Tag Archives: Alibaba

The inferring line

We all see the news, we see what is implied and we wonder on what it means, at least that is what some of us do and the news is always sided to the part they want to illuminate, there is no evil or bad intentions there, it is the way the writer thinks, or the view that the writer has. We might agree, we might disagree, but the writer is entitled to the view they have, at least that is what I think, so when I see ‘Technology of Business’ in the BBC, I wonder about the ‘Business of Technology’, it is not merely the reversal of a phrase, behind it lingers the fact that a formula and solution are reversible, or in Market Research there is the unwritten law (well, perhaps, seemingly unwritten), that it cannot be reversed, as such when the factorial analyses goes in one direction, the opposite would be a discriminant analyses, if the factor is proven, the discriminant analyses should always fail, no exclusions to that, if both make it there is a connecting factor in play, not really a covariant. When you realise this, there is a much larger truth to be seen. SO in this I do not oppose ‘Have we become too reliant on Big Tech firms?’,
I merely wonder about the elements behind this. When I was working in the 90’s in IT, on the edge of IT, there was an unwritten law to steer clear of one another in Big tech, so to not get in each others fairway and maximise profits, as such we see the advantage that players like Google and Amazon have. They researched their part and they went their own way. I am merely looking at these two because Microsoft, IBM, Sun and a few others were overlapping and they had their own way of setting the stage. So there might be truth in “Big Tech firms have been getting even bigger during the pandemic and their success means they have plenty of funds to snap up other businesses”, yet the involved stage is a little larger than projected. So I do not disagree with people like Sandeep Vaheesan when they give us “All of them will be in the M&A [mergers and acquisitions] game if they’re not already. Start-ups are more likely to sell out during the pandemic when they might struggle to meet their obligations and the buyout looks especially attractive – the pandemic is speeding up the buyout date in some cases”, I am merely seeing that this stage was in play for much longer and now we might focus on what the larger players are gobbling up, yet this is not any difference from what has been going on for 20 years.

It is the way business works, the larger fish eats the smaller one. Adobe ate Macromedia (I still believe it is the other way round), Novel got wordperfect, Microsoft ate entire shoals of software makers and so on. And yes, the pandemic has an impact that is much larger and that is not on the buyer, also not on the seller.  Some were surprised to see Microsoft acquire the game Minecraft for $2,500,000,000. The seller was mostly not unhappy, he went from mama basement software developer, to nerd to multi billionaire.   It is the game developers dream to get that done and his game was addictive as hell (I know, because I have it on every console). Microsoft grew it even further with the direct ear of over 200,000,000 ears of needy gamers. It is marketing heaven for Microsoft, and that is before you realise just how much money is linked to the optional micro transactions.

At some point these firms need to rely on merging and acquisition to grow, it is merely the way it is, and sometimes nature hands these players a windfall (like the pandemic). I believe that we are not too reliant on big tech, I believe that we are in a holding pattern due to a lack of innovation, the innovators are out there yet they are not getting the visibility they need to push it along and that is a larger stage than we realise. You merely need to search ‘innovation’ on Google to realise that it is marketed and it is labelled, yet true innovation is the one element that defies labels and marketing, because I saw and learned that what a firm does not understand (in 1997) cannot be marketed, it cannot be sold, because its leaders are drawn to memo’s with bullet points and that is when you see firsthand how true innovation defies labels. It is a conclusion we have seen too often and lately a lot more often than we considered it.

Even when we see some brands giving a platform to the real innovators, it relies on someone recognising it and I agree that it is not a bad idea, but I also realise that if I do not see everything, then someone else is likely not to see it either. It is not a good thing, not a bad thing, it merely is and there big tech has its first problem, how to recognise it soon enough. Not everyone is a Steve Jobs, who was able to recognise 9innovation when it walked through its doors, Jeff Bezos et al is a different stock, a different breed, they made THEIR innovation, it does not mean that they can recognise it when it hits and there the true innovators have the challenge, on how to set their IP in a safe space where it can be recognised without them needing to set the stage of losing a lot of money hoping others will see it. It is the inferring line that they face and all innovators must face it, for the most they will rely on big tech who can afford to squander a purse of coins and not worry on how it hits them, it makes the game harder for innovators, but not impossible, they have options and on a global stage it does imply that these players will seek the largest beneficiary. When we see Huawei against Nokia and Ericsson we see that the two Scandinavian players have to set a wager holding a dead man’s hand, When we see Amazon, who is seen against its competitors Google Play, Apple play and so on, yet is it not interesting on how Alibaba and Ozone are not mentioned in plenty of places? Ozone particularly is not as big, but it is still a contender and in the stage of IP, where that patent is more important than most think it is. In this Alibaba has a larger benefit as it also delivers into Russia. The inferred line is thinner than we realise and there are more players, even as some ‘market’ them away into obscurity, you see when these players get the IP, they grow on a global scale and that is what is feared in the west and also by a player like Amazon, you see, they are the largest player and will remain so, but what happens when the dollar collapses? The way that this US administration goes about it, that setting is a lot more realistic than some are willing to admit and when the dollar goes, the Euro and the Yen will take massive hits, losses of 35% would be a good day.

Should you out that consider that the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/dbe16ce4-f154-4985-a210-279fa1f53e24, and them alone) gave almost 5 hour ago “Millions of digital banking customers unable to access their money after German group falls into insolvency”, consider that an impact like this should make the front page on pretty much EVERY paper in the west, yet the Guardian has NOTHING, and others are like that, something that hits millions is left unreported. So when we see a repetition of the Sony 2012 events (the Guardian was the reporter there), how much on innovation and how much innovation impact will not be reported on when it ends up in the hands of Alibaba and/or Ozone? How much marketing shielding will Amazon receive? The inferred line is something else as well, it shows where we are told not to look, when does true innovation actually do that? 

A line that is ignored by plenty of players is a line that might show actual danger, especially when its impacts our lives.

 

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Open Targets

We all have that point in time when we see a person we know, and when we see that person, we wished we had a paintball rifle, that person is the target. That person optionale did nothing wrong, it is a variant to “Slap your annoying coworker day”. I feel certain that more than one person had me in mind and that is probably why my title as ‘certified psychopath’ gets me out of hot water. Iget it, I tend to be goal driven and I have zero regard for diplomacy (most of the time), yet it also works in opposition. I get annoyed when some boss gives me the run around instead of giving me the direct message. There is nothing as hateful as a manager keeping you on a leash instead of giving the bad news up front, which he has had for 3-4 hours. So wasting time on long rides whilst the short message would have changed the dynamics towards the goal. 

Yet the larger issue is not the manager, it is me. I am aware that I have flaws and faults (we all do), yet I present the flaw as a strength, and that is where things get dicey at times. I feel that I am on the right path, but I also understand that those drowning in diplomacy have a case. In this setting we look at Ubisoft, it is hit hard by the Rainbow Six clone (I would call it a rip off), and Apple and Google are actually in hot waters over the entire setting. This is nothing less than copyright infringement. This is a lot more than a clone, this is more than some copy lookalike. Several people, or better stated, several gamers could not tell the difference ad that is a bad thing. Ubisoft has many flaws, but in the titles they believe, they have pumped cash into them and Rainbow Six is an important IP revenue for them. As such the game Area F2 is a much larger concern and the impact on Alibaba will also be significant. It is my issue here that I fail to see how Area F2 even made it onto the App sites in the first place. And that is before we take a look at the Nintendo app store. There is a larger flaw and even as I enjoy slapping Ubisoft, I am also protective of games and Ubisoft does deserve every bit of protection here. There is a larger stage, not merely of what is missed, but of the things we see that require a larger consideration, apart from Alibaba getting every bit of software scrutinised, before it is allowed online. The larger stage is how can we prevent this larger stage exploding. In today’s stage we see that videogames get the initial 30-60 day joust for revenue and that leads to a 60-120 day revenue boost. Basically Area F2 screwed that up for Rainbow Six and they should pay for it, optionally using the Alibaba credit cards. In today’s stage it will be a massive invoice, and as I personally see it, Ubisoft is entitled to those funds. The stage for Alibaba changes even further when we consider the historic stage that Call of Duty and Medal of Honour had, they looked alike but were different in several ways and it kept both alive. In this stage where people cannot tell the difference between Area F2 and Rainbow Six siege there is a much larger and a different stage. Copyright infringement is not new, not even in gaming, but the fact that people cannot tell the difference is pretty new and very unique, and I wonder what play will be set in motion to stop this from happening again, in all this, I do believe that Alibaba will take a large hit to their value, I personally believe that Ubisoft has all the rights it can to divert damage to its IP and let it all be paid by someone name Ali Baba

It reminds me of an old publishing joke, you see the book ‘Ali Baba and the 40 thieves’ was politically incorrect, it was republished as ‘Ali Baba and the 40 fighters for the Palistinian cause’. I wonder how it sounds when the third edition is staged as ‘Alibaba and the 40 game programmers’, yet in all this it is still early days, I will keep my eyes on the court case, because the impact will be a lot larger than most of us can imagine. The only thing I wonder about is how they got it looking alike so fast, there seems to be a factor of intent in all this, so there is every chance that Alibaba will go to court against the people who made Area F2. 

 

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Rated into immorality

Can anyone explain something weird to me? The news is given (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/14/twitter-given-junk-credit-rating) to impress upon us a combination of values and steps that are beyond immoral. Consider the tweet, tweet twitter engine. I use it almost every day, it is the one unbiased part where we can follow events, people and companies so that we keep up to date, small messages that bring the actual information. A company that had a massive idea, is making money, when we see the quote “Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, pointed to S&P’s own words as comment: “Twitter will continue to experience very strong growth and not encounter a significant increase in competitive pressure.”“, we see issues, but is anyone seeing the question behind it? Then we see the one little gem hidden in all the text “The rating is unsolicited“, is this part of the issue? You see, as we look at companies, their revenue, their profit and some might consider their contribution, so as we look at it why is S&P suddenly decided ‘Twitter given junk credit rating‘? It seems to me that there is an economic shift going on. As companies are doing well, they are now getting downgraded for not meeting the expectations of some analysts.

Yet, where is this world going to?

Consider the application of morale (a word not found in a financiers dictionary) and reasoning for my thought train at present is the following: ‘Forex-rigging investigation: George Osborne gives full backing to SFO‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/14/forex-rigging-investigation-george-osborne-sfo). Libor, Forex, Tesco and there is absolutely ZERO indication that this is just it. At the edge of reason we see the quote ‘Because I don’t want you to see any of my wobbly bits‘, which sounds ample and applicable as the financial district of happily ‘screw everyone over‘, it is all about the wobbly bits, according to Bridget Jones!

Consider the Forex articles. The second one is http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/us-banks-forex-crime-idUSKCN0IY0LV20141114. The issue is not just the events, the quote “Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America Corp and UBS were hit with penalties. Barclays is still in talks with authorities over a settlement“, which not just how far the issue has overstepped, but the issue is where banking laws are falling short, short to the extent that we have in access of half a decade. The issues continued after the banking collapse as the financial population continued to be nothing more than an eager courtesan to the bonus they so crave. The end result is a malignant decay of morals, standards and all this now (as I personally see it) on the standards as the poor are left with less than none, so Standards & Poor it is!

We now get back to what I regard to be a new level of exploited levelling. Consider the hidden simplicity that Libor held; now consider that debt ratings Moody’s, S&P, Fitch and the relative newbie Egan-Jones decide on ratings. Combine ‘how to lie with statistics‘ (a famous book by Darrell Huff) and the need to manipulate the market for 23 billionaires and we see the light of junk status made Twitter in a whole new light. Consider the basic state of an economy. A company sells, makes profit and pays taxes, a nation flourishes! This is a naive (remember my non-economic degree?) approach towards the worlds cloud of business. Investors, shareholders, analysts and raters are a cog within a machine of cogs. Yet this inner circular machine is different. It inflates, malleably changes and coaches towards a change that seems to be intent on syphoning and draining virtual cash flows into a different premise of profit, which is then turned to actual money. In an age of debts that go beyond the total of all treasuries, virtual numbers that have little to no foundation. The foundations and the levels they have been compromised towards are of a dimension we never imagined possible. Consider that the big banks have been fined in excess of 2.3 billion (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/12/04/big-banks-fined-2-3b-over-illegal-libor-cartels-more-fines-on-the-way/), I wrote about it in ‘60% confiscated and counting in Cyprus!‘, on April 1st 2013, yet do not think this article to be a joke. I stated “If this is what frightens the US, then consider the consequences of a system like LIBOR being manipulated through the total value of trade. If that would have been off by 11.2%. Out of $1000T (UK and US combined) then that difference would be $112T“, several people laughed out loud then, yet now consider not just Libor, but the audited events of Tesco, the $5.3 trillion market of Forex and the fact that morality might be found in a church, but as we see the evidence, morality is not found in banks and financial institutions, where will it end?

With the Twitter events that question becomes more debatable and the impact that rating companies now impress upon profit turning companies have. Is it just about profit, or about the stated ‘anticipated statement of profit’? As certain ‘analysts’ claim that events are not exceeded, stock becomes junk, waves are created and as such, the welfare of companies are tweaked into a state of artificially changed state, some are inflated, some deflated, but always towards the claim of raters and analysts. The bottom line set towards an algorithm. Consider these states as we have seen not just the change of Tesco, but the events as they also gave way of downgraded profits with Sainsbury, which was not so vocally seen before that day in September. Interactions on many levels, based upon foundations that no one seems to question. Consider how the expectations were set by ‘analysts’ based upon data given to them and data available to them, now consider how Tesco had a quarter of a billion inflated and how the Pricewaterhouse Cooper auditors were ignorant of the inflated condition, now consider how Analysts used that element in predicting waves, the raters predicted and set the value and they are now setting the anticipation of investors and shareholders, an artificial pool with tidal wave creating capacity, and the two elements that have the ability to set the power and size of the waves. So how is your view of financial morality now? Consider the final part in this story. When we consider a story on Fortune titled ‘Twitter is junk, while Alibaba is class, ratings agencies say‘ (at http://fortune.com/2014/11/14/twitter-is-junk-while-alibaba-is-class-ratings-agencies-say/), why is that? Twitter is still holding its own, is it perhaps that the waves of Alibaba can be more easily influenced? Companies valued at the ability where the waves can be decided by the financial cogs, the stability of Twitter is less interesting to them, so they make way for whoever can aid in creating the waves these financial people want. (The last part you read is all speculation on my side), yet speculation or not, when we see the waves of Libor and Forex, are my thoughts so far out of bounds? How Twitter making millions is downgraded, how Tesco, beyond the inflated profits, still made a billion, it’s downgrade of 90% seems excessive beyond punishment, but Tesco is not a good example (because of their own internal manipulation), Consider the Fortune quote “And the fact that Alibaba is 90% dependent on a home market that is slowing, while acknowledged as a risk, doesn’t seem to scare the agencies“, it does not scare them, or it appeals the dependency of Alibaba to make certain decisions down the line? There is a side that seems ignored by all, I personally still have a hard time believing that (as my calculation went in ‘Price Waterfall Blooper‘ on October 25th) the price for 199 auditors could not find two events of inflation of each well over 100 million. Are my suspicions in regards to manipulations that far-fetched?

I wonder how long it will take for the law to catch up, for the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) or Crown Prosecuting Services (CPS) to get a handle on these events and deter these actions to such a degree. There should be additional questions as the raters are all American, in light of their shortfall that approaches 18 trillion at present. It seems that the US has no options, no solution and no resolution strategy, yet we see that the big four give ratings are all American. The last part is not an accusation in any way, yet the fact that the Auditors need new oversight, especially in the light of American auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper as they will face questions regarding Tesco. As the 4 largest auditors include UK and Netherlands, why are there only American raters (of the proportions of the large 4)? With the risk of manipulation, should there not be a British and even a French or a Dutch rating service? Let’s not forget that PwC faces possible investigation, not because they are more likely than not guilty, but because their innocence needs to be proven beyond any doubt, especially in light of the amount of companies audited by them as well as the issue of 199 auditors (as I calculated them) not finding anything. When we consider the length of time that PwC has had Tesco as a customer, yet, these are two separate issues, there is no inkling of suspicion that auditors are part of any manipulation, yet the auditor’s data is essential to such steps.

Where is the solution?

Not sure if I know of one, laws can be made draconian to give much harsher sentence to the transgressors, but the issue is not the transgressors, the issue is that these ‘manipulators’ have by definition of law not broken any rules. Yes, we see the fines of Libor and soon Forex, these transgressions are seemingly clear, but what of the raters and the analysts? The issues of data are at the foundation here. That what is raw data and how it becomes processed data is now at the centre of it all. That what is construed to be the creator of waves through analysts, raters and auditors; Auditors collecting the data, analysts to manipulate (which is what they might see as a simple application of personal preference and weighting) and raters to set the pace for investors and shareholders.

So tell me, how wrong is MY view and why have these influential cogs not been dealt with through legislation?

 

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