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The academic colour

This goes back to me having a very young age and in those days we had a saying in chess: ‘white begins and black wins‘. It had nothing to do with race, it was that those in reaction have a benefit; we can play whilst considering in response what the opponent is doing. It is a mere tactic, some you win, some you lose, yet overall, I still believe that the one moving first is out on a limb until the game unfolds and as long as the player using black comprehends the moves that are set, that player has an advantage, the size of that advantage is how quickly white picks up on the countermoves by black.

Yet, I made the race connection and here it is: ‘Trump administration moves to rescind Obama-era guidance on race in admissions‘, the Washington Post headline (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/trump-administration-moves-to-rescind-obama-era-guidance-on-race-in-admissions/2018/07/03/78210e9e-7ed8-11e8-bb6b-c1cb691f1402_story.html) gives us a dangerous setting. The issue is the reasoning behind it is what matters. The quote starts us with: “rescind Obama-era guidance to colleges and universities on how they can use race in admissions decisions to promote diversity, according to an administration official“, yet I am not certain whether that is a good setting. You see I have had my share of tertiary education. I was lucky to some extent and I finished with three post graduate degrees, one a Master. I have lived in many places where diversity was the cornerstone of education and I expected that to be the norm, yet we all know that it is not.

If we look at the Pre-Obama era and take the sport players out of the consideration (Football and Basketball), the racial diversity is pretty much non-existent as I see it. Even now, if we look at American education and we take the top 30% we get a really skewed view of ‘educated Americans‘ it is seen even better when we look at the census. We see (at https://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec04.pdf), the fact of educated people, and even if we realise that the percentages are all going up, the setting that in 1998 that 80% of those with high school were white and merely 50% was black, that is a number that matters, in a diversity given setting, they should be a lot closer together, not 30% apart. The Hispanic community is much closer to the white one, yet still trailing. When we look at the next step, those with 4 years (or more) of college, we see that Caucasians lead with 25%, that against Hispanics at roughly 12% and blacks at 10%, that is a problem, there is no level of equality. Any civilisation that truly embraces diversity and equality can see that these numbers are just wrong, and as such changes, many large changes are essential. Now, we can argue with the Obama setting, or find a way to improve it, not rescind it.

There is another setting that we see (at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p20-578.pdf). It makes no sense to completely chew the report and mull over the entire spectre of data, yet the one that lighted up were those with advanced degrees. 8.2% Black and 12.1 were Caucasian, what was interesting that the Asian group is 21.4% surpassing all others. There is a change and we need to earn what that is, because here we have a shift in success. The numbers seem to add up more evenly (after 20 years) between black and white, yet the shift starts from Associate degree and later, that is where we see the numbers drop. Yet in all, how was this weighted? You see, the counts give us White with 168,420, Black with 25,420, and Asian with 12,331, so a setting so uneven is unsettling, because this implies that if there is weighting that it is too unbalanced. That issues grows even further when we see (at https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf), the setting “This report looks at our nation’s changing racial and ethnic diversity. It is part of a series that analyses population and housing data collected from the 2010 Census, and it provides a snapshot of race and Hispanic origin in the United States. Racial and ethnic population group distributions and growth at the national level and at lower levels of geography are presented” is one that I cannot agree with. We see in 2010 223,553,265 (72.4%) white, 38,929,319 (12.6%) black or African American and 14,674,252 (4.8%) is Asian. If we go from the (I admit a wrongful set assumption) that there is equality to some degree, that if we take the black population as part of the white population as comparison, there should be some equality between the educated and the ‘actual’ population (yes, it is shallow, I know), they should be close together, yet they are not, they are 2% apart and when you consider it reflects a total of 200,000 students (roughly rounded), the African Americans lose out on a few thousand completed education seats and that is actually a much larger issues than anyone realises.

I will not tell you what the reason is for the difference, because it takes someone a lot more clever than me to do that, but the data (even when not optimally used) should not add up to this. In equal measure I feel that I need to disagree with Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity. We see: “He said it was appropriate for the administration to ditch policies that had encouraged schools to weigh race and ethnicity in deciding where students would be assigned or admitted. “Students should be able to go to a school without regard to their skin color or what country their ancestors came from,”“, I agree with the premise he states, yet we already see that the African American population are getting short changed for a few thousand higher education seats and we need to find out why that is happening, because if diversity can lead to academic salvation of a nation, we need to change the books and values most held for granted. This is seen in the Teacher Education Quarterly, Fall 2008 in the article by Rita Kohli called: ‘Breaking the Cycle of Racism in the Classroom: Critical Race Reflections from Future Teachers of Color‘, we see on page 178: “Eddie came up to us and asked, “Ms. Wright, I don’t got no lunch money, can I sit in your room and use the computer?” Ms. Wright was a seventh year White teacher who received a lot of respect for the high academic standards that she held students to at this underperforming school. Ms. Wright immediately responded, “I am not going to answer that question until you speak correctly. How can we say that in proper English?” We both looked at Eddie, waiting for him to rephrase his words, but instead he calmly replied, “Maybe not in your house, but in my house that is how we speak correctly.” Ms. Wright and I were both caught off guard and a little speechless, and Eddie just stood there un-phased, waiting for us to let him use the computer“, it is there that we see the reflection on “what I was not conscious of, until Eddie so confidently pointed it out, was that although differences exist in the structure of African American Language (AAL) and Standard American English (SAE), at this school, we were actually teaching a hierarchy of those differences (FairesConklin& Lourie, 1983)“. The article goes on regarding racial issues that are beyond my comprehension, as my life has been very different, yet this one setting where we see that the cards are already set against the African American population in a mere AAL versus SAE setting, these kids have not even made it to high school and they are already at an advantage, I cannot even perceive the disadvantages that the Native Americans face in such a setting. But that small setting can already impact thousands, thousands of students who could be the prospering African American minds that America desperately needs. Let me state it in a simplified way, the mere setting of AAL versus SAE would not prevent any African American becoming the next Mary Frances Berry, Stephen L. Carter, Patricia Hill Collins, Roland G. Fryer, Jr., or Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe. Hell, I’d be happy just to get another James Earl Jones so we get to enjoy a really good movie that is relying on zero special effects.

The issue is that in a true society, race is not the deciding factor. Or as I see it, when we look at the average year of a university we should get a racial setting that approaches the national population. That will never be true, because some are more driven to be successful than others. You merely need to see the Asian graduation numbers to see that some drives are inherent to family values and history. Yet, they should not be as unequal as we currently see them and that is why I am not on the side of Roger Clegg, even as he might be completely correct.

I also need to raise the issue that we see with: “Harvard University’s use of race in admissions has come under scrutiny in a federal lawsuit that alleges the school has discriminated against Asian Americans. Separately, the Justice Department is conducting its own civil rights investigation of Harvard admissions. The university denies wrongdoing and says its methods — weighing race and ethnicity as one factor among many in a review of an applicant’s background and credentials — conform to decades of settled law“. I do not think that there is anything that Harvard is likely to have done wrong, I merely think that the system has stopped working correctly and we need to see if another mould might do the trick in getting it right, yet the setting of ‘weighing race and ethnicity ‘ might be the wrong path. You see, weighing is dangerous, even if we use it to set towards a path of minimum inclusion, which is a good thing, most tend to see it as a reference line to exclusion, which is a lot more dangerous. The old setting that has been going around for the longest time is ‘will that person succeed’, ‘will that person contribute’, ‘will this not be a failure’. The third is important, as it highlights my issue with a place like Ubisoft for the longest of time. To set the stage of something not being a failure is also the stage of creating mediocrity, for those who are not willing to put it all out, they will never create something truly exceptional. In gaming those are the games that are that are scoring 97% or higher. You merely have to look at the track record of Ubisoft to see that I am correct. The next group of upcoming billionaires are not created in Wall Street, they come from the streets and high schools; they figured out on how the next generation of technology (5G) can be harnessed in productive ways, the will start something new, whilst those around them will try to copy and mimic that creativity. We forgot all about the creative arts, the one side that does not rely on AAL versus SAE, it relies on vision and that matters, because vision allows to create that what does not yet exist and growing that group with academic skills is all that matters, giving them the comprehension of tools and concepts is what allows them to link one to the other and that is where trillions are created. I came up with three systems not by pushing the boundaries further, but by inverting the process. We do not need someone who solves the next small clever iteration, we have thousands of that, we optionally need the one solving the puzzle of CELL(150) (or is that CELL(182)?), it cannot be created here, but when you figure out where it could be found, you solve two other puzzles and that is where we need to look.

We don’t need another John Paulson; we need another James Edward Allchin. As data speeds go up, the systems that need to store are becoming the bottle neck in all this, and whilst everyone smiles and points at the cloud, we will see some people losing the plot, and some sales figures will point at the Cisco QoS: Congestion Management Configuration Guide. We will see clever articles on “control congestion by determining the order in which packets are sent out an interface based on priorities assigned to those packets. Congestion management entails the creation of queues“, it all sounds so easy and so logical. Yet the truth is that most have no clue. You see, 3 billion people using the peak of 5G (2024-2027) will impose  levies of congestion on nearly all systems; some cannot even keep up now (a jab at Australia’s NBN). It is very serious matter and even as all the players are in the dark. So, someone, who was into painting night skies would optionally get into astrology and whilst that person decided to paint a starry night outside Lambert Montana, the thought: ‘What if I stored it that way?‘ came to that persons mind and then considered the storage that mother had in the kitchen and things start falling together. It would never have worked in any other way, sometimes the biggest fluke is actually the brainwave that solves a lot more than we ever considered.

Exceptional solutions are not grown or trained, they come from people with vision and growing those people into levels of comprehension towards analytical and critical thinking is what gets the golden eggs that change everything. True wealth is not following or being better, true wealth is being first and pushing the boundaries for everyone else. Mark Zuckerberg might be the clearest example, but he is not the only one. And when we consider that some of the solutions were seen as early as the 70’s with the benefits of VAX/VMS whilst the connection of one with the setting 5D optical data storage and now replace that ‘contact lens’ for a hollow cylinder where the inside writes and the outside reads and you’ll end up with a storage system that offers no less than 250 Petabyte, has a half-life of well over  an eon and is 75,000 times faster than anything found in the Pentagon (at present or in the next decade). You merely need to reset the mind to not adhere to the current rules of any proclaimed captain of industry (especially the self-proclaimed ones). And whilst you laugh on the CP/M part, consider that it was equal to anything else and was merely surpassed by IBM because they relied on business sense and marketing, not on technological advantage. Oh, and whilst you giggle on VAX/VMS, it had full 64-bit addressing around 21 years before Microsoft, it also had version control and decent security at least a decade before Microsoft or their Windows 95 version had a decent setting towards security, so looking back at what the ‘old guys’ offered is never the worst idea.

So when we change the given and make 5G the weakest link in speed, we will finally get to the hardware that will give us a true advantage, although I merely want it so that I can call Sundar Pichai, telling him that the Bristlecone processor is the slowest link in my computer system and I need a quicker chip so that I can enjoy a nice game of Pong, because that is how weirdly warped my sense of humour is at times.

#RealtimeIsJustTooSlow

 

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The non-knowing speak loudest

There is an old saying that goes back to the original circus, the days of Sir Alec Guiness, John Le Carre and the circus (MI6). Those who do not know speak and those who do will not. There is however a valid issue with that mindset. When it is merely intelligence and what some regard as spyshit, we tend to not care. It is their world and they tend to live by other rules even as they have the same lack of common cyber sense as some US generals, it is their choice to make. Yet when we see labour people like Michael Danby need to present evidence in regards to “an opposition Labor party MP, called on the Liberal-National coalition to block Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms company ZTE from supplying equipment for the 5G network. “Both Huawei and ZTE must report to the Communist party cell at the top of their organisations,” he told parliament. “Let me issue a clarion call to this parliament: Australia’s 5G network must not be sold to these telcos.”” I am actually in the mindset that his seat should be put up for auction if he does not disclose a proper setting and give evidence as to the reasoning of all this. It becomes more pressing when we see “Mr Lord, a former rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy, told Australia’s state broadcaster on Monday that these claims were “wrong”, adding that Huawei was not owned by any committee of government and posed no risk to Australia’s security“. It is not just because Mr Lord is a former rear admiral, more that the average naval midshipman tends to be more reliable than any politician. We get this from the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/1a2d19ba-67b1-11e8-8cf3-0c230fa67aec). In addition, when we get politicians start the scare tactics of ‘critical infrastructure pose a risk to national security’, there is a clear need for both Duncan Lewis and Paul Symon AO to get hauled in a chair in Canberra and ask them to openly answer the questions regarding any evidence that Huawei is a security threat. To blatantly accept the US on their ‘china fears’ is all well and good for Telstra, yet the setting is not a given and the fact that Telstra is nowhere near the technological levels of Huawei is not something that we blame them from, but they basically lost the 5G war before it started through their own actions and inactions.

Now if there is an actual national security concern, we should be open about that and when that happens, and evidence is presented, at that point we can all relax and state to Huawei that we feel sorry for the inconvenience caused, but such concerns are just too big to ignore. I think we have had quite enough of these presentations that reek of Colin Powell and his silver suitcase with evidence that no one ever saw in 2001. We cannot go in that direction ever again. We will not be the play toy of greedy telecom companies and their internal needs for stupidity and inactions; we can no longer afford such a nepotism environment.

That same issue can be said regarding Nationals MP George Christensen. Apart from him trying to undo a business deal of a 99 year lease, no matter how silly that deal was, Australia cannot be perceived as a nation that cannot be trusted at the business table. My second issue is why a maroon (Queenslander) is involving himself with NT politics. In that regard, why do we not see the responses form Vicki O’Halloran is she has any, is she not the appointed administrator? In this, the game is not over. The Australian Financial Review gives us: “Huawei faces the likelihood that Cabinet’s national security committee will veto it supplying equipment for the 5G network, based on the recommendations of security agencies, over concerns about the potential for cyber espionage at the behest of China’s leaders“. In this the question becomes, is there an actual security concern, or is it that the national concern is the devaluation of Telstra? In additional support we need to see the Sydney Morning Herald two weeks ago when they gave us (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/how-a-huawei-5g-ban-is-about-more-than-espionage-20180614-p4zlhf.html): “The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported in March that there were serious concerns within the Turnbull government about Huawei’s potential role in 5G – a new wireless standard that could be up to 10 times as powerful as existing mobile services, and used to power internet connections for a range of consumer devices beyond phones“, as well as “the decision will have an impact on Australia’s $40 billion a year telecoms market – potentially hurting Telstra’s rivals“. the first part is something I wrote about for well over a year, the second one is important as we see ‘potentially hurting Telstra’s rivals‘, from my personal point of view it reads like the one lobotomised idiot in telecom country gets to decide through arm-twisting on how we need to remain backwards as they set the standard that they could not deliver for the longest of times (a little sarcasm regarding Telstra’s 2011 3.7G), I wrote about that recently.

ABC gave us yesterday: “it continues to be the target of criticism over its connections to the Chinese Government, including allegations it is involved in state-sponsored espionage“, yet the people have never been shown actual evidence, so where is that at? There might have been doubts to some degree for a while, but the Powell stunt is too clear in our minds and the USA does not have the credibility (or credit rating for that matter) it once had. The fact that the opposing former rear admiral of the Australian navy trumps two half bit politicians seeking the limelight any day of the week and some stay silent, the reason for that is only speculation, but we might not need to seek far and a few words ion Google Search might help find that answer (like ‘Telstra’ and ‘8000’). When we see some giving us: ‘Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) is betting it all on 5G‘ and we see the Telstra strategy briefing (at https://www.telstra.com.au/content/dam/tcom/about-us/investors/pdf-e/2018-Strategy-Update.pdf), we see on page 6, Leading with 5G, that would never be an option with Huawei in play as they are ahead by a lot, so the presentation given a week ago, whilst we realise that the presentation was prepared way before that is giving the setting that Huawei is no longer considered to be competition, that is what we now face! What some might call a backward organisation proclaiming to be leading whilst 8000 men will be missing through inaction. That page is even more fun when you consider the quote ‘new technologies like IoT‘, which is funny when you consider that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices. It is not a technology; it is a network that enables technology. In addition, when you start nit-picking in that 34 page event, we see all the bells and whistles we need to see, yet when you consider consumers and small business (the millions of people that Telstra charges) starts at page 9 and gives us 5 slides. We see ‘cutting edge 5G capability’ (by whose standards?), we see location devices (with the image of a dog), Access to rewards an tickets, a fully-digital relationship with Telstra (an implied no more personal interaction after the sales, merely a chatbot) and value added services, yet the value of a service like customer service and customer care are absent in that part of the equation, so how does this push the people forward, because I doubt that it actually will achieve anything in the long run and one flaw will anger the actual consumers without limits.

You see, personally I believe in the IoT, I believe in 5G, they are tools to enhance experiences and interactions, not make them obsolete and that is what  feel when I saw the Telstra strategy update. These two elements can enhance customer care, customer service and customer support, not replace them with ‘AI’ enhanced chatbots. So the moment we get a 2.0 version of ‘Telstra’s new chatbot, Codi, is making so many mistakes customers are furious’ (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/telstra-codi-bot-backlash-2018-3), chatbots can be a great asset to get the information and channel the call to the right person, yet that again is merely enhancing and that can work fine. The presentation implies the loss of actual customer values and ignoring their need for interactions. That in an aging population might be the least intelligent stance to make ever.

Yet this does not give way to the issue on Telstra versus Huawei, as the Sydney Morning Herald states “Telstra has refused to exclude Huawei from its 5G tender, but that is seen more as a way of keeping its existing supplier Ericsson on its toes“, as well as “In other words, a ban could be bad news for TPG, Vodafone and Optus. Whether it is necessarily good news for Telstra – which has its own issues at the moment – is less clear“. In finality we get “Intelligence agencies tend to get their way on matters like these“, this beckons the question what are they actually after? The US seems to be in bed with Samsung and their 5G routers, so it makes sense that this will be the path that Telstra walks as well, time will tell how it ends.

So why is this such a big deal?

We are currently in danger of actually falling behind Saudi Arabia, yes, that place in a large sandbox is about to surpass us in 5G and other technologies. They had the audacity to reserve half a trillion dollars toward Vision 2030 and Neom. So when we got “Al-Khobar in the Eastern Province, of Saudi Arabia, has become the first city in the region to benefit from the fifth-generation wireless network or 5G network, according to a press statement issued by the Center of International Communication“, last month. There was not a surprise in my bone. You see, this will drive their Vision 2030 plans even further. So as Saudi Arabia is now the new pond to grow speciality in 5G, app designers can promote, test and deliver on knowledge that will be available whilst Telstra is trying to figure out how to get 5G installed. with “All the necessary national 5G policies and supporting administrative provisions are planned to be in place before the end of 2019, along with the award of initial batches of the spectrum to support the full commercial deployment of 5G technologies“, we see that Saudi Arabia had been taking this serious for a much longer time. This goes a little further when we see ‘the Middle East and Africa 5G Technology market (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, and South Africa)‘, so at this point, Saudi Arabia has a head start to not just push Saudi Arabia forward, they have quite literally first dibs on gaining a chunk of the 98 million Egyptians. Not all can afford 5G, we get that, but those who do are confronted with only Saudi Arabia as a Muslim player, you did not actually believe that they would run to Vodafone, did you?

So back to the 5G local ‘market’! For this we need to take a look at the Australian Financial review 2 weeks ago. Here we see (at https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/the-technical-reasons-why-huawei-too-great-a-5g-risk-20180614-h11e3o), with the title ‘The technical reasons why Huawei is too great a 5G risk‘, the start is good, this is what we wanted. Yet we are treated to paragraphs of emotion and alleged settings. So when we see: “Huawei presents unique additional risk beyond the “normal” risk of buying complex equipment. China has demonstrated a long-standing intent to conduct cyber-espionage“, so is ‘intent’ shown in evidence? How did the CIA and NSA acquire our data or Cambridge Analytica for that matter? ‘China is thought to be behind data breaches‘ is merely a statement ‘thought‘ is speculation, not evidence. Then we get: “The US Trade Representative’s Section 301 report from March this year details the very close cooperation between the Third Department of China’s People’s Liberation Army (3PLA is a military hacking unit, also known as Unit 61398) and Chinese enterprises“, I have to get back to this. We are treated to ‘At one extreme, Huawei could be asked‘, is a case of fear mongering and not evidence. In addition we get ‘it is certainly a possibility‘ which came after ‘Vulnerabilities may already exist. This may not be the most likely possibility‘ as well as ‘very likely‘ all emotional responses, none of them evidence in any way, so the article with included in the title ‘The technical reasons’, has pretty much zero technology and close to 90% ‘allegedly’, speculations and emotional twists, whilst we cannot deny the optional existence of vulnerabilities, yet these are found regularly in Cisco hardware and Microsoft software, so have those two been banned in Australia?

Now to get back to the Section 301 report (at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/Section%20301%20FINAL.PDF). It is 215 pages and I did not read that complete political US marketing behemoth. There is one that actually carries weight. On page 153 we see: “evidence from U.S. law enforcement and private sources indicates that the Chinese government has used cyber intrusions to serve its strategic economic objectives. Documented incidents of China’s cyber intrusions against U.S. commercial entities align closely with China’s industrial policy objectives. As the global economy has increased its dependence on information systems in recent years, cyber theft became one of China’s preferred methods of collecting commercial information because of its logistical advantages and plausible deniability“, which is basically good application of intelligence gathering. Please do not take my word for it, feel free to call the NSA (at +1-301-6886311, all their calls are recorded for training and quality purposes). Oh, and before I forget, the text came with footnote 970, which gave us “A number of public submissions provided to USTR state that the Chinese government has no reason to conduct cyber intrusions or commit cyber theft for commercial purposes, see CHINA GENERAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE [hereinafter “CGCC”], Submission, Section 301 Hearing 16 (Sept. 28, 2017); that the US has not provided evidence of such actions by China, that China is also a target of cyber-attacks, and that the two countries should work together“, there is that to deal with and is that not a rare instance where we are treated to ‘the US has not provided evidence of such actions‘, how many times have we seen claims like that since 2001? Would that number be a 4 or 5 digit number?

The point is not whether it can or could happen, the question becomes did it happen here? let’s not forget that in most settings the section 301 report is about US interests and their technological advancement (which they lost by becoming iteratively stupid). Here we have a different setting. In the setting we face Huawei has a technological advance over all we have in Australia and most of Europe as well. Huawei was one of the first to realise the power of data and 5G and they are close to a market leader, the US is basically relying on Samsung to get them there. BT (British Telecom) is on the ball, but still not on par. They are in bed with Finland “BT has teamed with Nokia to collaborate on the creation of 5G proof of concept trials, the development of emerging technology standards and equipment, and potential 5G use cases“, so this sets the larger players in a field where Nokia and Huawei are now active. The SAMENA Telecom Leaders Summit 2018 and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) announced today that it is working with Nokia to launch a 5G network in 2018 within Saudi Arabia, yet the technology agreements show that it does include Huawei and Cisco, so they aren’t already active, the setting for the initial bumps in the road that Cisco, Nokia and Huawei will surely overcome is knowledge that we will not have in Australia long after someone was able to connect the 5G router to a power point (very presentable, yet the online green light seems to be broken).

So whilst politicians are considering who to be buddies with, Saudi Arabia joins the US and they will be the first 5G providers, which means that the UK and Australia are lagging behind and optionally not for the short term either.

So am I not knowing or am I all knowing? I actually prefer the first, because it is more relaxing; yet the need to speak out loud is becoming increasingly important even if it was only to place the loud mouth limelight seeking politicians like Michael Danby and George Christensen in their slightly too arrogant place. They are of course welcome to present ACTUAL evidence proving me wrong. #WishingForAMiracleHere

 

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A legislative system shock

Today the Guardian brings us the news regarding the new legislation on personal data. The interesting starts with the image of Google and not Microsoft, which is a first item in all this. I will get back to this. The info we get with ‘New legislation will give people right to force online traders and social media to delete personal data and will comply with EU data protection‘ is actually something of a joke, but I will get back to that too. You see, the quote it is the caption with the image that should have been at the top of all this. With “New legislation will be even tougher than the ‘right to be forgotten’ allowing people to ask search engines to take down links to news items about their lives“, we get to ask the question who the protection is actually for?

the newspapers gives us this: “However, the measures appear to have been toughened since then, as the legislation will give people the right to have all their personal data deleted by companies, not just social media content relating to the time before they turned 18“, yet the reality is that this merely enables new facilitation for data providers to have a backup in a third party sense of data. As I personally see it, the people in all this will merely be chasing a phantom wave.

We see the self-assured Matt Hancock standing there in the image and in all this; I see no reason to claim that these laws will be the most robust set of data laws at all. They might be more pronounced, yet in all this, I question how facilitation is dealt with. With “Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said data handlers would be made more accountable for the data “with the priority on personal privacy rights” under the new laws“, you see the viewer will always respond in the aftermath, meaning that the data is already created.

We can laugh at the statement “The definition of “personal data” will also be expanded to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA, while there will also be new criminal offences to stop companies intentionally or recklessly allowing people to be identified from anonymous personal data“, it is laughable because it merely opens up venues for data farms in the US and Asia, whilst diminishing the value of UK and European data farms. The mention of ‘include IP addresses‘ is funny as the bulk of the people on the internet are all on dynamic IP addresses. It is a protection for large corporations that are on static addresses. the mention of ‘stop companies intentionally or recklessly allowing people to be identified from anonymous personal data‘ is an issue as intent must be shown and proven, recklessly is something that needs to be proven as well and not on the balance of it, but beyond all reasonable doubt, so good luck with that idea!

As I read “The main aim of the legislation will be to ensure that data can continue to flow freely between the UK and EU countries after Brexit, when Britain will be classed as a third-party country. Under the EU’s data protection framework, personal data can only be transferred to a third country where an adequate level of protection is guaranteed“, is this another twist in anti-Brexit? You see none of this shows a clear ‘adequate level of protection‘, which tends to stem from technology, not from legislation, the fact that all this legislation is all about ‘after the event‘ gives rise to all this. So as I see it, the gem is at the end, when we see “the EU committee of the House of Lords has warned that there will need to be transitional arrangements covering personal information to secure uninterrupted flows of data“, it makes me wonder what those ‘actual transitional arrangements‘ are and how come that the new legislation is covering policy on this.

You see, to dig a little deeper we need to look at Nielsen. There was an article last year (at http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/news/2016/uncommon-sense-the-big-data-warehouse.html), here we see: “just as it reached maturity, the enterprise data warehouse died, laid low by a combination of big data and the cloud“, you might not realise this, but it is actually a little more important than most realise. It is partially seen in the statement “Enterprise decision-making is increasingly reliant on data from outside the enterprise: both from traditional partners and “born in the cloud” companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as brokers of cloud-hosted utility datasets, such as weather and econometrics. Meanwhile, businesses are migrating their own internal systems and data to cloud services“.

You see, the actual dangers in all that personal data, is not the ‘privacy’ part, it is the utilities in our daily lives that are under attack. Insurances, health protection, they are all set to premiums and econometrics. These data farms are all about finding the right margins and the more they know, the less you get to work with and they (read: their data) will happily move to where ever the cloud takes them. In all this, the strong legislation merely transports data. You see the cloud has transformed data in one other way, the part Cisco could not cover. The cloud has the ability to move and work with ‘data in motion’; a concept that legislation has no way of coping with. The power (read: 8 figure value of a data utility) is about being able to do that and the parties needing that data and personalised are willing to pay through the nose for it, it is the holy grail of any secure cloud environment. I was actually relieved that it was not merely me looking at that part; another blog (at https://digitalguardian.com/blog/data-protection-data-in-transit-vs-data-at-rest) gives us the story from Nate Lord. He gives us a few definitions that are really nice to read, yet the part that he did not touch on to the degree I hoped for is that the new grail, the analyses of data in transit (read: in motion) is cutting edge application, it is what the pentagon wants, it is what the industry wants and it is what the facilitators want. It is a different approach to real time analyses, and with analyses in transit those people get an edge, an edge we all want.

Let’s give you another clear example that shows the value (and the futility of legislation). Traders get profit by being the first, which is the start of real wealth. So whoever has the fastest connection is the one getting the cream of the trade, which is why trade houses pay millions upon millions to get the best of the best. The difference between 5ms and 3ms results in billions of profit. Everyone in that industry knows that. So every firm has a Bloomberg terminal (at $27,000 per terminal), now consider the option that they could get you that data a millisecond faster and the automated scripts could therefor beat the wave of sales, giving them a much better price, how much are they willing to pay suddenly? This is a different level of armistice, it is weaponised data. The issue is not merely the speed; it is the cutting edge of being able to do it at all.

So how does this relate?

I am taking you back to the quote “it would amount to a “right to be forgotten” by companies, which will no longer be able to get limitless use of people’s data simply through default “tick boxes” online” as well as “the legislation will give people the right to have all their personal data deleted by companies“. The issue here is not to be forgotten, or to be deleted. It is about the data not being stored and data in motion is not stored, which now shows the futility of the legislation to some extent. You might think that this is BS, consider the quote by IBM (at https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/5things/entry/5_things_to_know_about_big_data_in_motion?lang=en), it comes from 2013, IBM was already looking at matters in different areas close to 5 years ago, as were all the large players like Google and Microsoft. With: “data in motion is the process of analysing data on the fly without storing it. Some big data sources feed data unceasingly in real time. Systems to analyse this data include IBM Streams “, here we get part of it. Now consider: “IBM Streams is installed on nearly every continent in the world. Here are just a few of the locations of IBM Streams, and more are being added each year“. In 2010 there were 90 streams on 6 continents, and IBM stream is not the only solution. As you read that IBM article, you also read that Real-time Analytic Processing (RTAP) is a real thing, it already was then and the legislation that we now read about does not take care of this form of data processing, what the legislation does in my view is not give you any protection, it merely limits the players in the field. It only lets the really big boys play with your details. So when you see the reference to the Bloomberg terminal, do you actually think that you are not part in the data, or ever forgotten? EVERY large newspaper and news outlet would be willing to pay well over $127,000 a year to get that data on their monitors. Let’s call them Reuter Analytic Systems (read: my speculated name for it), which gets them a true representation of all personalised analytical and reportable data in motion. So when they type the name they need, they will get every detail. In this, the events that were given 3 weeks ago with the ITPRO side (at http://www.itpro.co.uk/strategy/29082/ecj-may-extend-right-to-be-forgotten-ruling-outside-the-eu) sounds nice, yet the quote “Now, as reported by the Guardian, the ECJ will be asked to be more specific with its initial ruling and state whether sites have to delete links only in the country that requests it, or whether it’s in the EU or globally” sounds like it is the real deal, yet this is about data in rest, the links are all at rest, so the data itself will remain and as soon as HTML6 comes we might see the beginning of the change. There have been requests on that with “This is the single-page app web design pattern. Everyone’s into it because the responsiveness is so much better than loading a full page – 10-50ms with a clean API load vs. 300-1500ms for a full HTML page load. My goal would be a high-speed responsive web experience without having to load JavaScript“, as well as “having the browser internally load the data into a new data structure, and the browser then replaces DOM elements with whatever data that was loaded as needed“, it is not mere speed, it would allow for dynamic data (data in motion) to be shown. So when I read ‘UK citizens to get more rights over personal data under new laws‘, I just laughed. The article is 15 hours old and I considered instantly the issues I shown you today. I will have to wait until the legislation is released, yet I am willing to bet a quality bottle of XO Cognac that data in motion is not part of this, better stated, it will be about stored data. All this whilst the new data norm is still shifting and with G5 mobile technologies, stored data might actually phase out to be a much smaller dimension of data. The larger players knew this and have been preparing for this for several years now. This is also an initial new need for the AI that Google wants desperately, because such a system could ascertain and give weight to all data in motion, something IBM is currently not able to do to the extent they need to.

The system is about to get shocked into a largely new format, that has always been the case with evolution. It is just that actual data evolution is a rare thing. It merely shows to me how much legislation is behind on all this, perhaps I will be proven wrong after the summer recess. It would be a really interesting surprise if that were the case, but I doubt that will happen. You can see (read about that) for yourself after the recess.

I will follow up on this, whether I was right or wrong!

I’ll let you speculate which of the two I am, as history has proven me right on technology matters every single time (a small final statement to boost my own ego).

 

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Did UKIP get it right?

That is a question that is slowly growing within the minds of Britons and non-Britons alike. Some will be in denial over it all, some will ignore their inner voice and some will ponder it. You see, once the banter and the mudslinging stops and people are sitting down thinking over a year in political waves, we are slowly getting the aftermath news and suddenly things are a lot less gloomy. Bloomberg gives us “There’s dwindling talk of a recession caused by the vote the leave the European Union, and British politicians are wondering if a “hard Brexit” option –rapid withdrawal from Europe without a new trade agreement – might be feasible. The answer is no. Such views rest upon bad economic reasoning and the cost of Brexit remains high, albeit mostly invisible for the time being“, is part of the news. You see, the scaremongers are now out of the view and the negative impacts, the ones we knew about are showing to be less negative than the scaremongers proclaimed. I agree and always did agree that the cost would be high. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England had stated it, and in addition stated that there were elements that could not be forecasted. Which is also a truth. They are the invisible costs that will come and come again. The issue in my mind has always been, will it in the end be worth it (are the costs not unaffordable high) and I leaned more and more towards the Yes side!

You see, one of the main reasons for leaning towards Brexit was Mario Draghi. The trillion plus stimulus plans he had were too unfounded. Japan and the US are showing that there had been no clear increase whilst we hear opposite claims. The issue is actually brought to light by Bloomberg last week (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-09-08/ecb-s-mario-draghi-downplays-more-stimulus), where we hear at 00:39 that there is an impact on the markets, but no real impact on the economy, which was my issue from the start. Politicians casually mixing both up in their speeches were playing, as I see it a flim-flam artist dictionary game, trying to make us think it is one and the same, yet they all know that it is not. So no real impact yet will over a trillion deeper in debt, only those on the financial markets, only some of them got a big payday out of all of it, the rest just has to assist in paying off the invoice. It is one of the pillars UKIP had!

Now we see even more issues, especially when we see additional issues in City A.M. (at http://www.cityam.com/249335/christine-lagarde-and-mario-draghi-call-politicians-do-more), with the quote “Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB) said governments and institutions needed to make sure their policies did not leave the poorest members of society behind, and called for structural reforms to help share the spoils of economic growth“, the failure of the European Community laid bare! You see, the people on EEC incomes have been meeting and not getting anywhere for almost 15 years now! The fact that tax laws and Corporate laws required revision even before 2004 as a requirement and after 2004 as a given is shown that none of this has been adequately done. The fact that the US played its cards in the Summit in the Netherlands in 2013, we all knew how that ended, so as we see that some are now crying cockroach, whilst littering food all over the floor only have themselves to thank for this situation. This all reflects back on the initial issue UKIP gave, ‘let’s make Britain about the British’. This is not racism, this is nationalism (read: nationalistic pride). An issue that neither Christine Lagarde nor Mario Draghi could resolve as they have been setting a neutral pose in aid of large corporations for far too long.

The next issue is the economic plan B that is now all over the news. The powerful monetary tool (TLTRO) that at 1:37 comes with the quote “that nobody has really fully understood or analysed“, and that is the plan B they are now grasping for!

TLTRO?

It is not a cereal or breakfast solution. It is a Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operation. The ECB states “provide financing to credit institutions for periods of up to four years. They offer long-term funding at attractive conditions to banks in order to further ease private sector credit conditions and stimulate bank lending to the real economy“, that sounds nice on paper, but if we know that the impact is not understood, has never been analysed to the effect it is, this all whilst we know that taxation laws are failing and corporate laws are not up to scrap, the ECB quote could be translated to “provide financing to credit institutions for periods of up to four years. They offer a refinanced the current outstanding debts to banks, guaranteeing large bonuses by resetting bad debts and revitalising the conditions of what were supposed to be written off debts, giving a false incentive to a dangerous presented economy at present“, you see, I am almost stating the same whilst the intent completely changes, the markets are now getting a boost via the other side. This is a reality we could face!

You see, the view is given with “All the new operations will have a four-year maturity, with the possibility of repayment after two years” (at https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2016/html/pr160310_1.en.html), yet like the US, Greece and Japan, it is almost a given (speculation from my side) that these maturities will be paid with new debts. When we see the quote “Counterparties will be able to repay the amounts borrowed under TLTRO II at a quarterly frequency starting two years from the settlement of each operation. Counterparties will not be subject to mandatory early repayments” gives way to the thought that it is entirely possible that when the debts mature, they could be replaced be a new debt. Giving weight to the dangers. The fact that the option ‘not subject to early repayments’ is clearly included gives ample weight to the solution, whilst not preventing additional debts from this rephrased stimulus. In the end, the economy will not prosper, the rise of the debt will. Whilst under the debts the UK already is, these arrangements are as I see it too dangerous, all this as the increase of debts only give rise and power to non-governmental institutions to grow their influence via corporations over nations. One of the better players (Natixis), had this quote “Natixis Asset Management ranks among the leading European asset managers with €328.6 billion in assets under management” (source at present intentionally omitted), with the TLTRO in play, depending on the rules of the game (which were not available to me at present), it is entirely possible that once really in play, banks can indirectly refinance risky debts in additional loans via the applicant and as such get themselves a boost. It could potentially allow Natixis to grow its asset management part up to 20%. The ECB states (at https://www.ecb.europa.eu/mopo/implement/omo/tltro/html/index.en.html) “The TLTROs are targeted operations, as the amount that banks can borrow is linked to their loans to non-financial corporations and households“, so basically companies in hardship can get relief, whilst the banks will still get their cut (aka administration and processing fee). Consider that Wealth Management is many things and Estate planning is one, now consider that Natixis has Credit and counterparty risks amounting in excess to 295 billion euro’s. Now there is a Draghi solution, one that no one seems to have ‘analysed’ that allows for solutions to non-financial corporations. Natixis is that, but their clients are not, and they can apply for the shifted funds, offsetting their loans, paying of the loans towards Natixis, who now have a massive amount of freed up cash that they can now pour into all kinds of solutions and endeavours. So do you still think that my view of 20% is oversimplified? And in 4 years? Well at that point, when things go south, Natixis and parties alike can jump in and possibly help out, ‘but at a price’ (which is fair enough).

This now reflects back to UKIP and Brexit!

The Guardian had an opinion piece (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/14/ttip-deal-british-sovereignty-cameron-ukip-treaty), that gives us the following, remember this is September 2014! “If you are worried about the power of corporations over our democracy, be very afraid: ISDS in effect grants multinationals the same legal position as a nation-state itself, and allows them to sue sovereign governments in so-called arbitration tribunals on the grounds that their profits are threatened by government policies. Is this scaremongering, as TTIP supporters claim?” So far there have been many voices who seem to be over the moon that the TTIP is now a failure and that the issues within the EU would have been far more reaching that many players were willing to admit to before the signing. Politico.eu reported “U.S. diplomats are sketching out a last-ditch plan to salvage core sections of the EU’s moribund trade deal with Washington“, that with the added “U.S. and Italian officials are now weighing the option of a “Step 1” deal to lock in elements that can be finalized by December, possibly including joint testing regimes and mutually agreed upon standards for cars, pharmaceuticals and medical devices“. It is clear that the US want to lock in Pharmaceuticals and cars, yet how is such a niche nothing more than a path trying to ditch the title ‘total loser government’ regarding the current administration. In addition “The idea has sparked immediate scepticism in the European Commission and in some EU member countries, which argue that any form of a downgraded deal will be very hard to sell politically, particularly after French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl and German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel turned hostile on the negotiations” gives way that BMW, Mercedes, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Peugeot, Citroen and Sanofi are none too pleased with such a one sided piece of paper. The idea that such set benefits would be allotted at this point gives even more weight to some of the UKIP statements in the past.

If 2 out of the many projection come true, you are not suddenly a better prognosticator, mainly because that title is reserved for the likes of Punxsutawney Phil, Queen Charlotte and Shubenacadie Sam. Let’s face it, it is the title worthy of a groundhog! But some of these steps were clearly seen, because this is where everything was headed, the more forward you look, the easier the prediction could come true is not wrong, but only if you are travelling on a straight road. A road that corporate greed depends on I might say!

In my view, there is not enough to state that UKIP got it right, yet there are also enough facts and questions in play that UKIP did not get it wrong. We might listen those who keep on shouting that Brexit was wrong and see them as the people trying to reinvent the vote, but overall people are starting to realise that the US (read Wall Street) has been trying to give people a bad deal to benefit their own greed. The fact that this is going on at this very minute is equally a worry. This is on both sides of the isle, yet we can understand that Labour needs to clean house and they have decided on the method of accidentally leaking names. How will that solve anything? If Labour was on the ball, than they would steering towards real economic improvements, not bickering minors trying to decide who should be the number two, and soon thereafter remove the number one (read: allegedly attempt to). Actions that are totally counterproductive as the Conservatives are governing until the next general elections. It seems like such a waste of energy to me.

Now we see a new escalation. It seems (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jean-claude-juncker-proposes-new-european-military-hq-worj-towards-eu-army-1581391). So the quote “The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has called for a European Union military headquarters to work towards an EU-controlled army. Juncker made the proposals during his State of the Union address to MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday (14 September)“, which automatically makes me wonder how this correlates with Nazi Germany as this was how they resolves their bad economic times. It is a harsh history lesson to learn, but in that I am actually less afraid for a ‘new’ Nazi Europe. My issue is that many nations have their Cyber plan not in hand and any actions here give rise to the dangers that this would open up data for the Chinese Cyber groups to learn a lot more than they bargained for. You see, no matter how much denial we see, the facts are simple, Ren Zhengfei is the Huawei CEO and a former officer for the PLA. Now this does not mean that he is now still committed to the PLA, yet Huawei does business with the Chinese government and as such, they have all the specs and as such, they have all the weaknesses  of these devices too, meaning that governments all over Europe are in a possible place of Cyber Scrutiny. This does not mean that I am willing to just blindly accept the NSA report, but ties like that, when you are on these levels talking to the ruling members of Chinese government, you need to be networking on a massive scale and if both the Chinese military and Chinese Intelligence (MSS) gives you the thumbs up, you have been playing the game they want you to play, plain and simple. By the way, this is not a rant, or a side step into the matter, this is a direct factual response. Nigel Farage addressed the EU on an EU Army opposing it on valid points, and he got a few more hands clapping than his opponents are comfortable with. Now this was about opposition of the EU army as a whole, but underneath is the need for any military organisation to be secure and have systems in place, systems that could be compromised. In this Huawei could validly give the same argument that all Cisco Systems are compromised by the CIA and NSA. As we cannot prove either side, or perhaps even both sides, how to proceed? Both sides would be fair enough and it only makes a case strong enough to not proceed with any EU Army, which is no solution to any existing threat, will cost massive amounts of money (and that just the initial infrastructure) and with the current upcoming changes to the EC as a whole. Especially as Marine Le Pen has vowed to hold the French referendum if she is elected, this whilst several European magazines are now stating that France can no longer avoid Frexit (at https://www.letemps.ch/economie/2016/09/12/france-ne-pourra-eviter-frexit), which I stated was a growing realistic danger if Brexit would commence, in addition, Italy is seeding its own departure later this year, but no given certainty exists at present.

All these parts I gave visibility to almost 2 years ago, the press still largely in denial and additional players are now coming out to (as I personally see it) fill their pockets as fast as possible because when this comes to town and the referendums do fall, certain people will have to give account of their actions. The fact will remain that the Credit Card that Mario Draghi used will be spread over several nations, most of them with no option to get into deeper debt. So they have this to look forward to. In Italy there seems to be a plus side, as the larger players are now looking towards the option of as referendum, the act as such seems to be taking the wind out of the sails of Matteo Salvini, head of the far-right Lega Nord, which is regarded as a relief in many European nations. They seem to regard Matteo Salvini the same way that they regard the French Newspaper Minute, too far to the right and not really that readable. I cannot confirm that (as my French does not surpass the ability to read a menu), but I understand the sentiment as there have been Dutch papers on the other side of the political isle receiving similar accusations.

In the end Europe is about to take economic steps with large implications, the fact that they are trying to push it through regardless of whatever consideration it required, which makes me worried on the fact that the impact on the European populations have been ignored for too long. The weird thing is that any action should have been in support of the European population and their needs, giving weight to more than one statement from the side of Nigel Farage.

I would suggest you ponder those facts before blindly moving into the Bremain field in the near future, because there are several issues that no one can answer and they come with obscenely high price tags!

 

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A bit in the stream

Something alerted me towards events this morning in LinkedIn of all places. There was a reference towards an article titled ‘New Accenture boss Bob Easton throws down gauntlet to big four on digital’ (at http://www.afr.com/business/accounting/new-accenture-boss-bob-easton-lays-down-gauntlet-to-big-four-on-digital-20160829-gr3huj ).

The initial quote is “The trouble is there is a lot of people running around talking about digital“, which is true. Bob Easton is right that there is a lot of talk about digital. Yet, when we look at the definitions, I wonder how many have a true grasp of digital. Even I myself wonder when the use ‘digital’ is warranted. You see, when it is media, my photography is digital, so is my filming. Advertisement is digital as it goes through AdWords and not trough the newspapers. Here is the issue. When is something digital? Bob Easton states in the article “they are confusing the market by misunderstanding digital strategy and lacking the global capabilities of his firm“, the fact that IBM took a massive hit is not a surprise because they are confused on the best of times. They still present the 14 managers and 2 technicians approach. I cannot speak for either PricewaterhouseCoopers in this instance, or for EY, but my last encounter with Deloitte gave a much better view on them and they seem to know it (to some extent). So where does this leave Accenture?

The term “moving to aggressively compete for work in the consulting, digital and business transformation space” is only a concern if they do not meet customers’ expectations. So where should they be?

So where should you be? You see Dave Aron from Gartner (at that time) gives me: “A digital strategy is a form of strategic management and a business answer or response to a digital question, often best addressed as part of an overall business strategy“, what I liked was “Every business and public sector agency needs both an IT Strategy and a Digital Business Strategy. They must be highly aligned with each other, but they are not the same thing“, which gives part of the goods, yet when we consider his claim “All aspects of the business strategy should be informed by digital considerations“, we tend to get confused here, because different elements have the same word (read: digital), but in that the setting is not the same.

We can see it as advancements in digital technologies such as computers, data, telecommunications and Internet, which is still true, but how to go about it?

A digital media manager looks at how to get the solutions towards their ROI, which in many turns means to get it all electronically solved, whilst keeping costs to a minimum. Here we see the first failing from IBM as they are about revenue and about getting the business onto their solutions. Even in a step by step solution it is about getting one foot into the door and upsell from there. That is not a solution for the client, it is merely a solution for the sales person’s target.

And in some cases there is no digital path, but to a lot of people that does not exist so they will feign a solution. As an example I have my old dentist, he had a card system so perfect that no IT solution could bring the goods. I saw yuppies in all sizes try to sell him a solution between 1983 and 1995, one failure after another. The mere realisation that not all solutions fit and that some solutions will drive down the ROI in unacceptable ways is why several of these players will never succeed. Because what the client truly needs is never addressed. If we take the approach from Macala Wright (at http://mashable.com/2012/09/05/how-to-digital-strategy/#oc3qMBqfF8qC)

We see a decently clear path. I can quote all the steps again, but the article has them down to a nice clean size, so reading it is a recommendation.

I am downgrading it to these four steps for comfort (read: mine).

  1. Identifying the opportunities and challenges in a business where online assets can provide a solution or a difference.
  2. Identifying the unmet needs and goals of the external stakeholders that most closely align with those key business opportunities and challenges, and especially if there are threats there.
  3. Developing a vision around how the online assets will fulfil those business and external stakeholder needs, goals, opportunities, challenges and threats.
  4. Prioritizing a set of online initiatives which can deliver on this vision.

These steps also include the views Cisco had in step 3, yet it is a watered down list. I am emphasising this as the entire ‘going digital’ is larger and more complex than most realise. When I look at what can be done and what can be achieved we need to realise that this all needs the decision makers to be aligned and in that both IT and business needs must be addressed. Most people going digital seem that it is a cheaper solution towards a better ROI. Yes, it is a path towards a better ROI, which will not make it cheaper. It requires serious investments and not tinkering around with half a dozen people working from home, sending in some finished element. Whilst the Australian Financial Review gives us a chart with Revenue versus margin and adds a little hype by adding AirBnB and Uber in the new business models, we see a forgotten element. You see, these new business models come with a little hook, one was highlighted by Bell Partners, where we see “Some critics argue that Uber drivers are not subject to the same premiums for compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance as taxis, as it is harder to identify an Uber car in an accident“. Is that so? So how does this impact the passenger? Until you are in an accident you might not care, but when the hospital bills come and the Uber player does not have the coverage, you will soon learn that hospitals are very expensive.

There is a lot of truth in the article and it is well worth reading, yet the lack of threats discussed is equally unsettling. The fact that Expenses in the digital world are up and very much so with Accenture is an element, and also a threat. You see, we all understand that there are a lot more expenses coming over (nearly all tax deductable), the matter of a shifting ROI remains and until the model is used to fuel growth the benefit will not be easily seen. For this path requires a globalising mindset. If you want to remain the big cheese in Darlinghurst and that is all you want, you need to consider what sides need the digital approach and what you want to grow. This for the mere reason that costs will come in the early days and if you are ready it is not an issue, if not, your ROI went straight into the basement, good luck enjoying that view!

Depending on your market, it will be about your customers and their experience, if that is not upgraded, then why byte into the digital apple? I truly worry about the bit you do not end up with, as you would limit your position and enable your competitor overnight. This is the part that is not addressed in many places, because everyone is in a sales hat thinking bonus and saying, we can get you onto the digital path! You see, the presentation in the AFR, regarding the digital disruption framework is aptly drawn as a spear point and it points towards you! The better the comprehension and implementation, the more it becomes a weapon of offense instead of a solution to suicide. In that regard, towards the offense we see that the spear could be the stepping stone that upgrades the customer experience and as such truly grow your business, which is exactly what it is, but it is not a cheap solution or an overnight solution, it is merely a new solution to grow towards places you never grew before, so you grow the options in getting a grown customer base, which is what many want.

The only question is how correctly the path has been drawn out and here we see the elements that Bob Easton sells on. Accenture seems to know this path through and through. We have seen how IBM scuttled their knowledge and for the most, the other players (read: self-proclaimed players) are not up to scrap, but their level of failure is not clearly shown, Bob Easton points at it, but there is clear doubt if that is a given, especially in the case of Deloitte.

Finally we see the mention of government contracts, which is of course fun to read. Especially as 20 years have shown me that the bulk of government is relatively clueless on any digital path, with Defence on a whole being close to the sole exception.

In all this I find one part slightly debatable, even as the chart makes perfect sense. The quote “Digitising the experience for your customers, digitising your internal operations and the creation of the capabilities to recognise and exploit new business models” is true, yet recognising new business models is always a non-given, because that requires the altered mindset of a board of directors, which tends to focus on the golf game and less on the balls they slice, which gives weight to the debate, not the issue with the model as shown. In that for Taxi’s the model makes perfect sense, because Uber is now forcing a different mindset on the taxi corporations. Yet consider the year before Uber started, how many Taxi companies were actively looking into new business models? That list is hugely close to zero!

I say that competitors and threats, the second more than the first is driving that element, which is why even in the digital move, a SWOT analyses tends to have more decisive impact on the decisions. When we know the elements strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, we can start to look at the options we have, and they do include the two Bob Easton axis scales namely Revenue and Margin. As stated, his view is not incorrect, I personally find it a little incomplete in this instance.

And to finalise this, the problem he states is on many levels, I am not even sure if America is the largest waster of options and resources here, yet when we see politicians go with (read: Donald Trump on CBS today) “you know cyber is becoming so big today. It’s becoming something that a number of years ago, short number of years ago, wasn’t even a word. And now the cyber is so big“, in this case Donald Trump for his elections. The fact that Cyber threats have been on the FBI agenda even before October 6th 1999, stating that the damage from those threats had surpassed 7 billion in Q1 and Q2 of 1999 gives us worry that Cyber and Digital are more than words and those who are aiming to be in a seat of power have not grasped it. The entire educational system is not ready for these changes, which is not their fault. The market that Bob Easton described has grown nearly exponentially and the next generation is not aware of what is what, that whilst the current generation is not up to scrap as to what the definitions are, how they should be seen and how they apply in a real time environment and the people in charge are not getting educated either, most they get is from trade shows dying for you to buy their solution, which is not much of an education and finally the previous generation that is hoping to make it to retirement before they have to learn it all.

That is the issue as it evolves. So we are all bits in the stream, bits of what? I am not sure if anyone can tell at present, but good luck trying to figure out where you are placed and where you stand, because resolving that will place you in a much stronger position than you were in this morning.

 

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Chicks for free

Yup, that is the name of the game, how to get your chicks for free. You can go towards the end seeing what you can pick up from the free handing from the tray that serves the drinks and babes, but the song is not that simple, you see The Dire Strait sang: “Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free“. The song refers to doing things for fun, when it is fun, at times it feels like you are not working at all.

In my view the expression has evolved. As I see it, ‘money for nothing‘ is more and more about value for money. Deals that are too good to pass up. Here we now get to the issue at hand. We look at players like Apple (with their iPhone), Google (with their Nexus) and several other players like Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung, LG and a few others, yet the one player many ignored, namely Huawei did what others would not in their iterative field of exploitation. They decided to give the people value for money, not some half-baked offer, but the power offer that the models P7 and Mate7 are bringing. The P7 priced at almost 50% of the old models of most is more than a contender, in addition, the Mate7 offers a massively stronger device than the new models from Samsung, Apple, LG or Nokia can offer, hundreds of dollars cheaper. So now we get to the BBC article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32126628). So the quote “The world’s second biggest telecoms equipment maker said its net profit was 27.9bn yuan ($4.5bn; £3bn), up from 21bn yuan in 2013” is not all about mobile phones, but Huawei is now quickly showing to be the number one choice for consumers and students (consumers, usually lacking in funds) alike. It seems to me that even though there is a decent group with funds that is all about value for money and that group has been ignored by the providers at large, which means that Huawei is now sweeping the nations on a global level. There are two parts in the story, which become a concern.

The first one is “Huawei’s growth comes despite it facing challenges in several major economies. In the US, it was branded a national security threat by legislators, because of its alleged close ties with the Chinese government“. There is no clarity on how precise this quote is (the next one will touch on this). So, if the statement is true, how about OOCL (containers) and Evergreen (Taiwan containers). Are they a security threat? I think it goes further, as some players were sitting on their hands, Huawei has been growing the business globally, now they are ready to get into bed with ‘facilitators’ in a very wide area of business. If we look at the Huawei Tecal servers we see a device that goes beyond simple needs. Its citrix compatibility gives a first view that soon Huawei will be the number one choice for new SaaS solutions, mobile providers of consultancy but from a cloud environment, meaning that these new engineers will be global. They are not ready for the next part yet, the issue is not just the data; it is about the transit mode of data for Huawei. They are now one step away from nibbling at the feet of Cisco. Cisco is comfortable for now, but that could soon change. You see, in 2012 Huawei was not ready for any of it, but they remained quiet for 2 years whilst their consumer market grew, now within a year, if their router solutions are decently shielded, they can move forward.

Now we get the second quote: “Meanwhile, it has been banned from being involved in broadband projects in Australia over espionage fears“. Really? So American solutions are not any kind of espionage fear? I am not judging, it seems to me that either our personal data goes to America or China. The article does not seem to elaborate on this part. This we see in the final quote of the article: “However, the company said it was well positioned to capture business opportunities with heavy investment in innovative areas such as cloud computing and fifth generation (5G) mobile technology“. Personally, I do not think that 5G is anywhere near an option for providers of mobile networking at present in any affordable kind of way, but the cloud is another matter. Whatever next part will be used to get business growing and moving forward will require the cloud. Yet, as I saw it for the last two years, security is just not good enough, not from any provider. That part can be seen in this place: http://2015itss.ucdavis.edu/event/the-weak-link-in-cloud-security-2/, here we see the following: “This session will illustrate and demonstrate that the very collaborative nature of SaaS (Software as a Service), such as Box or Google Apps, may also be their weakness. When organizations adopt cloud applications, users must take care to ensure that the organization’s sensitive cloud data does not end up in the wrong hands“. This is at the core of one of several issues. SaaS is only one part. The adoption and implementation is at the centre of a cloud that could be the fog that keeps us all blind as we lose data towards whatever provider of consultancy requirements were miscommunicated too. What a weak data web we weave for ourselves!

This event in June 2015 shows several more issues that we all in business need to consider as we are at times decently in the dark of that what must happen and that what needed to be done. The reality is that Huawei is not even a factor here, this all becomes an issue in any implementation. So why is there no clearer broadband issue? Is there truly a Chinese espionage fear, or are some players too dependent on whatever solution SaaS offers and in this stride, data leakage will be an issue from day one, whether the owner of the solution is Chinese or other. What is without a doubt is that Huawei is making massive strides, they are doing it in places where they were not a consideration 6 months ago! So what is wrong with the picture I am showing you?

I am not showing you any picture, but I am implying that the other big players (all American) are currently losing out on business, on revenue and on profit.

I wonder how the Dow will take it!

 

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The next cyber wave

The news is almost two weeks old. There was no real reason to not look at it, I just missed the initial article. It happens! This is also at the heart of the issue on more than one level. Consider the quotes “The first 13-week programme for Cyber London (CyLon) will kick off in April, with a group of startups drawn from industries including defence, retail, telecoms and health services” and “On the one hand, the government is keen to invest in cyber-security startups: witness chancellor George Osborne’s announcement that GCHQ is investing “£3bn over nine years into developing the next stage of national cyber intelligence”“. So is this just about getting your fingers on a slice of this yummy slice of income? You see, this issue skates on problem that I (many others too) saw that Common Cyber Sense existed, but the bulk of companies treated it as an overhyped requirement. Yes, those managers were always so nervous when they got introduced to ‘costs’. I reckon that the Sony hack will remain the driving force for some time, in addition several business units are more and more in need for some better up to data encryption, so this cyber wave is getting some decent visibility. So as we look at the title ‘Cyber London aims to make the UK a launchpad for cyber-security startups‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/28/cyber-london-accelerator-cyber-security-startups).

There is no denying that the call of 9,000 million is a strong one, especially in this economy. More important, as more companies are gripped by a decent amount of fear regarding their own future, this event will be at the foundation of several longer running projects and corporations. There is of course question on what is real. That question becomes an issue when we see that even now, rumours still emerge on what happened in regards to who did the works on Sony and how it was done, especially in light that the article in Business Insider claims that the hackers still have access. The latter part will be speculated on by me later in this article.

For the most, the next cyber wave is a good thing, especially when thousands of data holders realise that their corporate future depends on keeping these systems decently safe. I use the term decently safe, because ‘complete’ safety is not something that is achievable, not on budget levels that many depend upon. Yes, security can be better and a lot of companies will invest, they will raise the threshold of many companies, yet will they raise it enough? That is at the foundation of what is about to come.

I predict that these startups are all about consultancy and some will offer products, some on safety and some on encryption. Encryption will be the next big thing, the question becomes how will encryption be properly managed? There are plenty of people who enthusiastically encrypt files and after that forget the password. So what then, all data lost? So, you see that clever solutions are needed, which will bring forth a new wave of solutions, new barriers and new bottlenecks. I wonder if these new startup firms have considered a trainings division, not one that is all about ‘their’ solutions and ‘their’ products, but all about raising proper awareness for Common Cyber Sense.

Training that is meant to give long term knowledge to people working at a firm as well as setting a proper initiation of knowledge with these companies, so that a wave of change will not start a rollercoaster of people jumping from firm to firm, a risk many companies will predict to hit them.

Now it is time for some speculation. I have been thinking on how Sony was hit. I came up with a possible idea on New Year’s Eve. When I wrote this part: “In my view of Occam’s razor, the insider part is much more apt”, my mind started to wander on how it was done.

Speculation on the Sony Hack

The inside story is on the hack of Sony, yes, there was a hack at some point, but, in my view, that is not what actually happened. a destruction was started, but that is not what started it, that is how it all ended. When I did my CCNA (2011), I had the initial idea. You see, hacking is about data at rest, so what happens when the hack is done when data is in motion? That part is often not considered, because it seemingly unmanageable, but is it? You see, when you buy the Cisco books on CCNA you get all the wisdom you need, Cisco is truly very thorough. It shows how packages are build, how frames are made and all in great detail. That wisdom can be bought with a mere $110 for two books.  Now we get to the good stuff, how hard is it to reengineer the frames into packages and after that into the actual data? Nearly all details are in these CCNA books. Now, managing hardware is different, you need some decent skills, more than I have, but the foundation of what is needed is all in the Cisco IOS. The hack would need to achieve two things.

  1. The frame that is send needed to be duplicated and ‘stored’.
  2. The ‘stored’ data needs to be transmitted without causing reason to look into spikes.

I think that ‘hackers’ have created a new level (as I mentioned before). I think that Cisco IOS was invisibly patched, patched, so that every package would be stored on the memory card in the router, in addition, the system would be set to move 2% during the day to an alternative location, at night, that percentage would be higher, like 3-5%. So overnight, most of the data would arrive at its secondary location. Normally CCNP technologists with years of experience will look into these matters, now look and investigate how many companies ACTUALLY employ CCNP or CCSI certified people. To do this, you would need one insider, someone in IT, one person to switch the compact flash card, stating 64Mb (if they still have any in existence) and put the sticker on a 512Gb Compact Flash card. Easy peasy! More important, who would ACTUALLY check the memory card for what was on it? The Cisco people will look at the startup file and only that one. The rest is easily hidden, over time the data is transferred, in the worst case, the culprit would only need to restart the routers and all activity would be completely hidden, until the coast is clear, afterwards the memory cards would be switched (if needed) and no trace of what happened would ever be there. What gave me the idea? Well I wondered about something similar, but most importantly, when I did my CCNA, the routers had 64Mb cards, I was amazed, because these suckers are no longer made, go to any shop and I would be surprised if you can even find any compact flash card smaller than 16Gb. Consider a place where Gb’s of data could be hidden under the eyes of everyone, especially as Cisco IOS has never been about file systems.

When the job was finished, the virus could be released damaging whatever they can, when cleanup starts, every aspect would be reset and wiped, whatever the culprit might have forgotten, the cleaning team might wipe.

So this is my speculation on how it was done, more importantly, it gives credibility to the claims that the hacks are still going on and the fact that no one has a clue how data was transferred, consider that this event was brokered over weeks, not in one instance, who else is getting their data syphoned? More importantly have these people involved in this next cyber wave considered this speculated path of transgression? If not, how safe would these systems end up being?

Let’s not forget that this was no easy feat. The system had to be re-programmed to some extent, no matter how enabling Cisco IOS is, this required top notch patches, which means that it required a CCSI or higher to get it done, more important would be the syphoning of the data in such a way that there would be no visible spike waking any eager beaver to prove themselves. That would require spiffy programming. Remember! This is all speculation; there is no evidence that this is what happened.

Yes, it is speculation and it might not be true, but at least I am not pointing the finger at a military force that still does artillery calculations with an abacus (another assumption on my side).

There are a few issues that remain, I think upping corporate awareness of Common Cyber Sense makes all the sense in the world, I reckon that the entire Cyber Security event in London is essential and it is good to have it in the Commonwealth. This industry will be at the foundation of growth when the economy picks up, having the UK play a centre role is good strategy and if it does evolve in the strongest way, a global financial node with improved cyber protection will lead to more business and possible even better business opportunities. This event also gives weight and view to my writing on January 29th and a few other occasions “As small innovators are given space to proceed and as larger players are denied blocking patents to force amalgamation of the true visionary into their moulding process that is the moment when economies will truly move forward. That is how you get forward momentum!“, this is something I have stated on several occasions and I truly believe that this will be the starting pulse to a stronger economy. It seems that the event creators Alex van Someren of Amadeus Capital Partners, Grace Cassy and Jonathan Luff of Epsilon Advisory Partners, and advisors Jon Bradford of startup accelerator TechStars and Eileen Burbridge of venture capital firm Passion Capital are on such a path. No matter how it is started, they are likely to get a first leg up as these startups will truly move forward. As the event stated: ‘No equity taken’, but it seems to me that on the receiving end of implementing working solutions, finder’s fees and linked contracts could be very very profitable and let’s face it, any surfer will tell you that being at the beginning of the wave gives you the best ride of all.

Let’s see what 2015 brings us, startups tend to be not too boring. Not unlike startups, so will be more waves of speculations on how Sony was hacked, the US government will likely continue on how North Korea was involved and at the centre of it all.

 

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