Tag Archives: FTC

Short on sight, darkness without a light

It is the Washington Post who gives (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/05/22/qualcomm-violated-antitrust-law-judge-rules) a stage that is now three days old, but this is one event that keeps on getting bumped to the top of the list for a long time to come. With ‘Qualcomm violated antitrust law, judge rules‘ we see a dangerous step into a murky road, a road that is all about the bottom dollar and those who are pushing for decisions have not considered the long game and how it ends a lot more. Perhaps you remember the issue with anti-trust, why it came into existence in the first place. With “protect consumers from predatory business practices“, it is the foundation that is at play, especially when we consider the quote “U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Qualcomm had used its monopoly power to bully companies such as Apple into overpaying for royalties on Qualcomm’s wireless inventions, ordering Qualcomm to renegotiate its business deals“. I wonder who she serves in this case, because I am personally getting the feeling that it is not the law, or the case.

To understand that you need to consider a few items, the first is Intellectual Property. Qualcomm has something everyone wants and no one bothered to redesign or improve on it, and now at the start of 5G, the bottom line of Apple, who has always been eager to bleed its consumers dry, they now see the bottom line and they feel wronged. For three generations they became iterative, and as they now have a second iMac, for sale at A$22,197.00, (mainly because of the colour I reckon). That is the joke that once was Apple. A similar PC for High end gaming will remain under $10,000 (and that is with all the bells and whistles. As apple gives us that we must pay for exclusivity, than so must they.

In addition when it comes to royalties, the judge merely needed to look at iTunes to see that the stream income has settled at $0.00735. Artists on Apple Music would need around 200,272 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage amount. And important side part is that Apple is by no means the worst there. (Google got that distinction).

From what we see, I have a few reservations whether Justice Lucy Koh has a good view on what ‘predatory business practices are. I do not think that Qualcomm is innocent here, yet to see the example “bully companies such as Apple into overpaying for royalties” voiced, whilst from more than one direction we see that this could be a case of the pot calling the kettle Space grey.

The Post also gives us “Qualcomm is the only U.S. company making 5G chips for mobile phones, the components necessary to connect smartphones to cellular networks. The new generation of cell networks might create another round of innovation and economic growth as start-ups figure out how to use it in new products and spur the development of self-driving cars, smart appliances and remote medicine, which rely on a stable Web connection“, as well as the mention of Adam Mossoff, a law professor at George Mason University who gives us: “the FTC’s case against Qualcomm the result of “self-serving arguments by some companies looking to benefit their bottom line.”” and I agree with him. Whilst the FTC was too stupid to sound the horns when iterative technology was the key in ‘their’ profits, others realised that new borders will always come and they will be ruled by the true innovators, as this happened and that firm is not an American one, but a Chinese one. We see these cases come up so that optional momentum can be gained, all whilst Apple had 10 years to find an equal solution, to reengineer technology to equal, they never did that, they merely copied old ideas and let their marketing department spout some innovation story. To their credit Apple Marketing is extremely good at their job, so when we accept: ‘They create something that is designed to improve the lives of their customers. To market that, they create experiences that are memorable and keep people coming back‘. It is brilliant in the now, but innovation is about tomorrow and the Apple board of directors forgot about that part in 2004-2017, so they can only move forward with Qualcomm and that is hitting their bottom dollar hard, especially in 5G. That is the market and the gap between US industry and Huawei is increasing, the US is falling further behind.

Yet the bigger issue is not seen and the article was not about that, so there is no blame. The issue now is that the US is a mere 325 million and they are left in the dark that the larger world with well over 2 billion have (with the exception of politicians kissing US ass) embraced Huawei, equal or better quality at half the price, which is in light with the iMac Pro and normal maximised PC’s. True innovation sells itself, the rest needs marketing to get to the base of their revenue needs. In my case I have an older Huawei, the Nova 3i, it is older than the P30 series, yet still for the most on par with the latest android phones released this year. They learned, when others refused to learn that storage is everything to consumers, so whilst Samsung and LG started jerking around the consumers with ‘sorry, we only have a 32GB model‘, or the ‘that specific model was not available to us‘, Huawei decided to give us 128 GB (Google did a similar thing early on). The rest followed much later. The mobile industry has for the most all been about ‘Iteration to facilitate for exploitation‘ as I personally see it. Both Google and Huawei were instrumental in turning that around. So whilst I can get an iPhone for A$1,299.00, the Huawei I got has the same storage and for the most an equally able phone for A$499 (6 months ago). As we see the issue of ‘bully companies such as Apple into overpaying‘, whilst Apple has been known to be the biggest bully of all (optionally a shared #1 spot with Microsoft). It seems to me that the FTC is about the bottom line and not losing more distance with true innovators like Huawei. So when we look at the FTC and we see: “Competition in America is about price, selection, and service. It benefits consumers by keeping prices low and the quality and choice of goods and services high. By enforcing antitrust laws, the FTC helps ensure that our markets are open and free“, is the Apple iMac pro not a direct violation of that directive?

In addition, as the Trump card of bullying was given regarding Huawei, we see: “Google said complying with the ban would mean future phones sold by Huawei would be without a license for its Android operating software and would have no access to its Play app store, which would render them nearly useless“, so what happens when that becomes actuality? When Huawei has its own ‘app store’ and its own system in place? When hundreds of millions are willing to switch, what would it cost Google? What happens when we demand action on taken paths and Google is seriously impacted? Will the FTC wake up and see the folly that they created?

And let’s be clear, the biggest issue is not the Trump administration. It is the collection of technology dumb fucks (to coin a phrase) that have been so eager to rely on iteration and now that these people no longer matter in their respective board rooms, what remains? Apple relies on computers that almost no one can afford, especially as hundreds of PC assembly providers can build equal powered solutions at less than half the price, that too will impact 5G, because even as we are a mobile planet now, when we are at work (over one third of our daily life), it is the workstation and not the mobile that rules our needs.

So now as we look at the impact that 4G had with: “When the United States took the lead on 4G mobile technology, for example, it gave rise to the app economy, which is still dominated by U.S. firms, according to Cisco“, Cisco is a player there, yet with the severe vulnerabilities it showed and remains showing until the end of the year, they too are in the dump. Even now as TechTarget gives us a mere 9 hours ago: “The Cisco vulnerability fix for thrangrycat could make affected hardware unusable. But the vendor said it’s ready to replace products, if needed.” At what point do you realise when you read the article (at https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/news/252463965/Cisco-vulnerability-fix-for-thrangrycat-carries-risks) that Cisco is not merely falling behind too, the impact that they have to deal with will hinder them for some time to come. In addition, the quote “If an affected product becomes unusable and requires a hardware replacement, it will be replaced according to the terms of the customer’s support contract or warranty,” gives rise to other considerations too. How many would sue when they lack the support contract or warranty? Let’s not forget that they have advertised for the longest of times on ‘the Trust Anchor‘. It was innovation, true innovation. But there we see how iteration can diminish innovation. Once the feature is surpassed and dealt with, the issue becomes a much larger concern. So as Cisco is trying to deal with the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), Huawei is moving forward another leap. Now, there is no chance that Cisco will be replaced, they are too big and they have good hardware. What do you think happened to the Samsung with their Samsung ISIS (with exploding battery), it took Samsung 2 years to recover and now they are surpassed by Apple and Huawei; that is how the cookie crumbles. Samsung is still in the race and could regain momentum (especially with the power share novelty), but it took them 2 years and now in the start of the 5G dimension, 2 years is a lifetime, it is the difference between the locomotive that drives the innovation and the caboose that gets all kinds of shit. That is the game and the US is in and not in the caboose, but on a hand trolley trying to catch up with the train that has already left the station, the US is in that deep at present.

Oh and when it comes to the FTC, as they see themselves as: ‘The FTC protects consumers by stopping unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace‘, so when it comes to AT&T 5G Evolution, how much action has the FTC undertaken, whilst the media in many places have clearly stated it as deceptive conduct. Even whilst AT&T hides behind “5G Evolution is a lot more than just a name“, yet it is not 5G and the FTC remained silent on it all, which as I personally see it is all about the bottom line, as such, how much credibility does America have left? Even as Sprint and AT&T settled, Sprint was not the only player and as far as we can see the FTC did nothing, so when we see (in several sources) ‘speed tests have confirmed that AT&T’s 5GE service is no faster than LTE from Verizon and T-Mobile‘, I merely wonder how the antitrust ruling could be given whilst the market itself is in such disarray that this case should not have made it to the courts for years to come, but that is the problem with a nation that is $22,000,000,000,000 in debt, the bottom line becomes everything and the concept of the rights of any consumer will be hung out to dry until that noose has been removed from the neck of the US economy. Too bad they relied on iteration; a nation that relies on innovation might be able to move forward on its merits, an option the US seemingly no longer has at present.

So what happens when the next step is open to all non-Americans? What happens when one of the 10 competitors does come with a truly innovative step? You see that is the nice part of true innovation, what goes down, might come up, so if the setting changes and for example the Kodenshi AUK Group finds some solution in 5G that the others did not consider, how will that play out? There is a long term short sighted approach to IP and the drive to truly push it forward in a non-iterative way. The 5G players will soon and quickly learn that 5G will not have space for iteration; it would almost literally play out as: here today, gone tomorrow.

I don’t think that technological America realises that danger to the degree it needs to, that is the vibe I have been getting for a while now.

 

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The Face of a book

So when we thought that the entire Cambridge Analytica was the tip of the iceberg, we were not kidding. The Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/02/federal-investigators-broaden-focus-facebooks-role-sharing-data-with-cambridge-analytica-examining-statements-tech-giant) is giving us right now: “Representatives for the FBI, the SEC and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries about the two companies and the sharing of personal information of 71 million Americans“, that writing was always on the wall and it seems that it is pushing forward now, so even as Mark Zuckerberg thought that his day in court was done with a mere senate hearing, it seems that there is a much larger issue under the waterline and it is not merely data of a personal nature. The next parts that matters were: “Facebook discovered in 2015 that Cambridge Analytica, which later worked for the Trump campaign and other Republican candidates, had obtained Facebook data to create voter profiles. Yet Facebook didn’t disclose that information to the public until March, on the eve of the publication of news reports about the matter“, now this is nothing new but for some it is only now sinking in that the issue was known for two years. So when exactly did Facebook give us those goods? Two years of inaction, there are plenty of political players in the Democratic party who gotten results faster than that (which is saying a lot). So now we get to the first part, which is the SEC. The Securities and Exchange Commission will focus on “The questioning from federal investigators centres on what Facebook knew three years ago and why the company didn’t reveal it at the time to its users or investors”. You see, when a companies is valued on data, the setting that 20% of the details of the American people makes it into the public domain, that will impact a multi-billion value and that is now part of what could become a criminal investigation.

It is very likely that the SEC will focus primarily on TOPIC 8 – Non-GAAP Measures of Financial Performance, Liquidity, and Net Worth. Here we see:

8120.3 Measures of operating performance or statistical measures that fall outside the scope of the definition set forth above are not “non-GAAP financial measures”. Additionally, “non-GAAP financial measure” excludes financial information that does not have the effect of providing numerical measures that are different from the comparable GAAP measure.  Examples of measures that are not non-GAAP financial measures include:

  1. Operating and statistical measures (such as unit sales, number of employees, number of subscribers)
  2. Measures of profit or loss and total assets for each segment that are consistent with disclosures made in accordance with ASC Topic 280. (Non-GAAP C&DI Questions 104.01 through 104.06)

So, whilst we think it is merely data, the multi-billion dollar value of Facebook is data and they lost 20% of the Americans (and a chunk of Brits and Australians), so that reporting was not there for 3 years, and the SEC is slightly miffed on the subject.

And even as we see: “The Department of Justice and the other federal agencies declined to comment. The FTC in March disclosed that it was investigating Facebook over possible privacy violations” the setting that Justice is mulling over the impact and how to act (which is perfectly understandable), every person with their share of issues that can hide outstanding debts through ‘identity theft’ has optional paths to consider and the Justice department is not ready for the worst case scenario where 20% of all Americans filling for economic loss through identity theft, and the part where the financial systems on a flawed usage (authentication versus non-repudiation) now opens the optional flood gates, so the Justice department is taking everything very cautiously (whilst pussyfooting on a (path of commitment).

The next comment we see is: ““The fact that the Justice Department, the FBI, the SEC and the FTC are sitting down together does raise serious concerns,” said David Vladeck, former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and now a Georgetown Law professor. He said he had no direct knowledge of the investigation but said the combination of agencies involved “does raise all sorts of red flags.”“. It goes a little further than the settings we considered. Vox gives part of that setting (at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/16/15657512/cambridge-analytica-facebook-alexander-nix-christopher-wylie) last year, yet the one part I missed here is that such systems require profiles to be made so that there is interaction. It can be done without is, but having the profiles makes it easier and better. The second source is Wired (at https://www.wired.com/story/cambridge-analytica-execs-caught-discussing-extortion-and-fake-news/) gives us “Britain’s Channel 4 News caught executives at Cambridge Analytica appear to say they could extort politicians, send women to entrap them, and help proliferate propaganda to help their clients“, as well as “They probed them on all manner of underhanded tactics, from deliberately spreading fake news to making up false identities. According to the video, the Cambridge executives took the bait” and there we have the reason why Justice is playing it slow. It is not merely about what was done, planned or enacted. Such profiles are complete enough to give rise or other uses as well, and if they have been used to acquire goods or services, we have ongoing settings towards corporate fraud. It will not matter whether they did, if anyone previously had access to those profiles, it could still fall on the lap of Cambridge Analytica. So, apart from finding those profiles (and there will be more likely than not way beyond a dozen), which profiles are they and how much interaction was used or given? With the honey trap we have an optional case of solicitation; we get identity fraud, optional Synthetic Identity Theft, all requiring investigation. The Justice Department will require time for that, not merely on whether things were done, but the likelihood of a conviction.

The final setting I gave is given weight with the quote: “Facebook also made Cambridge sign a legally binding agreement that it had deleted the data that year, but over the weekend, sources close to the company told WIRED that data was still visible to employees within Cambridge in early 2017“, which gives us that people had access and there is absolutely no evidence that no criminal acts were committed.

So we have two additional considerations. The first is can we work on the premise of guilty until proven innocent? In these cases of identity theft that is often the only path to take to shown innocence. The second is that there have been clear indications that the data was available to Russians, which now opens a path to organised crime as well. One source gives “A 2013 survey from Javelin Strategy and Research estimates that the annual total loss to Americans due to identity theft was roughly $20 billion“, now this is not merely criminal gains, also the cost that the crimes brought onto others is part of this, yet in that if there is even one link that gives us that Cambridge Analytica data was used, the bucket of consideration will become a lot messier for the Justice department and even more intense on scrutiny; that is one step as organised crime and compromised national security seem to be two sides of the same coin, there is a decade of evidence on that, so yes, this mess will become a whole lot less nice soon enough.

From the mere setting of organised crime as well as national security settings where people from all walks of life use Facebook and the setting that even those in denial had ‘blackmail’ in their operational minds, the cards that gone wide and available to a whole range of non-intentional people will be a growing farm of identities and connections.
This now gets us to last week’s issue of the Washington Examiner. The issue shown (at https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/facebook-dhs-fbi-help-russian-interference-future-elections-report) is not the one we need to focus on. You see with “Though Facebook has yet to find any serious interference in the current election cycle from the agencies guilty of social media meddling in 2016, the giant company was burnt just enough that year to warrant what amounted to a cry for help from the private tech sector to the government“, we aren’t actually supposed to look, the setting of ‘Facebook has yet to find any serious interference in the current election cycle‘ is the wrong one. The evidence that other sources had shown is that Facebook had not acted for well over two years on the Cambridge Analytica setting, in addition, the fact that more sources confirmed that staff members had access to the data to well into 2017 and most of that was kept quiet to all parties and shareholders, is a larger issue for the simple reason that there is optional evidence that Facebook wiped whatever data was against them from the data carriers. When Facebook was willing to keep people in the dark for three years and the setting that we get in addition to the Senate hearings implies that it is in the best interest of Facebook to get rid of bulk data settings on any election tampering. The mention of ‘bulk’ is actually intentional. You see, editing evidence is hard and in the end in a system as complex as the one Facebook has, people get found out. Wiping entire index settings and wiping complete profiles with all the connected usage is more efficient. A data dump that is lost can be regained with old backups (like a 2015 backup), editing the evidence will never ever work, not on a system as wide as the one Facebook has. So there is clearly the consideration that this has been happening, the two year silence, as well as the Bloomberg quote we can use in this content. With: “Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, said Wednesday that he deactivated his personal account due to the “offensive” lack of oversight and poor management at Facebook. CalSTRS has owned shares of the company since its initial public offering in 2012.” Now consider that all reference to ‘Christopher Ailman‘ seems to be gone, now consider the 100 profiles (speculated number) that was used to spike the Russian way of life to Americans. The moments that these profiles are gone, so is the rest, so as it is all wiped, the images the meme’s all go the way of the Dodo. Consider that some sources give 9% of profiles deleted in America (another source gave us 14% as a number), when it includes the fake ones, what are the chances that anything will be found? I am adding the dangers of intent here, because when a company like Facebook keeps quiet for well over 2 years that setting becomes very realistic.

So what other evidence has now been wiped? If the justice department wants a full log of all deletions together with interaction, engagement and images, how much could be retrieved? That becomes the question and even as we all signed up for it, we definitely did not agree to the slightest that it was to be used to turn us into tools.

so when we see ‘Facebook turns to Homeland Security, FBI for help‘ in the Washington Examiner, was that to actually seek help, or merely to see if the data was cleaned out (accidentally overwritten) as complete as possible?

Is it a given? No, it is not, yet the different sources from the US and UK newspapers should leave you with this thought, if not for the CNBC quote ‘Executives at Cambridge Analytica were caught on camera suggesting that the firm could use sex workers, bribes, ex-spies and fake news to help candidates win votes around the world‘, than for the mere realisation that Facebook cannot afford getting included in the setting that they were the tools for blackmail, fake mail and solicitation as empowering sides to any election, so the given side of ‘if it moves shoot it, if it doesn’t move shoot it to be certain‘ is a setting that also applies to data centres, although there we use the term ‘overwriting‘ which is a lot more efficient than merely deleting stuff.

I reckon that by the end of this year there will be a lot of limelight that includes executives of Facebook and a court of law, I have no idea if they can avoid it, but there you merely need to wonder if they should be allowed to avoid it, two years of silence nullifies and voids most of the goodwill they thought they created in the Senate hearing.

 

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The danger of Colbert and the Press

When we see an interview with General Michael Hayden and Stephen Colbert, it is hard to imagine, but it is actually Stephen Colbert who is endangering the lives of many. Did you realise that? First, the interview (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buI8aO7nRDM) should be watched. It is a brilliant interview. Getting a former CIA and NSA director in view is always a little awesome and the man plays the audience brilliantly. Now, I say ‘play’ and I mean that in the best positive way. He is funny direct and answers the questions clearly. It is Hayden that gets the applause and it was an applause that was well deserved. He debunks conspiracy theorists and cuckoo cases all over America. Then something happens, suddenly Colbert does something dangerous and stupid. At 4:55 he plays the game regarding Smart TV’s spying on you, he plays us all as he is linking this to the CIA. What happened was that on February 6th the FTC fined Vizio $2.2 million for collecting viewing histories without users consent (at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/02/vizio-pay-22-million-ftc-state-new-jersey-settle-charges-it), pretty much the same thing that Microsoft seems to be doing to its Xbox population at present and uploading their data into the Azure cloud (without consent).

This might seem like a nuisance, but it is a lot more than that. Large corporations have run out of spreadable funds and like any other corporations, they now need to optimise. It is almost the same situation that SPSS was selling when it offered companies a product called AnswerTree (back in 1997). Marketing firms had to get a certain quota, let’s say 4%, now to get there you could either throw more money on it, and going from 2% to 4% did not just mean a little over 100% more to get the growth. No, with their product AnswerTree, you could make an inventory of who you mailed and who responded and started to prune the tree of those who responded a lot below quota, so basically, the mailings became more efficient, a more clever path to the people buying and it is all perfectly legal and acceptable. That is what is happening now in new ways and Vizio got caught because it happened in an automated way without any level of consent. So who did not get caught? Because I can tell you right now that the bulk of the people with a smart TV have not considered where this data is being logged.

Now, I am going to ask you a question: ‘If marketing is harassment, is the marketing contact that you purchase from still a harasser?

If we have all the do not call registers, how long until these marketeers use other methods? Free games, free apps and free TV shows, all connected, you just have to agree to advertisements connected to them. It is a mere reward for exposure which is all perfectly valid. In all this the CIA was not a factor or a danger. It is the large corporations that are classifying you, more important, it is the links that they can resell that are a danger to your way of life, which is why at times smart TV’s are sold with 60% discount (speculation from my side).

In 2015 I would never have expected to be able to afford a 55 inch smart TV, it is huge (and I was happy with my 42 inch one) but it broke, I had a decent job, but the surprise that a brand new 100 Hz Sony 55 inch was priced down from $1900 to $800 (very lucky me), which was just ridiculous as the next TV (almost the same as my broken one) was a 40 inch at $699, which was perfectly decently priced for those days. Now, we can hang onto the idea that it was just a crazy sales, which does happen, but to flood the market with something almost twice the size, with much higher specifications at next to the same price as a small B-brand TV is too weird. It is almost like having a Canon 5D at the normal $2500 and offering next to it a Hasselblad X1D-50c at $3000, which would be awesome as these babies go for $13,000. It would be 20Mp versus 50Mp. As a photographer I can tell you that I would kill for a Hasselblad 50 Megapixel camera (and as I know the Evidence Act 1995, I might get away with it).

So, I hope you understand the weirdness of such good deals. And in all this, Sony has the ability to capture this data (I am not accusing them of doing this, I have no evidence of any kind that this is happening), but the threat to our privacy is real. Now you might not think that this is important. Yet consider that this data could be sold, how many hours are you not sporting, how many hours do you watch TV and what do you watch? How long until you suddenly get a 12% spike in health insurance? There is where the difference is! You see, these players are very very interested in that data, minimise their risk and charge extra to anyone that is a risk. In my case it does not matter, my smart TV is connected to my console and my Blu-ray player, so there is no ‘smart’ data to capture. What is important for these sales people that the 0.5% of the group that I represent is not the issue, their value is the 80%+ that does connect their TV for Netflix and other reasons, that is where their value is and it is potentially bringing in millions, so the 60% discount is a joke to them. That is the part Colbert smoothly walked over whilst he joked about the CIA and the press at large stayed away from that FTC ruling, so there is one of the dangers.

The other danger is organised crime. How long until people realise that being away from home means no TV? That means that the smart TV logs are not showing movement. How long until the criminals can connect smart TV usage and social media action into, which house is empty? Oh and as you advertise on Facebook that you are on Cuba, how long until you realise that you gave away the info that your house is unprotected? More important the quote “Oversharing on social media could not only leave you open to burglary but it could also invalidate your home insurance policy” is not a joke, this quote was given 2 years ago. Justice Gibson of the District Court of New South Wales raised the issue as early as 2014, the courts are not ready for this and for the most, they are only dealing with the fallout that Contract Law is giving them, more precisely the contracts that Insurance agencies have been working on. With currently well over 80% of Australians on social media (which is actually low compared to Scandinavian nations), the consideration of implementing certain risks is an essential need for any insurance agent. Yet, at what point can usage of social media be seen as evidence towards negligence? Mobile phones tells us where we are, smartphones tell everyone what we do (through our usage), and Smart TV’s give us what we watch, out interests and our activities, or lack thereof. At what point is any of this evidence to act, to surcharge to act as a penalty or as an option to nullify the security of insurance?

That is the part not considered and it gets even worse!

This is seen in the news that is hitting us now through what is marketed as Vault 7. CNN Money (at http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/09/technology/cia-smart-tv-wikileaks-public-hacks/) gives us the news on how the CIA is spying, although they do also mention “security researchers say the methods imitate exploits that were discovered — and made public years ago“, So when I see “Samsung warned users about exactly this type of susceptibility in 2015. The company told CNNTech this week that it is ‘urgently looking into the matter.’“, my question becomes: ‘How much data did you collect?‘, so as the warning is 2 years old, apart from making batteries explode, did you do anything to stop this threat? And as we see Dan Trentler, CEO of the Phobos Group security firm state: ‘That appears to be the same exploit he witnessed in action onstage at a security conference in 2013, he said‘, can we give accusation that there is nothing innocent going on and the level of negligence shown in one article spanning 3 years of events, that is enough to warrant a much larger investigation into privacy invasion by large corporations?

 

It is not about just consent, they are mining our choices and leaving us with less. You might not consider this or comprehend this, but it is an optimised way of American business. I have to explain this.

I was confronted with a larger group of board members of a large firm. As an ‘upper’ grunt I had two distinct jobs. One give the best service to my clients and protect them as much as possible from any negative event, which is what any good Technical consultant does. And I had to be faithful and supportive to my bosses, which is what a loyal employee does. Now consider the meeting where we get the premise: ‘What if you cannot service your client 100%, but only 80%, would that be acceptable?

Now, the danger here is that my answer would be a solid ‘No!’ A danger from the corporation side when we consider the introduction of service level agreements, the introduction that the client was unwilling to pay for the service given. How do you take a stand (driven by wisdom) at that point?

This is where you the consumer are at, but it comes from another direction. Places like Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, HP, IBM and Apple are all in the optimisation phase, because the economy is still not great and most of us would only be able to afford one of these devices, perhaps a second one for Christmas if we are lucky. So as we can get 2 out of 5, so how do corporations go about getting the largest share you can? Now we get to the AnswerTree part, you become smarter in how you get to your audience to choose you, not merely marketing but marketing to the most likely buying population. The question then becomes what options you have at your disposal. Do you sacrifice one device so you get an option to see 2 more options for alternative sale and get the contribution needed? The reasons is that in this day and age, it is not about revenue, when you are a listed company, when you have stakeholders, it will be about contribution (revenue minus costs), if you fail that, no great bonus, no mistress, no fast car and in the end no job.

So here we see the rundown on how Stephen Colbert became a danger to you, he made it into a CIA joke, whilst the bitter and solemn truth is that the real danger is the invitation you readily give out to all manner of freebie givers, only to learn the hard way that they get back what they gave out in tenfold, just by collecting your inactions and sell it to whomever can transform that into personal profit. So whilst some people are falling asleep reading (at http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/essentialguide/Providers-adjusting-to-greater-use-of-social-media-in-healthcare) how social media is interacting in health care, consider what an insurer would give to know that you visited a free clinic for the third time this quarter. It might not cost them anything, but it will set a flag to raise premiums the next year. Did you consider that? And as we shrug at seeing “Social media analysis done with natural language processing has given care facilities a more efficient way to get patient feedback“, many will ignore, just like the previous example on raising premiums. Even as you consider a visit for planned parenthood to be perfectly natural and normal (which it is), but when the insurer realises that you will be needing to visit an OBGYN in the near future, you better realise that you are lucky if your premium rises with only 5%. That is the way business is done and the initial ‘risk’ numbers to which you were held at premium are 10 years old and you fall in a much higher group. Only the super healthy teenager who does not get sick gets the low increase, that whilst he was actually a 0% risk. How fair is that and why is the media not all over that on a daily basis?

The CIA was never worthy to be mentioned in this regard, for 99% of the Americans they are nothing as these 99% of Americans were harmless so the CIA never cared to begin with and that is the group Colbert was aiming for which is odd in one way and on the other hand, we do get that he is a comedian who is trying to entertain 100% of his clients, those who tune in on his version of humour. He cannot be faulted for that, the press at large however can be faulted and they should but they stay away from it for other reasons. Mainly because they want a slice of the Samsung $700 million advertisement budget (that is for the USA alone), Microsoft and Sony are in similar predicaments, which is why certain events will not make the front cover any day soon. The reason of data collection being the most obvious one, but at times it can be trivialised as they are only gamers, or it is only a console and consent is overrated. I’ll let you be the judge of what matters and what not, just remember, when you are no longer within the 80% of the group they cater for and you already bought the device, where will your rights be, or your service provider? Perhaps you get the same answer Microsoft gave me: ‘we have no control over uploads, that is all with your internet provider!‘ Interesting how my consent was manoeuvred around in all of this.

 

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