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Game of Pawns

Most people have heard of the Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece filmed and shown by HBO. Its final season will come in 2019 and the air is filled with teasers, speculated spoilers and optional fan made false trailers. Yet have you heard of the game of pawns? This goes directly towards the entire Australian Encryption Bill. I spoke about it 2 days ago in ‘Clueless to the end‘, where we are introduced to the misrepresented views of Peter Dutton. On how he plays the system on getting the FAANG group to help him a little, which is exactly what the FAANG group is unwilling to do. In addition to what I wrote there is the voice of Paul Brookes, chair of Internet Australia. He gave us: “it is important for law enforcement to find ways to improve their capabilities for intercepting criminal activities through the communications sectors, “they must not do so via hastily enacted legislation which fails to consider the legitimate concerns and advice of global technology experts, and carries the very clear risk of creating more problems than it solves”“, in this Paul is right and the issue is growing on other settings too. In the last three days we have been made privy to: ‘Hackers stole millions of Facebook users’ highly sensitive data — and the FBI has asked it not to say who might be behind it‘. Optionally because they cannot unsubstantiated blame Russia again, yet in the much larger setting it seems that they do not have a clue. In addition, we see evolving today: ‘PS4 Users Are Claiming That Malicious Messages Are Breaking Their Consoles‘. The last one seemingly has a solution as reported by Kotaku: “It does seem that the exploit is purely text-based, so changing your PlayStation messenger privacy settings should prevent it from happening. You can do that by going to Account Management in your console Settings, heading to the Privacy Settings submenu, and changing Messaging settings to “Friends Only” or “No One,” meaning that only your pre-selected friends or no one at all can message you“. Two attacks, the second one without knowing the extent of the attack in a setting that could not have been prevented by the encryption bill, the fact that the authorities have been grasping in the dark gives a very clear view on how short the authorities are on the ability to stop these events. All the BS short-sighted attempts to access data whilst the entire communication system is flawed beyond belief shows just how clueless the governmental players have become.

So as this week is likely to be about: “It appears to be the worst hack in Facebook’s 14-year history“, many will all go into the blame game against Cambridge Analytical, ye the foundation is that the internet was always flawed, and again we see a setting where the failing of non-repudiation is at the core of certain events. A setting where ““access tokens” – essentially digital keys that give them full access to compromised users’ accounts“, done through hacks into vulnerabilities into a setting of ‘authentication’, where the optional ‘non-repudiation’ might have optionally prevented it. That basic flaw has been around for over a decade and the tech companies are unwilling to fix it, because it makes them accountable in several additional ways.

Non-Repudiation

In a setting where you and you alone could have done certain things, is stage against the setting of someone with the claimed authority has staged the deletion of all you created. That is the stage we are in and the damage is increasing. As more and more vulnerabilities are brought to light, the lack of actions are beyond belief.

The NPR reported something interesting that the initial sources did not give me. They give us: “the hack exploited three separate bugs in Facebook’s code. No passwords were compromised, but the hackers were able to gain “access tokens” that let them use accounts as though they were logged in as another person“, as far as I can speculate, non-Repudiation might not have allowed that, making non-repudiation a much larger priority for social media than ever before. The fact that the data captures are getting larger makes the change also a lot more important. If the value of Facebook is data, keeping that secure should be their first priority, the Encryption bill would also be a void part if non-repudiation becomes an actual part of our lives. The dire need of Common Cyber Sense is seen everywhere and we need to give less consideration to people who cannot keep their Common Cyber Sense.

You see, the issue is becoming a lot more important. The fact that these accounts are now sold on the dark web, with the by-line: “If sold individually at these prices, the value of the stolen data on the black market would be somewhere between $150m and $600m“, we are certain that this will get a lot worse before there is any improvement. It is my personal view that actively seeking a non-repudiation setting will hasten that process of making your data more secure.

It is in addition the setting that the Dream Market offers, which by the way is useless. The Chinese vendor offering the data, could in the end merely be an expelled student from any US university living in Dublin, there is at present no way to tell who Chernobyl 2550 actually is.

Finding and exploiting three bugs in Facebook gets you optionally half a billion, the governments are that far behind and there is no indication that they will catch up any day soon. When going back to the Facebook setting, we also saw “Facebook said third-party apps and Facebook apps like WhatsApp and Instagram were unaffected by the breach“, yet another source gives us: ‘WhatsApp Bug Allowed Hackers To Hack Your Account With Just A Video Call’ (at https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/10/whatsapp-bug-video-call-fixed/) implying that Facebook users are in a lot more peril then shown from the different media. We are given: “A security researcher at Google’s Project Zero discovered a strange bug in WhatsApp that allowed hackers to take control of the app if they just knew your phone number. All they had to do was placing you a video call and getting you to answer it. Though the WhatsApp bug was disclosed only on Tuesday, Google researcher Natalie Silvanovich had discovered and reported it to the Facebook-owned company back in August“. So even as it seems that Facebook is not giving us ‘faulty’ information; the mere fact on the existence of the flaw as seen with: “She disclosed the WhatsApp bug to the public only after the company fixed it via a software update. Silvanovich wrote in a bug report that heap corruption could occur when the WhatsApp app “receives a malformed RTP packet.” The bug affects only the Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp because they use the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) for video calling” is showing a dangerous setting where a number of failings within this year alone gives rise to the flaws in security and proper testing of apps and the stage of security is failing faster than we should be comfortable with.

So even as CBS News was all about hacking elections last week, giving us: “These cyber-attackers are driven by a variety of motivations, says Andrea Little Limbago, the chief social scientist at data security firm Endgame. “As long as attackers find it in their best interests or find the motivation to want to have some sort of effect … they’re going to think about what they could do with that access,” she says. “Especially China, Russia, and Iran.”“, the failing we see that there is a flaw in the system, it is not merely on pointing at the wrong players, it is about the flawed setting that some systems were breached in the first place. The larger setting is not the hack, it is access and the need for non-repudiation is growing at an alarming rate, in a setting where none of the players are ready to accept non-repudiation, we see a faulty authentication approach and that is the cost of doing business. So when you consider it a sign of the times, consider that I personally witnessed a bug that Whatsapp showed over 27 years ago, when a financial package on DEC VAX/VMS has something called Ross Systems. An intentional illegal action would crash your terminal program and leave any user in the VAX/VMS system with supervisor rights, with total access to every file on the server and every drive. Would it be nice if certain lessons were learned over a quarter of a century?

That is the issue sand the opposition of those who want to push out new features as soon as possible and that danger will only increase in a 5G setting, so when your mobile becomes your personal data server and someone does get access to all your credit card and health data, you only have yourself to blame, good luck trying to sue the technology companies on that. Actually that is exactly what Google is facing with class actions against both the Pixel and Pixel 2 at present. Should they lose these, then the ante goes up, because any case involving flawed data security, when flagged as inappropriately dealt with could cost Google a lot more than they are bargaining for, and it is not just Google, Apple, and Facebook will be in equal settings of discomfort.

If only they had properly looked at the issues, instead of seeking the limelight with a new fab. In the end, are we mere pawns to them, to be exploited and under secured for their short terms needs of clicks and sales pitches? What happens when it falls? They will still get their golden handshakes and a life without complications for decades, what are we left with when our value in data is sold on?

We are merely pawns in a game and no one wants the throne, they merely want to be the second fiddle and walk away overly rich (or own the Iron Bank), we enabled this, and we get to live with the fallout that comes next, all because non-repudiation was too hard for these players.

 

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Clueless to the end

That is quite the statement is it not? The question that follows is is the writer clueless (aka me) or the presenter of certain statements (aka Peter Dutton, current Home Affairs Minister). I will leave that to you as I am merely presenting the facts as I see them.

It all started on a simple Wednesday (2 days ago) when I was confronted with the statement ‘Coalition calls on Google and Facebook to get on side with encryption bill‘, just another political yada yada moment and I was about to ignore it and more to the next page when I noticed ‘the internet giants have a responsibility to help combat organised crime‘, which woke me up nice and widely. So the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/10/coalition-calls-on-google-and-facebook-to-get-on-side-with-encryption-bill) gives us: “Australia’s law enforcement agencies have been prevented from infiltrating paedophile networks and other organised crime groups because the messages they send over encrypted electronic messaging services, such as Wickr and Whatsapp, cannot be intercepted by authorities“, in light of Australia being America’s minion in the anti-Huawei activities is admitting that mere app decryption is beyond their ability? And they have the loudly shouted notion that Huawei is a 5G risk whilst ‘basic’ skills are not in their arsenal? Apart from making a case that Huawei is now basically a political fuelled exploitation game and a setting of bias (and optionally nepotism), we are interested in learning that certain skills are beyond Australian Intelligence. I am certain that Paul Symon, Mike Burgess and Duncan Lewis would have been delighted to learn of this revelation via the Guardian, but that was merely comical relief anecdote, let’s get down to the brass of it all.

We get to see the first part in “He said a new report from the Australian Institute of Criminology, released on Wednesday, estimated the cost of serious and organised crime in Australia in 2016–17 was between $23.8bn and $47.4bn, and showed how sophisticated internet-based crimes can be“. So as we take a look at that report (attached), we take a first look at the end (just like any detective story, starting at the end we see the revelations we needed to see if the story adds up). So there we see: “This paper sought to estimate the cost of serious and organised crime in Australia for the 2016–17 financial year. It was not possible to undertake new empirical research to provide more accurate baseline data to support the estimated costs, so in most cases uprating using the RBA (2018) inflation calculator was used in conjunction with the most recent reported crime statistics to assess the prevalence of the various crime types examined“, which gives us another part. The first is on page 3 where we clearly see (in bold) ‘$31.5 BILLION for the cost of serious and organised criminal activity as well as the serious and organised component of conventional crimes‘, so now we see in opposition an amount against ‘between $23.8bn and $47.4bn‘, which I admit remains a truth, yet when we do the math, we see $15.9B for prevention and $31.5B for the so called organised and serious criminal activity, which gets us to $47.4B. At this point we could surmise that Peter Dutton passed his basic math test, was it not that the same page 3 (just like in the Sun, for the longest of times) gives us an additional $8.6 on organised Fraud (debatable), and $6.5B, $9.6B, $4.1B and others adding up to almost $2.7B, so in total we have the $31.7B, yet here is the problem, the individuals cannot clearly represent 100% of organised crime. We are now getting to the miscategorised and the miss set properties of certain players, which also deflates the issue. It becomes a larger setting when we consider the ABC, who reported in May 2017: “the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, and the reported losses from online scams across the nation come in at around $300 million“. So here we get the second part. We see ‘online scams‘ and I am willing to accept that, yet against ‘PURE CYBER CRIME‘ the question becomes what is what and where are the definitions and this gets us to page 18 where we see: “It extends the conventional understanding of organised crime groups by adding all serious crime of an entrepreneurial nature or committed to support a criminal enterprise, whether by a group or an individual“, now the entire setting changes. It optionally includes all the entrepreneurial naughty people in places like Wall Street does it not? Good luck getting anything done at that point!

Then we get to the illicit drug activity. Now, I am not debating the number overall. I do not have the data to do so, yet consider the part on page 10 where the three costs are included namely Medical costs, Lost Output and Expenditure on drugs. The items are fine, it is how you set your filter, I get that, yet in all this when we consider the numbers and the setting whilst we also have been treated to the longest time to those individuals in caravans in the middle of nowhere making their acid/ecstasy junk. So when we look at Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), we can see that it is a serious crime and that we are given a dangerous setting, no one denies that, yet in all this, those singular people who do something with gallons of cough syrup (as It was presented at one point) we should also see that at this point that Peter Dutton had all the elements added together and presents it like a Ponzi scheme, or should I say that it looks like an Amway sales presentation (the one I saw at least)? You know, the one where someone states ‘replicate, don’t reinvent‘ it is a good sales pitch, no one denies that, and it is here that we see the flaw and failing of Peter Dutton.

You see his presentation adds up ‘perfect’, these numbers add up, whilst a millennia of history shows us that numbers never add up, not in any criminal enterprise; to do that I have to teach you a little data basic. The best comparison is the use of a cross tabulation. Let’s take gender and shoes. For example we see 6 men and 14 women bought shoes. We also see that 24 women and 25 men did not buy shoes. So far we get the table on the left, yet now we also get the setting that a cross tabulation will not deal with.

For example the fact where we know that shoes were bought, yet the gender is unknown or we see a gender reference and that something was bought, but we cannot see if they were shoes. These are called missing values and they will not show up in that cross tabulation and there we see the first part. It gives us the setting of crimes but not by whom, they are serious in setting but that is not enough is it? You see Peter Dutton gave us ‘help combat organised crime‘, yet not all serious crime is done by organised crime and now we have a $47 billion dollar question and in addition the failing that we are now introduced to is a much larger failing. In this we now see that we saw in the beginning when we went to the end of the story. It is seen with: ‘estimated the cost of serious and organised crime‘ and that is not enough. We could argue that it should be, we can argue that (the amount involved) is way too big, but the setting is not merely that Tech companies should ‘help’, it is the prosecution setting. The setting that there is too much junk attached and the prosecution will fail in the bulk of all those cases because the evidence relies on loaded and unproven data. It is the part that we have faced for well over 7 years. The court barristers will give every jury the speech of authentication versus non-repudiation and the second one cannot be proven (in most cases), so we end up not merely not having ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, there will be a high and likely chance that the courts will not even be able to prove ‘on the balance of probabilities‘ or ‘is it more likely than not‘ and it is here where we see that Peter Dutton could be optionally wasting millions upon millions of costs to set the stage of presentation that will have little to no results and that is a much larger problem. The additional play is that any smudging of any presented evidence will give us the stage that a case will be thrown out of court, how is that helping anyone?

So whilst we ponder this, we need to review the statement “And it should be noted the same companies who protest about having to help police with the encryption problem, operate their business in less democratic countries and accept a compromise on privacy to allow their presence in those growth markets“. We are not those countries are we? so at this point, we get the impression that Peter Dutton is merely a minion for the intelligence services who according to him were unable to ge to places in the first place, which implies that certain players have much larger problems and the serious cirme part, which is not on their plate is already beyond them, so there!

At this point we get to the final part where we see: “It is important that tech firms understand and embrace their responsibilities to the community that has helped enrich them“, I actually do agree with that part, yet that should be set in taxation law. A flaw that I reported on yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/10/11/taxation-solved-the-old-way/) which I charmingly called ‘Taxation solved the old way‘ (pun intended). So when we now consider the biggest organised crime master in Common Law (Al Capone), who funny enough got scuttled not by crime fighters but by tax laws. How we get to relearn the lessons of old, do we not?

It gets us to the quote: “Currently our police and intelligence officers who have a warrant may be able to covertly recover an email or a photo or other evidence of a crime from someone’s computer, but they can’t crack encryption, which is why it is now being exploited by criminals“, so these are criminals and not organised crime. Or in a simplistic setting that every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. It is at that point that I will teach Peter Dutton the one lesson he never learned (optionally he merely forgot the lesson).

Consider: “When sarcasm bounces it is merely irony“, a lesson that has a much wider application that the honourable youthful young Dutton might not have contemplated yet. However, we have to consider he was only reappointed his seat on August 24th, so he has time to settle in. And the lesson does not end, the second part of the lesson is not from me, it comes from Lizzie O’Shea who gives us: “they were united for the first time in their opposition to the government’s encryption bill“, when we see united tech giants, how short sighted was this encryption bill in the first place? It gets to be a larger issue when we add the setting from World Animal Day (pun intended) when we see the two parts “Telstra has won a $8.2 million contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the landing of the Coral Sea Cable System” and “Chinese technology giant Huawei was originally set to build the 2.5TB-cable linking Australia to the Pacific island nation back in July 2017. However, following concerns that Huawei’s involvement posed a security risk, the Australian government stepped in to fund the multi-million-dollar project from its foreign aid budget“, whilst clear evidence has never been presented and in that stage we see optional nepotism and ego and not fact and science based solutions. We are supposed to trust any of the reporting parties on any of this? The articles are different on different settings, yet the entire mess as it is now shows a much larger failing and a setting of doubt, not one of justified confidence and in that we see the second part of the reason why the tech giants are uniting. A certain play performed by adjusting to the notion of stupid and short sighted whilst the captains of industry have been getting their A-game in gear and others never did. It is merely another stage of the impact of iterative exploitation and profit founding, that whilst Huawei, Google, Apple and Samsung are no longer going iterative, they are now making larger leaps over the next 5 years as they want the largest slice of 5G pie possible and in an iterative setting the others can catch up and that is where we see the clash, because these hardware jumps will also prevail in software and data jumps and some players are in no way ready to play that game. That is where this so called balanced report strikes out as well. this is seen on page 21, where we see: “Because information and communications technologies are used widely throughout society and are instrumental to government, business and consumer activities, there is considerable overlap between the estimated costs of cybercrime and the costs of other crime types— particularly economic crimes, banking and financial crimes, transnational crime, online commerce and internet-facilitated crime such as consumer fraud, online dissemination of child exploitation material and intellectual property infringement“. You see in that stage we see the mention of ‘economic crimes, banking and financial crimes‘. Here we see that Financial institutions and Wall Street come into play (perhaps ‘entrepreneurial bankers’ is a much better term). This is not organised crime because Wall Street never committed any crimes did they, yet they are at the centre of a group of people in that classification are they not? And there we see not merely the adaptations of block chains, we see that organised crime will go there (as soon as they possibly can) whilst the bulk of all the players will not be ready and any encryption bill will hinder the progress of new technology as other players are not anchors of stability, they are concrete blocks of deceleration, another part not considered in any of this.

So yet, the tech companies are uniting and there is a second part in all that. When they strike a deal with Saudi Arabia and set a large part in the city of Neom; when Saudi Arabia accepts certain concessions towards the FAANG group? I personally believe that as soon as the benefit is clearly shown to the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the headway that they could make, they will adjust whatever they can according to Islamic Law, and at what point will governments realise that their only option of control will be isolation and a loss of economy? We are not that far away from that point. Even as we were told yesterday “A senior executive who works for Google’s parent company and a former US secretary of energy have dropped out of a Saudi Arabia tech and business advisory board following international outcry over the disappearance and alleged murder of a dissident Saudi journalist“, yet as Google cloud picks up more and more banks, how long until they reverse the setting? In this the Financial Times also gave us (a day earlier): “A radical blueprint to transform Saudi Arabia through socio-economic reform and ambitious development projects is persuading banks to return to Riyadh“, so at what point will we realise that Saudi Banking is growing and that all players want them as customers? It all boils to dollars and crime is merely a cost of doing business. It is that side that shows the missing data part (going back to the cross tabulation comparison). Corporations have always been about the privileges that come with a certain network and the most facilitating one is the one they will choose, that is in the heart of the flaw that I saw regarding Peter Dutton’s claims here. A bill that stops facilitation and stops optional business on much more levels, as banks need to show more and more profit. The greed driven business model will always be destructive in nature, learning that lesson 10 years ago would have made a difference, now it no longer will.

That is part of the heart of the “$40bn of foreign money is expected to flow into the stock market as a result of Saudi Arabia gaining MSCI emerging markets index status next year“, that against a flawed encryption bill, it was a bad play, played even worse on the surface of all the facts shown and I did not even bother going all the way when it comes to the initial ‘sought to estimate the cost‘, it almost reads like ‘the lady gains weight and we are trying to determine whether she is pregnant, or if she really likes pizza‘, how was that ever going to go? Perhaps asking her: ‘Have you been screwed (over) lately?‘ It could give you a truth and a lot more non-truths. That is the problem with data, whilst moulding data in one direction, you tend to open a door in another direction too, I learned to see and seek those doors, oh and that is before we consider the estimates and the application of weights to a data file, which I do not know whether it happened. this we should have consider with the statement on page 2 ‘Where data were not available for this period, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) (2018) inflation calculator was used to uprate estimated costs from earlier periods‘, the part ‘uprate estimated costs‘ would have gotten us that part, also the fact that it is not data merely a ballpark idea on what the data could be, it is not the same, is it?

 

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Taxation solved the old way

Yes, that is a nice weird way is it not? It all started yesterday when I was confronted in the Guardian with: ‘‘McMafia’ law: woman who spent £16m at Harrods is jailed banker’s wife‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/10/wife-of-mcmafia-banker-with-16m-harrods-spending-habit-named). The article by itself was not the issue; it woke up a spark in me. Now, I have nothing against wealth, I do not have any and that is fine (for the most mind you). Yet we all have ‘duties’ that we should be bound to and that is fine for the most as well. So as we understand that the UK is close to two thousand billion in debt, does it not seem fair that we all pay our share? From the HRMC point of view, especially those who should be regarded (to its wielding commander Jon Thompson, formerly Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence) as an HRMC positive and subjects of interest. So as such, it was interesting to read that Zamira Hajiyeva, wife of Azerbaijani banker jailed for defrauding his state-owned bank out of as much as £2.2bn gets to live her life with a monthly spending spree of well over £100,000 a month at Harrods alone. So as we are introduced to: “The court of appeal has lifted a veil of secrecy to allow the publication of details of the UK’s first unexplained wealth order (UWO), in which the National Crime Agency alleges that stolen funds were used to buy a £11.5m, five-bedroom property in Knightsbridge, 100 yards from the doors of Harrods“. How is this even possible? And when you consider “The NCA also claims suspect cash funded the £10.5m purchase of Mill Ride golf and country club in Ascot via a company based in Guernsey. The Knightsbridge home was allegedly bought via a firm in the British Virgin Islands, which the NCA alleges is controlled by Hajiyeva“, which for me implies that she will optionally be my neighbour (or nearby neighbour) in the future (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). So when we are casually told that “Hajiyeva’s lawyers had convinced a judge to impose reporting restrictions that prevented the woman, her husband, his bank or their nationality from being reported“, I merely contemplate on how the HRMC has been wasting the time of too many people. When we see that a court ruling gives us: “Hajiyeva could only be referred to as “Mrs A”“. How does any of that make sense? So after well over ten years we see: “The court also heard that Hajiyeva had access to a $42m Gulfstream G550 jet and had a wine cellar stocked with some of the world’s most expensive bottles. Mr Justice Supperstone has ordered that Hajiyeva must comply with the UWO and explain how she amassed the money used to fund the property purchases. If she is unable to prove the legitimate source of the funds, the properties could be seized“. You would think that I care, but I do not, because it all dwarves against ‘Facebook’s UK tax bill rises to £15.8m – but it is still just 1% of sales‘, which implies that the HRMC did more damage to the UK treasury in one year then the labour party could have achieved in a decade of ambitious overspending. OK, that was an exaggeration, but the message is clear. This is an amazing amount of wrong issues regarding corporate taxation and it is time that it is addressed. The mere fact that certain political players have been paying a fast and loose game whilst we all facilitate to keep the treasury coffers in deep debt is just too large an issue. So when we see: “Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP and former chairman of the public accounts committee, said it was “absolutely outrageous that Facebook’s UK tax bill is 0.62% of their revenue here; on an income of £1.2bn they really should be paying much more than £7.4m”“, we can agree that Margaret Hodge is not whistling Dixie, yet her own party did their share of damage between 1997 and 2010, if they had ACTUALLY stepped up to the task, this situation might not have as dire as it seemingly is at present. So both isles are in the wrong here and have been so since close to 1995. When I see: “The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has pledged to push ahead with a new “digital services tax” to force the US firms to pay more tax. He said the UK would introduce its own levy if other countries fail to follow through with a globally coordinated tax plan” I would optionally refer to him as a pussy and a whimp. You see, this could have been solved by taxing at the moment of sales, in the country of the purchasing customer from the get go. Sales tax on anything sold, online through ITunes, Google Play, Facebook and all parts. It would have been so simple, but we see: ‘the UK would introduce its own levy if other countries fail to follow through with a globally coordinated tax plan‘ sounds nice, but that takes years and by the time it is implemented there is a new administration and we see delays and other objections; politicians (mostly) with the spine of a paperback, not one solid spine among them. It has gone on for way too long.

So how does one compare to the other?

Consider: “Hajiyeva is the wife of Jahangir Hajiyev, 57, the former chairman of the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan. In 2016 he was sentenced to 15 years in jail for defrauding the bank out of up to 5bn manat (£2.2bn)“, so someone walks into the UK, her husband in jail for allegedly stealing over £2,000,000,000, his wife is  spending well over £100,000 a month for over a decade in one shop alone and no one acts? You tell me! Who has been on social services in the UK and got a sly look for spending an additional £200 on a birthday? And it gets better! That we get from Out-Law (at https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/october/new-uk-offshore-tax-evasion-and-avoidance-measures-/). Here we are ‘treated’ to: “longer time limits for assessment are being introduced for those who do not voluntarily settle past non-compliance. Criminal prosecutions will also be easier. A register of people with significant control over non-UK companies owning UK real estate is to be introduced in 2021. It will also become mandatory to disclose cross border tax planning“, so the wealthy and the creative with access to accountant and tax lawyers will get three years to plan additional barricades and avoidance discussions, as well as contemplate life outside of the UK.

So how long until we get the news that delays and bad investment timing rears its ugly head from some MP who is required to keep the wealthy just where they are? After all how can we ever afford: “£65 per person including a glass of Harrods Premier Cru Brut, NV Champagne“, well the answer is simple merely because a rough 78.4% of the British tax paying audience will never really be able comfortably be able to afford that unless they give in on essential needs, optionally for months.

In all this there is a wave of not mere injustice, it is seemingly a wave of facilitation towards the overly wealthy, criminal or not. The fact that we are seemingly lulled to sleep by too many is an additional worry. So even as we thought that the police was on top of things with the August article of the Daily Mail (not the greatest source, mind you) giving us: ‘Roll up, roll up for the criminal auction! More than £2.4million worth of crooks’ ill-gotten gains to go under the hammer including a house, diamonds, emeralds, a luxury‘ and we see: “Luxury ill-gotten goods with an estimated value of £2.4 million that were once owned by criminals are set to go under the hammer this month. The expensive items that were seized by police include Rolex watches, gold jewellery, Cartier and Hermes belts and a diamond worth £22,000“, yet this optionally alleged spender of ill-gotten gains (Zamira Hajiyeva) got to spend 15 times the confiscated auctioned amount all by herself, which includes the five-bedroom property in Knightsbridge, and a lot more that is not part of the amount I mentioned here. So, even as we are introduced to a banker who has the wealth levels of a Rothschild, we are seemingly in the dark how this is achieved. You see, I do not care about her or her husband and how they got to do it, I truly do not. The fact that for well over a decade this level of facilitation is possible in the UK and Europe is just insane. And the issue is not that there is an optional solution from 2021 onwards. Italy did something ‘innovative’ years ago. There we see: “For at least a decade, the European Parliament has approved documents that specifically ask to extend the offence of mafia association to all member states – a law that is known as 416 bis in the Italian penal code. The parliament also calls to allow unexplained assets to be confiscated, even without a criminal conviction, which is another cutting-edge “innovation” of Italian legislation to combat organised crime. But these documents, despite being approved by the parliament, have all remained dead in the water due to the opposition of several member states, and despite constant requests from Europol and Eurojust – the EU’s police and judicial cooperation agencies.” Let’s call this: ‘all shout and no progress, welcome to the EU‘, or as we saw it in the US in the 70’s with their mafia cowboy senate events, all air and no prosecution. That is what we face and before we consider going after Zamira Hajiyeva, consider that politicians are enabling Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google to get away with hundreds times more then we could ever collect from the Hajiyeva family. Are you still wondering why government treasury coffers are so empty? So as we were treated in March to ‘The European Union will propose a 3% tax on digital revenue this week‘, the fact that it is below 10% should be hanging offense, a hanging offense for the majority of ALL EU politicians mind you. It is time to get serious, but we are shouting against a group of people who need that FAANG group for juicy connections down the road, so I do not believe that something actually will be achieved before 2030, and as the head of Facebook northern Europe, Steve Hatch gives us: ““By the end of 2018 we will employ 2,300 people in the UK and we are doubling our office space in London’s King’s Cross, with capacity for more than 6,000 workstations by 2022. “We have also changed the way we report tax so that revenue from customers supported by our UK teams is recorded in the UK and any taxable profit is subject to UK corporation tax.”“, we are already seemingly informed of an optional one year delay regarding cross border tax planning for Facebook. Funny how that would work out, is it not?

so when you read another headline like: ‘Fury as Starbucks pays just £4.5m tax on £162m profits‘, you might feel that there is a need for fury, also realise that there will be no results, not any day soon and that should anger you a lot more and the Labour side is just as guilty as the Conservatives are, I would claim that Labour is more guilty because at the dawn of the digital age they had the option to set up a fence from the very beginning and they decided not to do that, or claim to do and fail to do, whatever seems more correct to you.

So as you were contemplating how naughty some bankers are, consider how weak politicians have been for the longest times as billions that should have been collected got facilitated for and pushed to the board of directors of corporations in America (read: their ‘fat cat’ bonus).

In the end, we could use statistics and get creative, when we consider that between 1620 and 1725, women without brothers or sons to share their inheritance comprised 89 percent of the women executed for witchcraft in New England. When you consider that, do you still think that those witch trials in Salem were stupid and narrow minded? Perhaps they were in the end really creative in legislatively through allowed legal means, acquiring large shares of wealth, who was going to stop them? Perhaps Facebook with a: ‘share if you care’ option?

Nowadays we see that ‘criminal’ has become for the most a person who got convicted, because they did not have the right tax lawyer & barrister in his/her arsenal, how the times have changed. In this we merely have to hold a candle to the thoughts of Oscar Wilde who stated: “Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike“. So as our acceptance of wealth and money takes over, morality becomes a mere obstruction towards further gains.

I should have applied to Mossack Fonseca with my Law degree when I had the chance.

 

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Just like everyone else

For the longest of times, I have worshiped Google. I have always been pro Google, and having worked in their offices for a year, being exposed to the options within Google is just overwhelming (and the food is pretty much the best in the world). So what happens when you are shown that Google is basically just like all the other large corporations? What when you wake up to an early e-mail where google advises you on the new Google Home Hub and the Google Pixels 3 (which is appealing even if it is at the price of your soul), yet 150 minutes later, you are shown by the Wall Street Journal that Google is just like every other corporation at present, how would you feel?

I can tell you that an ice bucket of water over your head at that point would have seemed a soft caress in contrast to the rude awakening I was made privy to.

To get the better view, we need to go back to May 2108, where we were treated to: “Google Australia’s boss Jason Pellegrino, who spoke on a CEO panel at Sydney’s CeBIT tech conference today, told the audience there had to be a “utility exchange” for the data a business obtains, adding if there is no trust, it can prove detrimental“, as well as ““That was about a leaky bucket. That data was going to places that consumers didn’t expect, didn’t agree with and got not value out of themselves. “None of these data buckets should be leaky. However, it’s started a discussion about what’s in the bucket itself. The data that’s there has been used to deliver a great service – no one has been sitting there saying Netflix ‘I can’t believe the data that you’re sharing’ – because they are delivering a wonderful service.”“. So as we were given on Monday ‘Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to Public‘ with the two quotes: “Google exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users of the Google+ social network and then opted not to disclose the issue this past spring, in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage, according to people briefed on the incident and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal“, as well as “A software glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and fixed the issue, according to the documents and people briefed on the incident“, so basically Jason Pellegrino (not the exquisite Italian sparkling water) was basically calling the kettle black, whilst we can agree at this point that he had no business opening his mouth in the first place in light of 3 years of hidden software screw ups. It seems to me that both are in equal hot waters. Even if we water it down (not using sparking Pellegrino) into a setting that Cambridge Analytica was doing it on purpose and that the implied setting by Alphabet Inc. is that their software engineers basically did not know what they were doing (to some extent). We can call a fair dinkum, but something this hidden for three years. What optional issues can we expect from the Google Pixel 3, with Android version 3.14159265418 (Android Pie), as well as the Google Home Hub where the consumer is optionally revealing all their daily needs (including the speculatively implied and roughly estimated 54,233 daily attempts to watch Pornhub) with or without the optional keywords Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, Shania Twain, Selena Gomez, Kirsten Dunst and Taylor Swift. Yes, that is the data those marketeers are willing to pay handsomely for, not to mention those unnamed parties speculatively involved in election persuasion consultancy projects.

It gets even more interesting that the Home Hub could potentially reveal when a person is at home or not (like on vacation), because there is no one who would want that data, right? Last week we would not have given it a second thought, yet with the revelations in the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-exposed-user-data-feared-repercussions-of-disclosing-to-public-1539017194) we now have a much larger issue. It was fun to see the review on the Verge where we see this puppy in action (the Google Home Hub) where the operator asks for the overview of the Pixel 2, whilst pre-orders of the Pixel 3 are happening all over the world, another fallen blobby in all this.

So as we see the turmoil that one of the world’s biggest tech giants will face over the last quarter of the year, we need to realise that you should never meet your idol whilst he is still alive. I reckon that Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai will be able to hold his cool for the smallest amount when he meets me, but that is presently not a given.

So as well are treated to “The closure of Google+ is part of a broader review of privacy practices by Google that has determined the company needs tighter controls on several major products, the people said. In its announcement Monday, the company said it is curtailing the access it gives outside developers to user data on Android smartphones and Gmail” we need to wonder what is next for the social media people. I actually preferred Google+ as it was less junk driven then Facebook. And it also gave me the timeline as a first instead of the populist drive, which still annoys me in Facebook. So even as some at Google as trying to wane us to slumber, the cold reality is : ‘the company has no evidence that any outside developers misused the data but acknowledges it has no way of knowing for sure‘. That is the immediate setting in this, we no longer know who has our details and we might never know how we were optionally specifically phished and targeted as per 2015, is that not a nice new reality to face?

So as we need to realise “The company will stop letting most outside developers gain access to SMS messaging data, call log data and some forms of contact data on Android phones“, we might think it is no big deal, but this has the data potential to be a lot larger than any nightmare scenario that the UK ‘Hacked Off‘ ever envisioned in their nightmare settings that the press would have been up to, when people with less scruples (not by much though) have been given optional access to and let’s not forget, the criminals tend to be more creative then the law enforcers ever have been (or some of the intelligence services for that matter).

So even as we accept that the Google plus issue is a dwarf compared to the Facebook scandal, it still optionally victimised the setting through: “It found 496,951 users who had shared private profile data with a friend could have had that data accessed by an outside developer, the person said. Some of the individuals whose data was exposed to potential misuse included paying users of G Suite, a set of productivity tools including Google Docs and Drive, the person said. G Suite customers include businesses, schools and governments“.

I am not alone in this, a few hours ago, the New York Times are giving us: ‘How Will Google Play Its New Product Announcements on the Back of a Data Scandal?‘ (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/business/dealbook/google-data-products.html). It is not merely that part, we need to consider that at present only Apple has a seemingly clean slate and they can use this to their advantage. It is in the end watered down by the NY Times through “They’re all part of Google’s strategy to highlight the company’s services via hardware (rather than necessarily become best-sellers in their own right)“, they are all still ruled by software and the cold setting here is that it is their software that was incompletely tested and prodded by those who should have done so. I refuse to merely blame a programmer here, it is a much larger problem!

The failing here can be seen in places like Ubisoft, EA Games, Bethesda, Microsoft and several other large developers. The non-stop trivialisation of proper testing and proper timelines to test settings is at the back of all this. It is not merely a lacking QA, it is a non believe in the power of testers and longer conversations in their insights that is here as well. Issues seen in FIFA 19, several shortcomings in NHL 19, AC Odyssey bugs reported mere hours ago and the less said regarding the Microsoft Surface Go the better and the list goes on. These issues shows that Google is part of the entire problem, the quality testing and scrutiny is seemingly not done (or not done to the extent needed), and with the Google Pixel 3 just around the corner, with a lessened confidence level at present, would you at that point trust the Google Pixel 3XL 128GB at $1500, or will you play it cautiously and select the less powerful, but still a large step forward when selecting the Huawei nova 3i 128GB Handset at $600, in this day and age, can we feel comfortable with spending an optional $900 too much? I will admit that there are a few alternatives at that price, not merely Huawei, but the list of quality choices is very small.

The revelation that the Wall Street Journal exposed us to on Monday is probably the most inconvenient that Google has faced in a long time. Even before we see whatever Google has to promote in the near future on 5G capabilities and enabling technologies, they now have a visible problem to address. It is not merely a dent in their armour, it now shows us a Google that was optionally never the knight in shining armour it has largely been seen as, which is a much larger problem for Google then they are willing to admit to any day soon.

Too many are hiding behind hype terms like AI and machine learning, yet the realisation that non repudiation and authentication was required on many more levels where data is involved in all this, is a failing on several levels, predominantly the developers one and it is there that Google will possibly face a very hard time to come.

#Halfwaytotheweekendnow

 

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Trademarking idiocy

Is it not great that we have trademarks? You see, a trademark can be used to set a level of protection to names that are unique. Trademarks are granted to protect established brand names from inferior competition. It is in that we could trademark ‘MattHancock’, we need to protect this as such levels of what I regard to be almost Olympian levels of idiocy. When this trademark is widely known we could set the stage that people can be silly, stupid or even idiots, yet you can never get beyond a certain level of idiocy as it is limited to Matt Hancock.

Why is this?

Well, to see that we need to look at actually two elements. The first is the Independent that gives us: ‘Government orders chief medical officer to draw up guidelines on social media time limits‘ (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/social-media-time-limit-facebook-instagram-twitter-snapchat-matt-hancock-a8561511.html). When has this ever worked? When we are seeing the blame game with: ““The terms of reference of Facebook and Instagram say you shouldn’t be on it if you are under the age of 13,” he said. “But they do nothing to police that. The guidelines for WhatsApp say you shouldn’t be on it unless you’re 16. But again, they don’t lift a finger.”” We get it; people need to be on a certain age. Yet, how to check it? Well, did Matt Hancock think of the most usual path? Perhaps leave it to parenting, more important, if someone is caught with these apps whilst not being of the right age, how about holding the PARENTS accountable? This is not something for the law, to prosecute, and when you get there, we get a trial that is a joke because the person was underage. How about making the parents prosecutable in all this? This is all about kicking certain players again and again, whilst they are in a corner. This is too much about getting waves and political election cloud, whilst we all know that the setting is a joke from the very beginning. To see that, we merely need to look at the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-45693143) give us: “A Guardian columnist highlighted the security breach on Twitter and the BBC was also able to access private details of people attending the event. The Conservative Party apologised for “any concern caused” and said “the technical issue has been resolved”. The Information Commissioner’s Office said it would be making inquiries. BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the technical glitch was “deeply, deeply embarrassing” for the party“, so the one party that cannot get a decent grasp on common cyber sense is going to police time limits on social media? How laughingly stupid can a person get?

So when we are treated to: “One of Labour’s shadow cabinet, Jon Trickett, criticised the Conservatives for the breach and said: “How can we trust this Tory government with our country’s security when they can’t even build a conference app that keeps the data of their members, MPs and others attending safe?”“, can we also take that leap of faith that the overall comprehension of certain parts in all this is beyond the ability of politicians on both sides of the isle?

I can agree that when we see: “Meanwhile, public campaigns such as Scroll Free September have been launched to encourage the public to use social media less. The initiative, from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), asked people to stop using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat during September, or to cut down the amount of time they spend on them“, we need to consider that this is not the worst idea. Just like ditching the car for a day. It is not within the option for many people, but some might be able to see if they can do without social media for a day. The problem is that everyone is focussed on Facebook and Instagram, yet the setting is a lot larger than that and setting this stage to these two is one of discrimination which is a hot potato on several sides. In addition, must tertiary educations rely on social media like Facebook to get their message across not merely on events, but also on causes and interest groups that use Facebook to get their message across, what happens when you are out of time? It is an overall usage where critical analyses of how it is used is close to impossible, because that requires access to data to set the stage, and that caused most of the problems in the first place.

Yet, we also need to see and admit that Matt Hancock does have his heart in the right place. We see this with: ““I am, as a father, very worried about the growing evidence of the impact of social media on children’s mental health,” he told The Observer ahead of the start of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham. “Unrestricted use (of social media) by younger children risks being very damaging to their mental health” and it is in equal part also part of the problem. This is seen when we see ‘Unrestricted use (of social media) by younger children risks being very damaging to their mental health‘, so where is that evidence? I am not stating that it is not true; we merely want to see presented the actual evidence, is that too much to ask for? We get it, there will be risks, there will always be risks and they optionally endanger children and that is one part. Yet, since when are parents no longer accountable for the actions of their children? An entire set of messes, an entire batch of resource wasting and cost sin all this, whilst the stage is simple. The parents can be held accountable for the actions of their children, as well as the impact of these issues on their children.

An entire mess solved by setting the stage of responsibility with the parents and carers.

This gets us to the setting that matters. You see, even as I called him an idiot, he has a good degree and was educated in Oxford and Cambridge, and these two places do not seem to educate fools, so is this merely a setting of wasting our times, or is this about something else? Is this the beginning to set social media censorship on a new dock and in a new ship (the good ship lollipop) and set it afloat like a fireship? Thee tactic makes sense, yet the entire setting is too shallow as I see it. I cannot be the only person to hold the parents accountable in all this (when the social media child is under 13)? So when I see “Mr Hancock hit out at both platforms, which share an owner, over a lack of policing of their rules on age limits“. This seems less about mental health and more about collecting true identity settings in all this. It seems to me that the people behind all this require more data and they are in a nightmare scenario that they themselves created. Now that the setting is overboard the government has no path to solve it all and now they are blaming social media to a much larger extent to police using privacy based data. How can you check the age of an underage person? You cannot! That is the simple truth and holding the parents accountable in all this would have been the first and sensible part in all this, yet that was not done, was it?

So even as the conservative cannot get their own app under control, they are not demanding additional policing that is not policed (and should not) under normal conditions and is set on the same shallow state as the demand of one hour to remove certain data, and the mess is about to get worse with

You see it gets worse with: “Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton introduced the new laws to the Parliament, saying they are needed to help police and spies catch criminals who are hiding behind encryption technology“, in this Australia is setting a more dangerous stage. When we consider the setting that we see everywhere with: “Keeping your password safe. To protect the information in your computer account from unauthorised access: Do not share your username and password with anyone. Except in the case of a shared departmental account, you should never disclose the passwords for your computer accounts to anyone“. So it might be a golden day for whistle-blowers as they claim to be working for the police getting others to give out their passwords. The mere ignorance on common cyber sense will increase the damage well over tenfold and whilst criminals move towards burner phones and more important burnable memory cores we see that the police will have truckloads of data of all people with no criminal intent. In addition, there is every chance that with: “He said this potentially compromises his business, putting it in breach of Europe’s tough new GDPR data privacy laws and he would have to give privacy breach notifications to his clients” some companies will see dangers to their IP and move away from Australia, merely letting them have third tier access and mere consumer base based products. In this setting all developers would eagerly run away from Australia to protect their IP and patent data until the patents were granted, giving Australia additional downturns soon after the bill passes. On the other side, we will start travelling without our devices and rely on an empty burner phone that allows us to work, but will not retain any data outside the cloud. In that setting how were any of these actions anything less than stupid with a capital S?

People will find a way around it giving the governments less options and a lot more headaches, it never made a difference and the dangerous elements will take additional measures leaving the prosecution services with even less evidence to work with. It is trademarking idiocy on a new level, happy Sunday!

 

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Bias, Discrimination and Deception

We are all biased, most of us are merely that to a degree, partially set to convictions we have, partially set to values that we endorse, embrace or idolise and part to what the media tells us and how it is told to us. We have always claimed to be the better person, to look beyond, to get ‘the big picture’, but is that actually true?

You see, there are rips in the fabric of objectivity, it changed what we see to be no more merely subjective, we are treated to biased views and that is a much larger problem. Reuters gives us ‘Eighteen fishermen killed off Yemen’s Red Sea coast‘, with the quote “A frigate attacked a fishing boat off Yemen’s Red Sea port of al-Khoukha, killing 18 fishermen on Tuesday, relatives said. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group denied reports that it had carried out the attack“, as well as “The Saudi-led coalition denied attacking the boat and said an unknown vessel opened fire on the fishermen, killing 17“. we also see CNN, who gives us ‘Saudi-led coalition investigates Yemen airstrike following CNN report‘ with the quote “The Saudi-led coalition fighting a war against Houthi rebels in Yemen said it will investigate an airstrike that killed two children last week after CNN provided evidence of the incident“. Now I am not debating whether this is all true, or that things did not happen. You see, the bias here is that no one (the western media) gave us ‘Mosque, house hit by Houthi missile fragments in Saudi Arabia‘ with the quote “Civil Defense Forces launched a report on Tuesday regarding a military projectile launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia from within Yemeni territory toward a village in the southern province of Dhahran“, this news we got from the Arab News. The issue is not merely that it happened, the fact that a Houthi missile caused damage. The reasons for this are unknown. We can point at several settings (the Iranian nuclear deal being one), but in the end it remains speculation, merely the fact that the bias is occurring can be shown and there is no way that a lack of storage space on the media servers will ever be a valid one.

Yet bias goes both ways. That is seen when we are confronted with the accusations against Facebook. Many covered that and in this case I decided to look at several sources whilst giving view to the Australian Financial Review. When we see: ‘Facebook accused of allowing a bias against women in its job ads‘, we are given “a group of job seekers is alleging that Facebook helps employers exclude female candidates from recruiting campaigns” and normally i would agree that there is an issue. Yet here we need to consider two elements. The first is not merely the job; it is the setting that is actually beyond ludicrous. I agree with the statement: “Debra Katz, a Washington-based employment lawyer not involved in the case, said the advertising campaigns appeared to violate federal law“, I think that the setting has a discriminatory setting, yet is it discriminatory? Two sides of not merely the same coin, but settings of different currency (in this specific case). The quote: “The employers appear to have used Facebook’s targeting technology to exclude women from the users who received their advertisements, which highlighted openings for jobs like truck driver and window installer. The charges were filed on behalf of any women who searched for a job on Facebook during roughly the past year” seems to have the goods. When we consider: “truck driver and window installer“, we see two very physical demanding roles, and no one denies that women can do these jobs too. Now we get the part “exclude women from the users who received their advertisements“, even as we see: “the Facebook disclosure for an ad by Nebraska Furniture Mart of Texas seeking staff members to “assemble and prepare merchandise for delivery” said the company wanted to reach men 18 to 50 who lived in or were recently near Fort Worth. The lawyers and their team collected the ads between October 2017 and August 2018“, you see the actual job is one thing; targeting advertisement to get more people to apply is another matter. With the Facebook ad, we do not get to see an actual job, merely a link to where the careers are. And advertisement is about reaching a population, in this case the male population. I know that it still sounds discriminatory, but look at it for the placement angle. Is any firm mandatory in creating job awareness (again awareness, not the actual application) for 50% to a group of people where less than 1% would even consider a job (better stated, this specific job)? On that foundation the job market will collapse, because in my view all professional medical jobs will be prohibited from advertising in medical publications as these magazines are not free and often not cheap either. This gives us that unemployed medical professionals would be unable to afford it, which implies that any medical professional sought, can only be sought if the advertisements are balanced on all media in equal measure. So even as it diminishes the capacity of the employer to find the suitable market, it must be visible everywhere.

I know it is a stretch. It gets worse when you consider that the actual job advertisement regarding ‘Nebraska Furniture Mart‘ is on their own website, visible to all, with a clear mentions of: “Nebraska Furniture Mart is an Equal Opportunity Employer“, the actual job advertiser, visible to all, to get more awareness, places like ‘Nebraska Furniture Mart‘ reached out through other additional medium setting the scope narrow to achieve more applications. Now, the fact that they were approaching one specific group, because the other group is likely to get a mere 1% chance of an applicant does not make is discriminatory, it is merely a setting to hopefully get more awareness more effectively.

That is the problem with bias, especially when it is set on common sense. I wonder in how many Republican magazines and affiliations we see ACLU jobs, or call for sponsors of the ACLU, if that is zero, is that not equally worthy of investigation? When we consider that “It is against the law to discriminate against anyone in the workplace because of their actual or assumed political beliefs or activities“, should we not investigate whether the ACLU advertised 50% in democratic and 50% in republican publications? You see, it suddenly becomes a different setting. It is like watching the overly political correct rejection notices, whilst at these firms you are unlikely to see people over 45, which in light of an aging population is a statistical outlier in several ways. No, the ACLU is looking into the discrimination of advertisement. In that light, we should see a 50% gender setting of anyone receiving Viagra ads, is that the case? You see, it is also a treatment for pulmonary hypertension, are women not allowed medication for pulmonary hypertension?

If one side is demanded, should the other not be equally enforced?

The fact is that advertising is always, not sometimes, but ALWAYS about discrimination in some form, and as such, I am happy to see the ACLU trying to make advertising obsolete (for several reasons).

So here we see the two forms of bias. The one stream is where we are not given all the news, we are merely receiving filtered news and no one seems to raise a finger, in the other version we see on how one gender is suddenly feeling left out, feeling left out, whilst all the indications give us that 98% of that gender would not ever consider a certain job. The fact that the advertisement merely links to the job page is also important, because ‘searching Google’ for the job gave me the page in seconds and I live on the other side of the Pacific River. This now gets us to the part where it is not about discrimination, but about awareness. You see, growing awareness is about reaching MORE people, reaching optionally the INTERESTED parties, which is not discriminatory. If so, I will forward this to the NRA, showing them that they can advertise in EVERY university publication and the NRA cannot be blocked or disallowed providing clear safety issues are part of the advertisement. And let’s not forget that the NRA is currently holding the ‘Banned Guns Giveaway‘ raffle, I personally always liked the FN Scar as it reminds me of my old FN FAL, not sure if I could ever get it into Australia, but that is just a different challenge for another day.

Is my setting ridiculous? Yes, it kind of is, but then so is the setting by the ACLU, especially when we see the scope of it. It is not about setting a president; it is about the application of common sense. It also makes me wonder how many secretary jobs were shown to men in all this (perhaps there is no Facebook advertisement need). The question then becomes, can there be bias in the raising of awareness? If you can raise awareness and you have $10 to do so, so only 100 people could be made aware, when you see that in the gender setting 50% is immediately lost, is it discriminatory to set the stage that 100% of the funds are used wisely?

That is the much harder question in all this, is it not? Consider that it was a job that both genders desire, at that point the ACLU would have a clear case, is that still the case here? There is actually a second setting, which we see in the Washington Post. there we are treated to: “The groups bringing the charges, including the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America union, argue that long-standing civil rights laws that protect people from discrimination are being routinely broken as more job and housing searches move online“, that is not entirely the same, is it? That is, apart from the fact that they added housing searches to the equation.

Yet they too are not on the clear setting of awareness and actual job applications, is it? Yet here we also see “Federal laws prohibit employers, lenders, insurers and landlords from excluding people from advertising on the basis of what are known as “protected categories,” which include gender, race, national origin, religion, age, military status, disability and sexual orientation“. It almost seems that there is a case, yet here too we see two parts, the first if on the discrimination, the second is on the party doing so. You see, the image gives additional facts that we were not given before. When you look you are given the first part, the fact that this was shown via Survey Monkey, this not a job site, but a Market Research link, so basically it was a questionnaire with one question: ‘Would you like this job?’ offering a job link. So someone at that firm decided to get creative and offering another way to gain visibility, now gives us the stage setting of deceptive conduct, deceptively marketing a job, not to the viewer, but to Facebook. The earlier settings still apply in my personal views, but the fact that they used deceptive conduct was not shown in either article, making the issue larger, yet taking Facebook out of the equation as an optional guilty party.

Yet the Australian Financial Review does give another part. With: “In practice, Facebook, with its more than 2 billion monthly active users, can be the most important tool for reaching certain types of workers, such as hourly workers, who often do not use other platforms like LinkedIn and sometimes do not even have resumes“, I acknowledge that, yet that does not make the gender filter valid, in addition we can argue that “she would like to find a similar job and had used Facebook actively for her search but had had difficulty finding leads” is an optional viewing of a lack of common sense as it is a social interaction media platform, not a job hunting platform, there are loads that are tailored to that and Facebook ain’t one of them. In addition when I am treated to “By contrast, Spees said, her husband saw numerous ads for high-paying manual jobs when he was searching online for a job two to three years ago“, it does not state ‘he was searching Facebook for a job‘, giving the notion that there is way too much BS at the end of that article, especially when we are treated to: “Spees was lucky to receive such intelligence from her husband. More often, said Galen Sherwin of the ACLU, her lawyer, “People don’t know they’re not seeing an ad.”“. I would see it as the misrepresented part of it all. It is almost like a person going into the Russell Senate Office Building looking for a prostitute. In light of the far too often illustrated fact (via media) that politicians will do anything for money (or votes for that matter), we now need to seek one there. It does not matter that they are apparently overly available at the intersection of 11th and K Streets in Northwest (Washington DC that is). We can decide to go looking for them in the Russell Senate Office Building (both genders are available there, so it is not discriminatory).

So in all it is not about discrimination, it is not about bias and not about awareness (although that remains an option), it is about the setting of deceptive conduct on whomever used Survey Monkey to bypass whatever Facebook had in place and the fact that the ACLU could (read: should) have clearly seen that this was a setting of deceptive conduct and skated around that setting is also a reprehensible side of the ACLU.

It is not the first time that the ACLU left common sense in the basement, but you know that is the setting, because if we condemn them for not being common sense inclined, that might be regarded as discrimination too.

Perhaps we should consider that an overly politically correct world is the most useless one, because if we get all the noise, if we get every option because it is the right thing to do, we soon stop looking to whatever might be of value too. You can test that for yourself. How often have you missed a letter because your floor/mailbox was overflowing with junk mail and advertising? That is the setting that the ACLU seems to be going for, and if they were genuinely interested in addressing discrimination, they would have clearly indicated the deceptive conduct part, which they did not, they merely wanted to kick Facebook. When we are reaching the stage where Facebook has the higher moral ground over the ACLU, how far off the track has the ACLU gone?

 

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Playing the player

It happens, we sometimes meet those players who have it all, and they also have the ego and naive approach, so basically stupidity in a neatly wrapped package. This is not about one of these people, this is about someone who got to be smart about it and even as my psyche is slightly vexed and upset on the game played, I have to admire the fact on someone making close to half a billion playing it. We get to the Australian Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/hedge-funds/nintendo-trader-who-made-a-massive-short-bet-against-the-games-maker-revealed-20180730-h13cmo). the title gives the goods with ‘Nintendo trader who’s made a $540 million bet against the games maker revealed‘, the quote “Gabriel Plotkin, head of New York hedge fund Melvin Capital Management, has accumulated a $US400 million ($540 million) short bet against the Japanese game maker, according to regulatory filings” and in normal cases this is not an issue, the market is all about ups downs, I get that (I might not agree).

It is also part of the problem here. You see, the Nintendo Switch has been breaking records since the start and whilst it is about to push Microsoft down into a third position, it is equally breaking several other records. It has surpassed the historic global sales of the first Xbox, the GameCube, the Wii U the PS Vita, as well as the Nintendo 64. It is unlikely to surpass the Original Nintendo Entertainment System (over 61 million) for at least another year, but we see that the Switch has surpassed most of its own lifetime sales except for one console and 4 handhelds. It has done that great in less than two years. With the additional revenue from the software which is also breaking new records, one would think that there is no stopping Nintendo, so when I reported on the issue that I had with the Analyst making those brash announcements on being short by 10%, I was not sure on who is riding the ‘expected sales’ talk and why expectations are so high, were they inflated to be artificially high?

Well, it seems to me that someone made a truckload of money on the work of others. I am honestly unsure how to feel about that. I think I have to accept that this is how the Wall Street game is played; I merely accept that I do not have to like it.

So when I see “Nintendo will report first quarter earnings on Tuesday after the market close. Analysts estimate revenue will rise 21 per cent from a year earlier, while operating profit will jump 58 percent“, I wonder how that game was played. You see, two days ago, I wrote ‘The state of the gaming union‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/07/29/the-state-of-the-gaming-union/), and when I was confronted with “even Jefferies’ Atul Goyal, widely considered to be the most optimistic of all analysts when it comes to Nintendo’s prospects on the market, has slashed his price target for the company by more than 10 percent, attributing his depressed outlook on a concern that Nintendo’s sales for the Switch in 2018 may not meet expectations“, which came from https://gamingbolt.com/jefferies-analyst-believes-switch-sales-will-see-a-slowdown-this-year. This is an issue I have raised before. Not in regards to Nintendo, or gaming though. So how come that we see, and merely take for granted the words of an analyst giving us ‘missed target for the company by more than 10 percent‘, that whilst we see the records broken and the forecast is: “revenue will rise 21 per cent from a year earlier, while operating profit will jump 58 percent“, at what point was there any validity on slashing the stock price? Is there an interaction between analysts like Atul Goyal and Hedge funds managers like Gabriel Plotkin?

Am I the only one asking that question?

If it was a bubble and someone shorted on that seeing the bubble is bursting like in the Big Short, I say ‘Yay!’ to the one doing it, or better those making money of stupid people deciding to make bubbles and hypes. People making money from stupid people relying on greed is a nice thing, it is like instant karma watching a Cobra seeing a nice snack, only realising too late that it is a Mongoose and the snake ends up not having any dinner and becoming a meal himself. Yet in this case, we need to accept that Wall Street seems to have its own view on natural selection and that the price of getting mentioned there is that you are merely the next meal for some. Still, when it is a faltering Microsoft, an error full of Facebook, Equifax breaches, they all happen and they will therefor take a few additional hits. In light of all Nintendo issues, apart from one solvable issue, the Switch has been doing stellar and now the issue rises more and more that what analysts predict is almost like selling fairy tales and in that setting pragmatism and realism will never ever win. This makes me wonder on the checks and balances on forecast analysts.

I might be jealous that Gabriel Plotkin made close to half a billion, but the setting does not make sense. Many who are actually in this field might laugh out loud, and that is fine. Still, logic no longer applies here, 3+3 is no longer 6 and that offends my logical way of thinking. Apart from me having been pro-Nintendo for the better part of two decades, the math does not add up on the Nintendo Switch. Consider the parts

  1. At Amazon recently, the top 10 sales chart for games was 90% for Nintendo
  2. Nintendo Switch is still breaking records, still on a firm route to be the second largest next gen console, surpassing another player, which it had not been able to do since they entered the market.
  3. Seven Switch games published by Nintendo have sold over 1 million copies each. And “Super Mario Odyssey” has sold nearly 10 million copies. For a system this short on the market, these are stellar achievements. In addition “Super Mario Odyssey” is bought by almost 60% of those owning a Switch that is nothing short of exceptional, it might not have been in the old days where everyone with a PlayStation had Tomb Raider, especially with the large game market nowadays, but it is still quite the achievement.

When we see the demand for Nintendo Switch continuing, the sales racking up and the records that are currently being broken, how unrealistic were the forecasts from analysts? That is where my mind is at. So whilst we saw the 10% drop given two days ago, where was the reality there? That is what makes the issue for me, so when we see someone walking away with half a billion at the expense of Nintendo, the question becomes

Was the Market played, were both played and how was this play possible?

My mind tends to go towards the inside job equation. I cannot say that this is an accusation, mainly because I do not know or comprehend that market. Yet, I do know games and consoles and in all this, the setting of Nintendo does not add up. So whatever Melvin Capital Management and Gabriel Plotkin did to make this play out the way they have shown that they are really intelligent, no one denies that. Yet, in light that Nintendo got slammed because of this, in light of all the gains they have made does not add up for one iota.

Yes, many graduate from the London School of Economics will have a laughing field day on this, I get that, but the sentiment form me stands, the numbers do not add up because the forecast is set in a too unrealistic way from my point of view and that is where the people behind the screens create turmoil that seems unacceptable to me.

In this, the funny part is that Yahoo Finance actually gave me something that I do not agree with, but the phrasing is actually important here. With ‘Massive Short Bet Against Nintendo After Shares Drop‘, we see (at https://finance.yahoo.com/news/sac-alum-plotkin-makes-massive-050808098.html). the quote “There’s a new villain in the world of Nintendo Co. Gabriel Plotkin, head of New York hedge fund Melvin Capital Management, has accumulated a $375 million short bet against the Japanese game maker, according to regulatory filings. The former star trader at SAC Capital Advisors accounted for as much as 7 percent of Nintendo’s daily volume in recent weeks, contributing to stock declines since May that have stunned analysts” starts funny, because I am not certain if Gabriel Plotkin is a (or even ‘the’) villain, or the new Warrio. You see the part that we see is ‘contributing to stock declines since May that have stunned analysts‘, that was not the case, analysts started the 10% drop that started it all, the question is whether this was an intentional play to decrease the value of Nintendo, and if there was intent, do any of those analysts have any connections to Microsoft? If there is a villain Microsoft is a much more likely one than the facilitator Gabriel Plotkin seems to be.

the other quote that seems to be important here is: “Many analysts were bewildered when shares began dropping sharply in May, leading to the biggest gap in a decade between brokerage targets and the actual stock price. Goyal called the declines “shocking” at the time“, the quote seems to be in opposition to “the most optimistic of all analysts when it comes to Nintendo’s prospects on the market, has slashed his price target for the company by more than 10 percent“, which I commented on two days ago. Something made him slash the prices, so there was no shock. Now we get to the part on how Atul Goyal got from one place to the other. Did Gabriel Plotkin play Atul Goyal, or did they play the market together?

I might not have noticed if they had played Microsoft with their bungles on the Xbox and Surface fields, I might not have noticed on the PlayStation reaching certain levels of saturation, or even IBM, who got the ‘tits up’ claim from the Register. There would be an impact, especially with the ‘troubling storage underperformance‘ that their cloud had. Yet in opposition the Nintendo setting did not add up and I wonder if it ever will add up, unless certain analysts are proven to have set the stage of (intentional or not) creating an anticipation bubble that was too unrealistic. That was merely my view and I believe that I am not the only one having certain questions in all this.

Merely ask yourself on how stock drops 10%, that whilst operating profits are set to be jumping 58 percent in the last year alone and more profits are clearly in the sights of all who see what Nintendo is doing, creating, as well as achieving.

#SwitchIsLife (or so they allegedly say at Nintendo)

 

 

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