Tag Archives: Brendan Molloy

What the law allows

This is not the usual article for me. This is not a mere look at facts and at information, one could say that I have skin in the game (me using the loosest of all interpretations). You see, I know Paul Farrell. We might not be on the same side at times, for the same reason I am on opposite sides of Brendan Molloy, but we all went to the same University and I know them both to be good people, both with integrity and with a decent moral compass. These issues matter. For the same reason that I stand next to David Cameron, yet I remain holding a healthy respect for Ed Miliband. Ed sees things wrong (read: does not see them my way), but he truly believes that he was fighting the good fight for his party, which is all that mattered.

So how does this relate?

You see, whenever the name Edward Snowden comes up, it seems to raise a red flag for me, like a bull my horns go into battle mode. There is something really wrong about the Snowden case and it forever will be from my point of view, so when I read ‘Edward Snowden on police pursuing journalist data: the scandal is what the law allows‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/apr/17/edward-snowden-on-police-pursuing-journalist-data-the-scandal-is-what-the-law-allows) got my attention to the smallest degree, yet when the quote “singled out for critique the Australian government’s contention that it broke no laws in its leak investigation of Paul Farrell, a Guardian reporter who in 2014 exposed the inner workings of Australia’s maritime interception of asylum seekers“, I became wide awake. You see, I know Paul, which makes it another matter entirely. This links back to an article where Paul Farrell was part of a team (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/07/asylum-seekers-will-be-handed-to-police-on-return-sri-lanka-confirms), that reported on certain issues. The quote “a group of 53 legal experts have called on the federal government to reveal how asylum seekers are being assessed on board customs vessels” points towards an issue that is very valid to be raised upon. When we see “a group of 53 legal scholars from 17 Australian universities warned that the government’s conduct under its hardline military-led border regime “Operation Sovereign Borders” was in violation of international law“, that point of view does not change one bit. The press has every right and even a mandate to report on it (read: why this is not done more often in commercial cases remains a mystery). These elements are not part of the actual spying issue, but they are related to the issue.

The rest of the article reads nice, but there is a side that I saw missing. Where were these people stopped? You see that makes all the difference. How far have people looked into the matter? When we consider UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), we need to consider article 17 where we see “Subject to this Convention, ships of all States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea“, which is at the heart of the matter. Refugee boats are for the most smugglers, meaning that they cannot rely on ‘innocent passage’, in addition, article 18 gives us the passage bit with “traversing that sea without entering internal waters or calling at a roadstead or port facility outside internal waters“, which is exactly what smugglers are intent on doing, and whilst doing so we get article 19 where we see “Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State“, which again is exactly what smugglers ignore, because the status of these people cannot be confirmed, as such they can be regarded as prejudicial to both the peace and the good order as well as the security of the coastal state. Perhaps these 53 legal experts looked at that part, perhaps not (read: if I get any documents proving that part, I will reopen this blog article at a later stage).

So at this point, I saw an article that has issues, but I see nothing short of a mere article, nothing that should have woken up Edward Snowden, more important, why did it wake up the AFP? The article gives more than just 53 legal experts, it mentions “Hanson-Young also called on the minister to reveal the fate of a second vessel of 153 asylum seekers believed to have departed from India“, it mentions “The Tamil Refugee Council of Australia” as well as “UNICEF Australia and Save the Children said they were also “seriously concerned” over the secrecy on the second boat“, which are clear quotes, clear issues to be raised by a member of the press, so why do we get: ‘Federal police admit seeking access to reporter’s metadata without warrant‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/14/federal-police-admit-seeking-access-to-reporters-metadata-without-warrant)? You see, in the 2014 case we have the quote “The Australian government’s “on-water” activities to turn back asylum seekers have been shrouded in secrecy under the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders. They led to several incursions into Indonesia’s territorial waters in December and January”, you see, this makes it not an AFP case, but an ASD case as this was a military led operation. The quote: “incorrect calculation of the boundaries of Indonesian waters” is even more hilarious especially when you realise that RADAR, SATNAV and other means tend to show shorelines, can we assume that those on board of the Ocean Protector should have known these little facts? If not, than let us meet with the captain and discuss the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, where we see in section 2(a):

Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

Which gets us nicely to the duties of being a ship’s captain, where we could now conclude that the Ocean Protector could be regarded as in violation of that pesky UN law named UNCLOS, to be more precise in violation of section 19 of that one, because it could be seen as acting against the ‘security of the coastal State’. This is why I looked at the IRPCS, as that is foremost on the mind of any ship captain, which gives us section 2a and this now gets that person in hot water with section 19 of UNCLOS. Going from other sides there are now the 1st and second mate to consider of the Ocean Protector, as the transgression, unless clearly defined in a military agreement, could be cause for a tribunal and as such the captain could stand a chance to be ‘captain-no-more’, which means that the mates move up a position, this is sometimes regarded as promotion through termination (read: this doesn’t always require extreme prejudice).

My issue is less with the statements of Edward Snowden and much more about (as I see it) the stupidity of the AFP to look into a matter that has so many clear sources named, especially names of people who would know more than the article revealed that the investigation into Paul Farrell seems to be a waste of time to say the least. To be honest, I am much more worried about the escalations we get from the SMH with the title ‘Scott Morrison to share Australian Christian Lobby stage with anti-gay extremists‘ than anything Paul has written here (sorry Paul, I am not trying to diminish your work).

You see, the article Paul partially wrote asks questions, they ask the right question. What is a clear issue is: “the secrecy on the second boat and were worried that unaccompanied minors could be on board whom required additional assistance from Australia under international law“, now also consider “The council had previously stated that at least 11 of those on board had previously been tortured by the Sri Lankan authorities before fleeing“, we see a pattern. A pattern that some elements (I reckon mostly UNICEF) had data and information that was vital, in all this we see the statement that also matters “Morrison told Sydney radio that the second boat was no longer in Australian waters“, so basically Morrison has clearly stated that the second boat had entered Australian waters. Yet when and where? This does not change my view on UNCLOS and its interpretation of it, but it does have an issue with what happened afterwards and the Guardian does not really report on it, it asks questions. Now if Paul got Morrison to make the statement, than that does not make Paul a better investigative journalist, but it does make him an awesome and dangerous interviewer and no matter how he got the quote, he did get the quote and Morrison will have to place his virtually burned bum on a cushion for a little while. So why did the AFP need the metadata of Paul Farrell?

You see, I look at the article with different eyes, as a data miner I see other patterns and the article skates on one that seems to be ignored. We get that from “The AFP have undertaken a number of investigations targeting journalists’ sources, many related to stories about asylum seeker operations“, a statement where I see ‘many’ in a different light. I am wondering, especially in light of what was written why Paul’s data was sought for. My assumption is that there is another side to this. I personally reckon that Paul has had interactions with another person, on perhaps another story. I reckon that someone else is under investigation and Paul Farrell is only connected to some extent.

Can I prove this?

That is of course part of all this. You see, I cannot without seeing more than one source smitten with all this. But consider all the sources the Guardian has had. Any maritime issue can be much easier ascertained by the ASD (and it was a military led operation), they have a lot more resources and any maritime leak can more easily be traced at the maritime source (you know the instigating server side of things). In all this, the quote “Earlier this year Guardian Australia reported that the AFP had accrued a file of at least 200 pages on Farrell in an attempt to uncover and prosecute his confidential sources” from the ‘surveillance’ article now matters. It links to a Feb 12th article where we see the quote “In April 2014 I reported for Guardian Australia that one of the vessels involved in Australia’s unlawful incursions into Indonesian waters, the Ocean Protector, had gone far deeper into Indonesian waters than the government had disclosed“, which is the statement that caused all this. You see, the Ocean Protector is a government vessel, yet a civilian one that falls under the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The ASD has options here, but it seems overkill to use them when it is not a military operation. The ASD can rely on “The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) provides foreign signals intelligence, known as SIGINT, to the Australian Defence Force and Australian Government to support military and strategic decision-making“. So why use the AFP instead of a much better equipped ASD? That is the question that comes to mind. What is without doubt is that this is not merely a Paul Farrell investigation. This is just a personal opinion, but when we see the amount of sources Paul Farrell had, in addition if the ship had an Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board, was it logged off and shut down? Even crew members with a smartphone turned on could have been enough of a source. A dozen sources all lower than open intelligence sources, were they looked at? In addition if the Ocean Protector had any switched on Esterline Technologies equipment on board, there might be additional ways to get certain information. I wonder how deep this was investigated before someone had the less than bright idea to, no matter how lawful I was, to the metadata of a journo?

The article raises questions, and what it does not tell us makes me wonder about several other questions, none of them considered.

In all this the by-line of a picture in the February article gives us “Michael Pezzullo, secretary of the immigration department, told a Senate committee this week he had referred a cabinet leak to the police. He also referred a Guardian Australia journalist to the AFP after a report that revealed a customs ship had entered Indonesian waters far deeper than previously disclosed“, which makes sense, yet that line gives me the issue of the Cabinet leak and a lot less about the Guardian leak. It seems to me that the massive file on Paul Farrell reads like a bright light, one that dissuades away from the cabinet investigation that is one that many parties would want to keep out of the press. I just wonder what Paul will find when he takes a look at that Cabinet member and the information that is being looked at. I am not certain that it will be about Asylum seekers or refugees, or another matter entirely, but that again is merely speculation from my side.

Can I be wrong?

Off course I can. You see, my speculations are merely the consequences of data I saw and other data I read. Now ask yourself, knowing the backlash spying on the press gets you; do you think that the AFP is actually this stupid? As I raised issues of location tracking in many forms, the essential part isn’t whether he got a hold of that data, the question becomes how many non-illegal methods could he have used to get it. So, the actions by the AFP seems to be a massive overreaction. That is even before we see whether the Ocean Protector is on http://www.marinetraffic.com. Even after that, there are Indonesian systems to consider. If anyone had revealed that data it would have been a political issue between Indonesia and Australia (the second party without any claim to secrecy within the territorial waters of Indonesia). All these mere issues, all clearly within the view of the public, the audience, the press and the governments at large.

So now ask yourself: ‘Is there any sense to exposing one’s self to internal investigation as the press demands visible answers?

That is why I got to the path I am on. Consider one additional path. If we consider a phone number, for example (purely a random example): 8816 273 14432, now consider that this is an Iridium sat phone. You see these puppies also tend to be on boats. They have been used in many non-metro environments since the mid 90’s. These puppy’s come with data and GPS enabled and Iridium is actually one of the better more secure solution, there are few cheap ones that offer very little security. So was this about Paul Ferrell, or did Mike Pezzullo (or one of his top minions) drop the ball in another way and was this his panic solution?

These are mere thoughts in all this. It took mere minutes to get to this place and I had initially read the article in February. We must acknowledge the issue that “Law enforcement did not need a warrant for accessing the information at the time“, which is not as much a cause for concern as people make it out to be. Let’s face it, we are all held to a need for results. So was the AFP wasting time? In my summary they were for other reasons. The need to give the image that they are looking in one area is adamant, for politicians the need for the AFP to look somewhere else is equally their personal need, yet where lies the real need? On the foundations given, it was clearly not looking aty Paul’s data I raised many issues on that matter.

This gets me to the final article. There is nothing about the article that is wrong, it is the reflection of Paul Farrell (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/15/australias-attacks-on-journalists-sources-are-about-politics-not-national-security). The title ‘Australia’s attacks on journalists’ sources are about politics, not national security‘ hits the mark on several issues. The quotes that I needed in my case were “It’s become a sadly normal reality that journalists’ sources can be targeted in Australia in an effort to hunt down whistle-blowers“, the operative word here is ‘can‘, which is not a given, just a mere option. It does not make the action correct. What is more an issue is “this is the first time the AFP has ever made such an admission in Australia“, you see, why is this the first time? Was there too much overwhelming evidence, or is was the clear visibility of the search a reason to hide something else?

You see, that could be seen as a clear case of ‘conspiracy theory’, but regarding the evidence. The document (at https://www.scribd.com/doc/298816051/Paul-Farrell-AFP-Decision-Letter-and-Documents) that reveals nothing really, there is too much marked out. So was this a clear case of wrongful investigation, or was that the case because it dims the lights of what the AFP is actually looking into. So when we see the quote “From the AFP’s point of view, it has done nothing wrong. As it has indicated in its statement, it has sought to undertake investigations within the scope of the law. It has “sought to identify the source of the disclosure, and then determine whether they had the appropriate authority to release that information”“, to me it shouts not ‘what was wrongfully looked at‘, in my personal belief it screams ‘We are actually sneakily looking at something else‘, again, it is a speculation and I could be massively wrong, yet there is enough in the air to wonder about that issue, not just by me.


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For our spies only!

It’s out in the open, apparently Australia will get its first feel of a ‘cold war’, which according to Attorney General Brandis, will be a lot worse, will it?

Let us take a look.

The first source is the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/26/spy-agencies-to-get-stronger-powers-but-what-exactly-will-they-be), as I am all about a certain level of consistency, let us add a few quotes. “Crossbench senators and many stakeholders raised their concern that, in the absence of a clear definition of a computer network, a single warrant could be used to access a wide range of computers, given the internet is a network of networks” as well as the response to the greens who wanted to add a limit of 20. “Brandis said such an amendment “would impose an arbitrary, artificial and wholly unworkable limitation that would frustrate the ability of Asio to perform its statutory functions“.

These are both fair points, in regards to the sunset clause the response was “No. Brandis rejected a call to put a 10-year expiry date on the new law related to special intelligence operations, despite agreeing to similar sorts of sunset clauses in the yet-to-be-debated foreign fighters bill“.

And the fourth quote, which we need later on is ““Freedom is not a given,” the attorney general said. “A free society is not the usual experience of mankind. Freedom must be secured, and particularly at a time when those who would destroy our freedoms are active, blatant and among us”“.

So, this sounds fine and it all sounds viable, but what about the dangers here (are there even dangers)?

For those with some insight in law, here is the bill as it currently stands (at http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/bills/s969_first-senate/toc_pdf/1417820.pdf), which for the most is an amendment to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/series/c2004a02123).

Initially, it seemed that there was an issue on page 76, yet, when we look at the final product, the change makes perfect sense. The first change here is the approach to information; basically, we will not have a weaky leaky speaky person. So we will (hopefully) not have an issue with some person dreaming to be on team Manning, Snowden and Moronic. It was so nice of the NSA to get into ‘hot’ water, so that we can prevent it. However, not all is well; this is seen (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/sep/26/internet-threat-existence-video). Whether it was just bad form, or over generalisation, Senator Glenn Lazarus stated “The internet is a serious threat because it can be used to orchestrate and undertake criminal behaviour across the world“. He then continues how ASIO and ASIS are there to increase security. It is this slight casual quote that seems to voice the dangers, as these powers are needed to combat security threats of several shapes. Yet the senator states “orchestrate and undertake criminal behaviour“, which is a lot broader then initially implied. This does not mean that this will be used as such, and quite honestly, if it stops shady financial advisors, then I am all fine with that, but it goes further than that as it was voiced (not stating the reality will be as such). Another part of the Guardian showed the ‘grilling’ of Attorney General Brandis by Senator Scott Ludlam, yet it seems that there the kettle is off the boil too. The Senator knew that Brandis would not answer or resort to speculation. He stated “I am not going to indulge Senator Ludlam by answering hypothetical cases or cases of historical interest“, which is fair enough. The Senator should know that, when he did a similar thing on October 4th 2013.

So where is the fire and is there a fire? You see, what is happening now, is what should have been done some time ago. I oppose Brendan Molloy from Pirate Bay (a fellow student), but his heart is in the right place (top right behind the rib cage, just like mine) and all these posters we see all over the place in regards to whatever, whenever, forever and prison. It is nice that we see all these posters on dangers and so on, yet some people seem to ignore the debilitating blows the US suffered at the hands of Manning and Snowden, not to mention Jullian Assange (which I will not go into at present). This will now change. At times those who don’t know speak those who know remain silent. It is when those who know speak out, that is when the casualties really go into many digits and Australia has its own brand of security issues. America has a little over 19,000 border miles on an area occupied by 320 million people. Australia seems larger, with a 22,000 border miles coastal line, yet overall Australia only has 22 million people, so with a population less than 10% we have to play the game another way. The security measures are one way, not the only way, but it will possibly stem several issues, which gives our intelligence branches a little more time to figure it out. Let us not forget that we have an intelligence structure and a form of Signal Intelligence, but if you think that they get a serious chunk of cash, then consider that the total Australian intelligence budget is a little under 1% of what America gets, and we get to look at a similar sized chunk of land to observe and a lot less people.

This got me to two issues that are now forming, yet the bill seems to not cover it as such. I am referring to the Telecommunications (Interception and access) Act 1979. Intelligence is essential, so is data collection and analyses. What happens when new solutions are needed? What happens when we face a change? The US had this when they needed more efficiency for the buck and a system called Palantir was used in the tests. Like Deployable Ground Station (DGS), the army ended up with a version known as DCGS-A. Now we get off to the races, the initially optional new system Palantir, its software was rated as easier to use (not unlike the analytical tool IBM Modeller), but did not have the flexibility and wide number of data sources of DCGS-A, which now gets us into hot water, or what the London Chef of Sketch might classify as: ‘from the frying pan into the fire’, these changes will also impact other systems and other people. In many cases the use of a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) is used (or in many cases Positive Vetting). The entire mess (slight exaggeration), will take on new forms as we see how the changes might also have a flaw (as I see it), what happens when there is a sudden spike of collected data. Scripts, automation, production jobs and moreover the gathering, sifting and storing of data will soon take an entirely new dimension. The current intelligence framework is in my humble opinion not even close to ready for a growth in excess of 400% (800% is more realistic). You see, if we are to set up a path that gives us a possible trace of events, then we need several snapshots, now, they will not snapshot the entire nation, but the amount of data that needs to be stored so that the people who need to know can follow the trace will be a massive one. I for one, am absolutely not in the mood to allow a ‘3rd party’ (read IBM, Oracle and a few others) to set up shop, as that data could even end up in America. Even though I have no issue with my data, feel free to check my Diablo 3 save file guys! The issue is when a grey field allows other uses. For this I recall the article ‘NSA linked to corporate dangers?‘, which I wrote on September 22nd 2013 (Yes, a year ago!), where I quoted the NSA site (the open source unclassified part), “The Information Assurance Business Affairs Office (BAO) is the focal point for IA partnerships with industry. It also provides guidance to vendors and the NSA workforce in establishing IA business relationships and cultivates partnerships with commercial industry through demonstrations and technical exchanges“.

So when we see such an escalation, how long until we see an ‘evolution’ of our intelligence data to create a business space? Let’s be honest upfront, the NSA has a different charter and as such has a massive amount of additional tasks, yet in the current form, is such an evolution that far-fetched? How dishonest is the advantage when a firm like Telstra or iiNet gets their greedy little marketing claws on data so verbose that they can target 10%-20% more ‘efficient’? So we have 2 sides and as far as I see it an element that might need tweaking because of it (reference to the: Telecommunications (Interception and access) Act 1979). The entire Data mining issue is also on the table as I have not met an abundance of miners who have my levels of skill when it comes to massive data sets. When the pressure is on and they need to create a creative alternative to a missing values data set, the race will be pretty much over. Then what? Get external experts?

Now we go back to the initial fourth statement ““Freedom is not a given,” the attorney general said. “A free society is not the usual experience of mankind. Freedom must be secured, and particularly at a time when those who would destroy our freedoms are active, blatant and among us”“. I do not oppose the statement perse, yet in my view the statement is “Freedom is a given in Australia, to keep the Australian values, in a time and under conditions that were designed to remove the tranquillity of our lives, steps must be taken to safeguard the freedom we hold dear. As such we need to act according to new paths for the sole purpose of stopping these elements amongst us, who are driven to remove freedoms, we and all those who came here to enjoy our way of life“.

Freedom remains a given, we will just add a few new solutions to stop those intent on destroying our lives and our freedoms!

In the end, both the Attorney General and myself decided to make Pappas Bravas, he said potato, I said tomato, yet I remain at present cautious on who else is eating from our plate, without the balance of the whistle blower, that person might remain undetected, in that regard, I would have preferred that a clear location would be there to alert someone, even if it was a special appointed judge (who would be added in subsection “(4) The persons to whom information may be communicated under subsection (3) are the following:

Was that such a stretch?


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Changing topics?

It is Tuesday evening, I had been preparing some of my assignments when the two hour bell rang, it was time for a break. I am still ahead of what is needed, which means I can relax (only a little). For 4 weeks I have been doing my daily Uni work, so there is a moment to breath. This is good for now, so what to look at?

Well, I could take you down the road of a copyright driven Australia, yet, when we look at the facts, especially as presented by Brendan Molloy, councillor of Pirate Bay Australia, then a moment of depression hits me. We all speak in truths (or so I hope) and as such, so does he. I do not completely agree with his approach, but he makes a decent case. There are a few tweets he made as @piecritic that have reverberated in my own writings in the past.

  1. Brandis is known to have not met with any consumer representatives and stakeholders as part of writing this draft. #copyrightau“, which seem to give slightly more weight to the issues I posted on my blog on June 17th 2014 called ‘The real issue here!‘, when I wrote “This is at the centre of it all. From my point of view Mr Burke knows it, Mr Brandis knows it and Google, who has every profit with large broadband usage, knows it too. I think it is time for this sanctimonious posturing to stop” it was to state the issue that in the end this is NOT about copyright, this is about bandwidth and as such the Australian economy cannot survive another multi-BILLION dollar blow to it at present. I think that Attorney General Brandis DEFENITELY got spoken to (not speaking with) by certain stakeholders (off the record of course), yet these people do not want ANY visibility in the limelight at present.
  2. @piratepartyau made an FOI request for that data. They refused to release it. https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/copyright_legislation_working_gr#incoming-2467 #copyrightau”, which seemed to link to “A question about data costs being absurdly high. Love it. #copyrightau“, this is an interesting side. In my previous blog and other events I focussed on the bandwidth, which is what an ISP should be able to monitor and as such they do not, or better, only monitor for billing purposes. This all takes another turn when we consider the tweet by Ed Husic, Federal MP for Chifley, Shadow ParlSec to @bowenchris. His Tweet is “Abbott Govt should tackle copyright, pricing, access simultaneously and not just @copyrightau 1st“.

Well first, to get it all straight, I am a Liberal, so basically in the Abbott, Hockey corner!

Yet, these people make a decent case. You see, I am not in favour of copyright infringement, so if we can stop illegal downloads then this is just fine with me (additional reasons to follow soon). The issue here is not just about copyright; it is in part the ludicrous idea of continuing the TPP. This is at the centre of strangling honest commerce in the near future. I am all for a better legal system that protects the owners of copyrighted articles that Burke represents, yet ‘the rants’ as Brendan mentioned gives way that he is angry because the ACTUAL profiteers are too strong and too powerful (read the ISP and large telecom companies). This is why we see these ‘packaged’ solutions by Optus lately, amongst others. They are trying to convert people to a package as they know that securing revenue now is becoming increasingly important to THEIR survival, this is not seen anywhere in clarity.

So prices are being partially dealt with and access is being transferred to the US via the TPP. If you consider that to be not true, then wonder why Microsoft is setting up 300,000 servers. Just for gaming? Please get a grip and be fast about it!

Consider the following, this was stated by developer Jonathan Blow, but he is not the only stating issues in this direction. “I can spin up 10,000 virtual servers per host. They would just all suck. Saying 300k when they are virtual is a lie“, this is a developer, my issue, since even BEFORE day one has been on the ridiculousness of certain claims. This has all to do with streaming media and entertainment. Microsoft introduced it, when the backlash came they changed tune and dance, so why is this continued? Because the change to a broadband Foxtel approach will FORCE people in the bandwidth and there is no more downloads (which I do not oppose), but there is also no more privacy, with which I have an issue. When you force consoles online for all the wrong reasons, then we can safely state that this is about monitoring”. As America was the land of the free, it is now quickly becoming the nation of the monitors, which is what a debt of trillions will get you. As stated before, i cannot understand the TPP for the life of me, it strangles digital freedom (actual freedom, not freedom to download illegally), it will strangle generic medication (not part of this discussion) and it will strangle local commerce (very much the issue at present).

Patrick Bach, producer behind Battlefield 4 has an additional view “I’m not sure how the cloud will work for real-time stuff, but I can see how it could work for non-real-time stuff where you need a lot of calculations”, monitoring is not real-time, but requires massive power, here we see a side of that what is monitored and how it requires many servers. By the way, consider that this, when (or if) this is up and running, that the monitoring power of Microsoft will exceed that of the NSA by a massive margin. It seems a little extreme for streaming TV shows and online players, doesn’t it?

Additional evidence comes from the Australian (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/copyright-law-is-failing-to-keep-up-with-internet/story-e6frg9if-1227050705973, this link requires you to subscribe) “As a former chief financial officer, I follow the money: these schemes haven’t worked, because the content owners aren’t prepared to invest in their administration. If they were genuinely effective, surely the movie and television studios would be happy to throw resources at such schemes“.

Again, as a technologist this could definitely be done, yet this is not in the ISP interest at all, his fortune is all about bandwidth, reducing it costs him money.

This is why I thought that the entire action was a waste of time from before the very beginning. Until greed (read revenue) from the Telco’s is set straight, whatever deal comes, will come at the price of ALL valid users and for the larger extent at the cost of their freedom (read privacy).

Yet, in all the tweets, Brendan Molloy does repeat on many occasions the issue that is at the centre of it all “fix your business models“. This is at the centre, yet in all scenario’s several players lose out on revenue (and loads of it), in addition Australia is not even at the heart of the issue that is playing behind the screens. For people like Google and Netflix (where a few groups have a valued investment of over 10 billion), it is not Australia, but the UK where the big price is. Australia with its 10 million households is just a small individual away from the Commonwealth pack. Yet this does not just hit the bandwidth and download models.

In all this, I have one other link. This one http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/malcolm-turnbulls-anti-piracy-forum-live-blog-follow-the-news-as-it-happens/ shows us the entire copyright AU evening and when you read it, please try to consider the following:

  1. The words ‘Revenue’ and ‘Bandwidth’ did not get mentioned ONCE. You might think that with illegal downloads and copyright infringements that issue would come up at least once, but both iiNet and Telstra were extremely cautious to sail away from getting near it. In my view that forum did exactly what it needed to do, keep interest away from the TPP, bandwidth and where the actual money would be draining from.

All this is as I expected it to be and if you read my previous blogs then you would have read that pointlessness is next to greediness. Not grammatically correct, but highly accurate. Whether we see changes remains to be seen, but the moment the TPP comes into effect the changes will be massive and it is likely that this changes get announced whilst the ink of the autographs on the TPP agreement is still drying.

So, why is this about changing topics?

Well, the discussion seems to be about piracy, copyright and copyright infringement, but the topic that hinders all events (like revenue and more important ‘blood money’) is kept out of the discussion for now.

I have already discussed revenue in more than one place, so feel free to read the other blog article (The real issue here!, mentioned at the beginning) to catch up on it. What I have not talked about is the issue of ‘Blood-money’. It is not my phrase, but I have adopted it as it applies (to some extent). You see, this is not the price of the game, not the cost of doing business. It is the price of being there and staying alive. It seems pure and simple, but it is not. You see, the topic of micro transactions is a little more complex and as such it is important to distinguish between them.

  1. The good guys and girls!

Highest on my list is Blacklight: Retribution. It is released for the PS4, yet there is also a PC edition. The game is large and is FREE! So how do they make money? Well they rely on micro transactions. When buying stuff you have two options, you start low, but as you get through games and as your score is there, you get money, this money allows for low to medium styled weapons. They are not cheap so it will take a little time to acquire the cash. Yet, it is free and you have time, so this is all good. However, if you want that one piece, that ultimate weapon, the slamalamadingdong of all shotguns that will rip through flesh, bone and Kevlar as you squeeze of the right trigger of your controller, then you must purchase Z-coins. There is an off-set here. Partially I think that without Z-coins you will be in a long trial to get decent gear to oppose, yet consider that this is all multiplayer and for those who are not really into this, it means no $99 and this is good, you can invest $10 to get decent gear. I think the approach is pretty good in this economy. This approach is better than try before you buy and is a decent business model. There are others that do this too and some have too steep a curve of costs, but Blacklight seemed reasonable.

For the iPad there is ‘Elemental Kingdoms’. A game, which is free to play and as you play and win, you get coin, which allows you to buy packs with random cards. It is easy to play, the game looks extremely well and the artwork is amazing, the cards unlike with actual cards evolve as you invest in the card, making it more powerful. If you purchase gems with your own cash you can buy packs with more rare cards and better rare cards, which makes for better odds. New players will get double the amount of gems with their first purchase. a good approach.

So, this is the good model, some like it, some do not, but nothing is for free and this way you get the pleasure to try and the option to grow without spending a cent. Those eager to step forward quicker can place $10-$25 and get a head start.

  1. The demons

Here we have the bad side. Whether we go after the Forza games, Gran Turismo or the classic which should now be regarded as an utter joke on the iPad! Prices range from roughly $7.5 for 500,000 in game credits to $75 for 7 million credits. Now consider that one car could cost you 20 million credits, which would be one of the extreme top cars, but that means one additional car at around twice the price for the whole game. How is this even considered sane? This pales by comparison when we see a great classic like Dungeon Keeper seems to push people to invest vast amounts of money into gems so that the player can get anywhere. This is free-to-play?

These are two extremes, yet how does this relate to the initial issue?

This is where the future takes us. The market on many levels is pushing for micro transactions on all fields. Whether it is an app or just a service, it is not just a worry, the future as we see it comes again from the Apple Market. This is not just the versions of the iPhone6 (plus or not), but the other options like the Apple Watch, where we see an interaction between watch and phone. This sounds like a decent gimmick, yet did you consider the exploitation of the consumer through services via micro transactions as well as the events we get as Apple collects all this data? It is not just Apple, where one goes Google will follow and the entire debate we saw on copyright now gets a whole new meaning as people on a global level sign up for ‘services’. This is where packaging of services will truly get a consequence. What if you have Foxtel?

Now we revisit the following statements:

Ed Husic: “Abbott Govt should tackle copyright, pricing, access simultaneously and not just @copyrightau 1st

Brendan Molloy: “fix your business models

Jonathan BlowSaying 300,000 servers when they are virtual, is a lie

I think that the business models have been adjusted, yet I think the adjustment is moving in a very dangerous direction. The Ed Husic nail is getting hit by a massive hammer; there is, at the core of these changes a need to immediately revisit pricing and taxation sides. You see, the ‘micro-transactions’ might seem small, but it reflects on the dangers we face how the frog will not jump out of the pot when the water is slowly brought to a boil, when we react to micro transactions, we will react too late. In this economy we need to make sure the consumer is protected as well as the national coffers, because when Apple and Google start their $0.99 a month service per service we will be hoisting millions a month outside of Australian tax shores, whilst at the same time collecting all that data to be resold and analysed at the other end giving them additional billions in revenue. The Privacy act will not guard us in any way for this new consumer wave. This all brings me to the question, how much do Telstra, Optus and iiNet know at present? Does the intelligence community realise this change of data and how can they keep track of some of the more shady events. Last but not least, when ‘3rd party’ people start pushing out data apps, how can this tsunami of data even be sifted through?

The final part will get us to the conclusion (at (at http://thenextweb.com/apple/2014/09/01/this-could-be-the-apple-icloud-flaw-that-led-to-celebrity-photos-being-leaked/) we see that last week someone took a look at certain events. and it gives us this quote “The vulnerability allegedly discovered in the Find My iPhone service appears to have let attackers use this method to guess passwords repeatedly without any sort of lockout or alert to the target. Once the password has been eventually matched, the attacker can then use it to access other iCloud functions freely“. As stated, this is not a fact at present, but it does give serious voice to the hacked phones.

Things you might think that have no bearing, but as we consider the case of the 101 naked celebrities (like Disney’s Dalmatians for adults), what else can outsiders get access to when people start using these new gadgets? If we consider that the financially well off start using these innovations first, how long until this clear target becomes a target of interest to the cyber-criminal?

So many issues linked to the changing topic. My question, what topic SHOULD have been debated? This is not about copyright perse, but that links to all of this, it is about a missing league of securities that endangers the lives of many Australians and none Australians alike. It is a change to facilitate for profit and data to be handed to big business at the expense of our personal, social and economic safety. Sides many seem to ignore.

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A joke called ‘the Press’!

There is an absolute air of disillusion within me. I knew for some time that the press, claiming to be so worthy of self-regulation seems to look at the things that matter, but on which scale? This is of course their rights, but it seems wrong to ignore a market that impacted over 32 million in the EU, with a large chunk of that in the UK. When changes are being made on several levels, impacting millions, the silence is way too weird. Could they perhaps gain Advertisement space?

You see, Sony is in serious trouble. They have made a step, perhaps even a final step. The market of over a hundred million is gone. The PS3 sold less than their first PlayStation and they barely passed the 50% sales mark of the PlayStation 2. Questions on several levels are made and even though the PS4 launch price is only 75% of the price of the PlayStation 2, the stakes are high!

My PlayStation 2, which I got on day 1 (European launch date) had lived through the years until last year, when I donated it with a ton of games (still functioning perfectly) to the children’s ward of a hospital. Even the original controllers had never failed me. So, I have been a faithful fan for almost 4 generations of consoles. Consider that this is a multimillion user market (with according to the latest numbers almost 95 million people with a PSN account), it becomes a worry when Sony changes the rules, making it illegal to sell your games (trade in) and no one takes a hard look at it. It will impact us here, but it will hit our smaller island (aka United Kingdom) a lot harder, with millions of gamers in financial hardship. Many will not be able to buy a PlayStation 4, and now, with the pre-owned market under attack, the papers, the news and others remain silent.

It is unsettling to say the least.

Why is it such a big deal?

Consider that the Commonwealth economy gets hit, losing in one area a few million consumers because pre owned games are now illegal, more shops need to get closed as they lose revenue. We see more and more articles via game sites (not by the renowned press places) stating ‘Sony reiterates that PlayStation 4 supports used games’, then why make selling your game illegal in the Sony User agreement? This is all in the week before launch, this is all about getting traction and this happens under the allowing and supporting eyes of the press. No questions are asked! Big business calls the shots and changes the market.

This paraphrased quote came from Ethical consumer: “Sony received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating. Sony had subsidiaries in tax havens which were considered to be at lower risk of being used for tax avoidance strategies. However due to a lack of country-by-country reporting it is hard to tell whether a company is paying the correct tax or not. Multinational companies often shift profits between subsidiaries in different jurisdictions, allowing them to dump their costs into high-tax jurisdictions which can be deducted against tax, and shift their profits to tax havens, where they pay little or no tax.

So Sony is no Google or Amazon, but it does play the legally allowed tax game. That is not a crime mind you, but avoiding tax on one side, and then slice the commerce that does pay taxation on the other side is getting a bit rich. In the end, governing costs money, not paying it means less to support. Worried about the lessened legal aid? Then look at the people using tax shelters!

So as we see the issues of pre-owned games, we see that MCV UK had the same issue, they had the quote from Sony Boss Shuhei Yoshida stating “If you are concerned about our new European TOS, we confirm that you are able to sell or share your disc PS4 products, including in EU.“, so again the issue remains, why make it illegal in the user agreement? A statement can be regarded as ‘erroneous’; an agreement is a binding contract. So the issue remains, can Sony be trusted and why is the press not all over this?

MCV (by Intent Media) is not the upscale journalism place on the grand journalistic scale of things, yet they are all over something the press in general should not be ignoring, so why is the press doing that? There is a third side to this that makes the silence of the press (with the almost unique exclusion from Brendan Molloy of the Guardian in this instance) even more worrying. The statement given by Shuhei Yoshida, should after that fact be regarded as a joke (and a bad one at that).

The TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) is linked as this charter when we look at one part that set to the following “Criminalise the activities of small business by making every single infringement with the slightest commercial element into a criminal act“.

This means that breaking the user agreement, no matter what Shuhei Yoshida states, means that reselling your game makes that person eligible for criminal prosecution (and in other paragraphs, the shops selling them could find themselves in a similar predicament).

It is important to note that these thoughts come from other sources and even though Wiki leaks presented the full document confirming this, the fact remains that this is not the final published document. What is important to know is that steps are taken to gratify the agreement within the next 6 weeks, whilst according to the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/30/trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-dfat)

The Australian political players involved were either not thinking straight or way too eager to please Microsoft and Sony in these matters, because those are the two players DIRECTLY benefiting from this in a massive way and this goes far beyond their consoles, this is a massive play for profit! Not only will they avoid trade tariffs by 90% at present, they pay almost zero taxation after the fact as well (at present). It seems utterly unacceptable that we open doors to government sanctioned tax havens whilst those big businesses pluck us clean and remain empty on responsibilities on the other hand. With Australia getting 30% – 60% more charged on games and other digital media, we seem to be getting the short end of the stick on many levels. This TPP is a bad idea on many levels and the impression is given that Australia seems to accept the advice from the US. I find it interesting to see a picture of a smiling Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, as she makes small talk with one of the two partners that cannot seem to get their own house in order, at minus 17 trillion the US might not be the actual player in charge. This TPP reads like a joke; it gives additional powers to big business, whilst that big business avoids billions in taxation (in the US alone). In my personal view, how stupid do you need to get here? America has done NOTHING to take on big business and tax avoidance. All their promises have been hollow at best! Acts that have been years in the drawer, issues are ignored and no one take the dangers we are getting to at present serious (they claim to do so and then shelf any acts until the 11th hour). The second partner I referred to is Japan, a nation that is presently holding on to a debt twice the size of their own GDP. So why are John Kerry and Fumio Kishida there, when their governments are basically bankrupt? Doesn’t it make for more honesty to have the TPP with Bill Gates and Kazuo Hirai? They seem to have ended up with the non-taxed revenues.

If we look at the world we just gave away and the innovative world we always fought for, it seems we are making several steps backward, steps that will hurt us for a long time to come, whilst the benefactors are those who remain behind the screens already owning more than god ever did. The greed game usually ends up having roughly up to 99.9992% of the affected being victims, why enforce it even further?

Even though the TPP will not hit the UK directly, these events will lead up to changes that also hit the UK shores sooner rather than later. Even though Tax avoidance seems to be ‘sexy’ enough for the press in general, the Microsoft tax avoidance issues (in the UK around AU$ 2 billion), seems to remain ignored when we consider that Microsoft is all about becoming ‘the entertainment system’ and as such we will soon enough buy TV series and movies online, whilst taxation loses out, which means that at almost no tax, consumers will end up with a temporary product whilst the government gets nil, shops will be driven back even further in economic despair, whilst ‘retransmission laws’ are changing giving the consumer less and less options to see that what they desire (and when they do, likely only by certain rules and certain providers).

All this hits back to the press remaining silent on many of these events. Why?


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A changing console war

We are 12 days from the beginning of a new war, an all-out war, it is the war of the consoles and this war will start now and will go on until past Christmas. Yes, Christmas is the new center of these war efforts.

On the left side we have the one, and on the right side, the other. It is Sony versus Microsoft and it does not matter who you choose or support, you the gamer will make at some point a choice. Some with get neither and some will get both, 4 groups! From my view, I choose the Sony side, as the PlayStation 4 is stated by them as a system for gamers! Yet, both sides made the same mistake, even though Sony had an optional alternative, both systems come with a 500 Gb drive. The PS4 allows for the system to be upgraded with a bigger drive. What I do not understand is why they did not install a 1Tb drive for a mere $20 more. There is a lot more to this, but about that part more a little later.

I will mention at this point, right now, that part of the view that follows has bias. I want to be completely impartial, but to claim impartiality when a person’s passion is attacked is at times way to ludicrous!

My issue with the Xbox One, the Microsoft (aka Micro$oft) product had issues from the very beginning. First, they (Microsoft via Don Mattrick) announced on the need for a once a day login to the Microsoft system. I discussed that in my blog called ‘Discrimination or Segmentation in gaming? (UPDATED!)‘ In June 2013, that part was later recalled, which is why I updated the blog. I do believe in keeping people abreast of the correct information. Microsoft made the blog again in August 2013 in my blog called ‘Tax evasion, copyrighted by Vodafone?‘ This was all about ‘pay as little as taxation as possible‘, which will link to this later. Then in September 2013 we get the blog ‘The marks of trade‘ which again links Microsoft. So, why are these linked to the console war?

The last article has the mayor link to what the consumers of their choice in the console wars are not getting informed about.  “When the digital world is entering the field where more and more possible ‘new’ consumers are updated through the net, it seems that their marketing and party lines need to get a massive overhaul and it should all get a much better mentor system then it currently seems to have.” There is a side that had been hidden, even from me. This side is not on the up and up and even game sites like Gamespot have until now been silent about it. The latter one is silent about it as they might not be aware at all, which would be fair enough.

So what is going on?

The next generation of consoles will evolve into a new world that is all about DRM (Digital Rights Management). Even though you think that this was off the table, certain changes are now becoming visible doubting that all no matter what some executives claim to be the case. In case of Microsoft, for their system, as this is not a gaming system, but it has been labelled as an ‘entertainment system’ this all will become a much bigger issue. Do not think that Sony is off the hook here, they will be part of all this down the road too!

The issue came to light when I was made aware to an article called “TPP ‘A Substantial Threat To Australian Sovereignty’” (at https://newmatilda.com/2013/11/14/tpp-serious-threat-australian-sovereignty). If we ignore mentions like ‘secret law‘ for now and concentrate on “a law that will override the High Court of Australia” as quoted, then we see that our attention was pulled away from lawmaking that will have a massive influence on global users of all forms of entertainment.

Suelette Dreyfus a research fellow from the University of Melbourne states “At its heart the TPP is basically a grab for money. It will take money out of the pockets of average Australians and give it to large corporations in the US“. She also makes a mention on how illegal movies will now have to be policed by the ISP’s, even though the high Court of Australia had already ruled in ‘Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Ltd [2012] HCA 16‘ in this matter. The law changes would influence future events. I dealt with the initial issues of illegal downloads somewhere during the year, but the change might, if enforced mean that, should illegal downloads stop (I am not against that), that the economic fallout would be enormous. Consider that Telco’s would see a bandwidth drop of two marks, which would mean that the consumer bill would lower an average of $30 a month, with over 7 million users this amounts to 210 million revenue per month less (spread over several providers), this would have a massive consequence, but the effect would soon be global if this path continues. To be frank, it does not affect me, I never download movies. I prefer the quality of a DVD/Blu-Ray on my TV screen, whenever I want it.

Brendan Molloy, the Information freedom activist and Councillor for Pirate Party Australia has an interesting view on other changes. “Perhaps the most shocking inclusion in the TPP IP chapter is criminalisation of non-commercial copyright infringement.” The Australian patent law changes, discussed in what is referred to as the ‘raising the bar act 2013‘, is all about promoting innovation. These events change everything. His quote “The text even attempts to consider temporary copies to be copyright infringement!” is an interesting (read dangerous) change. It implies that personal owned transfers (like CD to MP3) could be affected. A final quote is “There is language that would lower global standards on medical patents and potentially extend patents beyond 20 years, all supported by the United States.” This means that there steps in place to thwart innovation and strangle hold commerce. This means that only the big boys will be able to dictate progress for the next few decades, which means innovation goes out the window for a long time to come.

Angela Mitropoulos, Researcher at the University of Sydney has the following to say “The biggest winners in the TPP are the largest global corporations and, with the proliferation of mechanisms proposed, they intend to fully harness the infrastructures of the internet and the full force of the law in order to capture and extract even larger profits and a wider share of the world market.

Basically, the new world terrorists will be the large corporations, if these reported events are true. So how does this strike back to the console war of Sony and Microsoft?

First of all, games and consoles are ALL about innovation. A console is only as good as its games and without innovation a console dies fast. Sometimes reverse engineering is the only way to get true progress. Consider the parts mentioned earlier, and if you have a console (either Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3), look at all the parts you have and how many of these parts were not an official Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft product. Items like recharge-able batteries, controllers and head sets. All that could stop! The issue goes a lot further, if we consider the quote from Brendan Molloy “article QQ.G.10 reinforces one of the worst parts of our current IP regime, which consists of legal protections for technical protection measures. Why should it be illegal to jailbreak your iPhone?

So products like Blu-Ray’s and DVD regions and Smartphones. All of it treated under scrutiny of big business! Consider that due to these changes the new iPhone 6 could then only be there for the Telstra (or Vodafone) customers (presumption). These changes would make these events possible. Smaller firms would quickly be pushed out of existence, giving even more power to big Telco’s. This could also have an effect on consoles. If we consider the implications, then the danger becomes ever more apparent that the innovation that we desire to see gaming go forward is also in danger as a sizeable part of the indie developers are in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and a few others, who are not part of this agreement. So, if Sony and Microsoft set their IP stranglehold to such an extent to drive these developers away, then what happens to innovation?

The TPP seems to be about segregation not about innovation (as far as I saw the information pass by), which means that whatever happens will be under complete control for Sony and Microsoft for their respective consoles. Is this bad or is this good?

I think it is a bad thing, if we consider innovation in gaming. I am not against Activision protecting themselves against a reverse engineered version of Skylanders on one side, but to strangle hold a market will never lead to innovation, which translates in our case to better and new original games.

The next part is on Microsoft specifically. This is because they ‘wanted’ to label their system as an ‘entertainment system’ as such; the changes that the TPP is trying to push through will have additional consequences for the Xbox One.

The initial TPP article made the following mention, which came from Brendan Molloy “The United States has proposed several provisions that are anti-innovation. One such provision is a blanket ban on the retransmission of TV signals over the Internet in Article QQ.H.12, regardless of purpose, without permission of the rights holder.” This is where I get back to that small drive in the Xbox One. There are two sides. If we cannot store too much on the Xbox One, then we must either park it on the cloud (where we can be monitored), or we download it again and again (costing us bandwidth). That was ‘yesterday’, when the TPP comes into play, the retransmission of a movie from the cloud might come with additional limitations where any additional ‘replay’ could be charged. I am not stating that it will, yet the changes are ALL about economic control, so it could happen. This reflects back to the part in ‘Tax evasion, copyrighted by Vodafone?‘, because even though we are all charged, the provider is likely to pay a lot less taxation on these services, so not only will local commerce get hurt, those local governments will collect a lot less corporate taxation because of this all. We saw that in cases of Apple, Amazon, Google and a few others.

That means that the digital movie and TV options from Microsoft would go through very specific bans and very tight rules. This means that picking up the Swedish or the Dutch newscasts online might not be possible. You see, QQ.H.12 is one step away from WHICH stations your entertainment system will receive, all set in a nice package pushed through by a nation that is one step away from bankruptcy, desperately in need of money! You still feel safe with your Xbox One?

So, as we see the interaction of QQ.G.10 (jail breaking) and QQ.H.12 (retransmission) we see that in the broadest sense of the word that Microsoft could decide what we see and when we see it. Is this the global, shared world we were supposed to move forward to?

The site ‘Business Spectator’ quoted the following in regards to the TPP. “Besides the United States, the pact would include 11 other nations, among them Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Mexico, though it excludes regional powerhouse China as well as Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy.” So, it seems that the IP world is no longer about making a global effort in moving forward, with these different trade pacts we will get a new war, not on resources, but on who gets to play with what, when and how and the new consoles are smack in the middle of this changing landscape.

So if your console does more then play games, the question will soon become ‘at what price‘ will it do what it does?

Philip Dorling from the Sydney Morning Herald reported this 2 days ago “Australians could pay more for drugs and medicines, movies, computer games and software” so even though we get to pay 30%-60% more on games at present and 60% more for movies, we might end up paying even more then that? I am not even touching medication, which is a hot iron on several levels. To read that Tony Abbott is quoted in the article with “Prime Minister Tony Abbott has indicated he is keen to see the trade talks pushed to a successful conclusion next month” gives us further pause for concern. The man just got elected and it looks like he sold us out to the Americans within 80 days of his election, this must be a new world record!

So the choice of your new console could come with an additional price tag, one that the politicians will happily leave to big business to decide. I have not known ANY instance EVER, where greed driven entities EVER decided in favour of the consumer! It is an expensive lesson gamers might soon be forced to learn again soon.

Have a great holiday and don’t let that new console hit you too hard in the Credit Card on the way out of the shop.


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