Tag Archives: Amazon

Blaming the wrong party

Yup, we’ve all done that. The blame game is notorious in two aspects. The first is the party blamed, the second is the reason for blaming. So it is not just on how blame is designed, it is the intended and actual party of blaming the comes to mind. We tend to get both wrong when it is an emotional setting. There is one elements that we tend to forget, detachment is the drive that tends to set the matters of the mind straight. So I went through all the stages of the blame game when I saw ‘World’s richest urged to do more to keep millions from starving’ in Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/world-richest-millions-starving-wfp-200918090724645.html). In this:

  1. Why is that up to the world’s richest?
  2. When millions are starving, why are individuals called upon, why are governments flaccid?
  3. Who created this situation in the first place?

These three elements are important. Because the article gives us “He cited the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where violence has increased and instability has already forced 15.5 million people near starvation. He also said a lack of funding has forced cutbacks in assistance to feed people in war-ravaged Yemen”, with the additional quote ““Worldwide, there are over 2,000 billionaires with a net worth of $8 trillion,” the former South Carolina governor said, noting reports that some of the wealthiest Americans have made “billions upon billions” during the pandemic

So here is where the blame game comes into effect. As I personally see it, David Beasley has his heart in the right place, but not his brain. In the first, governments have been playing credit card jockey for well over a decade, this is the result. In the second, places like Yemen are in a stage of committed non-action by both NATO and commonwealth forces. They simply didn’t care and for close to 5 years nothing happened and this is the result. In the third, it was essential for tax laws to be overhauled for well over a decade in the US, Japan and EU nations, none of that happened. I offered an optional solution in 1998, yet is was thrown out, remarks like ‘too complex’ and ‘hindrance of free trading’, well these things come at a price. In the setting of “some of the wealthiest Americans have made “billions upon billions” during the pandemic” we see a cheap shot at Jeff Bezos and a few others. Now, I have no real interest in Jeff, but he (his company) made that revenue fair and square. If the blame game parties had acted over the last 10 years, the situation might not be as dire as it is now. We seem to forget that part.

In case of Jeff, there might be plenty to blame him for, but this is not one of these things, this is not the station to make a reference to Jeff Bezos and his Amazon, but to the governments and their greed driven short sightedness.

This is the price of capitalism, this is the consequence of free trading. Everything has a price and now that you are seeing the consequences, you do not get to be the blamer, you all went along with the setting for far too long and most governments set the station of revenue and the lack of options for well over the next decade is the consequence of choices made between 1998 and 2020. And in all this, it might blow over, you see, the media gives us again and again “a potential “hunger pandemic”” the media has been giving us ‘potential’ in Yemen, so when will it actually happen? 

Fair question is it not?

We need to set the record straight, we need to demand that our governments ACT, that they adjust tax laws the way they should have been from the start, but every time dome politicians will oppose, as such set these opposes in the limelight, let them explain it. Let’s not blame the people who merely used the system handed to them.  The system that we all voted into the place it is and we need to ac sept that we are all to blame by letting the elected people continue the way they did.

That is all before we get to Mark Lowcock some UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, who gives us “who have a particular responsibility, which they have discharged in recent years – have so far given nothing”, on one side he is not completely wrong, yet n the other side, the acts and hindrances by Houthi forces as well as the support given to the Houthi forces by Iran are left out of the equation, are they not? So while we are given “Continuing to hold back money from the humanitarian response now will be a death sentence for many families”, all whilst he remains silent on the acts of the Houthi forces intervening is just a big no-no. The blame game is taking a serous turn towards the people who might be partially blamed, whilst the parties who need to be fully blamed are left out of the equation. So is this how we are given the truth? Partial truths baked in larger non-truths and all whilst we see the pictures of those in need, but not the pictures of those who were actually responsible for the mess we are given nowadays. It is so nice to blame a person like Jeff Bezos, all whilst his company was able to provide to a little over 800 million in lockdown for months. Yup, it got him a few thousand million extra, but is that his fault? He merely supplied towards an outstanding demand, that is how capitalism works and he got to keep a lot of it because the laws of taxation allowed him to do that. 

There is of course the station where some very rich people are not as innocent, but are they guilty? Guilty of what? They became rich as they had the clever accountants who used the laws of taxation to the maximum, is that the fault of the wealthy, the accountant, or is this mess the fault of governments not overhauling the laws of taxation? An overhaul that had creamy be needed in 2 decades. And the lack of humanitarian acts, is that because that there is no-one to hand out humanitarian aid, or is that because the governments who did that are so deep in debt that they no longer have the ability to do that, which gets us to the laws of taxation again.

Well over a dozen governments have painted themselves into corners and we end up blaming the paint for not being dry, how does that make any kind of sense? We can blame all we like, but in the end we merely did this ourselves by elating the people who set the stage by doing almost nothing, that is the stage we need to look at and in this we need to realise that this is not a nanny state verdict, this is the stage of non-accountability and that is the part we forgot about. 

 

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Innuendo on the aftermath

The BBC is giving us more, and more, and more. Now they give us “The coronavirus crisis might be causing widespread economic upheaval around the world, but the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving.” And why is that? Consider the simple truth, Apple, even though not completely innovative, does give us something lovely. A lot of people got access to their Super early because of the Coronavirus, we do not want to splash and splurge, but when you are in lockdown, you cannot escape yourself, you can stare down the walls, go insane, or do something else. Surf the web using a Apple iPhone, or a Google Pixar, read a book, play a game or watch a DVD that is ordered via Amazon, then there is the surfing and 2 billion visit Facebook, so yes ‘the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving’, shops would not have been a great offer, lockdowns do that, but the people can order things and some get the hardware to do this. When you have one day to live, the option to see in brilliance and astounding quality matters a great deal to that person. And in all this, the digital highway will be travelled a lot more than usual, people working from home, people being denied high resolution Netflix because the internet if congested, but the advertisements go through, and we all see them. Then we get “At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, lawmakers grilled the companies about whether they were abusing their dominance to quash rivals, noting the sharp contrast between their fortunes and many other firms”, as I personally see it, they aren’t quashing rivals, they are using their expertise to gain faster and more. 

Beyond that there is “Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner asked Mark Zuckerberg why Twitter had removed a post by the US president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, discussing the efficacy of the drug hydroxychloroquine. Twitter is not owned by Facebook. “I think what you might be referring to happened on Twitter, so it’s hard for me to speak to that,” said Mr Zuckerberg.””it gives my earlier view on the stupidity of politicians, as Jim Sensenbrenner cannot tell who owns what and addresses the wrong person on the matter, we see the Cowboy show I expected to see, a waste of time, and poor entertainment at that. 

It becomes a larger issues when we see “Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal asked Jeff Bezos for a “yes or no” answer: Did Amazon ever use seller data to make its own business decisions? This was a reference to reports that Amazon has used data gathered from businesses selling products via its site to design and price its own rival first-party goods – something the firm has previously suggested had been limited to a group of rogue employees. Mr Bezos responded that he couldn’t give an answer in such simple terms” That is part of the problem, the lack of knowledge, when we look at “Did Amazon ever use seller data to make its own business decisions?” What exactly is ‘seller data?’, is it a cookie that the users has agreed on, was it sales data from the application that was used, as such, what application data is in play? Was it a customer review? Three questions that rip out the threads of the conversation. As such, as we saw Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal rip Attorney General William Barr to shreds, she should have known better from the start, and we go from cowboy act to dog and pony show. In all this there is also debate on ‘to make its own business decisions’, especially as APN partners have options to make choices and decisions, it was a poorly phrased question and a wrongly lit situation from the get go. And last but not least we see “Republican congressman Matt Gaetz claimed that Google collaborates with Chinese universities that take “millions upon millions of dollars from the Chinese military” and noted that tech investor Peter Thiel had previously accused the company of “treason””, so how stupid is Matt Gaetz and where does he have ANY evidence that Google was taking money from the ‘Chinese military’? It is these levels of stupidity that gets no results, mere innuendo, yet they ALL seems to agree that overhauling Tax laws and competition laws would be a larger need, especially that in light of 5G and optionally 5G plus (a new IP I am working out) the need to both would be essential in keeping the playing field level, but these politicians, but their own account they sealed their own lives. Even as we see: “But Cicilline goes on: “This is the tip of the iceberg. It’s not just about Covid. Facebook gets away with it because there is no competitor. It’s the only game in town.”” I still remember the setting in 1997, I saw so called bullet point executives having no clue on the digital highway, dismissing it of hand as some paths had no business purpose, the setting did not change before 5 years AFTER Facebook was created by people lacking innovative vision and trying to bleed off Facebook settings, and history is about to repeat itself in the 5G environment, the back-fall is that big and US Congress, seemingly ignorant of the digital dimension are making things worse by stopping the only 4 resources in the US who have a chance of c countering what comes next. So well done djotto’s! And it does not end there. Considering the lacking intelligence by these democrats, when the people realise just how far it lacked, we get to see that the upcoming election is not a given, not by a long shot. I keep on wondering what the hearing was about, when will we get to see these documents and so called evidence that they rely on? I wonder how many holes I get to shoot into that part of the equation. I talk about innuendo and here it is, proudly brought to you by the BBC. It was Republican Greg Steube who sets that in motion with the question “Do you believe the Chinese government is stealing technology from US companies?”, mind you that he tried to push for a yes-or-no answer in light of the simplistic minds that these members of Congress have. Yet consider that the most powerful tech bosses and owners of the IP stated “I don’t know of specific cases where we have been stolen from by the government” (Tim Cook), and that is the first part where we see the issue. Then there was “no first-hand knowledge of any information stolen from Google in this regard” (Sundar Pichai), “I haven’t seen that personally but I’ve heard many reports of it” (Jeff Bezos), in this we only have Mark Zuckerberg who gives us “I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from US companies”, this issue here is in the first that it was narrow-minded to set a shallow question on a closed answer, all whilst Tim Cook gives us that he does not know the the Chinese government is stealing, but cheap knock off’s, especially when it is promoted by Kylie and Kendall Jenner (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53596192) are getting promoted by people of no mind and a clever approach on what they can get away with, I think they are called criminals. Sundar supports the view, or basically leads in his own fairway that Google was not a victim of that approach. We get Jeff giving us that he has seen many reports, yet I wonder who wrote them, I hope he is not relying on FTI Consulting for more than one reason. Only Marky Mark remains, I cannot fault his view and perhaps he is right, but in light of the Bezos hacking view and the issue on Sony and North Korea, there are too many questions on who does what and so far too many issues have left us with too many questions on how short the comings of come of the US cyber divisions really are, and that is not all. The hand that could be feeding them is the hand they are biting whilst not adjusting for the laws to make a proper job, that is the setting that we are left with in the aftermath and the innuendo around us leaves us with questions on politicians seeking the limelight. And why was Microsoft not there?

It is a weird setting and it will get a lot weirder in 2021. 

 

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The Aftermath

Of course, I did one just before and now one more, 4 tech giants and US congress? It was too good to pass up, if I was in Washington DC, I would have opened a popcorn cart at the entrance (if that is allowed), so as I looked via the BBC before, I will do so again.

It starts with democrat Congressman David Cicilline who gives us “a year-long investigation by lawmakers had revealed patterns of abuse by the online platforms” my question becomes ‘Where is that report, can we see it?’ It might have been made public, it might not, I do not know, but I was not directly able to find it, yet the Boston Glob had the headline ‘Today is the biggest day of David Cicilline’s political career’ as such this man seeks the limelight, so why is that report not all over the media? So far in well over half a dozen newspaper sites, none of them had the link to that report, as such h I have questions and I fear that when I read it a lot of questions will pop to the surface. And when we see “The dominant platforms have wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways in order to expand” the question I had in the previous article rises again, why is Microsoft not there? Show clear evidence of ‘wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways’, and when showing that evidence also give rise to what laws were broken please? IBM and Microsoft have wielded power in harmful ways for decades, yet they did nothing illegal. As such proof of illegality would be ni

Next is Google, there we see: “lawmakers accused Google of having stolen content created by smaller firms, like Yelp, in order to keep users on their own web pages” did Google steal it, or did some duplicate their opinion in both to double THEIR visibility? I am not stating that Google is innocent, I do not have the evidence, yet ‘stolen content’ gives rise to a crime, presented evidence would be nice. So whilst we see accusations, we also got “some Republicans signalled they were not prepared to split up the firms or significantly overhaul US competition laws, with one committee member saying “big is not inherently bad”” the problem again is were there any illegalities made? When some go for “significantly overhaul US competition laws” we see the implied non-illegal stuff and that is where the problems lie, the US government, both the senate and congress should have overhauled Tax and competition laws well over a decade ago, their fault not the four tech bosses and I have stated this failing for years, so why go after the four and leave Microsoft (who is also running advertisements) out of the mix, I have some questions on how David Cicilline is seeking the limelight if you don’t mind!

Then we get the US president “a long-time critic of Amazon and threatened his own action on Twitter, writing: “If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders.”” It sounds nice, but pointless, there is a lack in legal sides in both competition law and tax laws and a nation of laws cannot reside in a discriminatory state living of executive orders, whilst they can be legally countered. As I see it, the entire charade was a cowboy approach to something that has no bearing, will pay lawyers for a decade and will amount to nothing, all whilst overhauling two sides of the law is ignored again and again.

In this I have to take the sides of the tech boys. With the added side that if David Cicilline does not spread these legal documents of ‘wrongdoing’ these hearings are merely the end of his political career, and in light of the fact that I have never heard of him not a good thing I reckon (OK, that was my egocentrically side). The more articles I read from more newspapers, the more that the feeling of a cowboy and Indian approach by this congress is the stage we face, in light of the non committing towards overhauling Tax laws and competition laws merely strengthens my feelings on the matter.

 

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When Congress becomes something more

So as I stated in ‘The Fantastic Four and the Bully’, the four getting grilled are not the bad guys. Well, there is some debate, but the foundation is that these four tech entrepreneurs are getting grilled by people who are clueless on tech matters. So as some read the BBC part “At issue is the fact that Apple doesn’t allow apps to be installed onto iOS devices from alternative marketplaces, and that it enforces tough rules over the way subscriptions and other digital items can be sold.” The issue soon becomes, will congress be responsible for any bad app and data gathering app that Congress would want to allow for? Even as an android user, I see that there are very few bad apples around, as such most apps are safe. There are a lot more dangerous apps on Android. This is not the fault of Google, there are several ways that a personal device gets to be the victim, there are a lot less issues on Apple, as such and as Congress might demand third party options, will they not be responsible for the damage that they put on Apple and its users? There is another side, a these tech giants come under fire, the chances of Chinese hardware makers making it bigger only increases by 35%-55%, how is that of use to congress? We might see Fitbit mentions and other mentions, but these products are closely followed by Asian alternatives, the entire setting does not add up. Then we get the advertisements, until Google Ads was here, we had DoubleClick, there were versions that equal Epom, with price tags that started at $250 a month, then $1000 a month, $2500 a month and higher. So, can the US Congress give us a list of all the small business and small startups that had that kind of cash? Google Ads was one of the first AFFORDABLE solutions for small business units, the fact that the bulk all switched should be a larger consideration, in addition, Google Ads was one of the first to truly die a larger rise to localisation and languages. Usually one or the other was missing, as such, is the growth of Goole Ads to be blamed on Google, or on all the others who could not be bothered? Not everything is perfect at Google, we all know that, but we also know that the ignorance in congress is a little too large to wonder who they are serving, they claim the people, but in reality? I am actually wondering who they are setting the stage for, I see it as a different stage that the one they tell us we are on.

And even as we accept Sundar’s optional defence of “Today’s competitive landscape looks nothing like it did five years ago, let alone 21 years ago, when Google launched its first product, Google Search”, we need to see that this landscape is largely influenced on the upcoming 5G and as it is now, especially as well over 50% of all searches are done via mobile, the only thing I see coming is that China gets a much larger share of it all and Congress intervening on matters that they do not comprehend is a much larger danger to that happening. I have always been favour of Huawei technology, that does not mean that I want China to have the bulk of all the business. The White House wants us to think it is the same, but it is not. They have set the stage that unites Huawei in a political tool for China to set a much larger field, they were pushed by US stupidity, not Huawei needs. The US took it away and now we see a very different stage, one where Huawei is still independent, but taking the customers that China is pointing at. The stage is changing and Congress is adding fuel to that fire by chastising the big four tech makers, each entrepreneurs. Each understanding the digital landscape. I had no clue in the early 90’s when Amazon started, I thought it was mad to continue when the losses were so great, now the owner has is worth in excess of $35,000,000,000, a personal value that exceeds a lot of nations. I am not saying that all is kind and kosher with each of the four, I am stating that when we are getting told changes, we are properly getting told by people who understand that business and in Congress, I doubt that they can rub together 2 one dollar coins on the subject on digital advertising. The more ‘diplomatic’ answer comes from Facebook’s own Zuckerberg. With “Our story would not have been possible without US laws that encourage competition and innovation. I believe that strong and consistent competition policy is vital because it ensures that the playing field is level for all. At Facebook, we compete hard, because we’re up against other smart and innovative companies that are determined to win” and some of them are Chinese. Some are Russian and others are all over the place, yet Facebook has other problems too, privacy and marketing do not go hand in hand, not in their granular market and that is where part of the problem lies. We could decide that from the four, they are the bad apple in this, but that would be wrong. I worked for people who had no idea how to dress a Facebook market when it was offered to them, their bullet point presentations could not deal with that unknown side of business, that was the strength for growth for Facebook, it was so new, there were no defining borders and there is where we see part of that problem, a lot never caught on, not to the degree that Facebook represents and there I see the dangers of the US Congress, they are not that clued in (as I personally see it). So as we get to one of the topics ‘One of the matters concerning the committee is the degree to which three of the tech companies now control the market for online adverts’ we need to recognise that these players made it affordable for a lot of businesses, the old way was dictatorial and something only rich companies could afford, they refused to give way and when Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon gobbled up the small fry, the large fry moved positions because their provider was no longer the bee’s knees. Three never ruled it, the grew it changing the rulers and the old stage should never return. And finally, according to numbers one in three uses Bing and Microsoft search and are therefor exposed to Bing Ads, so why is Microsoft not in that stage? There are 4 players and one has well over 20%, so why is Microsoft not in the meeting? Is that asking for too much?

Those who have read my articles over the year have seen that I have chastised each and every one of these four (5 if you include Microsoft), but here I see no blame, not from any of the 5, the stage was set, the rules were followed and when the opportunity was there 20 years ago, most would not wonder there, I was a personal witness when some stated that there was no future for a business form of Facebook in 1997, as such what is the US Congress bitching about? And as we look at the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-us-canada-53582909) we see the graph by eMarketer, yet Microsoft and their Bing is absent, why is that? So whilst they claim it is merely about the smaller rivals, it is about something more and something different, I wonder if we will ever be told the truth. As I personally see it, the members of congress have a different set of needs and I wonder what they are.

 

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When the game changes

That is the question, this is not about gaming, but Microsoft is about to get a black eye. This one is not one I saw coming for a few reasons, but the stage is set in very different ways at present.

It all starts with European Court of Justice and their Schrems II case (C-311/18), in this case we see that the Privacy shield, as US Department of Commerce concoction to appease Europe and the European Commission has fallen, like Humpty Dumpty the setting got pushed by the judges, and it cannot be superglued, it is dead. The term is ‘invalid under European Law’, So all the American contractors and subtractors of personal data in Europe (mainly Microsoft, Google, Facebook and AWS) now have a much larger issue to content with, it is the stage that President Tump cannot use, it will be another mail in his election coffin. The source Aigine also gives us “It is close to impossible that the rules of GDPR will be enforced, as US-Companies have given capabilities to US Intelligence authorities (example the No Such Agency)” The implied seizing of transfer of data to US-controlled companies will be a much harsher reality than ever seen before. Basically it works for me, but there is a larger station where data pools will have a national setting. If players like Google want to stay ahead, they will need data and hardware specialists in a much larger region of the world, happy me! And this will follow in other nations as well, the GDPR will have larger considerations in the Commonwealth as well, and as I see it the US has set the stage to open a can of worms I always saw coming, yet I believed that the EU gravy train and US Wall Street people would be more aligned, in the end it now seems that they were not and the data field will change in a much more refined way than I thought was possible. As a data cleaner my options open up, yet Google will set a new parameter of systems as they already have, however they will have a much broader need and as this war continues, we will see these players overreact to make sure that their data is lacking gaps, again, happy me.

So as we see that there is an assessment on what an how things are transferred, we will se. Much larger shift internationally. There is still a lacking state. The text “if possible, personal data should be stored within the EU, and on servers controlled by EU companies” whereas we see questions on ‘if possible’, I see options and opportunities, and the stage for legal interpretations will open up on the larger stage as older (90’s) solutions are revisited on the method of storing personal data. As such there is a new data war coming, and in this there is an open field who will grow, pretty much all European data vendors can, because there is a whole shipment of US companies who cannot rely on the FAANG group, and that is where the commercial opportunities are staged. To be honest, Microsoft has an actual opportunity now that it did not have in the past. Even as Aigine gives no consideration in this, but the Azure systems have a greater ability to decentralise, it is something that they had in place for other options, but Google did not (not to that degree is more correct), and that is the stage that pushes Sunday into the IT gathering of the week. I reckon that the news will be about the PDPR and the impact that US systems will face over the next week, but this impact is too large, I reckon that there will be a larger impact on a larger scale, yet I will agree that my view lacks the clarity of certain players and what they put in the field over the last 3-4 years. No matter how we see the EC Judgment, there were enough voices around to see a downplaying of the verdict, a verdict that is now a much larger stage than in the last 5 years.

 

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Presidents are us

Yup, the fight for the White House is intensifying. The BBC gives us ‘Biden challenges Trump with ‘Buy American’ economic plan’. Well that is a step we saw coming, in a stage where any corona virus hit nations will rely not merely on the export of goods, but on the locally required spending consumer base. With the FAANG group in its own world, the US democrats have decided on ‘Buy American’. It makes sense, although the claimed $700bn plan is likely to cost close to twice that amount and will only truly be a win if US export does not collapse whilst the US population will rely on US goods instead of importing. If those two parts are met then Joe Biden does have an optional working plan. The current president says that this plan will fail, but in light of all his claims, does anyone care what he thinks? So whilst the BBC gives us “Many voters are concerned by the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. His divisive approach to the country’s recent wave of anti-racism protests has also come under sharp scrutiny” and they are correct, even as there are a few more issues surrounding Trump, there is a larger concern on his presidency and as the foundation of the Republican group are in a stage where they are doubting his presidency can show any positive impact for the Republicans, the idea that a Democratic win for them at present is better than the current White House occupant is also a larger concern as the elections draws near. Even as we see “Analysts have urged caution in over-interpreting the polls, but Mr Biden’s lead is far greater than that of Mr Trump’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton at the same point in the campaign” the analysts do have to some degree a point, the American population has NEVER EVER been this polarised before and as some see it, there is a much larger white power population, Al Jazeera showed ‘An Al Jazeera investigation identified some 120 pages belonging to bands with openly white supremacist and racist views’, which adds up to another issue that Mark Zuckerberg and his book of faces has been unable to deal with. And these pages tend to flow towards Trump, not Biden. (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/exclusive-facebook-extensively-spread-neo-nazi-music-200710075507831.html) and that is merely the tip of the iceberg that is optionally the reason that the US Titanic will be sinking in unknown waters. The articles also gives us the PDF and “The 89-page report by civil rights experts heavily criticised Facebook, saying it needs to do more about anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish and other hate speech.” In this the article is important when we get to Chapter 6 (Algorithmic Bias), there we seealgorithms used to screen resumes to identify qualified candidates may only perpetuate existing gender or racial disparities if the data used to train the model on what a qualified candidate looks like is based on who chose to apply in the past and who the employer hired; in the case of Amazon the algorithm “learned” that references to being a woman (e.g., attending an all-female college, or membership in a women’s club) was a reason to downgrade the candidate.” Yet the same model could optionally be used to misinform (or disinform) the person through links that have ‘altered headlines’ One party could use it to flame to larger base of the other party and no matter what claims Facebook makes, the PDF report shows that they are seemingly clueless on how to stop it. You see, even if Facebook decides to block politics, it does not stop one account from posting an image, and even as the image might not be political, it can still impact the political base with the misinformation it spreads and Facebook would be largely unable to stop it until it was too late and as it optionally stops one side, the other side can make it worse, so here we see the application of Shareholder, Stakeholder and Sponsors, the S3 equation of big business. 

So even as the news was that the FAANG group saw $58 billion wiped after Trump slammed the ‘immense power’ of big tech (Business Insider), we seem to forget that that same group saw their stocks rise in excess of of $637 billion, so they still made decently well over half a trillion dollars. When you consider that, who do you think that the FAANG group wants as the next president? In all this the entire China matter remains an issue as the US goes towards the polling booths, yet in the end, there is absolutely no guarantee that President Trump is a one term president, yes there is the wishful thinking group, but the issues seen in the economy and the soaring profits that the FAANG group is making is a much larger concern, especially as their voices are a lot more powerful than anyone realises. In all this, the final touch is that so far I have shown again and again that the media is massively sensitive to the needs of the S3 group they dance for, in all this, do you expect to get any neutral news? Consider this week the insincerity of Fox News with ‘Fox News apologises for cropping Trump out of Epstein and Maxwell photo’ and whilst the Guardian reports on this, not many did, and when we realise the byline “Network says it mistakenly eliminated Donald Trump from photo with Maxwell and Epstein at Mar-a-Lago in February 2000” take a moment to consider the choice of words ‘mistakenly eliminated’, which is bias, it is (in my personal view) a form of censoring, which is interesting as it is the media that are all in arms on ‘censoring’ which was shown by Lord Justice Leveson through a novel that exceeds War and Peace (an apt analogy), even as the media reflected on it like it was the horror story fo the century, we see that the media has no issues to ‘mistakenly eliminate’, optionally hoping that no one will notice and there is every chance that a lot of people remained unaware. So in light of all this, there is no way to predict the winner. Even as we hope that Joe Biden will be supported to a much larger degree and that it will be a fair fight, I am not so sure about either premise in this equation.

 

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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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Murdering innovation

It started with the BBC about 30 minutes ago, 30 minutes after they released ‘Amazon v EU: Has the online giant met his match’, the title intrigued me and anyone who wants to go after Bezos and his haircut is allowed to do so, yet the EU tends to not care about anyone’s haircut, so I decided to have a calm read of it. 

Certain things made sense, yet a much larger part does not anto illustrate it, I start with a quote on the article: “The EU now looks set to charge Amazon for anti-competitive behaviour. This could cost Amazon a lot of money and could alter the shopping experience it offers customers.” To understand this I need to take you on a little time trip, my initial stage of Amazon was seen in 1994, I heard of it in its beginning and to me Amazon made no sense. You see, I grew up in the Netherlands, and for the most, any shop, in any retail area was never more than a hour away, optionally up to 2 hours if it was an exotic item (weapons, drugs) I had access to most items ever needed, as such Amazon made no sense at all. In 1997 I visited the US for the first time and Amazon started making sense. You see there are massive differences between the US and EU in certain ways and most people in the EU might not have gotten it. Amazon was an innovative player and came up and matured a retail direction. So when we get  EU’s competition enforcer Margrethe Vestager stating “We never accept in a football match that one team was also judging the game”, I merely wonder what her game is. And the setting of anti-competition law makes no sense. It makes no sense, because for close to 25 years others refused to go into the Amazon direction, as they remained in denial of what could happen. They remained in denial because they were iterative and small minded, they want the technology of others to come to them for free. And that is a thought that murders innovation. We see it in almost every area of technology. I worked for a company that stopped Facebook innovation 4 years before Facebook was created. Bullet point spreadsheet users who rely on the mission statement and the bottom dollar. They are left on the sidelines guarding iterative traffic. They feel that their option grants them more personal wealth. Now, anyone who has read my blog knows that I am no Jeff Bezos fan, but this he got right and the entire Covid-19 issue worked for him and now the champions of iteration (like EU’s competition enforcer Margrethe Vestager) are setting up shop to murder innovation a little more. You see the others now want the Amazon system for free, they want to enjoy the decades they were not working on innovation and merely (optionally) fucking their mistress whilst they claimed they were hard at work guiding their commision like it was a taxi meter. 

When I gave the stage of setting tax laws properly in 1998, people accused me that it was too complex and nothing was done, now that these firms are raking in the billions, those same people are staring at the sky stating that there was nothing they could do, but they merely ignore their own inactions.

Yet the larger concern is the stage that erupts when we see “It runs an online store and also sells its own products on that platform. The criticism is, that it’s both the player and the referee.” Yes, Google and Amazon innovated retail traffic, after the Netscape issues Microsoft hid in the IE cloud they created and IBM never showed interest, they merely did their own less profitable thing and now they want to push in on a market that had evolved for well over a decade and does fine without them. Microsoft came up with Bing a decade after Google and still has no proper way to set the algorithm for ranking, and misses out on a decade of data, which is how I see it. IBM has its own innovation (Quantum computing) and is still 2-5 years away from innovating that field, the rest of them are innovation candle holders at best. 

Yet I cannot completely ignore that the EU has optionally a case to bring, yet their own inadequacies regarding the mapping of the other players that never showed any interest in innovating the field Amazon is in is also food for thought. Those iterative players that will only step in on the second tier after the innovator has proven their case, how is there any level of fairness to give them the playing field? 

So when we see: “is the company using that data to give Amazon’s own products an unfair advantage?” I cannot completely disagree, yet the larger issue is that Amazon created a level of data collection that other data dogs refused to bark at. Now we all can agree that not every retail shop can wield such data and they should not get hit, yet this stage that Amazon has was in the UK going on for a long time via Dunnhumby did for Tesco and in The Netherlands it was Albert Heijn (et al) and their Air Miles. If you go after one, you need to go after all and that is not happening is it? Yet there is a size difference, but none of them came with an overlay of algorithm and made sense of it, they all wanted their own little corner, the innovation of Amazon was larger than that and everyone was in that selfish stage until they all learned (the hard way) that their way was the losing one. 

In all this Amazon is not completely innocent, yet that does not mean that they are guilty. The question we see: “But does Amazon unfairly promote its own products at the expense of third parties?” is woefully incomplete. The issue (just like with Google) is not on what is offered, but what EXACTLY did the searcher ask for? It is a huge part in all this and it is left on the sidelines, optionally intentionally and that hurts, because in all this the central side is not the sellers, or the implied sellers, what did the buyer exactly ask for and that matters, especially in the case of Amazon. The buyer did not ask for “A western where we see Talulah Riley naked with loads of added violence in the highest resolution”, they asked for “Westworld season 2 bluray”, and those two searches are not the same. We can come up with a lot more examples, but I hope that the point comes across. We forget that the largest issue is what the buyer seeks and the bulk want the latest products, they want the ones that ship immediately and can we honestly say that the founding setting of the product sought has all the elements in place (like shipping and overnight shipping options) are these elements properly set to those other sellers? You see, the backwash on what is optionally possible is one thing, the fact that these shops set up the parameters of what can be done in comparison of what is done are two different universes. 

For example, I cannot get to ‘there’ from ‘here’ in Google maps. These two locations are not defined, so when someone is looking at the Sombrero galaxy, it does not mean that there is a path getting there. 

It is the innuendo and the missing elements that make some strike out, optionally murdering innovation. Whilst we see: “The general defence is that there are plenty of companies that act as both a shop and supplier. Tesco and Sainsbury’s both sell their own labelled products in their stores, for example.” a setting duplicated in NEARLY EVERY OTHER country. Pretty much every supermarket chain has that setting, and it is ignored, because they are ‘too small’. I believe that the stage is different, as I stated, the others refused to adhere to the needs of the seeker, the consumer. As such they are out of the online game and that part is surprisingly overlooked. It is not the business of Amazon (or Google for that matter) to fill in the blanks, if Bing does that, perhaps it might have a future to some. 

It is our task to protect innovation, there is too little of it (not what a marketing manager claims is innovation, but actual innovation) if we do not, we merely end up fuelling the EU gravy train and those people need to focus on actual issues, not their gravy train. In this I am not stating that Amazon is completely innocent, I am merely stating that there are a few sides that some people left in the dark. To illustrate this I entered “buy arkham knight ps4”, the results in Bing and Google are very different, bing seems to be all about ebay, that same search in Google and Amazon give a much better result, they gave me what I was looking for. I personally was not looking for ebay options, yet was that part of the equation given? 

The buyer is the larger part in all this and most screamers forgot about that part.

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Middle of the seesaw

To be honest, I am not sure where to stand, even now, as we see ‘Google starts appeal against £2bn shopping fine‘ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51462397), I am personally still in the mindset that there is something wrong here. 

We can give the critique that my view is too much towards Google, and that is fine, I would accept that. Yet the part where we see 

  • In 2017, €2.4bn over shopping results.
  • In 2018, €4.3bn fine over claims it used Android software to unfairly promote its own apps.
  • In 2019, €1.5bn fine for blocking adverts from rival search engines.

Feels like it is part of a much bigger problem. I believe that some people are trying to stage the setting that some things are forced upon companies and I do not mean in the view of sharing. I personally do not believe that it is as simple as Anti-Trust. It feels like a more ‘social mindset’ that some things must be shared, but why?

The BBC also gives us: “Margrethe Vestager, who has taken a tough stance on the Silicon Valley tech firms and what she sees as their monopolistic grip on the digital landscape” this might feel like the truth, yet I personally feel that this was in the making for a long time, Adobe was on that page from the start. I believe that as the digital landscape was slowly pushed into a behemoth by Macromedia, who also acquired Coldfusion a change came to exist, for reference, at that time Microsoft remained a bungling starter holding onto Frontpage, an optional solution for amateurs, but there was already a strong view that this was a professional field. that stage was clearly shown by Adobe as it grew its company by 400% in revenue over a decade, its share value rose by almost 1,000% and its workforce tripled. There was a clear digital landscape, and one where Google was able to axe a niche into, the others were flaccid and remained of the existing state of mind that others must provide. Yet in all this Social media was ignored for far too long and the value of social media was often ignored until it was a decade too late. 

For example, I offered the idea that it would be great to be in the middle of serviced websites where we had the marketing in hands, my bosses basically called me crazy, that it had no functioning foundation, that it was not part of the mission statement and that I had to get back to work, I still have the email somewhere. This was 4 years before Facebook!

I admit that my idea was nothing as grandiose as Facebook, it was considered on other foundations an I saw the missing parts, but no one bit and now that I know better on the level of bullet point managers I am confronted with and their lack of marketing I now know better and my 5G solutions are closed to all but Huawei and Google, innovation is what drives my value and only those two deliver.

But I digress, the Digital Landscape was coming to be, and as we realise that this includes “websites, email, social networks, mobile devices (tablets, iphones, smartphones), videos (YouTube), etc. These tools help businesses sell their products or services” we can clearly see that Microsoft, Amazon and others stayed asleep at the wheel.
some might have thought that it was a joke when Larry Page and Sergey Brin offered the email service on April 1st 2004, yet i believe that they were ahead of many (including me) on how far the digital landscape would go, I reckon that not even Apple saw the massive growth, perhaps that Jobs fellow did, but he was only around until 2011 when it really kicked off. IBM, Microsoft and others stayed asleep thinking that they could barge in at a later stage, as I see it, IBM chose AI and quantum computing thinking that they can have the other niche no one was ready for. 

When we consider that we saw ‘Google faces antitrust investigation by 50 US states and territories‘ 6 months ago and not 5 years ago we see part of the bigger picture, of course they could have left it all to China, was that the idea? When we get “Regulators are growing more concerned about company’s impact on smaller companies striving to compete in Google’s markets” we will see the ignoring stage, when it mattered smaller places would not act, as Google acted it became much larger than anyone thought, even merely two years ago we were al confronted with ‘companies’ letting Google technology do all the work and they get all the credit and coin, why should Google comply? Striving to compete with Google is no longer a real option and anyone thinking that is nuts beyond belief. The only places that can hold a candle are the ones with innovative ideas and in an US economy founded on the principle of iteration no one keeps alive, but they are all of the mind that franchising and iteration is the path to wealth, it is not, only the innovative survive and that is being seen in larger ways by both Google and Huawei. Those who come into the field without innovation is out of options, it is basically the vagrant going to the cook demanding part of the pie the cook made as they are hungry, yet the vagrant has no rights to demand anything. 

And as we are given (read: fed) the excuse of “Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820bn and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s fairly impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data” we can give others the state where Microsoft did its acts to take out Netscape, how did that end? It ended in United States v. Microsoft Corp.. In all,  we see that in the end (no matter how they got there) that the DOJ announced on September 6, 2001 that it was no longer seeking to break up Microsoft and would instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty.

As such, in the end Microsoft did not have to break up hardware and software, they merely had to adopt non-Microsoft solutions, yet how did that end? How many data failures and zero day breaches did its consumer base face? According to R. Cringely (a group of journalists and writers with a column in InfoWorld) we get “the settlement gave Microsoft “a special antitrust immunity to license Windows and other ‘platform software’ under contractual terms that destroy freedom of competition.”” (source: Webcitation.org). 

Yet all this is merely a stage setting, it seems that as governments realised the importance of data and the eagerness of people giving it away to corporations started to sting, you see corporations can be anywhere, even in US hostile lands and China too. That is the larger stage and Google as it deals in data is free of all attachments, as governments cannot oversee this they buckle and the larger stage is set. 

From my point of view, Google stepped in places where no one was willing to go, it was for some too much effort and as that landscape shaped only google remains, so why should they hand over what they have built? 

It is Reuters that give is the first part of it all (at ) here we see: “EU regulators said this penalty was for Google’s favoring its own price comparison shopping service to the disadvantage of smaller European rivals“, yet what it does not give us is that its ‘smaller rivals’ are all using Google services in the first place, and Google has the patent for 30 years, so why share? This is a party for innovators, non-innovators are not welcome!

Then we get “Google’s search service acts as a de-facto kingmaker. If you are not found, the rest cannot follow“, which is optionally strange, because anyone can join Google, anyone can set up camp and anyone can advertise themselves. I am not stupid, I know whatthey mean, but whe it mattered they could not be bothered, no they lack the data, exaytes of data and they cannot compete, they limited their own actions and they all want to be head honcho right now, no actual investment required.

In addition when it comes to Browsers, Wired gives us “I spent the summer and beyond using Bing instead of Google for search. It’s a whole new world, but not always for the better“, I personally cannot stand Bing, I found it to have issues (not going into that at present), so as we are ‘not found’ we consider the Page rank that Stanford created for Google (or google bought it), when we consider when that happened, when was it reengineered and by whom? And when we got to the second part “Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords“, that was TWO DECADES AGO! As such, who was innovative enough to try and improve it with their own system? As I see it no one, so as no one was interested, why does there need to be an antitrust case? As such we see the Google strategy of buying companies and acquiring knowledge, places like Microsoft and IBM no longer mattered, they went their own way, even (optionally) better, Microsoft decided to Surf-Ace to the finish, I merely think, let them be them.

We are so eager to finalise the needs for competition law and antitrust law, but has anyone considered the stupidity of the iteration impact? If not, consider why 5G is in hands of Huawei, they became the innovators and whilst we are given the stage of court case after court case on the acts of Huawei, consider why they are so advanced in 5G, is it because they were smarter, or because the others became flaccid and lazy? I believe that both are at play here and in this, all the anti-Google sentiment is merely stopping innovators whilst iterators merely want to be rich whilst not doing their part, why should we accommodate for that?

so when we see (source: Vox) “United States antitrust officials have ordered the country’s top tech companies to hand over a decade’s worth of information on their acquisitions of competitor firms, in a move aimed at determining how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant” who does it actually serve? is it really about ‘how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant‘, or is it about the denial of innovation? Is it about adding to the surface of a larger entity that governments do not even comprehend, let alone understand? They have figured out that IP and data are the currency of the future, they merely need to be included, the old nightmare where corporations are in charge and politicians are not is optionally coming to fruition and they are actually becoming scared of that, the nerd the minimised at school as they were nerds is setting the tone of the future, the Dominant Arrogant player beng it sales person or politician is being outwitted by the nerd and service minded person, times are changing and these people claim that they want to comprehend, but in earnest, I believe that they are merely considering that the gig is up, iteration always leads there, their seeming ignorance is evidence of that.

Yet in all that, this is basically still emotional and not evidence driven, so let’s get on with that. The foundation of all Common Law Competition Law is set to “The Competition and Consumer Act prohibits two persons, acting in concert, from hindering or preventing a third person trading with a fourth person, where the purpose or likely effect of the conduct is to cause a substantial lessening of competition in any market in which the fourth person is involved“, yet in this, I personally am stating that it hinders innovation, the situation never took into proper account of the state of innovators versus iterators, the iterator needs the innovator to slow down and the foundation of Competition Law allows for this, when we see ‘preventing a third person trading with a fourth person‘, in this the iterator merely brings his or her arrogance and (optional) lack of comprehension to the table and claims that they are being stopped from competing, whilst their evidence of equality is seemingly lacking (as I personally see it). 

In this the Columbia Law School is (at least partially) on my side as I found “Scholars and policymakers have long thought that concentrated market power and monopolies produce more innovation than competition. Consider that patent law—which is the primary body of law aimed at creating incentives for innovation—was traditionally thought to conflict with antitrust law. Known as the “the patent-antitrust paradox,” it was often said that antitrust is designed to prevent monopolies and other exclusionary practices while the patent system does the opposite, granting exclusionary rights and market power in the form of patents. Given this framework, it makes sense that scholars, courts, and government agencies have only recently considered antitrust and patent laws to be complementary policies for encouraging innovation.” it gives the foundation and when you consider that iterators are the foundation of hindrance to innovators, you see how competition law aids them. In the old days (my earlier example) Microsoft and Netscape that was a stage where both parties were on the same technology and comprehension level. Microsoft merely had the edge of bundling its browser with the OS and got the advantage there, Netscape did not have that edge, but was an equal in every other way. 

Another name is Gregory Day, who gives us: “a greater number of antitrust lawsuits filed by private parties—which are the most common type of antitrust action—impedes innovation. Second, the different types of antitrust actions initiated by the government tend to affect innovation in profoundly different ways. Merger challenges (under the Clayton Act) promote innovation while restraint of trade and monopolization claims (under sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act) suppress innovative markets. Even more interesting, these effects become stronger after the antitrust agencies explicitly made promoting innovation a part of their joint policies” yet I believe that iterators have a lot more to gain by driving that part and I see that there is actually a lack of people looking into that matter, who are the people behind the antitrust cases? Most people in government tend to remain unaware until much later in the process, so someone ‘alerts’ them to what I personally see as a  ‘a fictive danger’. In this I wonder who the needed partner in prosecution was and what their needs were. I believe that iterators are a larger problem than anyone ever considered.

In the case of Google, Amazon and Facebook, we see innovators driving technology and the others have absolutely nothing to offer, they are bound to try and slow these three down as they are trying to catch up. 

Ian Murray wrote in 2018 (CEI.ORG), “Yet there is no such thing as a dominant market position unless it is guaranteed by government. AOL, Borders, Blockbuster, Sears, Kodak, and many other firms once considered dominant in their markets have fallen as the result of competition, without any antitrust action” and that is a truth, yet it does not give that the iterators merely want innovators to slow down, so that they can catch up and the law allows for this, more importantly, as the lack of innovations were not driven over the last decade, South Korea became a PC behemoth, and China now rules in 5G Telecom land. All are clear stages of iterators being the problem and not a solution, even worse they are hindring actual innovation to take shape, real innovation, not what is marketed as such.

As such, governments are trying to get some social setting in place by balancing the seesaw whilst standing at the axial point, it is a first signal that this is a place where innovators are lost and in that are you even surprised that a lot of engineers will only take calls from Google or Huawei (Elon Musk being an optional third in the carbon neutral drive)? 

It gets to be even worse (soon enough), now that Google is taking the cookie out of the equation, we get to see ‘Move marks a watershed moment for the digital ad industry to reinvent itself‘, this is basically the other side of the privacy coin, even as google complied, others will complain and as Google innovates the internet to find another way to seek cookie technology, we will suddenly see every advertisement goof with no knowledge of systems cry ‘foul!’ and as we are given “Criteo, which built a retargeting empire around cookies, saw its stock tumble following Google’s announcement. Others such as LiveRamp and Oracle-owned businesses BlueKai and Datalogix, as well as nearly all data management platforms, now face the challenge of rethinking their business” (source: AdAge) we will see more players hurdling themselves over Competition Law and optionallytowards antitrust cases because these players used someones technology to get a few coins (which is not a bad thing, but to all good things come an end).

And I am not against these changes, the issue is not how it will be reinvented, it is how some will seek the option to slow the actual innovators down because they had no original idea (as I personally see it). Yet we must also establish that Google did not make it any easier and they have their own case ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC. to thank for.

That verdict was set to “With respect to Google’s cross-appeal, we affirm the district court’s decisions: (1) granting Oracle’s motion for JMOL as to the eight decompiled Java files that Google copied into Android; and (2) denying Google’s motion for JMOL with respect to the rangeCheck function. Accordingly, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, and remand for further proceedings.” in this situation, for me “The jury found that Google infringed Oracle’s  copyrights in the 37 Java packages and a specific computer routine called “rangeCheck,” but returned a noninfringement verdict as to eight decompiled security files. The jury  deadlocked on Google’s fair use defense.“, as I see it in that situation Oracle had been the innovator and for its use Google was merely an iterator (if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it).

Basically one man’s innovator is another man’s iterator, which tends to hold up in almost any technology field. Yet this time around, the price is a hell of a lot higher, close to half a dozen iterators ended up giving an almost complete technology surge to China (5G), which is as I personally see it. They were asleep at the wheel and now the US administration is trying to find a way around it, like they will just like ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC.  more likely than not come up short.

And one of these days, governments will figure out that the middle of the seesaw is not the safe place to be, it might be the least safe place to be. As the population on each end changes, the slow reaction in the middle merely ends up having the opposite and accelerating effect, a few governments will learn that lesson the hard way. I believe that picking two players on one (or either side) side is the safest course of action, the question for me remains will they bite?

 

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The hack game continues

The press continues to assault Mohammad Bin Salman and Saudi Arabia, the same press that has ignored hostile acts by Iran, the same press who have knowingly and from my point of view ignored (read: and downplayed) several issues in Yemen caused by Hezbollah. 

So as I got to see (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2020/jan/22/jeff-bezos-phone-hacked-allegation-saudi-crown-prince-video-explainer) the video that was placed two weeks ago, in light of what I wrote yesterday. I thought that the video gives light to several questions that link to this. It is also important, because it shows a global FAILING of cyber security, not by the hairless man (Jeff Bezos) by the way, who in this is basically a consumer (one with deep pockets that is).

The video starts off with Stephanie Kirchgaessner, where she says (at 00:14) ‘who is somehow personally involved‘ (1). Then we get (at 00:32) ‘according to his own security team victim of some sort of hack by Saudi Arabia‘ (2) we get more accusations, but with the word ‘allegation’, as such she is in the clear. After that we get a clip from CBS This morning (at 1:08) with a followup and direct accusation towards the WhatsApp account ‘from the account of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia‘ (3), even as I am tempted to ignore ‘We can’t know what was going on in the mind of Mohammad Bin Salman‘ (at 1:55) (4)

After that there is a reference to ‘the experts that she spoke to‘ (at 2:12) and they point to the fact that he is the owner of the Washington Post, not the owner of Amazon or merely a rich dude. ‘It was an attack on the Press‘ is what seemingly comes out of this. 

We get a few more events, but nothing that is too interesting, not in this view.

Personally I actually do not care about Bezos and his needs, I do not give a hoot about a few items, and my personal view is that any person is innocent until PROVEN guilty and the attacks on Saudi Arabia as well as the Crown Prince are offensive to me as we should know and act better.

So as we get to the stage of the why, we need to see the stage we are entering. This is not (merely) a Criminal situation, this is a cyber ploy and that is where the focus is, I have written more than enough about the joke that is the FTI Consulting report, but in the end it is linked to all this. 

  1. Who is somehow personally involved

How? I am not referring to item 3, there is a larger stage here. The alleged infecting file was received on May 1st 2018. In this I am using alleged as the investigation did not start until February 2019. However, the FTI Consulting report on page 12, item 22 gives us that hours after the reception of a file resulting in egress data in excess of 29,000%. I do not question that, I do not question that Bezos got hacked. 

Why am I opposing here?

As I stated in ‘6 simple questions‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/02/03/6-simple-questions/) yesterday. Other experts give us “Check Point Research, however, recently unveiled new vulnerabilities in the popular messaging application that could allow threat actors to intercept and manipulate messages sent in both private and group conversations, giving attackers immense power to create and spread misinformation from what appear to be trusted sources.” This is important when we consider ‘allow threat actors to intercept‘ as well as ‘spread misinformation from what appear to be trusted sources‘ as such Check Point research gives us that false information could be sent to a person from anyone claiming to be anyone else. The source of the infection cannot be verified in this. that is an important fact, one that was out in the open and FTI Consulting never went there.

  1. According to his own security team victim of some sort of hack by Saudi Arabia

So his security team are cyber experts? And they know somehow that Saudi Arabia did the attack? Based on what evidence? I showed in the previous point that this is optionally not the case and the FTI Consulting report is nothing short of a joke (as I personally see it), there is no path to where the data is going, there is no evidence on where the infection came from. 

  1. from the account of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Here is the larger issue and even as I debunked it in point one, we must not ignore this, there is one path that is not investigated and not one that can no longer be investigated. The mobile of the Crown Prince might be infected itself. My point one avoids it, but we cannot ignore it. The chances of Saudi Arabia or its officials in light of the attacks cooperating is close to zero and as such this point will remain on the books. From my point of view gathering intel and evidence before shouting foul would have been a much better approach and why the UN gets involved in this is still open to debate on a few sides. 

  1. We can’t know what was going on in the mind of Mohammad Bin Salman

In this we can speculate and debate until we are blue in the face, but the truth is that all this started 2 years ago and the evidence is largely missing, more important, whomever was involved has removed whatever sides they needed to and as such the actual guilty party will never be found. Yet the foundation of the accusation is larger.

He was being attacked by the press and we seemingly forget that the infection started BEFORE someone seemingly ended the life of some columnist named Jamal Khashoggi, as such we can argue that there was no attack on the Washington Post. To be more honest, at the time of the infection Jamal Khashoggi was some columnist most people on the planet had never heard of (apart from the Washington Post readers) 

Yet when we look at the Vice article (at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/v74v34/saudi-arabia-hacked-jeff-bezos-phone-technical-report), there we see that former FBI investigator Anthony J Farrante gets into the fight and the report gives us ““to assess Bezos’ phone was compromised via tools procured by Saud al Qahtani,” the report states“, it is an interesting plot, especially when we consider another Vice article (at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xvzyp/hacking-team-investor-saudi-arabia) where we saw “Hacking Team was thoroughly owned, with its once-secret list of customers, internal emails, and spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see“, so lets put this in the right frame, Anthony J Farrante is going out to prove that a tool procured by Saud al Qahtani, and as far as we can speculate is in the possession of thousands of hackers through ‘spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see‘ is the guilty perpetrator. How is that ever going to work? 

Well that is optionally still the case if we can examine the source of the problem, and that is basically already debunked by Alex Stamos, the former chief information security officer at Facebook who gave us “Lots of odd circumstantial evidence, for sure, but no smoking gun“, in this I also got to “several high-profile and respected researchers, highlights the limits of a report produced by FTI Consulting, the company Bezos hired to investigate the matter“, as well as “A key shortcoming of the analysis, Edwards said, was that it relied on a restricted set of content obtained from Bezos’s iTunes backup. A deeper analysis, she said, would have collected detailed records from the iPhone’s underlying operating and file systems. Other security experts characterized the evidence in the report as inconclusive“, and “a research group at the University of Toronto, offered a suggestion that could allow investigators to gain access to encrypted information that FTI said it could not unlock” (source: CNN), we see a whole range of experts giving out claims towards non-conclusivity, lack of expertise and optionally students in Toronto giving out solutions to a situation that FTI said it could not unlock. 

These are all matters that played out over time, some before the video report and it seems to me that the press is bashing with smoke signals as loud as possible hoping someone will scream ‘fire!‘. That is my view on the matter!

Now, all what I see and expose does not make any party innocent, it merely shows that there is no evidence to call anyone guilty on and that is what matters, because we want to turn this into an event where a person needs to prove that they are innocent, we must prove that anyone is guilty. In some cases beyond all reasonable doubt and in some cases on the setting of probability of guilt set against the average man. The entire cyber event fails on both terms and that is not merely me, and when we see ‘Other security experts characterized the evidence in the report as inconclusive‘ we need to realise that (apart from) FTI Consulting did a piss poor job in this case, the finding of actual and factual evidence is a lot harder in this day and age. The WhatsApp vulnerability showed that there is a larger problem and when we cannot determine the origin of any hack or virus, we are in for a much larger problem and this is happening before 5G is fully rolled out. That nightmare was brought nicely by Kenneth White, former advisor to DHS with “it can be extremely challenging to reconstruct the activities of a determined, well-resourced hacker“, this is what the Jeff Bezos team faced and from my view, they went about it the wrong way. Their report was never ready for release and the fact that basic parts were missed gives out a much larger problem, if billionaires rely on someone like FTI Consulting and this report is the standard, then the entire cyber setting in the United States could be regarded as a larger problem from beginning to end.

In this there is one highlight that Vice gave us that matters here, it is “The second obstacle regarded the password for the iTunes backup“, and “They apparently never obtained the password” that makes no sense, because the owner should have his backup, so unless Jeff was hit by the ID10T virus, we see a failing on more than one level and as such at what stage, in light of EVERYTHING out there in 2018 why was Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ever accused?

That is what angers me, not who was accused, but that an accusation came whilst there was a whole truckload of information out there making it a bad choice from beginning to end, so was the Washington Post owner hacked, or was the hack a way for the Washington Post to strike out to someone? That is the larger game that is now in the court of perception, a massive failing of properly assessing pieces of evidence by the media (and the UN). 

 

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