Tag Archives: Forbes

Falling off the wagon

It all started with a success story, it then ‘evolved’ into the age of complacency as it was lying in a lazy floating chair in a swimming pool. America was lazy, complacent and greed driven.

Huawei overtook Ericsson in 2012 as the largest telecommunications-equipment manufacturer in the world, then casually overtook Apple in 2018 as the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, still behind Samsung Electronics, and rose to the 72nd rank on the Fortune Global 500 list. In December 2018, Huawei reported that its annual revenue had risen to US$108.5 billion in 2018 (a 21% increase over 2017).It is at this point that America was a mere 3rd position, Huawei is presently servicing 47 of the 50 largest telecom operators on the planet, for the first time in history America no longer really matters as a technology provider. Sources like the Economist, the Guardian, Fortune and TechRadar all give the same news. It is at this point that the USPTO has to give the goods (read: the bad message) that Asia has surpassed America with registered patents by a lot, and the US has to deal with more and more bad news as they get strangled by a debt that surpasses $22,000,000,000,000. 22 trillion and no end in sight to turn it around, now that 5G is off to the races more bad news is given as the American and Nokia 5G solutions are decently inferior to the ones that China (Huawei has). The American overreaction is astounding and it comes with additional levels of humour. When we see an article by cyber security expert Zak Doffman in Forbes ‘Huawei ‘Slams FedEx Vendetta’ After Courier Refuses To Deliver P30 Phone To U.S.‘ (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/06/23/huawei-slams-fedex-vendetta-after-courier-refuses-to-deliver-p30-phone-to-u-s) where we see: “Parcel returned by FedEx due to U.S. Government with Huawei and China Government—return to sender, the humour is here as we also saw a month ago: ‘Drug traffickers’ favourite way to move fentanyl is FedEx and USPS‘, so Fedex can stop a Chinese mobile phones, yet is incapable of stopping drug traffickers. It has become that bad and for the life of me, the idea that that stupidity has grown to this degree at the moment has made me realise that pretty much my only option left is to offer my IP at 10% value to China as America clearly can no longer be trusted to stop the stupidity in its own ranks.

And it gets to be worse. Now we see: ‘The U.S. blacklists five Chinese supercomputer firms, including AMD joint venture THATIC‘ (at https://www.pcworld.com/article/3404464/the-us-blacklists-five-chinese-supercomputer-firms-including-amd-joint-venture-thatic.html). So as we are now introduced to ‘U.S. firms will be forbidden to do business with the companies‘ we are shown more than stupidity. I have been an avid fan of the segregation, isolation, and assassination triangle in tactics, but this is pretty much the first time in history that a nation is doing it to itself, implying that American bankruptcy is so close to the collapse that they need whatever they can to delay the collapse of their economy. I can never trust any government in that position to be honest about any trade it holds. Handing my IP over to China is perhaps the only option to get any decent amount of funds out of them, and I have to pay the rent at some point.

Do I care about these Chinese companies? Not really! Apart from my trusty Huawei mobile, I do not know any of them and there is no real reason to know or care about them, but the actions of America to the degree that they are doing it, like they are the biggest whoring bully on the block also implies that they can do it to anyone else and as I see it, there are plenty of UK (BT), Swedish (Ericsson), Finnish (Nokia) and other firms they can do this to when things do not go their way. They will come up with some kind of National security scheme like Finland is next to Russia or something like that. It is nice to advocate open and fair trade when you are the only one dealing (IBM, Microsoft) but that is no longer the case and Microsoft has become too self-indulgent as they screw up market after market just to push their Azure solution. America can no longer be trusted, that is the short and sweet of it, they know it and Americans know it too, but they are too desperate and there is no stopping a desperate bully who is about to no longer matter.

And the world is not ready for a bully like that. Japan is too deep into its own problems, Europe is desperate to avoid whatever recession comes next and the others have no independent voice. In all this India is as isolated as it gets and that takes 12.5% of the global population out of the equation. As the risk of a 2020 recession in Europe is nearing an almost certainty there is panic, there is panic on Wall Street because the 2020 recession will hit the US squarely in the chest during the elections, ending whatever small edge the Republicans have and it changes everything for them. The 2020 recession will be worse than ever because the ECB squandered their reserves on incentives and stimulus as there are no reserves left. The ECB, IMF and Wall Street all knew that this could come and the 5G hype was all about avoiding it so that the new economy could restart what was lost, but their lag against Chinese Technology vendors (read: mainly Huawei) is so large that it will help the Chinese economy, but the others will only get a fraction of the IP they do not own and that fallback (or non optional fallover) is a lot larger than some are willing to admit to.

Now the short sighted American bias against Huawei and China is hitting new heights as they try to isolate China, yet in the end they are isolating themselves as Europe is seeking another option, they are seeing the value of Chinese IP and they want alternatives, especially if it could delay or even turnover their own impending recession, in that scenario America will lose more and more because their own technology is flawed, untested and lacks innovation. It will hit Europe, whilst benefitting the Middle East as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have signed up with China, America lost more than just weapon deals there.

What Cisco achieved with UTS in Sydney a decade ago is now happening in Qatar, Qatar University College of Engineering now has a similar deal with Huawei, implying that Qatar might be the first place where Huawei trained 5G engineers and innovators are born pushing 5G innovation. For Qatar this is more than good news, there is a first stage where Al Jazeera could become technologically more advanced than CNN, another blow to American pride and Al Jazeera is eager to really get there. They have miles to go, yet with 5G fully deployed they can do it in less than half the time we expect. All elements that push America back further and further. When I stated that this was a stupid move by America in 2018, I actually had no idea that they would lose to this degree, but at present they are and their decisions are making things worse not better.

As we see the first Huawei Authorised Information and Network Academy (HAINA) programme launched in Qatar, we also recognise that this will enable Saudi Arabia and the UAE more and more, so there might be a diplomatic stance ending the unfriendly border issues between the three and they will profit stronger and stronger.

There is absolute truth in the statement: “Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Dr Ibrahim Al Nuaimi, said developing the technology capabilities of Qatar’s youth will have a significant impact on the smart evolution of society and country, contributing to the growth of Qatari economy.  “Initiatives such as this one between Qatar University and Huawei demonstrate the power that cooperative action can have in shaping the future of a nation,” he remarked“, it still requires the foundation and the nurturing of how to grow innovation, yet I have seen again and again that the hungry will find alternatives to make food and Qatar is clearly famished at present.

And there is one more nightmare to face. You see if China gets any IP hands on anything that could replace x86 technologies, the US is truly done for. At present they will laugh, scream and make all the claims that an ego driven nation could make, but then there is the history. We have 1975 when Federico Faggin and 11 employees created the Z80, there was a small team led by Chuck Peddle who came up with the 6502, it hit Intel and Motorola hard, a chip at less than 15% of the cost of an Intel or a Motorola processor. It would fuel an industry that would sell well over 15 million computers in an age where computers were not popular. We recognise that America was the driver in all this, it drove RISC to be the factor for the creation of Summit, still the fastest Supercomputer in the world, yet now that China surpasses America in patents, they have the core to create a new age of computer technology. We see that from 2017 onwards the Huawei Mobile Phone is the personal server to have; the fact that it is a mobile is beside the point. My IP was a security pass on personal mobile servers and that is the foundation of the next decade. It is not the personal computer or desktop, there is still the laptop and Chromebooks (and likeminded devices) have the option to be the next power drivers, but Huawei has the hand with 4 aces, they have the foundation of mobile personal servers and it scares America. My idea for what would have been (optionally) the Google Tome was founded on that idea as I created a solution to stop the NHS collapsing. Now that most elements are with Huawei and Chinese operators, America actually matters less. Even as Microsoft is still screaming Azure (whenever they can), we see that there are other options that could do similar and could surpass Microsoft within 4 years, that realisation is scaring America to death. They have no options when that happens. Complacency got them there and the next generation of these so called ‘captains of industry‘ are holding a hand with a two and a seven and they are playing Texas hold’em. A proverbial Snake eyes for the craps dealer in the house, which is the setting and the stage they can no longer escape. It is where they are at and their overreaction merely shows their levels of desperation.

In 2021 we will see that not only will they have lost 5G to a crippling degree, the other players will fare even worse. If China gets a decent deal with Japan, America will have segregated itself, they isolated themselves as Europe and the Commonwealth will seek whatever keeps them afloat and at that point with the debt closer to $25 trillion, they will end up cutting their own wrists with all the uber wealthy Americans seeking sunny shores in their mega yachts. Suddenly places like the Riviera, Dubai, the Virgin Islands and Italy will be swamped with Americans who will be quiet as mice as they wait for America to reinvent itself in the span of 2-3 decades, and America needs to get lucky to do it that fast. As the world is set to the currency of IP and patents, it might take a whole lot longer than that.

When I decided to get my Master in IP in 2010 I knew that there was a change in the winds, it was the clearest in IT, but I saw how it would impact to a much larger degree, I saw the shift to mobile patents in 2012, and now I see the other shifts too. I feel certain of my view, I cannot tell how politicians will react because that too impacts the changing tides, but overall they seem to align to the need of greed too often as such, my predictions are more likely than not coming true. It’s a sad world, if only American firm had not been so lazy relying on iterative technology for a decade, things would be very different indeed.

To complete the change China really only needs three more innovative steps in 5G communication to make it certainty and turn these steps into nail to service the coffin that is America, with the Middle East in play, there is every chance that they will pull it off, the rest of us (the non-Americans) will need to decide on how that future serves us best, because that too is a choice we face, and we have to make it ourselves.

And if you were in doubt until now, the Wall Street Journal reported only hours ago: “U.S. President Donald Trump is looking to require next-generation 5G cellular equipment used in the United States to be designed and manufactured outside China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.” So consider this quote really clearly: the entire China matter has been going on for weeks, yet yesterday we see that equipment is to be ‘designed and manufactured outside China’, a discriminatory tactic that shows that there was no clear tactic in play, and clearly the Americans are not up to scrap at present. What else was not anticipated on?

Someone fell of the wagon and others were unable to see the dangers clearly, The US still does not recognise that it has a real problem; the first stage of solving the problem is at present not met. Do you really need more convincing?

 

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Bones and Boobs in gaming

Gaming has two sides, the hardware and the software side, or as some might call it the boobs and bones of gaming. We will look at the boobs later (desert always comes last), yet the bones are another matter. Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2019/06/04/there-are-tough-times-ahead-for-the-playstation-4-and-xbox-one/#3ca33e3562b4) gives us ‘There Are Tough Times Ahead For The PlayStation 4 And Xbox One‘, I do not really agree, and if so then mostly for the Xbox side, but the man makes a decent point and that is always a good reason to contemplate an article.

Bones

Even as he makes the case, I believe him to be wrong on certain matters. The numbers only partially support him. In case of Microsoft, they had a good run on the Xbox360 and they had decent sales even beyond the Xbox One launch. The reasons was that those with too small a budget decided to pick up a pre-owned console as those prices went down by a lot. Even today, people still buy Xbox 360 games, which is pretty astounding. The premise holds true for the PS3, from day one the PS4 was the child to have and for the next two years there will be plenty of people upgrading from PS4 to PS4 pro as Sony will be dumping the prices for that puppy. The market will slow down, but I believe that Sony has a good foundation to work with, Microsoft a little less so.

Nintendo remains the larger question in this. They are still ascending by leaps and bounds and even now we see in Forbes (three weeks ago actually) ‘The Nintendo Switch Just Topped The PS4’s Lifetime Sales In Japan‘, and that sounds overwhelming, yet the global numbers with PS4 on 97 million and Switch on 35 million gives the equal global sales towards the Xbox, but not the PlayStation. It has only been two years, whilst the other two have been around 7, the Nintendo Switch is still gaining momentum and it is doing so faster than last year. The fact that two of the most enticing (and addictive) games are free helps matters. With Fallout Shelter and Gems of war being great games to play on the Switch, we see a larger appreciation of the console. Nintendo upped the ante by handing all those with an online subscription (less than $40 a year), we see that they all get access to the old games from Donkey Kong, Metroid and Super Mario Bros, with dozens of additional games, all for free for those with the online account. It is one of the most enticing deals you will find in console land. As such the Switch goes on and on and on. That and the pre-owned market makes me oppose the view that Dave Thier has to some degree. the part that is also in debate is “I could even imagine PlayStation 4 sales recovering after the PlayStation 5 comes out and people realize they can still get good use of the old machine, which is likely to see a price-cut“, I believe that he setting is sound, yet I have seen Sony Marketing in action, as such they will cut prices on all options long before the sales recovery issue becomes a real issue for Sony. With exclusive titles like Last of Us 2 (2020), Death Stranding, Sekiro, Ghosts of Tsushima (2020), there is everything to look forward to and besides the fact that there are still plenty of people without a PS4 (or Xbox One for that matter), many of us (including me) still have not upgraded to the PS4pro (a budget issue), for many mainly because we have no 4K TV and that is the big factor (equally so for the Xbox One X), so as Sony starts bundling it’s console with a 4K TV, we might see another rush to upgrade. With several brands (including Sony) offering 55” or larger 4K TV’s for less than $1000 at present, the push for package deals will be very alive at the end of this year pushing the options of additional consoles right up to 2020 at that point the PS5 (and whatever Microsoft has) will become an optional issue. We have seen that many day one people held on to their previous console. I still have the PS3 and Xbox 360; I just never expected that the 360 would be higher regarded than the Xbox One (by me). These are all elements that play a part, as such I partially oppose the view Forbes gave us and I believe to be handing out the correct version (I have been proven correct often enough).

I agree with his slowing down part, but not to the degree he expects it, and the additional factor is not the slowing down, it might be: “New consoles pose question marks for the industry, and people are inclined to wait for answers before making large purchases“. I believe that to be the correct statement, but there was one other factor, it is 4K gaming and that is slow because the larger group of gamers does not have a 4K TV at present, as 4K will be the bees knees this Christmas, we will see a push to a much larger degree and Sony has an advantage over Sony here. It is how I got my PS3 and I never regretted that, especially as that TV was dirt cheap in those days, I expect Sony to do the same caper this year (and other brands as well), which is as I see it the larger stage for the difference between Dave Thier and me, as well as the large purchasing part, there is no ‘wait for answers‘ anymore on 4K TV, as such it optionally prevents a larger slowdown on the consoles and to be honest, you need to see Xbox One 4K with AC Origin to believe just how amazing 4K can be, it blew my socks off let me tell you that; and yes it was on a Xbox One X. Ubisoft & Microsoft actually got that part truly right.

Boobs

Yup, we got there, or as the Bloodhound Gang would state: ‘Hooray for Boobies‘ Yet the software is always a happy place for any gamer, whether it is Minecraft or Spiderman, seeing stuff in 4K is always reason to cheer. So when we look at value how angry do we need to get? When we are confronted with a AAA game (triple A game) we think it will be about quality, but it is not. It merely means that the game comes from a ‘mid-sized or major publisher, typically having higher development and marketing‘ and as I see it, it will be mostly about the marketing. So here comes Ubisoft who as far as I can tell is the only one who truly mangled and downgraded the IP of two franchises, namely Assassins Creed and optionally now Far Cry.

In comes a hard truth: ‘AAA game development has been identified as one environment where crunch time and other working pressures that negatively affect the employees are particularly evident‘, a given that is handed to us by Tweaktown and GamaSutra. In Tweaktown we see: ‘Ex-Ubisoft dev reveals the grim reality‘ with the quote: “it’s more like a mechanized assembly line than a dream job“, this might be a true stage, yet in all this it is not the creators, it is its board of directors as well as their marketing department. Like several software makers, setting a realistic goal is not something either department is any good at; the horrendous Far Cry 5 is clearly evidence of that. I completely disagree with the ratings that IGN (89%) and the 81% that Metacritic gave, I fall in line towards Digital Trends and their 60%. There should be a stage that games like that can no longer be called AAA games when its rating to become this below average. I even have some reservations on the games I traded in for this new version (at $23). Far Cry 5 infuriates me; they really had to do a better job. Not the graphics guys (gals included), graphically Montana is so overwhelmingly amazing that I would be willing to move to Hope County with the next available flight (if there is a decent job there). The story is something I leave in the middle. It is over the top, but there is a side that is actually enticing and you haven’t felt hatred until you are getting a tattoo on your chest by John Seed, the characters (even the over the top ones) are impressive. It is the game play itself that got to me in a massive way. To name just a few:

  1. Planes that touch a tree top dead in their track and in some cases end up on the ground in perfect working order without a scratch.
  2. Like the screaming eagles in Far Cry Primal (one every other minute) the stage comes when planes are there and they are there all the time, I have shot down enough to make a nation go bankrupt, but not for the Seed family, they merely seed more planes (or is that conceive?) And it is not merely me; I found hundreds of posts of gamers irritated by that, it seems that some people at Ubisoft are unwilling to learn.
  3. Spawn, not the Todd McFarlane hero, but the spawning of opponents. In a bunker scene (trying to avoid spoilers), the troops started spawning in front of me, which is a big no-no! This all indicates that the game was either never clearly tested, or the test results were ignored, either way that is an easy 20% degrading on any 89% score, so we are already on 69%. The fact that these issues were never addressed one year down the road implies additional failings on the Ubisoft front.
  4. Ballistics anyone? I love my sniper rifles, it gives me an edge and even in a bunker, the rifle can be a huge advantage, even if you only have 35 bullets to work with (unless you find more ammo). So when that rifle suddenly does not kill with a head shot, but only knock of the helmet, I am speechless. You see, anyone who knows their weapons would know that a helmet is protecting in nature, but the impact of a .50 that travels at 3,029 feet/second giving an impact of 13,350 ft-lbf (foot pound force) does not merely take off the helmet, it rips of the entire head. Now I get and accept that Ubisoft is not giving us that image, but to not see a headshot as an immediate kill is just stupid and silly. That should be 35 instant kills, even in the chest the power alone will crush the chest to death, and no Kevlar thickness in the world will stop that.
  5. The enemy avalanche. I get that throughout the game, it becomes more and more taxing, but the boss fights with wave after wave, where topless people keep running after 5-7 shots is just silly. And it is not 2-3 we get thrown into a stage of dozens and Ubisoft is unable to learn that wave after wave gets to be tedious and actually does not make a game better. Now there is an arcade more and I am not touching it, arcade is arcade and there the rules tend to be slightly different, which is fair enough. Yet in the normal game, Ubisoft makes the same mistakes we saw in Far Cry Primal and Far Cry 4. What was Far Cry 3 has become less and less (as I personally see it).

There is a lot Ubisoft got right too and the extra’s (like the Vaas outfit) and particularly the outfits you get when you have another Ubisoft game is cool, an immediate reward for those who have other Ubisoft games like the Rainbow six outfit is actually really cool to see (I did not have the game so it did not unlock for me), but the effort towards its gamers must be recognised. The bubbleheads (for in the car) if you have certain games is also cool and gives a little extra a fact that has always mattered to gamers.

Tweak town gives a lot more, but when I read: “When people realize they’re just one very replaceable person on a massive production chain, you can imagine it impacts their motivation“, I see it and it might impact, but that is an HR problem, not on my watch here, it is an element I care not for at present. There is also: “How do you get the right message to the right people? You can’t communicate everything to everyone, there’s just too much information. There are hundreds of decisions being taken every week. Inevitably, at some point, someone who should have been consulted before making a decision will be forgotten. This creates frustration over time” that is an issue, it is management that is either not there, not properly ready or even worse, it is ignorant. That also gives light to the connection of testing, an issue that Ubisoft has had for at least a decade. The experience that even now in Far cry 5, the event of looting a corpse and switching the weapon they dropped are nearly always overlapping, making a quick grab for ammo impossible and at times even disastrous. An issue not fixed since Far Cry 3. The article (at https://www.tweaktown.com/news/49863/ex-ubisoft-dev-reveals-grim-reality-aaa-games-development/index.html) had a few more items, but it was less important for me in this case. Gamasutra (at https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/282922/AAA_game_dev_lifestyle_is_unwinnable_says_veteran_game_designer_Amy_Hennig.php) gives a few more items, issues like: “There are people who never go home and see their families. They have children who are growing up without seeing them” get a different rating, it is either a lack of time management, or slave labour, one is a choice the other is criminal; you tell me which is which. Yes, I trivialise the issue here, but at some stage you need to recharge and if you decide not to do that, you burn out. It is the quote: “It’s pressure that rolls downhill and piles onto those behind the industry’s biggest releases, forcing them to go above and beyond to meet rapidly approaching deadlines” that hits pay dirt, they either haven’t learned to neuter their marketing department, or the board members have forgotten what realistic time frames are. Either way it tends to stop proper game testing and that is how we get a screwed up product and we have seen that from AC Unity onwards, Ubisoft has had way too many events like that. As such as we see the quote referring to ‘over-expectant publishers‘, the view we see matches mine pretty much flawless. If you cannot control your marketeers with their hype creation, you fall flat and you get the pressures that should have been avoided in the first place. The evidence is there too, for example Project red with Witcher 3 as well as Cyberpunk 2077. There no one is fussed about the 2020 release, we all know that they broke the mould with Witcher 3 and we want to see that again, we the gamers are willing to wait for excellence, mainly because it has become such a rare thing. A 93% rating comes at a price. It is the oldest stage of sales.

You can have something cheap, something fast and something good, but you can only chose two of the three elements, so the product ends up arriving slow, becoming a bad product or an expensive one, which of those three can you live with the best? Of those three the late arrival is the best (my personal view), but as far as Ubisoft goes, they got that choice wrong more than once, because they were unwilling to delay the release late, costing them points all over the place. It is me not liking Odyssey that requires me to quote Samuel Axon who wrote a massive story on ArsTechnica. He ends with: “Odyssey was not a perfect game. But it was the perfect game to win back this series superfan. It’s so good, I want to go back and replay older games in the series—even some of the bad ones—just to examine and appreciate the evolution“, I get his vision yet it is not my view on the game and that is fine. Ubisoft does not need to appease me, it needs to protect its IP and there we might not see eye to eye on the matter. This is fine, I am merely one view and that too needs to be taken into account, Samuel clearly had another view on the take and I accept it because the article (at https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/03/i-played-11-assassins-creed-games-in-11-years-and-odyssey-made-them-all-worth-it) is an absolute must for any Assassins Creed fan.

When I look back, no matter how much we like to stare at the boobies, when they are not the ones (or shape, or size) you hoped to see, the interest fades really fast (unless you are a hungry baby) and that is the core for Ubisoft, the absolute essential part was proper testing and fixing (optionally with a day one patch) is something they seemingly have not been steered towards for too long and it shows. As I see it, they efficiently massacred two IP’s at present; the question becomes what will happen with Watchdogs 3? When we accept (I do) that the second was way better than the first, I fear for the third, because they need to get it right. I only got Far Cry 5 well over a year later when it was sold at a mere 17% of the full price gives rise to what we are willing to pay. When you consider that this was a game with a budget close to $100 million and a rising amount of gamers will no longer consider it at full price, and even as it made $310 million, how much money did Ubisoft in the end miss out on? Going home with $200 more is still good, but what could they have gotten? I wonder if they learn this lesson too late, perhaps it is me and perhaps I expect too much from the gamers of today. I merely chase excellence in gaming, and a game that is created substandard will not ever give a feeling of excellence, which is sad on many levels, especially when someone forked out an 9 figure number.

Just consider that GTA5 made $6 billion so far, Red Dead Redemption had a $725 million opening weekend, and that list goes on, all games that have a 90% score of better. It shows when we see that (according to VGChartz) Far Cry 5 seemingly sold less than 4 million copies, God of war far beyond 11 million, and that is also set toUbisoft being on three systems, whilst God of War was on only one system. I see it as the main difference between a 70% game and a 95% game. A difference of 250% or better in sold copies. I reckon that Ubisoft needs to focus on quality a lot more than they are currently doing and that view is shared by global player on an increasing larger scale endangering Ubisoft initial revenue more and more.

 

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Darkness in Kiwiland

The end is nigh was my first thought. The one nation that has more sheep than people, the one nation where a mutant sheep would be the most dangerous creature to behold on either island now got their hands filled with terrorism, not any kind of terrorism mind you. In this case we see: “Forty-nine people have been confirmed dead after shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch“, in addition we get “Christchurch hospital is treating 48 people, including young children“. So far we know that the victims are citizens form Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Four were arrested, one is likely to be innocent, the three others are not, arrested with guns, and one has been positively identified. One of them is not merely a terrorist; he is an Australian making matters worse (for Australians that is). The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/new-zealand-shooting-what-we-know-so-far) gives us: “A man identifying himself as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old born in Australia, posted online before the attack saying he was a suspect. He posted various images of what appear to be machine gun magazines and a link to what is being described as a manifesto for his actions.” It is not the end, merely the beginning. The Sun (at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8649326/east-london-mosque-attack-new-zealand-shooting/) gave us only three hours ago: ‘MOSQUE ATTACK London mosque attack – ‘Racist thug’ calls Muslim worshippers ‘terrorists’ in hammer attack hours after New Zealand shooting‘.

This is a growing concern. My personal view is simple, if I have no issue ending the lives of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, I will apply the same filter to Christian terrorists and white supremacists. In my personal book they are all equally unworthy. Yet I also look beyond and I was not alone in that. It is seen in the New York Times who gives us ‘The New Zealand Massacre Was Made to Go Viral‘, which is an opinion piece by Charlie Warzel. He (and others) give us: “The act of mass terror was broadcast live for the world to watch on social media” and more important he gives us: “A 17-minute video of a portion of the attack, which leapt across the internet faster than social media censors could remove it, is one of the most disturbing, high-definition records of a mass casualty attack of the digital age — a grotesque first-person-shooter-like documentation of man’s capacity for inhumanity“, as well as “what makes this atrocity “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it, is the methodical nature with which it was conducted and how it was engineered for maximum virality“.

There are two sides to that. Nothing is that well engineered off the bat. It implies that this was not merely staged; this was long contemplated on how to execute the event for maximum footage; to give rise to that I need to take you to the setting of a movie to illustrate the issue. The movie Russian Ark used 2000 actors, was shot in 32 locations in one place (the Hermitage), all were rehearsed; all were on queue including three complete orchestra’s. Yet the big element is missing, the entire 97 minute movie was done IN ONE TAKE. A titanic, almost impossible feat was shown by Alexander Sokurov. It was a stage that took months of preparations to get it all in one take. Now we go back to New Zealand. As we are exposed to ‘the methodical nature with which it was conducted and how it was engineered for maximum virality‘, some might consider the part behind this. That person was not alone in the planning; he had help and a decent amount of it. Apart from the shooting which most people can do in a video game, the setting of the locations, the actions taken as well as the stage of filming and making it stream live. All elements that one person needs to plan for, we should consider what was done ‘behind the screens’. If you ever get into a situation like that your body will be so pumped with adrenaline, the acts we see with “In minutes, the video was downloaded and mirrored onto additional platforms where it ricocheted around the globe. Screen shots were created from still frames of bodies and uploaded to sites like Reddit, 4chan and Twitter where they were shared and reshared“. The perpetrator could not have done this to that degree, as I said earlier; he had support and a decent amount of it.

We see part of that in Forbes through Thomas Brewster (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/03/15/after-the-new-zealand-terror-attack-should-8chan-be-wiped-from-the-web/#5c2239e36263). Here we see: “Social media channels later struggled to remove copies of that stream, while his 74-page “manifesto” also spread from 8chan across the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Long known as a haven for extremist, right-wing thought, and a wilder version of the already unruly 4Chan, the 8chan forum has courted controversy in the past. In 2015, for instance, users of the fringe site started a campaign to boycott Star Wars because it had black and female leads. In the same year, child pornography appeared on 8chan, leading Google to delist it. Channels that appear to advertise child-abuse material remain live on the site today.

Most people who want to get viral know of the machines available to them, some employ them for marketing and other options, yet what I see here is that this was an attack that had been thought through, I might go as far as speculating that he never expected to get away with it, as long as it hit the internet. That is seen when we look at the CNN quote: “there were just 36 minutes from the time police received the call about shots fired until they had the offender in custody“, I would contemplate that no police force in the world is that effective, but the readers might misinterpret that, and this is not about making some cheap jab at the police.

Part of my thought is seen to some extent in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/i-couldnt-save-my-friend-carnage-leaves-christchurch-stunned).

It is the step list.

  1. Gunman parks in alleyway.
  2. He walks into the mosque through the front door then moves from room to room firing.
  3. Gunman leaves at least once to rearm.
  4. Gunman shoots people in the street, before driving off.

He rearms? I have walked around (in my far military past mind you) holding 4 FN FAL clips, each having 30 bullets giving me a 100+ kill option, and this guy rearms?

The final giveaway is: “the suspect said he had chosen New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of “mass immigration”.

Something is not on the right rails, the man is guilty, there is no doubt about it, but all I see is ‘patsy’ (a murdering patsy mind you) he was used to start something. Even as the Guardian gives part of the Manifesto, as well as giving us “Tarrant describes himself as a “regular white man from a regular family” who “decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people”. He said he wanted his attack on the mosques to send a message that “nowhere in the world is safe”“, as well as “The document says his parents are of “Scottish, Irish and English stock” and that he was born into a “working class, low-income family”. When he was young, he was “a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before coming to be an eco-fascist”, he says“. I disagree, someone like that seeking the limelight to this degree is not regular, now it does not mean that regular people do not seek the limelight, they tend to not kill 49 people to get there, and in all this even his political path is up for debate.

To go from a person who is part of a system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs (by not killing people), so he moves towards the anti-authoritarian political stage that advocates self-governed societies (a view by self-governing people not inclined to kill others) and then he apparently becomes a libertarian seeking maximised freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment again by not seeking violence. So basically he was rejected by all and became as he puts it an eco-fascist. That group will take any member as no one wants to be a member of that group in the first place. I don’t believe he has any significant level of intelligence. This all reads like a stage put in motion, the attack in London might link to it; it might merely be a coincidence of a few drunks being angry hearing about the New Zealand attack. I do however believe that the entire New Zealand event is giving rise that this might be larger and there are other players behind that event. The element that he was arrested in under 40 minutes, as well as the stage of “Screen shots were created from still frames of bodies and uploaded to sites like Reddit, 4chan and Twitter where they were shared and reshared“. Consider that 17 minutes needed to get downloaded to a device for uploading passed through for the screenshots, those and the movie needed to be uploaded, the timeframe does not match, he had support! The cyber specialists will have to look at the digital evidence on how fast and how evasive it was all done, more important there is every indication that there is a mirror to the dark web, implying now that this will resurface soon enough. In the next 15 hours the entire world will have woken up to the events in New Zealand and billions will be aware, after that I feel certain that the materials will surface again. It does not need to rely on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, there will be other pastures sowing the fields of discord with the video and images. The small matter of the Cricket match, and the fact that the New Zealand and Bangladesh test would have been on in Christchurch gives rise to that thought too. It might be mere coincidence that the Bangladesh team was in that mosque, the luck might have been that he missed that group by mere minutes; the event could have been a lot worse if these players would have become victims as well. The BBC quote: “Bangladesh cricketers were “minutes” from being inside a mosque in which a fatal mass shooting in New Zealand took place, says team manager Khaled Mashud. Players and coaching staff were “50 yards” from the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, when the shooting began” makes me think that this is larger than we can see at present. This was more than an attack; it was a planned strategy of slaughter and all the elements that I see is that a person like Brenton Tarrant lacks a massive amount of brain cells to do all this to the degree we are seeing at present, item three on that event list gives additional rise to my doubts.

I would want to state that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Commissioner Mike Bush have a problem, yet I am not entirely convinced that this is merely a New Zealand problem. There is no way to tell, but I reckon in a few days the cyber dudes (as well as cyber dudettes) will have a better timeline and a better comprehension on what methods, what software and hardware was used to get this all maximised, it might reveal more over time, but we will have to wait for evidence on that. part of that is also seen when we contemplate ‘The suspects were unknown to the police‘, the planning part and the fact that no red flags were ever raised makes me think that there are more players involved, the viral part of the attack is partial evidence. I reckon that more evidence will come to light soon enough proving my point.

 

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Electing Stupid People?

It was the first thought that I had when I got confronted with ‘ECB Injects More Stimulus as Draghi Reveals Slashed Forecasts‘, trillion upon trillion added in debt and none of it worked, the Europeans merely added 3 trillion in debt and they have nothing to show for it. The ECB has become a clear and present danger to the quality of life of Europeans. At present every European should consider that they have an added €5,859 of debt that they have to pay, so in a family of 4 that amounts to €23,437 with the optional €156 of interest every month. A setting where we see that close to 53% cannot make that payment, so that is merely the interest with no chance of ever paying the actual debt. A debt that was a bad idea and has been a bad idea for over 4 years and still the ECB does whatever makes themselves and their friends rich. No accountability for their actions, no transparency and no way to undo the damage they push unto others. Still people ask me why I am a Brexit person. The acts of the ECB are a clear indication that the EU has failed its people to the largest extent.

So as Bloomberg gives us “But bank stocks dropped as the new loans will have less favorable terms than the ECB’s previous operation. There may also be concern about the ECB’s gloomy prognosis for the economy and the limited ammunition it has left if things worsen“, I merely see that what I mentioned in my blog for over 2 years is becoming a reality. the article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-07/draghi-slashes-ecb-outlook-as-officials-inject-more-stimulus) also gives us “The ECB is reverting to more monetary support just three months after policy makers decided to end their bond-buying program and hoped to start weaning the euro-area economy off its crisis-era stimulus. The export-dependent European economy buckled under the weight of trade tensions, a slowdown in China and the uncertainties around Brexit.” This is making matters worse. You see the stage of ‘the uncertainties around Brexit‘ is one that the ECB gunned for trying desperately to keep the UK in and the actions of the ECB are pushing the UK away. Yes I agree that matters will become worse, yet only for the short term, the UK will over time rise faster and faster whilst the economies of France and Germany will become more and more stagnant towards facilitating to the other 23 players, as they are merely there to get an unrealistic economy and the loans that go with it. When I speculate, I come to the conclusion that Austria will get an expected debt that equals their GDP of 83% by 2021, Belgium is racing towards 108%, optionally by November 2020, Italy is likely to be at 135% by then, Spain is actually doing well, but it will not continue, if they are really lucky they will remain steady at 97%, France will climb to 99.2% and those nations are adding trillions more debt, because the ECB is not kept in check. that is the Europe that Europe is steering to and no one is asking the serious questions on how retirements will falter before 2028, the cost of living no longer realistic and there is no way to keep any economy in check because tee was never any real stage to keep it in check, with merely the impossibility to cast members out. Greece has a chain around its neck that will soon surpass the current debt level of 179% of GDP. So whilst ABC News over sells it with “Provisional data released Thursday show the economy grew 1.9 percent in 2018, down from a 2.1 percent estimate by the government, but closer to the European Commission forecast of 2 percent“, all whilst Greek Industrial news gives us: ‘Greek Economy Loses Steam in Q4, Recovery on Course‘, which might be really true as summer is coming for Greece so from that we accept that the Greek economy numbers will fluctuate positively. And those travelling to Greece tend to see a Greek alternative location, not an alternative country which is great for Greece but the overall numbers are merely positive, not overly positive. The weather has been part of that. There has been a tendency for people in Europe to select less foreign destinations for their vacations, especially the Netherlands and Belgium. This part is not the most important art, yet it still matters. If one nation is off by 0.1% we see an impact, however it is Germany where the economic slowdown is the most visible, and from the past people in Germany get cautious really fast, the 2013 smash down taught them that the hard way. It would impact Spanish tourism by a fair bit. For France we see a similar impact but less in tourism, for them the game changes in other ways and it impacts the EU as well. French RFI reported that the OECD gave “Italy is likely to go into recession. France comes out well, relatively speaking, with 1.3 percent, exactly half the likely growth rate for the US economy“. I personally have some serious doubts on those numbers. If France ends up with 1.1% they would be lucky, as we already have a debate on 0.2%, nation after nations have ‘recovery’ idea’s and not one is staged in any rock solid situation, it is all fluid and most of them hide behind ‘Brexit uncertainty‘ whilst they are all desperate to see Brexit fail before it becomes a reality, their economies will all take a massive hit, even the UK however, the UK once out will be able to push forward momentum just for the UK not for the dozen members hanging on the coattails of the UK. That was the truth that the ECB and the EU commissions are so desperate to hide. The UK residents get fear mongering story, one after another. How there will be no toilet rolls, how things collapse and how values are soon gone. Yet the direct impact is ignored. Once out the UK can determine for the UK again, not have an usurper player setting policy.

For clarity: a usurper is a person who takes a position of power or importance illegally or by force. It does not seem to apply to the ECB, yet how are they setting policy that is pushing the Europeans into debt by trillions, even after the second stage where it did not impact the economy in a positive way? The moment it was switched off, the EU economy is showing to buckle, so how is such a stimulus ever going to be a solution?

When we see “offering banks cheap loans to try to help revive the economy“, well from my point of view, a plan to revive that has been going on for four years is not a plan to revive, it is a vegetation form of life that is being kept alive artificially, as it would have been dead for some time under any other condition. It is merely facilitating for large invoices on a cadaver that no longer has the ability to self-determine its life. And in this case the ECB is really ready to facilitate large invoices, the question becomes who gets that cash, the people of the EU merely get to pay the bill and there are questions that are not getting answered by anyone, giving us a much larger problem. Are people this stupid allowed to be elected into such powerful positions?

You tell me, because from my point of view it does not make sense, and it never did, not past 2015 anyway. It is one part that is wrong; we see even more when we give regards to the issues shown by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/07/ecb-to-keep-interest-rates-low-recession-fears-eurozone-banks). With: “The central bank for the 19 euro nations said it would launch a series of targeted, long-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) in September. These are to run until March 2021 to help banks roll over €720bn (£617bn) of ECB loans and to ward off a credit squeeze that could deepen the economic slowdown” we see a situation that could optionally be interpreted as: “we predict that we cannot pay the outstanding loan of €720 billion, so we are creating a new loan to pay the old loan. We will not mention that as our economic position is not as good, so the fact that this will come at a higher interest is something we will have to accept“, a danger I saw coming a mile away well before 2017. Greece was the most visible one, but not the only one, Italy is in a similar position with its 131% of GDP debt and it will go from bad to worse. With a current predicted debt of €2,526,450,000,000 its interest responsibility is beyond horrendous and that too is swept under the carpet. When we see these acts of stupidity and irresponsibility the Europeans do not have a clear prospect, they basically have seemingly no prospect at all. At present every EU nation will denounce my view, yet what will they say in 2024 when I am proven correct? What happens to the people born between 1956 and 1960 when they look at their pensions and see that they really cannot afford being alive having to pay their bills on what is left? What excuses will their governments and the ECB give them when these people get to hear: ‘OOPS!‘ The chaos that comes with it will be one we get to remember for generations. It will be the moment where all over Europe the life of a Ministry of Pensions official will have a speculated shorter lifespan than that of a crack addict overdosing.

It is all merely part of a larger issue, even as Reuters gives us less than 24 hours ago ‘German industrial orders post strongest drop in seven months‘, we forget that this also impacts shipping numbers, the Dutch harbour revenues, in addition the “Contracts for goods ‘Made in Germany’ were down by 2.6 percent on the month, Economy Ministry data showed on Friday, marking their steepest fall since June 2018 and confounding forecasts for a 0.5 percent increase” gives rise to questions. We accept that we cannot predict increases and decreases to some degree, yet the stage of +0.5% against a 2.6% drop is quite another matter. I also had an issue with: “The Federal Statistics Office put the revision down to large orders for December being reported late“. I am not stating that they were misreporting to us, yet the question on the validity and quality of their forecasting pipeline shows to be more than a mere glitch, it shows that elements are either ignored or not properly doused in awareness. I am not sure which of the two is more dangerous, as the faltering positivity could also give rise to an increased risk of negated negativity through managed unawareness. I do not believe that either form exists by itself. I have accused some of orchestrated reporting through delayed bad news. I personally believe that this is a much larger problem in the EU, and it needs to be addressed really soon and to a much larger degree than it ever was. For that we need to make one final jump. It was last year September when Forbes gave us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelfoster/2018/09/29/bernankes-2020-prediction-is-dead-wrong/#3132f00c4df5) “Something strange is happening in the investment-bank and hedge-fund world: a growing sense that the next recession (which, by the way, Wall Street has long been wrongly predicting for years) finally has a due date: 2020“. By itself it is not really an issue in any way shape or form. We have all seen these predictions, all based on actual numbers before. I made a similar prediction before Forbes got there (yay me), yet when we see: “the likelihood of a 2020 recession has risen due to, among other things, a tight labour market and higher borrowing costs“, as well as “former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is getting in on the act, saying a boom “is going to hit the economy in a big way this year and next year. Then in 2020, Wile E. Coyote is going to go off the cliff“, we see a lot of it coming to fruition at present and still the ECB pushes forward? We understand that this should be about actual data and not predictions, yet the numbers have been towards the negative for some time now and pushing for more stimuli whilst there is enough data to see it as folly to become reality is another matter entirely. There is a play handed out to players, whilst whomever owns the bank is seeing exactly which player has which card and the players are kept in the dark that the banks have camera’s looking over the shoulder of every player, which indicates that the banks can decide at any moment to sell short the play made by any player. It is great to be told that you can bluff, whilst the bank gets to see the cards all the players have. So the bank decides to set a stimulus play whilst they know that all players have losing hands, how does that go over with the players in the room?

And we allow these banks to be elected to set the stage as such in the first place?

 

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Game of failures

This is for those who love games. Games are important, it has always been important even as plenty of people do not realise it. Getting your kids into gaming at an early age is increasingly important. Our lives revolve around interfaces; interactivity of systems, so lowering that threshold to children as soon as possible is important, very important. Those parents who think that they will get it school are out of their minds. To get any child to be aware of how a tablet is used, to how a mouse is used and a controller is close to everything. Yet this path only works when the software is up to scrap and whilst this was easily the case for Putt-Putt, the games nowadays that go beyond merely being an educational support idea is far from perfect, in some cases they are disastrous.

Some kids get to tap their parent’s smartphone and that is fine. This is not a new issue; it goes back to the early 90’s where Humongous Entertainment created amongst others, the Putt-Putt series, an interactive game that worked like a picture book story and as the player learned to click on the environment, it started to be more and more interactive. I thought it was the greatest idea in 1992 when I tested the game. I already saw at that point that lowering the threshold for the next generation was going to be a big thing and this game delivered. Even as that side did not survive, it had set a seed in motion and created learnware, a way for people to get engaged into the use of computers at an early age, an age that went beyond the Atari 800 and Atari ST. It was a game available on PC and allowed people to fear the mouse less and become inquisitive in a natural way. I got the game via Electronic Arts in the UK if I remember correctly. It hit me how wrong the company has gone. Well, that is not entirely fair, the larger missed stages are not by Electronic Arts, yet their link to Bioware taints them the same way, no matter how removed they are from the equation. As Forbes states: ‘Five Extremely Basic Things ‘Anthem’ Gets Wrong And Needs To Fix‘, not merely an elemental flaw, a much larger massive flaw from beginning to wherever the player ends. Forbes gives us “even if BioWare manages to patch all the technical issues out of the game, what ails Anthem goes deeper, and fixes will require some pretty core reworks of entire systems that are currently in the game“, this is what you get when marketing decides on the products and proper game testing is either ignored or never properly done. I particularly liked the introduction by Paul Tassi: “While I am Mr. Anthem-Is-Not-That Bad-Actually, trying to push back against a flood of negative reviews to let at least some people know that they may enjoy the game if they’re a fan of the genre, I am also not blind to a number of very, very obvious problems with Anthem“. For me it goes back to a more basic part. Bioware has been sitting on IP worth close to a half a billion dollars and squandered it to the largest degree. Even if there is a repair to the Mass Effect universe, if they are not ready to dish out $50-$100 million and take a very new direction, ne not seen before in gaming, they will be in hot water getting boiled alive. It is not merely the ‘hope’ on Anthem getting repaired; you cannot hold the audience with E3 presentations for almost 2 years and make colossal mistakes to this degree. Bethesda is similarly not in a good place, yet they have been changing direction 180 degrees trying to get fixed in their first massive failure (Fallout 76 for those in the dark). In case of Bethesda, it is their first tits up event, so they have time to get it fixed and they got the rudest wake up call. For Bioware it is not the first time, with the Andromeda failure, they have a lot less to go with and that whilst Anthem was supposed to be trying to budge in on the Fortnite hype (and similar games), as such we can come to the conclusion that Anthem is in much deeper waters, and there is no safe swimming there.

Forbes gives us a lot more, with ‘Viewing and Equipping Loot Is Absurd‘ is the indication that no proper game testing was done, or if it was done, it was not scrutinised towards the minimum levels it needed to be, the essential 6 steps that were discussed (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2019/02/24/five-extremely-basic-things-anthem-gets-wrong-and-needs-to-fix/#3f7327ce63a5) shows just how wrong it was implemented and handled. This makes for a clearly shown wrongly tested game. And when we get back to Mass Effect 3 and their loot boxes, we know that it could be done better and there was a much better example at hand. Forbes goes one better and shows the Ubisoft method (the Division) a two year old game where loot deployment is well done and take 8 seconds against the 12 minutes loss you face now (as was stated by the reviewer), how could you ever achieve in captivating and maintaining a proper audience?

With the comment: “there is no way to see your overall stats anywhere. Not basic stuff like health and shield, which are added up between components with no total shown” I am on the fence. In a real shooter (Bagdad 2003, Beirut 1983, Kandahar 2011, or Aleppo 2015) you are alive, wounded or dead (preferably not dead). When you get shot you do not get to check your health or shield status. The Kevlar either held and you felt like a mule kicked you hard, or there is red all over the place. Yet, this is a game and a choice was made not to give it. I am not sure whether the gamer accepts this, but it was a choice made and we have to accept it. We all have come a long way from the Wolfenstein 3D health indicator. Paul gives us a lot more, from the free play, to crafting to the revive issues. The game is seemingly flawed in too many ways, in a day and age where getting it right from the beginning is almost everything, when we consider that the first teaser was in June 2017 and we see these levels of shortcomings, we need to realise that the larger players have lost the plot somehow. Is it management, project management or merely marketing that cannot get the time lines straight? No matter what the reason is, between the need to grow knowledge in a global gaming dimension as well as the revenue driven side of gaming, it goes beyond what we know now, it is all about how to evolve a system that is as mature as it gets. Perhaps the curse for Bioware is that Mass Effect three was close to perfect. You don’t get to mess with perfection ever; they learned that the hard way twice already. And as we see an exploding amount of videos on YouTube on loot grinding and chest locations after a mere weekend of availability, we see that there is a lot more to fix on this game, from my point of view, a game that is still such an alpha should not have been released, not ever.

In the past I have had good cause and plenty of reasons to have a go at Ubisoft, yet in comparison there are plenty of indicators that they are getting it right. The Division 2 is a much better version that the original, it is not really a new brand or a new game; it is a much better game. Even as it is too early to tell, there are some voices (who had early access) and they are comparing the division 2 after the first game to the Assassins Creed 2 compared to that first game. If that is true, if that holds up than those who embraced the division are in for one hell of a ride, crushing Bioware further still. In a world where we are driven to choice as our budgets limits us, the problems that Anthem created for themselves is one that they might not survive, to get this much opposition to a game three days after release is a really bad thing, those who bought the game might run back return the console games (not an option for PC games) and put that money towards the Division 2 and wait three weeks to start a proper multi player shooter.

When it comes to this generation gamers, we are faced with a failing generation as they are confronted with decision makers who clearly have not had the best track record in game design, that is proven with the mere sight of so much failure on any day one edition.

If I had to make a judgement, my personal response would be a simple one: ‘Looks like this could be a nice game, call me again if you ever get to a workable beta version‘, a game that is optionally a year too early, unfinished and unbalanced in a world where there are half a dozen better made alternatives. Bioware strikes out a second time, will they be around to make that mistake again next time?

My version is upheld and given strength when we see the ‘Anthem Day One Update Patch Notes‘ (source Gamespot) which is massive and filled with issues that should not have been allowed to be around past an alpha version. It gets to be worse for the console owners. The information in the open is that the day one patch too that is around 7GB on consoles. So you buy the game and still you need to patch 7GB from the start, I expect at least half a dozen more patches in the near future and if they are core patches, the download size is likely to be higher. Forbes gives us more than mere patch information in the several articles that Paul Tassi wrote. Last week he gave us: “In addition to the sizable day one patch, BioWare has moved swiftly to hotfix two other issues right now. The first being killing a chest exploit that was allowing players to easily farm endgame gear“, it is merely proof (as I personally see it) that this game is still pre beta stage giving us a lot more issues to ask questions on and for the most, I do not see that such a critical look is being taken by many reviewers. I have had no issue going for the throat of Yves Guillemot (apparently still CEO of Ubisoft) in regards to the AC blunders; do you think I was going to pull my punches on Bioware after the Mess Effect Andromeda bungled to that degree? Bioware needs to sit down and take a hard look at where they are at and what they think they can do next, because squandering IP to the degree that they are doing is not a good sign and it will affect EA just as badly, because that is the impact of a game with this many issue relying on micro transactions. Their best action at present is to hand out the $39.99 pack for free to all those who registered in the first 7 days, and I would double the amount of shards given in that pack, because when we start seeing the dozens of copies of the console editions of Anthem in the preowned game section that will be the first sign that Anthem will become a dead product, death in 60 days, it could be the worst result a multi-player shooter has ever faced, and it is not all on them, in this case the increasingly higher regarded and higher review scores of Division 2 will be part of that death stroke.

Anthem for a failing gaming experience‘, it is quite the epitaph to put on the tombstone of any game.

 

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Future through the sub line

That was the first thought I had when the Guardian treated us all to: ‘Folding tablet hybrid shows Asia, not US or Europe, is leading the way in innovation‘, I was already aware of this through the submitted patents well over a year ago, yet the Americans remained in denial on just how far behind they were falling, ego does that, iteration does that and denial does that. Now I see that the innovations would optionally give added value to my own outstanding patent on a ‘dumb smart device‘, and it goes on beyond that. Some of the innovations I had planned for are now on par with what Huawei will need soon enough.

Their foldable Mate X, which is allegedly 5G shows that not only is Huawei ahead of the game, I see that they might be more and more interested in my IP, giving me the retirement funds I really really desire. The Mate X billboard that was getting placed for the grand opening in 10 hours in Barcelona gives us the initial view, instead of hiding it in the middle like Samsung does, the outside fold might have additional powers and abilities that we have not considered yet and could optionally have the implementations that Android 10 will offer. Even as we expect the 5,000 mAh battery to be the power driver pushing Huawei all along towards to pole position, the device would have plenty of business needs for options like a potential Dark Mode, as well as DeX-like docking support for a new Desktop mode and a revamp of privacy options. Giving us that Apple is now falling behind and they are falling behind fast. In addition we see the escalations that are hitting Facebook will enable a much larger push towards the WeChat future that is now being considered more and more outside of China.

Barcelona has more, even as the SanDisk 400GB is truly expensive (as well as superfast) as its 128GB is 75% cheaper at present, but that is the reality of larger memory when it is initially released. More important, when I look at the implementation of my IP, I see that the market for SanDisk would grow close to exponential from previous terms and I am sure that SanDisk will not object at all. And the news is not done yet. One source gives us; ‘After Samsung unveils Galaxy Fold, Apple submits blueprint for foldable iPhone‘, implying that they are losing grounds and are getting left behind by both Samsung and Huawei. Even as we are almost conned with: “Apple has submitted a blueprint of a bendable smartphone at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), indicating Apple’s progressive development towards building a foldable device” we see the issue that if the patent is submitted now, Apple would be optionally 2 years behind Huawei, the loss has been that much for America. As we see the news from CNet and ZDNet and a few others, we see quotes like: “Samsung has gotten the jump on the competition; companies like Huawei and Xiaomi could have the last laugh. While the Galaxy Fold wowed audiences with its demo, Samsung opted not to let anyone get too close to it, and the phone was MIA when the demo area opened up. Another company could steal the spotlight by offering people a closer hands-on with their foldable devices” and none of the articles had given any notion towards Apple implying that with the absence of ‘leaked reports‘ Apple is a no show to the degree that it matters. It was only through Forbes that we see: “In a perfect demonstration of the macro/micro concept in practice, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Apple is shifting its leadership. The company is also changing priorities throughout its multiple divisions (retail, hardware, artificial intelligence and services).” All these group interview drives for their shops and now we see a massive division shift. It is not only that, they also confirm what I have been telling everyone for almost a year. With: “It’s like paying an even higher price for a bigger plate of the same food“, the part that the plate only seems bigger is left out (it is in the eye of the beholder) and when we consider the $2365 (Apple) versus $899 (Huawei), with a close contender (Huawei too) at $499 we see that there is a consumer group that is taking value into considerations making the technology of Apple slide even faster.

So whilst their marketing division is trying to make sense of the premise of ‘Apple under fire as it admits some iPads ship with a ‘bendy chassis’ – but says the flaw in the $799 product is ‘normal’‘, all whilst the consumers wonders how stupid their train of thought is, and as we were treated to “This 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won’t change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way“, whilst the images (at https://www.macrumors.com/guide/ipad-pro-2018-bending-issue/) shows a “Bendgate” issue that is a lot bigger than their statement. As we are treated to issues a lot more severe, we optionally see an issue where Apple did not merely drop the ball, they went about it wrongly to address the issue and it is not going away any day soon. When we push this forward, is the fear that people with an optional future folded iPhone greeting the ladies in social events with an folded iPhone shaped like a giant ‘V’ that they are not happy to see them, they merely have an iPhone bendy in their pocket, and lets be fair, are you really willing to pay $2900 for an iPad that can’t stay straight?

This part matters as Apple will try to take the 5G path growing its market share as we would expect Apple to do, yet at present Apple is losing speed and making less and less headway, it needs to realise that the Chinese path of innovation is taking steam out of the others and drowning whatever others consider to be innovation to the be a mere marketing exercise. Huawei started showing that clearly well over a year ago and now that 5G is here, the playing field is dominated by China to a much larger degree than anyone is comfortable with. In addition, what was laughed away by many a year ago when I showed that Saudi Arabia was making headway in 5G, is now given by the media as: ‘Huawei to help Saudi Arabia become world’s top 5G country‘, I was more conservative claiming that they would surpass the US in 5G, not that they would become number one, but the Global Times is more progressive here and with “his company will support Saudi Arabia in its drive, and Huawei is ready to invest $20 million per year in its three local research centers, cooperate closely with 140 local suppliers, procure $500 million worth of local equipment annually and add 10,000 local jobs in Saudi Arabia in the future.” The quote (at http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1139737.shtml) gives a few issues to debate, but behind all this is still the Vision 2030 drive and Neom City the drive that Saudi Arabia has had from the beginning and as I stated many months ago, their need for 5G would be well received, a city that will in the end be well over 20 times the size of New York, all 5G and all innovation driven. That was seemingly just the beginning, because Huawei sees what I saw, Saudi Arabia is important and in the end the biggest springboard towards places like Egypt and a consumer base 300% the size of Saudi Arabia. From there several more markets will open up in several ways. In the end I have been proven correct five times over on this issue alone. Barcelona and their MWC2019 (Mobile World Congress) will show me to be correct in a few more ways. At this point, I merely wonder how often Microsoft will drop the ball there. I am supposed to remain objective, but how can I when we have seen this world where Microsoft innovation is merely limited to their marketing. Whatever we get to see at the MWC2019 this year, it is clear that when it comes to innovation, it will be the Chinese companies that have the last laugh, especially as President Trump announced: “I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind“, and the fact that AT&T is hiding behind 5G Evolution (which is not even 5G) should be a clear indication how far the US is lagging behind, all the way to the White House. It is also the one moment where I clearly oppose Business Review who gives us: ‘Trump’s tweet won’t have much impact‘, you see, entertainment is priceless and that is what President Trump offers, 6G when they are still not grasping the options that 5G brings, and the ‘small’ fact that Saudi Arabia will soon pass them by in the 5G mobile field does not help the US either, there is no telling at present how far behind the US will be when 6G arrives in 5-10 years, but we can giggle on the sidelines whilst we watch it happen, can we not?

 

 

 

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Mining Rites

We all have these moments that we think we know, we are certain to know what we face, yet the truth is we do not. It happens to us all, you, me and those around us. This is not a new thing, this has been happening for the better part of 30 years. Most Americans ignore it and hide behind the ‘Fake it till you make it’ slogan, whilst they jump left, right and backwards to give the imaginative view that they know what they are doing. The setting is merely hilarious when we look at the events knowing that they do not know anything at all. That is the moment you can watch the train wreck move forwards whilst you relax and watch the collateral damage unfold. Weirdly enough it is not unlike Super 8 (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL_6gA_BVtA, from 04:00), one scene that sets the stage for the entire movie. I think it is the greatest train wreck ever produced and we are viewing what happens, knowing what happens, yet until the end, the actual reason why we faced it in the first place remains a question mark.

This all shows the stage that we have faced in the last 10 years in IT, as well as what the car makers face now in the stage of ‘Stricken car makers stall at the crossroads of a radical future‘. It is not merely the stage of cars, there is (what I personally would call) some case of delusion that people are actually waiting for 27 models. I agree that there are some who feel that way, but the bulk of people are clueless of what makes a good car, they merely want a car that looks really nice (and is safe, and is regarded as cool). Yes, most of us all want the Jaguar XF or the Maserati Gran Turismo, but it is not financially feasible. So some go the route of the Japanese model, some seek American and some go in another direction (there are so many), and still we see the fight by offering dozens of models, most will never ever be the great model we were all seeking. It does open doors and at times we do see a niche, like the Abarth, a modernised Fiat 500 (personal opinion) and for functional reasons it is a great choice to get quickly in the city and find a place to park, which is still the number one villain in the life of a car.

But it is not about cars, the jump will make sense a little later. You see last week we saw the escalations of some Saudi Teenager and the news was all over it, The Washington Post gives us the new life of escaped ‘Rahaf Mohammed’, with ‘For teen who fled Saudi Arabia, a new life in Canada starts with a new name‘, oh it is all over the news on how evil Saudi Arabia has lost a victim to freedom. We see the news with papers in nearly every country giving light to the plight of this poor young lady. She escaped! So, when the dust settles and we realise that she got on a plane to somewhere else, whilst I was not able to afford a plane ride until I was close to 23, in a place where I was never in danger, when you realise that and you also realise that the news is steering clear of Yemen, where we learned in the last week that “Houthi rebel and Yemeni government representatives did not meet face-to-face in the port city of Hodeidah over the past week“, and that the simplest part where we are notified of: “Since MASAM was launched in June, 2018, a total of 26,609 mines planted by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in the territories, schools, and homes across Yemen were removed“, in addition sources inform us of: “the project – launched with an initial budget of $40 million with an aim to achieve a landmine-free Yemen – still has to tackle a total of 600,000 mines planted in liberated areas by the Houthi militias. This includes 130,000 internationally banned sea mines, 40,000 mines in Marib and 16,000 mines on the island of Mayon alone“. This is what we get from Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the Supervisor General of KS Relief. So as we are seemingly all about bashing Saudi Arabia through misrepresentation, we seem to also bash people, without actual evidence mind you, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia regarding the events surrounding Jamal Khashoggi, even as no evidence has been presented to the people. The media has been hiding behind ‘seemingly‘, ‘inside sources told us‘ and ‘according to the latest information‘, the bulk of the matter does not hold up to scrutiny in any court of law, our laws mind you!

The media whoring like second hand car salesman (and sales woman) all voicing the news according to populist belief. It seems that the world is now afraid of Saudi Arabia. Not because of their might, or military options, but because in the first, Saudi Arabia is making moves to technological advances that is leaving the United Stated behind, and as US players are hiding behind fake 5G options (AT&T) as Forbes gives us: ‘CES 2019: AT&T CEO Hypes ‘Fake’ 5G Evolution Network Causing Confusion Among Consumers‘ (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2019/01/15/ces-2019-att-ceo-hypes-fake-5g-evolution-network-creating-confusion-among-consumers), where we are treated to more and more deception, Even as the article gives us “To make matters worse, AT&T is currently in the process of deploying two real 5G networks, branded “5G” and “5G+”, the latter being faster than 5G. Confused? Wait, there’s more. A little known regional wireless carrier, Redzone Wireless launched over a year ago “5Gx” (no, it’s not 5G, just branding like AT&T), a fixed wireless service in Maine” at the end, we need to realise that some parties are done for, stupidity got them there and that is where we see a different setting in Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE). We see that the auctions of true 5G are in place, the market is growing and now we see that true 5G, not the AT&T or the Redzone version are set to technologically boom the stage in the Middle East, the nations that the Western European nations have been looking down on for generations, is now equaling and surpassing that so called free western world. This also is the fear of Iran, who seemingly has a deal with the western world to not be mentioned, to be given a clear pass, the entire landmine debacle and how the western media is avoiding covering it is clear evidence of that. Consider that Yemen is roughly the same size as Germany, when we are told that there are still ‘600,000 mines to tackle‘, when we see that, every newspaper in the world would be all over it, but no, it is Yemen, no one actually cares, especially now that Lady Diana Spencer is dead. The media cannot get a nice image of that, can they?

so now see the ‘plight’ of a Saudi Teenager versus the plight of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, via the services of Doctor Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah who is truly trying to make life in Yemen better by trying to remove another 600,000 mines, after they had already removed thousands of mines, making Yemen at least safe to walk in, mines planted by Iranian supported Houthi’s. Because the clear message is not that the Houthi forces planted the mines, the fact that they never had the resources or funds to get them in the first place, the Iranians were part of that entire mess, but the media is not asking those questions either, how is that acceptable? Has the world gone Anti-Saudi Arabia? What right do we have to be Anti-Saudi? So far they are proving to be more innovative, better prepared and more eager to be the main player in a technological world that is now based on deception and marketing in America. How should we accept a sliding scale of value of this size and nature? And should you doubt my news (always an option) then please Google ‘King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre’ and see how many western publications have given any notion of the trucks filled with relief goods for the people of Yemen, aid to Jordanian refugee centres and heating fuel and gas cylinders for cooking distributed to ten thousand refugees, as well as 2100 tonnes of food for displaced Nigerian refugees. It seems to me that the western world as well as the Christian world is lagging in many places, on many levels, all this whilst the transgressors are not held to any account. So when was the last time that you considered the death of Jamal Khashoggi in a nation where that nation leads the world list in jailed journalists in the first place and let’s not forget that this is the nation that jailed Pelin Ünker for well over a year for looking into the Panama Papers, she was found guilty of ‘defamation and insult’ for writing about companies owned by former PM. Is that it? Were the allegations true, were the Panama Papers correct? Was Tax evasion proven, or was it merely illuminated tax avoidance?

We seem to give a clear path to the wrong people, the wrong ideals (like Tax Avoidance) and we see to be painting the wrong parties all whilst the western world is desperate to make a deal with Iran, a deal that could optionally be proven to be the worst investment in the history of the world soon thereafter.

A place that is making future history by building a city 32 times the size of New York, a feat never attempted before in history. So how do we react? Do we cheer these people for trying the impossible? No, we try to burn whatever relations Saudi Arabia has, so that it could never ever surpass the achievements of America, a place in lockdown over a bloody wall between America and Mexico, give me a break please!

Yet the EU still tries to keep some EU ties with Turkey, the EU still wants some nuclear deal with Iran, two bad ideas in a place where the evidence is showing us that these two are never to be trusted, that these two are all about breaking deals, and in all this the EU also slams Saudi Arabia every chance it gets whilst keeping Iran and Houthi connection under illuminated, just like they keep silent on Iranian and Hezbollah connections, Perhaps you have heard about Hezbollah, the terrorist organisation. So why keep that out of the news whenever they can? In that Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, a teenager who apparently still had the money to fly to Sydney Australia via Bangkok. Yes that news did reach the press in every newspaper. I do not judge Rahaf for her actions, I merely show you all that the media is using whatever they can to fill the space of media so that they can misrepresent the world for the needs of the large corporate needs, like bad second hand car salesman, they are voicing merely what they think that we want to hear and the actual news? That is a fairy tale for those who seemingly do not matter.

Also consider the final part of Ernest Moniz, who in October 2018 was quoted with: “Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Wednesday he has suspended his role on the board of Saudi Arabia’s planned mega city NEOM until more is known about the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey“, an action that seemingly made sense at the time, whilst a mere three days ago we see: “Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization on Sunday highlighted his country had started taking initial measures to develop a 20%-enriched fuel for use in nuclear reactors, Tansim reported“, Ernest Moniz is happy to be part of a mining community like Iran who provided the 600,000+ mines that Saudi Arabia is trying to clear is evidence of that. Now also consider that ‘all HEU can be used to make nuclear weapons‘, and the threshold between LEU (Low enriched) and weapons grade starts at 20%, so in this we see a (what I would personally regard) as a hypocrite like Ernest Moniz (my personal view on the matter) who is willing to stand in Iran stating (in posture and theory) that there is no danger with 20% enriched Uranium, making him the new Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who in 1933 came back from a meeting with Adolf Hitler stating: ‘Peace for our time‘, do you remember how that ended?

We are focussing on fictive dangers and the real ones are at all of our doors, we need to consider the actions that we allow our politicians to make in our names, in an age of unemployment, in an age of technological impasse, we are listening to greed inclines car salesman who have no clue, merely the knowledge that they need their bonus, their bonus shares and personal profit and we all forget that there are real dangers and real people like Doctor Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah trying to deal with those dangers, but the media won’t allow us to find out those truths to a larger degree.

You tell me who is right, you merely have to properly Google these searches and they are out in the open for anyone curious enough to learn more.

 

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