Tag Archives: Channel News Asia

Borderlines are not borders

Yes, that is the setting we seem to forget at times. You look at google Maps, look at the country/location and at times you forget that one country is not limited to the borderline you witnessed. Some will Google ‘boobies’ and ‘bikini’ and look in amazement on how good thing seem to be North of the border. Yet, we forgot that there is still a trap. That it is for the most an imaginary line. Birds never seem to see one and diseases notice it even less, so as we got exposed to Cholera this week, we see “RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed one cholera case and said three others were suspected in an area bordering Yemen, where an epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people, Saudi state TV said, citing a health ministry official” (at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/saudi-arabia-reports-cholera-infection-in-southern-province-10727266), yet do we comprehend the danger that is evolving? You see, we can rely on numerous sources and accept: “Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae“, we seem to forget too often that ‘infectious disease‘, ‘leads to dehydration and even death if untreated‘. The treatment is actually simple. We are also given: “you can protect yourself and your family by using only water that has been boiled, water that has been chemically disinfected, or bottled water“, that part is important right now. You see, antibiotics ‘reduce the duration of diarrhoea by half and also reduce the excretion of the bacteria, thus helping to prevent the spread of the disease‘, yet the true treatment is Hydration and that is where the problem starts. Yemen is in a state of famine and shortage, so not only is there almost no water, there is in addition no way to boil that water, continuing a cycle of symptoms and a spread of the bacteria (and so the disease). At that point, dehydration becomes the killer leaving death in its wake and in Yemen that is unlikely to be mere dozens or hundreds; it will be killing thousands of people. So they are not too fearful of bombs and war slaughter, cholera is much more certain to kill them and do it at a slower pace, ensuring that suffering is maximised. So even as one case is found in Saudi Arabia, it is in my personal view running rampant in Yemen where more than 2,000 people have died of cholera at present and the estimated 5.2 million children that are in danger of dying of hunger, measles, or diphtheria are at present more than likely on the death list of cholera. Making the Battle of Al Hudaydah not merely an essential one, but making it imperative that it is won by the Saudi-coalition as soon as possible.

As we see the outspoken lies of the Houthi’s claiming that they are defending Yemen from a ‘US backed invasion’. That whilst they are knowingly, willingly and intentionally letting the Yemeni population die in the most horrible way imaginable, we need to wonder how much humanity we need to show the Houthi’s in all this. You see, the alleged Houthi in the image, an image merely 16 hours old (if the source it to be believed) does not seem to look that hungry, making the issue of who gets fed more important, and beyond that, if the Cholera treatment (hydration) is not made openly available Yemen could become the biggest graveyard in history. It is there that the setting of the Battle of Al Hudaydah is clearly shown and it is about to get worse. You see, as more and more refugees flee Yemen into Saudi Arabia with their malnourished and dehydrated children and babies, they will also push Cholera into Saudi Arabia. Even as we know that Antibiotic treatments for one to three days shorten the course of the disease and reduce the severity of the symptoms, and therefor lessen the dehydration, the setting is now also that there are sources that have given view that resistance against antibiotics have been reported, making matters less easy to resolve and therefor more water is needed to remain hydrated, and that is not even including of the backlash of other diseases in younger children because of the Cholera impact. DA Sack, RB Sack, GB Nair, and AK Siddique in their January 2004 paper in The Lancet “Cholera” give us the frightening part: “If people with cholera are treated quickly and properly, the mortality rate is less than 1%; however, with untreated cholera, the mortality rate rises to 50–60%“. Here we have the larger setting, you see cholera does not give a hoot about borders and now that the first cases have been reported, we see not merely the danger of the disease, we see the dangers that if any of these refugees would make it to a city like Khamis Mushait they would have passed half a dozen smaller places like Al Masgi, that is if they even maker it that far. For me 80 Km is a stroll, for a lot of others it is a mountain and refugees, even if given assistance, caring Muslims, giving them a ride on their trucks towards a decent hospital, or even trying to treat these people (especially when it was not clear that it is Cholera) might see a larger problem evolve. Even as we accept that Cholera is rarely spread directly from person to person, which is a good thing. I wonder how dangerous the disease is when we accept that bodies are working in a state of lowered hydration. You see the Arabian continent has dealt with water shortages for the longest of times. Over generations these people learned to deal with less hydration (personal assumption), yet in that light does cholera not become a lot more dangerous and could that optionally make these people more susceptible to cholera? I am not stating that this is so, I a merely asking (as I never qualified for a medical degree).

It also gives us the setting that as cholera cases grow, the issue around the Battle of Al Hudaydah will show to have a nasty aftershock. it will no longer be a mere case of humanitarian aid and treatment, there will be a much larger need to set up emergency treatment posts, especially North of Saada. In my personal view, a place like Baqim is directly connected to Saudi highway 15 after you pass the Saudi port of Warcraft, going directly to both Al Hayat National Hospital as well as AlKhamis Maternity and Children Hospital giving Baqim a possible lifeline for treatment, medication and most important clean water (food too). Even as we accept that antibiotics are essential for the younger children, the reported resistance against antibiotics might become a much larger complication down the line and realising that danger now is important too.

We need to see on how we can stop all the diseases but Cholera is now the most impactful. That is shown when we realise that the WHO reported in 2016 a total of 132 121 cases, with 2420 fatalities. We now see that with the Yemen fatalities, we get to report that close to 50% of all cholera fatalities were in Yemen, how does that go over with you all? That is besides the setting that Yemen alone will be likely the reason that cholera cases will more than double and if something is not done soon, with well over 200% additional fatalities, which is not a good statistic to work with. We can argue on where the treatment needs to be and i merely took a look at the map, yet the idea of getting as many children as far away from Sanaa and Sadah seems to make perfect sense. I am also very accepting of the statement “The WHO said on Monday the origin of the current cases was not yet known but the outbreak was not expected to spread given Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure“. I get that, Saudi Arabia has a good infrastructure and is equipped for matters like these, especially when you consider the Hajj and the fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is always prepared for that. Yet, when it is not a mere handful, when the sick refugees are not merely a few, but a few hundred, we will see more complications and moreover an increasing amount of people hiding in fear, fear of disease, fear for their families and fear of others after they witnessed nears of Houthi brutality. Setting up something sooner rather than later on the Yemen side of the border is becoming increasingly pressing as I see it and not merely for the cholera risks. Diphtheria is a much larger problem if it gets a foothold, not merely from the infectious of the disease, the fact that Diphtheria grows its population through coughing, sneezing and sharing water bottles makes it a much nastier issue. It is fatal in 20% of cases in certain age groups, and guess what, children up to 5 are definitely in that risk group making the issue bigger and even as it can be treated with antibiotics, the reports of resistance become a much larger issue at this point. In addition its symptoms are easily mistaken by non-medical professionals as merely a sore throat for too long making matters worse faster than anticipated. with the fact that it spreads easily we get the state where every day not acted is one that is basically too late and we have seen the inactions in this regard for months now making matters not merely worse, it sets the stage where famine is merely the final straw that could get the largest child population in history killed. So at what point did we think that indifferent from the 22nd March 2015 was a good idea?

It makes for the saddest epilogue of the modern era: ‘We merely did not care enough to achieve something in Yemen‘.

So when you see the news and you feel that the EU is doing OK as it talks with Iran via: “Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has urged European countries to take practical steps to keep Tehran in the nuclear deal“, consider that Iran is directly involved and responsible for this by making Yemen a proxy player, arming them and supplying them, prolonging this war, the last missile Iranian sponsored missile was fired by Houthi’s at Jizan city almost 6 hours ago.

You should wonder on how the EU could even contemplate continued talks with Iran under these conditions. Where was the borderline there?

 

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Rocking the bullshit

There has been a massive issue with Huawei, the accusations by the US is the largest one, one of its sheep (aka Australia) has been on the same post on how Huawei is such a large danger to the safety and security of a nation. It gets ‘worse’ when we see ‘The DNC tells Democrats not to buy Huawei or ZTE devices ever’, (at https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/3/17649920/dnc-democrats-huawei-zte-devices-ban-china-hacking-threat). Here we see the quote “people shouldn’t be using devices from either Chinese company for work or personal use. The words echo what federal officials have already said about Huawei and ZTE posing possible security threats to the US. In February, CIA, NSA, and FBI chiefs testified in front of a Senate committee that the two companies were beholden to the Chinese government and the devices could become tools for undetected espionage“, my issue has always been: ‘show me the evidence!’ Basically EVERY phone can be used as a spying device, that is one clear thing we got out of the Cambridge Analytica part, in addition, the Fitness tracking app Strava was a great way to find CIA black ops bases, so even as Strava merely mapped ‘a regular jogging route’, using Google or Apple maps, you would be able to map out the base, the supply routes and so on, the Apple Fitbit would be there for the Russian government knowing where these specialists were and when the were there. So in all that, and all the security transgressions seen here, not of the were Huawei or ZTE, yet, how much noise have you heard from the CIA, NSA, or FBI on Apple? Even now, they are that one Trillion dollar company, are they too big to mention?

I wonder why?

Yet, Huawei is not out of the hot water yet, they are actually in deeper hot waters now but this time it is allegedly by their own actions. Reuters is giving u mere hours ago: ‘Huawei in British spotlight over use of U.S. firm’s software’, the news (at https://www.reuters.com/article/huawei-security-britain-usa/huawei-in-british-spotlight-over-use-of-us-firms-software-idUSL5N1US343) gives us: “One of those is due to Huawei’s use of the VxWorks operating system, which is made by California-based Wind River Systems, said three people with knowledge of the matter, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing details which were not made public in the report“, which now leads me to the setting that the American accusations are set on the premise of American Software used? How dopey is that?

Then we get: “the version of VxWorks being used by Huawei will stop receiving security patches and updates from Wind River in 2020, even though some of the products it is embedded in will still be in service“. In all this, the fact that it is still serviced for another 2 years, how are we now in the stage of: “potentially leaving British telecoms networks vulnerable to attack“? Is that not equally a questioning setting? Do we not have enough issues out there with Microsoft which has been nearly forever a security concerns, at this point, 2 years early we get the security warning on Huawei, yet not on Microsoft or Apple for that matter, in all this Google is equally a place of patches, and in all this, Huawei is the one getting unbalanced and unfairly burned at the stake like a Catholic at an Elisabeth I barbecue gathering.

Yet the good stuff is “All three sources said there was no indication that the VxWorks mismatch was deliberate. There is also no suggestion that the software itself represents a security risk“, this now leads us to two parts. The first is if it is true that ‘no suggestion that the software itself represents a security risk‘, does this mean that Huawei never had a security risk and if that is incorrect, why not present that evidence so that every Huawei Owner can test for this transgressions ending whatever future Huawei had in the first place.

In the second part, if there is no proven security flaw in the Huawei on hardware, is the security flaw a software one, or better stated an American software one, and if so, why are these people only going after Huawei and not after a dozen American firms?

The one part that we see in Channel News Asia is “Consultant Edward Amoroso, a former chief security officer at AT&T, said Huawei’s experience in Britain showed the challenges of securing international supply chains. Although no one should dismiss Huawei as a supplier solely because of its geographical location, reliance on software that is going out of support is a legitimate concern, Amoroso said“, the news (at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/huawei-in-british-spotlight-over-use-of-us-firm-s-software-10590268) gives the part that does matter, in this Edward Amoroso is right, software at the end of its reign is often the true safety concern, not merely because of the time frame, but in extent the time required to properly update the software on all the devices, which is not always a smooth path and tends to open up additional security gaps. In that part of the equation Huawei does have a legitimate problem to address. The second part to all that is “In addition to the issue with VxWorks, this year’s report also cited technical issues which limited security researchers’ ability to check internal product code“, I believe it to be a minor part and the proper investigators could seek or test for the issues, not merely that, the limitations also remove whatever options there are for zero day breaches, which has a much larger legal frame to address. So even as we agree that the US setting of accusation without evidence (proper presented evidence is merely the stuff that makes the grass grow in Texas). We also get that the US is giving us: “In the United States, the Pentagon is working on a “do not buy” list to block vendors who use software code originating from Russia and China“, there is an actual thing called national security and as such, it is their right to implement that part, I do believe that in the end it might be somewhat counterproductive, but it is still within their rights to be in such a setting nor no other reasons.

In the end there are a few issues in the field and some are out there, but with a lack of technical details, some cannot be proven, yet the fact of what some have done in the past might give the setting of ‘is it more likely than not that some do not really have 5G‘ is a true setting, yet I prefer to have the actual evidence, that some are trying to keep buried, and the media is part of that chase, which is odd to say the least. Huawei is bouncing back and forth and their hold to grow fast via the UK will be there, but from my point of view, they will need to fix the VxWorks part a lot faster than they think they need. From my estimation a new software solution should be well beyond the Beta stage in Q1 2019 if they want to have any chance of keeping their lucrative growth contracts in place. In equal measure we need to look at Canada and Australia, as they are currently set to be nothing more than US tools in all this. In all respects no actual and factual evidence was thrown out in the open. If that was done Huawei would have lost pretty much every non-Chinese contract, the fact that the BS is spread even larger with absence of evidence gives more reliability that there is no real security danger and it is more a tool for some to get the slice of 5G pie, probably at the expense of a monthly data dump, nicely mailed via UPS to: N 11600 W, Saratoga Springs, UT 84045, USA. That alone should give us the goods on who to trust and who to be cautious of. In all this, no evidence has been presented to the public (and their right to know) on how Huawei is a threat to our security. The fact that I believe that this is all bogus in one thing, the issues seems to be blown up as everyone takes a queue from John Bolton, that whilst the setting “Five Eyes is an alliance between Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom that facilitates collaboration in intelligence activities” gives us that there are three in the dark, the UK might be around with the knowledge and the rest merely takes a queue form the US, which has seemingly been whispering like they did in the WMD in Iraq phase, you do remember that in the end, they were never found and it was merely bad intel. So in that setting whilst Corporate America, Canada and Australia are all in fear of their gap against leading Huawei, in that setting we are supposed to have faith on the American gospel on what constitutes a danger from Huawei? And now that we are made aware that the software solution used is an American one?

Yup, we have all kinds of problems and some are valid issues of concern as Edward Amoroso phrases it. Yet between a setting of concern and an actual concern is a mile long gap and whilst we acknowledge that Huawei has some fixing to do, until actual evidence is shown that there is a security breach, the only thing that the US can do is to offer a $229 instant price match for the Apple, or an $100 instant price match for the Google Pixel 2, or a $400 instant price match for the Samsung 9, why would anyone in this day and age pay more for the same, actually, with the enhanced batteries of Huawei you will still miss out, but that might be the smallest cross to bear. All this because some players just didn’t get the pricing right, too many fingers on the margin pie, that alone seems to unbalance the entire equation, because all these players will miss out when Huawei is given free reign there. In this the equation is no longer about security, it will be merely about greed and those enabling for it. Is that not equally important an element to consider?

I’ll be honest, I am still happy with my Huawei P7, it was really affordable against anyone offering anything and after 3 years working 24:7, where would you think I would look first? The one who had proven himself, or the one overpricing its brand (OK, with the Pixel at a mere $100 more, that is still an awesome deal).

When we decide on pricing it is one, when unreliable players in the game force us away from the affordable option it becomes a different stage and so far, the US has proven to lose reliability again and again when it comes to their version of security. To emphasize on that, check on all the printing regarding the Landmines in Yemen placed by the Houthi and the amount of articles that we see in the NY Times, the LA Times and the Washington Post. Now consider the impact of mines and why Americans seem to be eager not to inform you. By the way, that setting was almost certain a setting that Iran enabled, if you questions that (which is fair) then answer the simple question, where did the Houthi forces get 1,000,000 mines from?

We are kept in the dark on the wrong topics and it is time to set the limelight on those people keeping us knowingly in the dark.

 

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