Tag Archives: Berlin

Gapping data

I did take notice of the story, but there were other considerations. So what is the issue with a two week old story? Actually there is nothing wrong with the time gap, it actually works out nicely. Yet before we go anywhere, lets take a look at ‘A data ‘black hole’: Europol ordered to delete vast store of personal data’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/10/a-data-black-hole-europol-ordered-to-delete-vast-store-of-personal-data) there we are given “The EU’s police agency, Europol, will be forced to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it has been found to have amassed unlawfully by the bloc’s data protection watchdog.” Here I have an issue with the stage of “amassed unlawfully”, then we get “The unprecedented finding from the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) targets what privacy experts are calling a “big data ark” containing billions of points of information. Sensitive data in the ark has been drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services and sampled from asylum seekers never involved in any crime.” There we get “hacked from encrypted phone services and sampled from asylum seekers never involved in any crime” You see, the biggest problem in any data set are the data gaps. MISSING VALUE analyses will not get you anywhere and data cannot be analysed on data that is not there. As I see it, the commercial world amasses worlds of data and the EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor) does next to nothing. We could start an argument that the EDPS is catering to organised crime, but that might be a stretch. I know my data has been collected by CIA, FBI, GCHQ, Mossad, DGSE and at least two other organisations. You think I care? I live my life and keep doing what I am legally allowed to do. The data merely reinforces this. So why is there such a rush to maim the mobility of Europol? I have nothing against laws, I believe that laws are important, but how stupid is it to set up the laws to hinder the law? When our data is all over Microsoft, Google, Amazon, GTCOM and whatever Russia has. The 4,000 TB that is to be deleted will serve organised crime and criminals, no one else. And more importantly it will not protect refugees, if anything, the data shows them to be innocent. Did no one make that leap? You see I oppose “Europol had worked with the EDPS “to find a balance between keeping the EU secure and its citizens safe while adhering to the highest standards of data protection”, the agency said.” I oppose it because data does not protect or endanger lives, it is the one wielding all that data does and whilst commercial enterprises are given a wide berth avoiding their ‘legal’ teams, the EDPS has to prove its existence by having a go at Interpol.

Yes, it is their job, but in what job do you hand opportunity to criminals, organised crime and terrorists? 

And the Guardian is appeasing the stage buy giving the simplest of examples, the example that makes you go ‘awww’. But the example “The political activist, whose only serious run-ins with police amount to breaking a window to gain entrance to a building and create a squat for homeless people, was removed from the Dutch watch-list by authorities in 2019. But a year prior to this removal he had moved to Berlin, which unknown to Van der Linde at the time prompted Dutch police to share his data with German counterparts and Europol. The activist discovered his entanglement with Europol only when he saw a partially declassified file at Amsterdam city hall.” So a criminal, guilty of breaking and entering, that is the simple truth. But we are not supposed to see that, are we? And when the next assault is not in London, but Amsterdam and the gapped data will show to have been an option to stop this, what will the EU give as a response? 

 

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Gift for militant wench

OK, not my finest hour in diplomacy, but it was the only way to give the path to people thinking ‘another Amazon story’. I woke up this morning with a new IP, an IP based on Google technology, but they do not create software, so their loss. And this is freeware only for Sony and Amazon products, just another way for me to say to Microsoft “Screw you!” So in my sleep I was racing through the street, there were paths, obstacles and my mind was making sense of it all (which took a few seconds) and I was seeing the brilliance of that Nintendo kart game that can take place in your home. A good idea, but I gave it steroids and turned it into something serious. You see, there are the F1 people, who love the F1, want to race on their tracks, want to be an F1 driver and this is not for them, There are good products and they are happy there. No, this is for the people who want to race in the real world. So consider a setting where the game has 10 circuits. They can give their address, or one they wished to live and the system will design a racetrack from 2500 metres up to 5500 metres (for now) based on real Google Map data. So you get a game that will soon have thousands of tracks, and the nice part is that there is racing (just the street) and challenge where the system adds obstacles, ramps (looking like it was fake and inserted) to give that goofy feeling for when you go all out. As far as I can tell, it has NEVER been done before and there Amazon gets the inside track, because as you race what is, the system with Machine learning and deeper machine learning will try to make you a map you requested based on the area, or location you gave and adds the track for you personally to your account. A setting where a game can grown into a massive behemoth of racing fun. A setting where you can race where you always desired to race, your hometown (wherever that is), Tokyo streets, Monte Carlo (every racer wants to be there one day), London, Berlin, Amsterdam and the list just grows. I am actually amazed no one in Google was that alert, but there you have it. So I say (still lacking diplomacy) “Militant wench, have at it”, we could include boat racing, but I reckon that a place like Rotterdam will give Amazon all kinds of problems. 

A simple idea boosted to a real challenge, and should you wonder why Microsoft cannot come up with it. Well that is simple, they can buy creativity, they merely lack the ability to create something. For that they have Mojang, Bethesda and Blizzard. Those who buy are limited to their knowledge of Excel (or so they say).

Enjoy this midweek! The weekend will be 68 hours away for some. 

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That’s the way the money flows

The Independent had an interesting article 2 hours ago. The article (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/china-drones-spy-us-dhs-security-data-alert-a8922706.html). The title leaves little to the imagination with: ‘Chinese drones may be stealing sensitive information, DHS warns‘, after the Trump google play, after his refusal to submit to subpoena’s, after the anti Huawei activities that so far has never yielded any active evidence (the 8 year old case was settled within months are done with). Now we see: “Chinese-made drones in America may be sending sensitive data to their manufacturers back home where it can be accessed by the government, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned“, which might be a nightmare if it was not so hilarious. You see the next quote: “CNN, which obtained the internal alert, reported that the DHS fears drones will offer Chinese intelligence unfettered access to American data“, it comes across like we have a case where a CNN reporter has been hit by a silly stick and never recovered. Consider the drones we see, there is no space to have a dedicated hack system on board. Yes some can be done with a mobile, and there is plenty of space in that device, now consider the ‘sensitive’ data that needs to be found, the data needs to be connected to (and with all these faulty Cisco routers that is relatively easy at present), then a selection needs to be downloaded and that is merely for one place, one device. All this stops when any person uses common cyber sense. It is the revelation that we see next, that is the one that matters. With: “Though the alert didn’t name specific companies, the vast majority of drones used in the US and Canada are made by the Shenzen based Company, DJI, CNN reported” we see the part that matters. As drone services are up on an almost exponential growth as we see the push that got there. The news from November 2016 gave us: “Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s) and drone delivery partner Flirtey delivered the first order, a Peri-Peri Chicken Pizza, and a Chicken and Cranberry Pizza“. Consider the option to avoid traffic in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Pittsburgh, all places with massive congestion. Drones are the optionally the newest quick way to deliver food, Amazon needs, Walmart needs, all in growing need due to the events where retailers and shippers combine forces to avoid a few items, and with congestion set to zero, people will flock to that consideration. Now the operational part, it seems that DJI is ahead of the curve, another Chinese company decided to truly innovate and now that the push is there and America is bankrupt (as I personally see it) anything possible to avoid money going to China, America is taking a pot shot at that. So when we are also treated to: “A spokesman for DJI denied that any information was being transmitted to it from its drones, adding that the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government.” I start wondering if DHS was able to do its job properly. Now let’s be clear, there is no doubt that ANY drone can be used for espionage, especially if it is quiet enough. Yet is that the issue for DJI, or is that an issue with the spy that utilises drone technology? Yet that is actually not the only side, on the other side we see mentioned: “Those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities,” Now, this part does make sense. It is the same as the Apple Fitbit, that due to its global nature started to hand out the jogging patterns of Special forces in the Middle East, so within 3 days several members of the two dozen operatives had a check on their calorie burning and health, whilst the mapping data showed the world where the CIA black site was (oh apologies, I meant to say a military specialist endeavouring location of an undetermined nature). The question becomes how was the ‘the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government‘ achieved? Was that verification process competent, or perhaps slightly less so?

I am not stating my verdict in either direction; yet the entire Huawei mess, as well as the DJI setting implies that the growth industries are shunned from America, mainly because it is not an American industry. Yet in all this, the forget that places like the EU and India are large enough to go forward with both players and truly grow further, whilst the downturn and the economic lag that the US is creating will merely grow the loss of momentum and the recession it will fuel in other ways. I would consider that the setback that Google is trying to create will have larger repercussions down the road. As larger Data vendors will now optionally choose the Chinese side, they will grow market share. You see no matter how it is sliced, all this is data based and data can only grow if there is usage. So when people remain with Huawei as their phone keeps on working, we see that there is a larger concern soon enough. At some point people will stop trusting Samsung, Google and Apple phones, which works out nicely for several players (Microsoft actually more than most), what do you think happens when the larger share of 14.7% of a global market changes to player three and not use Google apps to some degree? Google momentum relies on non-stop data and usage, when a third of the 60% that these three cover stops, do you think that this has no impact for Google?

The same applies to drones. You see intelligence makes the drone and as it grows its market share and the collected data of drone usage is set, the innovation of DJI grows faster. It is the difference between generation now and generation 2022, DJI will grow and can grow in several directions, yet the entire the setting of ‘data theft’ we see that there is a lack of ‘what’ data. What data is collected, the flight path? Well, I think we all need to know in 2023 what flight path was taken for the delivery of 342,450 pizza’s delivered per hour, is it not? It is not that Google Map has that data, and within a building in New York, is there truly a clear sign in the drone itself who exactly the merchandise was for, or was that on the box (instead of the drone). Now, there is no denying that some of that data would optionally be accessible to the Chinese government? Yet what data, what level of data? Do you think that they have time for the hundreds of drones and the data whilst they can monitor 20,000 times that data with a spy satellite (and an additional truckload of data that the drone never had in the first place?

It is when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘ where the questions become pressing. It is like watching Colin Powell coming into a non-disclosed location with his silver briefcase and in the end the lack of WMD’s, are we going in that direction again? when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘, it is at that moment I see the optional comparison (an extreme lose comparison mind you) with the innocent preachers daughter who did the naughty thing to 30% of the boys coming to Sunday sermon, having attempted things I cannot even rent on adult video. It is the CNN article (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/20/politics/dhs-chinese-drone-warning/index.html) that gives additional rise to concerns. When you see: “Users are warned to “be cautious when purchasing” drones from China, and to take precautionary steps like turning off the device’s internet connection and removing secure digital cards. The alert also warns users to “understand how to properly operate and limit your device’s access to networks” to avoid “theft of information.”” It seems to me that there are dozens of ways to get this data, a drone seems like an expensive long way round-trip to get to that data, whilst more can be accessed in several other ways and it is the speculation through ‘device’s internet connection‘, so when we see one of these devices (at https://www.dji.com/au/phantom-4-pro-v2/info#specs), we are treated to: “The new Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features an OcuSync HD transmission system, which supports automatic dual-frequency band switching and connects to DJI Goggles wirelessly“, where did the internet come in? Yes there is an app, to get a live view from the drone, so what ‘unfettered access to American data‘ could there be that Google Maps at present does not have in more detail?

It is the next part that is the actual ace. When we see: “DJI, which reported $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, is best known for its popular Phantom drone. Introduced in 2013, the drone is the top-selling commercial drone on the market“, information the Independent did not give us, that is the actual stage as I personally see it. It was $2.7 billion in 2017, there is no doubt that when drone delivery truly takes off, at that point revenue that sits between $15 and $27 billion is not unrealistic, the dire need to avoid congestion on a global scale will drive it and that is before you realise the non-US benefits in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Moscow. At that point you will see stronger growth and I haven’t even looked at the opportunities in a place like Mumbai, Tokyo, Delhi, Bangkok, Rio, Buenos Aires and Sydney yet. Everything leaves me with the impression that this is not about security, it is about money. That fact can be proven when you realise that everyone remains silent on the 29 new vulnerabilities that Cisco reported merely a month ago. How many Cisco router stories have come from that non-technologically refined White House, where they are currently optionally limited by “Cisco routers, including ones that can be found in malls, large companies or government institutions, are flawed in a way that allows hackers to steal all of the data flowing through them“, the cybersecurity company Red Baron handed out that issue to the media last week, so who picked up on that danger to ‘unfettered access to American data‘? And when you consider ‘it allows potential malicious actors to bypass the router’s security feature, Trust Anchor. This feature has been standard in Cisco’s routers since 2013‘, when we realise that Cisco is a household name on a global scale (especially when connected to the internet), the entire Cisco matter seems to be at least 15,000 times worse than any DJI drone ever could be, and the fact that DHS remains silent on that gives (again, as I personally see it) is added proof that this is merely about the money and the fact that US companies are losing markets on a global scale.

I could set the stage by singing ‘All ‘Bout the money‘ by Meja and ‘That’s the way the money goes‘ by M, but then, I realise that people would most likely pay me serious money not to sing (my voice is actually that bad).

That’s the way the money flows, specifically at present in a direction that the US is for the foreseeable future most displeased about.

 

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When a dream is too delusional

We all have those dreams we know will never pass into reality, they are too delusional for comfort, but they are dreams, so we go with the flow. One example is winning the €135,000,000 lottery, the other could be one including Wallis Day (main character in the DC series Krypton) to spend a weekend to remember at her place (with all the extra options). Yes, all options that are delusional and never ever a setting that could ever be true. So in all this we get to yesterday’s article in the Guardian where we (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/apr/27/very-disappointing-ashford-laments-loss-of-debenhams-branch) are treated to ‘‘Very disappointing’: Ashford laments loss of Debenhams branch‘, yes it might be very disappointing, yet consider a few items. First there is the building that they are in, then consider that Ashford has a population of 62,787, so we need to look at another side of it all, or in this case the 2016 Annual report (at http://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReportArchive/d/LSE_DEB_2016.pdf).

They had a staff count of around 28,000 supporting 182 stores in the UK and Europe as well as their domestic and international websites. Now consider their premise of Gross transaction value (52 weeks) of £2.9bn. In that regard, how does a shop in a village of 62K people add up to anything? When we look deeper and consider that Debenhams had a total of 165 stores in the UK alone and the amount of cities in the UK from 100,000 people up to 1 million added up to 96 locations, in the remaining places how did Ashford got to be one of those 69 positions? Now, we can see that in Kent, the average income is set to £29,095, which is above the UK average, still, when we do the numbers, the entire validation of having Debenhams in Ashford does not add up. Not in such a posh place, making me wonder why the building was placed there to begin with.

Now consider the additional information that the Kent Online gives us (at https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent-business/county-news/debenhams-to-close-four-kent-stores-203461/). So, Ashford, Canterbury, Chatham and Folkestone are all shutting down, in all this, I wonder why Ashford, Canterbury and Folkestone were placed in the first place. Kent with its 1.5 million people (in the entire county) has a case for one Debenhams but not 4. The numbers do not make sense. Now we need to remember that Debenhams has been around for two centuries and as such they do not all have new places, but when I see Debenhams Ashford, I see a story that seems to think it is in a multi-millionaire district with 20,000 shoppers, whilst 2,000 active buying shoppers at best would be an achievement in Ashford, the entire article by the Guardian left me with way too many questions. The shop is clearly set out to call in the higher spender; the Dior setting dominating the floor gives that impression. Now, it is not merely about the prices, because Debenhams has always shown to have value for money and their stuff is affordable, yet that also creates the need for a much higher volume of purchases and let’s face it, Ashford is not a place where people buy clothes at a non-stop speed, the cost of living is not supporting that, and the optional coffee machine at £282.00 is not one that most people would buy, the one off perhaps, but most will resort to the luxury Russel Hobbs at £35.00. Now we get the image clearing up, you see as margins are lower, the units need to be sold at much higher frequency and there we see that Ashford never had the stage, moreover it is at least two Kent stores that could be seen as a drain on the Debenhams fortune and that took less than 2 minutes to figure out, so how the continued expansion (read: building upgrade) was seen by those in charge is beyond me.

So when I see: “For other young people, the department store had little to offer. “I just go in there to use the spray on the beauty counters,” said Faith Figaro, 17. “I think it’s expensive, to be fair.”” we see a 17 year old making the case for me and I wonder what possessed the Debenhams top to go in this direction in the first place. It gets to be even worse when the Guardian prints the pragmatic “It’s all hairdressers and coffee shops and nail bars. People won’t come here to shop – they’ll go to a bigger town like Canterbury instead“, which in itself is a truth, making me wonder what is getting into some of these delusional big brands. The entire setting of the larger players has been under fire for the longest of time and the essential need to revisit locations is becoming an essential need for all of them, as such the statement: “Conservative MP Damian Green described the news as “very disappointing”. On Twitter, he wrote: “We need to redouble efforts to strengthen the town centre.”” becomes one of worry. Even as a conservative I wonder how Damian got elected, merely as I saw the writing on the wall within three minutes, so he should have been on the ball for a much longer time, as such the Debenhams situation should have been to be expected, not ‘disappointing‘. For me the entire issue that is started by “Ashford borough council said they would work with the owners of the shopping centre to try to find new occupiers” becomes an issue soon enough. It is the duty of the owner to seek shops and to seek occupancy. When you put an expensive Rolls Royce in an old meadow, you cannot expect your return on investment, you do that by slashing rental prices and by seeking long term solutions that can afford to be long term solutions. Staging ‘elite placement’ in a place where ‘elite placement’ is not realistic is the stage where we see the Australian Westfield issue explode on several stages, places that are intent to fall over within a year, it attracts the wrong facilitator and that is where things go from bad to worse.

It is not the end, it is the Kent Online that also gives us the words from Executive chairman Terry Duddy: “Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today’s much changed retail environment“. The words sound nice in theory, yet from my point of view; the stage we see in the 2016 annual report contradicts the actions of having most Debenhams in Kent. And when we look at the annual report making the: Profit before tax* (52 weeks) £114.1m claim. I get to the stage thinking that their clear strategy was anything but clear.

In that version of a report we see the strategy: “To be a leading international, multi-channel brand by delivering a compelling customer proposition and increasing availability and choice through our flagship digital platform and well-invested, well-located stores around the world.” I honestly think that they got that wrong by a fair bit. You see, from my personal point of view the setting of ‘well-invested, well-located stores‘ we see the stage where it should have been ‘well-invested, and viable well-located stores‘ it is that part where viable needs to matter and in 50 of the 166 cases it was not to be and that is not something from the last year, the action should have started no later than 2015 as I see it.

It gets to be slightly entertaining when I look at their risk management in light of their e strategic and operational goals, but let’s not make too much fun of the situation, shall we? Even as there is a lot to be said on their KPI’s, the clear message of net debt reduction is important and a good thing, if that £40 million net debt reduction had not been met, the entire matter would have been critically fatal for Debenhams no later than 2018, so good steps had been made, yet larger were essential two years ago, that is as I personally see it and without the raw data my findings are open to critical debate (as my view might be wrong). Yet at page 29 we see the largest flaw. When we see: “New UK stores 12%” we see the largest mistake, in a place where there were 166 stores whilst the population did not support further growth that should have been staged for modernisation for now. I get it, some stores are too old and new stores replace the old ones, yet the 5 year option to rely on upgrades until the economy is much stronger was an essential step to make, even if some of the lucrative old shops would shut down, the long term growth in this economy is just not there. This is why I got the 2016 annual report (the 2017 would have been better, yet I could not find that puppy). Aspects of 2016 and 2017 are seen now, its impact is now direct, like a good ship you adjust course and wait for the numbers to be clear so any adjustment in 2018 would not be a valid impact until 2020 (unless it is immediate navigation) and there is where we see some of the flaws of Debenhams. Even now I noticed that internationally they are not in Germany, it might be because Hennes & Mauritz AB is too great a threat, it might be for another reason, but the one nations where the economy is still in a much better place, is the one place they do not show up. Can they honestly claim that Debenhams Bonn, Berlin and/or Munich would not make it? In the Netherlands they would have a cat fight with C&A and a few others, in Sweden there is Hennes & Mauritz AB, Åhléns and a few others, so that makes sense, France is a dimension all on itself, so no way to tell, yet Germany? If I had to bank on Debenhams Munich or Debenhams Ashford, Ashford would never have been a consideration, yet with no timeline on Ashford I have to make the blind choice and it would not be Ashford, due to no fault of anything Kent related.

It is on page 138 we get the final part. Here we see the minimum lease payments under non-cancellable operating leases. Now some have been there for a long time, it was a choice made and that is fair, yet in the entire matter we see that for up to 5 years we see £96.7 million in play and I have some serious questions on those marks, in light of certain facts seen now, I wonder which of those should never have been made, but that is merely my view on the matter and with up to 50 stores up for closure I personally reckon I might have a case on that.

LSE_DEB_2016

 

 

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Merely a week ago

It has been eight days since ‘A haircut before the guillotine‘, which can be found at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/21/a-haircut-before-the-guillotine/. The article dealt like the one ABC gave us all about Greece and I think that it is nice that they finally came to the same conclusions, it only took them a week. Yet, the part that I never looked at (before now) s the part that ABC is giving. It is the setting that Italy is the most likely next country to add the fuel of life after the Euro. When we are treated to: “The warning signs are gathering: Government borrowing stands at 130 per cent of GDP, and bond yields have been rising, a sign of low confidence by financial markets which will make it more difficult for Rome to raise money by selling long-term sovereign debt“, yet unlike Greece and other players, they really do not have that much of faith in that muzzle called the EU and the ECB. The less popular and growing situation is offered with “it is also filled with ministers who are deeply distrustful of European institutions and regularly raise the possibility of pulling Italy out of the EU“, something Greece should have considered. In the setting where the Italians can float their currency during the seasons and get a much better return, lowering debt slightly faster is an option, one that is currently being discussed in Rome. What is also a setting is that Italy now has an example on when things go pear shaped, an advantage that Greece did not have. After that, ABC, of better stated Anne Bagamery gives us “many European analysts draw a straight line from the rise of Euroscepticism and nationalism generally — trends that led directly to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union next year — to the Greek bailout and other, similar rescue plans that followed the 2008 world financial crisis“. That is likely to be true, but the element that she ignores is that Mario Draghi was also a factor. What is more and more seen as a reckless, wrecking action by a second jumpstart to the economy, one that is still failing, but now the European members are well over 2.5 trillion Euro deeper in debt, so how is that playing out?

I am still of the mind that Mario Draghi and his membership into the elite 30 bank clubs enabled them to deals and advantages that are ethically an issue, perhaps even legally so. Yet there is no intervention, no investigation and in the end, the interest on 2.5 trillion dollars will have to go somewhere, does it not?

Then we get two sides, the first one is one I agree with. With: “Ms Merkel, at the time the most powerful head of government on the continent, pushed the notion that forcing the kind of budgetary discipline that had worked in Germany was the best way to bring spendthrift countries into line. A fervent European, Ms Merkel also felt austerity was the best way to preserve both the EU and the euro” we see a harsh reality, but when you look at Germany, their debt is way down (compared to what it was) and as such a few billion euros each year gets to be spend on infrastructure and not on interest payments, so that is a clear sign. In opposition we see: “Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic affairs, acknowledged in an interview last year with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that the handling of Greece’s bailout program was “a scandal in terms of democratic processes”“.

That might optionally be the case, but how far was the democratic path used to misrepresent the numbers, cooking the books and fraudulently give rise to economic levels that never existed? How many of those Greek cooks actually were prosecuted and ended in prison? Show me that list please Pierre Moscovici, can you?

Now we get to the BS of the part and it is seen in “Economists have now had plenty of time to evaluate whether the decision to impose austerity measures was the wisest course — and, for the most part, the verdict is negative”. Is that so? You see, I stated that in 2013 and several economists stated that I did not have an economy degree (which is true) and as such, I could never comprehend the ‘complexities’ of such macroeconomics. they optionally had a point, was it not that my version and my calculations using my fingers and an abacus gave a result that was merely a year away from their results and I published mine 5 years ago, so in all that, it seems that these economical ‘experts’ are seemingly more about the preservation of the gravy train that they are on and a lot less on finding the setting of resolution that they were supposed to have and now that Italy is on the iExit path (or was that ILeave?), we see that ‘the verdict is negative‘ part, I reckon merely 5 years late in light of the degrees they have.

Finally we need to stop at the setting we see regarding Portugal. With the quote “Joao Borges de Assuncao, a professor at the Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics and a former economic adviser to the Portuguese government, said recently that Portugal’s recovery only really started when it ended austerity measures and invested in job creation to keep growth alive“. I cannot completely agree, even if that was a partial correct setting for Portugal. A setting when we consider that Portugal has a population of 11.2 million, about the size of Sweden, a mere 25% of Spain. In addition, Portugal got lucky with their cork. It supplies 50% of the global needs and that gives them a huge niche market and until China starts growing their cork forests in a serious way, Portugal will have an advantage there. In addition Portugal has a similar advantage with tungsten and lithium, with lithium battery needs at an all-time high, and unlikely to slow down for now, we see that 75% is in South America, meaning that Portugal cannot rely on their amounts, but it still makes for a nice additional sandwich with what they offer. All elements that they have and plenty of other European players do not, so Portugal has a small advantage, which is why I oppose the view of Joao Borges de Assuncao, not because the view is wrong, but in the current available options, with a much smaller population there is a benefit for Portugal and that is why the investments required would have been significantly lower, whilst the ROI would have been much easier to achieve. What works for Portugal is not likely to work in Spain and Italy to the degree it needs to, not whilst the Italian population is 600% of Portugal. The sales amount of Maserati’s and Ducati’s needed to offset that difference is slightly more than realistically possible.

I expected for the longest time that there was a much larger issue within Europe, no matter how ideological the setting was, the setting of a push for big business to get the exploitative advantage over small companies was too visible and now we see those same companies giving the UK such hassle. I wonder when the UK economy picks up and those players are learning that they are missing out on 68 million consumers, I wonder what marketing scheme they will try to get back into favour with those they tried to strongarm initially. We merely have to look at the Galileo satellite navigation system, and the setting that we see now to learn that the easiest option is to merely block the Galileo from accessing that part, which the UK would be allowed to do. When we see the setting of people using their car abroad (UK in EU vs EU in UK) we see that this stage will hurt the EU a lot more, and even as we see the need for a UK satnav system, the UK one will come, 68 million people implies 30 million cars in the very least and plenty of people are relying on the satnav, so the ones who have that in good order will have access to those consumers, in addition, as we might overlook the entire ‘due to be launched in 2020 with civilian and military variants, and requires 24 satellites in orbit to be operational‘, for the UK 2-3 is all that is required, so a national market whilst those satellites would also be able to provide media and other options, will benefit the UK greatly, that whilst most people are ‘kept’ in the dark regarding both “The Galileo system went live in December last year, providing initial services with a weak signal, having taken 17 years at more than triple the original budget“, as well as “The main causes of the malfunctions have been identified and measures have been put in place to reduce the possibility of further malfunctions of the satellites already in space” commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said.

ESA found after an investigation that its rubidium clocks had a faulty component that could cause a short circuit, according to European sources”, so even at 300% of the original costs, they still weren’t able to properly test the systems and the faulty components are an excellent piece of evidence. The fact that the EU has the larger setting of budget overrides on several grounds and when we consider the fact that when infrastructures and facilities take well over 300% of initially projected costs, we see a failing on too large a scale and no proper penalty setting is in place and is unlikely to ever get there. The UK has had its massive bungles too, but even in the national setting it would never have been to the degree that we see here. In addition, when we are treated to the setting of a project that some state costed 30 billion, for 30 satellites, the most simple of all calculations (admitting that they might be way off) is telling me that the pricing is incorrect from the very beginning. We can agree to a quote that is up in the air in several sources. When we see “It is estimated that a single satellite launch can range in cost from a low of about $50 million to a high of about $400 million“, I am willing to believe that, yet, when we see the application of 30 satellites, we see the need of a much larger scope of electronics, verification and channels, all this implies that such a setting should require multiple safeguards, and let’s not forget that all this was merely about the launch, so the hundreds of engineers, designers, programmers and testers are also part of those costs, the electronics that were designed, developed and build will take even more resources, so here I am in a setting where the lowest estimate is close to 1.3 billion each, and I am willing to accept that I lack plenty of knowledge, so even as I expected the cost to be closer to 15 billion, the fact that my estimate was 50% higher and still 100% short of the actual costs gives us the setting that the entire Galileo project was wrongly priced, wrongly designed and in the end still flawed.

Galileo satellite navigation system has a few more issues, flaws and weaknesses. That part was shown 12 years ago (at http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2006/07/cornell-sleuths-crack-secret-codes-europes-galileo-satellite) where we are treated to ““We were told that cracking the encryption of creative content, like music or a movie, is illegal, but the encryption used by a navigation signal is fair game,” said Psiaki. The upshot: The Europeans cannot copyright basic data about the physical world, even if the data are coming from a satellite that they built“, so 12 years ago basic ‘protection’ was negated by students, so in the end, this extremely expensive project, just how secure is it, and once we learn that even as it is really really hard to hack it, what happens, when we see the system being readjusted through a hack causing time clock issues? When that happens and inter satellite group messaging is no longer reliable or valid, how long until that system crashes itself from within? It might not seem to be hackable, but the satellites rely on an uplink and a downlink, once the element is there to cause clear miscommunication from the source towards the satellite, forcing a sequence of reboots might be enough to take alignment of these satellites away from one another, and in the end, the mess that this will cost? I wonder just how much the makers did not perceive from a system that had a negated security system for the better part of 12 years. I wonder what happens when they get the option to ask each satellite for a verification protocol from each of the other satellites. Do that for an hour and how many users will be confronted with the setting when they drive home and the SAT navigator tells them: “This location does not exist“.

When we get to that part, I wonder who in the EU will be suddenly on sick leave and cut all ties from a project that has already been projected as more than 300% more expensive. When we dig into that part what else will we find?

That is merely one of many settings that was shown in a whole host of EU applicable operations and in all that Italy has their options too, whether the decide to leave the EU cannot be predicted to any near decency, but in that, when we see that the Italians are equally barred from Galileo, we will see another part where the EU will have to pay back at least two nations for their part, how will that end?

I will let you decide that, just make sure you know how to drive home and do not rely on your satnav to the degree you expected it to be useful, on how far the Italian High Speed rail from Berlin to Palermo is when the ties are announced to be cut, because that too will impact the EU in a much larger part then expected. In that regard, how many people would have ever needed the train to get to Palermo anyway, is that not an interesting question? When we are confronted with “The cost of EU infrastructure development needs in order to match the demand for transport has been estimated at over €1.5 trillion for the period 2010-2030” and we realise that Palermo has 1.2 million people, so it is a sizeable city, but let’s be honest, spending 1.5 trillion to get there, what was Europe thinking?

When we take the accounts and the pulse of such investments, whilst the ROI will never ever be achieved (not even close), how much more wasteful spending is this EU throwing on people and their additional taxation?

Remember, you must repay what they have been spending and they have been spending a lot with the additional costs of all these gravy trains, so how much out of pocket will you and those around you be for the rest of your life?

 

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Privacy v parents

Todays event is giving an interesting application of the law. The issue is actually a lot harder and the impact on Facebook could be severe in the near future. The title ‘Parents lose appeal over access to dead girl’s Facebook account‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/31/parents-lose-appeal-access-dead-girl-facebook-account-berlin) is something that will be discussed for some time to come. You see, the issue is not as simple as some are trying to make it out to be and your own point of view regarding the matter will influence your viewpoint too. So let’s get started.

The subtitle gets to one side of the matter: ‘Berlin court rules parents of 15-year-old, who want to know if she was being bullied, cannot see her chat history‘. Here we see the approach of privacy, the 15-year-old can release this to the parents, but guess what, the 15-year-old girl is dead, deceased, no longer able to make active decisions. We can see “the parents of the teenager, who died in 2012 after falling in front of an underground train, had no claim to access her details or chat history.” Yup that’s a period at the end! You see, is this about privacy of the individual, or is this a minor? The interesting side here, especially when considering the so called united EU nations, the age of consent differs and in Germany the age of consent is 14. I am taking this number as we read in German law (in most nations) the term ‘capacity for sexual self-determination‘, it is the ‘self-determination‘ that matters. The application of Jus Cogens is a cardinal principle in international law. Here we see the ‘the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference‘, the application of consent is not exactly the same, but more important shows the clear age definition, and in addition the impact of being ‘an adult’. As such, the adult 15-year-old has the outspoken right to privacy and a parent cannot overrule it. Here is also the issue about digital inheritance. Can death overrule your right to privacy? Let’s take a really rude example, can any perv freely distribute the consensual porn pics of your mum? Where is the right of self determination, the right of privacy (as she never released these photos in life, can the end of that change this?), what if she sets that out in her will for those digital libraries to be released? It is a very slippery slope when we see interference and censoring here beyond the normal scope of the law. and Digital inheritance is not part of the normal scope of the law. The German court took another point of view. They went with “The court said it had made the ruling according to the telecommunications secrecy law which precludes heirs from viewing the communications of a deceased relative with a third party“, is that not an interesting point of view? It is basically another handle on privacy, yet what if that part is defined in her will (if she had one). Technologically speaking, the fact that the parents could not unlock the phone, or try to access her accounts via another path is also a question that is in my mind. I find it pretty normal that a parent wants to learn whether their child was bullied to death. Is it not interesting that the Deutsche Polizei is not all over that? The next part is actually the most disturbing part: “The girl had reportedly given her mother the login details to her account when she was 14 but the company, having been informed of the girl’s death by one of her Facebook friends, froze or “memorialised” her account. The move meant that photos and posts the girl had shared remained visible, and friends could pay tribute to her, but it was no longer possible to log in to the account“. the ‘having been informed of the girl’s death by one of her Facebook friends‘. How was this verified? You see, we see enormous delays on inappropriate and extremist materials, yet death of a social poster seems to have been almost instantaneous. A slight assumption (and exaggeration) on my side, as there is no clear timeline here.

It is the next part that puts Facebook in a proper bad light, one that their marketing division will require months to address, in addition, how many parents will make a move to deny or demand that non-adults between 14 and age of consent will end up having to remove their accounts? The parents can simply state: ‘No Facebook, or you have to pay for your mobile yourself‘, that should change the issue right proper and quick. You see the quote “Facebook has refused to say who applied for the account to be frozen, also citing data protection. The person who lodged the request would have had to provide Facebook with proof that the girl had died

So if there has been an actual lodging, and if that was a school ‘friend‘ we can also speculate in equal ways that it is not impossible that Facebook gave active assistance to a murderer. It is interesting how Facebook skated away from that danger, so with the anti-social-media wave at present, there is a decent chance that Facebook just made matters worse for themselves and for other social media providers. The second blunder we see from the Facebook teams is “They argue that the conversations would have taken place on the understanding that their content remained private“, which is only a correct stance to have when it does not involve criminal activities and cyber bullying is actually a crime. H.R. 1966 (111th congress), gives us “Chapter 41 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:“, and the added part that matters gives us:
(a) 
Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behaviour, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both“, so by facilitating this, Facebook has already created an issue in the US, yet it is not in Germany. In EU, only Spain became evolved enough to include cyberbullying in their penal code. Which is interesting as the Facebook actions would differ per nations, which could also now imply that facilitation for cyber bullies is an actual possibility in Europe. From these points alone, we could state that Facebook did not act illegal, or legally wrong, they were however extremely silly in pushing the buttons in court to the extent they did. Björn Retzlaff, the judge who ruled in Berlin did so on the sound foundations as stated in the telecommunications secrecy law, which has elements for phone, email and internet chats. There is a shallow path the judge walked on and it is not shallow by the actions, but shallow by the defining laws that herald the right of privacy above the need to consider the prosecution of criminals. It is a shallow and slippery path to be on and Facebook might have been better off by assigning a specialist team to that request to at least consider the test whether a criminal path had been or had not been walked. By freezing the account, the parents were left in an empty space that large corporations are now slamming shut like the jail cell that could contain the possible murderer. You see, it is more than just privacy versus inheritance. When we start seeing the Facebook accounts and the ‘owner’ of the account has mental health issues, Facebook will find itself in even more deep water. In addition, the legal issues that we see with Doli incapax and Parens patriae. In addition, consider the application of the Hart–Scott–Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, as we see it in 15 U.S.C. § 18a. Now consider the application on it when we go towards “Title III of the Act[8] allows attorney generals of states to sue companies in federal court for monetary damages under antitrust laws. as parens patriae, on behalf of their citizens“. Now, you might think that this is a joke. But it is not. As we see Vlogging and Youtube Channels set to higher and higher values under commercialisation, the incomes and rewards really go through the roof, some Vloggers are now getting amounts that a decent amount of CEO’s would go crazy for. What happens when Facebook suddenly interferes with that? and this is not a local thing, this issue could go global, which is an additional issue Facebook can face. Especially as the timeline for freezing is not known, additional questions are here. We can debate the legality of the parents having the account access, especially as you are not supposed to share login details, but in the larger side of things that one item seems small and could have prevented a few things for Facebook.

the weak response from Facebook: “At the same time we are sympathetic towards the family and respect their wish. We are making every effort to find a solution which helps the family at the same time as protecting the privacy of third parties who are also affected by this.“, it is weak, because the part ‘Facebook has refused to say who applied for the account to be frozen‘, that answer alone could solve a few issues. The most adamant of issues being ‘was there intent to avoid criminal prosecution‘. I got there in the easiest way. If the freezer account is also the account linked to the same IP address of the bully, we have the problem in the open (bad for Facebook).

There are other issues, yet there are too many instances of ridiculous statements from tabloids, yet I have to say that in this instance the Daily Mail used a lewd call link to what is actually a really good article (at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4531934/Facebook-lets-teenagers-porn.html). The quote “Facebook has pledged to hire more staff, but politicians and charities said stricter guidelines were needed“, so how charities enter the equation? In addition to a reference to politicians, where I would prefer to see their names. As the past have shown that some of these complaining politicians seem to be ‘talked to’ to by members of the clergy who could be looking for sextertainment in the choir section a few hours later. The reference could be found in John 12, Mark 9 and Luke 11 (source: Jimmy Carr). The question is not just how many more staff members to hire and where to place them, there is an increasing need for non-repudiation. If you are adult enough to slag-bitch-harass a young girl to death, you get to be sentenced as an adult in court. The issue is that the law (on a global scale) have failed victims for the longest time. One of the clearest cases of failure was in Canada, where in November 2011, Rehtaeh Parsons committed suicide after she was gang raped (17 months earlier) and subsequent of the Sexual assault was non stop bullied via social media. The Milton-Pepler paper, which might be laughingly be regarded as an ‘inquiry‘ stated: “One conclusion of the report was that Nova Soctian schools “need to do a better job preventing harassment and sexual aggression”“, I would state that “the Cole Harbour District High School had failed their student in distress and in clear danger, under psychic assault has failed their student in need 100%. By not taking the dangers serious and by not properly acting in regards to the need of criminal prosecution, in addition, according to sources, the RCMP did equally not act to the degree they should have and it was only 3 years later that the first boy involved was conditionally discharged with a one-year probation“. It is the mere existence of these failures that require different steps. The acts are growing more and more, more often than not to create their fame or infamy through recognition on social media. Censoring has not been a viable solution for a few years. It is not just the Canadian Parsons case, it is the fact that for every case that does make it to the light of the beholders, there are hundreds of cases that do not even make it to the visibility of the media or courts. As there are now years of events on a global scale, the need of acceptance that accountholders need to be hold accountable for these transgressions become even more important. When their mobile and mobile number gets barred from social media channels for life, people tend to take better care of the words spoken. Ask yourself, how many people leave their car keys on the bar? How many walk out leaving their doors open (OK, that actually happens on a daily basis in Canada), yet the message should be clear, we need alteration of the rules, not of the freedom of speech, but of the accountability of the media you engage with (both press and people). We will always understand that when you are young, you will state things on the wrong moment, events happen, no one will deny it, yet as we see a growing number of events of clear bullying and cyber harassment a new line can be drawn. One that could lower the events. In equal measure there is an increasing chance that those people will seek other venues to propel their vitriolic thoughts, and it will never go away completely, but as the curve goes down, the resources in use could be used to seek new paths in confronting those transgressors, and perhaps find new ways to protect the victims as well.

Whatever is happening now, is as that German couple feels, that the law has been screwing them over massively and in their case there were other legal issues and those will remain; yet as those events are countered one by one, the amount of extraordinary cases with legal uniqueness will also diminish, making the field cleaner and much more clear.

Have a great day and consider to be nice to one another.

 

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The German mirror that does not show

Ever since the event took place, the news, the gossip and the untold stories that are set without direction have been all over the internet. Der Spiegel (at http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-knew-terrorist-was-dangerous-but-failed-to-stop-him-a-1128423.html) start their version with ‘Why Did Germany Fail to Stop Terrorist?‘ with the by-line ‘authorities identified Anis Amri as a potential terrorist threat months ago‘. This sounds nice and plenty accusing yet on what premise? Der Spiegel gives a timeline. Wanted in Tunisia for stealing a truck (2011), convicted for battery and arson. Yet at this point Der Spiegel ads the threat he gave ‘I’ll cut your head off. That is pretty much all they have on him. He had changed his identity to Ahmad Zaghoul. The German view is after this shown to be flawed as some substitute papers ID papers came without a photo. Still, none of this screams terrorist, because the amount of teenagers shouting similar words go into the 7 figure numbers, especially on Friday night. There was too much superficial information, so when we see: “Germany’s interior ministry is seeking to overhaul the country’s security apparatus“, I am very willing to state: “an overhaul when there is no clear evidence that it could have been prevented, whilst the intelligence players know the issues with lone wolves and with mere loons is a matter of greater concern than the German interior ministry realises“, I wonder if Thomas de Maizière, the minister mentioned in the Guardian has other motives in this, because he has been around long enough to know this. It is not the question Der Spiegel posed in the headline, it is the fact that they knew that the entire matter is staged in a ludicrous notion. So when we look at the quote: “chain of errors led to the deaths of 12 innocent people in Berlin shortly before Christmas” seems to have been inserted for dramatic reference. Yet the opposite comes to light. You see even with my limited knowledge could have acted and caused a lot more casualties than 12 death and 48 wounded. This brings out the issue that is in play, as I personally see it Der Spiegel is leaving its readers with a story, a fairy tale, a scary one, like the Grimm brothers would tell it. The second part is given by the Financial times with ‘De Maizière calls for German security overhaul to counter terrorism‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/2c03bed2-d1ad-11e6-9341-7393bb2e1b51). The Financial Times are not the ones trying to bring you anything deceptive, yet the quotes: “an overhaul of the country’s security apparatus, centralising more powers in a contentious response to last month’s Berlin terrorist attack“, “The reforms put forward by Thomas de Maizière would take power from the regions, replacing their domestic intelligence services with a single national agency” and “But Mr de Maizière’s plans follow renewed concern that Germany’s security network is too fragmented and allows potential terrorists to avoid surveillance, including possibly the chief suspect in the Berlin assault“. So in this day and age, a system that actually works in Germany is now overhauled because of one incident? This reads like the resetting of limelight positions. I personally believe that the 16 fragments had a good view on what was happening in their region. Now Germany would need centralisation, data systems that are centralised meaning that cyber security would be a rather large issue and the 16 fragments would not get the access they had in the past, if so there are additional cyber concerns. All these amounting issues because of one case and the clear evidence is given in the shape of ‘ISIL released a video of Amri pledging allegiance to the terror group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi‘, the fact that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant had the video gives rise to Anis Amri being a terrorist, yet with the fact that there were only 12 fatalities, was this a failed attack? Consider another fact. The one part that makes sense is the question Der Spiegel gives “How he became radicalized under the eyes of German security officials“. The question becomes, did he become radicalised, or was he self-radicalised? A failed person, a small time criminal (car thief) who seems to have grown on the lower edge of the crime scale. After all that hopping around a mere 11 casualties. The amount of travelling he did to get into Milan is equally a question. Now, I started by giving rise to the question whether he was a terrorist. I had to get through the motions with you. I needed to create some doubt. That doubt is still there, yet another part of this is not in question. For this we need to take a look at what Sky News got from the German police. The quote “A police official says German authorities knew of 14 different identities used by Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri” (at http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/europe/2017/01/06/police-say-berlin-attacker-used-14-identities.html). The question here is whether he went by 14 different names, like some teenagers do so that they can bed more women from the same college (or a fence dealing with different clients)? Did he have papers for these 14 separate identities? The second one is now the issue, you see, this now implies that there is a support structure in place. Not unlike the video on Heavy.COM, which I discussed in my blog ‘Homerun by UKIP‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/05/01/homerun-by-ukip/) where we see ‘a music video directed to recruit ISIS’ Turkish sympathizers‘.

Now we have the new situation, as the video could be made with a simple smartphone, forwarded to a place where the minions of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi could download it and show it if such a wannabe or lone wolf makes a successful run. Mass marketing on an explosive ‘no cure, no acknowledgement’ foundation; the new methodology! In all this we need to recognise that Der Spiegel was all about the emotion and in some cases some of the information was made visible after the article was published, still plenty of facts have been missing and some statements are questionable. Were the speculated trips he took via Nijmegen and Lyon planned? Were they desperation or were they guided? In fact that part is extremely important, especially if it turns out that people like him have a support system that stays far behind the screens. The speculation becomes a lot more reliable if Anis Amri had papers for some of those 14 identities. Too many unknowns and more important, there is absolutely no evidence that the overhaul of German security and Intelligence will get any better with centralisation and there is plenty of experience around to see that the data quality take a massive dive as data systems get merged.

As I see it, the German political objective is getting in the way of the requirements of an efficient system and even if we accept that some level of centralisation is needed, until there is a clear path of how to resolve the refugee issues, align the logistics of a million refugees all over the place, making larger changes does not seem to be any solution. That is a given certainty. with Thomas de Maizière giving his ‘desires‘ to the Deutsche Welle we see the following: “more responsibilities for Germany’s federal police force“, “central tracking and investigation responsibilities“, “supplementary enforcement jurisdiction for residency termination” as well as “capable of truly recording all movement across the external borders“. There are a few more but let’s look at those another day. The first one makes perfect sense, as does the third one. It is the second one that seems to be not the greatest idea when we consider the issues involved, the path of changes and as stated the data. The fourth one makes sense to some degree, yet there are too many issues with that one, and I am not taking that one apart here.

In all this the German mirror (Der Spiegel) is not showing us all the parts and more important the reflection they bring is very incomplete, some parts make sense, but not all the missing parts, with all the ‘honest’ revelations we saw Der Spiegel bring regarding Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, they seem to be off their game a fair bit this time. I wonder why!

 

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Freedoms removed by Amazon

One of the most outrageous articles of the year hit me this morning, via the Guardian off course! The piece in question is ‘Amazon proposes drones-only airspace to facilitate high-speed delivery’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/28/amazon-autonomous-drones-only-airspace-package-delivery). In the first, since when does a company decide on traffic rules? Can anyone explain that to me? In the second, since when is a company allowed to set FAA rules (or in general rules of flight regarding safety of airspace)? In the third, how in the name of all blazing hell does a company decides on how amateurs, hobbyists and innovators do their work?

Well, it seems that Amazon has stepped up to the plate to ‘suggest’ a few changes. Let’s face it, Amazon is a place of nothing, a mere grocery store for parchment products. In the UK they paid £11.9 million in taxation and the year before that £4.2 million, so why should we give them even the slightest consideration? The Australian Amazon site is limited to kindle stuff, so they pay even less there. You know, they are big in Luxembourg, so there is every possibility that they can pursue their drone packaging strikes in that country. But to give any consideration outside of Luxembourg and the US is a little too strong, so the quote “Amazon is proposing that a pristine slice of airspace above the world’s cities and suburbs should be set aside for the deployment of high-speed aerial drones capable of flying robotically with virtually no human interference” should not be taken too seriously.

We cannot fault Amazon for having vision, but it comes at a cost. You see “It envisages that within the next 10 years hundreds of thousands of small drones – not all of them Amazon’s or devoted to delivery – will be tearing across the skies every day largely under their own automated control” shows us that there would be a massive drop in the need for delivery people, which is not good for job security. Now, in opposition, these things happen, when people started to correspond through their computers, the people did not think it would grow beyond the realm if Geeks and Nerds, now, the bulk of the population has not touched parchments, quills and ink for a long time. Less postman were needed and on a global scale dogs were in mourning for nearly a decade.

Now we get the part that Amazon thinks is visionary “The company’s aeronautics experts propose that a 200ft slab of air – located between 200ft and 400ft from the ground – should be segregated and reserved for state-of-the-art drones equipped with sophisticated communications and sensing equipment and flying at high speeds of 60 knots or more. A further 100ft of airspace – between 400ft and 500ft – would be declared a no-fly zone to act as a buffer between the drones and current conventional aircraft such as passenger and cargo planes, thus mitigating fears about the impact on manned flight or dangers posed to people on the ground“.

I wonder how these aeronautics experts got their degree, perhaps it was added to the side of the pot of vegemite in an effort to market the product to Americans? Perhaps their degree was the wrapper for Troyer Roll Butter (if you know the product, the joke makes sense, Google it!). You see, the sky is filled with these weird things, that need to be all over the place, they are called helicopters, the police uses them, the press uses them and oh, yes, the emergency rescue services uses them all over the world, also in city areas. So this ideas hold a few operational holes even before it is seriously considered.

There is an additional concern. We do not deny that drones will be the big thing in the next decade, which also means that indie developers and visionaries will emerge, so is the quote “segregated and reserved for state-of-the-art drones equipped with sophisticated communications and sensing equipment” anything else than an attempt to crush market growth and keep it in hand for a few established brands? How will that ever be any good for innovation? Furthermore, the image gives way that hobbyists, rural hobbyists will be pushed from their rural live to little spots, just like the Native American Indians were. In my view, if you want to be top dog, you’ll just have to create a superior product that can anticipate these events. By the way, helicopters come in all these areas, including in the no fly zone, so this idea is saturated with bad insights from even before day zero. Not a good start me thinks!

So in reference to the position papers where the call states “It calls for a “paradigm shift” that will allow hundreds of thousands of small unmanned aircraft to fly under their own technological steam without the current involvement of humans through air traffic control“, that part could only work if there is one player, once there are more, if becomes a technological jungle of miscommunications and lost handshakes due to iterative updates, flaws and glitches. So how about letting drones work above the freeways and major lanes? It would not hinder anyone, hobbyists and innovators continue and unless a helicopter absolutely must land on a highway (likely medical emergency) they can continue without any hiccups.

Wow, I just solved the ‘lack’ of free airspace in 7.2 minutes. How clever am I?

Then we see “Amazon sets out five capabilities that drones must meet if they are to be allowed to fly inside the new 200ft high-speed corridor“. well let’s just agree that this is not up to Amazon to begin with, the fact that they precede this with “to realise that futuristic vision safely“, implying that they are working on a solution only they will offer, laws must abide with… In my view it is not up to them, many nations know that drones will be the new slave labour force (read: unpaid population that will drive others away from a job), which is a little out there (the way I framed it), but the reality is that this market will massively evolve over the next 2 decades and we have to give space to innovators and visionaries, not limit their scope to the need of “sophisticated GPS tracking that allows them to pinpoint their location in real-time and in relation to all other drones around them“, which is basically stating that drones must be a product made by DJI, Raytheon or Northrop Grumman to be allowed in this airspace. Amazon does NOT get to make THAT call!

the additional quotes “Online flight planning that allows them to predict and communicate their flight path” and “Communications equipment that allow them to “talk” and collaborate with other drones in the zone to ensure they avoid each other” give additional notice to forcing us into a one player path. That is not what innovation is about. First the TPP is pushing innovation to the mercy of big business, now Amazon add more limitations here? That is not a playing field that the world signed up for.

So as we see that hobbyists and indie developers (and visionaries) are slowly pushed into reservations like the Native American Indians by the quote “Under Amazon’s proposals, by contrast, hobbyists would only be allowed to fly within the new 200ft-400ft corridor if their vehicles were equipped with the latest hyper-sophisticated gadgetry for autonomous flight. Otherwise, they would have their activities confined to geographically demarcated airfields in relatively unpopulated areas that would be set aside specifically for the purpose” we have to wonder what Amazon has up his sleeve. Because either the US government is so bankrupt that it will agree to anything to not collapse before the results of the next elections, or is Amazon just waving in the air to be noticed?

The quote by Brendan Schulman, drone lawyer and senior executive and DJI gives us additional issues regarding the Amazon statement “by far the greatest use of unmanned aerial vehicles today was by amateurs. That’s currently by far the most common use of the technology, so before you disrupt their experience you want to think carefully about what slice of airspace would really be needed by these new technologies“. I would say ‘Amen!’ to that, because the issue that the article danced around (perhaps intentionally) is that Amazon needs to adhere to established safety protocols, we do not change protocols because of Amazon. I can agree that down the track changes will have to be made, but that time is not now and especially as the paper ignored several basic avionics issues.

Which now gets me to the paper where in a mere flash something stood out to me. Consider the quote “Amazon believes the current model of airspace management will not meet future sUAS demands, particularly highly-automated, low-altitude commercial operations. A paradigm shift in airspace management and operations is necessary to safely accommodate the one-operator-to-many-vehicle model required by large-scale commercial fleets“, in that apart from a massive dose of arrogance, we see “the one-operator-to-many-vehicle model required by large-scale commercial fleets“. So it is already on the premise for big business where one controller manages 100-200 drones. The shift of a workforce that only requires payment in cc’s of fuel.

In my view, the air is for now still empty, it will change, that much is certain, but it will be the people that decide on how far this goes, it is not Amazon to make that move. I am not entirely certain that Amazon should be the lead at all, but that is perhaps a discussion for another day.

What is in the last part an issue is the small part privacy activists were given. They are all up in arms regarding police and spook drones. Which is massively farfetched as these people have already given away their liberty through Facebook and other social means, so these two parties receive via e-mail all you did, including the amounts of times you ogled the ass of the neighbours wife (and teenage daughter). We seem to forget the massive danger that follows, it is not Amazon with its non-human package delivery system. It is the fact that in any innovation, organised crime follows pretty quickly, because they know that it takes the government up to 5 years to catch up, so in the first 5 years they can strike it rich. Drug deliveries, via cheap drones to penthouses. The paying clientele gets balcony to balcony delivery via a $499 drone and there is no link between the parties. Crime is already making a nice killing here, so the proper focus is not here and when it gets to be in the right place it is already too late.

So Amazon should not be setting the pass for removed freedom, it should set pace to create the right atmosphere, an attempt that they failed miserably from my point of view.

My opinion in this matter is strengthened through a previous article regarding Amazon which was published on March 30th (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/30/amazon-tests-drones-secret-site-canada-us-faa). The title ‘Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration‘ already implies the ludicrous part in all this. A ‘secret Canada site‘. Why? Because a spotter could take a pic? Because of industrial espionage? Actually, that last one is not THAT far-fetched. So let’s leave it for now.

In the article we get two parts that show my view the first is “Into that aerial slice the company plans to pour highly autonomous drones of less than 55lbs, flying through corridors 10 miles or longer at 50mph and carrying payloads of up to 5lbs“, which represents as stated in the article for 86% of all the packages, now that is fair enough, if you want to address 80% of what is done now, yu see a choice that is just common sense. Now part two “The Company wants to offer its customers the ability to have packages dropped on their doorstep by flying robots within 30 minutes of ordering goods online“. Initially that pat makes sense too. Yet combined, we get ordered articles are delivered within a range of 18 miles. Here we account for loss of time for picking up, after which the drone gets 30 minutes, so 18 miles is pretty much the limit, so this is a metropolitan solution, this is less about ‘global change’, but more the need to address the high impact profit places like New York, Vancouver, San Francisco, Honolulu, Seattle, New Orleans, San Jose, Chicago and Los Angeles and a few other congested places. The ‘global’ part was just nice to give it marketing. They need to address congestion and dromes will make sense. Yet the visionary part is that they are trying to address it on a global scale, because if this is accepted, Amazon would be sole player in places like London, Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Munich, Berlin, Rome and Sydney for that matter too. That seems to be the reality and it is not a bad idea to have, but in that adjusted view, Amazon does not get to set policy, especially as Europe might develop its own drone solutions. Binding options for developers through ‘sophisticated GPS tracking‘ is what I would call ‘the big No No’.

Brendan Schulman, aka the drone lawyer shows us the merits of my thoughts “Amazon’s Canadian airstrip-in-exile should be a “serious wake-up call to politicians and regulators”. “America has led the world in aviation development,” he said, “but for the first time in history we are at risk of losing out”“.

There is the part, where I made the reference to the TPP. These presentations are all about big business carving their patch making sure no one else can inhabit it. The plane industry is polarised, but drones are another matter, drones can invigorate visionary workers and dreamers, because a drone is not an expensive tool, you can buy them in a game shop and the next kid getting one could be the one who revolutionises that field because he/she thought ‘what if I want to do this, could I alter my app….?’ that is all it takes to create a billion dollar corporation.

The FAA has (according to Amazon) taken much too long to make up its mind, it also stated “it does not believe that drones can be flown safely under their own autonomous control, and is insisting that humans must keep them within eyesight at all times“, which makes it non-profitable for Amazon. For now the FAA is right, but there is no given certainty that this is still a truth in 5 years. The mobile industry, Wi-Fi and sensor market is evolving at an alarming rate, my $699 mobile phone now has the same technological options a $15K digital film camera had 10 years ago, only the lens is the physical difference in quality, so that market will evolve, possibly beyond my comprehension before I die.

I feel certain that the FAA realises this, but they report to others and those people see that drones will be the new orgasmic high for organised crime. Common Law in the US and in the Commonwealth is flawed enough for all players to realise that this opens up massive undeclarable profits for these players. With the one to many option, whatever small chance of successful prosecution of a drug dealer any Districts Attorney had in the past, flies straight out of the window via drone. Here we see how the law has not caught up again.

Should it stop drone development? No! But there are a few sides that need addressing, which cannot be done today, but soon it will be the only blockade remaining. What happens when that day comes?

 

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