline and played the game, so far after two days, after restarting the game, the achievement begotten whilst off line did not update. An issue the Xbox 360 never had and actually until recently it was not an issue (so this might be the side effect of something else). As I see it, the same day our victim suddenly say his annual Xbox one usage cost go up by a potential $1440, so we can agree that Microsoft, as per their usual self decided that profit at the expense of anyone else is preferred to a situation where the needs of the customer were respected, especially after the backlash that the first attempt had given them, again, awaiting those two pieces of evidence.

So far all contacts with Microsoft have been with the given air of ‘Well, everyone has unlimited broadband, don’t they?‘, which is nice until you get confronted with the most dangerous of obstacles, the disagreeable landlord, which in this day and age is not a good person to cross and that tends to happen more and more often, yet that is not what this fight is about. We are dealing with consent and undocumented consequences that doubles a person’s internet bill, through means that were not even essential. Off course that is not regarding the need Microsoft has to keep a record and copy of everything you are doing on your console, which by the way is well over 1000% of what multiplayer bandwidth would require, so there too are questions that need to be addressed.

From my point of view, apart from the financial damages that some players are now facing there is:

  1. How can uploads without consent be allowed?
  2. How can 2 single player games trigger a 5.8 GB upload in 15 days?
  3. The reference that the Mobile operator gave was: ‘Windows Azure – support large files download’, all uploads have that same title!
  4. Why is there no logging of uploads in the Xbox One?
  5. Which files and what exactly is being uploaded?
  6. Why did this suddenly start at midnight Friday January 13th 2017? (Which reads equally weird).

These are questions that matter, the reason is that without certain facts, there is absolutely no guarantee that this isn’t merely a hijacked router, which I have been able to prove that this is not the case to some extent.

Questions remain, you see, that part is given by the following sources: “They have clearly mentioned that their commitment to the UK is unchanged. In particular, those customers in Microsoft’s UK data centres should continue to rely on Microsoft’s significant investment plans there“, as well as “Microsoft highlighted that they have more than 5,000 highly qualified people working in fields including support, marketing, gaming, communications, cybersecurity and computer science research in the UK. Also, they have built a global centre of excellence for the development of artificial intelligence and other computing disciplines“, which we see in MS Power User (at https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-re-affirms-its-commitment-to-the-uk-data-centre-expansion-plans-are-still-on-track/), now we need to realise that these are statements from a spokesperson, which means that that we are misrepresented without being lied to. I know, it’s a harsh world. Yet ‘5,000 highly qualified people‘, whilst seeing ‘marketing, gaming, communications, cybersecurity‘, could clearly imply that these are employees and it is not impossible that 40% of that workforce is not working on or connected to Azure. You see, the issue is when we see “Global Data Center Market Strategies, Analysis and Opportunities 2017-2023: Amazon (AWS), Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are in a Class of Their Own“, which we see in Global Newswire. The question that these parts lead to is whether it is possible that:

  1. Microsoft is trying to get an advantage on its capabilities and is trying to maximise the load of their Azure data centres, someone had the bright idea to use gamers for that and the people who tend to be useless in the technical field (read: senior management) forgot about the fact that not everyone has unlimited broadband and that some people (all over the world) pay per gigabyte and after a certain point that gets to be very expensive.
  2. Because the test requires that all (read: unknowingly) must participate, there is no option to switch uploads off, leaving us with the mess in option 1.

Now, this is for now speculative, but in light that I got this scoop and the media is ignoring gaming issues, just like the Sony Issue of 2012, so I am going ahead, so mind you, this story will be updated and there will be a part 2 when the rest of the evidence arrives, which could spark an official request against Microsoft with the Australian ACCC and the British CPS, and if Microsoft is proven not to be the evil organisation that they have been too often, than I will report that too, because just and fairness go both ways, and because it must rain on the just and unjust alike.

So stay tuned!

 

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Is it a scam?

We are all curious by nature. Some facts we want to see, some facts we want to read about, some make us search what is behind it all. This is our natural status to question things. It is our natural way marketing has relied on for decades and it has worked in many ways for all forms of events.

One of the most successful marketing ploys I have ever seen came from the early 80’s. Somehow over the term of a few months in bus booths and on outside walls we would see the spray painted term ‘Penguin Park’. No one had any idea and we all wanted to know what it was. We all started to ask questions and it went viral without needing the internet (which was still a DARPA concept at that time). The buzz was all over the place and within 5 months we found out. A Dutch DJ named Tjarda Leegsma had an idea, he made sure there was a buzz and when his nightclub ‘Penguin Park‘ opened, there was a massive queue to get into his place. That queue would remain for many months when it started. It was the coolest place to be. The music was the hottest, the drinks were the coldest and a Rotterdam night club legend was born. A clear marketing triumph!

Now, many rely on the internet. In this case I am looking at the smoke that is forming around a site called ‘GetMoreIncome’. Here we see a known approach. It is all about implying issues like ‘what you could’, what your lifestyle could be and so on. But do they deliver? That is the entire question, isn’t it?

Unlike an organisation called AMWAY, we get other questions. When you look for AMWAY information, the issue becomes clear soon enough. The internet is riddled with examples. AMWAY is basically a perfectly legal ‘pyramid’ scheme. The people behind it were sort of brilliant. The more people you know and attract, the bigger your discount bonus (read commission becomes). They are not into some quick expensive sales part. It is the one thing we all need: Household articles. The cleaning chemicals are stated to be good, the nutrition bars do not seem to be too bad, so a multibillion dollar industry is here to stay and all can get a few coins out of it. The verdict is out there, most (over 93%) will never get rich, but they end up having lower shopping bills. Is that a bad thing? I think not.

So what about this ‘GetMoreIncome’?

That is indeed the question. When searching Google and other sources, we see many blogs, and they all seem to be some marketing hit towards and in support of this ‘GetMoreIncome’ and NONE OF THEM give you any clear information. I found two that showed a little more, but there too it was all about carefully phrased mentions. This GetMoreIncome should be regarded (as others state) as an MLM approach (not unlike AMWAY). Yet there is a difference. When we see the quote on their site, which is also all over FOXTEL, we see a problem, the quote “I have been thrilled with the results, having made over $15,000 per month for the past 6 months”, sounds nice, but at what cost? Is that including the dozens of hours of phone costs? You see, the website gives NO information at al. It requires you to register and give your details.

This all becomes interesting when we take the quote by the ACCC “No matter how a business communicates with you—whether it’s through advertising, packaging, online, logos, endorsements or a sales pitch—you have the right to receive accurate and truthful messages about the products and services you buy.

The little problem as I see it is that you have to sign up to get any type of information. If this is all online and through TV, I say that in my mind, their website has a distinct obligation to clearly inform you online. This becomes a worry especially as there is no clear information anywhere. No mention on who is behind it, who is involved, we get absolutely nothing, just quotes and innuendo.

I also like the implied ploy (read sarcasm). When we see the quote: “I was a former CEO. I left the corporate world behind and have been able to replace my executive income working from home.” Is this the stated person who was in the news as: “a judge in the Reykjavik District Court sentenced, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank, to nine months in prison in December 2012” (at http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-12/iceland-prosecutor-investigates-convicts-bankers-for-financial-crimes) Can you tell, because I cannot. That is the issue with small impersonal quotes; it makes perfect sense that this person needs a work from home income. But is it the same person? How many are on that $12,000 a month income? No one seems to know and no one seems to be looking into it.

In this age of bad economy, when all are looking for a way to make a buck and to make ends meet. There needs to be a level of protection against exploitation. That part seems to have gone missing. If you doubt me (which is always fair enough), then check your own browser. When we seek AMWAY, we see SMH, The Australian. They all had their articles on AMWAY. Some agree with the approach, some do not. Their stance does not matter. AMWAY is not ‘hiding’ in any way (they even have a Wiki page online). When we look at ‘GetMoreIncome’ we see quite the opposite. The papers are not asking any questions, they do not seem to have looked into it in any way. There is no visibility. My question becomes Why not? When someone has the budget to advertise to this extent on FOXTEL we can grasp that this might involve substantial funds. Yet no one seems to be looking into it, get precise information and whatever you find on the web is either a hidden advertisement or a ‘hidden’ promo clip on YouTube.

When a website is all about “do not call us, we’ll mail you!” there is reason for concern, the fact that those who should look into matters like these, don’t seem to be doing so is a bigger worry still.

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Protecting Consumers!

I am still on the Sony horse! It is interesting to see how consumers are do not seem to be protected and how little visibility some cases seem to get. I seem to have found what I consider to be severe consumer injustice!

This injustice is on two levels. The first level is on the side of ‘the small print approach’, the second side is on the consumer side through the shops. So as discussed in my previous blog (pricing a Sony game), where they changed the user agreement to make illegal the reselling of games and on the other side the TPP will allow them big companies to charge us more.

At the DPP, no one was willing to take any calls (they apparently do not take any calls ever). They referred me to the ASIC and the Law society of NSW. They were little help, however the Law Society did what it service minded does, and they would be able to refer me to private solicitors. This is what they do (and what they are supposed to do), so there is no case here, other that they were willing to give all the assistance they could. From there I ended up with the fair trades commission who listened and explained on how I had to go to the ACCC.

The ACCC logged the issue and it is now investigated internally.

I also talked to Channel 7, Channel 9 as well as the Sydney Morning Herald. They were all interested, but seemingly unaware to the issues that are going on at present. In my view I have always be loudly outspoken against this and I did so against the acts of Don Mattrick when he was with Microsoft. It seems hypocrite not to speak out against Sony when they try to hide in the weeds not quaking!

I am all for protecting gamers, if the little time I have left on this earth is to get some protection for them against injustice and greed, then this is a fight worth fighting. The gamers are now swiftly placed between the TPP (Trans Pacific Pact), raising the price of entertainment even further and the forces crushing the options of pre-owned games for those not being able to afford full priced games, something must clearly be done.

It is also interesting how the government and the Fair Trade commission remain silent on these matters. Shops rely on pre-owned games to survive after the margins of new games are reduced to an absolute minimum. The pre-owned games keep them into business. As large companies are paying less and less corporate tax as their offers go to downloaded revenue (which often goes via non-commonwealth tax shelters). We see that they are paying less and they are the cause of shutting down local shops with these new arrangements. I believe in fairness and at present there is no fairness in any of this.

Too squeeze a population already in hardship, to hurt them even further with these events is beyond acceptable!

In case you see some response on ‘generic’ or some party line response how this is not the intent of the Sony User agreement, then consider one other piece of information. PlayStation Home offered an amazing private space for sale. It was by loot and it is a graphic and technological highlight. You buy the private space where you can walk around. It is so amazing as this is a new form of private space. Not only is it graphically superior on many levels, it has a new level of interactivity. The private space allows you to monitor twitter via a light bar in your apartment. It offers LOOT™ Radios (music) and EOD TV (movies, TV shows). This is a new era in entertainment, yet not everywhere available. They were very clear in communicating that part. I get that part! Yet, consider that Loot is part of Sony, and that the TPP is about to limit retransmissions of broadcasts even further, how long until consumers ‘lose’ those options? In addition some places cost US$2.99, whilst in Australia the same places cost AU$4.99 and in the UK GBP 2.39. So, when we set this all to the same (US) currency we see:

United States $2.99, Australia $4.61 (+54%), United Kingdom $4.19 (+40%). So not only do we pay on average a lot more, we get less for the overall package. Interesting how this lacks the visibility it deserves!

I wonder how much visibility the press and the news casts will give all this in the coming days. In my eyes it might be an interesting stretch to see how much power they have over the press, in case of the UK we should look at how much visibility they give all this. They claim that they could regulate themselves? Well, if this is true, how come that NO ONE (of the big newspapers in the UK) has had any visibly outspoken view on these matters by Sony? I saw a few sources like ‘reddit’ and other bloggers pick this up, but that is about it. If you are wondering on the size of these matters, I am not a journalist, I am not some high powered media mogul, I am just a blogger who knows games. The gaming industry encompasses a market in extent of 20 billion dollars a year. That is a market big enough for ALL newspapers to keep one eagle eye on any news that impacts it. No visibility seems to have been given at present. A questionable turn of events!

Who is looking out for the consumers, especially those who do not have that much to spend?

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