Tag Archives: Forbes

Discrimination by media

It bugged me yesterday yet it it was Forbes with their BS. And now the Guardian most useless person and champion for discrimination (aka Stephanie Kirchgaessner) makes another anti-Saudi Arabia article. I wonder why the Guardian keeps Katharine Viner around. As I see it, she is as useless as some other person we might know. So lets have a look at the article that angers me so.  It is ‘Alarm on Capitol Hill over Saudi investment in Twitter’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/03/saudi-twitter-investment-us-national-security-risk), yes it is 3 weeks old, but that was in this case intentional. It starts right off the bat “Possible access to users’ data could pose national security risk and could be used to target kingdom’s dissidents”. Well Stephanie (Katharine too)? You used ‘possible’ which is neither here nor their, which is not a yes or a no. You have had three weeks and the both of you get enough money to sort it out. Is it a yes or a no? And where is the national security? As such what ‘rights’ does an investor like Prince Alwaleed bin Talal have regarding Twitter and its data? And then when we look at it we see “his investment company, Kingdom Holding, which first invested in Twitter in 2011”, as such Prince Alwaleed bin Talal had been an investor in Twitter for 11 years and it took you this long to figure out that there was a national security issue. How fucking useless are you two? (Reference to Viner and Kirchgaessner) And after three weeks we still do not know anything, do we? I am not interested in these putzes Ron Wyden and Chris Murphy as I see it near useless politicians who seek the limelight and Kirchgaessner when it comes to anti-Saudi articles is happy to oblige. And then we get “The Twitter investment does not appear to offer either Alwaleed or the Saudi government any formal control over Twitter. Musk is now the company’s sole director. But the kingdom’s known use of the platform as a propaganda tool”, as such it has been three weeks, do they or do they not have any formal control? You have had three weeks to figure it out. We see no response of such questions from Twitter or its spokesperson either, do we?  And when we see “Rules surrounding such reviews by the US Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), which has the power to unwind transactions if they are deemed to threaten US national security, have usually been triggered when the foreign entity (in this case, Saudi Arabia) has assumed control of a company or asset” but they weren’t were they? So do you have any evidence in the last three weeks that sheds light on any of this or are you as useless as I always have found you to be and in this case your editor in chief with you? 

I have no idea who Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is, but I have a mindset to sell him some of my 

iP just to piss you off. How about my 5G IP, should fetch me a pretty penny? Or perhaps an additional $6,000,000,000 in annual IT revenue for starters (it could grow). I am so sick and tired of your BS and unsubstantiated issues that go nowhere. First Forbes with its slapping of Elon Musk, never ending slapping, now another piece by you two (the editor in chief is guilty by association) and no one is looking into the partnership between Microsoft and Tencent, why is that? Or were the so called ‘animosity’ pieces by Microsoft stakeholders enough? But the indications are that the Tencent device is running Microsoft at the core, so is that true or is that false? I cannot tell, but it is not my job, it is yours and you aren’t doing yours.

It pisses me off to no end.

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First of two issues

I had a rage attack today, it was right after some stupid set of saggy t*** decided to attack Elon Musk in a Presidential briefing. It feels like she is from Forbes. They have been pushing the Musk envelope. It is my personal belief that they are close friends with Jack Dorsey, a person they seemingly never asked any serious questions from and ‘the national security danger that is Saudi Arabia?’ Oh, I got her number and then some. But there is time for that and I have seen that death is not the worst a person can experience. It will be my delight to introduce that terror to her. But there is time for that and certain plays are not completed. But then something happened. 

A tweet brought Me back to my senses. This lady is totally nuts about Elden Ring. I get that drive, that devotion, optionally that obsession. I do not agree with her, but that I her right. I did not play Elden ring. I could never finish BloodBorne. I still have it as it is one of the most beautiful games I have, next to Dark Souls 3, a game I equally never finished. Both utterly sublime, but in my lifetime I doubt I will ever finish that. Yet it was about her feeling. I thought I had the same with Horizons: Forbidden West. But then God of War: Ragnarok came. I am taking me time as every corner, every sight is a feast for the eyes. I lost a few lives, but that is OK. The game delivers again and again and the story is magnificent, as is the music. I do not believe that Guerrilla software has anything to fear. There is space to love control of both Kratos and Aloy. Two amazing pieces of faming IP, this was a good gaming year and I am not forgetting Gotham Knights. Three Amazing journeys. Yet at present I am knee deep in Asgardian folklore and epic myths and Santa Monica Studios deliver in ways you cannot believe (unless you are playing the game) it is good that in the twilight of my life I can still be amazed by games. I started gaming in 1984 and I never stopped. I might not have the drive I once had (like playing 167 levels of Loderunner on the CBM64 in one sitting). I did take a sickie for that event. It was a time when you could pause a game, but you could not save a game. Still, 38 years later and that gam is still part of me. Games evolved from CBM64 we got the CBM Amiga, then PC, then the PlayStation range one through five and gaming never disappointed. I might not like everything, but that is not required. There is space for the yearners of Elden Ring, the obsession with Quake, Halo and Bethesda games. It is an inclusive group, the more the merrier. 

There is no hindsight, not a new piece of IP (other than the ones I already have). Many forget that gaming is not a business (to some it is), it is the ones that see games as art, those are the games that get the 90%+ reviews and Sony has a basket full of those, no matter how many ‘opponents’ troll rating into the basement. The gamers know what is what and they are driven to success. To achieve the end of the story. Anyone finishing Horizons Zero Dark can tell you about that. There is a need to finish the story and God of War: Ragnarok is no different. Do not worry, no spoilers here. 

Passing that line yourself is so fulfilling it gives value to a game and you will cherish EVERY dollar you spend on it. Today was a great day for gaming. I wonder if that is why I became angry at Forbes with its BS sense towards an owner and a partner who owns a mere 4% of Twitter. Which is interesting as the China hatred in the US does not give rise to the partnership that Microsoft and Tencent have, not even from Forbes, where is their national security interest there?

I am contemplating words I once got from Frank Herbert “He who can destroy a thing, can control a thing”, he published it in 1965, 57 years ago. Words to live by and I am feeling rebellious and frisky, a dangerous combination in someone with my mindset, but Forbes will soon learn that lesson. I’ll give fair warning a day after I have completed the exercise. Only fair, not?

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A pussyfooted warning

Yes, we all like to give out warnings, I am not different. Yet is my warning valid? It seems so, especially when I see what is out. It is addressed to Amazon and Google (mostly Amazon). You see in 2022 we get the generic information “This list will expand over time, and you can gain access to more games by subscribing to more channels. For example,  you can also access nearly the entire Ubisoft catalog via the Ubisoft Plus channel” but it is the wrong information. What will be released in 2022? Why would people get happy on a Ubisoft release list? It is now a mediocre software house with less than stellar achievements. Do you really want to rely on that player? And we are also given “The second title, an MMO called New World, managed to gain a lot of traction in the November 2021 early access period, but it’s not yet available on Amazon Luna. It is, however, included in GeForce Now.” Really? You rely on two titles? I have given you both a list allowing you for a dozen titles in 2022 alone. You can hide in high water, but you do not even have a submarine simulator, so you will drown there. The people are making up their mind at this stage and this is not a time to desert your system. Even as I boasted an option of 50,000,000 consoles. Do you think they would consider it if you are asleep at the helm? They will leave you for dead and Google Stadia is not developing anything, so all they seemingly have is Ubisoft. Amazon needs to wake up and add manpower to the kettles and get the coal into these furnaces, because the currents will overtake them and beach their solution like a bad habit. Mother Nature has no sense of humour and casually put you to death. Forbes is even worse. It gives us “A remake of the first Dead Space will arrive in early 2023, while a brand new Monkey Island game is slated for release later this year.” And in addition we see “Those are part of iconic franchises that are being revived over the next year or so” ‘being revived’? How lame is that? Is this the message your gamers are waiting for? Yes, if it is part of something bigger, but if this is it, Amazon will leave the race of the streamers pretty quickly. They had half a dozen options including bolstering a true gamers social network, but they seemingly folded leaving it all to Microsoft, meaning gamers can only rely on Sony and Nintendo to fill their gaming needs. They are good, they are great! But they are two and more is always better for the gamer and now seemingly these large houses feel more more comfortable leaving it in the hands of Microsoft, which in my eyes is not a solution at all. 

They had 2 years to pull ahead (and I am not talking about my 50M console solution) I gave some warnings in October 2020 and that is as early as I saw that Amazon had the option of being the winner here (Google decided too early to not be a developer) hence there was only Amazon and its Luna, but over two years we have seen the repeated lack of games, the reliance on Ubisoft and games that were already on other systems. Now, this is part of the start, but the start also implies you set out the strengthen the dikes of competition counters. Yet is seems to me that Amazon has given up, it is not doing anything until it is too late. Like giving the bull a doze of valium so that the rider will be ‘safe’ but is that what the audience expects? A place that has (seemingly) a 2021 revenue of $470 billion, and here we see that 1% of 1% is $47,000,000 a setting that could give them 3 new AAA titles, or a dozen of revamped titles. One percent of one percent and it also approaches my solution for 50,000,000 to 75,000,000 additional console sales. But that is much more strong and realistic if there are better and more unique games on that system. So two percent of one percent of what they got last year puts them on the map and heading toward the sunset of winners. You tell me why these places do not take the gaming community serious, because relying on Ubisoft is not the way to go. I will let you wonder how serious Amazon and Google are about being a player in the gaming market, because at present it will still rely on Sony and Nintendo and I am happy with these two consoles, I would be more happy if these two woke the fuck up and consider that gaming is out evolution and they have an advantage for now, yet when Netflix gets ahead of them they might as well pull out and start crying in a corner, because they did this to themselves.

Have a great day!

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Too cheap?

It is not a statement, it is a question. I started to ask myself this when I had a deeper conversation with one of the people I actually trust. I have mentioned it here before that I have certain IP for sale. The parties are Google, Amazon, Huawei (Tencent) and I added Elon Musk (that man can turn good ideas to gold). The initial stage was that thee was an idea that allowed Google (Stadia) and Amazon (Luna) to sell in excess of 50,000,000 consoles. Yet it was a low estimate. I believe it to be well in excess of 75,000,000 consoles. In the mean time Netflix has entered the field and even as they have nothing to really bring to the table, it seems that these three are not to serious about their streamers, but somehow Tencent seemingly is? And that started the exploration conversation that my idea was too cheap. Was it? You see the second pay cycle gets me 10% of the IP and sales value, so the second payment would be massive and the first one left me without worries, so why ask for more? I am not a teenager with the dream to have lusty gorgeous 20 year old ladies doing a balancing act on mr John Thomas every day, well not anymore that was decades ago. 

I now look towards a relaxed retirement and whatever comes with that. As such I created three IP bundles which (after some serious travel) received the automated release date on September 30th on 4Chan. An encrypted solution that was innovative and something a player like the NSA could not counter on 4Chan, not with that amount of images. As such no computer I touch will ever go near it, I merely have to wait for a clever person to figure it out and once released it all becomes public domain, a stage no one can counter, no one can make claims at present as they played their own silly games. A stage where ONE title puts the streamers on par with the larger consoles, straight in a temporary second place and that is on my numbers. If the numbers increase (which has a decent chance of happening) that console will stay in second place with an option to get pole position.  A stage Sony NEVER faced before, and this is not against Sony, I love my Playstation (yes, I need help). 

So here I was trying to convince my friend the simple setting that enough is enough. Why go greed driven for numbers that are too weird to my universe? And of course that station is rejected because if everyone else is greed driven, I have to be greed driven too. Yet when greed overwhelms you, you forget the sight of things. I created 8 parts of IP, I got there by looking around, not by looking after greed and that was merely the starting stage. I understood but never accepted ‘Greed is good’ (Wall Street, the movie), although that sentiment lives strongly on Wall Street as well. Yet in my setting what have they missed so far? Over the last year I have shown all kinds of IP (some open and public), but these ideas should have been in the hands of BigTech. At least one of them at least a decade, but greed is limiting their view and I am showing others this again and again. Yet, for some reason they are not catching on. So whilst they slap each other on the back billions elude them. There is now a chance that the third IP bundle is gaining mass and therefor value, I still thought that 2.6 billion was a little high, and there are risks that I cannot foresee, but looking deeper some might state that my estimate is too low. Is it? If I end up with 5% of 2 billion I will not complain, but the IP is now estimated at 2.6 billion and will optionally be higher. So is the estimate too cheap, am I delusionally too cheap or is the truth of the matter somewhere else. The issue almost came to blow as I looked at the Twitter issues (yesterday) where some are ignoring what is out in the open, what else are they missing? It becomes a much larger station when players like Forbes give us ‘Local News Losing Billions In Revenue Each Year From Digital Media Giants’ (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradadgate/2021/05/17/local-news-losing-billions-in-revenue-each-year-from-digital-media/) where we see “Local TV news continues to be a trustworthy and primary source to millions of viewers. This connection with the community and trust has been important, never more so than during the pandemic when local TV news reported strong ratings growth (although with the economic slowdown ad revenue was sluggish).” It is the added “A recent research analysis from BIA Advisory Services and commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), entitled Economic Impact of Big Tech Platforms on the Viability of Local Broadcast News, reported that local TV newscasts lose an estimated $1.873 billion each year from Google Search and Facebook News Feeds.” It gave me the the following parts.

  1. What is local news? Honestly, the news tends to be Fox, CNN, BBC and a few others and they are global. More important they ALL trivialised the Twitter numbers.
  2. This gets us to number two. Trustworthy is merely an 11 letter word that has less and less value in media and in filtered information (news that is approved by media shareholders and stakeholders). 
  3. So who places news on Facebook? I placed images from several sources, they are not news items, they are deceptively placed forms of advertisers placed BY the media themselves. 

A setting that goes on and on, so what numbers if Forbes bitching about and more important. When we look at some research instigated by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) I feel certain that I will find a whole range of issues. Painting the street in the colour of preference has consequences, yet Forbes is not too hassled on that are they?

As such where we are given “Whereas, ad dollars for local television are projected to be flat in the years ahead, digital media are forecast for year-over-year percent double-digit gains in ad spend.” It was a greed driven setting where local advertise systems ruined the market on greed, and when Google launched a true fair system the people en mass moved there. After decades to be given a real number was overwhelmingly interesting to advertisers, and now they all cry foul, all destroyed by their own greed and the Twitter setting merely echoes that. So why would I join those losers? I might not end with anything, it might just become public domain, but if I won’t get it, the greed driven will not either and when it comes out in months and they all come with “I could have gotten you soooo much” I can reply, so why didn’t you? It is the defeating move to the greed driven, to see them end with nothing, the sweetest victory of all. 

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The missing ingredient

We all have that. It does not matter whether it is food, drinks, series, movies, games. When an ingredient is missed, it counts, especially when it is an ingredient we thought highly of. In Assassins Creed it became Ezio Auditore. In Tekken it was your favourite character, in NCIS for some it was Tony DiNozo, for Charmed it was Shannen Doherty. And movies have their own crosses to bare (or was that bear?). Anyway, these thoughts came up as we lost Fred Ward to Eternity. I saw him first in Escape from Alcatraz. I always considered hm a good actor and I enjoyed watching his works, especially tremors. But my mind suddenly set on Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, which was shown in the Netherlands as Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous. There are a few issues with this movie. It would be the first time I saw Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway of the USS Voyager). It was not the greatest film made, but it had humour, which made the movie fun to watch. Joel Grey as Master of Sinanju Chiun was slightly too much over the top, but still fun. What was interesting was the plot. There we see an investigation of a corrupt weapons procurement program within the US Army. You see, that plot was new, or at least I had not seen it before and then the cogs started turning. Why does Netflix buy these rights and overhaul it into a mini series? You see a movie is nice, but 4-8 one hour episodes leading to a much larger, deeper and darker story might be a lot more rewarding in the long haul. And lets face it with the non functional weapons out there (USS Zumwalt, most of the Russian tanks) the setting for a large increased plot theme (especially when we pull the EU (Strasbourg) front and centre, the story could be appealing to a much larger audience, of course we will miss Fred Ward as a key ingredient, but nature tends to be unrelenting in these matters.

It is after-all about the weapons procurement program, and the stage where someone walks away with billions on a model that never went anywhere is a nice touch. It is even better if some elements are kept as close to the truth as possible. You see, Forbes gave us (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/10/30/an-82-year-old-is-suspected-of-decades-long-scam-selling-dangerous-weapons-parts-to-us-military/) ‘An 82-Year-Old Is Suspected Of Decades-Long Scam Selling Dangerous Weapons Parts To U.S. Military’, then there is ‘Metallurgist admits faking steel test results for US Navy subs’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59186655) and there is more where that came from, but consider the second part, consider the idea that the North Koreans (and Russians get a hold of that and a list of Los Angeles attack class submarines that have that steel? Now consider the play that could be made to get a submarine to a specific location and scuttle it ‘accidentally’ because the flaw was unknown. The story that some could write might keep the TV audience on the tip of their seat for the entire mini series, and the bulk of that work was already done. So as Netflix is trying to cut cost, here is an idea that they could use. But I think that they owe it to Fred Ward to have his picture somewhere (as an admiral) or as a father pic of the hero of that story, there are all kinds of ways where we can have a silent tip of the hat to a person who should not be forgotten like yesterdays news, but that applies to so many actors, I will be happy to admit that. When you know your games and consider Sir Alec Guinness as the CEO of Tri-Optimum, you know exactly what I mean. A simple setting of a series done in a few hours, Netflix get to work!

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Tweeter and Sylvester Musk

Yes, it seems like an animated fest. But there is a lot more under the hoods called media. Even there battle lines are being drawn. The problem is that this war is a little more annoying than other wars. T?he media is making sure that every statement is checked. And still there are multiple sides in this war. 

Forbes
Forbes is one side and gives us “Now, four years later, Musk’s desire to purchase Twitter may to be tied, at least in part, to his still-burning desire to correct what he perceives as media bias generally, and toward him and his companies, which is amplified on social media. Twitter’s board of directors has unanimously rejected his offer and vowed to fight the takeover bid. Whether or not he ultimately succeeds in purchasing Twitter, his views about free speech and social media are ill-conceived in at least three ways.” This is a fair point of view. The added “he does not acknowledge that rules pertaining to free speech in the United States are intended to constrain the actions of governments not companies or private actors. The First Amendment to the Constitution provides that Congress shall pass no law abridging free speech, significantly limiting government action. Over the last 230 years, U.S. lawmakers and courts have carved out a few carefully crafted exceptions to this absolute prohibition on government action.” Is equally fair, yet the missing part is that “U.S. lawmakers and courts have carved out a few carefully crafted exceptions to this absolute prohibition on government action” is that this is a statement that the media exploited to a large degree for the push of self. The media has its own media filter systems. They are called stakeholders and they have been around for over a decade, most likely longer. In a TV series called Torchwood, we are given “Harry Bosco was a man who would alter information fed to the public during the Vietnam War. In the words of Esther Drummond, “He did it by mistranslation. He couldn’t censor or change, but he could manipulate the English translation. Change one word, change the entire meaning.”” It is not far from the truth we see today. People are given filtered information, one sided stories and intentional mistranslations and it is EVERYWHERE. The Ukraine coverage by internet trolls on Facebook and Twitter. Filtering by deleting accounts on Twitter and the intentional one sided coverage in Syria and Yemen shows that this is going on and in the media certain stakeholders are as I personally see it filling their pockets. 

And when the additional “In the U.S., these free speech standards were never intended to apply to private companies. It would be especially counter-productive to apply them to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. It is in both the commercial interest of these firms and the best interest of our society for them to moderate content on their platforms actively and responsibly. If they do not do so, their platforms will quickly be overwhelmed by spam, pornography, hate speech and violent incitement, misinformation, and conspiracy theories, which would drive away both users and advertisers”, and when you see “If they do not do so, their platforms will quickly be overwhelmed by spam, hate speech and violent incitement, misinformation, and conspiracy theories, which would drive away users” you know that I am right. The media is exploiting every digital dollar via flames, hate speech, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. We see them on pretty much ALL social media, so I reckon that that ship has sailed already. 

In all this, I cannot say whether Elon Musk will be a force of good, or bad for Twitter, it is interesting to note that there is a downside to Twitter and if Elon Musk will launch his version of Twitter, some version of Social Media, I will take notice get hop on board to see how good, or how different it will be. And whilst you are all so emotional on Elon Musk, consider that this might be a good thing. When you see the amount of seesaw data (either really good, or massively bad) news on Meta is handed to people via hundreds of sources. We see a slow but certain form of polarisation coming. These people will watch from the sidelines and they will see that whatever Elon Musk has might be an alternative. And it would work for Elon Musk. When he adds Hybrid to his system he would be able to steer in multiple ways and it should give him a larger benefit, especially when his cars have it and others do not, the bough breaks and the car industry will lose a massive chunk to Tesla. All sides that might, that could happen. But it is equally possible that certain sides will fall for him but not completely so. Basically the 50/50 split could become 70/30 with 30 going the Musk way and that is good news for Google, Amazon and Meta. Yet they will have to accept that Musk Social Media could become a powerhouse all by itself and at that stage whatever the Forbes people will say was bad news will get a really quick rewrite. That is how I see it.

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Escalations

Things escalate, this happens and sometimes it is part of a plan, at times it is not. The Ukraine issues can only escalate. If Vladimir Putin states that it is up to the other side we can safely conclude that he is massively delusional. In between headlines like ‘Russia’s unspeakable horrors in northern Ukraine: Torture, murder and cluster bombs’, ‘Russia’s mass rapes in Ukraine are a war crime. Its military leaders must face prosecution’ and ‘Second British soldier captured in Mariupol is paraded on Russian TV’ we see little other path than the path of escalation. Of course there was good news too. 

As speculation goes, the Russian navy is just as dependable as Russian tanks. They are both equally effective in adhering to gravity and the Russian cruiser Moskva is giving testimony of that at the bottom of the Black Sea. The Slava class, Soviet designation Project 1164 Atlant, a class of guided missile cruisers designed and constructed in the Soviet Union for the Soviet Navy, and currently operated by the Russian Navy. Well there were two, now there is one, so 50% of their guided missile class has been destroyed. Is that what they mean with ‘Slava Ukraina’? 

Anyway, escalation. The Dutch are possibly restoring their active duty needs, and many nations are adhering to this as well. There is every thought that Russia woke up a setting they were not ready for and their Nuclear arsenal is all they might have between defeat and utter defeat. With all the Nazi claims they made, we see more and more that their actions represent the Nazi activities. So in the end, will we see a Nuremberg like trial in Strasbourg where the defendants will all respond in the same similar way? We will hear all of them state “Я выполнял приказы”, but in the end in Nuremberg 161 were convicted, and 37 were sentenced to death. I wonder how many Russians will end up with a death sentence. We see rape, torture, murder of civilians, we see the bombing of hospitals, the deployment of cluster bombs and the indiscriminate executions of people trying to flee the war-scene. The drones recorded a lot more than that and the Russians will face the rim reaper in many ways. That and the stage that life of a Russian outside of Russia (or Cuba) is now a thing of the past. These are all escalations that are happening now and will be happening more in the next month. Even now as Forbes is contemplating a G20 without Russia, we see the long term damage and that turns Russia in a 3rd world nation. It was going good and then it turned nearly every nation on the planet in another direction. You see commerce requires trade and how much trade can Syria, Belorussia and Cuba offer? That and the end of Gas-exports are making for a nasty treasury coffer and whilst Russia depends on its army, the hardware that army needs is sinking, destroyed or out of gas. Escalations can go in any direction, yet history shows us that most escalations go in the wrong direction and Russia is experiencing this the hard way. We sometimes forget WW1. My Grandfather was there and as such I keep tabs on that event. Does anyone remember the fallout of WW1? The Treaty of Versailles (signed in 1919) and the 1921 London Schedule of Payments set a massive bill for Germany after WW1, I reckon that Russia faces an even steeper bill on the damage they did to Ukraine. I reckon that 90% of al Russians will pay 20% taxes on their income for 30 years to Ukraine. That is the setting of escalation and that is the consequence of waging war, its invoice has always been the harshest message. And as I consider what might be next, we might see a new NATO, an EU army with France leading it, it is the most ready and the best equiped at present. A setting both the UK and Germany would not have held possible a year ago. What a difference 53 days can make. 

I wonder if older and very grey Vladimir Putin has any idea what is coming his way in the short term?

They say that confidence cannot escalate to arrogance, it only happens if the blood of pride is running through your veins. Knowing that picking a fight with Ukraine was not the best idea to have, but it seems he is learning that the hard way. You can doubt me and it would be fair, just ask the captain of the Moskva, he is in the Black Sea somewhere. 

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Card or Con? Friend or Foe?

Forbes got my attention, just as I was reconsidering part of something that happened a few months ago. It was the article https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/20/i-need-medication/ titled ‘I need medication!’ It reverberated in me as I took notice of Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/12/27/is-it-time-to-disrupt-your-call-center/)there I got served the quote that matters, it was “I recently received a letter from a major credit card issuer. To process my application, they needed some additional information and verification. The problem? I had not applied for a new credit card. The letter was valid, but the application was fraudulent. The letter instructed me to send the required information for verification or call a toll-free number, with no option to text or chat. I opted to call the toll-free number. This was truly a call center, not a contact center.” The setting where we have “Monday morning, I navigated the maze again and got into the hold queue where I was informed my hold time was one minute. Success! Two hours and twenty minutes later I hung up. I looked up the credit card fraud phone number for the provider and called them. Within moments, I was connected to an agent. Yes, she would be able to help me. Before I could speak, I was transferred to — you guessed it — the same number I had called previously.” Here we get a setting, a setting that takes hours, in that time all kinds of fraud could have been commenced. Of course there is all kinds of chances that Forbes was adding the spice of drama, but I think it is simpler than that, there is a failing in Fintech as a whole. It seems that it is about revenue and for the most they will not care about the people, no matter what claim they make. If there was a true customer service then there would be checks and balances, there would be more than “To process my application, they needed some additional information and verification.” I believe that this is not an American issue, it is a European, a British, and Australian, a Canadian and several other nations. A massive failing in Fintech and the policy makers and lawmakers are falling behind, no matter what the excuse, they are falling behind. 

We see some laces giving us numbers (they call it statistics).

  • In 2018, $24.26 Billion was lost due to payment card fraud worldwide
  • Identity theft makes up 14.8 percent of reported fraud
  • 69 percent of fraud starts with a consumer being contacted by telephone or email, such as overdue loans or prize scams

Those were the numbers, now we see: 

  • Instances of identity theft by credit card fraud increased by 44.6% from 271,927 in 2019 to 393,207 in 2020
  • Identity theft by new credit card accounts increased by 48% in 2020.
  • From 2019 to 2020, the number of identity theft reports went up by 113% and the number of reports of identity theft by credit cards increased by 44.6%.

This shows (to some degree) that the larger stage is Fintech and a much better system is required, a much larger check needs to be in place. The fact that a consumer got “they needed some additional information and verification” could be seen as evidence. Overall systems are designed as ‘customer friendly’ all whilst it is (as I personally see it) a system for automated credit allocation not allowing a person to take time to reconsider, a straight push for credit and spending sprees. What happens if credit cards are treated like the acquisition of a pet? To set the stage of a ‘cooling off period?’ Is it that weird to let the person going for the credit reconsider for 24 hours? 

In this day and age there is a larger concern, it is not merely that we see the passing of 5,419,538 people, a large amount of them might be facing all kinds of fraud and hardship and that passes on  to the next of kin who are already devastated. 

However, it is not all Fintech. Forbes also gives us “I received a phone call from another card issuer’s fraud department. Their question was simple: Did I apply for one of their cards? When I responded no, they immediately flagged it as fraud and advised me to check my credit reports for other suspicious activity. Their systems analysed the same data available to the first bank and flagged it as possible fraud.” So some are better than others, the question becomes, how can the system be improved? That is the real conundrum and the customer service part is essential in all this. Whether we look at a Friend of Foe solution, whether we have a connected bank or not. I reckon that there is a solution to implement blockchains that allow for a much more secure station, a setting that is not propagated. What if the block chain is in two parts? A part that only the consumer has, one part that the bank has, one can check the other, yet a new bank will not have that part, only the current bank has it, a setting that could limit the damage we see with 

  • Identity theft by new credit card accounts increased by 48% in 2020.

It is not a perfect setting (yet) but when we consider the part I wrote about in the earlier blog. “To make sense, I need to take you back to the 80’s. There was a fab in those days, radio’s had a sort of enhanced METAdata part, so when a song was playing, you saw the band and the title in your display. It is almost like someone took that idea and put it on steroids, I cannot think of another explanation, what is more, I have no idea what my brain was working out. It is like someone figured out to hide more than a FoF (Friend or Foe) message in the radios broadcasting, with some cypher that gave the relevant information to any visor it faced. Yup, quite the ride and it went on for some time in my dream, the arrows had numbers, but the numbers made no sense to me, but to the co-pilot they made a lot of sense. They were following along the path of a canal with several branches, and the arrows were pointing along the canals they were on, several (not all) pointing in some sort of flight guidance setting.” So what happens when block chain meta data points at the actual person, not the applicant. There might be a station where we see that the 48% increase dwindles down by a lot, optionally arresting a lot of fraudulent players in the process. This is not a given, it is a mere thought, but I am trying to consider a new approach, one that a lot of players are not making, I am not saying that they weren’t doing anything, because I cannot answer that question, yet as I see it a lot of issues are ignored due to ‘customer friendly’ issues, whilst it tends to benefit fraudulent behaviour a lot more. 

And it is essential, because in 5G this station will get a hell of a lot higher and the Law, Big Tech and Fintech are not ready, none of them seem to be. However, that is merely my take on the issue.

Enjoy the day.

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Six of one

Six of one, or half a dozen of the other. You will have heard the expression. It is widely used, yet the meaning has changed. This reminds me of an old WW2 movie. A sergeant tells the soldier, we kill them, they murder us. It is more than semantics and weirdly enough there is a chance that this was on the back of my mind when I wrote ‘Jump into the deep part’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/12/06/jump-into-the-deep-part/), yet the CBC (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csis-trudeau-china-media-1.6270750) just drove it to the forefront of my mind. You see the article gives us in the article ‘Spy agency warned Trudeau China’s tactics becoming more ‘sophisticated … insidious’’ and here we see “As Canada’s spy agency warns that China’s efforts to distort the news and influence media outlets in Canada “have become normalised,” critics are renewing calls for Ottawa to take a far tougher approach to foreign media interference”. I am not debating the events in Canada, but the field is actually a lot larger. The media with (as I personally see it) unsubstantiated accusations towards the NSO group by the Guardian. Attacks without supporting evidence towards Saudi Arabia, the papers are drenched in that mess and it is not merely ‘foreign media interference’. You see if these people are serious they will take a hard look at media stakeholders, but they will not, will they? 

So as we see “One way foreign states — including the People’s Republic of China (PRC) — try to exert pressure on other countries is through media outlets, say the documents, obtained through an access to information request.” Do they realise that it is not merely ‘foreign states’, in this ‘corporations’ are equally to blame, they all have other goals and they use the same channels, the problem is that the media has become too unreliable, people do not know what or who to believe. In this the CSIS has equally a role to play, and for the most they are all about the safety and security of Canada (as it should be), yet in all this I wrote a few days ago about Saad bin Khalid Al Jabri. So as some might remember “Aljabri gained worldwide attention last year when he filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleging he had been the target of a failed assassination plot orchestrated by Mohammed bin Salman”, an assassination attempt? In Canada? So why is the US courts involved? Why is this not set in Canada? Then we get “Sakab Saudi Holding Company, “had no operational business” despite receiving $8 billion US in government funding and was used “almost exclusively” as a vehicle to funnel money to the other companies”. My issue here is not merely whether this is on the up and up, it is happening under the noses (optionally with blessing) of the CSIS, this is an Unites States setting (with $8,000,000,000) and it is happening in Canada. Now, the point is not merely on what the CSIS is doing, because they care for their nation (Canada), yet the media gives us a different view and the Human Rights Watch is joining them with “(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should immediately release the imprisoned children of a former Saudi official following an unfair trial that took place in an apparent effort to coerce him to return to Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said today. Omar Al-Jabri, 23, and Sarah Al-Jabri, 21, the children of Saad Al-Jabri, a former top Saudi intelligence official, were arrested in March 2020 and held incommunicado until January 2021.” Yes, the thousands of children of Yemen are casually forgotten (for that moment) but the children of a multimillionaire, in the eyes of the government of Saudi Arabia a traitor and a thief. The man walks into Canada with $385,000,000 and what we get is “he made at least $385M — and says there’s ‘nothing unusual’ about it”, really? Last time most people made a mere few millions, close to every tax agent within 50 miles came calling for a cup of coffee, but then I must have forgotten about the US and their $8,000,000,000 investment opportunity

So I digressed, but it was important. You see, I am not opposing “Chinese-language media outlets operating in Canada and members of the Chinese-Canadian community are primary targets of PRC-directed foreign influenced activities.” But the problem is larger, PRC is a paid engine, and in this that scammers, Iran and a few other players also use it. I do not think that I am telling director David Vigneault anything he does not know, but the stage is that PRC is used by stakeholders, marketeers, media outlets ho need some ‘casual’ link of evidence, the list goes on. The problem is not that China is involved, they probably are. Yet in that same light Russia is optionally using PRC media pages to make China look bad, Iran uses it to set misinformation onto other streams. In this Forbes gave us in April ‘China-Iran $400 Billion Accord: A Power Shift Threatens Western Energy’, we get to see the references towards Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and a few other matters, yet what is kept in the dark (not intentionally) is how Iran and Turkey are using PRC for marketing politics, a marketing engine devoted to the ‘headlines only people’. And in that stage there are also the corporations. They merely pursue their need for green (dollar bills), but the ploys they use are larger and taint all parties and in this the global media does close to nothing, because corporations represent advertisement dollars and they are all desperate (like a crack whore for a fix) to get those dollars. A little like the Sony 2012 Q3 advertisements needs, yet now a lot larger and many corporations that are a little shy of the limelight. 

This gives us the one part I do not fully agree with, it is given in “Mainstream news outlets, as well as community sources, may also be targeted by foreign states who attempt to shape public opinion, debate, and covertly influence participation in the democratic process,”, my issue with this is “may also be targeted by foreign states who attempt to shape public opinion”, it is not wrong, but I think it should state “Mainstream news outlets, as well as community sources, need to be more proactive to stop outside influences from state players and corporations who attempt to shape public opinion, debate, and covertly influence participation in the democratic process,” because corporations have everything to gain and they are trying to do just that, on a global scale no less.

As such six of one or half a dozen of the other is not the same, the two elements tend to represent a very different currency. Consider the alternative six apples or half a dozen bananas, that might make more sense. As such I tend to ‘alter’ another expression to make sense: You say tomato, I say potato. My approach to the setting we see here on a global scale.

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It is difficult

One one hand, thee was a reason to be joyful. There was another article by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, so let the bashing begin. On the other hand, this is actually a good article. It is also an important article. And there is a stage where we need to consider what is and what could be. The article ‘Rights groups urge EU to ban NSO over clients’ use of Pegasus spyware’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/dec/03/rights-groups-urge-eu-to-ban-nso-over-clients-use-of-pegasus-spyware). This is interesting in two ways. We see no such ban on Remington, Fabrique national, Glock and a few other firms. And I would like to add that the NSA has done worse, much worse, so why is it now onto the NSO because their clients are skating on the edge of what some people might seem as ‘unacceptable’?

We see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm, alleging governments used its software to abuse rights”, we see it, but do we realise what is going on? We are holding the publisher of a law book accountable for criminals using those books to stay out of prison. And it is not mere criminals using the books, it is governments using the books. 

This is a slippery slope and as Stephanie Kirchgaessner illuminates this, we are left with questions. I personally want to see a list of these 86 organisations. I am not saying that the Guardian is lying, I am stating that the NSO and us have a right to see these accusers. Yes, we see Access Now, Amnesty International and the Digital Rights Foundation. But where are the others? We also see “the EU’s sanctions regime gave it the power to target entities that were responsible for “violations or abuses that are of serious concern as regards to the objectives of the common foreign and security policy, including violations or abuses of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, or of freedom of opinion and expression””, it is here that the problem starts. We see “freedom of opinion and expression”, but who allows for that? Who allows for ‘peaceful assembly’? Consider the US and their ‘Black Lives Matter’ setting. We see “Some states have recently increased the severity of criminal penalties for protesters along political lines”, so where is your freedom of expression and opinion now? 

There is an issue, there is and in this Stephanie is right, but is there any kind of stage where the NSO can be held responsible for the actions of their clients? What do you think will happen when the NSO sells what they have to China and/or Russia? Do you think these 86 organisations will have anything to say then? 

And there is a larger stage, the stage everyone is silent about, the stage we all know but no one is willing to look there. We are so willing to blame the NSO group, but no one is wondering why Apple and Google didn’t have better protection? We can understand that there are always, but they do not seem to work and for some reason, Apple and Google have a massive problem. So when we consider Forbes ‘Apple Starts Sending NSO Hack Warnings To iPhone Users’, why was this not done earlier, and more important why was the problem not fixed 5 years ago? Apple is playing the cautious game, leaving the NSO group out of the debate with “State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time. Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete. It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour to evade detection in the future.” So why are new phones not more secure? Why are cyber locks a problem? Because Apple (Google too) caters to people who need automation to get better and more revenue and that crosses with the needs of some players who need access. 

In all this, the simplest solution was that no one gets access to your mobile, and it is not a new concept. The Blackberry started that idea and was quickly pushed out of the market (they were not the cheapest either). I saw this come up a few times when I was considering the evolution of a console (name xxxxxxxx redacted) , but the premise is larger and it is all linked to the simple setting that Facebook opened a door and EVERYONE wants to get through. In this case the NSO group saw that as a great idea to collect information and they are not alone, let that be clear, they might be the most visible player, but they are not the only player, but the article does not give that part, do they? You see there were a few nations on the list (that everyone ignores) and they are not NSO group clients, but they have certain abilities, so they are a client of someone and these 86 organisations are about to give that one player (with no scruples) the entire market.

Did you consider that?

Moreover, the accusations from some against the NSO group are still absent of evidence. Several newspapers gave light that the list of 10,000 was bogus and it was from 2017. In addition, I found the financial link missing, 10,000 hacks implied that the NSO group had received in excess of $600,000,000 and they have not. Some give us specifically worded accusations. Like the Citizens Lab giving us that 36 phones might (emphasis on might) have been transgressed upon, 36 out of 76, and we seemingly delete the word ‘might’ with our minds, but I did not. I am not opposing the Citizens Lab, but 36 might out of a debatable list of 10,000 is a long stretch and so far none of the media have given us any clear evidence, but these 86 organisations see there limelight moment, so they are all crying foul (or is that fowl). 

I for one want to see the media become responsible and hand over a dashboard of alleged victims. 10,000 numbers, that would be a massive list, but a dashboard stating how many are government, how many are journalists (which was in one article no more than 180, I think) making that a mere 1.8%. How many infections per nation? The list goes on and the media over all these months presented ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But now we see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm”, all whilst no clear evidence has been presented EVER. This is ab out something else and it has nothing to do with the NSO group, it has everything to do with a group of journalists who have become obsolete and as we see event after even (like that running Joke called the ICIJ), how much evidence have we see on their so called 11.9 million leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data, and zero (none) dashboard giving a summary, even with all that time and 600 journalists no one had time to give us a run down, that is how pathetic the media has become. Oh and they promised not to investigate the source, interesting is it not?

All flaming for digital revenue and presenting close to nothing, flames and way too little  substance. So when we ask these media players for clarity, their most likely answer will be ‘It is difficult’

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