Tag Archives: Facebook

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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Brother, can you spare a meal?

Again Facebook makes the headlines, but now for a very different reason in a very different direction. You see, initially one would want to call council member John McAlister an idiot, but he is not. We want to call him all kinds of names, but he is none of those. He is an elected official and he does try to set the stage for the small businesses in his region, all commendable I have to add. Yet, what makes me act out?

You see, I did enjoy 5 star lunches (aka the Google kitchen) for a year. To work, to sit down have an amazing meal and then go back to work, it was for a year an absolute slice of heaven. So when I see that apparently the same lifestyle is offered at Facebook, I rejoice in my choice to enter the high tech workforce in 1988. So when I see “Free food has long been a perk of Silicon Valley. On the campuses of Facebook, LinkedIn and Google, employees have access to high-end restaurants with pizza ovens, sushi counters, freshly baked pastries and ice cream“, I say YAY! It all stops when we see “technology companies come under increasing pressure to deliver more value to the communities they inhabit, cities are clamping down on campus cafeterias in an attempt to support local restaurants“, I am not happy, but let’s face it, in the end council member John McAlister had a job to do and making me happy was not on the charter. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/25/facebook-free-lunch-banned-silicon-valley-restaurants) gives us more, yet what it does not give us is what I will now impose on you, even though you likely already know. You have to go through this on a regular basis. We all normally get an hour to have lunch, sometimes merely half an hour or 45 minutes, bosses have different settings. So in that time frame, you have to rush to the place, get in line and order food. It is often not that cheap either. So in the luxurious setting of an hour 15-20 minutes are gone and the meal is not served yet. Now, you have to eat, get back, and go to the bathroom, and brush teeth; so you get almost a whole 600 seconds to devour your lunch. So the setting from having almost 2700 seconds to enjoy lunch a mere 600 were left. That is the reality for an employee. This is how McDonalds, Wimpy, Wendy and Burger King got to be so big. So is John McAlister about the smaller restaurants or about the three McDonald’s in Mountain View? I am not accusing John or implying anything. I am merely asking. The article also gives us “The rules for Facebook’s new office are designed to encourage the thousands of tech workers to spend some money in and integrate with the local community, rather than arriving in a bus each day and never leaving the building“, I have nothing against that. It might be a good idea to let the busses leave an hour later, giving rise to take a walk and to look around in the local sector, all fine by me. Yet that one hour, my lunch, I would want to get the best out of that hour and apart from any lunch places right in front of the building, there would be the additional lost time and especially the anxiety and frustration when we need to wait for our food, yet there are other options. In Sweden many places had resorted to buffet solutions. Many of them quite outstanding, good value for money too. I myself would kill for an amazing Pizza (5 cheeses with loads of Oregano) and perhaps there is just that in Mountain View. I do like the response that we see from Gwyneth Borden, the executive director of Golden Gate Restaurant Association, a trade group for restaurants in the city. When we see: ““This is not a prohibition on catering or providing free food,” said Borden, noting that companies could instead give staff vouchers to buy food from local businesses” we like the idea and we are all likely to be in favour of it all, yet the issue is not the food, it is the time allotted, any more time given and we go home later. Some of these working minions decided to get married and get creative (aka children). So the delay of getting home also implies less time with the family. The lunchrooms in the building fix all that. It is not the food (optionally is it about the food quality loss), it is about time and time is not merely money, it represents quality of lunchtime. That is the part that matters and until that gets dealt with, the new places, or as we see it “the measure would alter city planning laws to ban workplace cafeterias in any new developments, but would not be retroactive“, which implies that in regards to new growth John McAlister cut himself in the fingers on that one.

In addition, as we see the change also affects workers. We see this in: “The ban on having a free cafeteria in the Mountain View complex could mean losing well-paid jobs to minimum-wage jobs in nearby restaurants“, it does not change my mind on this, the setting from McAlister is optionally noble, but the backwash is drowning whatever good he is trying to put in place, especially when you fidget with someone’s available time, there was no way to win this and in the end, it merely sets himself up for replacement in 2021 when his number is up. In the end, when we see that the placement of Facebook that moves into The Village at San Antonio Center, a place that was already a Mall in the first place.

So, in regard to the ban, Ian Lewis, the research director at the labour union Unite Here seems to have the proper view. In the end, not only will the restaurants miss out, the setting offers the play where in the end, if this setting moves forward that the McDonalds on 600 Showers Dr, Mountain View, CA 94040, USA might become the only big winner in that end, even as Paul Martin’s American Grill is one third the distance. In the end lunch is about time and John McAlister decided to crunch down on the time that Facebook staffers get to have. Overall it was not merely wrong, it was a miscalculation, someone whispered in his ear and it was the wrong whisper. I do not deny that there is a chance that restaurants miss out, but Facebook is in the middle of a large mall; there is a cinema, a GameStop (an essential need in my life), it even has the one place many of us will try to avoid 24:7 (aka the Veggie Grill).

Outside of the working hours, there seems to be plenty to do, enough to hitch a ride to the office to work Saturday morning and take the afternoon to relax and perhaps try and get some decent clothes (in light of the Facebook 15 expression), so even as the prices at Paul Martin’s American Grill are by Australian Standards not the cheapest ones (at https://paulmartinsamericangrill.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Dec17_LUNCH_PLUS-2.pdf), the Steakhouse Cobb still seems like an adventure to try and if my main man Paul (to coin a phrase) delivers on the images shown (at https://paulmartinsamericangrill.com/specials/), there is no way I will pass that place up with some regularity, whether I work at Facebook or not, because no matter how good the food looks at Facebook, My Thursday and Friday evening are about seeing a movie and having a few drinks, both require a decent meal, but that is just me. So in the end, in my specific case John McAlister overreacted, or better stated, the ones whispering in his ear did and we can already see the backwash that it could potentially form for anyone else going in that direction, which becomes a loss for Mountain View.

And as the direct vicinity of Facebook offers the needs I have, why would I (in the beginning) look outside of the San Antonio Center? So if Luu Noodle, Sushi 88 & Ramen, PAAG, Pacific Catch en yes, optionally the Veggie Grill too, if they have their act together, they might not have the lunches, but they will have optionally 2,000 additional consumers who need some weekly satisfaction, plenty of places had to make due with a lot less.

Even as we do not deny the setting that Mountain View has, in the end when we tally the setting, the dangers and the opportunities, have the city officials cut themselves in the fingers? I personally believe so, but there is a truth, when it comes to the lunches, the weakness and threat that loss of time offers is just too great against the lack of opportunity that is found outside of places like Facebook and LinkedIn. It merely forces us back to the fast food phase where all the players involved lost (unless you invested in McDonald’s and like minded places), so as stated if some of these places revert to buffet’s they do not need to squander on quality and excellence, they merely need to consider that the lunch market is a very competitive one and time is the biggest currency of all.

 

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The bite

Today the news is all about Facebook, when we get confronted with: ‘Over $119bn wiped off Facebook’s market cap after growth shock‘, we suddenly see that the story given (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/26/facebook-market-cap-falls-109bn-dollars-after-growth-shock) is one that has global ramifications. There are several quotes that give rise to concerns and opportunities. The quote: “More than $119bn (£90.8bn) has been wiped off Facebook’s market value, which includes a $17bn hit to the fortune of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg” is a robust one, especially when we realise that it links to “Facebook’s shares plunged 19% on Thursday in New York, a day after the Silicon Valley company revealed that 3 million users in Europe had abandoned the social network since the Observer revealed the Cambridge Analytica breach of 87m Facebook profiles and the introduction of strict European Union data protection legislation“. You see, this reminds me of the movie Blue Earth II, we see a dead Sperm Whale at the bottom of the ocean and the Sixgill sharks are having a feeding frenzy. In this case Facebook is the sperm whale. Now, it is an exaggeration, Facebook is not dead, not by a long haul. But the opposers and contenders for social media are nipping at the heels of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg needs to wake up and act. For two people it is equally an interesting day. You see, this setting proves that Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz were right all along when they created Google+. They did the right thing, the right approach and I do hope that those people abandoning Facebook will turn onto the Google+ highway, I personally always had both. I did not stop Facebook because of Cambridge Analytica, I always saw these risks to some extent, so I decided to remain decently clever on how I used Social Media, I was merely unaware that Facebook would be this stupid about it, but that is what happens when you are asleep at the wheel. In this case, for Mark Zuckerberg losing $17 billion the day was an extremely rude wake up call, all that whilst I gave him the option to own the next gen tech for a mere £20 million post taxation. I reckon a most expensive month for Marky Mark (do not confuse him with the other Marky Mark who is governor of the British bank). In this I also think that the market overreacted slightly. When you consider the quote: “The collapse came after the company told investors to expect a significant decline in growth rate, and revealed that the number of users in Europe had fallen from 282 million to 279 million“, we are either not getting part of it, or we need to realise that confidence can be gained back with the proper developers. It merely requires one visionary to change the game. The fact is that there is a second option for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg does have the cash to make it work, optionally getting him an additional estimated 20 million members from the start and a lot more down the road (it’s not going cheap though). If we agree that the markets are about data and that the equivalent of members adding to that data is wealth, the setting of his currently loss could be overcome within 14 months, 21 months at the most. You see, it is not about what can be added, Facebook is seemingly not looking where it currently is not. That is where the chunks of lost members are optionally found and it is also where boatloads of new members can be added too, you merely have to be able to look at the facts that not all the fishes are in the ocean. You see, we all ignore the Nearshore fish, but when we realise that Australia has 25,760 Km of beachfront space and that within 10 meters there is an option to gain many millions of Nearshore fishes, how would I best go about it? You see, when it comes to fish, we think like a swimmer, or like a fisherman (in a tinny or not). Yet thinking like a surveyor gets us the boatload as well (just a lot quicker), we merely had to change our hats to get to the goods, it was THAT simple.

In this David Wehner makes close to the same mistake. with “the company’s decision to give its users “more choices around data privacy” following the Cambridge Analytica scandal “may have an impact on our revenue growth”“, that’s merely damage control and that is important too, let’s not be coy about that. The setting is that we are merely looking at one fish, like me (growing up in Europe), I know my Herrings, My Cod (a Captain Hook pun) and my Turbot, yet until I moved to Australia, I had never known how tasty the Pacific Dory was (not the one from Finding Nemo). It enabled me to create the Fisherman’s Pie (a Shepherd’s Pie variety). I merely adjusted my direction a little and a new option was created plain and simple, Facebook has all the makings of doing exactly the same, but can it figure out how to get there? Well, no matter how nerdy clever Mark Zuckerberg is, the fact that he lost 17 billion and I am merely trying to get my fingers on a mere 0.32% of that loss seems that I am either hungry or a little too stupid, I’ll let you decide.

Facebook also gives us “Zuckerberg said his company aimed to hire 20,000 people by the end of the year to boost its security and help review suspect content on the site. It has been hiring extra bodies at a vast rate, with its headcount increasing by 47% since last year to more than 30,000 people“. It is one step and I am not judging in any way, it is a path Mark Zuckerberg needs to walk, but in the end, he will end up hiring close to 50% more if he is to make the step from where he was do where he should be adding millions of users because the market allows him to do that, with additional benefits down the road in both the members and advertisers available. When I was learning about AdWords (Google Ads), I saw the granularity that Facebook offered, but in that same setting he missed out on engagement, which is a first sign of fake accounts, that path would be covered giving Facebook the direction, where the users themselves the option to tag fake account, because users rely in engagement and interactions, that part alone will stellar the value of Facebook much sooner than ‘now+21 months‘.

And the funny part is that it is in front of all the faces in Media and at Facebook HQ. I reckon that Google has figured it out, they seem to be on path to do something about it; the question is when the snooze alarm of Mark Zuckerberg will force him to take notice as well. That is the ballgame that should matter, in light of the shifting like ‘the new Nine Fairfax media magazine‘, it stands to reason that most are merely looking in their own shipping lanes, yet the setting has changed, because it is not those who can navigate the media seas, or get through the clouds of media, it is about the option to do both. It was a Frenchmen that came up with the idea and after a while we got to the date of March 28th, 1910, when Henri Fabre flew the first Hydroplane. One of the last pioneers of human flight left us in 1984 at the age of 101. He was there and he patented the invention, we need to realise that the state of matter storage does not impede data, in this Facebook and Google have the upper hand in getting the IP in the right place, will they follow through in this, or will they buckle and end up being food for the hungry sharks who found the opportunity and decided to dig in?

Let’s realise that Facebook and Google are too big to be devoured, but they are in a stage where others can grow due to the stagnation of these two. You see, we might see stagnation with Google, whilst some call it saturation and there is the crunch, how to overcome saturation. Even as I oppose the American view that saturation does not exist, the fact is that saturation is overcome through direction and medium. You need to remember that there is more than one side here. Some will give you ‘ads are delivered through a medium marketed on the promise‘ (or is that premise)? Some will give you ‘the consumer is concerned with the ROI regarding value rather than money‘, or ‘each medium offers a specific set of placement options‘ (source: Alice Jackson, Design Hill). Yet in all this we forgot the one part, we forgot about ‘Who is exactly the consumer?‘, it is like in Market research we state that the population agrees, but what made it ‘the population‘? Is it every nymphomaniac that owns a liquor store (a Dutch Comedian pun), or is it whomever you want it to be? The first is targeted, the second is the Holy Grail and that grail is available if you take media into a new light, because affiliated exposure will become increasingly important. In the previous media cycle it was not so cleverly regarded as ‘the Mobile Market‘, now that 5G firmly on route some people will need to get clever fast, because the first one in that market with the proper setting will get to rule that market ahead of anyone else giving them a large advantage. The rule here is engagement and some marketing firms and digital marketing dealers are still not aware what is required. The few players that do get it are now ahead of the game. They will have a large headway into growth and that is the part where Google and Facebook need to grow, not tomorrow, not next month, it should be today (although yesterday would have been better)! That evidence is seen throughout my articles over the past year and for the most I have been proven correct for well over 80% on this matter, people have wagered their billions (aka Mark Zuckerberg) on foundations a lot more shaky than most would have acted on; and whilst we think that Mark Zuckerberg is in a corner licking his wounds, he must move forward as fast as he can. He needs to realise that the current advantage that he has with Google will not stay there forever.

Because it is not this bite, it is the next bite and the optional seven Sixgill sharks that will make short work of the social media corner, the others have too much to gain not to go after any potential carcass in the waters. In the end Facebook does not need to take any risks at all with the right path forward, so why tempt the sharks to come and take a nibble?

 

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Valuating values

Today is not about Google, about Alphabet the fines connected and other matters like the new Novichok perfume today will be about values. This is not going to be a nice (read: kind) article, if you get offended easily then quickly walk away from today’s story.

Unlike the naming and shaming of off shore property holders hiding it within corporations, we also have other issues; some of them need to be illuminated. I need to walk a fine line between obnoxious and disgusting, mainly because I do not comprehend what some people did. This happens, we all have those moments that we merely are in the dark on some activities, we are in the dark on what happened and we are in denial. That was probably the first thing that went through my mind when I read ‘Femen co-founder Oksana Shachko found dead in Paris flat‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/24/femen-co-founder-oksana-shachko-found-dead-paris-flat). The story gave us that she committed suicide. I have no problem with that part; I merely see it as a choice made. I am not judging whether it was the right or wrong move, I have been in places equally dark. I never understood Femen as an organisation. I did not oppose it, people demonstrate and oppose all the time, this was merely another protesters group and I am fine with that. They set themselves apart in the way as quoted: “Operating under the slogan “I came, I stripped, I won”, Femen as a group quickly drew attention around the world with its bare-breasted demonstrations against sexism“, I would, with a sense of humour suggest that they printed the T-shirts: ‘Veni finem vici‘, optionally with printed boobs in the background of the text, if that made them their fortune to do even more, so much the better.

The part that I never understood is seen with “Shachko was among three members “kidnapped” by security agents and forced to strip naked in a forest after staging a topless protest mocking the Belarussian president, Alexander Lukashenko. The agents poured oil over the three women, threatened to set them on fire, and cut off their hair, Femen said“, I think that some men were massively overreacting.

There is sexism all over the planet (I am not stating that this is a good thing). Merely that when it comes to the acts they did, the most offensive thing I could have thought of would have been: ‘Nice tits!‘ The image (in this case non revealing one so that the censors at Facebook will not get a heart attack), shows here to be really pretty and really nicely shaped. So from that perspective I get that she might be a Femen fan. The issue is that apart from the message against sexism, there is close to zero actual information on her. Even when I search now, her death is what is giving her visibility, which is rather sad. If I wiki the group, I get: “a Ukrainian radical feminist activist group intended to protect women’s rights. The organization became internationally known for organizing controversial topless protests against sex tourism, religious institutions, sexism, homophobia, and other social, national, and international topics. Founded in Ukraine, the group is now based in Paris“, in this, the one part stands out are the several mentions all over the world regarding the overreaction of the Security Service of Ukraine (Служба Безпеки України (СБУ)) in this matter, all indications tell us that them catching a pedophile (or Catholic priest) in the act would have gotten a more humanitarian (read friendly) treatment, that for a group of women that opposes patriarchal views and all kinds of bigotry by going topless, can you even comprehend the overreaction?

The protest given by Femen protest outside the Secret Service Building in Kiev (August 2010) gives rise to the accusation that civil servants might have looked out of their window twice that day, so how offensive is that? I believe that Femen has been standing up for the right reasons, but how effective were they? It seems that until someone dies, the media takes little notice, in addition when I see “But in recent years the group has struggled with internal divisions as well as legal proceedings against its members” the thought comes up that Oksana Shachko might have considered that too, if that was the case, it is even more sad that she went into that dark place and never left. So when we see: “Shachko was abducted again by unknown assailants during a visit by Putin to Ukraine, according to the group. A lawyer for said Shachko was beaten so badly that she was briefly hospitalised” we are not surprised that it happens, yet most of us are puzzled that the overreaction is so large. It seems like a level of hypocrisy that I have never seen over a matter that should not even exist (but it does, I know that).

What I did not know is that in 2013 a documentary was made on Femen by Kitty Green, the trailer (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHyPSREmeRA) of the movie ‘Ukraine is not a Brothel‘ shows the media taking the frenzy, the people judging, yet smiling and taking photo’s whilst the police is showing to be overreacting with nightsticks. Kitty Green gives us in several interviews on how Femen was raising awareness. I dig that and especially the setting where the overreaction can be seen as fear. Yet is it that simple? Is the overreaction that the SBU showed was merely fear?

It was in the interview when I noticed a ‘comment’ that included “Kitty Green clearly doesn’t have the vaguest idea of what is needed to empower women“, as well as “question the political motivation of these girls and point out the damage they do to the grassroots movement“. My issue from this becomes, what makes the issue of any grassroots movement being more important or pressing than whatever Femen raises? The interview (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3MfTfeBzJc) is interesting to hear. I wonder if Oksana Shachko realised that the battle against patriarchy had been going on pretty much since WWI, it is also interesting that there are a lot of feminist groups that oppose and attack the view of Femen. This is interesting in a bad way, because if feminists cannot stick together in whatever way they use to create awareness, how can they ever truly succeed?

Is that a weird question?

It was the BBC that actually gives the goods (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20028797), in 2012. Here we see the two parts that matter: “Femen did not go topless at first, but they insist stripping off has won them a wider audience for their message – without undermining it“, as well as “Alice Schwarzer, editor of Germany’s leading feminist magazine, Emma, calls them “courageous and clever” as well as “creative”“. I personally think that Alice Schwarzer got it right. A group of women led (or co-led) by Oksana Shachko decided to get creative and being clever about raising awareness. Let the media cover it all and give a massive rise in visibility. The fact that we must now realise that the loss of one non-celebrity woman has hundreds of newspapers covering it proves in part the approach of Oksana Shachko worked. I also reckon that Kitty Green made the documentary before it was too late and it optionally immortalises the views that Oksana Shachko had in life.

For all my flaws and mistakes I made in the past, I cannot fathom in any dimension or universe how violence against Femen would ever work, violence because of women shouting their believes topless? It makes no sense to me. Either you escort the ladies away, or let them have their 132 seconds of fame and everyone smiles, there is literally no upside to assertively act against protesters who act in such a non-violent way, in this Ghandi was right, nonviolence resistance takes the wind out of the sails of the other side. So are my values screwed? I do not believe that they are. Did Oksana Shachko have screwed values, or did Femen? I equally believe that not to be true. Creating awareness is almost never a bad thing, the fact that they did it in a non-violent way is pretty awesome, which merely leaves us with the question on what pushed her over the ledge. I reckon that there will be plenty of people likely to have that question. Will there be an answer? I do not know, what I do know is that this time Oksana Shachko is all the news again, but from my set of values for the wrong reason, the fact that none used the word ‘sad’ in the message, at best quoting others on the use of ‘mourn’ is a good as it got.

When I look into the death of several others in the past year, we are treated by the media to ‘I’m sad our time together was so brief‘, ‘spoke out about the heartbreaking loss, calling it “shocking and sad”‘, as well as ‘I am very sad to report‘, yes they all got the word ‘sad’, but not Oksana Shachko. Perhaps she was too young for people to get sad over her. So in the end, we need to ask plenty of additional questions. How do we valuate values, and more important, when others question those and other values, as well as levels of morality in a non-violent way, why are they at that point given less consideration?

I believe that to be an important question, don’t you?

 

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The wrong side of news

We all have those moments where we get stopped by news. Not because it was shocking, or because it was some breaking event, we all have those moments. Yet, how often did news stop you because it raised a few too many red flags?

That was the case with me this morning when I saw ‘News Corp wants limits on ABC to prevent ‘advantaged’ competition‘. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/jul/23/news-corp-wants-limits-on-abc-to-prevent-advantaged-competition) might be fair enough. Yet when we get treated to the story that is (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2018/jul/16/news-corps-promotion-of-lauren-southern-is-disturbing), merely a week ago, giving us ‘News Corp Australia’s promotion of Lauren Southern is disturbing‘ with the quote: “Her speaking engagements with rightwing YouTuber Stefan Molyneux will go ahead, as will the top-dollar dinner engagements with those willing to shell out $750. But if the notion that she might be prevented from entering Australia was credible, it’s because Southern has been banned from entering a country before“, what is an issue is that News Corp seems to be about creating visibility, but what part of all this was the news? It might be relevant, it might even fit, but all these resource draining tantrums that we get with “A temporary setback was re-purposed as precious publicity, and News Corp papers continued to unfurl the red carpet ahead of her visit“, seems to indicate that as a ‘commercial provider‘ they seem to be wasting loads of energy and resources. All these events are on their turf, so when I see “Rupert Murdoch’s Australian arm has told a government inquiry the internet has transformed the ABC and SBS into “news publishers” who have the advantage of being taxpayer-funded, while denying commercial competitors revenue” as ABC (and SBS), whilst the question on News Corp, whether it should exist at all is on the mind of many people. It’s like watching a butter salesman stating that a Brioche with margarine just tastes better. I am asking whether the limelight seeking News Corp, by their own actions (against ABC, SBS and Facebook) made their own existence debatable. As that comes into focus and people are more and more shying away from anything News Corp brings, they are now in a silly position. They painted themselves into a corner and now that they are in that corner being immobile for the time being, they are telling all the painters to stop, so that those painters will not get an actual lead on the amount of painting done.

One source gave me a partial interesting view. It is the setting of Sinclair broadcasting next to News Corp. This is seen in the Washington Post, where we get: “The Company is the largest owner of local television stations in the country, with 173 stations in 81 broadcast markets that stretch from coast to coast and just about everywhere in between, at a time when local news outpaces national news outlets both in overall viewership and trust. About 85 percent of Americans trust local news outlets, more than the 77 percent for family or friends, according to the Pew Research Center“. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2018/04/02/get-to-know-sinclair-broadcast-group-the-conservative-local-news-giant-with-a-growing-reach) shows a very different setting. You see, when we see those two, we get the setting: “using local voices and optionally celebrities to push a national and even an international agenda, in this pushing any other media as an enemy creating market penetration that is set on the foundations of a political required brand or view“. When we see that places like the Sinclair Broadcast Group (headquartered in Hunt Valley, MD), we start seeing that there is a larger play, in this light we do not see ABC or SBS in an advantaged playing field, we see two players bringing newsworthy events that oppose the playing field that News Corp relies on. We see a setting of opposition in a place where News Corp can’t stomach any. Now we get a very different light and in all this we need to wonder what the hell anyone is doing allowing and paving the way for News Corp.

In addition we see the Washington Post also give us: “Interest in Sinclair picked up recently after reports exposed a seemingly Trump-friendly script the company ordered its anchors nationwide to read, lambasting “irresponsible, one-sided” and “fake” news stories. The one-minute-long script, which appeared to echo Trump’s efforts to attack the reporting he has disagreed with as “fake news,” brought to the fore long-standing critiques about what many view as the company’s rightward tilt. The fake stories promo, which was first reported by CNN in March, drew wide attention after Deadspin published a video Saturday that layered dozens of the company’s anchors around the country reading the script over one another, creating a visceral portrait of corporate message control“, now we have ourselves a party, because if that is the future of News that News Corp is bringing us, then we are a lot better off keeping ABC and SBS enshrined in the places they are now.

One source gave us regarding a similar setting: “It should feel familiar; our very own News Corp has employed these strategies“, from that point of view we need to become extra careful.

It was the Sydney Moring Herald that gave us (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/news-corp-s-war-on-facebook-is-a-decade-in-the-making-20180511-p4zet3.html) the article ‘News Corp’s war on Facebook is a decade in the making‘, yet it is the quote “The company has made it very clear it thinks Facebook and Google should pay publishers “carriage fees” for running their stories. This would be a similar economic construct to the American cable television industry, where distributors such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable pay programming suppliers such as Murdoch’s Fox and Disney to carry their channels” gives a different light. You see, Murdoch took a path (one that he is allowed to. Whenever you share a story (like a link) you get transferred. In this example Google search gave me: ‘Daily Telegraph editorial: It’s time to embrace our freedoms and fight …’, which comes with the quote: “DURING the 1960s and into the 1970s, when waves of post-war Baby Boomers came of age and began to exert their demographic influence”, it might have been an interesting read, yet when we go there, we get pushed to ‘myaccount.news.com.au’, asking to log in, or take a subscription, which is fair enough. But now, all those papers like the Daily Telegraph, the Courier Mail and others are no longer used. People link others to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Guardian, the Independent, and the Financial Times. Social media is about sharing and an interesting article remains interesting when you share it with a like-minded person. So now News Corp is getting less and less traction, as others get the limelight. That is the effect on users trying to keep friends alerted. that is very much also the path and the entire ‘the foundations of a political required brand or view‘ is all about emotion (well mostly), so now as people regard News Corp to be less and less relevant, as people are relying on ‘any other source‘, we see that the long game as spoken about in the SMH, as well as the setting that the Guardian gives us is becoming more and more unacceptable to the people. for a lack of a better view, Murdoch dug his own grave and even as the coffin he has for the plot will be massively comfortable, once we cover it with dirt at roughly 6 feet deep, he starts becoming a ‘forgotten item’ from the era of the Jurassic age where the loud voice carries weight. At 6 feet deep no one can hear you scream (I just had to add some Alien factor).

So as SBS and ABC are all about sharing news, it opposes the agenda and revenue of News Corp, so now they cry like (for a lack of a better term) ‘prissy little bitches’. When we look at the Parliament page (at https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/BudgetReview201617/Publicbroadcasting), we see: “The ABC is to receive revenue of $3.1 billion in base operating funding over the three years to 2018–19“, as well as “Base funding for Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) is also included in the Portfolio Budget Statements. The broadcaster will receive $271.9 million in 2016–17, $269.8 million in 2017–18 and $272.4 million in 2018–19“, when we realise some sources giving us: “The company reported total revenue of US$8.14 billion (AU$10.35 billion) last year“, which seems to be in line of previous reporting, although there is a shift and that hurts News Corp, I think considering the waste of resources when we look at events like Lauren Southern, how much was the entire bill for News Corp?

I am not saying that they should not have done that, but this is about creating emotion, not about reporting news. News Corps creating news (through their promotions) and that makes it another matter entirely. In all this, when I see: “She believes Australia should close its borders and that there “are only two sexes — male and female”“, it is my personal view that there is one poster that does give us the actual goods. So, what do you think? Should we all revert to Aboriginalism? At that point I do wonder who would embrace Pauline Hanson as a sister (but that is merely my evil sense of humour). I would never attack freedom of speech and freedom of expression, she is allowed her views, yet from my point of view, she’s a Canadian, a British Columbian. Her views are extreme right (or is that extremely incorrect), but pushed through the internet, a libertarian with a populist focus. A 23 year old not hit with the ugly stick and those factors make her an internet personality. The issue I also see is that she is seen as a Journalist, yet she never graduated University (University of the Fraser Valley). I am a blogger and I refuse to call myself a Journalist, even as I have a Masters in IP Law as well as two other postgraduate degrees from the University of Technology Sydney, I never graduated in Journalism, so I refuse to call myself a Journalist, even as I have publications going back to 1988 in several magazines, being a reviewer of multimedia products does not make me a journalist, plain and simple.

In this case Lauren Southern matters. You see, when you consider her education, the fact that we see that in March 2017, Lauren Southern left Rebel Media to become an independent journalist (without a degree in journalism I might add), this whilst she still additionally gained access to White House press briefings, so how is that even possible? In addition, News Corp is promoting her events making the entire matter even more debatable. So in that setting, when I see the Guardian giving us: “The publisher of the Australian and Daily Telegraph wants the ABC to be barred from promoting its news stories online using Google ads“, I am of the mind that someone stupid enough to promote a non-Journalist and giving the limelight to “News Corp papers continued to unfurl the red carpet ahead of her visit“, they should realise that there are places where people (and actual Journalists) actually focus on the news, reporting on events not creating hypes through: she chose Luton because it is the home of Tommy Robinson, the currently imprisoned founder of the English Defence League. In May, Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in prison for contempt of court after broadcasting details of a trial from outside Leeds crown court that risked causing it to collapse“.

News Corp is showing to be on the wrong side of the News, their approach on spreading news, I apologise! I meant spreading the subscription page is valid. They are allowed to do that and their tactic that they should be paid by places like Facebook is a fair choice to make, but they forget that actual reliable sources (BBC, the Guardian, SBS, ABC) are allowing such a path (without subscription), and when it comes to results, the people sharing stories want to share the story, not the subscription page. Add the entire Lauren Southern promotion and we don’t get news, we get the acceleration of emotional hype’s and we have had quite enough of that.

The question becomes, will political need buckle to their needs via News Corp, and once that is out and in the open, when we investigate those politicians who allowed for this, will we tolerate answers like ‘It was a complex setting‘ and ‘there appeared to have been a level of miscommunication‘, when those quotes are given, will we be able to demand their eviction from any political seat? I am asking these questions because all those shouting on how our privacy is gone and how we are all monitored whilst the political setting is in a stage where smothering real news is a reality that we are optionally allowing for. In that part we are actively allowing for media outlets to create fake news. When we are not allowed to see the whole story, when we merely see a carefully scripted partial side, are we not in the foundation where we are being fed fake news?

 

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It’s called an alarm clock

This all started with the Guardian, they put an article there that connects directly with the last two articles and that is why I decided to take a look. It also directly connects to me with my Data skills and as such I thought it was a good idea to look at it. So the article ‘You aren’t as anonymous as you think‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/13/anonymous-browsing-data-medical-records-identity-privacy) is not a consideration, it is an absolute truth that goes back to the ages of Windows 3.1. All these users thinking that you cannot be found, and that you are invisible online. That was never a truth. Yes, you can hide, you can deceive people on location, but in the end you leave data behind. So when the article treats me to “Names and other identifying features were removed from the records in an effort to protect individuals’ privacy, but a research team from the University of Melbourne soon discovered that it was simple to re-identify people, and learn about their entire medical history without their consent, by comparing the dataset to other publicly available information, such as reports of celebrities having babies or athletes having surgeries“, I was not at all surprised. If data can be aggregated, to some extent that data can also be reversed. The mere consideration of ‘comparing the dataset to other publicly available information‘ makes it happen. It goes even further when you consider not publicly available data. For example data on those watching a YouTube video, data from supermarkets (loyalty programs) and there are dozens of them. The amount of people who are connected to no less than half a dozen of them is staggering. Now consider the data in places like Facebook and you have a setting to create wires, each wire a person and a system fast enough to extrapolate dozens of wires a second, 85,000 people identified a day. You might think that this is nothing, but this new database is only growing adding more and more public data to it every second. Even if we start now, within a year 31 million people would be identified, categorised and classified. It will grow faster after that, actually the growing of that dataset is only a dozen a second in the first day, it already accelerates soon thereafter and this has been going on for close to a decade at the very least.

The text that follows: “This privacy nightmare is one of many examples of seemingly innocuous, “de-identified” pieces of information being reverse-engineered to expose people’s identities. And it’s only getting worse as people spend more of their lives online, sprinkling digital breadcrumbs that can be traced back to them to violate their privacy in ways they never expected” is true but a little fear mongering in nature. You see, it only matters when you put your life online. I saw this danger and the reality of it well before 2003, so I never allowed for internet banking, EVER!

There were issues with the X.25 protocol for a long time, my bosses then called me crazy, the flaw in the defence computer found in 1981 was ignored, people told me that I had no clue because I was not educated (with two graduates and a master I would oppose that nowadays, but then I could not). So when I saw the presentation recently by Raoul Chiesa (Telecom Security Task Force) I found the pieces that I never had in those days. His quote “We encountered a huge number of breaches on tested infrastructures, usually getting access via the main X.25 link. More than 90% was insecure“, that is the smallest part (here), so today I take my anger out on two Lt’s and a Major then were eager to belittle me and call me dumb whilst removing me from access from a system that I tried to warn them about (I held thus grudge since 1981). At the Dutch Defence Ministry, the payment systems were used to keep track of it all, it was a mere customer support function. It was fun for a month, and then I considered (and tested) the flaw. Even as there was a boss and he had a keyboard with actual keys to unlock certain options (like the keys of a lunchbox), but it was merely a charade. I learned that the system had a flaw. It was possible to get the down and out of every officer in no time, especially if they had loans. There was the flaw, and when I tried to warn someone I was muzzled and send to the basement to clean out the archives (which gave me access to a lot more). So when we see the data setting, there is a lot more going on because if someone figured out the how to get into one system, they can get into a lot more systems.

In this specific case I learned that the system was only for those following the menu rules. Yet when you press ‘SYS REQ‘ you get a blank screen, even as this was not new, knowing that one program gets you into the main screen, the people were able to get into ANY part because security was not monitored to the extent it needed to be (good old IBM), so even as you get into the system, by entering “MDET 2710” I got a new blank screen, but now with the cursor almost in the middle, I have found the loans system. So by entering the registration numbers of soldiers, when there was a loan, there would be numbers and now there is an issue, because when you know there are debts, there are issues and weaknesses. I always suspected that this was how some officers had been gotten to, but I was the idiot and quickly send away.

Now consider the fact that X.25 is still in use, that there is still a use for it (attached document) and now consider that page 19 gives the Australian defence prefixes. Now also consider that prefixes are not that secret. Now switch to page 40, where we see the assessment of Raoul telling us (unverified) that 1% of the top 1000 companies are ‘not penetrable‘, this now gives us that the top 990 companies that still have X.25 links are indeed optional data sifts.

It is that bad!

Getting back to the article we see the setting where we are confronted with “In later work, Sweeney showed that 87% of the population of the United States could be uniquely identified by their date of birth, gender and five-digit zip codes“, depending on the country it can get a lot worse sooner. You see, the Netherlands has a well-designed postcode (very postman friendly) so the 4 letter code gets you to the near location, the two letters that follows can get you to within a 10 house distance; that alone could offer the setting of identification sooner. But the clarity should be there, a zip code and a birthdate is all you need. Now, tell me how often have you filled in some voucher for a great deal and you got a massive discount? Did it include your zip code? Well, the credit card will most likely have sealed the deal uniquely identifying you to an amazing offer and from there you are now the direct target for targeted marketing and other offers. This does not need to be a bad thing, because the more 40% discounts you get, the better your quality of life looks, yet now that it is linked to a bank card or credit card also means that optionally EVRYTHING purchased after that can be linked to you too, now we get a spending pattern, we get products and services you need and want, giving those offering it a setting where they can optimise how much you get to spend (by varying services and costs). This also links to “Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, a computational privacy researcher, showed how the vast majority of the population can be identified from the behavioural patterns revealed by location data from mobile phones. By analysing a mobile phone database of the approximate locations (based on the nearest cell tower) of 1.5 million people over 15 months (with no other identifying information) it was possible to uniquely identify 95% of the people with just four data points of places and times. About 50% could be identified from just two points“, there we get the next tier, because any additional tier gets the owner more clarity on you as a person and what you aim for (what you desire). Where you are, when you were there and why you went there. Now, a lot of this is still a stretch, because you go to work and you lunch and shop around the office to spare time. Yet that is not a given in the weekend is it and that data set grows and grows.

You might wonder why this matters.

It might not for you, you might not notice but having the needs of 3 million people in London mapped also implies where the good deals are and where true profit can be found. London is perhaps the best evidence as it is so choc-a-block full. So when you are interested in setting up a building anywhere in London is a good place, yet when you know where the spending sprees happen, you can also tell where they are much lower and the latter is the place you do not want to build. It could set the profit margin up by close to 10%, not merely in value, but by starting somewhere and the plots are sold before the building is finished, that is a hell of a lot o margin to play with. The other side is equally happening. Consider that all your activities are known, how much is a health insurer willing to pay for access? Evidence that shows a person to be a 15% larger risk factor, what will his or her premium be like in the end? Consider: ‘Insurers have to tell you why they’ve ended your coverage‘, so we accept that, but what are the chances that we get to hear the truth? They might have told you that you falsely claimed that you were a non-smoker, but is that actually the real reason?

The next quote is a little silly, but it was Apples finest hour, so I cannot deprive you of it: “Even if location data doesn’t reveal an individual’s identity, it can still put groups of people at risk, she explained. A public map released by the fitness app Strava, for example, inadvertently became a national security risk as it revealed the location and movements of people in secretive military bases“. Yes that is one option, it was a certain lack of common cyber sense from the military side of things, but not the worst, when you combine the X.25 issue, sniffers and military locations, it becomes easier to identify logistical targets, yet that is not the issue, it is the data that matters. When you figure out what goes where, you get the setting that data in transit is no longer as secure as we once thought it was, so as data is cloned in transit we lose even more. Oracle stated in one of their papers “Enterprises are concerned about the lack of control on the data in the cloud due to on-going data breaches, lawsuits, government/regulatory agencies involvement, the volume of the data being generated by hundreds of applications and the related components“, it is not merely that, it is the factual setting where data is trusted, and too often to what we might consider is the wrong party.

Wired gave us that with: “Like any industry, there are many newcomers that give the reputable cloud solution providers a bad name. These companies are poorly financed, staffed, and resourced. They are traditionally an IT solution provider who has installed some server in a data center and called it a cloud. They are not security experts, and have poor security measures in place“, that is part of the problem, we cannot tell one apart from the other and they are all on LinkedIn trying to grow their business. A valid step to take, but how can we differentiate the wheat from the chaff? That is the first issue already and we haven’t even started to keep data safe. You think that people would employ common cyber sense in keeping safe, but no, the bosses tend to go for the good deals, the ones that are on special and when they get one they let you sort it out after data was transferred, that is the cold reality of corporations.

And when it is set up, there is always one employee stupid enough to think that some mails were specifically for them and when they look at the present it is a mere cool meme, after which they have given access to the outsider, including their cloud account. That is the cold light of day in this. So the alarm clock is not there to wake you up, but to tell you that you have been asleep and things are already moving from bad to worse.

And it is not over; the large companies are still at it. Consider the headline ‘Apple Rebuilding Maps App, Hopes to Outperform Google‘, you would think that they would give up and merely use Google Maps, but the reality is that the data coming from 800 million iPhone users is just too much not to get. The business intelligence value alone goes deep into the billions and there we see it, we will connect to one or the other, but we will connect and let others collect data on activities and events, completing the picture of every unique user that is online. The fact is that if it all was secure it would not be a big thing, but there are two flaws in that thinking. The first is that free services are never free, Apple is not wasting a billion dollars on a solution that is merely a free service, for every million invested, they expect between 3 and 4 million in return. The second flaw is that whilst you think that apps are secure, they are not. Let’s be fair, most merely want to write a cool app that has fans and makes them some coins, 99% of these developers are all like that and that is a good thing, but when the system is flawed, issues happen and we are caught in the middle, whilst all our details go everywhere. Some do it intentionally through Facebook, some do it without knowing what they are doing, they are introduced to the impact down the line.

That is how it crumbles and the people need to become Data Aware and have a better Common Cyber Sense more and more, because the response ‘It was just on my own computer‘ no longer holds any water when it comes to defending your online actions.

In opposition

There is one part in the article that I do not agree with. It is the part: “One of the failings of privacy law is it pushes too much responsibility on to the consumer in an environment where they are not well-equipped to understand the risks,” said Johnston. “Much more legal responsibility should be pushed on to the custodians [of data, such as governments, researchers and companies].”” I only agree in part, the fact that data is collected needs to be revealed from the start and it is ‘opt in’ only! That means that if the customer disagrees, no data is to be collected ever. Yet many will not like it because the unwary user is the treasure trove they all want. I do not believe that we can allow for the ‘not well-equipped to understand the risks‘, like a car, a plane and a shotgun, usage can be socially fatal and have long lasting considerations.

If you did not want to learn, then do not use it. Additional responsibility is to be placed on the custodians regardless, but leaving the consumer in the country of ‘no man’s land’, in the city of ‘never accountable’ is also no longer acceptable form my point of view. The ‘figuring it out‘ time has gone. The impact is too large to remain on that route and there is enough evidence to show it.

My last ‘disagreement’ is with the end quote: “Privacy is not dead. We need it and we’re going to get there”, it is optimistic and I love it, but it is not very realistic.

In the online world: “Privacy is optionally public domain. Getting somewhere eager is to become a member of the public domain charter and that population already surpassed a billion and still growing every minute“.

 

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Iterative diversity never goes anywhere

Facebook has been on the minds of many people, so merely on how to procrastinate (a student thing), some on the value of the company and some are investigating on how data issues were reported. CNet reported merely a few hours ago ‘SEC asking if Facebook properly warned investors of data issue‘ (at https://www.cnet.com/news/sec-investigating-if-facebook-gave-investors-enough-warning-about-data-issue-wsj-says/), the origin is the Wall Street Journal. My issue is at the top when we consider the quote “The agency is looking into how much Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of data, says a report in The Wall Street Journal“, do you think that any evidence is still there to be found? Even if the brightest minds unite to finding anything, by the time all the proper access is granted, the decisionmakers will be facing a new government resetting priorities.

Now, I get it. That is the job of the SEC. With “The SEC has requested information from Facebook to learn how much the social-networking company knew about Cambridge Analytica’s data use, according to the Journal. In addition, the SEC reportedly wants to learn how Facebook analyzed its risk as developers shared data with others against Facebook’s policies“, we see that the SEC is merely doing its job and even if we believe the meida and some of the revelations that passed our screens, the SEC has a clear directive, merely set in factual evidence. Yet the can of goods is seen with “The SEC is also looking into whether the company should’ve told shareholders about Cambridge Analytica’s policy violation when Facebook found out about it, in 2015“, it is not the game, but it is a setting of the stage. In my view there is doubt that this was properly done. The issue is not whether it happened, it is the setting that we must speculate on what would have happened next, and that whilst there is no evidence that something was done. Not the acts of Cambridge Analytica their part is a foregone conclusion. The issue is as long as there is no evidence showing that the data was sold on to other parties. The value of the company would not have been impacted, which would have negatively impacted shareholders. That is the game the SEC is set with that is their duty and they are doing that just fine.

The question becomes on what stage is speculation of something that might have happened set in actionable consideration two years after the fact, that is the setting and that will be a dry bone as far as I can tell. Still the SEC has a duty to perform and they are doing that. Even as Endgadget goes with “the agency might disagree with Facebook’s perspective and find the company at fault for not properly informing shareholders“, the setting is not a given. You see, the impact of value was after the revelation and after the shareholders were spooked by the fear mongering media. As long as there is no evidence that a third party has all the raw data, the value impact is close to nil. The only impact that the SEC should be allowed to consider is the negative impact of value, if proven that data left control of Facebook and only when that evidence is proven to have impacted Facebook before Jan 2018, only at that point is there an optional issue and there is a second tier in all this. If any shareholder is in both companies, it becomes a little murky, because at that point the shareholders themselves will be up for investigation. Whether this is true cannot be said because the first part for the SEC is proving that the second player actually has the raw Facebook data, in all this aggregated data lacks value and interactions on aggregates data is just too shallow for consideration.

And this is just one of the settings. The second and main setting is the Diversity report that Facebook has presented. The Verge is all about the focus on ‘Change is coming slowly, if it comes at all‘, which is a given in most companies (Apple and Google are optionally the exception). The setting is however no longer just about optional diversity, it is about bankable value and the national patent value that these places have in that setting diversity be damned and Endgadget knows this the fact that they took a page to focus on ‘diversity’ whilst there are much larger fish swimming in the Facebook pond is to some a total mystery. The IP Watchdog gives us another side and a side that in this day and age are actually really important. There we see (as a small grasp):

  • U.S. Patent No. 8732802, titled: ‘Receiving Information About a User From a Third Party Application Based on Action Types’. Issued to Facebook in May 2014.
  • U.S. Patent No. 8938411, titled: ‘Inferring User Family Connections From Social Interactions’. Issued to Facebook in January 2015.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9740752, titled: ‘Determining User Personality Characteristics From Social Networking System Communications and Characteristics’. Issued to Facebook August 2017.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9798382, titled: ‘Systems and Methods of Eye Tracking Data Analysis’. Issued to Facebook October 2017.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9923981, titled: ‘Capturing Structured Data About Previous Events From Users of a Social Networking System’. Issued to Facebook March 2018.

These are only 5 out of a large basket of patents and the issue is not about diversity of staff, it is about the diversity of the population. The setting does not change that much, because changes might be small, but consider that in this case we have an additional 1 TB a day that can now be used very effectively. So even as the Verge reminds us with “Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) took some time out of a congressional hearing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to grill CEO Mark Zuckerberg about increasing diversity at the company, something that Zuckerberg said that Facebook was “focused on.”“, we can take diversity as stated with ‘increasing diversity at the company‘ as either staff diversity or data diversity, I guess that I am going with number two on that one. You see, even as I tipped on ‘diversity’ we all recollect places like Forbes and the Financial Times on how it leads to better profits. It is the reason it reflects on the shareholders on how that notion gives them an on the spot hard on, male and female shareholders alike. Yet, the much larger revenue boost is seen when we combine the setting of the patents, the data that Facebook has and now we get to yesterday’s story, In yesterday’s article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/07/12/seeking-security-whilst-growing-anarchy/), I left a few screws fall all over the place. With ‘Seeking security whilst growing anarchy‘, I gave a title that could be read in more than one way. The part I just skipped yesterday (as the story would have been too large) was seen with “So now we get the setting of ‘who is exactly waging war on who’, or is that whom?“, as well as “the defense ‘laws governing wars were devised with conflicts between states in mind‘ can no longer be upheld“. These were true settings, yet the setting of the data was partially set in “how many flags were raised by that one person, yet now not on 5 tests, but on dozens of tests, against people, places, actions and locations at specific times“, there we see the issue, but there is a complication, the bulk of the people actively sought all use burner phones, they tend to be nervous and do not call, yet they are closely grouped together and that is a first setting. Now consider that for the most burner phones are useless, now consider these people taking hours to keep busy and some will go for the silliest diversion. A diversion like a simple Candy Crush, now take another look at the 5 patents, consider that the burner phone is useless for intelligence, but now reconsider that value when these patents are used, not merely for tracking needs, but reconsider the ‘Eye Tracking Data Analysis‘ add the camera to take a silent image of the iris, it is almost as good as a fingerprint. Now add ‘Structured Data About Previous Events From Users‘. Two of the five added to the billions of users on Facebook and now we have a system that does a lot more, it is the 32% that Palantir inc. does not have, the patents that Facebook has allows not merely for a diversity growth factor, it will be one of the few times that any company had two massive niches in data, when Combined it allows the US to have a grasp of a system that allows near real time tracking of anyone they seek, this system can void well over 80% of the false flags making the data system well over 10 times as efficient than ever before. So yes, we can argue the truth of “Not to worry, says Facebook VP Allen Lo, head of intellectual property. “Most of the technology outlined in these patents has not been included in any of our products, and never will be,” he told the Times in an email” as a master of IP I do know the length that Facebook has been through with patents and he is telling the truth, the product of Facebook is Facebook, that system will not go there, but will be in all kinds of different technical solutions that allows for new methods of data gathering. Even as it is a burner phone, when they take it for a mere leap into betting solutions and gaming procrastination, they will hit some top 10 app of the month and that is when one element of data is connected to the ones that matter for those seeking these really welcome people for personal one on one interviews. And there we see the link between places like Palantir and Zuckerberg (not Facebook). Sen. Maria Cantwell was asking around the edges for a reason, the April interview had another reason, one that I was never aware off (or considered). It seems that she heard water cooler chats on settings of Palantir, this was about a larger issue and the Patents had clearly indicated options for Facebook, it was not about the setting (as she put it) ‘the talent and the will to solve this problem‘ it is given that Palantir knows that Facebook Inc. can become a contender and with the data that could be available, we see a setting where Palantir would be going up against a new player having 500% of the data that the Palantir customer has and more important, Facebook has the patents to partially solve the burner phone issues much better then Palantir ever had the option for and that is a real new path in this field. So as I personally read it, Sen. Maria Cantwell was asking whether Mark Zuckerberg was ready to become a player in this field.

So yes, even as we see that some steps are small (like diversity and torts law), Facebook has an optional setting to take a leap forward, not by a mere length, but by an entire class of data options, which is new and that is where those investigating Cambridge Analytica never looked at, or so we were meant to believe, Sen. Maria Cantwell might be the first through orders or insight to do just that.

That setting is now still under debate, not because of the tech, but because of a case of OIL STATES ENERGY SERVICES, LLC v. GREENE’S ENERGY GROUP, LLC, ET AL. No. 16–712 (decided April 24th, 2018), this case changes the game all over, because until overruled by the US Congress, we now have a setting where we see that the possibility that patents are no longer property rights is close to an absolute. Patents are not property rights and will not be property rights until Congress overrules the case, so in this the entire patents side is now a new setting that it is set as a government franchise, so in all this Facebook has the one play to set themselves apart from the rest of the data players, and some might state that the setting of the decision of the Supreme Court was a forgone conclusion close to two weeks earlier, so Sen. Maria Cantwell was either on the ball or asked the perfect questions two weeks in advance, I wonder who ended up with a boatload of speculated wealth, because someone definitely got rich in that process (happy speculation with a smile from the writer).

In all this it was not merely the setting of diversity and how to see it, but the fact that a place like Facebook might think iterative within its Facebook app, it has options and therefor opportunities in a much larger field than merely the Facebook app. So if Palantir is not worried on what comes next, they are more asleep at the wheel than you imagine; a small spoiler alert here: the people at Palantir are a lot of things, they have never ever been asleep so they know what is coming and as the path of Facebook is allegedly on now is regarded as government Franchise terrain, we need to wonder where this goes next as they are still all about finding those illusive extremists, all depending on burner smart phones.

I wonder when the rest realises what the patent holders have been able to achieve in mobile communications, now consider 350% of speed increase and 700% of data markers with the release of 5G, now revaluate the Patents that the Facebook corporation has and consider how much larger they could optionally become by 2021. Now reconsider the Forbes list of ‘The World’s Most Valuable Brands‘ and consider its position in 2021. I doubt that it will be #1 at that time, but it will be equal if not bigger then Google by then taking its #2 position away from them, and leaving Microsoft a distant #4. Although Microsoft is doing plenty to diminish its value all by themselves, they do not need to rely on Google and Facebook to reduce their position for them.

Iterative act never go anywhere, it is the setting of new stages where true fortunes are gathered.

Happy Friday 13th everyone! (Please don’t meet a guy named Jason today)

 

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