A thought occurred to me a moment ago. You see, we are so in a stage of what to do next, what to do in reaction and it came to me. We already have all the ammunition we need. You see to show players like Epic Games on how it is done, by actually doing hat WAS done and redoing it in a few ways. To take commercial sails away is by offering an alternative and here the Streamers (Amazon Luna) can set a new stage. Because it is not a free service we can ensure that loot boxes become free. Take a page from the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode. That part was the best multiplayer experience that I have ever seen, the best experience that I ever faced and the free loot boxes were part of that. OK, not completely ‘free’, it required effort. Yet effort is what a player brings to the stage. Consider any game, any shooter. Now add battle stages to it that are based on parts of the game. Now set a stage of 4 players versus a clever NPC part and slug it out. In the end, the ones standing get the credits and these credits go towards a loot box. In ME3 I had to play 2-4 games to get enough points for a Platinum box, and these rewards were awesome. All elements that we have now. Weapons, armour, support item, cosmetic items and with enough of that you can get a whole generation of people to the new game. Lets be clear, I do not hate Epic (I do think they were overly stupid) but we need to do something about the loot boxes and this is one way to counter them. Have a game where you can earn them without EVER spending a penny. And it will not be an easy fight, but the start is that you can get people to another solution where they do not pay and that is the start of more. Once the stage changes Epic either alters their approach or they become obsolete (that will take some time). But a player like Amazon has the option to make change happen. And this is not the new idea, I feel certain that Tencent is doing similar stuff, but their plan is brilliant (and insidious), they play the long game because they can afford to, the cherry on top of the cake is too rewarding for them and we need to see a counter move whilst we still have options. There is no talking with Epic Games, they are too far gone into the rabbit den of greed, but we can counter with new games, with altered games all with the same setup, Loot boxes for those showing effort. When effort becomes the currency the other solutions start to fade every so slightly before fading entirely. This is not a short solution and it will not come quickly, but it is a solution that has merit, because gamers are all about the showing of effort and gaining achievement that way. It is merely an idea, but I think it could work and when we start the stage of crossover loot boxes, the games will change the premise even further. Just a thought! Now Amazon needs to consider what games they will set to this stage and the first chip from the armour of greed that Epic games wields becomes a reality.
Tag Archives: Epic Games
Yup, it happens and I have with some expectation of entertainment slapped them in the past myself. But this is different and I am not in agreement. The article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-63911176) gives us ‘Children stopped sleeping and eating to play Fortnite – lawsuit’, as I personally see it, a debatable article and the BBC knows this, because there is no journo name here. You see, there are a few elements missing and anyone with half a bran knows this. When we see “One of the children cited in the lawsuit played over 7,700 hours of the game in less than two years. The legal action claims the game was deliberately developed to be “highly addictive”.” The first question I have is “How do you program a game to be additive?” It is a serious question. Every game designer would like to know. The second question is that the equation gives us that this child had to play over 10 hours EVERY day to get past that point for two years. So where were the parents? You want to hand this to Epic and not hand any responsibility to the parents? And the one element they all ignore (even the lame journalist) is the fact that peer pressure is a real thing and that is set in stone. More importantly, the parents have to shield these kids from peer pressure. I see nothing of that here either.
Now I am all for slapping greed driven Epic Games, but lets do that for the right reasons, and lets give some responsibility to the parents in this equation. And the clear stage of “their children would forgo sleeping, eating and showering because they were hooked on the game.” Hands a portion of that blame and the issues surrounding them to the parents, where are the parents in this equation? Anyone with half a brain will miss them too.
Lets be clear, I am not claiming Epic is innocent, but I believe that there are a massive amount of questions and as such Epic is entitled to some support and I am happy to give it, even as I mostly dislike Epic Games with a passion. But I do believe that fair is fair and we need to start with that in mind. I reckon that the legal team and its fearless leader (CLO of Epic Games) will take a serious look at both the parents and peer pressure, two elements that are clearly in the top-line of the equation and the BBC made sure it never got mentioned. I will leave it to you to wonder why.
Enjoy the day wherever you are.
We all face it at times. It is not as negative as it sounds, for some it is a mere form of awareness. I am facing mine at present. A small defence, I damaged my left shoulder so I am best friends (sort of) with Codeine. Not enough to be dopey the dwarf, enough to not drive a tank through the streets of Sydney, so there is manoeuvring space (for me that is). My downward spiral has nothing to do with the shoulder, but with my IP. You see I am in an iterative mood. I see improvements all around me. Games that could be better, movies that are substandard, music that could be different and lets be clear, I have absolutely no idea on music. As such my mind became the ultimate critic. Now, when it comes to my own IP, especially the 5G one, it makes perfect sense to be in an iterative mode, the innovation was version 0.9 (or 1.0), I am now on version 1.3, 1.4 is a bigger adjustment for real estate, but I am trying to find a way to either include it, or consider a cheaper version just for real estate. I have not made up my mind on that yet.
I have been on an iterative setting for a few other things too. Now for the most I have an intense hatred for iterative thinking. It never goes anywhere fast and focussing on innovation is more rewarding as well. But the person who thinks that they can come up with innovation is utterly nuts. Just like the business people that consider that true business is profit without costs, one needs the other or it is pointless ambulance chasing.
All this started when I saw a Chinese add on android regarding a Chinese mobile game, It was not the first one I saw and then the thoughts hit me more profoundly. If I am correct, I (at that moment) figured out what Tencent is planning, if I am correct than it implies that there is a lot more coming in 2023/2024 than anyone ever suspected. I feel certain that it was a fluke, but the cogs started to connect and if it is correct it is Epic Games that opened the door. That Fortnite case is having a much larger impact. If I am correct (which is not a given) that it might set a case where Tencent is setting a new foundation towards gambling and it is all perfectly legal, yet with the Apple and Android setting of buying goods via third party providers, there will be a new case of white washing funds all over the world. I will have to find the advertisement again, but it was a rare case that I suddenly get a Chinese ad (in Chinese) and the image that flashed by gave me a worry, and weirdly enough it took me back to March 15th when I wrote ‘When is a slot machine not one?’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/03/15/when-is-a-slot-machine-not-one/), and I as the dreamer focussed on the 5G side of things, all whilst I should have looked in the other direction and more importantly, it puts the FBI and their peers pretty much out of business. I wrote at that time “And those not in Las Vegas will have the option to massively deal and handle in crypto currency. An outlet outside of the bank stage. An outlet that circulates currency unmonitored” my mind was with the slot machine, whilst the mention of “The slot machine was a laundromat for crypto currency” which is not something I focussed on, merely the technology, but now consider that these systems traffic between wide area networks and transfer bitcoins all over the planet, and the watching eyes of governments were blind to it. The padlocks are suddenly more than a lock, more than the stage of presentation, they are phones to other nations and they merely deal in digital data. So what does it take NOW to transfer 3,000 bitcoins unseen? Think of it, the internet is monitored, the dark-web is not to be trusted (unless you control it) but a slot machine, from a reputable vendor? There was an underlying story in Casino Royale (yes, the Bond movie) I reckon that there is a whole range of devices coming out and the nice part is that they could connect to a padlock on a slot machine. And that is merely a starting point. What happens when this takes a sharp turn to the right? I can guarantee you now that there is no government with proper protection or rules in place to stop any of this, and with a fully deployed 5G it becomes pretty much impossible to monitor it all.
This happens, I saw it coming and today as the BBC gives me (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-59234961) ‘Apple v Epic: Court denies delay on App Store changes’ we have come to a point. A point where Epic Games will lose billions, not millions, billions. You see, the larger issue is not the fee, it is that too many ApplePay options are not completely secure, as such the moment we see the first few issues go sour, when people are dented by credit card fees and scams that started with Epic, that is the moment the class actions come calling and they will come calling in a huge way. There will be no defence for Epic Games. There will not be some ‘I know nothing’ approach. It will be on Epic Games. They wanted to cut costs and they did, but the costs in hind-fall will outrank all revenue they would hope to make.
And all this is beside the issues (source: Eurogamer) “Epic Games is also facing a class-action lawsuit following a data breach which exposed personal information from millions of users’ accounts. The data breach occurred back in January this year, when hackers found a flaw in Fortnite’s login system, allowing them to impersonate players and purchase V-Bucks with the bank information attached to their accounts” and the issue outside of Fortnite will escalate a lot faster than they feared it could. I reckon that first issues will emerge within 3 months of the alternative to ApplePay path and it will not take long until lawyers will suit up for class actions all worth billions. Epic will need a lot more lawyers soon enough and it will cost them. It could constitute the dangers (for Epic) that 2021 started the downfall that could have been avoided, a setting they caused themselves and the greedy hackers saw a clear new target, Epic Games with a bullseye. A bullseye that will be painted on their CEO and CFO, what a wild web we tend to weave.
A setting that they could have and should have avoided. An optional first in the dangers of greed. What a lovely day this could become.
Yes, it is a stage that we will be seeing soon enough. As the lawyer wins, the law loses and tht is just the beginning. As we see ‘Apple loses appeal in Fortnite court battle’ (source: Australian Financial Review) there is a secondary stage that comes up. It is not immediately clear, but someone gave the reader by Jeff Dotzler in GC Consulting in 2019 ‘Will You Get Sued if Your Business is Hacked?’ There we see “Even though the company was able to restore the records, one of the affected clients, Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics in Boynton Beach, sued Allscripts in federal court. Surfside accused Allscripts of not doing enough to prevent the attack or lessen its impact and sued on behalf of all affected clients for “significant business interruption and disruption and lost revenues.”” Now consider that ‘significant business interruption’ can be replaced with ‘game score disruption’, a stage I saw coming a mile away. Epic Games did not consider the stupidity of their actions and now, should they win they will soon face several, if not well over a dozen class cases. They cannot make some ‘we are not responsible draft’, the moment ANYONE at Google or Apple squeals the setting of the hack and it comes with the accompanied ‘We could have prevented that’ Epic Games is lost, it will cost them billions in settlements and lawyer costs. If you doubt that, consider ‘SolarWinds says unknown hackers exploited newly discovered software flaw’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/solarwinds-says-unknown-hackers-exploited-newly-discovered-software-flaw-2021-07-12/), so they just got out of one mess only to land in a new one and these people have a decently simple system, Epic Games will have to spend on protection that is several levels higher and I feel decently certain that it is not enough. The moment any profile is transgressed on whilst there was a purchase, that is the game, loss Epic Games and loose they will, a lot.
Even as we are told “SolarWinds said the flaw was “completely unrelated” to last year’s hack of government networks”, it will not matter, another flaw is found and there is every chance that more than one will still be found. In this Forbes gives us ‘Why SolarWinds Is The Wakeup Call No One Heard’, it comes with “everyone talks a good game, but the very structure of American (and other businesses around the globe) makes it nearly impossible to, for example, deliberately and significantly reduce EBITDA to prepare for cyber warfare” and when you consider that EBITDA is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation. You see the problem, it is not all, it is earnings before interest and depreciation that bites, earnings before interest is all earnings with cost diminishing this and too many corporate players tend to cut cost. In some cases they have no choice in the cloud a lot does not matter but it is transgressed on (according to some numbers) for almost 90%. And when you add that Amortisation is merely anther view of depreciation the path is clear. Steve Andriole also gives us “The number of severity of cyberattacks will explode in 2020. Cyberwarfare has now levelled the playing field in industry, in government, and in national defence: why spend ten or fifteen billion dollars on an aircraft carrier when you can disable it digitally?” You think that this is about defence? Do you have any idea what 50 million whining gamers can do? EVERY ransomware player will target Epic Games and with an open Android and iOS setting they will succeed. I saw this when this all started in 2020 within 5 minutes, the short sightedness will hit Epic Games and others in a few ways. Think I am BS’ing you? Consider that several sources gave you a month ago “Hackers Stole 780GB Data Including FIFA 21 Source Code in EA Hack” and EA has been in this game a lot longer than Epic Games has been. That is not evidence, but it is a setting that we need to consider and when Epic Games loses that data the class actions start, and it is not something that they can keep quiet (apart from that being a crime), the people will talk and the parties involved, including government parties will find a nice letter making claim to financial losses. The law source (see above) also gives us a link to the Ohio Data Protection Act. There we see “Under the law, damages cannot be imposed if a state court finds your company had a reasonable cybersecurity plan when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability. Or, as the legislation puts it, the law is “an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.”” In this I offer ‘reasonable cybersecurity plan’, was it followed through? Was there a backup if it fails, was there consideration for cross platform transgressions? In this last part I offer to the older programmers
Those who know will nod and consider what else Epic Games and others have forgotten, what happens when someone exploits a Sony flaw over the entire system, and at that point these companies have little to no protection.
Which gets us to ‘when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability’, but the suing side will argue that the breach could have been prevented on day zero, or even day -1, which will be their way of saying that they opened the system when they were not ready and that is another billion in class actions right there, and I agree with the stage that there will be enough cases that have no bering (just like the loot box cases in the media), yet Epic Games will have to hand to their lawyers to investigate them all, the hours alone will rake up millions and that is merely year one. The lawyer wins his bread and butter for a year (at the very least) and the law is up the creek without a clause. The law was never ready for this, so the going will be good towards the coffers of Epic Games, a looting box that requires time, not money.
So when we go back to Forbes and consider “When I took the results to the CFO (to which technology weirdly reported), his only question was, “what’s all this going to cost me?,” which of course was the wrong question.” We see there setting, but I wonder who gave that same question to the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) with the question ‘What will this cost the firm?’, a question that he can decently predict when he considers 1-5 class actions and that result has to be scary and any consideration of future profit goes straight out of the window, not merely the legal costs, marketing will have to offer a whole range of products and services to stem the tide of people leaving for the next safer harbour, the most dangerous of all settings, and that is merely the beginning of year one as Android and iOS stores open. Forbes also gives a reference to Andy Greenberg (Wired Magazine, 2019) said about why governments have been unwilling to deal with cyberthreats: “More fundamentally, governments haven’t been willing to sign on to cyberwar limitation agreements because they don’t want to limit their own freedom to launch cyberattacks at their enemies. America may be vulnerable to crippling cyberattacks carried out by its foes, but US leaders are still hesitant to hamstring America’s own NSA and Cyber Command, who are likely the most talented and well-resourced hackers in the world.” And this is not a government setting, Epic Games will be hit be greed driven and vengeance driven hackers as well as organised crime, a %5 billion company? With the state of cybercrime convictions? They are definitely on board. A stage Epic Games could have prevented from the start, but someone saw 30% of $5,000,000,000 and did the math, but whoever did the math was not ready for the tidal wave they would be inviting through that choice. In this, Forbes had one more gem, it comes from Nicole Penroth and ‘The hubris of American exceptionalism’, when we see “More hacking, more offence, not better defence, was our answer to an increasingly virtual world order, even as we made ourselves more vulnerable, hooking up water treatment facilities, railways, thermostats and insulin pumps to the web, at a rate of 127 new devices per second”, now consider that Fortnite is on Windows, MacOS, Switch, Sony, Microsoft, iOS and Android, they drew more than 125 million players in less than a year, do you think that there will be no flaws? And how many devices a second will that add to the equation? Do you have any clue what level of protection is required, even as Sony, Solarwinds, Nintendo and Microsoft have all been hacked even though they had nowhere near that level of complexity required. This was a dangerous situation from the start and gamers will soon have to seriously consider to remove any program that has an ‘open’ store, the cost will be too high for a lot of them.
And that is not all, as Nicole spoke about ‘an increasingly virtual world’ the danger that open stores will mean that you either have a dedicated computer, or healthcare and safety products will not be considered to be insured in your house, when that happens we get a whole new level of nightmare, I can only imagine that setting, but I am clueless as to the impact, we cannot oversee that, not with an evolving IoT and 5G evolving before our very eyes.
Reuters gave light (again) to an article that I wrote earlier, 2 days ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/30/an-almost-funny-thing/) I wrote ‘An almost funny thing’, I got it from the BBC and I feel certain that some official people were already already on the ball, being a mere 2 years late. I reckon that some figured out that the growing cash flow these people ended up with will count against certain players, if not a lot more. Some people might have gotten additional considerations with “In the OSI model, we see layers 3-7 (layer 8 is the user). So as some have seen the issues from Cisco, Microsoft and optionally Zoom, we see a link of issues from layer 3 through to layer 7 ALL setting a dangerous stage. Individually there is no real blame and their lawyers will happily confirm that, but when we see security flaw upon security flaw, there is a larger stage of danger and we need to take notice” and that is the tip of the iceberg. So when Reuters gives us ‘Ransomware tops U.S. cyber priorities, Homeland secretary says’ this morning, we might not get the entire field in view and that is not on Reuters. And as Alejandro Mayorkas gives us “ransomware was “a particularly egregious type of malicious cyber activity” and listed it as the first of several top priorities that his department would tackle in the online sphere” we are not getting the entire story and we are happily giving the Department of Homeland Security that as they have other consideration as well. Yet I personally believe (speculatively) that some programmers working in specific places got handed libraries to make more, but also got a setting where they created software that opened a backdoor, so that all parties have an excuse and any investigation will end up going nowhere. You see there are plenty of real option givers that start as ‘Top 9 Python Frameworks For Game Development’, and that is where it starts. Consider the following scenario: as some developers become better they seemingly need shortcuts and would you believe it, some knows someone on the darkweb and they will hand the developer an option, two actually, one is free, the other one is $19.99, but is ‘presented’ as a lot more secure and it has documentation, that is all that they need and as the library is linked, the trap is set. The game maker does the right thing and enhances his program with either version (both have the flaw), and now, with a passive backdoor is passive (gaming is required), it passes through a whole range of systems and as the game is offered free with ‘in-app purchases’ the people behind the screens suddenly have 100K+ stations for all kinds of use. So whilst some are trivialising “No one really knows the size of the dark web, but most estimates put it at around 5% of the total internet. Again, not all the dark web is used for illicit purposes despite its ominous-sounding name”, we see, ohh not all is illicit, but consider that this software would be in the open internet if it was all on the up and up. The indie developer (many companies of one) has that ‘special feeling’ as he was introduced and others were not, but they all were and some were offered similar links in the end all linking to the same package, and that is the game, so when we we see greed driven idiots like Epic games (and a few others) setting the stage to avoid the Google and Apple store, we will see a much larger shift, one that gives free reign to criminal minded people to infect a massive amount of systems. So when you think that players like DHS is ready for these assaults, the people will soon learn the hard way that they were not and from there it will go from bad to worse.
And this is not about Epic games, even as some will herald “Cesium will be available for free for all creators on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. It’s an open-source plugin for the engine that unlocks global 3D data and geospatial technology. This means that games that use it will be able to discover in real time the location of a player in a given 3D space, using accurate real-world 3D content captured from cameras, sensors, drones, and smart machines” (source: venture beat), we think it is all for the good of us, and it is not, it is good for the pockets of Epic Games, but what happens when other elements get a hold of the saved data linked to geospatial technology? What happens, when foundational advantages that were (for the most) in the hands of players like CIA and GCHQ; what happens when cyber criminals get THAT level of precise data and THOSE cluster data groups? Did you think of that? So whilst some laugh away “games that use it will be able to discover in real time the location of a player in a given 3D space, using accurate real-world 3D content captured from cameras, sensors, drones, and smart machines”, the data will go a lot further, it will optionally end up not merely showing those systems, but the locations of all systems they link to as well. It is a hidden version of what I called the ‘Hop+1’ intrusion malware (thought up by yours truly) that made much of the CIA counter software close to useless, someone took that idea and made a corporate version with some version of a backdoor, in that stage the internet will end up being as dangerous as walking the dog (not the ‘M’ word), in a minefield. Letting the dog have a shit will be the last thing you did that day for a very long time to come.
As such, some might applaud the DHS (they actually did nothing wrong) as we see “a DHS official said the reference was to underground forums that help cybercriminals franchise out their malicious campaigns.” Yet under these situations, finding blame is close to impossible and the mistrusting developers end up helping cyber criminals in the process, and that is if there is ever any prosecutable connection found. 4 stages not directly linked will make prosecution close to impossible. So how is that for size? And whilst we take notice of “He said the agency would “quarterback” the U.S. government’s digital defences and serve as a “trusted interlocutor” between business executives and public servants” we see that their heart is in the right place, but the people they are hunting are heartless, devious, better funded and technologically more up to speed. It is a race many politically governmental intelligence organisations cannot win, not now, and optionally not ever. What a fine mess some corporations got us into.
Yup, even I have to go back to basics at time, it is not a bd thing, it is actually a good thing. I was looking at the language setting for the TV series (Keno Diastima) I designed and I came up with an approach that has three layers, the action, the attached location and the intonation. The idea is based on the old Infocom games, even as their language is more advanced, consider that you are in a location and you do not know each other. Would you make it complex, or simple. The actions would be (for example), Go, Get, Eat, Drink, Move, Grab, Describe, Turn, Say, Examine, Scan, Attack, Defend, Listen, Connect, Make (so far, the list might expand), the location list is set to the same icons, but part of vocal expressionism, in all this, I need to set up a logical icon list that is between 100-200 icons. Then there is the intonation, I thought of setting the relevance and meaning towards the Greek gods (in the series a different setting), as such military instructions will take a note from Ares, sustenance is from Demeter, Liquid needs are Poseidon, and so on. It is not limited to gods, in our world wisdom might also have come from Homer or Plato, in a setting we can grab a person, but under Plato, Apollo and Ares, that meaning could differ a lot. A setting in this is optionally now solved. I got most of season one now done, I merely need to set the events and dialogues, not bad, in this short a time, I have spend in total no more than 12 hours on all of this and I am getting close to 3 seasons, what a nice creative vibe, and I think that going back to basics only assisted the matter.
Yet it is not merely about TV-Series, if language is important, if proper language makes us set the stage that needs to be set, then which yahoo milk-dud came up with the setting of ‘Google Play is unsportsmanlike, U.S. states likely to argue in potential lawsuit’? In what law is sportsmanlike used in corporate decisions? Consider Kmart, Pfizer, Amazon, Shell, Novartis and several others, so how many were accused and prosecuted for ‘unsportsmanlike acts’? Where is that covered in law?
The stage gets wider from there. This comes with the quote “The lawsuit is expected to be filed in February or March, the sources said, and it would follow complaints about Google’s management of its Play Store even though the company was originally seen as more open about its app store than Apple Inc”, this is optional getting ridiculous, I would like to investigate the raw data on all the complaints, including WHO had been complaining. Some might accept it when we see U.S. Justice Department, yet that is run by Audrey Strauss, no matter who she is and she might be really good at his job, but the premise is to get a conviction and just does not work here.
A system that is complex, an Android system it is a Google System, as we see “requires that some apps use the company’s payment tools and pay Google as much as 30% of their revenue”, what Diane Bartz and Paresh Dave are intentionally keeping silent on is that there is a stage where apps are FREE, as such there is contribution, 30% of NOTHING, is NOTHING. This is a stage where people pay $1-$10 for micro transactions, some are very much worth it, others not that much, but that is in the eye of the beholder, but what is important that the entire commercial side requires hardware and software valued at $3000-$8000, and this is before the entire banking part comes into play. Google (Apple too on their devices) takes it all away from the software guy, And in the 1st year these software developers are making a tidy profit, when it normally takes 3-5 year to merely break even, if ever. And this is not about these makers, if they are banned from Android Play and they have to provide their own hardware, they fold and the not so bright people in the legal offices know this, I speculate that they are facilitating for players like Epic Games and these people will not care who gets hurt. The setting that follows is third party providers, yet I demand that any criminal transgressions by these third party players will result in the US Justice department being accountable for ALL damages on the players and on Google, but then like little bitches they run away and blame miscommunication. The intonation is important on both, the US Justice Department is a tool that is being used (as I see it), and as such we are ALL entitled to know the identity and the exact complaint. When the US Justice Department interferes with the safety of our gaming time, no matter where we do it (Android, iOS), you better believe that we all want to nail these idiots to a cross, fortunately the distance between the two locations (Google DC and the US Department of Justice) is 1.2 miles, in good Roman tradition we can (as I personally see it) nail all these people driven to greed driven stupidity on a cross over the lengths of the distance, there is likely to be length left, but I am not hopeful on that, even though, some will have a lovely view on the Lincoln statue for as long as they live. I get it, it might be overly emotional, but the stage is set that we see more and more stupidity on trying to get to Google, all whilst the overhaul of the tax laws would have done it, but that might hurt other people on the hill, would it not? A solution available for 20 years, still ignored, even now and even tomorrow.
A back to basics package that Audrey Strauss could have figured out if she had set her mind to an actual solution and not a witch-hunt, but that might just be me.
Yup, it is about the Amazon tribe, the one that is managed by no one less than Jeff Bezos. They caught my eyes twice today (well once was at 01:34 roughly), so I decided to take another look. First the second story, it was an opinion piece in the New York Times called ‘Don’t Let Amazon Get Any Bigger’. The article (at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/opinion/amazon-antitrust.html) gives us “the evidence presented this week in a long report by the House Judiciary Committee, following a bipartisan investigation of the tech giants, tells a very different story. Amazon’s website forms a choke point through which other companies must pass to reach the market. It has exploited this commanding position to strong-arm other companies, control their means of distribution and drive them out of business”, I am on the fence here. In the first no one was interested in Amazon, now that they have traction everyone is crying foul. It’s like watching gangs cry like little bitches because they aren’t getting scraps, all whilst they forgot that in a library a 9mm is not of much use, a book on the Dewey Decimal Classification is. If I have a firm, I do not give wannabe’s access to my IP, if they do not have their own, they miss out, it is that simple, no matter what size I have. And for the longest time, we see certain firms getting called out, all whilst the grandfathers of this approach (Microsoft and IBM) are given leeways and passes on a non-stop foundation, or perhaps the whinging members of the House Judiciary Committee would like to have a deep conversation in the IBM dealing with NATO, its members and their system 36 (or was that their system 38) approach on ‘distribution’ in 1978-1980, I feel certain that former members of the Digital Equipment Corporation, as well as those of Hewlett Packard would like their day in Congress asking direct questions on certain non-outspoken choices.
A small sidestep that has little (not nothing) bearing on Amazon. Amazon has grown, it has grown dramatically, but it was founded on the stage of an online bookshop. A dream the became a behemoth and Jeff Bezos does have some reason of pride. To be honest, I am not much of an Amazon fan, I have nothing against them and I see that there are places that benefit greatly of their presence, yet just like I prefer my local hooker, I am determined to support my local bookshop and local retail outlets, that is how I roll. It is the first article that I saved for last that has the larger frame of becoming an issue.
It is not the article I initially saw, yet ‘Yes, Amazon Luna dodges Apple’s cloud gaming rules — when will Nvidia and Google?’ (At https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/25/21455343/amazon-luna-apple-app-store-rules-cloud-gaming-streaming-google-nvidia) that is the larger issue. You see, it is not bout being naughty or about going rule dodging. It is seen in “Amazon Luna on iOS is not a traditional app. It’ll never appear in the App Store, and it doesn’t need to”, did you catch on yet? No? OK, let add “it’s a progressive web app (PWA), which is mostly a fancy name for a website that you can launch and run separately from the rest of your web browser. Engadget says it can even appear as an icon on your home screen, making it look like a normal app before you tap it”, I get it if you are still in the dark, so let continue the tory, The verge also had something I did not know before, they give us “Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store”, so even as the Verge is wondering when Google and Microsoft will catch on, the larger danger remains.
This for organised crime is a dream come true, and anyone denying or countering it is a blatant fool. A system the can reside in RAM and sets a stage of multiple systems is the holy grail. For the most as it was all system based, there was no real issue, if things did get wrong, one player is held accountable and it tends to end there, now there is a new stage where one system could open a gateway to basically rob you. Now, you are unlikely to lose a lot $1 at the most, so you might not wake up, but when this happens to well over a million players the amount tends to add up and organised crime (as well as entrepreneurial criminals) love that part, becoming wealthy as they sleep and when the system resets, the evidence is gone. No indications of long doing and the justice systems tend to not engage when the stolen amount is less than $5, so there is that, the interested parties could double their income overnight. But in the long term a person could lose $12-$50 over a year and they might not care or even realise this, but when this is done to 20-50 million people it all ends up being a serious amount of money.
A stage where we all watch things happen all whilst nothing will be done, the ego driven will Tate that it is under investigation, and deny wrongdoings, the secondary stage where some careful phrased denial in the some shape that gives us “We have seen no wrong by we are adding safeties just in case” and the jurisprudential parts that give us, it seemingly is a small crime and involved events of less than $5 the we do not investigate and the clever entrepreneur will walk away with millions upon millions of dollars, the is the stage and greed driven technologists thought they were allegedly clever by allowing a stage where a speculated stage of mis acquisition was an optional reality.
A stage the is increasingly dangerous because it is not merely Google, it I a sage where Epic Games, as well as any other set the stage of avoiding fees from whatever source they owe it to, only to set a much more dangerous stage, one the the cyber crime finals love and one the will all cost us, seemingly not a lot, but enough to make others wealthy beyond their dreams.
This morning started out alright, I was still pondering on what I had wrote yesterday and I still stand by it. Any voices on complexity are not dimmed, the issue is larger than I wrote about it, but to take the full scope makes the matter too complex, I was all about oversimplification, as that tends to show things, but it also polarises any view (including mine). This is what was in my mind when the news on Proton-mail and Andy Yen hit me. You see the moment any firm goes into some preaching stage of ‘App Fairness’ mode, the hairs in my neck tend to rise to the occasion. Now, those who read my blog regularly will have seen that I have no issue slapping the big boys silly whenever I can. So like the proverbial pitbull, I have had a mouthful of pants with Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft logo’s and a chunk of their asses. No matter how big they are, I do not pull my punches (much more fun the way), so let’s have a look at Andy Yen, actually, let’s do something else first, it helps you to understand the station where I am at.
In 2008 Apple launched the App store, initially with around 500 apps. Apple saw in the early days the third party developers would bring home the bacon, but in those years it was not easy being a developer. Those developing for windows had well over a decade of experience and in those days the Software Development Kit would cost a developer $1500, with the additional programming packages and consultancy lessons. So ANY developer would be out of pocket between $3,000 and $5,000 and they would not have anything to show for it. The cost would drastically increase when the program was ready, but the was for another time. So in those days Apple got clever about it and gave us “To publish apps on App Store, developers must pay a $99 yearly fee for access to Apple’s Developer Program”, now consider the first setting of $99 versus $3,000, a new stage that allowed the dreamers and the wickedly clever to publish without a setting of some bulk investment and there was another part, “The income app stores take is 30%. Apple started setting that as a standard – they weren’t the first, but the iOS app ecosystem has been used as a model by many other players in the mobile app space”, now consider the you are a small developer, selling your software will need servers, protection software, shopping kart software, income checkers and go on from that. Apple delivered a system that does it all, so the developer will only need to upload their readied product. Thousands of dollars saved and the small developers get an almost free ride and they pay later through every sale.
This is beyond fair, because the one million programs that came in the first decade would evolve, these people had a second option. They would sell their program for $0.99-$5 and Apple merely takes 30% of the sale, 70% remains with the makers and that contribution setting was already in play with software houses from the 90’s, yet those programs were often $299-$999. A mobile with the option of programs costing less than $5 are more easily sold and these makers suddenly made thousands of dollars, most of them massively happy. In that same light under Microsoft these developers would never exist. The cost of being up and running would strip all revenue away. As such Apple (and Google too) would create a wave of people creating the thousands of dollars to fuel the system would basically be paid for by the more successful players in this field.
So when I see the headline ‘Why we joined the Coalition for App Fairness’, I merely see a greed driven non-truth that is (as I personally see it) fuelled by greed.
So now the you have some of the background, we see the real deal, people like Epic Games and Proton-mail, they had an idea and they used that system to get ahead, which is nice for them, yet now, now that they made it, they want to avoid fees, they want the 30% that they initially signed up for as well. It is basically the same with Epic Games, once they made the numbers, their success went to their heads and they are now fishing (or is that phishing) for the 30% they signed up for? They want to avoid the apple fee and for one player it makes sense, yet this system was designed so that the small players would get a chance to become big, a stage that many faced. So when I see these ‘displays of fairness’ I merely see greed driven players merely wanting more.
The setting is however larger. The quote “First, to be clear, our mission at Proton is to foster an open, free, private, and secure internet. We exist today because a large community of people agree with these goals and support our work. Helping to found CAF does not in any way signal a deviation from these core values. Proton will always remain fiercely protective of our independence in order to put user interests first” gets to be ripped to shreds when we see “to foster an open, free, private, and secure internet”, yes they do have a free option, but it is limited, which might be fair enough, their goal is to be ready for the 4.00 € and 24.00 € a month users, whilst their free accounts are limited, the paying ones are driving this and so far they got 10 million people in their accounts, I am not aware how many constitutes free accounts.
Another point was “Our purpose for joining CAF is not about advancing the goals of Spotify and Epic, but about making sure that you, our community, have a voice in this important debate”, is the so? I find it debatable, for the simple reason that we are also handed “ProtonMail is run by Proton Technologies AG, a company based in the Canton of Geneva, and its servers are located at two locations in Switzerland, outside of US and EU jurisdiction”, whilst this sounds nice, outside of jurisdictions comes at a price and one could argue the organised crime finds the approach appealing, as do some people the want to avoid data accountability, but for the most, I am on the fence of how reliable data safety outside of jurisdictions tend to be (I am not making any statement on the security they run). So the app store has them as a free app, which implies that they are free, but they offer ‘Offers In-App Purchases’, and their own Twitter account gives us “We actually don’t understand the significance of paid account here? ProtonMail doesn’t offer in app purchases on Android, so purchases need to be made through our Swiss website”, and there is the kicker, they want it via their own website to avoid the 30%, exactly how Epic Games set it up, once they have the foundation of users, they want to avoid Apple (and/or Google) fees.
I need to admit that Andy Yen is in a slightly different setting (as is Epic Games). You see, he started with the backing through kick-starters and ended up with a beginning capital of $500K, 5 times of what they needed to get started, a lot do not have that option, which I admit is not the stage that Andy Yen cares about (yet he claims the opposite), we get it, but when we see ‘a better internet that puts people first’, we need to realise the this was exactly what Apple did (Google too), by setting the contribution cycle almost EVERY developer had their chance at stardom, and whilst we see ‘free app’, how many people would have taken it up when the app had to be bought at $9.99, or $19.99? You forget that if we avoid the contribution cycle, we see the the funds need to be found somewhere, do they not? You really cannot get it both ways and for the most the contribution cycle is the most fair, because it is only taken from actual sales, so the newbies get to be there for free or for nothing (or both), and the big players basically pay for the little people.
Consider that and the fact that there is a price for being able to chose from 1.75 million app on a store. If that setting did not exist these store would end up having well over a million apps less. And this year, in the covid year, there is suddenly the need to avoid paying because the investors need to be appeased. As I personally see it greed is the final equaliser against choice, because these players want to be the only provider and the current stage allows new developers deploy their system, optionally a real innovative one, but they get a to because the costs of starting are not there, not like it was anyway.
We all have new roads, some roads are completely new, some are ‘sort of’ new. We tend to like the ‘sort of’ new roads as they feel more familiar, but it does not imply the this is the best road. This is the way we move forward. In all this, how does one react when we go towards a road we have never seen before? Consider the stage the this is not some adventure, it is a choice of life, a choice that impacts one’s life to the latest degree, do we feel as certain?
As some are in a stage where they are considering that President Trump could optionally die of Covid before the next election, we see that this is perhaps the weirdest years we face in half a century. In the UK we see lockdowns with a 5 minute warning, now the is one way to change the settings of any game, yet is it wise? It is in the same direction that others face, a new road, different decisions, but is it all really new? We could call all the plays in the international scene, but we have seen it before, it is a play based upon a play that is old and stale. Even now as the EU wants to limit the apps Apple and Google put on phones, it is merely a variant of Internet Explorer V3 all over again, the greed driven will never learn. So whilst we get informed on “Draft rules would force the tech giants to share their data with rivals, and limit how many of their own apps they pre-install on devices”, I am actually surprised that they did not give us “share their data with non-Chinese rivals”, a stage the we have seen before and one that we will see again, to be honest, I am not certain if the people setting the rules have any clue who the people are that they represent, merely the setting of larger tech company trying to get a grip on technology the they ignored for too long. And ever as we are told “The draft rules, known as the Digital Services Act, aim to set the ground rules for data-sharing and how digital marketplaces operate. They are expected to come into force by the end of the year”, we see a stage where tax rules are ignored, it is too complex for them, they will do it later (or so they believe). Even as we are told “The case has taken on urgency because of the dependence of thousands of EU companies on the tech giants for their business”, a setting which I regard to be a joke, because those ‘thousands of EU companies’ refused to budge on several items when too going was good, they merely latched on like leeches, getting max result for zero effort, I know this because if that was not the case, I would not have the IP I have now, and there are only two contestants for the IP to get ownership, the rest is merely dumbstruck on the side of the road and as they are realising that the digital highway os beyond their comprehension and as they feel the floor slip from under them as 5G comes into power, now they all cry like little girls, all with their own version of ‘Google/Apple is such a mean old bastard, boo hoo hoo hoo’ theatrics and optional fake tears.
My view is given by a few quotes, the first one is “The App Store was opened on July 10, 2008, with an initial 500 applications available”, we then see the that the app store grew with 2 million apps in 2017 and now it has 1.75 million apps. So these people had a decade to get involved with Apple, as such where it their timeline? Bullet point idiots basing their needs on concepts. Where it the actual and factual engineering in place? The story for Google is pretty similar. Global businesses (not merely EU companies) with short sighted goals, short sighted, merely because their spreadsheet was dictated by financial people, not a long term sight in place. I reckon (my speculation) the some people tarted to reconsider their position when Apple announced the 10 billion download mark somewhere in 2011, but at the point the credit crunch got in the way and the people (more lazy than anything else) decided to wait, but the Digital highway is one where waiting is a sin and Google showed the easy enough. And now, as companies are realising that 5G will merely see exponential options where established apps are in place, unless you have a third party data need and that is overwhelmingly attractive, but there the Google and Apple stores are a problem for them. They will happily play with GDPR fines, yet the Google and Apple stores are the problems and as I see it, and as I see it, the EU is stupid enough to force open the doors to others.
Why is this my vision, because we are told “limit which apps Apple and Google pre-install on your phone”, just like the setting it had in the Internet Explorer v3 age. I thought they would have learned by now. In the first, Apple people go iOS, Google people go Android. In all this we the consumer chose what WE want, but did you see any of the in the article? Our voice is not heard ad not given any power, because it is about appeasing ‘the dependence of thousands of EU companies’, the companies that were asleep at the wheel in the first place, not merely asleep, they have nothing to contribute, a concept at best but when you look at the staff, they have none, yet they will sure others the these people will be hired the moment certain steps are finalised, and it will be a ‘complex issue’ to say the least. In all this, these companies have never considered a new road, adjustment and aggregating what they have and what they are delivering, but they all hide behind players like Epic games with, if a game maker can do it, so can our EU business enterprise, can it not? And there we see the first flaw from the very beginning, these people are mostly clueless. Should you consider me wrong, then consider that on the digital highway beyond Apple and Google, the third player is one the started as a book shop, a bloody bookshop no less (Amazon) and its owner, who copycatted his hairstyle from Telly Savalas (just like Vin Diesel did). So consider that whilst we see another gravy train trap our choices in what THEY call open choices, but it is not, it will make life harder for the consumer, not easier and none of them will guarantee your data.
So in the words of Lieutenant Kojak “Who loves you baby!”