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Gaming towards isolation?

We have so much to look forward to, especially now as Sony has revealed much on their PS5 (at https://www.theguardian.com/games/2020/mar/19/playstation-5-specifications-revealed-but-design-is-still-a-mystery), the first thing I checked for was storage, and there we see “the PS5’s 825GB model is promising faster throughput, with 5.5GB/s as opposed to 2.4GB/s on Microsoft’s machine. PS5 will also offer an expansion slot so that users are able to plug in a secondary SSD“, and it also gives us the Microsoft part “the Xbox Series X will include a larger capacity drive at 1tb“, as such I wonder if the Xbox will allow an additional internal drive? They still have not learned anything, the 1TB drive was not sufficient on the oldest Xbox One and with two generations the storage requirements merely increased with 4K, but the Microsoft executives have the idea that their consumers will accept what THEY consider wisdom, well as I personally see it, they do not.

And I get it, 1TB is enough to start with, but at the end of the first year we need more. Now, let’s be clear, I do not know if that internal drive can be upgraded like the others, We did not have that information on the PS4 until the first week of the PS4, so the Sony situation might actually be better, but even then, in this situation a secondary internal drive might fit the bill. And optionally we can select the Samsung 860 QVO 2TB 2.5″ SATA III SSD for $325, which gives us the additional 2tb that gets us a comfortable 3tb in total. The nice part here is that we do not need to do it on day one and for a while enjoy the PS5 as is. Don’t get me wrong I never regretted the 2TB drive in week one, but there is a benefit to this setup, and Microsoft in 8 years has not learned this lesson (or refused to learn it). 

There is an additional win, this time for Microsoft: “Microsoft has confirmed the machine will be able to play games from each previous generation of the machine, while Sony is only currently talking about backwards compatibility with PS4 titles“, it’s a fair win, yet at present I cannot remember when I even considered playing a PS3 game in the last 36 months, all whilst the games I love will be playable on the PS5 (Skyrim, Last of Us, God of War, Elite Dangerous), and now that I will be able to replay them in 4K mode, I will get a secondary WOW feeling from games I have had for years. 

As such we are in for a little larger christmas list this year around, as the PS5 (I reckon the Microsoft contraption as well) will get the best from a 4K 120Hz TV, as well as some of the 8K TV[‘s (for the rich bastards among you folks), we get to have the nicest digital christmas for a while. In my perception (at present) the Sony X8000G 65″ 4K UHD is a great buy at $1300, and even then I realise that it is not as cheap as some models in the same size offer, in that field players like LG and HiSense offer models for less than $1000. They all have 4HDMI ports, so that is not the achilles heel to worry about, I reckon that there are automated features in Sony I kinda love, when I switch on my Sony Bluray player, the TV also goes on, when I switch on my PS4, the TV reacts as well, all things other brands do not seem to have and that is fine, they are minor points that do not take away from the joy of a TV. I reckon that the one thing we all will need to enjoy the console a lot more this time around is a soundbar, there are plenty of solutions and even as there optionally might be benefit to having the same brand as the TV, there is not one person that can convince me that there is an actual contender to whatever Bang and Olufsen or Bose can bring, I heard the B&O solution this week and it almost literally blew my socks off (I found them 30 minutes later). That would be one hell of a way to hear what the Sony PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D Audio engine brings to the table. Now, I get it, you can get that part later, or get it when there is a sale going on, yet I reckon that you want it the first time you hear that distinction, because it will be a much larger distinction. Lets face it, you were getting a TV, it has its ups and the sound no matter how great it is with Blu Rays, will not compare what a 3D audio engine brings to the table. Will you essentially need it on day one? Absolutely not, it is actually better to get it later, the WOW factor is pretty awesome, but once you have it, you won’t enjoy sound without it, no matter if it is a bluray or a game, the soundbar brings a lot to the table.

Yet in all this I am aware that we do not all have the coins to get it on day one and in that regard it is now the time to start looking for that 4K TV, or at least saving up for it (a decent 8K TV starts at $9,000), and you need not go for the larger brands, one option was a nameless brand giving a 50″ 4K TV for $450, consider the $79 for additional warranty (an extra 3 years) and you are set for 3-4 years. Then we get the target of our desires (the PS5) and here we see that they are still not giving us a price, but I reckon that $550 gets you there, as such you see a $1100 need by the end of the year. The additional $800 (soundbar and additional drive) is set to a later date giving you a year’s respite and you will end up having upgraded your gaming experience to almost the  highest end. 

In the end we can get all geeky with “CPU: x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 2, eight cores, variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz GPU: AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine, variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 Tflops)“, yet in the end, we gamers want to see our socks blow off when we restart Diablo III, God of War IV, Skyrim and a few other titles and wonder how we were ever happy playing it on a standard day one version of the PS4, that too is the adaptation towards new technology. And all that before you see the impact of a PS5 game. We can argue and speculate all we want, but until there is a launch trailer and official release date, I am discarding all the rumours. CD Projekt Red already gave the goods that Cyberpunk 2077 will be a PS4 title, not a PS5 release, it will optionally look better on the PS5, but it will not be designed specific for it as such, the same tale applies to the microsoft version. It is an important distinction as we will see that the best experience on either console will be CD Projekt Red with both Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, a distinction that sets them apart and ahead of all the other AAA developers. If getting a new console is about the best gameplay you could experience, it needs to include a CD Projekt Red (Witcher 3 or Cyberpunk 2077) game. I am not discounting the joy that Skyrim or Fallout 4 brought, I will want to replay them in 4K mode, but the distinction that the best feelings in gaming will be available on day one if you have any of these games is just a little too awesome for anyone’s good.

In all this we see that others are in their own world of hurt (no need to kick a developer when they are down). If there is one speculation that cannot be ignored, then it is the coming of a Harry Potter RPG to the PS5. An important distinction here is that in all the text none of them are making any ‘exclusive’ noise, as such I reckon that both the Microsoft and the Sony console will get this title, even as all the references only include the PS5 mention, the absence of ‘exclusive’ gives the larger rise that it will be on both platforms.

So whilst we wonder what will be coming to either console, the fact that most of us have the greatest games already on the PS4 and some will be getting the Last of Us part 2 (presently on 29 May 2020), we see an abundance of new WOW feelings as we replay the games we already had (for those who had no PS4 pro). 

For that too is a side of gaming we forget. The idea that we played Skyrim, but did we see it? Try it in 4K and see if you can play the game without finding your lower jaw on the floor, I dare you! The same can be said for Fallout 4. In that same trend, if Witcher 3 blows us away in 4K mode, what will Cyberpunk 2077 do? The boys (girls also) at CD Projekt Red were very distinct in the fact that they want to surpass Witcher 3, as such, whatever more time they need, I will not be offended. I merely hope that William Gibson (writer of Neuromancer) will be there at the launch to see the world he wrote about becomes as close to reality via a console, as he wrote it in 1984, the technology did not exist to blow him away, Sony needed a little longer for that, now that the time is here, I wonder what his thoughts will be on what the in his mind created world became in the hands of CD Projekt Red. 

Even as we are isolating ourselves in gaming, the setting is not that far away, if this Coronavirus (not the beer) is here to stay, alone time with the console will set us free. Lets face it, in this day and age, we see an absurd amount of reflection on something that we cannot avoid. 

OK, I get it, what had an initial mortality rate of 3.2% is now 4.1% as such our survival rate goes allegedly down, yet the amount of people is still well over 95%, so we should not worry, or if we do get a PS5 at the end of the year and celebrate our life in another way. 

Gamers have enjoyed this style of life for decades, are we crying? Nope!

How do we game towards isolation? In fact we do not, when Facebook started groups and gaming groups got involved, we saw an uncanny amount of new connections, this is likely to repeat itself when the PS5 (and Microsoft contraption) comes out. I even speculated on an upgraded version of console dependent social media (on the consoles), yet even as the previous versions were already in that mindset, the makers (both Sony and Microsoft) took too limited a view on it and as such both lost out. It is clear that we want to shout our achievements out at times, we also want to share a lot more, but the station at which both offer that is mindlessly limited to a larger degree. Both systems forgot to think things through and even as Microsoft is ahead of that game, both still think on how THEY can profit visibility, the thought of how the gamer benefits is seen that as they can approach the gamer, the gamer wins, which is the wrong attitude to have. In this they merely had to look towards Google Plus and learn from what was there, they did not. 

I believe that the next gen consoles will have a much larger stage as they embrace ‘true’ social media (not brand and profit driven media), as such we see that both systems have a much larger field to enjoy. I am not stating that any profit driven option is out of bounds, but to have 50% of your homescreen limiting itself to advertisements (Xbox issue) is just stupid, the home screen is where you start your game and see 50% removed for usage is just silly (on more than one level). Yes, the new platforms could ring in a few stages that embrace connections, will they? I honestly do not know and even as the PS3 had the advantage, the PS5 can recreate that advantage and see a much larger boost, in the opposition Microsoft might decide to wake up and do something about it all, will they? 

I do not know, but the lost connections and the stage where it could optionally lead to better revenue is just silly. Yes, I am all for non-profit-driven-players, yet I am not saying that to some degree it should not exist. 

For example, we have social media and we have the PS3 situation of PS Home. Consider that you have your one environment, for example it comes with the next Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed game, for example the Montefiori villa. You get to have one location for yourself (the villa) you can set the main game you are playing and how far you got. in some of them, you get to have a note board where people leave links to their mail and messages, screenshots and you decide who gets to leave those (Google Plus feature). As you chose the location that provider will have a place to advertise new things (and they alone). You get to walk around your place looking at the news and at the interactions you decide on, the previous version never had that. Will it be the Montefiori Villa, a Watchdogs location, the Batcave, a last of us house, or a house in Skyrim, and there is still the community wall where you get a better sense of what is placed there and you can decide. All elements that make for a much larger stage, a stage largely ignored at present, or at times too overwhelming. It requires filtering for some and almost none are there and both players have this issue. And to be honest, I would have thought they would have done a much better job of it (ever since the PS3), both players had the wrong hat on and in the end it makes the wall a ‘whatever!’ experience. 

I believe that the PS5 (and Microsoft equivalent) have a new stage in 2021-2022, as 5G is playing a much larger stage, there will be a larger stage for people to feel comfy in, it applies to gaming as well. Even as we are all in it for the game, the stage where we are comparing and reading about other gamers will become a lot more distinct. Perhaps it is the one field where the Google Stadia could rule in the end. 

I believe that it shows a much larger community that is out there. Some gamers do not want to talk to all their friends, they do not want to read about all the others, but he or she might want to look at something specific and it will differ per game, neither Microsoft or Sony considered that for almost three generations. None of them gave the right focal point on filtering, they merely dumped it all on the player, who ignored it in a hurry.

Forbes gave us 4 days ago “Stadia has been struggling to make waves and capture the interest of harder core players who were willing to pay for Founder’s Editions or the paid tier. But now with everyone stuck indoors, it seems like the right time to introduce the free tier” (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2020/03/16/coronavirus-quarantine-seems-like-the-right-time-for-google-stadia-to-release-its-free-tier/#e60fd00b168f), I believe that the issue goes beyond that. Yes the article reads easier when we see ‘the free tier‘, yet the truth is that this is the stage of cash strapped people, the gamer has another need, to see what they want to see and that is not addressed, by none of the providers, they merely dump a shitload of items and issues, with no filtering, or at most limited filtering.

Even as we are all gamers, we all have distinct needs or interests. I am interested in some of my friends on how far they get, one of them is a Witcher virtuoso, so seeing where he gets at is interesting, some games have nothing to contribute to me and some gamers are seemingly in it to get achievements. i cannot directly see which gamer is in it to enjoy Skyrim and who is in it to run through Skyrim. Filtering of users, friends and game specific items became apparent and it has been that way since the PS3/Xbox360, yet the makers did not really catch up, not in almost 15 years, how peculiar. There is always the option that they did not think it worthy of their attention, but that choice is dwindling down in light of what 5G offer and what the hardware can currently deal with.

It is a stage where we force our bodies into isolation, yet the mind is globally available and that is how it has been with gamers almost 30 years (M.U.L.E.) that is one of the first games that had enough multiplayer sides for people to take a much larger interest and the CBM64 (with an actual 300 bit modem option, no less) took that to another level (in those days). 

We (the people at Sony) seemingly forgot to take that into account and even as the world premiere on the PS3 implied it, it never really came to the degree we all desired, yet this time around, the isolation phase in the Coronavirus might give them pause to think on what gamers need and desire and adjust the system accordingly. The fact that most is software arranged implies that the systems will not be impeded and it could all be finished and better adjusted to when the console launches. I believe that whomever adjusts to that has a much larger audience to cater to when that part is realised. We might (to some degree) be in denial of that, yet I believe that the lockdown and self imposed isolation out there will push these issues to the surface and I believe that it will happen just in time. I reckon that the 2020 Olympics will add to that flavour of realisation as well. No matter whether the Olympics will be delayed for up to a year, or that Wimbledon will push that part to the upper reaches, it is a field where we see growth of a different nature, 5G already has the ability to set things in faster mode, but gamers have not been so lucky and we need to consider this, in the past where it was all PS2, the world consisted of 150,000,000 gamers, now that number has grown to well over 500% and now, as we see that 1,000,000,000 people want to reach out, now we see that the proper addressing on how they can reach out will matter, even as Facebook ignored it for far too long to cater towards advertisers, we see that consoles have a much larger game to play here. 

I merely hope that Sony (and others) take notice when it can still impact them in a positive way, the next two years will show where it ends. Will it end well? I cannot say at present.

 

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Pray for the incantation

As we prayed in the circle of light, we were given the clue we needed to proceed. Yet, for a lot of people that does not make sense and it does not need to be the case. Those who ever played the RPG Ultima 3 will know what I mean. It was an ‘other’ action that was required. It was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw ‘Saudi Arabia suspends prayer in mosques, exempts holy Makkah and Madinah sites‘ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1642761/saudi-arabia),in this I wonder what the churches are contemplating. We see ‘Most Vatican offices open, but adapting schedules in wake of pandemic‘, it is there where we see the first iteration of who prays towards the need for greed and who does not. Even as we are informed in the very first paragraph to “Vatican offices will remain open to ensure “essential services for the universal church,” but each office is being asked to evaluate the best ways to provide those services while observing health precautions and guidelines on safe distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus“, it is nice that the clergy is adapting towards ‘evaluate’ even as we all realise on how they are absent of medical knowledge, they are also a little unaware of the cases in their surrounding Italy with 31,506 cases and 2,503 non-living people, increasing their nonliving population by 345 in the last 24 hours. All this whilst the Vatican has a reported 1 case of the disease and as far as we can tell that person is still alive, yet in that given environment “Pope Francis ignored the lockdown of Italy amid the country’s severe coronavirus outbreak, and shocked two churches with a special visit to soothe fears and pray for the end of the disease spreading across the planet“, what can I say? The man is a proven ideologist.

Yet we see the sober act in Saudi Arabia “Saudi Arabia has decided to suspend congregational prayers across all mosques in the Kingdom, except for the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah“, it is an act that makes sense. In addition we see a second part that makes sense “Mosque doors will be closed temporarily but they will be allowed to recite the call to prayer“, OK, I understand that, if there is one part that the Vatican and Saudi Arabia have in common it is their approach to faith, and as such we see “an amendment has been made to the call in which the usual phrase “come to prayer” in the Arabic call has been replaced with “pray at home”. The new phrase can also be translated as “pray where you are”.” It makes sense and the fact that I got this almost only from the Arab News gives rise to how large the cliff between christian media and other media is. This is all being written by me as I am listening to ‘Wish You Were Here‘ by Pink Floyd, mind and ears are in sync and we are all giving welcome to the machine that is within us. Even as we see that, we see the beginning of a new problem, one that I saw coming (ha ha ha) ‘UK mobile phone networks report problems as Brits start work from home‘, they might be the first, but they are not the only ones. I reckon that some of the networks all over Europe,all now pushed to the brink of maximum, they are all in a stage where they are close to the point of buckling. And in that light where we see governments shouting to firms that they should embrace ‘working from home’, we will see a much larger collapse. And as we are being told “Customers of all the major networks including EE, O2, Vodafone, Three and GiffGaff, reported problems. Downdetector, which monitors network problems, said outages were in cities across the UK“,
I see a much larger collapse. Even as Reuters gives us ‘Can networks cope with millions working from home? So far, yes‘. I am doubtful, when the work from home takes on larger proportions, the German and French networks will buckle like a 90 year old with a bad back. In the middle of the 5G push no one has a seemingly sober head in making sure that one does not replace the other at this stage. The timing for them is too much out of balance and it is more likely then not that we will see larger interruptions in the big 4 economic nations of the EU. 

And this is merely the beginning. Stephanie Kirchgaessner (the one that made Saudi accusations on Jeff Bezos) gives us “Google has been accused by two US senators of seeking to exploit consumers fear over Covid-19 for profit following allegations that the company is targeting “predatory” and “price-gouging” ads for scarce goods, including protective masks and hand sanitiser, to vulnerable users“, one of them Mark Warner gives us screenshots and even whilst I am not saying that he is intentionally misinforming us, my search gives us [see image], and even as I am not saying that he is misinforming us, the images are part of a much larger issue, it is the issue that some people do not understand the mechanics of a larger system, the abusers do and it seems that certain politicians (some journalists too) will always be outfoxed by abusers of any system. 

It is in that ‘christian’ view that we do not understand the setting we see in Saudi Arabia and even as I access the ‘Work-from-home policy set to help contain virus in Saudi Arabia‘ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1642931/saudi-arabia), that part and the ‘Saudi health minister outlines Kingdom’s preventive measures against coronavirus‘, I personally belief that we all have a lot more to learn, and even as some are in prayer (both Christian and Muslim) for optional wisdom, we ened to wonder how many politicians are in it for the common good and not for personal gain, as I personally see it, there is a larger drive towards factual information, in this I am not stating that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia give out more information, but they do seemingly give out less misinformation, which is a win for all who read it, no matter what your religion is. The lack of greed is seen in “Pregnant women and new mothers, people suffering from respiratory diseases, those with immune-system problems or chronic conditions, cancer patients and employees above the age of 55 are to be given 14 days compulsory paid leave, which will not be deducted from their annual entitlement“, which companies in the EU, US or Commonwealth give that as an option? A few do, but that list is really limiting to see. 

In all this Saudi Arabia is still important, when we realise that they have 171 cases (38 more than yesterday) and no reported deaths, it seems that whatever track they have in place is seemingly delaying the larger impact on the people, even as Iceland has no fatalities, that isolated island already has 247 cases (48 more than yesterday). So something is working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and perhaps it is merely the dry heat, we just do not know at present. 

There is a larger story and it comes from a few, not just me. The conversation (at http://theconversation.com/what-islamic-hygienic-practices-can-teach-when-coronavirus-is-spreading-133221) gave us 2 days ago “The recent Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” illustrates how the Islamic ritual washing, known as “wudu,” may help spread a good hygiene message“, and I am reminded on how my ‘accusation’ on how pragmatic Islamic law is, I actually did not see this coming. the fact that the pragmatic approach to Wudu is still in a stage of superiority over the Coronavirus. Is that the wrong thought to have? Perhaps, but the health experts (I am not one) are agreeing on the factual benefit that Wudu has. It is almost the stage where the Wilder humor takes over the stage (as seen in Blazing Saddles): “Now go do that Wudu that you do so well” and it becomes a much larger stage to behold. If the cleaning of one has a much larger benefit, what else did Christians optionally get wrong?

So as we are told “Wudu is to be performed, as was done by the Prophet Muhammad, in a specific order before praying, which takes place five times a day. Before each prayer, Muslims are expected to wash themselves in a certain order – first hands, then mouth, nose, face, hair and ears, and finally their ankles and feet“, we (most christians) are in the belief that we are right and others are wrong (even the ones they removed from existance), in all this we see the effect that the Coronavirus has and fear takes over, as such, is this the time to see if we can cross the gap between Christianity and Islam? Even Muslim institutions are open to adjustment. That part is seen in “Muslim institutions have begun to recommend that people make sure to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap before doing wudu. Emphasizing that wudu alone cannot prevent the virus from spreading, other Islamic institutions recommend that mosques supply extra soap and hand sanitizer near the washing area“, they never claimed to be the wisest, merely that they were as wise as anyone can be, and in that light the Christians sneering at this part should consider ‘KENTUCKY MAN WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS GUARDED AT HOME BY POLICE AFTER HE REFUSED TO QUARANTINE‘, as such we see that there is a larger stage of stupidity and it is not limited to politicians, anyone can get on that stage. it seems interesting that the law allows for this and then sets the stage where a police force is required to stop this person from infecting others, was the bible his inspiration? 

No matter what faith we have, we can only hope to hear an inner voice when we pray for wisdom, whether you have a faith or you are an agnostic, we all have a need for wisdom. And in that light, when we see the clear benefits of Wudu, how much time the western media took to give the light to this practice? 

There is a much larger disruption and I believe not illuminating the things we can properly do is at the heart of this disruption. We see governments dousing panic driven flames, yet the larger fire is unattended, please feel free not to believe me, but this article is riddled with optional evidence. I say optional, because a lot of it is fueled through a lack of clarity, as I personally see this Mark Warner being one of them. When 144 characters is the maximum for an accusation, and what he sees as a ‘Google Search’ all whilst we see “These ads, from a range of different advertisers, were served by Google on websites for outlets such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, CNBC, The Irish Times, and myriad local broadcasting affiliates,” in this we see the accusation, yet not the critical look that the mentioned “a range of different advertisers” are set to, the lack of Google Ads knowledge is at the heart of that foundation. 

The image I am showing is in none of the Wark Warner images, is that not weird too?

 

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Tech needs

I was amazed by a story in the guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/27/phones-that-may-hold-child-abuse-images-returned-to-suspects). Now, we all have that at times, a moment where we just do not get the idea that something is happening (or not), the issue here is that it is a much larger setting and we see this with “Police are giving back to suspected paedophiles phones and computers that possibly hold child abuse images because they do not have the time or technology to search the devices“, so the police ran out of time (or options) hand the evidence that could be used against these people and let them go?

Then there is “the technology that helps officers quickly scan devices to determine the likelihood of indecent images being present is not consistently available across forces” in this that it is important that we take notice of ‘quickly‘, how determining is that factor? As I see it with the range of mobiles that are coming in the next two years, the hardship of the police will increase by factor 16 at the very least (on average factor 32 applies). There is a larger setting where the police have a duty, but so do the tech firms. I am not the person to blame all the tech firms, yet there is a larger setting where certain tools need to become available with the next stage of transportable drives and hardware. And we need to look beyond the normal FAT (or NTSC) stage of scans where allocated space is scanned alone, making the hardship for the police increase to factor 64 at the least. 

Then we see “limited capacity of forces to conduct many costly and time-consuming digital forensic examinations is also hampering investigations into suspects who have downloaded indecent images of children” and that is when we see the impact of people saving images on their own drives, it is the group that has dark web links in a sort of 4chan (not blaming 4chan here) that allows these people to look at such images at their own ‘leisure’ in any free wifi situation as the images are encrypted until at the endstation with the decrypting part in the app itself, and as the hardship of the police is merely to scan for images, the solution to find these people is unlikely to become a larger solution ever.

So when we see “restore 20,000 police to the streets of England and Wales will not be enough to match the increasing demand placed on officers to protect children” we need to consider very different solutions and the adaptation of law to protect children becomes a much larger need. It is seen in “In one case inspectors found that 100 days had passed since police were notified that a 10-year-old girl had been receiving indecent images from three older men via social media. During that time there was no effort to identify and trace the perpetrators“, which is interesting because they were apparently able to identify that these were ‘three older men‘. Is it just me or is there a larger failing in the making? The second failure is seen in “Safeguarding planning for children linked to a suspected perpetrator is routinely deferred until a criminal investigation has begun“. As such there are actually three failings. We overlooked ‘social media‘, they too play a role. There should be a clear path for a younger person to press the alarm button alerting social media on any indecent picture sent via social media if the account holder is under 18, this could have been avoided years ago. This is not a stage of freedom of expression, this is not free speech, it is optionally criminal speech and evidence must be gathered at this point. 

There is no defence in ‘someone had my password!‘, the owner of the social media account had responsibilities too. As such as we see “The delay is worsened by the lack of technology available to officers to search devices for child abuse images“, the statement is cutting on both sides, as the images might not have been on the device. other means of tracking usage must be found and we need to do more to keep the children safe.

In all this there is a much larger failing, yes there are criminal prosecution needs, yet it is almost indecent to push the blame onto the police. I believe that whatever enlargements places like GCHQ is getting, they need to get off the horse of blaming players like Huawei on events that come from alleged unproven sources like the US state department and place these sources on finding true solutions to aid the police. Consider the need for solutions and less so towards unfounded allegations, that is close to 15% of GCHQ resources freed overnight. I call that a decent solution, do you not?

Yet, I am not blaming GCHQ, the issue is that we need to adjust the laws on digital prosecution and where we are presently allowed to go, that is not a given in the stage we see. We need to adjust the track we can walk and who can walk it for us, it is the only solution that remains at present and too many people think in call centre cubicle terms and refuse to see the larger pasture that we need to canvas.

In all this tech firms and governments need to find common ground and we are in the space where we can blatantly blame tech firms, yet it is not that simple. The tech firms offered a solution and someone found another use for it. We cannot blame Sony for people using their PS3 as a powerful Ubuntu Linux station and that is basically what is happening. This is not some tech firm problem, it is the station where a generic piece of hardware can run another app and use it as it sees fit, use and adjust for other solutions and implement that and the police has little to no hope at all solving the issue they face and tech firms need to come out and play with governments and stay nice. 

Yet the issue is much larger than anyone thinks. We saw part of this last year in the Crime report with ‘Tech Firms’ Neglect Lets Pedophiles Run Rampant Online‘, the fact that ‘freedom of expression’ is used in a way none are willing to agree to also means acknowledging that sometimes an aerosol is used, not to hand out what it was intend on doing, but to assassinate a politician. See here the object (at https://www.amazon.com.au/Aluminum-Pneumatic-Refillable-Pressure-Compressed/dp/B00JKED4MS/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=aerosol&qid=1582859473&sr=8-3), as I add it with the right Arsenic mix and switch the bottle, the user kills himself. Is the bottle maker to blame (or I am even more devious and add the mix to their own bottle, was the victim in the end to blame for their suicide)?

So the entire ‘rampant’ part is (as I personally see it) intentional miscommunication, there is a larger stage and both sides need an actual point of reference. there is a system in place and we see “YouTube removed this video, and many others, after WIRED alerted it to the problem” (source: Wired) yet we forget that this is a massive engine and google is not in a place to stop the engine being used by criminals to make a few quick bucks. We need to accept and understand that. Even as several people hide behind “on a test account created to investigate the network of paedophiles on YouTube, the platform’s algorithm continues to suggest similar videos of children that have been commented on by sexual predators“, the engine did exactly what it was supposed to do, yet in this case we see that it is servicing the criminals and the short sighted people shout and blame the tech company, just as they blame the police and neither is at fault, the criminals are. We can look at the T91 assault rifle and claim it is used to kill, which is true, yet we forget that the person using it can kill criminals and police officers alike, blaming the makers for that is just short sighted and stupid.

We need a much better solution and we need to rely on tech makers to hand the tools to us, all whilst we know that those making the request (see hidden images) have no clue what to look for and how to look for them, it is maddening on several levels and the people on the side lines have no clue that the referee is looking for an orange jersey all whilst the All Blacks are playing Australia, so he sees Green, Yellow, Black and White (the fern). It is a stage where we look at the players, whilst the field has several other members that are validly there and we overlook them, just like the ‘hidden pictures’ are sought in a game where the pictures are optionally not even on the mobile device, merely the link to them is.

That part is overlooked and as we go from one item to the other, we forget that links can be added in several ways and the police will run out of time long before it runs out of options to check. In all this the law failed the children long before the tech firms did. So whilst we see Wired giving us “To date, Disney, Nestlé, Epic Games, Dr. Oetker and a number of other companies have halted advertising on YouTube after it emerged that the platform was monetising videos being uploaded and viewed by paedophiles“, I merely see one sanctimonious firm and 3 short sighted ones, it could be two for two, but I leave you to decide on that. An automated systems was designed and put into place, the criminals were hiding in the woodworks and there are close to a dozen ways to hide all this from an AI for years, all whilst we clearly see that We need to realise that YouTube became so much more than it ever was intended to be and when we take notice of ‘300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!‘ and consider that 18,000 hours of video is uploaded every hour, we get a first input of just how difficult the entire setting is, because these 18,000 hours of video will include 3,000 hours of videos that is set to items no more than 5 minutes per video, making the issue 20 times larger, in all this we forget that this is a global thing and cross border criminal activities are even harder to set any mind to then anything else and in all this, there is no actual number on the actual number of uploads. Consider that ten minutes out of 18,000 hours is illegal and that 30 seconds out of those 10 minutes is on paedophiles. At that point do you get a first inkling of how large the problem is. and that is merely YouTube, there are channels that have no monitoring at all, there are channels that have encrypted images and video solutions and there are solutions out there that have an adapted DB2 virus header and the police has no clue on how to go about it (not their fault either), in all this places like the DGSE and GCHQ are much better solution providers and it is time the tech firms talked to them, yet whenever that discussion starts we get some stupid politician who conveniantly adds a few items to the agenda, because to that person it made sense and as such no solution is designed and it has been the situation of non action and non solutions for a few years now and I see the same discussion come up and go about it all whilst I already know the outcome (it is as simple as using an abacus).

We have larger tech needs and we have better law needs, And whilst we see people like Andy Burrows, NSPCC associate head of child safety online go on about “extremely disturbing“, all whilst a person like that should realise that the system designed is generic and severely less than 0.03% of the population abuses it is beyond me, I would go on that a person like Andy Burrows should not be in the position he is when he has little to no regard of the designed system, more precisely, he should remove the ‘online‘ part from his title altogether.

And whilst Wired ends with “During our investigation into his claims, we found comments from users declaring their “love” for the children and exchanging phone numbers with one another to share more videos via WhatsApp“, I merely wonder how the police is investigating these phone numbers and whatsApp references, in all this the absence of WhatsApp (Facebook) is also a little weird, it seems that these social media predators are all over the place and the open abuse of one system is singled out whilst we get no real feel of just how the abuse statistics are against the total statistics. Consider that Windows has a 2.3% error to abuse by non users, in all this for Google to get a system that is close to 99.4% decent is an amount that is almost unheard of. most people seem to forget that Google gets pushed into a corner by media and madiamediators on transgressions on IP protected events (publishing a movie online), there is the abuse of video, there are personal videos that are disallowed and terrorism via YouTube, in all this harsh or not, the paedophile issue is a blip on the radar, Youtube gets $4 billion out of a system that costs $6 bilion to maintain and it pays off in other ways, yet the reality on the total is ignored by a lot of players and some of them are intentionally averting their eyes from the total image and no one asks why that is happening.

So whilst we look at the Wired byline ‘Legislation to force major tech platforms to better tackle child sexual abuse on their networks is also “forthcoming”, a Home Office spokesperson has confirmed‘ we need to seriously ask whether these legislation people have any idea of what they are doing. The moment these people vacate to another nation the entire setting changes and they have to start from scratch again, all whilst there is no solution and none will be coming any day soon. You might think that vacating nations solves anything, but it does not, because the facilitators of these images can pick up their server and move from place to place whilst they get millions, all whilst the payers are still out of reach from criminal prosecution. and whilst we go in the magic roundabout, we get from point to point never having a clue on the stage we are on, we are merely going in circles and that is the problem we face. Until the short sighted blaming stops and governments truly sit down with tech firms trying to find a solution, we are left in the middle without any solution, merely with the continued realisation that we failed our children.

We have dire tech needs and we need to make a cold list of what we need, and the first we need to do is blaming them for a situation that they are not to blame. Consider that we are blaming Johannes Gutenberg for the creation of the printing press, he created it in 1439, basically to make the bible available to all (before that only rich people could afford a bible), yet he is the one being accused of aiding the spread of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. that is what we face, we blame YouTube and Google for something they never did and optionally never considered facing. In 1814 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made the first photograph (like we know camera’s today), yet in that same year Julien Vallou de Villeneuve used it to photograph naked women, should Joseph Nicéphore Niépce be held accountable? We all seem to say yes and blame Google, but it had little to no control at all, a system like the one Google made was not meant for the 0.00000000925% abusing the system, yet that is what is happening right now and we need to take a step back and consider what we are doing. I am not claiming that Google is a saint, yet we refuse to hold Microsoft to account for their 97.5% operating system, yet we are going to all lengths to prosecute Google for 0.00000000925% of materials produced (actually it is up to 1/24th of that if not smaller) by others through abusing the YouTube system, all whilst the problem is a lot larger and is beyond almost any tech firm, so why are we doing that?

It becomes clear when we add last year’s CNN article in the process. They gave us “Frustrated that those regulators are moving too slowly, Congress, with support from Democrats and Republicans, will use its investigative power for a top-to-bottom review of the tech industry, and focus on the biggest companies. Congress cannot break up companies under existing laws, but it could cook up new ones — and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who’s established herself as Democrats’ big ideas leader in 2020, already has a plan to break up the largest tech monopolies.” (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/04/politics/washington-turn-against-tech-companies/index.html), I believe that this is not about the materials, it is about a handle of the company and flaming conversations brings emotional response and the quickest way to push voters into an area where they are the most useful. Google is still too big for politicians, so they push and push until something gives and they are hoping that the people will be malleable to a much larger extent then the tech companies ever were.

Lets face it, how many companies are actually interested in fixing a problem that covers 0.00000000925% of their materials? That is the actual question! The police can’t go after it, these politicians are unwilling to adjust laws where paedophiles are actually processed, as such the entire situation does not make sense and tech firms are suiting up for their defense, that is all the politicians have enabled, now the politicians through media hope for enough outrage and we see the fallout, those politicians are willing to endanger the lives of the children by not seeking an actual solution, but a solution that fit their needs and these two do not align. and in this both sides of the isle on a global scale are guilty, both the elected and unelected (this term) parties are all equally guilty of setting a stage that suits them, not one that solves the problem.

We seemingly forget about that part of the equation, I wonder why that is.

 

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Middle of the seesaw

To be honest, I am not sure where to stand, even now, as we see ‘Google starts appeal against £2bn shopping fine‘ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51462397), I am personally still in the mindset that there is something wrong here. 

We can give the critique that my view is too much towards Google, and that is fine, I would accept that. Yet the part where we see 

  • In 2017, €2.4bn over shopping results.
  • In 2018, €4.3bn fine over claims it used Android software to unfairly promote its own apps.
  • In 2019, €1.5bn fine for blocking adverts from rival search engines.

Feels like it is part of a much bigger problem. I believe that some people are trying to stage the setting that some things are forced upon companies and I do not mean in the view of sharing. I personally do not believe that it is as simple as Anti-Trust. It feels like a more ‘social mindset’ that some things must be shared, but why?

The BBC also gives us: “Margrethe Vestager, who has taken a tough stance on the Silicon Valley tech firms and what she sees as their monopolistic grip on the digital landscape” this might feel like the truth, yet I personally feel that this was in the making for a long time, Adobe was on that page from the start. I believe that as the digital landscape was slowly pushed into a behemoth by Macromedia, who also acquired Coldfusion a change came to exist, for reference, at that time Microsoft remained a bungling starter holding onto Frontpage, an optional solution for amateurs, but there was already a strong view that this was a professional field. that stage was clearly shown by Adobe as it grew its company by 400% in revenue over a decade, its share value rose by almost 1,000% and its workforce tripled. There was a clear digital landscape, and one where Google was able to axe a niche into, the others were flaccid and remained of the existing state of mind that others must provide. Yet in all this Social media was ignored for far too long and the value of social media was often ignored until it was a decade too late. 

For example, I offered the idea that it would be great to be in the middle of serviced websites where we had the marketing in hands, my bosses basically called me crazy, that it had no functioning foundation, that it was not part of the mission statement and that I had to get back to work, I still have the email somewhere. This was 4 years before Facebook!

I admit that my idea was nothing as grandiose as Facebook, it was considered on other foundations an I saw the missing parts, but no one bit and now that I know better on the level of bullet point managers I am confronted with and their lack of marketing I now know better and my 5G solutions are closed to all but Huawei and Google, innovation is what drives my value and only those two deliver.

But I digress, the Digital Landscape was coming to be, and as we realise that this includes “websites, email, social networks, mobile devices (tablets, iphones, smartphones), videos (YouTube), etc. These tools help businesses sell their products or services” we can clearly see that Microsoft, Amazon and others stayed asleep at the wheel.
some might have thought that it was a joke when Larry Page and Sergey Brin offered the email service on April 1st 2004, yet i believe that they were ahead of many (including me) on how far the digital landscape would go, I reckon that not even Apple saw the massive growth, perhaps that Jobs fellow did, but he was only around until 2011 when it really kicked off. IBM, Microsoft and others stayed asleep thinking that they could barge in at a later stage, as I see it, IBM chose AI and quantum computing thinking that they can have the other niche no one was ready for. 

When we consider that we saw ‘Google faces antitrust investigation by 50 US states and territories‘ 6 months ago and not 5 years ago we see part of the bigger picture, of course they could have left it all to China, was that the idea? When we get “Regulators are growing more concerned about company’s impact on smaller companies striving to compete in Google’s markets” we will see the ignoring stage, when it mattered smaller places would not act, as Google acted it became much larger than anyone thought, even merely two years ago we were al confronted with ‘companies’ letting Google technology do all the work and they get all the credit and coin, why should Google comply? Striving to compete with Google is no longer a real option and anyone thinking that is nuts beyond belief. The only places that can hold a candle are the ones with innovative ideas and in an US economy founded on the principle of iteration no one keeps alive, but they are all of the mind that franchising and iteration is the path to wealth, it is not, only the innovative survive and that is being seen in larger ways by both Google and Huawei. Those who come into the field without innovation is out of options, it is basically the vagrant going to the cook demanding part of the pie the cook made as they are hungry, yet the vagrant has no rights to demand anything. 

And as we are given (read: fed) the excuse of “Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820bn and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s fairly impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data” we can give others the state where Microsoft did its acts to take out Netscape, how did that end? It ended in United States v. Microsoft Corp.. In all,  we see that in the end (no matter how they got there) that the DOJ announced on September 6, 2001 that it was no longer seeking to break up Microsoft and would instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty.

As such, in the end Microsoft did not have to break up hardware and software, they merely had to adopt non-Microsoft solutions, yet how did that end? How many data failures and zero day breaches did its consumer base face? According to R. Cringely (a group of journalists and writers with a column in InfoWorld) we get “the settlement gave Microsoft “a special antitrust immunity to license Windows and other ‘platform software’ under contractual terms that destroy freedom of competition.”” (source: Webcitation.org). 

Yet all this is merely a stage setting, it seems that as governments realised the importance of data and the eagerness of people giving it away to corporations started to sting, you see corporations can be anywhere, even in US hostile lands and China too. That is the larger stage and Google as it deals in data is free of all attachments, as governments cannot oversee this they buckle and the larger stage is set. 

From my point of view, Google stepped in places where no one was willing to go, it was for some too much effort and as that landscape shaped only google remains, so why should they hand over what they have built? 

It is Reuters that give is the first part of it all (at ) here we see: “EU regulators said this penalty was for Google’s favoring its own price comparison shopping service to the disadvantage of smaller European rivals“, yet what it does not give us is that its ‘smaller rivals’ are all using Google services in the first place, and Google has the patent for 30 years, so why share? This is a party for innovators, non-innovators are not welcome!

Then we get “Google’s search service acts as a de-facto kingmaker. If you are not found, the rest cannot follow“, which is optionally strange, because anyone can join Google, anyone can set up camp and anyone can advertise themselves. I am not stupid, I know whatthey mean, but whe it mattered they could not be bothered, no they lack the data, exaytes of data and they cannot compete, they limited their own actions and they all want to be head honcho right now, no actual investment required.

In addition when it comes to Browsers, Wired gives us “I spent the summer and beyond using Bing instead of Google for search. It’s a whole new world, but not always for the better“, I personally cannot stand Bing, I found it to have issues (not going into that at present), so as we are ‘not found’ we consider the Page rank that Stanford created for Google (or google bought it), when we consider when that happened, when was it reengineered and by whom? And when we got to the second part “Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords“, that was TWO DECADES AGO! As such, who was innovative enough to try and improve it with their own system? As I see it no one, so as no one was interested, why does there need to be an antitrust case? As such we see the Google strategy of buying companies and acquiring knowledge, places like Microsoft and IBM no longer mattered, they went their own way, even (optionally) better, Microsoft decided to Surf-Ace to the finish, I merely think, let them be them.

We are so eager to finalise the needs for competition law and antitrust law, but has anyone considered the stupidity of the iteration impact? If not, consider why 5G is in hands of Huawei, they became the innovators and whilst we are given the stage of court case after court case on the acts of Huawei, consider why they are so advanced in 5G, is it because they were smarter, or because the others became flaccid and lazy? I believe that both are at play here and in this, all the anti-Google sentiment is merely stopping innovators whilst iterators merely want to be rich whilst not doing their part, why should we accommodate for that?

so when we see (source: Vox) “United States antitrust officials have ordered the country’s top tech companies to hand over a decade’s worth of information on their acquisitions of competitor firms, in a move aimed at determining how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant” who does it actually serve? is it really about ‘how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant‘, or is it about the denial of innovation? Is it about adding to the surface of a larger entity that governments do not even comprehend, let alone understand? They have figured out that IP and data are the currency of the future, they merely need to be included, the old nightmare where corporations are in charge and politicians are not is optionally coming to fruition and they are actually becoming scared of that, the nerd the minimised at school as they were nerds is setting the tone of the future, the Dominant Arrogant player beng it sales person or politician is being outwitted by the nerd and service minded person, times are changing and these people claim that they want to comprehend, but in earnest, I believe that they are merely considering that the gig is up, iteration always leads there, their seeming ignorance is evidence of that.

Yet in all that, this is basically still emotional and not evidence driven, so let’s get on with that. The foundation of all Common Law Competition Law is set to “The Competition and Consumer Act prohibits two persons, acting in concert, from hindering or preventing a third person trading with a fourth person, where the purpose or likely effect of the conduct is to cause a substantial lessening of competition in any market in which the fourth person is involved“, yet in this, I personally am stating that it hinders innovation, the situation never took into proper account of the state of innovators versus iterators, the iterator needs the innovator to slow down and the foundation of Competition Law allows for this, when we see ‘preventing a third person trading with a fourth person‘, in this the iterator merely brings his or her arrogance and (optional) lack of comprehension to the table and claims that they are being stopped from competing, whilst their evidence of equality is seemingly lacking (as I personally see it). 

In this the Columbia Law School is (at least partially) on my side as I found “Scholars and policymakers have long thought that concentrated market power and monopolies produce more innovation than competition. Consider that patent law—which is the primary body of law aimed at creating incentives for innovation—was traditionally thought to conflict with antitrust law. Known as the “the patent-antitrust paradox,” it was often said that antitrust is designed to prevent monopolies and other exclusionary practices while the patent system does the opposite, granting exclusionary rights and market power in the form of patents. Given this framework, it makes sense that scholars, courts, and government agencies have only recently considered antitrust and patent laws to be complementary policies for encouraging innovation.” it gives the foundation and when you consider that iterators are the foundation of hindrance to innovators, you see how competition law aids them. In the old days (my earlier example) Microsoft and Netscape that was a stage where both parties were on the same technology and comprehension level. Microsoft merely had the edge of bundling its browser with the OS and got the advantage there, Netscape did not have that edge, but was an equal in every other way. 

Another name is Gregory Day, who gives us: “a greater number of antitrust lawsuits filed by private parties—which are the most common type of antitrust action—impedes innovation. Second, the different types of antitrust actions initiated by the government tend to affect innovation in profoundly different ways. Merger challenges (under the Clayton Act) promote innovation while restraint of trade and monopolization claims (under sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act) suppress innovative markets. Even more interesting, these effects become stronger after the antitrust agencies explicitly made promoting innovation a part of their joint policies” yet I believe that iterators have a lot more to gain by driving that part and I see that there is actually a lack of people looking into that matter, who are the people behind the antitrust cases? Most people in government tend to remain unaware until much later in the process, so someone ‘alerts’ them to what I personally see as a  ‘a fictive danger’. In this I wonder who the needed partner in prosecution was and what their needs were. I believe that iterators are a larger problem than anyone ever considered.

In the case of Google, Amazon and Facebook, we see innovators driving technology and the others have absolutely nothing to offer, they are bound to try and slow these three down as they are trying to catch up. 

Ian Murray wrote in 2018 (CEI.ORG), “Yet there is no such thing as a dominant market position unless it is guaranteed by government. AOL, Borders, Blockbuster, Sears, Kodak, and many other firms once considered dominant in their markets have fallen as the result of competition, without any antitrust action” and that is a truth, yet it does not give that the iterators merely want innovators to slow down, so that they can catch up and the law allows for this, more importantly, as the lack of innovations were not driven over the last decade, South Korea became a PC behemoth, and China now rules in 5G Telecom land. All are clear stages of iterators being the problem and not a solution, even worse they are hindring actual innovation to take shape, real innovation, not what is marketed as such.

As such, governments are trying to get some social setting in place by balancing the seesaw whilst standing at the axial point, it is a first signal that this is a place where innovators are lost and in that are you even surprised that a lot of engineers will only take calls from Google or Huawei (Elon Musk being an optional third in the carbon neutral drive)? 

It gets to be even worse (soon enough), now that Google is taking the cookie out of the equation, we get to see ‘Move marks a watershed moment for the digital ad industry to reinvent itself‘, this is basically the other side of the privacy coin, even as google complied, others will complain and as Google innovates the internet to find another way to seek cookie technology, we will suddenly see every advertisement goof with no knowledge of systems cry ‘foul!’ and as we are given “Criteo, which built a retargeting empire around cookies, saw its stock tumble following Google’s announcement. Others such as LiveRamp and Oracle-owned businesses BlueKai and Datalogix, as well as nearly all data management platforms, now face the challenge of rethinking their business” (source: AdAge) we will see more players hurdling themselves over Competition Law and optionallytowards antitrust cases because these players used someones technology to get a few coins (which is not a bad thing, but to all good things come an end).

And I am not against these changes, the issue is not how it will be reinvented, it is how some will seek the option to slow the actual innovators down because they had no original idea (as I personally see it). Yet we must also establish that Google did not make it any easier and they have their own case ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC. to thank for.

That verdict was set to “With respect to Google’s cross-appeal, we affirm the district court’s decisions: (1) granting Oracle’s motion for JMOL as to the eight decompiled Java files that Google copied into Android; and (2) denying Google’s motion for JMOL with respect to the rangeCheck function. Accordingly, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, and remand for further proceedings.” in this situation, for me “The jury found that Google infringed Oracle’s  copyrights in the 37 Java packages and a specific computer routine called “rangeCheck,” but returned a noninfringement verdict as to eight decompiled security files. The jury  deadlocked on Google’s fair use defense.“, as I see it in that situation Oracle had been the innovator and for its use Google was merely an iterator (if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it).

Basically one man’s innovator is another man’s iterator, which tends to hold up in almost any technology field. Yet this time around, the price is a hell of a lot higher, close to half a dozen iterators ended up giving an almost complete technology surge to China (5G), which is as I personally see it. They were asleep at the wheel and now the US administration is trying to find a way around it, like they will just like ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC.  more likely than not come up short.

And one of these days, governments will figure out that the middle of the seesaw is not the safe place to be, it might be the least safe place to be. As the population on each end changes, the slow reaction in the middle merely ends up having the opposite and accelerating effect, a few governments will learn that lesson the hard way. I believe that picking two players on one (or either side) side is the safest course of action, the question for me remains will they bite?

 

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Value of original gaming IP

When my mind designed the sequels to a new Elder Scrolls game, Far Cry and Watchdogs I did not care about the revenue, I did not care about the revenue factors in gaming franchise, I was merely one creative mind devising new ways and new stories, because the story is everything, it really is. 

Consider the intro and staging of Far Cry 3 against Far Cry 5, the stage of Assassin’s Creed 2 versus AC Unity, or AC Origins versus AC Odyssey and you might get a glimpse of that setting. In all honesty, I never considered revenue in any of it, but I realise that it is a driving force of the houses that publish them. Lets face it, would Mario exist if we did not consider the value of the $650 million it represents? In that same light Call of Duty, GTA, FIFA and Zelda, they all represent a serious level of coins. As such I see the need to continue some franchises, yet  wonder when we test their push for the storyline, how far will some get?

Consider in all this that the Elder Scrolls represent less than a billion, Skyrim alone represents half a billion dollars and has sold over 20,000,000 copies. And let’s face it, we always want to do better than the previous one, which is what drove me to set the story design of Elder Scrolls: Restoration.

Yet even as we see more versions of a game, Apple and Google are driving the need for original IP, it is the larger drive in gaming, not because it is Apple and google, but because the makers see that the original IP can be the beginning of a massive drive towards a system. There is also the fact that when we get a new system we do not want to play the same game over again on that system. 

Yet there are exceptions and they tend to be System driven. The Last of us on PS3 and PS4. Skyrim xbox360 – Xbox one and PS3 – PS4. Pretty much anything involving Mario, and the list goes on, yet Google and Apple do not have that yet and they need to rely on original IP to get the people in. That part was shown all the way back to the Nintendo 64 and the first PlayStation. 

IP that is owed is easier to evolve and more important, when the first game is a hit, it tends to be easier on revenue expectations as well. However, as we look at Apple, we see the need and the logic to have the subscriptions, yet when we see a game like Pilgrims with a mere 14,000 subscribers, the path for Apple is still less than stellar. Now we can push franchises like No Man’s Sky (Hello Games) there, however if Apple is to make a name for itself, it needs original IP, an original RPG, and original racing game and so on. that will drive sales, that will drive longevity in gaming and in a $120 billion industry last year alone, it makes sense to carve a name for yourself.

Yet there is also the stage where the expected and the non-considered walk. When I started to first design an original IP, was it truly original? It was (for the most) and I even added a new game mode that none had considered. Arcade is the way we consider, yet who has considered ‘historically accurate’ as a game mode? 

In this I wanted a more original RPG were the stage is Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden mapped), where you start in the land and get a choice of three places to start, from there you grow your village, grow your interest on the terrain and grow, after which you need to plunder, need to destroy your neighbours and add to your place (and take it from there), an RPG where you can set the rune tone to one god and receive the back handed prayers in success. Yet how can we link ‘Arcade’ and ‘historically accurate’? Well there we get the test of how good a person can play and basically they play two games. Even as a person buys provisions (with real cash) to get an advantage, they buy more, because the purchase in an arcade also comes with a ‘boon coin’ in the ‘historically accurate’. So if a person buys a load of fish in Arcade, they also get a boon coin with a fish in the historically accurate, which sets the chance to find a fish shoal to 100% there. Get two for the price of one. The same for weapons where a kart is bought for one side and the other side gets the smithing coin, giving them a 100% chance of a quality forged weapon. I even set out the stage that an actual player in one village would influence the growth in the virtual version where another player is a neighbour (like choice of stone, location and direction of growth)

I also wanted to make sure that ‘historically accurate’ was there to show that life is not a game and when we slice and dice like in Viking: Battle for Asgard, yet I thought that the game was too small, it was too easily defeated (except the boss at the end) and even as the game had good points, I wanted to see this game in a much larger setting. I wanted compelling to translate to addictive and I wanted a lot more to stand out, I also wanted to make sure that the choice of a god rune had a much larger impact, so over time as people played the game, they would have a new experience if the village rune stone was not set to Odin, but to Loki, Thor, Balder, Frigg, Vidar, or Tyr. What benefit do you want to see? And when chosen in Arcade it will be the set stone for ‘historically accurate’ as well. As such as the history of your village evolves we see that people realise that the impact one would hope for in Arcade would have a different term in the ‘historically accurate’ (HA), we forget in playing that famine was a real think in those days, as was disease and that could go from village to village. We could push it to Greece on the same premise and see where this leads, yet Scandinavia where the weather would have a much larger impact seems to be a more preferred personal feeling in this. So how many games take that into consideration? 

Yes, games like Fallout have a survival mode and there we see “The only means of physically saving the game is to sleep in a bed, on a mattress or in a sleeping bag. The exit save function is still available, but is a temporary save that is deleted automatically upon loading“, it is almost like hardocre mode in Diablo, how many times did you have to die before you figured out that running into batle is as stupid as it could be? As such the HA mode will give the player a much larger consideration to what he’s doing, it is not intend to drive microtransactions, which is why you can optionally only buy stuff in the arcade mode and only the real gamers and winners will get through the game without ever buying anything, that is why I would add an achievement named ‘no purchase required’, how many games heralded the need to not embrace microtransactions? 

It was a stage that my mind evolved over a few days and that is the easy part of the creative element in a game, I wonder how many creative minds are out there in the gaming industry, because I feel personally that people like Sean Murray and David Braben are as rare as it gets in this industry (no insult to other game makers intended), for me it is a stage where I see where places like Apple Arcade (and Google Stadia) are and where they go, so far I am actually not that impressed, not when it comes to companies this big.

 

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The Bully’s henchman

Yes, we saw it before and again we see a new ploy into the bashing by a bully. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/29/uk-chance-relook-huawei-5g-decision-mike-pompeo) gave us “Britain has a chance to “relook” at its decision to allow Huawei into its 5G phone network in the future, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, declared as he flew to London for a two-day visit to the UK“, the fact that the number one US bully (as some see him) sends out Mike Pompeo warrants more scrutiny. Lets not forget that on a global scale the US has not actually produced ANY evidence that Huawei is a security concern. We see merely that the US firms will lose their data drops on a global scale as Huawei makes a larger impact, and that is a much larger fear for the US than anything else. Even as we see news with senators with privacy concerns, we see an absolute lack of actions towards Google and Facebook to amend its protocols and data capture activities, all set in some loophole, flaws which are still legal and legally set in stone (of a sort mind you). Yet the undocumented claimed fear of Huawei and the Chinese government has still not been shown to actual cyber specialists and to actual independent hardware experts. 

So as senior (read: ancient) advisors of the Trump administration give: “insisted that sensitive American information should travel only through “trusted networks”” we see a lack of evidence by them. We also see that the US is changing its tune, the claim “But our view is that we should have western systems with western rules, and American information only should pass through trusted networks, and we’ll make sure we do that,” is it the changing claim of the bully that has changed evidence for ‘we should have western systems with western rules‘ is evidence of that. In addition to that its weak and waning “The secretary of state emphasised that work was being done between the two countries “to make sure that there are true competitors to Huawei” so that “we can deliver true commercial outcomes across real secure networks that aren’t subject to the Chinese Communist party’s control”“, where we need to valuate ‘work was being done between the two countries “to make sure that there are true competitors to Huawei”‘ reads more like a flaccid 90’s software sales agent with a concept to sell than an actual commitment. This situation merely exists because governments stopped seeing infrastructure as a priority and as US commercial people saw ‘gains’ elsewhere (read: cheaper/easier way to make commission), hardware needs lagged and the US is almost 3 years behind in the 5G circuit. Like in the BBC article yesterday, we see “The US says Huawei could be used by China for spying, via its 5G equipment” hiding behind the word ‘could‘ whilst not producing any evidence. All whilst presurring on “Mr Ren’s military background and Huawei’s role in comms networks to argue it represents a security risk” that is all slanted on a time when Mr Ren actually looked young and served for 9 years, he left the army in 1983, which was when Mike Pompeo was in High School optionally hoping to fondle a local cheerleaders boobies (we can presume), oh and by the way this was all 37 years ago, as such the lack of evidence on the equipment apart from an almost 10 year old case that was settled, the evidence presently seen is a joke.

This is all about the US losing its data collecting position and it is willing to sell anyother nation down the drain, all becasue the US became lacks, stupid and flaccid. Is that the legacy that the EU and the UK have to look forward to? Lets not forget that no matter how happy Nokia and Ericsson become, they are a little over 5 years in the running and well over 3 years too later to adapt to the high-tech that Huawei is currently releasing, that is the price of iterative technology.

The fact that my personal IP surpasses the US tech stream is further evidence still, in 1992 I was really behind the curve, it makes for the difference of innovative thinking and as the world relied on the US, its flaccid actions are now a real issue. 

In addition to all this, Wednesday also gave us “A group of anti-Huawei Tories want an assurance that the government will work towards reducing the Chinese company’s influence in UK infrastructure to zero, ultimately stripping it out of the 4G network as well” which is linked to “any provider deemed high-risk by the intelligence services should be phased out of the supply chain” and the problem here is not that Huawei is a claimed spy tool for the Chinese government, it is the fact that (as Alex Younger) stated that no infrastructure should be in the hands of non-UK corporations, which is acceptable. Yet they will hand the hardware over to EU and the US government, which is slicing the meat on the other side and almost as pointless. Let’s be clear, Alex (big boss MI6) gave a clear and understandable point of view. UK infrastructure needs to be in UK hands and as such we can accept that. Yet British Telecom is nowhere near this situation and as such we see a failing of policy on more than one shore.

So as we get to “Unhappy MPs held a series of meetings in Westminster, although they are keen to operate behind the scenes to push for a concession, several senior Tories believe they have a chance of getting the 45 rebels needed for a successful backbench revolt on legislation relating to regulation of Huawei” which would boil down to a conservative mutiny on a few fronts, the question that I am currently posing is: “If I investigate these 45 ‘proclaimed rebel’ members, how many will reveal a carefully denied personal link and gain from a non Chinese Telecom market?” Is that not an interesting side either?

And the intentional limitation of 35% would that be to keep American commerce happy, or is there an actual security setting here?

There is too much on the surface that we should investigate and it is not. Even as the article makes a reference to American diplomat Plus One, whose wife Anne Saccolas is accused of causing the death of 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn. They still insist on their bully tactics and they will refuse to make public any evidence of the Chinese government links to Huawei hardware, all whilst the massive bugs in the Cisco routers are ignored by all.

So whilst we all cry over non existent hacks on Huawei equipment, we are faced by Cisco insecurity, and whilst some will not get this, the fact that the bulk of all servers in the world rely on Cisco Switches. so when we get (source: Cisco) “2020 January 29. A vulnerability in the web UI of Cisco Small Business Switches could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on an affected device. The vulnerability is due to improper validation of requests sent to the web interface. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a malicious request to the web interface of an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to cause an unexpected reload of the device, resulting in a DoS condition.” Now apart from the local need to fix this, there is no real blame at Cisco, this happens and whilst we see

Vulnerable Products

  • 200 Series Smart Switches
  • 300 Series Managed Switches
  • 500 Series Stackable Managed Switches

So whilst everyone is crying over non proven proclaimed weaknesses, there are actual weaknesses in the hardware leading to the internet and that gets my goat up, the entire Hawei matter is about the US losing too much revenue and the US being out of the data loop, and we support that….why?

When we wonder how we care on who gets our data, we seem to forget that someone gets it, yet the US wants to be the only runner in this race, based on decades of feigned superiority and now that they are in the race and moving from first to 4th position we seem to grant them all the leeway they need, whilst on the other side we see no improvement on personal data intelligence security, why do we need to continue this situation?

That issue becomes larger when we see the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/96c79040-40ea-11ea-bdb5-169ba7be433d). Here we see “Wealthy individuals are scrambling to lock down their privacy in the wake of the alleged hack of Jeff Bezos’ iPhone, as personal cyber security experts warn that the rich and famous are increasingly becoming the target of sophisticated cyber criminals“, which makes sense and the supported ‘a report last week alleged that Amazon founder Mr Bezos was hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018‘ in all this there are (at least) two sides

  1. We see a proven part where ‘sophisticated cyber criminals‘ are getting onto more and more mobiles (an issue that will continue faster and more intense in 5G. 
  2. The world is realising that corporations are not lucrative targets, the softer market and larger market of one million mobiles might be worth a lot more, and the collected information could lead to a switch in ‘criminal economies’, that part is optionally seen in “Rubica, a company that provides more affordable digital protection for families, added that had he received “lots of inbound” inquiries last week from clients about how to better protect themselves from adversaries“, and as we see “According to data compiled by RSA Security, 70 per cent of fraudulent transactions in 2019 originated on mobiles
  3. (Optional) The guilt of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was never clearly established and is by some experts in the field regarded as a strange choice of actor to incriminate in the first place, as such it implies that there is a larger concern that the ‘vested’ parties cannot make clear statements on guilt and providing proof on who did it. Making the cyber setting a lot more dangerous, especially as insurers will try to seek more ways on options to not having to pay out (making more stringent contracts), this setting could hurt millions of people whilst the actual criminals go on without prosecution.

We see a shift in the market and this shift becomes a much larger issue in 5G, as such do you want your 5G infrastructure to be 3 years behind the latest technology? It will go faster and faster as I saw what the direction was and my IP would (hopefully) lessening the impact by almost 30% whilst 400 million starters (globally) will get a much larger slice of their marketing pie for their small businesses, whilst keeping more control of their information. All because some people forgot to look in one direction, that too is the effect of flaccid American innovation. I would never be a contender if they upped their game, so when my ship does come in, I will have to thank them for that.

Marc Rogers, vice-president of cyber security at Okta is right when we see “The cache of data on these devices is just growing, We’ve seen a massive escalation of theft [from] mobile devices because criminals are realising that people are storing immense amounts of personal and financial information,” is part of that crux and the US whilst bullying their Huawei part are basically not ready to deal with this, because they will claim that is up to you and your insurance. Which is an interesting ploy to give out in the near future as Cyber crime will spike and all whilst most global governments still do not have a clear and well documented Common Cyber Sense setting in play, many are hiding it in some HR document and using that to sack people when the damage becomes a little too pronounced, or the transgression becomes a ‘politically correct’ consideration. 

I see a much larger problem and the US is merely adding fuel to the fire and whomever they send will merely be the spokesboard of US data collection groups (as I personally see it) that need their data to maintain existence. 

So who is ready to play catch with the next henchman that the US sends?

 

 

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The time is now

Yesterday, an article in the BBC made me aware of a few items. Now, I was aware to a larger degree of most items, yet I kept it in the second drawer of the third desk of my brain, it was something I took for accepted and then shrug it off, so what changed? Nothing actually changed, but the article seems good enough to take a few items on view.

The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51115315) gives us “Google has announced a timeline for implementing new privacy standards that will limit third-party use of a digital tool known as cookies“, now this is nothing new, it was always going to happen, yet we also see: “analysts say the move gives Google more control over the digital ad market where it is already a major player.  To make advertising more personal web browsers collect small bits of information that allow them to create a profile of the users likes and online habits“, the question becomes, is that actually true? And when we see “This presents a core problem from a competition perspective. It is yet another example of Google diminishing ad rivals’ access to data for the stated purpose of protecting users’ privacy“, a quote from Dina Srinivasan, a lawyer focused on competition issues is not really that truthful, is it? Apple made a similar move in 2017 and when we go back in time, we see Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. Most will have forgotten Netscape who became defunct in 2003, and basically stopped making a blip 2 years before that. We seemingly forgot about the exploitative market that Microsoft had in those days with Internet Explorer and all the crap it added to our HTML files (as did Word when we saved as an HTML file), in those days data in files was still an issue because there was a limit to what we could safe when we were not rich. Chrome was the first to keep our files clean, or at least lacking a lot of rubbish. Netscape was however on a different route, an employee of Netscape Communications, which was developing an e-commerce application for MCI. MCI did not want its servers to have to retain partial transaction states which was a killer for storage, as such they asked the people at Netscape to find a way to store partial options and methods of transactions where it mattered the most, at the side of the buyer, Cookies provided a solution to the problem of reliably implementing a virtual shopping cart, Google found a new way of using that idea and used cookies in the far reaching solution it currently has, they innovated, others merely took on board someone else’s solution and not they are all crying foul. Perhaps when these people had taken the time to innovate, they would have the choice, and the option of two years seems decent, so when I read “advertisers had hoped to have more time before it was implemented” is as I personally see a larger BS issue on timeframes and exploitation, if advertisers are in the now, they would be all about advanced implementation, yet they like their bonus and they seemingly do not like to spend money on investments to counter the timeline (an assumption from my side). 

Google’s director of Chrome engineering, Justin Schuh gives us “Users are demanding greater privacy – including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used – and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands“, which seems slightly too political to my liking, but there we have it. Business Day gives us “But GDPR also made life harder for a cohort of second-tier adtech players trying to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. The regulation’s provision to prevent data being shared wantonly with third parties seemed to give the tech giants an opportunity to tighten their control over user data” where we see that this was one of the foundations that led to the end of SizMek, some state that it was DSP Rocket Fuel that ended the heartbeat of SizMek, yet everyone ignores a simple truth, ‘an overcrowded ad tech market with independent vendors with an inability to face serious cost pressures to their pricing structures‘, they all arrogantly believed that THEIR solution was the real one and they all basically read cookies like the ones Google had distributed. You can all claim to have the magic potion that Asterix drinks, but when the truth comes out that he drinks Darjeeling tea from India, the playing field gets overcrowded and when the customer figures out what they get priced for the end is pretty much around the corner of the next door you face.

So as we are told “third-party ad sellers will need to go through Google to get information about internet users. But critics say that is an advantage that makes the market less fair and safe“, in my view my question becomes: ‘Which critics, names please!‘, the problem is that third party ad sellers have no rights, none at all, the rights should be with the owner of the computer, Google (Apple also) are setting (not by their own accord) that stage, Microsoft is using their Azure Cloud to counter the Cookie option on PC and Microsoft Console, but the hard sight is already there, the people who are unable, unwilling and cannot afford to set the stage still want their freebee and they are now starting to complain as they are made aware that their time has ended, even though this was the direction we saw in US politics and EU politics well over three years ago. The EU had their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and everyone shrugged their shoulders stating that it would not happen that fast, yet that was three years ago and now the time has been set back to merely two years to go and the ad sellers are feeling the pinch of the cost they will actually face. Moreover, they are seeing the red lights of career ends. The Verge gave us “an industry that’s used to collecting and sharing data with little to no restriction, that means rewriting the rules of how ads are targeted online“, they gave us that on May 25th 2018, so 1.5 years ago, why is this now a problem? The people wanted this, ad soon it will be here, Google has not been sitting still updating their systems accordingly, and as such we see that the flaccid and non-concerned rest is now looking at a deadline a mere two years away. When we look to the larger field we see Criteo, LiveRamp, Trade Desk, Rubicon, and Telaria, all losing value as ad-tech providers, yet the opposite could also be true when they offer to the customer a value, a value where most ad-tech companies never bothered going. Yet the power of any ad-tech was never the cookie, that was for the most merely the revenue. They had 5 years to consider the power of ad-tech and they didn’t. The power of this is basically engagement. Facebook showed this year after year and now it is out on the larger field, those who engage will survive, the rest will end up on a dog eat dog football field and a few will survive but only as long as they push to the next hurdle and make it, if not they will end up on the obituary page (just like Netscape, however Netscape ended there for other reasons). 

I wonder if that is why Google is so adamant about its stadia? It would get a massive tier of small time developers creating engagement content to be released on mobiles. That i me merely speculating. 

Still the words of Dina Srinivasan are not entirely without merit, she gives the Facebook issue (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/yale-law-grads-hipster-antitrust-argument-against-facebook-findsmainstream-support-11575987274), and she makes a good case, yet the history of certain players need to be taken into account. Even as she was her own misgivings about the evolution of the digital advertising market, history had been clear, some of them basically did not bother, they wanted it handed to them for free and in the beginning they got away with it. And she made a point with “How could a company with Facebook Inc.’s checkered privacy record have obtained so much of its users’ personal data?“, yet equally we need to weigh this with the words of U.S. Attorney General William Barr. He gives us “he is “open to that argument” that consumer harm can exist through the use of personal data, even if a service is free. “I am inclined to think there is no free lunch. Something that is free is actually getting paid for one way or the other”“, which is what I have been saying on my blog for around 4 years, so happy to see people wake up in January 2020. So when I see “Ms. Srinivasan would prefer that Facebook be forced to change certain business practices, including how it tracks users when they are off the company’s platforms“, I wonder when they give account to the small truth that Facebook is a free service for a reason and they are no longer alone in this, you are going after the large players when they are in the largest danger by losing slices of that revenue pie to contenders elsewhere in the world (EU and China). 

Whatever you want to do is fine, but realise that it will put a large group of people in the streets without a job, I am not against them losing their job, but that revenue and that data will also flow in other directions and that is the one part that all players (with political support) are trying to counter as much as possible. I wonder if they will succeed. The weird part is that if this group had been properly taxed 3 out of the 5 major issues would also fall away and in that view a workable solution could be pivoted to.

 

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