Tag Archives: Dell

Aggregating in perpetuity

The mind at times makes a halt. I alerts its owner and gives him hell. This actually happened to me in the last two hours. You might have seen me going on on how some players were not paying attention. Over the last 24 hours I have ben watching this venue again, and my brain stopped me and went “Are you perfectly lame, dopey!” OK, I admit he used moron and a few other names (dopey is me going soft on me). 

You see, there is no chance in hell that this is the only thing they are missing. As such it was not merely me, they aren’t seeing a lot more, but what are they not seeing? We could consider where Google is looking at (nest solutions), we could watch where Amazon is focussing (Amazon shops) and we could offer that Apple is the new player, it is not. It merely looks where Apple is going, which makes sense to some degree. As such these players (as well as Facebook, Microsoft, SAP and a few other players) they are in some weird setting of returning to pre covid settings and as far as I can tell, they are missing a lot left, right and centre. 

So my mind gave a holler and went on a ‘Watch This!’ tour. That is where I have been the last to hours and suddenly the Middle East links make sense. Governments like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a few others are now optionally in the market to extent where THEY can be, that was what my mind worked out in these news clippings in the last 24 hours. It also looked at the UAE and the interests of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Now, be aware this is not a player to be taken lightly. He and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud are no light players and they do not suffer fools, neither do the people in their inner circle. Yet if you make a good case, if you can support YOUR case with data and with facts, you could make a killing. These two players will pay for good ideas, so you are unlikely to get movement with the idea for a new potato peeler, but a setting to enhanced 5G applications and technology solutions that players like Google and Amazon might want, could find equal if not more eager potential in players like these two. Google and Amazon have gotten so used to people coming their way, the fact that these ideas go somewhere else could pay off, in my line it could mean a direct increase of $3,750,000 right off the bat, that more EACH MONTH by selecting another player that can afford your idea. I would like to add a word of caution. With these people you get one shot, thats it. Fumble then and you end with zilch, just a warning and it is up to you to adhere (or not) to those words of warning. I made my first move towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE is in Melbourne, not in Sydney. So that idea is out, but where you are, the setting might be slightly different. And face it, there is no statistical chance in hell that the players we used to rely on ONLY missed where I was and what I found. So what else are they not seeing? That is your optional ticket to a new (less burdened) life. If it works you are welcome and you can buy  me a cold beer if you ever get the chance. Up to you, the information is given freely. And they are not the only ones. There is a top ten of Middle Eastern people who are multi billionaires and they are ALWAYS looking for the next pay off, so you might be barking up the wrong tree, you merely need to show and present a larger case and I gave you a few names yesterday. So go and see what you can make of tomorrow. My solution has three arms and an optional stage that goes beyond 50 million subscriptions. Can you equal it? I am not challenging you, I am asking you. You see there is Software as a service (SaaS), gaming as a service (GaaS), cybersecurity as a service (CSaaS), there is FinTech and a few other means and far as I can tell, players like Amazon, Apple, Dell, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, SAP, and several other players are staring in the wide space and missing more and more niches and even more opportunities. A stage that is profitable for you. OK, I will admit that Facebook has an optional excuse, but when does company go soft on itself when $500,000,000 a month passes them by? You tell me, I have actually no idea. So what else are they not noticing and that might be the spark YOU need to make YOUR case and I am welcoming you to make these large blind players suffer a little more. And this is all before you realise that a few more players could be found in Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India  and France. All players that would like a larger slice of whatever the tech players have and that was before the united onesies like Elon Musk come calling. It seems that there are a few more options for all of us, we used to rely on big-tech, but it seems to me that big-tech is broken. In named 8 players and you tell me who would openly ignore $500 million a month. We are looking in the wrong direction for our salvation and it is time we adjusted our views. I personally believe that Microsoft is lost, but the other 7 are in some unintended waiting area, now we can wait until they wake up, or we can offer it to other players and watch the panic when these 8 players suddenly realise that there are players NOW right behind them. I reckon that we can get a really good deal. Consider Netflix and see what happens when a player like CarryMinati extends its YouTube connection by adding whatever you have and adding 10-20 million connections. Google (YouTube) panicked too late when. TikTok came and now there I a contended first player. So what happens when half a dozen players suddenly become contenders in a field they were merely a top tier player? And they all have billionaires behind them hoping and seeking for more and we forgot about that part, at least I did, did you? So when my brain mentally bashed me and called me all things I prefer not to repeat here. My brain opened a door to other players. I was partially on board, but that was due to more factors, but now the playing field is wide open and players like Amazon and Google are now in the lower 5 choices. There are more than 5 more hungry for profit and there is the added profit, they are willing to concede to more whilst they grow their empire and you get a little larger slice, in my case that could amount to $45 million a year more, I’d buy that for a dollar (sorry, Robocop). So how much more could you make? And more important when the US sees that brain drain how large are the waves of panic that come then? 

I will let you work that out for your solution. For me? I am just fine at present, I merely need to wait (something I was never very good at).

Have a great Thursday!

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Web Web Web

My mind has been pounding on some new IP. Not really IP, more of a concept on what Ould become great IP. Yet will it be mine? I doubt it, there are plenty of takers, but for some reason I believe that Adobe has the inside track here. Whilst players like Microsoft make all the spin, make all the presentations, they deliver too little. Whilst they are all about Office365, we see a collection of bugs that still have not been resolved. And as they grow their product they also grow the traps and the pitfalls. 

So as we see (or recall) “The bug in Exchange Online, part of the Office 365 suite, could be exploited to gain “access to millions of corporate email accounts”, said Steven Seeley of the Qihoo 360 Vulcan Team in a blog post published yesterday (January 12 2021).” It would be come time before we could see “The Exchange Server flaw is one of 55 vulnerabilities fixed in Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday update. Microsoft is urging administrators to apply patches for a remote code execution vulnerability in Exchange Server, which is being exploited in the wild. (Nov 2021)” as I personally see it, Microsoft is digging its grave deeper and deeper, all whilst complaining to Congress about anti competition issues. How about fixing your bloody program? Optionally in less time it take a woman to get fucked, get pregnant and deliver a baby? Rude? You ain’t seen nothing yet! Microsoft complains wherever it can, against Apple, against Google and it takes over 36 weeks to get the Exchange flaw seemingly under control. I used seemingly as we also got this year ‘Microsoft kicks off 2022 with email blocking Exchange bug’ with the added “A coding mistake after a January 1 auto-update is causing the FIP-FS anti-malware service to crash with the 0x80004005 error code when it encounters 2022 dates

Apart from the idea that kicking Microsoft should be regarded as a civil service there is actually a bigger fish to fry. 

The who now?
You see this is in part about Web3, it was one of the stopping points that my mind entertained towards some of the software that I saw in ‘Pristine and weird’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/24/pristine-and-weird/), I gave additional views in ‘The hardware perimeter’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/25/the-hardware-perimeter/). I still believe that in some respects Adobe might become the salvation. In 15 years of Adobe I have crashed less than half a dozen times, Adobe, or as I tend to call them (with a giggle) Macromedia Plus. You see, Adobe is a union (OK, they bought the other place) of Adobe and Macromedia. You might think that this is not a big deal, but it is. The union of two great innovators in their field. I truly wonder if Microsoft understands what an actual innovator is, they spun it so often in so many area’s that I truly believe they forgot what true innovation is. But consider Adobe and Apple, what if Adobe gets the sources of Pages, Numbers and Keynote? They would be close to ready. They still need a good database to stage the next scene but there are all kinds of solutions in that direction. 

The hardest part (for them) would be the web in a web stage.
This is not some fictive side, it will be the connection side of collections of blockchains (finance, documentation, hardware foundations and document tallies. The example you saw earlier is something I saw somewhere and it fitted the bill as closely as I envision it (I do not have the right software to make my own) that might get the closest to what is required, as well as a new need for checking the integrity of blockchain based connections. The need to check the integrity becomes overwhelmingly essential and when it comes to integrity checking, there is every indication that Microsoft is not really on board with that need, or its board of directors might be filtering out anything negative until AFTER it launches. In that setting a player like Adobe (or Google) is a much safer bet and that matters.

You see, I saw as early as 2009 that the borders between hardware and software were overlapping in some grey area. The initial stage of brand of hardware would be overshadowed by the software controlling it and there is the rub, the court cases where we get some version of ‘She said versus She said’ will overwhelm courts and the law is nowhere near ready on such cases, because the rules of evidence are not ready to process what gets to court. You see, to some extent Web3 might be a solution, the blockchain need will govern the desire, but there is also the larger case. We are given settings like “the idea of decentralisation” as well as “a possible solution to concerns about the over-centralisation”, but the borders of what we see to what is centralisation and decentralisation is becoming blurry. We see voices like Kevin Werbach, author of The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust making mentions on the lack of decentralisation, some give us issues on scalability. But what is scalability? It is a serious question. You see Microsoft, Google and Apple have their own ’version’ on what constitutes scalability, but always towards THEIR OWN design and I get it, that is one point of view, but when did you see a clear presentation where the CONSUMER is shown a presentation to see scalability towards their organisation and another organisation? An accountant compared to KPMG? A consultant compared to Deloitte? You think it does not matter but it does and the cloud brought it a lot closer than anyone realises. The booklet version is “scaling is the process of adding or removing compute, storage, and network services to meet the demands a workload makes for resources in order to maintain availability and performance as utilisation increases”, but as I tend to say, cloud computing is computing on someone else’s server. The term of scalability ‘adjusted’ from home processing to cloud processing. It is there that you see the larger stage of bilateral processing. The workstation (like I described earlier) with a thick client and local stages, often connected with a secure server that protects its settings and a cloud environment. A sort of 2 stage security in place and that is the larger danger. Microsoft (et al) want you to trust them, all whilst they screwed up your life with 36 weeks+ Exchange online dangers and they cannot change, they are too much involved with their board of directors and THEIR needs of the story as it needs to be. And as I rudely stated at the beginning with every chance of getting screwed over and their ‘spin’ impregnating you, but the turnaround? There is none! And what do you think their liability is when you see that your IP is gone? So whilst the news gives you “Vulnerabilities are being exploited by Hafnium”, how long until a message from the cloud provider is given to you that due to configuration errors detected we do not consider any liability against us to be valid? And let’s be clear, Microsoft Office is Exchange, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access. They have had 25 years to clean it up, but the waves of iterations (new options) have given rise to issue after issue. Is it such a surprise that this stage might start flowing towards a player like Adobe who will add a near universe of new options and all that arranged in some next generation skin that incorporates some version of Web3? 

There are other players (Amazon, IBM) but in what I saw in ‘Pristine and weird’ Adobe fits the bill better and more complete. Even as I saw additional parts, I saw a stage where hardware is more interchangeable with software and Adobe has proven the field there. You see, as hardware from Cisco, Dell, Huawei and Juniper become more generic, software will have a much larger impact and the hardware will merely open doors to WHAT is possible and how fast the new options could be. A different setting but not merely due to the cloud, but because the one man show technologies are on the way out, pretty much like Microsoft already is. A stage that has now become too unreliable to consider trusting. And where will Apple and Google be? Apple will most likely have a larger niche, Google has been accomodating on several levels, so they both have larger fields and for them it matters in the long run. Other players will need to push for their niche, a cooperative niche or they will become obsolete, almost as much as Microsoft soon will be. But that is merely my point of view on the matter and my point of view on where we are going. Feel free to oppose my side, but do not forget to check all the facts, for now they are on my side of the equation.

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The hardware perimeter

It started yesterday, I wrote about it in the article ‘Pristine and weird’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/24/pristine-and-weird/). My mind started to pound on that again today, but this time it wasn’t a dream. I was pondering a few hardware sides. You see, the software thoughts (now filed away for Adobe eyes only) are one thing and I am not going on about it, just to avoid giving Microsoft good ideas, they can pay for those (and through the nose). It is the hardware. The display a Sony display (could be something else). The PC on the stand is something I found hours later. It was a lot like the OptiPlex 3090 Ultra Desktop. But there was more to it. It connected directly to the telephone and internet. More importantly there seemed to be a smooth interaction of both, phone calls could be registered and more important could be created as a new blockchain or added to a blockchain. Like the PC was registered with Processor to a blockchain, as was the location of the PC. The PC has 256GB DDR5 RAM, had a 2TB SSD and was running something I had not seen before. It was not Windows or MAC. A setting where we see PC’s having forensically secure connections. And these systems went to the cloud as well kept a connection to the local server. Blockchains kept a track of all that needed to be kept. Who created the document, who called who and so on, kept in files and logs. I reckon that will be the future of office requirements, but not a normal office. High end offices like law firms and accountants would use these cloud driven systems so that they could show what was done, when it was done and where it was done. The last part is one most tend to forget, but anyone who served in technical support on a larger scale can tell you that WHERE information comes from is rather important, more important than most realise, as such blockchains can be useful in many ways. Even now some are in denial, but 5G will force the need of a larger comprehension of the Byzantine fault to the front of many international players and the need for forensic records will then be pushed to the front. To get such a system there will be many contenders and those who can link together will become the system of choice, the old 90’s setting with DELL, ASUS and IBM is over, if they cannot work together they will end up being cast out. As such Dell and ASUS will have an edge, but IBM has plenty to offer too, especially with the cloud they have. This field will be rich of options soon enough, it will drive companies into larger fields and larger updates, yet the stage is not completely shaped and as nations become completely 5G, that need grows more and more. The stage of PwC with its Tesco failings are over. There will be a setting and those who cannot produce these blockchain references will end up becoming redundant. I do not believe it will be soon, but we will see such setting rise more and more from 2024 onwards. The hardware perimeter will shift and it will shift not fast, but it will shift more drastic than ever before. And governments will push for it, their budgets have become that volatile. We have seen all kinds of optional evidence in the last three months alone and it will only get worse, so the drastic shift seems clear, but that is based on views and there is a stage of presumption there. We can enforce the educated guess, we can deny it or we can prepare for it. Whatever you do, when it does come, there will not be some 3-5 year option, it will hit, it will hit hard and it will hit everywhere. That is what I speculate and it is speculation. 

But see the news today and the shifts we see are all staging change, change in every direction everywhere and the cry for larger blockchain implementations will start sooner, just how soon remains the question. 

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This is weird!

Yup, it is weird and you will see what I talk about soon enough. You see, not unlike the Sony fiasco, some players are all about blaming the one we all see as a boogeyman, it happens and it lulls us all to sleep. Yet when the BBC gave us 18 hours ago ‘North Korea hackers stole $400m of cryptocurrency in 2021, report says’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59990477) I took a little time to mull a few things over. You see, it is nice that we are given a (state) hacker and a setting what apparently gave them $400,000,000, yet the danger is different. For me it started with the Sony hack, it gave me an idea to create a new hack that was never done before and the nice part is that it could be implemented in several ways and in several places. Yet then I started to think: “How can a nation observed by so many agencies pull this off, all whilst we saw evidence, journalist supported evidence, that military officers in North Korea had NEVER seen a smartphone, or one of its base functionalities?” This thought matters, because that lack tends to seep through the fabric of ANY organisation (to some degree). So I felt certain that the Sony hack was never done by North Korea, and several accredited and more capable cyber people than me felt the same way. 

So here when I see “From 2020 to 2021, the number of North Korean-linked hacks jumped from four to seven, and the value extracted from these hacks grew by 40%,” Chainalysis said in a report” I feel that I am in a stage where I am watching a blame game develop, all whilst the fault is somewhere else. And there is more, the report the BBC talks about gives us “These complex tactics and techniques have led many security researchers to characterise cyber actors for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as advanced persistent threats (APTs). This is especially true for APT 38, also known as “Lazarus Group,” which is led by DPRK’s primary intelligence agency, the US- and UN-sanctioned Reconnaissance General Bureau. While we will refer to the attackers as North Korean-linked hackers more generally, many of these attacks were likely carried out by the Lazarus Group in particular.” It is an issue, because “cyber actors for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as advanced persistent threats (APTs)” implies an infrastructure, one that a lot of open nations do not get to have. I am not stating North Korea is innocent (well, they might be of this), I am stating that someone wants us to think it is North Korea, so that others stop looking in THEIR direction. You see, the reference to the Lazarus group (one I personally take offence with) and the DPRK gives a rather large voice, but in that it could only be if senior ranking North Korean officers knew what a smart phone was and that part is weird as some journalists who were in North Korea (2019, I believe) saw the opposite. This does not make sense. As such we cannot ignore hackers, optionally hackers who for a fee took shelter in or near North Korea, yet that puts them in the most watched part of the internet by at least half a dozen players. Personally it makes much more sense if they were working from China. 

And now we get to the good stuff. This is seen in “Once North Korea gained custody of the funds, they began a careful laundering process to cover up and cash out,” the report on last year’s cyber attacks added. A United Nations panel that monitors sanctions on North Korea has accused Pyongyang of using stolen funds to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes as a way to avoid international sanctions.” I reckon that laundering is not beyond the abilities of North Korea. Yet the setting of “accused Pyongyang of using stolen funds to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes” something that is possible, but the knowledge North Korea has stops this, moreover, their ballistic programmes are set upon failure after failure. Which with $400,000,000 in merely 7 operations sounds goofy to say the least. 

It is my personal feeling that the hackers might be anywhere but in or near North Korea. The Sony hack is optionally a slice of evidence towards that. Consider that Russia has now Arrested REvil, yet no one is wondering how this group had “more than 426 million rubles (£4m), including about £440,000 worth of crypto-currency”, including 20 premium cars. These things get noticed, as such I believe that REvil had some massive levels of protection, a setting North Korea cannot do, it is too unbalanced. With REvil, there was a Russian valve of protection, a state player that is on the top tier, a place where North Korea has no access. When you see these elements questions rise and a lot more questions rise that one would expect. So who did steal that $400,000,000? I have no idea, but consider that someone offering North Korea in its current state is offering $100,000,000 for denying the blame, is that good business practice? It would allow the perpetrators months to set safe 75% and a nice settlement in a very nice place. I would definitely consider such a move and with the world searching, getting the not look in the wrong place is a good place to start.

In all this, I could be wrong, but am I? How much evidence of advanced computer technology (outside of Olympus has fallen) regarding North Korea have we seen? We saw the images of a North Korean president and his top staff looking amazed at a 3 year old Dell computer, one we see in many households. Where is the advanced hardware needed to remain undetected? All questions in addition to the dozens watching their every digital move. If they get away under these conditions, they would be more able than the NSA, DGSE, or FSB. How likely is that? When you look at the larger frame, too much of this is weird. On the other hand, it gave me the idea to create the Hop+1 listening systems, just a little idea I had to scare the Pentagon a little (I need my amusement too). So perhaps this will set me on track for another piece of IP, I have done more with less, so here is hoping.

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Adaption 103

I just had an idea, it got to me when I was tweeting with a person I know. A few minutes later my mind grabbed back to the age when I had a Dell laptop. Then an idea grabbed me. I wonder why Apple never considered this. When you have more than one device, when you need your MacBook Pro or air too regularly. Did no one consider the power of the docking station, or the port replicator? Instead of connecting device after device, having a station on your desk where you can connect your iPod touch, your iPad, your MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro to all with one replicator in the centre of it all. A setting where they are all connected, with the station also connecting to an external keyboard, external drive and optionally a larger screen. The power of direct connectivity when you get home. The songs, the tablet and all of it to a  larger screen, more storage and not to forget interacting all with one another. No worry whether you had the document on your tablet, your laptop or even your iMac or Mac Pro. Connecting them all through one station. You see, when you have one Apple product, you might have more, I do and many other do too. Even for non Apple products the setting of connecting laptops, desktops, music solutions, and tablets, all whilst giving any the power to connect to Bluetooth speakers is becoming increasingly important, especially as streaming will go from device to device. A multi system station, no matter if it is a docking station or more aptly seeing it as a connecting port replicator will take the foreground in the near future. I synch my iPad, and soon my iPod touch (my iPod Classic will not connect), a larger setting of interactivity is required and consider that when you get home, via the replicator. Connecting to data on tablet, laptop and desktop they can all grasp the data of one another and they can all be used in conjunction. A setting that none have offered, always in the second degree, so why not in the first degree? That would be real innovation and so far none have opted for it, They all want to do each other work, they all want to do the same, but the laptop makes you less mobile, the tablet has its own restrictions, but on the road it is OK. And so on, yet at home we need access to all, we need it all without a larger setting and the cloud is too often a limitation, especially when it is confidential data. The people need their secure environment and anyone stating that the cloud is a safe space is lying to you. Some give you “Cloud security is tight, but it’s not infallible. … But the bigger risk with cloud storage is privacy. Even if data isn’t stolen or published, it can still be viewed. Governments can legally request information stored in the cloud, and it’s up to the cloud services provider to deny access.” 

So why not set the stage where it is with you and with you alone? And when we look at the data breaches with. Microsoft, Estee Lauder, MGM Resorts, Facebook, Zoom, Magellan Health, Cognizant, Nintendo, Twitter, and Whisper. These are places with large infrastructures and cyber sections and they could not keep THEIR data safe, how much of a chance do you have? I am not anti-cloud. It has its uses, but it has a bad safety reputation, as such the replicator gives more and offer more too. It is just a thought, but it Tok me less than 30 minutes to seek out part of all this and write it down and when we add the streaming gaming platform the need increases rapidly.

All devices that need connection, whilst the connection does not always exist. 

So consider what you have and how easy it would be to connect it. Now, if you only have 2 devices the value is not really there, but consider a desktop and a laptop connected giving the user access to both, would that make it? I thought initially to connect the Apple devices, but the setting is much larger and will grow over time. Consider that the MacBook Air has a max of 2TB and so does the new iMac, so why have 2 backups when both can be connected and be connected to a much larger drive, seagate offers 4TB for $99, WD has 6TB for $200, and that offers perspectives to keep your music in one location, not on all locations. Option after option are added as we see more devices connected and I am surprised that no one took it into that direction, especially Apple. 

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Sleeping with the enemy

We have heard the expression; most will remember the movie with Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergin. The expression is slightly harsh and a little over the top for the setting that I find myself presently in with PwC. You see, some people are playing a dangerous game. So when I see ‘UK firm PwC criticised over bid for major Saudi Arabia contract‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/31/uk-firm-pwc-criticised-over-bid-for-major-saudi-arabia-contract), I find myself on the side of PwC supporting them. The article is an issue on a few levels. I touched on a few two days ago with: ‘Oman’s neighbour‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/07/30/omans-neighbour/), so this setting is actually most informative when we consider the issues seen here. I objected to the setting that Amnesty International gave a consequence, yet the original setting that started it was missing, in all this, the fact that the Houthi forces are firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, as is Hezbollah and Iran is the puppet master behind all this, so when I see “Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK’s economic affairs programme director, urged PwC to explain what due diligence it had undertaken before pitching for the work“, I wonder if Peter Frankental has done its due diligence into the situation where a terrorist organisation (with evidence from several sources) is operation on Yemeni soil with full backing of Yemeni officials, who are also extremely aware that they are facilitating for Iran. That part is missing from the charade that Amnesty International states is ‘the humanitarian nightmare‘. We agree that too many Yemeni are in the middle of this, no one denies that, yet the actions by Iran via Hezbollah and the Houthi’s are an issue and in this they merely ignore the founding factors.

In addition, the UK, with a desperate need to improve the economy has options and opportunities in Saudi Arabia, creating a dialogue, helping Saudi Arabia move forward. We admit that it will not be fast, it might raise obstacles, which is a fact of life. So when Peter Frankental sets ‘due diligence‘, I am of the mind that he clearly did not proceed with that duly noted diligence to a rather large extent.

So when I see “The United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights make it clear that a company may be viewed as complicit if they are seen to benefit from abuses committed by another party“, in that view, Frank please explain to me how you will prosecute Northrop Grumman, Palantir, Blackberry, Dell, Pelican and Apple? I would really like to know that at present. I am going to grasp back at an expression that we get from Robocop, it was spoken by Kurtwood Smith: ‘Good business is where you find it!‘ and Saudi Arabia has business settings for up to £825 billion, so PwC is getting vetted for a chunk of business that could optionally keep thousands employed, grow optional new businesses and industries. In addition, when exactly did Peter Frankental set the stage for a similar attack on Virgin? Are they not setting up the first Hyperloop there? So where is Frankie boy in all that? Now, it is not my intent to slam out at Frank, he seems to have his heart in the right place. Especially when we look at a paper by the House of Lords called: ‘Any of our business? Human Rights and the UK private sector‘, it seems that he has forever focussed on this, the paper (Attached) is from 2009, where we see on page 15 “In particular, we contend that the UK state could and should play a greater role in the governance of corporations so as to contribute to the protection of human rights from corporate abuse, whether the abuse occurs in the UK or abroad“, that is fair enough, yet he is setting now the acts of an attacked government into a corporate right, in that same setting all exports to the US should in that light be equally questioned and regarded as illegal, you basically can’t have it both ways Frank!

So when we grasp at: “In particular, we do support the idea of some kind of international instrument for corporate accountability within the UN system, but we agree with Professor Ruggie that such an instrument would not exist to monitor the activities of tens of thousands of transnational corporations, that would be unfeasible, but it would exist to reinforce the will of states to hold companies to account within their jurisdiction” and set the dimensionality of a flaccid UN when it comes to the events in Syria, there is such overwhelming evidence of inaction (through Veto or not), which gives us that in the faced setting PwC should not even be a blip on his radar. Not when we compare it to “the US contractors are mostly focused on supporting the 2,000 US troops in Syria by delivering hot meals, gasoline and other supplies. More than 30% of them support logistics and maintenance, according to the quarterly Pentagon report, and another 27% help with support and construction of US military outposts in the region” (source: Al-Monitor, April 2018). So how much visibility did Frank give here? In all this, he does not get to hide behind the ‘It is not linked to the UK‘ you just cannot become a ‘local’ party towards a global event when you decide it is. It just does not work that way.

In this, we also see: “PwC already has a presence in Saudi Arabia, but it is the company’s UK operation that is behind the defence project“, which is true, because I applied and they were not taking any non-UK citizens. Darn!

In addition, with: “PwC has launched a “call for resources” – asking specialists and consultants in London whether they would be interested in moving to Riyadh to start the work – because, it has said, it is “currently finalising the deal”“, we see that PwC has the setting to move people to Saudi Arabia, more employment and in addition a sector growth that could lead to 10 figure long term deals, but fear not! Peter Frankental will be there to try and undo the economic boom that will benefit the UK (was that overly simplified?)

So with the upcoming opportunity and the subsequent quote “focus on how to reshape recruitment, resourcing, performance management and strategic workforce planning, and how to manage and communicate change“, it actually goes further than that, even as a lot more performance management is likely to be shown, it will also be about what is the hierarchy and what is not. In light of work safety and preparedness (yes, even in the military), the setting of ‘Own the challenge‘ is a lot harder to scribe into the soul of the person. To set ‘solving’ the issue as the forefront of ‘that what is my actual responsibility‘ tend to be a challenge even within the most flexible workers, so I predict that there is a shift that will soon be shown in places like Saudi Arabia as well. I will admit that having never worked there, that this setting is more speculative than anything else.

So when I see Frankie give us: “As any accountancy firm involved in work for the Saudi ministry of defence must know, the Royal Saudi air force has an appalling record in Yemen, with the Saudi-led military coalition having indiscriminately bombed Yemeni homes, hospitals, funeral halls, schools and factories. Thousands of Yemeni civilians have been killed and injured“, the equal question on how many missiles that Iran enabled the Houthi and Hezbollah forces allowed to be shot into Saudi Arabia, and there is the drone strike issues in the UAE to consider as well. In addition, it is called ‘Saudi Ministry of defence‘, not the Hezbollah missile strike team. It might be nit-picking on my side, but then, I was always willing to go for broke.

Then there is the setting of “the UK “should be focusing on trying to stop this terrible conflict, not assisting the Saudi government.”“, yes it is an interesting setting by Anna Macdonald (younger sister of Ronald). When we go to the site (at https://controlarms.org/meet-the-team/), we see Anna Macdonald, Raluca Muresan, Zoya Craig and half a dozen volunteers. Yet, lets also congratulate on the bang up (or is that blow up) job they did in Syria, as well as a few other places. So when I see: “a global coalition working for international arms control“, which is a good goal to have, the flow of missiles and arms from Iran into a few places was not really stopped was it? Iran has exported small arms and ammunition to Sudan and Syria, anti-tank missiles to Syria, Sudan and Somalia; rocket exports to Syria, Sudan, Libya as well as shipments to Hezbollah and Iraqi insurgents. So in that list, and the goal Anna Macdonald envisions is a noble one, no one denies that, in all that, with at least two dozen of export mentions excluded, I think that PwC should not be on her list either. Especially, as the Saudi Arabian civil population is still under threat of missiles from a terrorist organisation. No one denies that the Yemeni people caught in the middle are in a really unbearable place, but all these actions means that no actual actions are taken against Iran. So as we were given ‘the European Commission has moved to add Iran to the investment mandate of the European Investment Bank (EIB)‘ a mere 18 hours ago, it seems to me that in all this Anna Macdonald and Peter Frankental should be setting their focus in a different direction, or perhaps that will merely not give them the limelight that they so desperately need (for all the right reasons mind you).

In all this, the defence from Saudi Arabia in the person of the foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir was reduced to a mere: “Judeir blamed the Houthi rebels for blocking aid and contributing to the humanitarian crisis“, is that not interesting too? The actual blockers of humanitarian aid was set into a mere footnote, a mere 14 words, so in all this, where is Peter Frankental at this point?

 

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A steamy deception?

As I started to dive into the world of hardware just to satisfy my renewed addiction for Elite (now Elite Dangerous), I thought it was my duty to keep a relatively normal approach to this. This is purely because I am a student on a budget and I need to make certain that I keep a normal life after paying my bills, so as I have been weighing the options, the views of re-entering the world of PC gaming is one that comes with several traps, even though some people entering this field are not realising this.

For some this jump is riddled with confrontational choices of lesser applicability.

In my case, Elite Dangerous does not take an over the moon graphics card, so I personally have an advantage, but many other people are not gifted with that option.

So as some ‘diss’ the PS4 or the Xbox One, because they are ‘only’ consoles, be wary of the dangers of factors you might not be taking into account.

In my previous blog ‘Getting back on the horse‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/19/getting-back-on-the-horse/), where I consider the costly dangers of a PC, my alternative thought was to move towards the new Steam Consoles, let’s face it, a steam console is basically a console for PC games (via Steam). So why not consider that?

Well, let’s take a look:

As I personally see it, Steam itself is misinforming the people from the very beginning. You see, in gaming, graphics is key and when we see ‘Alienware Steam Machine‘ with the mention  NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX GPU 2GB, yet it doesn’t not mention, whether it is a Titan, a 980, or a 740 or anything SPECIFIC, you better believe that the non-mention could set you on the short end of the equation.

The steam store does however mention models that do correctly mention that part, they often mention more too, which is good, but all this comes with the hidden trap. For example, the Asus ROG GR8S, which looks extremely pretty with that aggressive redness for the FPS killer amongst us. It offers the option to upgrade memory and storage, but not the graphics card… Oops! Is that not the heart of the gaming matter? Now in all honesty, it comes with NVIDIA® GeForce® 750Ti, which is decent, but it is a little less than one third of the GeForce GTX 980, so how long until we see a 2016 game (or even a December 2015 game) that you cannot fully appreciate on your brand new console? The graphic needs of the PC gamers accelerates a lot faster than the consoles, which is why some games look so much better on PC (Skyrim is a good mention), but it does come at a price.

Now there are more and more places where you get the option of building a steam machine, of course with the added bonus of having parts that can be upgraded, yet at that point we will get too close to the PC again, which means pricing and now with the limitation that it is not a PC, so only for gaming.

So how is this a good idea, or better stated, is it a good idea?

As I go through most new upcoming steam consoles (the bulk ready for release in November 2015), I must admit that the 3XS ST15 (at http://www.scan.co.uk/) stood out of being completely adjustable, yet when we add it all up, we get a £1106.74 system (AU$ 2,355.71), which is more than the above average gaming PC, so how are steam consoles a solution against the gaming PC?

At least with actual consoles, the games will be made for that console for years to come, maximising the game, without you spending a fortune. That was clear the moment you realised that the powerful graphic cards are prices at the cost of a PS4 and an Xbox One combined. So are these ‘new’ consoles a steamed deception?

On one hand, yes, because the steam store does not mention certain essential facts, which is not really their fault, but in the case of Alienware it is likely to become an Alienware issue. As the two models state: ‘NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU 2GB GDDR5’ for a graphics card and the Alienware Alpha at $849.99 states “Fully maxed; giving you all the console you will ever need“, which is great, because from my point of view that implies that this console should come with a ‘EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X Superclocked 12GB‘, if that is not the case than the term ‘all the console you will ever need‘ is deceptive in the very least! So as I see it, Alienware is setting itself up for one humongous issue when people (after receiving local legal advice), whilst the buyer after this will claim for the fore mentioned graphics card, as to keep the promise ‘all the console you will ever need’.

In my view, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Australian Law), might soon become popular reading with the steam console gaming community where we now see that the graphics card likely to be included is already not up to par to deal the full ability of either Tomb Raider or Metro Last Light gives voice to the limited truth of the claim and as such Alienware could theoretically end up having to upgrade their $700 system by a lot for the current customers at no charge (as a gamer, I find that path nicely amazing).

This is not a given until settled in court (if it gets there), but in all this, the slippery slope of steam consoles as their release seems to be (as I see it) is shown decently clearly.

Setting an upcoming hype in average equipment, hoping for that day one killing revenue in November 2015 is debatable at best. I wonder what happens to the sales commission in January when the consumers get either their refunds or free upgrades.

So even as we can accept that there is a market for these consoles, the fair fact is that the good machines are at the price of a PC, whilst only being able to do their console duties, which is of course the choice of the consumer. Yet, did this consumer group properly investigate their options and more specifically the limitations that their budgets would bring?

So, what do I have against these steam consoles? I personally do not care, as I decided towards the Xbox One for Elite Dangerous, but overall, when I see what people will want now on steam, and what people will desire next year on steam (like No Man’s Sky, Eve Valkyrie, Star Citizen, Survarium and Asylum). Whilst there are a lot more games coming in 2016 and even by the time Assassins Creed: Syndicate is released (late 2015), what will that game require to fill its hunger for graphical needs? Will the installed graphic card offer the maxed experience?

So even now, in foresight, there is no guarantee at all that many of the steam consoles will offer max gaming whilst the system is still in its warranty stage. The systems that do offer the options of maximising will cost a bundle, which is what steam machines were definitely not about.

For now I will call these consoles a dicey market to say the least, for the rest, time will tell!

 

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Who runs America?

This is a question that has been in the back of my mind for some time. When we consider the economic events from 2008 onwards and how slow (almost 2 administrations) it has taken for any economic legislation to take shape for the (at present) ineffective halting of moving tax dollars off shore. Even now, several economic boffins are slowly and casually mentioning that current measures are not going far enough.

The entire issue took a new foothold as we see the Ukrainian events unfold. We see how some politicians are acting so….outspokenly against certain acts. Now, I am not speaking out against these people, I believe in the freedom of speech and as such, we need to hear all sides. The issue was shown the most visible in the UK when some stated on how economic sanctions against Russia would be taken, like getting gas from a different source.

It was at that point when I saw just how hollow their boasts were. In my view those politicians would soon be dragged to a separate room where several high powered industrials would add these politicians to the Christian choir of ‘Mare Castratum’, see this as a slightly more efficient form of gagging a politician.

Why this view?

Consider that politicians would make that rash decision and also consider the fact that in the UK (amongst most EEC nations), the energy prices are way above normal. So in a place where like the US, 1 in 7 lives below the poverty line, where these people can hardly pay their bills, get confronted with a 10%-15% raise on energy bills. What do you expect to happen?

I expect something similar to happen in the US, as I see it there are two elements in play here. The first is the claim (at http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=957624)

The two quotes are “The Senate on Tuesday expressed its support for Ukraine by passing strongly worded resolutions, using tough language against Russia and urging it be suspended from the Group of 8 world powers.” and “The House of Representatives also passed a resolution to condemn what House Speaker John Boehner called ‘Russia’s hostile acts of aggression’

I understand the second quote and I reckon that House Speaker John Boehner was quite correct to pass such a resolution. It is the first one that is an issue, I understand that governments want to stand in support of the Ukraine, there is no way that any objection to that is valid, consider however what the G8 stands for. If we accept the following ‘G8 nations comprise 50.1% of 2012 global nominal GDP‘, then without Russia, will the G8 be a valid office of existence and what to do to keep its validity? Replace it with China?

That part would make sense as in many ways, the Chinese economy would be much more interesting to America then Russia is for the mere fact that China imports almost 3 times more than Russia does (based on 2012 numbers). Yet, if this happens, then what will be the long term consequences? Consider that the Ukraine is in an even less prosperous situation then most EEC countries. Now consider the information (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2014/03/05/in-ukraine-crisis-russias-natural-gas-tactics-could-backfire/), basically the Ukraine was getting gas at a 36% discount. If that fell away, then what will the Ukraine do? The quote seen here “The UK National Balancing Point (NBP) futures for natural gas jumped nearly 10% to $10.28 per MMBtu, according to Bloomberg. Prices have since moderated as the political situation appears to be calming down” gives validity to my claims of the energy prices; if futures would take that must a blast, then I reckon the people could face a charge at nearly twice that percentage. There was a side in all this that I had not reckoned on. When we see the quote “The U.S. wants to become a large LNG exporter later this decade and a portion of that would be bound for Europe” we see two dangers. The first is that this is not just government, but this is definitely a ‘Big Business’ push. Yet, consider the amount of customers could be the issue as the amount needed would far outstrip what could be delivered. That part is implied in the Dutch article (at https://decorrespondent.nl/299/eerst-het-gas-dan-de-moraal/32952491-c7e501ab) called ‘Eerst het gas, dan de moraal‘, which could be loosely translated and paraphrased as: “Business before morality“, which is basically at the heart of all these events. The article states that the Russian pipeline is supplying well over 26 million households, which is well over twice the size of California (in households). There should be no illusions that Gazprom has its powerful claws firmly in the EEC.

Let’s make sure that I am not stating that the politicians are acting purely or mostly out of economic reasons. I am to a lesser extent implying that it is possible that the Natural Gas lobbyists in Washington have been speaking with politicians over a lunch or two (which is how things are done in the US and UK). That latter part was discussed in the Guardian in October 2013, as UK Labour leader Ed Miliband mentioned that these lobby groups are not getting the proper levels of scrutiny (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/07/energy-firm-lobbyists-scrutiny-ed-miliband). So it is IMHO Big Business that is the second danger element in these cases. If the politicians represent the people, yet big business has the funds, ability and know-how to override the views of the people, then what use are the people at the end of all this?

This all goes a few steps further than just the energy groups. I started all this with a mention of economic sanctions. So how does this connect? Well, it does not directly connect, yet the elements all have their political influence. Consider the needs of Apple in Russia (at http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/03/07/russias-megafon-deal-with-apple-inc-guarantees-sales-of-750k-iphones-over-3-years). This was less than a week ago. So we consider the value of a little over 20,000 iPhones a month for the next three years and we should expect that this sparks the sale of iPad and iPod and other Apple articles. Do you think that the members in charge of Apple are hindered by morality? They have parked billions in taxable dollars away from the collecting hands of the IRS (and other taxing governments). The commission these people get from their deals in Russia will not stop them in any way. Whether there will be some ‘illusive’ distributor in India, Japan or China will not matter, the show (read sale) will go on. The same could be said for Dell. You think that they stop selling to Russia and leave their market share to ASUS? I think not! These are just two examples of the dozens of massively large companies doing business with Russian one form or another, not just from the USA, but also from Europe. In that same regard, there is not export without import, so as we see the boasts of economic sanctions to Russia by politicians, remember that when we see that when Russians show off their latest Apple gadgets on TV, the question ‘who runs America?‘ should remain firmly on your mind. In the end you should also remember that the entire situation is a lot more complex then I make it out to be.

As we focus on ‘Business before Morality‘ then remember the bills most of you have in your drawer still awaiting payment. We are nearly all of us overdue to the smallest or a larger extent and as some are more fortunate not to be one of the seven people living below poverty, consider that most of us are in the same place where 45% of us are, most of these people are all a little below getting by, which comes down to one step from a total nightmare life.

I am not stating it is a good place or an acceptable place; it is merely a realistic place. It is in this realistic place the question gets the volume it needs to have: ‘Who runs America?

 

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