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The political winds

It all started nice and slow this morning. I had one task that is due in 4 hours and 34.3 minutes (roughly), so the unnatural act (for me) of sleeping in commenced and it was nice. So there I was morning ritual all shot to smithereens and it was 2 hours until zero hour. My ritual of checking breaking news gives me the BBC and the Saudi Tankers, an interesting part, but the intelligence on the events are missing, even in open source intelligence it is too much on ‘decent confidence’ and ‘statistical probability of certain parties’. One source gives an implied presence of Hezbollah in Shinas (Oman), yet there is zero reliability as well as the fact that any attack would have required different tools as well as location does not add up, as it is at that point that Israel Hayom gives me ‘Saudi Arabia retaliates hours after Houthis attack oil facilities‘, the fact that we see “Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, claim attack on Saudi oil pipelines“, this is indeed a different status and I will dig into this when i get more data, this event could escalate matters fast. As such the defence needs of Saudi Arabia will explode (pardon the pun) soon enough.

Yet this is about UK politics and the issues will relate soon enough. The Independent (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-hunt-conservative-party-wall-street-journal-london-a8914171.html) gives us ‘Jeremy Hunt appears to struggle for an answer when asked why people should vote Tory‘, you see as a conservative (yes, I am a Tory) I struggle too. There is no shame in this, we need to walk a tightrope and keeping balance is actually a lot harder than you might imagine. So when we see Jeremy Hunt give us: “Because we are not going to solve this problem by retreating to populist extremes” he has a point, it is clear and he is correct, yet the problem is that we are looking at the wrong extreme. Nigel Farage is not the populist extreme, the European Central Bank is the populist extreme, just not a populist extreme for the people, they are the populist solution for the IMF, Wall Street and American commerce, three that they were never supposed to cater for and the European ignorance is just amazing. Also, the view that the media remains silent on many issues involving the ECB, Mario Draghi and their acts of non-accountability have become too staggering. And as the media is in denial in one side and then bashes Nigel Farage at every opportunity gives additional light to the fact that the media botched plenty of issues.

The people have been misled to a much larger degree and now they are willing to try Farage and the Brexit party, not because they like him, but because they largely mistrust all other parties including my own conservative party. That is the realistic stage, so why vote Tory?

The problem is not easy but the biggest issue is the debt, both sides (mainly the Labor party) have pushed again and again and left the British nation with 2 trillion pounds of debt. Even in the most optimal stage it will take well over a generation, it is passed in two parts. The first is no less than £20 billion in interest payment and an optimal £20-£50 billion in annual debt decline; if this is not done soon it will be too late for everyone. The benefit is that the UK without the Euro can steer shallow and deep waters, all having their own risk (and rewards), all having options, but the drag of the Euro 27 nations and their bad choices as well as the ECB and their unacceptable acts will no longer be part of it. It will be the first clear stage of resolving the issues that politicians are too hard to solve. Still, it will take a generation, perhaps two to resolve it and when there is momentum in the first 5 years that will signal economic improvements as well as economic opportunities.

Immigration

If that was not the case, do you think that the refugees would be racing and running to make it to the UK as fast as they possibly can? No, the people in the lower tier are actually seeing the lack of progress for the people all over Europe, and for now the UK is in a similar stage, but it could improve, the UK is in a stage where it could improve faster and better than anywhere else in Europe. Do you think I would sit on billions of IP if any official in the EU27 could be trusted? The EU27 and America are all in the stage to fill their pockets as much as possible before it is too late, I would rather make all my IP public domain and watch them all fight each other on claims that they were first and not giving actual evidence. That is why Google, Huawei and optional Saudi Arabia are seemingly the few parties worth talking to at present.

Google and Huawei have shown to be pushing innovation, not iteration. In addition, the acts we see in Saudi Arabia on renewal and Neom City are showing a push for larger changes, changes that the US and the European Economic Union is no longer able to make, they are stuck with a mountain of debt making everything a discussion, and no resolutions. The fact that for the most tax laws have NEVER been properly been adjusted so that the large corporations (FAANG group) make proper payment has never been addressed, it is a failing on both sides of the Isle, both Tories and Labour have fault at that. the BBC news in March 2018 gave us ‘Google’s tax bill rises to £50m‘, and we get two parts in addition: “The technology giant’s annual accounts show that the company will pay corporation taxes of £49.3m on UK profits of £202.4m” and “The total value of Google’s sales in the UK is about £5.7bn a year“, now I have nothing against google, as a matter of fact, I love Google (platonically mind you). Yet the numbers do not add up. When we consider that google is making 202 million out of 5,700 million, it amounts to a profit margin of 3.54%, considering that the Google Pixel 3 is well over £700 makes me wonder. Yet let’s not forget that Google is not alone here, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Facebook, Amazon all have profits that go into the billions (well the FAANG group players at least). So the tax image is wrong and the people get to pay for the cost of commerce, not exactly fair, is it?

This is the realisation that has been sweeping through the lower tiers of the population and they have had enough, and I get it. We see all these utter BS approaches on what we can sell to the government of Saudi Arabia and we cannot even sort out proper taxation to big business? Small businesses have been driven out of shops through large corporations working from abroad, the Britons have been dealt a raw deal and it bites, the Tories did way too little to deal with it (opposing the Labour party who did nothing at all when they were in charge). So the people have gotten to the point where they will try anything, especially give Nigel Farage and his Brexit party a chance.

Yes, how would I vote? Well, I am all for Brexit, yet I remain a Conservative. The issue is not Brexit, it will happen (read: it should), the issue will be about what happens after that, it will be a mess for close to two years and issues need to be resolved and it will take time and it will take serious discussions, Nigel Farage has charisma, he has knowledge yet what about his team? The players like David Coburn, Julia Reid, Nathan Gill, or Raymond Finch? I am not sure any of those people can hold proper seats like Home office, Foreign office, Defence, or Treasury. That is the problem the UK faces. Getting a proper government in place, Labor was never trustworthy and even as Tony Blair did a lot of good, he bungled plenty too. In that regard whatever came after Harold Wilson (1976) was pretty bollocks by the view of some (a view I only partially support).

These parts matter, the failings form the past are now part of the current battlefield and the failings are important to consider with a debt of 2 trillion, that is why the Brexit party is likely to be the biggest player, yet I remain a conservative, the mess needs to be cleaned up and whilst labour will indiscriminately spend money that they do not have, the Nigel Farage side lacks the true experience that the people need to clean the overall mess up, Brexit is an essential first, but the Brexit party is in my humble opinion not ready to properly deal with the 20 steps that follow.

Was there not a Saudi side?

Yup and we are getting to that now. You see the economy is only one side. Military hardware is only one part of optional commerce, the national growth of 5G will benefit the UK, yet these parts can also be sold to Saudi Arabia, there is more than Huawei and even as the UK needs to catch up, and catch up fast, the sorted problem is not merely military hardware, that part needs services and whilst the UK can be a push forward there, they are up against American Giants and it is a fight worth fighting. The infrastructure for Neom City and even beyond that all the way to Riyadh represents an initial £350 billion, with more on the horizon. When I set the stage for my £2,000,000,000 IP, one part was that I did look beyond one side and since then found four more avenues where people merely accepted certain solutions and never looked at what else was possible. From Marketing, Awareness creation, communication, applied applications on the setting of streaming (yes, that was a pun and a puzzle all at once). And the biggest parts are not big business, it is a small business approach with global ramifications, and the nice part is that Huawei was nice enough to implement part of it in their 5G prospective and not look further, so happy, happy me (for now that is).

This is not merely one part, all the players (and the FAANG group) all want access to Saudi Arabia, so who do you think they will hand options too? These hypocrites who decided to suddenly revoke export to Saudi Arabia whilst ignoring the activities of Hezbollah and Iran, or those who stood by Saudi Arabia and their right for defence? Let’s not forget that the aid of Saudi Arabia was called on by the legitimate government of Yemen, a part most seem to ignore again and again.

Saudi Arabia is trailing in technology on several ides and they are trying to address this and those who facilitate for the progress of that will find themselves with the sweetest deals. More importantly, the UK will need proper trade partners to a larger degree. The US is all about export and the fact that export needs to exceed import, several nations are in that stage. The list that place true value to import to goods and services is small, so having the proper foreign office in place is going to be essential in the next 5 years, the Brexit party cannot deliver on that and that will make matters much worse down the Brexit trail. The Conservative need is easily shown when you look a few degrees beyond the current point of exposure. It is when you look towards the applied stage of the long game, that is where you see that the bulk of all politicians fall short. They will merely tell you: ‘We will solve it when we get there‘, or ‘We have a plan and we will present it at the proper time‘ and it is way too late to take that approach, it is well over a decade too late for that.

If they cannot clearly show you a plan, they are extremely unlikely to have one, which is not a stage the UK (and many other nations) can survive on at present. As such the political winds are blowing, top some degree those who we are willing to trust lack the power and know-how to make it work long term, most of the others are no longer trusted to the degree that they need to. I remain conservative inclined, yet they too need to realise that not only is the party over, facilitating in that direction is no longer an option, making that heard loud and clear is essential.

 

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Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019

After last year there were issues, several on all fronts, and as Sony announced not to attend, we see the larger question, is there a need for E3? From my personal point of view, Microsoft will not be trustworthy (after their choices between the Xbox 360 and now), making it a Nintendo & Indie show, now, I am all for that and it could be awesome, but that is no longer an actual E3. Also, we will see the front carried by a few titles, yet they did so too last year and the blip verts show many images of what we saw last year too.

So as I use GamesRadar (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNCFmrkqQuY) as a handhold, let’s take a look at what we could optionally consider not watching in person there.

  1. Cyberpunk 2077. Yes, we saw a lot, we saw a lot before and for the most, we have blind trust in CD Project Red, they gave us the goods from the very start ‘You’ll see it when it is ready’ and with the Witcher III as evidence, we have all the confidence that it will be a smash winner when it is finished, the problem is that everyone is speculating or giving ‘I know a guy and it comes at …….‘, but the truth is CD Project RED has not giving a final date, if there is one, it will most likely be given at the E3 2019.
  2. Gears of War 5, it seems to be more of the same, it was never my cup of tea and as such, I hope people will love it, I truly do, but I see it as too much of the same, just like the next HALO which has number 3 and even as 4 player part might be nice, yet after Anthem, and every version connected to it (exception of Fortnite and Overwatch) I have seen enough to last me a lifetime, so the orchestra part was definitely overkill
  3. Another Star Wars game? Likely an absolute must for every Star Wars fan, I am not judging here, merely awaiting to see real game play.
  4. Session, a skateboarding game. It comes from Microsoft, so we will have to await the actual game footage and YouTube video to see what the actuality of that game is, personally I am kind of over all the Microsoft marketing, and we will likely see more on Crackdown 3, the game that was announced in 2014, coming in 2016, and has had delay after delay and is still not out. A game that is years too late, supposed to be AAA and gets a mere 57% from Metacritic, I think it was PC Gamer that gave us “It’s an OK game that could’ve been exciting a decade ago“, so as we were given presentation after presentation on the of Cloudgine for cloud computing support, we see the entire part blown out of the water. This now interacts with my article ‘At the end of a journey‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/04/14/at-the-end-of-a-journey/) where we see the issue of Tim Stuart, Microsoft CFO giving us: “Xbox CFO on Google Stadia: “Cloud Won’t Match Local Experience”“, yes we said that for decades, making Crackdown 3 a joke at the very least and the years of delay a questionable side in what Microsoft regards as game design.

There are a few more games, some definitely interesting of checking out and a few to race for to the release date shop. Bethesda will be present with another Doom, for the lovers of that type of game a decent must. Ubisoft will try to wet the appetite with more ‘Beyond good and evil 2‘ yet there is no indication that there will be anything playable and GamesRadar as well as a few others have been whispering NextGen, so this might be a PS5 and whatever Microsoft puts on the market with an expected optional ‘always online‘ push by badly facilitating, and lets not forget the massive amount of space reserved for advertisement on your Xbox screen.

Nintendo will be killing the show, the next Pokémon is already making waves at present, so the impact will only increase, and that is merely the beginning, there will be an animal crossing, an exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance for Nintendo Switch, which must anger all the other consoles, as the previous two had quite the impact on gaming. And no matter how others slice it, the Nintendo Store with Switch version of CBM-64 golden games is only increasing the desire to own a Nintendo Switch, the idea to replay the Epyx great ‘Impossible Mission’ is just too fantastic to ignore.

We will get another call to Dying Light 2, yet at present no actual reliable release date as well as third installments of Luigi’s mansion and Borderland, both a reason to watch, both have a following and both have creatively emphasized on fun. There are more and more titles that are looking good (also on the Xbox), the makers of Fallout New Vegas and now part of Microsoft will be bringing the Outer Worlds. For those who remember Fallout New Vegas, consider an RPG, a lot larger, with more options, more challenges and more choices, there is zero chance that this game is not on the wish list of anyone who loves RPG’s, which is fair enough, Microsoft can’t get everything wrong. For Ubisoft it will be an important moment, Watchdogs 3 is on the list and according to rumours it will now be based in London. It is important because the first game became a massive letdown, yet Watchdogs repaired it to a decent degree in number two, not in the least because of the cast of Ruffin Prentiss who did an amazing job. So for Ubisoft the stakes are nothing short of monumental, they cannot afford to mess this one up. As I personally see it the Quality department better have their marbles in a row on this one. Ubisoft will have more if some of the leaks are to be believed. So their show, as well as the Bethesda one are the shows to be in the top ones both seasoned with the anticipation from viewers and gaming fanatics alike.

Gaming is more and more true mainstream, but it is also splintering gamers to a larger degree, in part we can blame people like Fortnite. It is not really their fault, they made genuine innovations, and more and more people nowadays expect that the system is no longer an issue when you are playing with your friends, which is actually no longer a given. With newbies Apple and Google, the interaction of games across platforms becomes a larger issue and no longer a given. Yet the audience is pushing and setting for a stage that remains debatable. Is it fair to expect PC’s and next generation consoles to group play?

The option that Microsoft consoles will interact with PC’s is to be expected, but is that stage equal for PS5 other solutions (Mac systems)? I am not claiming a yes or no, merely asking the question. If anything happens in the 5G stage, it will be that those interactions will find a larger footing, whether it will happen gets a TBA (to be announced) flag for now.

As I said Ubisoft has Watchdogs 3 nearly on ready is a large issue, on the plus side, if they pull it off, the value of the Watchdogs Franchise will skyrocket, mainly because the second in San Francisco was a large step forward from the first. The idea of London is appealing to many in other ways, the American population that needs to adjust to driving on the left lane is going to set the stage of many hilarious moments and the open world of London could be breathtaking. They gave us a great experience in San Francisco, so I expect nothing less than spectacular. It also implies that my idea for Watchdogs 3 could be an optional Watchdogs 4, so let’s just hope that game 3 knocks it out of the park. The only larger question will be Bethesda, they have confirmed that there will be no Elder Scrolls 6 or Starfield, which is nice to know, but Bethesda has a lot more IP so there is likely to be plenty to watch, and to be honest after all the slicing and dicing of Fallout 76, they need a win, a big win would be better.

In all this we see more of the same, the IP has stagnated to some degree, Minecraft (2009), Skyrim (2011), Grand Theft Auto V (2013), Elite Dangerous (2014), Witcher III (2015), No Mans Sky (2016), Fortnite (2017), all great moments of IP. I now distinguish between IP and a great game; they often go hand in hand, but not always. I believe that sandbox games, RPG games and tactical games will overlap more and more and will for the growing population of new gamers to be more and more important as well. We saw what could have been possible to some degree in Ghost Recon Wildlands, but not to the degree that could have been achieved. I believe that this is the IP that Google Stadia can build on.

Say What?

To see this, we need to look at the two stages of gaming. For the most, the games have a combined approach (the image is an analogy), so there are parts in the game that are used and in the core of the game, accessed when it is applicable. Yet another way is to take the Covert Action (an old Microprose game) approach, but now a next generation version. In this version in any sandbox, as we add a new element, the world would actually become bigger, or there would be more to do in that same world.

It was the foundation when I started the design of a game called: ‘Equilibrium, nature versus the machine‘. The biggest elements were finding a large enough play field (in my case Amsterdam), and set the stage where replayability would be more fun, so the stage required a very different approach, so that people could not chase from one point to the other to get a quickest time finale. In addition, I needed to set a stage where it would not merely be some kind of a ‘seek’ game (which is too much of a given when you finish the game more than once). In addition, there is the eye candy bit, so making sure it looks appealing and not repetitive was equally a challenge. For the most Amsterdam filled that bill. Yet, as I was contemplating the foundations for Elder Scrolls 7 and Watchdogs 4 I knew that they all had their hang-ups (not in a bad way), in every case it was what the player (in my case me) relied on, I wanted to change that concept, and in all honesty after hundreds of hours of Diablo 3 it felt an essential first to solve.

No man’s sky gave me additional idea’s. We look at it as some kind of failure, but the game is an achievement in many ways. If we accept that the worlds were set to a formula, what happens if we change this world into a formula and let the NoManSky IP recreate that world again and again? Then I considered what could one day be another Watchdog game, in this I wanted to push the envelope in another way. Hence I considered the stage where Kyoto was completely set to the game map, and I mean EVERY street. The game would now be large enough to keep a person busy for hundreds of hours and in the gender setting the game would have 4 versions two for each gender and each gender could get through the game as a criminal or a non-criminal, so the city had a light and a dark side. The interesting part about Japan is the lack of guns (and super strict gun laws) forcing stealth and forcing unarmed combat. As the monkey fist was a brilliant choice in the second Watchdogs, there was the option to keep it in, but also to make other weapons, weapons not to bleed, but to knock out. The nice part is that Japan has about 4 centuries of weapons in their history, so plenty of options. Technology (read: applied technology) is also more advanced (in many cases), so letting the game revolve not merely on the smartphone, but also Google glasses and the fact that in the hard setting there will be no English, gives light to a much bigger challenge. Having to rely on you wearing Google glasses (in the game that is) to read signs and to read instructions in the game to get your local language was appealing for a few reasons. It makes the game a much larger part of you. Adding weather and time constraints adds to the challenge and excitement. We forgot that the ‘you’ in your character was neglected more and more is also a consideration, having to eat and sleep on a regular basis could translate into a larger experience.

Finally the part where the elements come to shine; as we look at the coloured balls, we can see that mixing blue and red would create purple and between blue and dark yellow we would get a moss green. Now consider replacing the colour for a level, in normal mode hacking is one version, yet when we tweak that it is not pressing a button, we could replace the button with code segments that need to be found (and chosen), drastically increasing the challenge of the game, so what is a joy and still a challenge as well as an achievement on normal could be a mind boggling experience on hard and higher. So the smartphone could be upgraded, other versions of the (in game) app, also gives more options and buying an up scaled phone (more expensive) would give the player more destinations where he/she could strike it rich. Yet giving merely more and more is not enticing either, the added plus needs to be balanced with the drag in the negative.

It is what I envisioned in a new Elder Scrolls, adding the old limits. For example a person could not be fighter guild and mercenary (Blackwood company), a Mages Guild member could not be a member of the Thieves Guild and so on, so that at the most 3 guilds could be joined and until one guild had been completed some guilds could not be started. In this setting the game becomes more fulfilling, even in replay, as you start the second game with the Mages guild or the guild of Necromancy would impact your character to a much larger degree. To keep it appealing the setting of what used to be called the red wire challenge, a challenge that is not part of any main quest and happens over the entire stage of the game, so I came up with another challenge, to get there you needed masons, as well as special books (to be found) you could influence the look of the outcome with an Elvish, a Dwemer, the Imperial and the Ayleid version, all having distinct different looks and as the books are to be found in a different locations in every game, the hunt could be on for quite a while. With the introduction of new elements, reverting to an applied extra from Oblivion, So in the game there would be the option for Strength, Intelligence, Willpower, Agility, Speed, Endurance, Personality and Luck to be increased in other ways. Mining would result in additional strength, trading gives additional Personality, and Luck would grow with trade deals, finding mythic loot and so on, so even as the Skyrim approach of Illusion, Conjuration, Restoration, Alteration, Enchanting, Smithing and so on remains, with certain levels of Smithing and/or Mining surpassed the player would also gain additional strength, which gives added value to the carry and stamina numbers, whilst sickness and wounds have a much stronger negative impact. So a stealth master remains with attributes in the same area, any stealth master would have much higher agility giving the player an additional bonus. In addition, the stage of the game as I considered it had additional choices making for a much higher desire to replay the game in other ways and options. And as I went through it, it was the idea of changing the map in another way, As Oblivion was stated to be 40 KM2, Skyrim was stated to be 37 KM2 (this is clearly a: I thought it was bigger moment) ESVII (Restoration) would be no less than 780 KM2, adding to the game in a massive way, yet that also gave the stage where the current approach to a game map would no longer work (assumption on my side), so another approach would be essential. Optionally a two disc solution where the first disc is the install and map disc, the second one would be the actual game disc, yet in that stage the game would require a reserved space of no less than 150 GB (very loose estimate), as such the game would require other checks and balances as well. Whether it ever happens or not does not matter, the entire part is important in another way. When we consider the images I gave where the play world grows with the added segments, that approach would work very well for Google Stadia, so it opens up a new area we have almost never seen before, true open source gaming, a collective of gamers that could add to the game (with permission from the maker) not unlike some kind of a creation club, but in the foundation (the small balls), as a new enhancement is accepted by the game owner, we see that the entire gaming map and experience would grow as well, so over time, we get a largely enhanced game. Consider the merging of Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky, so not only do you play Elite Dangerous and travel from planet to planet, each planet could end up having an algorithm that allows to planetary exploration on every planet for the size of the planet, it would make it a game that takes a lifetime to play even in part. Yet what happens when someone created the module to add your own space station in an unexplored location? Consider the option for the gamer to have their own small station, grow it so that the station itself becomes an economic mark on the game as a larger whole. The nice part is that Google Stadia is in a much better position to bring that reality in gaming in the short term, so as the elements of IP are created and offered, we see the optional short term reality that Google Stadia could take sandbox gaming to an entirely new level and that would create the interest of millions of casual and recreational gamers overnight. That is not all, the stated lack of latency and the larger balance (implied) between latency and quality (much higher quality with less latency) only rises the level of opportunity for the Google players in the immediate future. I am not certain how active Google will be at the next E3, yet I believe that every eye will be on what Google can deliver, at that point the game changes for players on a global scale, so when I stated “we do hope that Sony is not stupid enough to follow the short-sighted path that Microsoft is on, they are now merely console number three and optionally before 2021 number 4 out of 5“, in ‘Lifting the Veil‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/04/17/lifting-the-veil/) I did know what I was talking about and I knew what could optionally happen. Microsoft forgot what the power of true dreamers was (and optionally clueless on what they can still do), that is why Google could be the number 3 choice for a global gaming community soon thereafter, how far they rise depends on how innovative they continue to be, they are up against two titans that actively shaped the world of gaming for well over 5 console generations. So when these new technologies come, we will see a much more driven need for these players to be the best innovator in gaming, at that point it does not matter who leads, the gamer wins and that is just fine by me.

 

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The TV as a weapon

There is an old saying and there are alternatives to it. In Australia we say:

Q: Do you know the difference between ABC and Channel 7?
A: ABC shows you how bad things are in the world, Channel 7 shows you how screwed up your TV life is.

In the Netherlands it used to be NOS versus SBS6, and every nation has its own version. So what happens, when we see the millions of smart TV’s and Apple enters the race opposing Netflix? The New Daily gives the quote: “Spielberg who appeared live, touted the revival of his Amazing Stories anthology, while Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell then took the stage to discuss another Apple original, The Morning Show” with the added: “a range of new streaming entertainment services, as well as financial products, at a star-studded event Tuesday morning“. the message was apparently clearly brought and when we get to see: “Apple is expected to spend US$2 billion this year on original content to challenge established steaming players Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and the forthcoming Disney+ service“, we need to realise that Apple has an optional goldmine in the making. In addition we see: “Hot on the heels of the Google game streaming service, Stadia, Apple launched Apple Arcade in a bid to grab a slice of the multi-billion dollar gaming market“, which will be fun to watch as Apple has shown a keen interest in negating the need of gamers (which is not all their fault in all honesty), will they figure it out this time? At least with the established Android gaming platform size, Google does have a huge advantage for now. OK, apple does have a gaming community on IOS and I was not short selling that (yes, I was). Yet the overall view I have seen in the past gives a better light of gaming to gamers on the android, than the Apple (a mere personal view on the matter).

So here we are watching two streams being created. First is the Netflix drain by Apple and as soon as they realise that 2 billion is a mere stack of money, to get the TV series that get the people to sign up, even besides Netflix will requires series that surpass The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Haunting of Hill House, Bird Box and a few other gems, Netflix has the writers, will Apple have them? We all know that Game of Thrones will enter their final season, so there are plenty of needy watchers to pick up after that conclusion, yet if Apple does not have the IP, they are not going anywhere. Even with the added Spielberg Amazing Stories anthology, which was actually quite decent when it was initially released on VHS, they will still have quite the task at hand. More important, even if they have all the ducks in a row, they will still having to deal with the market shares of Hulu, Stan, Amazon and the forthcoming Disney + service as well (and a few local others). Do they have the IP when that goes online? I can see half a dozen series that could be hits, and I am not the only one. Plenty of dedicated story tellers will have a list. Yet, does the Apple executive (whomever Tim Cook handed this hot potato to), does that person have a clue? The difference between a good presentation and an actual good idea comes with a gap that can fit the Grand Canyon and many Apple executives are a little lost when they face that gap.

It goes further, having a great idea is not enough and most visionaries have that in mind. to see that part we need to reflect on: “Apple, which became the world’s first trillion-dollar company in August last year, had been dropping cryptic hints about the launch event for weeks, sending the internet rumour-mill into overdrive“, yet since then Apple lost well over 20% of its value and the next few ‘slam bam’ misers will dent that even further. The next part is interesting as it impacts gaming and TV.

To get a great product you need at the very least (before marketing gets to have a go):

  1. A script, a story that will compel the reader to go on. Loading it with sex and graphics will only hold a small percentage for some time. A great example of a near perfect script was I Claudius by Robert Graves.
  2. A cast that works well together, each good actors, but together they become ambrosia, wine and nitro-glycerine, all at the same time. Again I Claudius became the golden standard. With Derek Jacobi, George Baker, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, James Faulkner, John Hurt, Patrick Steward, Ian Ogilvy, John Castle, and John Rhys-Davies we got something unheard of. They were already good actors, yet together they created greatness, they are now globally celebrities, but in 1976 that was not a given, they were iron rods and the director shaped them into high tempered steel increasing their mark close to tenfold.
  3. The director. Not merely the man implying 3, 2, 1, action! No, he is the person that becomes the visual visionary and Herbert Wise delivered. The evidence is seen in his work. As a director he has 91 marks on his career rod and when we look at it all, it is all decent work, insightful work, yet I Claudius is a 180 cm person walking in Indonesia (where the average height is 152cm), it stood out tall above all others. So, even as we accept that I Claudius could not have been done without the cast, it equally required the right director to make it work.
  4. The Producer (in this case the BBC), who had to put up the dough with a need of blind faith and no idea how much they were going to lose. These four required to be completely in sync and they were as such I Claudius is still seen as the best BBC drama ever produced, even now, 43 years later we see that new TV series merely hope to equal this achievement, thinking that it can be surpassed is mere folly (yet optionally not impossible).

This is the setting that Apple is trying to get into and throwing 2 billion at it thinking that it will be easy by presenting a few famous people is as reliable as getting rich by spending what you have on blow and hookers. It looks pretty, yet it is an absolute non-winner 100% of the time. Finding the right people will be the task for Apple and as they are all competing for the same pig through increasing the value of good scriptwriters, yet they too are starting to look critical at the offers, because they lose value with every failure and often enough, they do not get to blame the director of the production company, they get to be the scapegoat. So they will require their optional bosses to set an income and levels of freedom and commitment to a much higher degree.

As for gaming

Gaming has a similar setting. It will be about getting the gamers on board and that requires a great product, in an age where Apple has been all about marketed iteration, they are vying for innovation? In a market they do not seem to really comprehend? I am slightly puzzled.

There the director is the project director; the cast are the graphic designers and the scripters and coders. The art and stage might have similar issues, but finding these parts to intertwine and interconnect is where good coders are required. Then there is the learning curve of the game. And it gets to be worse fast when it becomes a product relying on micro transactions. Ubisoft, Bethesda too never quite worked it out and the first screw up will diminish the value of the event overnight. Apple will have to steer clear of micro transactions in the first year by a certainty of 100% and in the subsequent 2-3 years for 90%. Can they afford that game? Their essential path will be the RPG games that call the horn of attendance for gamers on a global scale, if not, than this becomes a long term project that will not end up becoming a winner. In that they have additional competition form makers like Nintendo, their Switch is still gaining momentum and the games I have seen lined up for that system shows that Nintendo is taking this momentum extremely serious. I wonder if Apple has thought this through beyond their return on investment expectations from executives who rely in spreadsheets and lack essential data skills other than identifying their ROI and bonus column. Once that goes south Apple will take a few hits in short succession and they will be painful. If it goes wrong (I am not stating or indication that this is the case), they could face the hits where their total value is a mere 50% of what it was on September 16th 2018.

Yes, Apple could rise high with streaming on TV and consoles, but in the end they require the golden eggs to get there and I am not convinced that they have what it takes to get there. For the most it is an art, I have been involved in gaming since 1984 and I still miss elements in all it. It is both science and an art, the moment you separate the two is the moment you lose. That has been an essential given for close to two decades. Ubisoft got it wrong more than once, Bethesda took massive hits with miscalculations and they are dedicated experts in that field, I doubt Apple has seen that shortfall at present.

To illustrate that we need to look at a game called the Division 2, an Ubisoft product. Important fact, it is seen as a really good game, better than the first version and steps forward, at times leaps forward, some reviewers have stated that is sets a new bar of online gaming and that is awesome to learn. Now add the two headlines: ‘Ubisoft Patches Annoying ‘The Division 2’ Skills Bug‘, as well as ‘The Division 2 PC players report a 100% CPU usage issue, Ubisoft is investigating‘, on games this size this will always happen and the fact that it is looked at and fixed this early is really good, so this is not about pulling Division 2 down. This is what happens on games this big depending on online elements, which is besides server down times. A consequence of online gaming and in this Apple is as I expect it not ready to see gaming to the higher levels it needs to see it.

If they see these two elements as a method to use the TV as a weapon, a data weapon for additional wealth, we see a company that is about to get hit really hard. That is in the foundation of it all. I believe that they are making the same mistake that Microsoft made. Microsoft is talking a good talk, yet the people all over the world are seeing the impact, the most powerful console in the world is being surpassed by the weakest of the three. Their setting of always online, their bullying tactics, their essential inability to listen to gamers (or ignoring what they are being told) is what is dragging down Microsoft and Apple will experience that lesson in a very hard way soon enough if they walk that same silly line.

Just like Microsoft, we see a company that more likely than not does not comprehend gamers and will falter because of corporate ROI needs soon enough. They see the two as connected to grow better, but these are two separate entities (TV and Gaming) representing 6 dimensions that can go in any direction, when these executives learn that lesson the hard way and they are looking what to do next, I will offer Tim Cook my last $99 for the company (Apple, a fruit of the loom division).

Could I be massively wrong?

Absolutely, yet the Apple marketing need of the hype and their viral needs seem to be on my side, as the gaming industry as a whole tends to be as gossipy as any old tea lady, so word would have circulated into my inner core of contacts much earlier, as such I think that Apple is not ready, nowhere near ready, personally I do hope to be proven wrong. I would love to see more contenders in the gaming world, more choice, more innovation and better games is the consequence from that war, and I do love playing good games.

I will keep you all posted on what happens next.

 

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When politicians rely on terrorism

Something really bad happened in New Zealand last week, no one denies that. The impact and repercussions are staggering and will be for some time. Yet he politicians need to wake up and take a long hard look into the mirror. That is the view that ABC News left me with yesterday. The article (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-19/new-zealand-facebook-christchurch-shooting-video-sheryl-sandberg/10915184) gives us ‘New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern leans on Facebook to drop Christchurch shooting footage‘, I get it, it needs to be deleted, everyone (99%) agrees on that. We were also told on the day after the event “Facebook said it had removed 1.5 million videos from its platforms within the first 24 hours of the shootings and was removing all edited versions of the video, even if they did not show graphic content“, even as we see the added “Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said they were also using automated tools to identify and remove violent content” yet still we hear: “Ms Ardern said despite those assurances, the “graphic” vision was still available online“, it becomes time for Jacinda Ardern to wake up and take a long hard look at the state of the situation. I get it, she is in a really bad place having to deal with it, yet the political lack of common sense is now becoming an issue. As I wrote the day before this article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/03/18/media-out-of-bounds/) in ‘Media out of bounds‘: “This is seen with the Twitch statistics that report “As of May 2018 there are 2.2 million broadcasters monthly“, that comes down to 72,330 streamers every day, there is no technology that will monitor it; there is no AI that could intervene. That solemn common sense moment makes the involved politician part of the problem, not part of the solution. Consider that out of all 0.000138% uploads one is optionally an extremist (this implies one extremist every day), so the number ends up being 0.000003% is optionally too dangerous. We cannot get politicians to put in the effort of keeping up a decent information system that is 75%-80% efficient and they demand 99.999997% efficiency from technology platforms?” That was one source. Now add the YouTube statistics (Jan 2019) “300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day” and in addition when we consider that 17 minutes out of 300 hours represents a mere 0.00944% and that is one instance of a total of video’s that is 1440 times the total daily uploaded size, the chance of finding it becomes harder and harder. More important, more changes imply a different digital footprint. That is besides certain tricks that I will not name here. So 100% is scanned, mostly automated. Yet to find that one video places like Google would require an additional 2500 staff members to be hired, and that is YouTube alone. The burnout factor will be massive. That is before someone figures out the solutions that the Mafia employed in the 80’s and 90’s against wiretapping, when that is applied to digital media the manpower solution will fall apart. And it does not end with her, because she at least is up in arms to deal with something that happened on her watch, in her domain. It is the ABC quote: “Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wanted world leaders to discuss how they could crack down on social media companies to prevent similar videos from being spread online.” It is my question on how idiotic any Prime Minister could get. We do not see the state: ‘he wanted world leaders to discuss how they could crack down on people uploading terrorist video, preventing them from being spread online‘, he goes straight for the tech firms whilst simple top line reports show the delusional state of some of these politicians. The problem has gotten to be too large. Yet according to some news Brenton Tarrant acted alone, so how exactly is all this possible? the issue is a much larger one and it is time for the politicians to do more than to merely nod their heads, they need to become active in hunting down these elements, but that does not look too good on their resume, so like confused sick puppies, they do what was done in 1934, they find a scapegoat and blame those people, so how did that work out in 1934?

I hereby also demand clear presentation of evidence regarding the statement: ‘Social media platforms ‘unable or unwilling’ to take action‘, it becomes even worse when we see: “if the site owners can target consumers with advertising in microseconds, why can’t the same technology be applied to prevent this kind of content being streamed live?” It almost feels like a discussion with a surgeon stating: “Listen, I took out your gallstones, so I reckon that it will be the same with Overian/Testicular cancer, I will just cut out the bad part, OK?” It is not the same, it is something entirely different. The fact that every minute 18,000 minutes of video is uploaded, which is merely YouTube, makes the issue a very different part. When we add the mobile uploads directly to Facebook, Twitch and the two Chan channels that number becomes close to horrendous. For the most, whatever solution you want to employ, there will be a way to diffuse the effectiveness of the digital solution making matters worse every second.

In all this, the media is making matter worse. This is seen with: “In one email exchange New Zealand police requested an American-based website preserve the emails and IP addresses linked to a number of posts about the attack, but were met with an expletive-filled reply. In a reply posted on the site, its founder described the request as “a joke” before calling New Zealand as a “s***hole country” and an “irrelevant island nation”” (at https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/us-website-labels-nz-s-hole-country-refuses-help-police-in-christchurch-terror-attack-investigation), let quality hackers have a go at them, see how they like that.

So if this truly matters, than you will give us all the name of that ‘American-based website‘, the people have a right to know, don’t they? What do you think happens to the funds of that ‘American-based website‘ when everyone is informed that they are supporting terrorism? Make sure that you repost that information on 9/11, let’s see how much of a shithole that place will be soon thereafter. And the news in Auckland gave us additional info I gave earlier. With “technology firms including Facebook, Google and Twitter – said it shared the digital “fingerprints” of more than 800 edited versions of the video“, yes 800 versions. This is not someone merely being sickly curious wanting to see what happened, 800 versions were made, and is the police still thinking that ‘the shooter acted alone’? There was a support system in place. I got that much within 12 minutes of reading the presented information (aka evidence). The 800 versions give rise to a sympathiser platform and still we see the overly less intelligent Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison trying to crack down on social media companies? Give me a break please!

I personally believe that certain politicians are trying to push their own social media agenda and to achieve that, they are conveniently looking at the options that Brenton Tarrant left at their feet. Yet when you look at the foundation of the numbers and the realisation that this extreme video is a lost smaller than 0.000003% of all uploaded videos (and that is merely founded on one day of videos, we should realise that there is an overreaction. Is it not interesting that over the last decade when it came to taxing these tech firms their diligence was a lot less (optionally 87.5446% less) diligent. Why do you think that was?

It is time to take a hard look at what is realistic and what is not and judge some politicians for their actions. In this specific case New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gets a pass, as this happened on her watch in her yard. She gets to take it to emotional levels, yet we will watch for how long those buttons are being pushed, that seems only fair.

 

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The political blame

I love the Guardian for the most. They have a good grasp of things and we might not see eye to eye on certain matters at times, their opinion is still valued as it enables me to critically reassess my own view. It is the opposing part that got to me this morning as I read an article a mere 4 hours old. The title alone woke me up. With ‘Despite Hammond’s threat, the Tories cannot be trusted to end austerity‘ Richard Partington makes a dangerous statement. Does he imply that the Conservatives love austerity too much (not entirely false), is he making the statement that Labor (the Jeremy Corbyn facade) is likely to end it immediately placing the UK in even more danger? There are several ways to see this. The article with “Chancellor hints that a no-deal Brexit will mean an unwanted extension to austerity“, which is absolutely true in a few ways, still that extension of 2-3 years will be better than the ECB push to set the stage for 15 years of additional austerity. And when we are treated to “The chancellor is likely to argue that money has been set aside for a no-deal Brexit, but should it be avoided, he can use these funds to end austerity. The thinly veiled threat – coming on the day of the crucial vote on whether to leave without a deal“. From my point of view, whatever is in reserve is essential to reduce debt as soon as possible. You see £2.1 trillion in debt is a killer. The interest alone will be well over £210 billion each year. So every month £17.5 billion is required to be set aside (all speculated on interest being a mere 1%), lowering that requirement as soon as possible is the only way to survive whatever comes next. Germany did massively push austerity around 2010 and the debt (as well as the interest) went down. We acknowledge that Germany was in a much better place (export wise), yet the truth in undeniable, the debt is killing the people of England and it needs to stop. Irresponsible acts by Labour in the past got us into this mess and Labor is just too stupid to see the danger that they are exposing their citizens to, it must stop and that was for me the largest reason to embrace Brexit, even now when we see: “For the most part the Conservatives have recycled savings from austerity into tax breaks for the better off” we should get angry, not because of the falsehood, but because of the presentation. You see, any austerity will affect the better off a lot less than the others, there is no denying it. If only Labor had not gone overboard spending the way they did (apart from the £11.2 billion NHS IT fiasco), they had no clue what they were doing and gave us this death through poverty sentence. The banks are all on the side of Labor as they are making bankers rich whilst these bankers do not have to do anything at all, the long term commitment to £17.5 a month does that for them.

Then we get even more fuel with: “Analysis from the New Economics Foundation this week shows that raising the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 and higher-rate income tax threshold to £50,000 will cost as much as £30bn. The financial benefit of the increases have benefited higher-income households most and further stoked inequality“. In the first, no one, not even the rich oppose the £12,500 part, the part that predicts the cost to be £30 billion is misrepresented as that also includes the losses by those who went from £11,850 to £12,500, and this is the largest part. These so called ‘rich’, an interestingly small number basically gaining a mere £3,650 to be taxed lower earning them £700 over a year, whilst the even wealthier group did not gain the additional benefits as their tax bracket remained the same. As for the numbers in 2017 only an estimated 364,000 (out of 68 million) made over £150,000 a year. An additional 4.2 million got to the £50,000 range. those people are not gaining £30 billion, the benefit is mostly there for the lowest range being the largest group by far and Richard should be ashamed of himself trying to push buttons in that way.

Inequality has been there for a while and it is not due to the tax regulations as such, it is due to Labor (and Conservatives) being cowards and not adjusting the tax machine to make large corporations making pay their due. When we see Google, Amazon and others paying a mere 1%, we need to hang those policy makers in Piccadilly square. That is the real culprit, but it is likely too uncomfortable for Richard Partington to point that out, he likely has well paid friends in large corporations. We can agree that “The deficit is still expected to remain as high as £19.8bn in 2022-23 according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s own tax and spending watchdog“, and guess what, properly taxing large corporations would have taken care of that and optionally reduced austerity as well, yet policy makers are unwilling to try that as they fear large corporations walk out. So what? Let them go and forsake a 68 million consumer base, they will learn soon enough when that move goes tits up for them.

It is not all him though, Richard is allowed his view (even the ones I very much disagree with), and the issue goes beyond certain people. Consider just a year ago when we were ‘informed’ on Apple at Battersea Power Station, a luxurious setting of hundreds of millions, of course they do not have to pay for it, as the tax payers gets to pay for all the taxation that they do not have to pay at that point. It gets even worse when we see the quotes in the Apple Insider. It is developer Simon Murphy that literally gives those readers with the prospect of them moving to plan B: “We’ll give [Apple] that building at the end of 2021. That’s what everyone is very confident about at this stage“, so not only did they short social housing by 40%, they also give away a place to large corporations? No one is asking questions on every level of government at this point (at https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/09/22/construction-delays-leave-apples-iconic-london-battersea-offices-in-doubt)? It seems that the way we do business has to change quite a lot and it is time to slash freebees to zero for the largest corporations. It is not only the Guardian though; we see a changed stage when we go to the Financial Times. They start (at https://www.ft.com/content/b2225c56-419c-11e9-b896-fe36ec32aece) with: “With economic risks again mounting, the EU needs new instruments” and that is merely the beginning. In addition to all the massive blunders they had by fictively keeping an economy running, by pumping 3 trillion into it, we now see: “reviving part of its stimulus programme after two years of weaning the eurozone off easy money — took markets by surprise. It should not have done. Signs of eurozone weakening, especially in Germany, and in key partners such as China, had been evident for months. Once the US Federal Reserve signalled a pause before lifting rates again, the ECB became likely to follow suit. In his final months in the role, ECB president Mario Draghi is clearly trying to get ahead of events“, form my personal point of view, Mario Draghi (and the ECB) are merely trying to keep the gravy train rolling and pushing the EU citizens into deeper debt with no option to get out, Brexit is the only way to cut that anchor. The ECB has become that irresponsible. It becomes an even larger problem with “By promising a new round of cheap long-term loans to banks willing to expand lending, moreover, the ECB will enable Spanish, Italian and other banks to roll over funding they have already received, some of which is set to mature“, so not only is it failing, the stage that the new debts are there to cover old debts is even more ludicrous and it should be to every person who read that. That is the push we see and we need to get out of it, these debts do not make governments better, they do not set the stage for an actual economy, it merely deposes nations to be ruled by banks, when any population is set to the stage where they are contributing to any economy by being a consumer against those who are not and regarded as a burden, at that point do we see that people are truly no longer equal, we are merely facilitating to the need of the balance of corporations and bankers are placed above the law and above any consideration. So at what point did we see elections that place banks and bankers above the law? And this is merely the beginning; we see part of this shift when we consider the words at CNBC by Invesco’s Kristina Hooper at a deeper level. She starts with: “I don’t think the slowdown is going to be that bad as we sit here today, and certainly that’s not what we got from the ECB [European Central Bank] in terms of their downgrade of growth forecasts“, yet when we see: “Now that we have the European Central Bank piling on, that raises questions about what’s going on. What are central banks worried about that is causing them to make rather dramatic pivots?“, that was actually simple, the ECB is dead scared of the ‘R’ word, it is ‘recession’ that scares them. Recession is on the horizon and basically the large four are all hit by it, or are optionally hitting it next quarter (France, Germany, Italy and UK), and for the ECB that is a problem, it would truly show that their policy was a failure, no matter how you dashboard the results into a precisely sliced and diced result that shows only positivity, the cost of living and the quality of life are impacting all and austerity is not a merely a dirty word, it is at this point a cause of suicidal depression for the many confronted with it. If only large corporations had been truly decently taxed, we could have avoided so much pain. We see even more in the end when we are treated to: ““China is employing a lot of stimulus both monetary and fiscal,” said Hooper. “We could actually see signs of some improvement in economic data in China.”” She is only partially right. China is not impaired with 26 anchors all trying to keep the EU boat on their needy little turf; in addition China has taken the lead in IP and Patents making a huge difference, in this America and the EU have fallen far behind. I have seen them ignore billions in IP merely because iteration is the prospect of long term management for large corporations nowadays in an age when these people are left without ideas, we see them surpassed by players like Huawei and Google leaping ahead and now we see the terms like ‘protectionism’ and how bad it is. On the other hand there is a solution against it, the Americans merely had to accuse Huawei as a national security danger and as long as they do not have to prove it can they get away with it, the moment they fail that they lose a lot more than merely an industry (in all fairness they do not really have any credibility left, so there is that too). There too we see issues; as John Bolton (the Trump geriatric solution to national security) gives us through the Sydney Morning Herald: “Bolton also offered blunt assessments on China’s island and military base building in the South China Sea and raised concerns “Manchurian” chips in Huawei technology could be activated for espionage” in this ‘could‘ is the operative word, there is no evidence, and as far as I can tell there never was. This too links to economies and economic welfare, Huawei leaped forward whilst the bulk of all economies were based on iterative progress. Why do you think that places like Google and Huawei truly leapt forward? Their rise is all about actual innovation, not iterative marketing. This makes for all the difference. And linked to all this is something truly away from the UK. With ‘STC, Huawei complete first indoor 5G trial in the Middle East‘, when we are treated to “Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Chinese vendor Huawei confirmed they have completed what they claim to be the first trial of indoor 5G in the Middle East region. During the trial in Dammam, STC used 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band on the 5G network, and achieved a peak user downlink throughput of 1.3 Gbps” with the additional “STC said it currently provides 5G coverage in more than 450 locations across Saudi Arabia” and this relates directly to the EU and the UK. To have an economy growing you need to be ahead of the curve and both are no longer doing that in several fields. Even as I personally understand and accept the statements by Alex Younger (fearless leader of MI-6); we accept his position and he is not wrong, but it is inconvenient for the economy. The others are merely supporting fear mongering absent of evidence and it is about to cost them. You see, 5G is the economy maker and even as I have well over 2 billion in IP value ready to stage to those with the proper offer, I am but one person and I am not alone. 5G will drive IP and it will push new borders in IP, specifically in trademarks, a shift we have not seen ever. In all this, we see the stage where not only will we see the technology shift where Saudi Arabia is surpassing the US technologically, they now have the stage where they can push and own a 500% growth all over the Middle East, America lost out by being stupid and complacent in an industry where free runners set the stage, not those that rely on status quo. The UK (and the EU) will either catch up, or be regarded as lost for consideration.
At some point people there will push for political blame, I do not think that this is a great idea, but that is what will happen soon enough and at that point, all those who gave rise to John Bolton and the US administration will face a massive setback, to be removed from consideration in a world where they once had mighty voices, the funny part is that every success that we now see by Huawei and Saudi Arabia will be another nail in their coffin. A coffin soon to be named ‘rented by [irrelevant person]‘. What a legacy to have in an age where political delays were the foundation of austerity through improper taxation of corporation. There is more than one setback on the location called Lake Iteration; I saw that coming a mile away. Too bad that those relying on status quo never realised that blinkers of that nature is only to stop wearer of seeing the bigger play-field through the adaptation of fictively removing fear, fear keeps us on our toes, it makes us consider what others do and why they do it; with blinkers we only see what those in charge of us want us to see and that is a large limitation, it makes us focus on what is in front of us and we seem to forget that we are not alone, by not seeing that others pass us by and we only see that whilst we watch their asses rush forward at that point will we consider picking up the pace, picking it up way too late. That too is part of any economy, it is the essential part of being ahead of the game and the ECB is seemingly all about a horse named ‘banker’ to get that advantage and it is costing us. You see, it is not about Huawei having this advantage, it is about the realisation that British Telecom is no longer in the place where Huawei now is. All whilst there is plenty of documentation that the US has been accusing Huawei since before 2012 and up to now, no evidence has ever been produced. So whilst we can go back to the quote from October 2012 with: “American companies and its government should avoid doing business with China’s two leading technology firms, Huawei and ZTE, because they pose a national security threat to the US, the House of Representatives’ intelligence committee will warn in a report to be published on Monday“, consider the options, is US Intelligence this bloody inefficient and incompetent, or was this about something else? The leaping headway approach by Huawei was visible 7 years ago and in that time nothing changed. That non change is important for the people to realise; it is the UK economy that is getting hit time and time again. If you wonder why austerity takes this long (and longer still) consider the steps that industries had not taken, investments not done and we see non-stop tax relief for those sitting still (read: sitting on their hands). the issues are directly connected and when we realise that Germany has decided not to ban Huawei (a nations decently paranoid on security), when we watch the German economy pick up sooner we all know where to point the finger, we point it at the inactive and the exploitative, when we link names to those connected there, that is when we see a first sign of carefully phrased denials and weighted mention of ‘miscommunication between parties’. At that point, will you be forgiving and accept the ‘moving forward’ excuse, or will you hold them and their tax policies to account to a much larger degree?

Stop blaming the rich, they already got there! You need to go after those facilitators, those looking for free scraps and scraps through inaction; those are the ones you want to make suffer for your delayed and optionally permanently deleted so called ‘quality of life’.

 

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In support of others

Sometimes we have to put our own differences aside and stand with others. There is absolutely no chance that this will not happen to you. At some point, you will go in the ‘damn the torpedo’s’ direction and give support to those who fight the good cause. This is where I found myself when I was confronted with ‘Anti-vaxx ‘mobs’: doctors face harassment campaigns on Facebook‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/27/facebook-anti-vaxx-harassment-campaigns-doctors-fight-back). First of all, there is no way anyone could support trolling, no matter what the cause is, and in the second degree there is the need to stand up for the issue at hand, it is our health and those of our children, it is important to make a stand.

Now we get to a side that is important. I am in favour of vaccination to a degree, I fully support children vaccination. I also support the bill to eliminate personal and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations. I saw it in the Netherlands, the place where for religious reasons vaccinations were rejected, that place is where there was an outbreak of whooping cough, not something you want a child to experience ever. Other places we see the renewed introduction of measles. All issue that could have been prevented. As such I support that side of vaccination. So when we are introduced to the naturopath Elias Kass, his statements at the Senate committee and five days after his brief testimony, he had compiled a photo gallery with hundreds of screenshots of abusive comments, largely through anti-vaxx Facebook pages. It becomes worse, when we see the quote “an online ecosystem rife with anti-vaccine misinformation, thanks in part to Facebook’s recommendation algorithms and targeted advertising” we see how complete the failure of Facebook is at present. We also see the accusation of “partially instigated by Larry Cook and Erin Elizabeth, two anti-vaccine activists who have built large Facebook platforms“, it comes with the added statement “Cook has gained notoriety as a full-time anti-vaxxer who has raised nearly $80,000 on GoFundMe to pay for fear-mongering anti-vaccine Facebook ads which he targets at mothers. His Facebook page, Stop Mandatory Vaccinations (SMV), has about 130,000 followers, while the related closed SMV Facebook group has more than 150,000 members“. A system that sets close to 250,000 guns aimed at a single target and that is an issue that needs to be addressed.

There are two sides to nearly every story, yet the danger of not vaccinating is just too high to contemplate. People are directed through lies and these anti-vaxx people start it with ‘Vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary for vibrant health‘ (at http://www.stopmandatoryvaccination.com/), A small part is seen when we consider a source: “Measles is one of the leading vaccine-preventable disease causes of death. In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, and in 1990, 545,000 died; by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000“, it is worse when we consider ‘Measles Elimination in the United States‘ (The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 189, Issue Supplement_1, 1 May 2004, Pages S1–S3). Here we see two parts that are a direct setting. In the WW1 era we get “an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912–1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases)“, 2.6% of the population would dies of the disease and those were the lucky ones. The rest was rewarded with extras, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year. An estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year, and that is merely the US, in Europe that number would be higher. So when the website gives us: ‘Vaccine Free Living: The Unvaccinated Are Not A Problem‘, we see what I consider to be a lie, the non-vaccinated are the problem, plain and simple, as we see the ‘return’ measles, polio and other diseases, the claim that unvaccinated are not the problem is pretty much blown away. In the Netherlands there was a resurgence of polio in the Bible belt area (no vaccinations through religious convictions) and the impact was huge, 71 people ended up with polio, 71 people confronted with the risk of paralyses. And in the end only 10 recovered, two died and the others ended with paralyses, 59 sitting mostly in a chair not able to move, so parents need to consider the real sources and those who are merely claiming to know the truth. I am not telling you to trust or believe me. I am telling you to go to an educated person, your GP, or an actual a medical professional. The fact that in the last outbreak only 14% recovered from the disease, only 14%, the rest ended up in a bad place, we see that vaccination was essential and there are more diseases where this is the case. And that does not exempt the 14% group, they will optionally face complications down the time track.

When we see the numbers and the statistics on the impact of these diseases, the position of Elias Kass makes perfect sense as does the bill to remove philosophical objection. When we consider the associated press last week with: “Of the 63 cases confirmed in Clark County, 55 were not immunized against measles, immunization status couldn’t be verified for six cases, and two cases involved a child who had received only a single dose of the MMR vaccine“, we see a direct danger when we consider the impact as it was, when the measles get a revitalisation through stupidity, we need to take another look at the site, and we need to set the stage where we can hold Larry Cook, Kelly Galagher and Julianna Pearce financially accountable for the inflicted damage they catered for. In this case ‘freedom of speech’ should not apply, not when it endangers the lives of children; that needs to be a first. Larry might be standing there with a big smile, but he is not laughing. Another blog (at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/withoutacrystalball/2019/02/larry-cook-scared-his-financial-misdeeds-will-be-exposed/) gives us a few points. The piece refers to a piece with a journalist who took an investigation on the money trail. The blog gives us: “Cook told the group he knows the article will paint him in a very negative light. His assumption is probably accurate given his shady background of soliciting money from his followers“, whilst his open response (on that page) includes “She made it seem like it is illegal to earn money online in any way, shape or form” here we see the issue, as he is not denying that he was making money, yet is he an educated and graduated medical professional? He is allegedly making money on the backs of gullible people, in addition, it is a path that endangers the lives of children and that is where parents need to wake up and get the right information, from the right people, not some activist, not a blogger (me), but from a trained medical practitioner.

And the blog gives another part. With: “Two weeks ago Cook opened a new GoFundMe campaign titled “Save Vaccine Exemptions in the USA.” He started the campaign due to the growing pressure in Washington to stop personal exemptions for vaccines. Initially, he said the money would help the parents affected in the area, but he decided to change the fundraiser days later to support the ‘nation.’“, the setting of a changed formation of funding gathering is one that is debatable even under the most positive views.

And Facebook is facilitating this dangerous path; indeed, it is possible that Google facilitates this as well as most video’s use YouTube to get as wide an audience as possible.

We have to be in support of others at times, and when the debate on the actions are optionally endangering children, those who supported that path need to be put into the limelight and the world needs to be made aware that their efforts endangered the lives of children, it is the only way to get the truth out. This was never about some finger pointing at pharmaceutical industries, I know, because when I was inoculated (the first post WW2 generation) I saw the impact, I was almost never ever sick, I avoided the diseases that plagued some, but I remained healthy, and in those days pharmaceutical industries did not have political power, not to the degree they have today. Perhaps I was lucky, perhaps not. I only know that the child vaccinations were effective, when we see that the 50’s had 542.000 cases reported, and we now see that this number has been diminished to 0.1%, we see that the vaccination was a success and vaccination was essential to get there. To have a disease that covered 1% of the population and diminish it to 1 per 100,000, we know that vaccination was the only way to get there. The same for polio, where it once ruled the lives of half a million cases to a mere 22 reported cases in 2017, we need to see another side. As the anti-vaxx people are so intent on blaming greed driven pharmaceutical industries (not entirely unwarranted), we see that the inventor of the polio vaccine Jonas Salk did not make a penny out of it, he never patented it and gave the cure away, the act of something that would have made him richer than Bill Gates and Larry Ellison combined, his act instigated the option to truly eradicate a debilitating disease from this world.

And all this comes with a second side as well, can we allow for the freedom of speech to continue when it endangers the lives of children, more important, when a non-medical professional makes claims that pushes mothers to endanger the lives of their children, is it freedom of speech or would it optionally be negligent homicide?

 

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The Australian Catastrophic Colliding Canine

I tend to keep my eyes on Europe, mainly because what impacts the UK today will have an impact on Australia a week later; in addition to that, what happens in Japan today when it comes to consumer electronics and mobile events will get to Australia 3-5 years later. In that respect having a larger view on matters is essential to keep an eye on what could become an impact tomorrow.

Yesterday was different, with ‘Regulation needed to save Australian journalism from Facebook and Google, watchdog says‘ we see the impact for Australia now and to be honest, I can’t stop laughing at present. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/11/regulation-needed-to-curb-facebook-and-google-competition-watchdog-says)

When I read: “Rod Sims, said the digital platforms inquiry, which delivered its preliminary report in December, reveals that the market power enjoyed by the digital behemoths is weakening Australian media“, the giggles increase. Especially when we consider ‘the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news’, well we could consider that the Australian media is for the most not doing that either. For the most Australian media is weakening Australian media plain and simple. To name but a one issue, October 2012, I alerted the media to an issue impacting 30 million gamers within the commonwealth. I directly alerted Channel 7, Channel 9 and the Sydney Morning Herald; the all ignored it to the largest degree. There were clear screenshots on how the impact was given, yet the left it on the left of what was important. A change by Sony for their gaming community 3 weeks before the PS4 was released, they all (except for the Australian Guardian) ignored it for the most, and perhaps it was not news? What they (as I personally see it) intentionally ignored is that the Sony Terms of Service is a legally binding contract, the mention of a memo is merely a piece of paper that could be ignored the very next directors meeting. The press needed advertisement dollars and Sony is high on that list of needs, PlayStation 4 was big bucks, plain and simple. In addition there were debatable reviews of Microsoft for the period of two years and the least said about Apple the better, as I see it Australian Media is its own worst enemy. It is my personally view to size up global media as a collection of prostitutes with a priority towards the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers, the audience comes in 4th position at best. So when I see: “However, while taking the lion’s share of advertising revenue, the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news“, we need to wonder where Australian quality news is found. I will agree that this is found at SBS and ABC, but they are the two exceptions to all this.

When the British Daily Mail gives us on the 9th of February “Respected Channel 7 news reporter Emily Angwin (pictured) was said to be furious at a number of work emails questioning the integrity of the newsroom in Melbourne” is anyone actually surprised? Is it true? We cannot tell because in many ways most of the Australian media is no longer that reliable. And from my vantage point it becomes worse when we go to https://au.news.yahoo.com/. Here we see above the fold ‘Hero pitbull breaks out of home to find help for owner during gas leak‘, ‘Restaurant blames waitress for ‘incredibly racist’ receipt‘, and ‘‘Whoah!’ Man’s breath test returns ‘biologically impossible’ result‘. This is the kind of emotional reporting that gives news a bad name. Compare that to abc.net.au where we see: ‘Global drug trafficking operation run out of Villawood detention centre, phone taps reveal‘, ‘Missing persons expert slams investigation of young mother’s suspected homicide‘, as well as ‘Why the AWU wants to question Michaelia Cash in court over union raids‘. So one is clearly about news, the other is about creating emotional events. I let you decide which is which, and as we take notice of: “Given all this, it is also vital that media businesses are not disadvantaged through the exercise of market power or other mechanisms that make it difficult for them to compete on their merits” We see that the there is another case in dispute. The dispute is ‘media businesses‘ versus ‘journalism‘, so I hope that the ACCC realises that not only are they not the same, they are at present mere dimensions apart.

And questions need to be asked at the Channel 9 address as well. We can agree that the headlines are better than those of Channel 7 when we see: ‘Exclusive: Vampire Killer Tracey Wigginton’s disturbing new posts‘, ‘Man found with gunshot wound to his stomach in Melbourne’s north-west‘, as well as ‘Snorkeller found dead on sea floor off Mornington Peninsula‘, yet there too we have issues as every news item gives us headers and banners of advertisement. News is news and the main players have resorted to self-indulgence of advertising, reloading at every page. The journalism is merely second best at best.

It becomes a different puppy when we look at the mention “The financial viability of these businesses is also not assured as demonstrated by BuzzFeed and Vice recently announcing redundancies in Australia, as well as worldwide“, you see from my point of visibility, we see the Wikipage part (for mere illustration) where the visible information is: “Originally known for online quizzes, “listicles”, and pop culture articles, the company has grown into a global media and technology company, providing coverage on a variety of topics including politics, DIY, animals, and business.” Now, I have seen those buzzfeeds on my Facebook page and I decided not to give them any consideration (as a news source). Even as we now see (I was honestly not aware) “In late 2011, Buzzfeed hired Ben Smith of Politico as editor-in-chief, to expand the site into serious journalism, long-form journalism, and reportage.” We can accept and appreciate that Buzzfeed was taking a serious gander into journalism, yet when people are not aware (or another part of them has created more awareness), we get the impact of consideration versus awareness and non-awareness loses clicks, it is that simple, and the same applies for Australian sources. For the most, the only Australian sources I give consideration to are: ABC, SBS, the Guardian (Australian edition) and that is pretty much it; the rest is too often a waste of time. When we are serious about news, we go to the places where they offer it, not where they claim to offer it. That is how I personally see it and I use the Guardian as a source (as it is free) and I neglect the Times (most often) as I am not a paid subscriber and I feel it is money not greatly spend when I am, like most others on a budget, as such it is not money I have available to do that. It is an important factor as I am merely one of many that need to get by on a budget, that too impacts the news and the ACCC is a little ignorant on that part as well.

They might want to strike out at Google and Facebook. Yet Google News gives us ALL the headlines, from almost every source and that links to the local news articles. So when we see “The preliminary report recommended a powerful new authority to oversee the commercial activities of Google and Facebook” My question becomes ‘How is that going to make a difference?‘ In the end this is not about journalism, but about media and they are not the same, if the ACCC wants to make an actual impact, looking at the quality of journalism we will see that Australia will be left with the Guardian, ABC and SBS. When we were introduced to: “The Turnbull government has announced a funding freeze for the ABC but a boost for the Special Broadcasting Service“, whilst the boost is a mere $14.6 million over two years, when we realise that this all reads like a joke, how useless is the ACCC in all this and whilst we see the decimated pool of journalists, what are they doing (apart from wasting our time on something that the seemingly see as a waste of effort and budget), it is from my point of view a mere article on the foundation that reads: “Australian media is seen as irrelevant, we do not know what to do“, and it is shown against the likes of Facebook and Google, where we need to realise that they are also two different dimensions. Facebook is a mass advertisement channel, a channel that assumes that they know what their granular population wants through scripted likes and the scripted likes of the connections of that person, and Google shows the news in directions that the people searched in, or searched for. One is budget based, the other is user keywords based and the ACCC is seemingly in the dark on the fact that for the most people no longer see Australian media as relevant. That is shown a mere 34 seconds ago when I searched for “Channel 7 News” in the News tab, I was treated to: ‘Channel 7 presenter makes heartbreaking plea‘, ‘Ripped bodybuilder ends TV interview on a wild note‘, as well as ‘Caesarean birth to be broadcast live on Channel 7‘. As I see it, when it comes to visibility is seems to me that Channel 7 has a lot to learn as to the bidding on keywords as well as their methodology on how to properly position news, as well as their approach on how they want to present the ‘news’ (https://7plus.com.au/seven-news-sydney), for most people a 44 minute newscast is not the way to go (having one is still important for many though).

In the end, as I see it, the ACCC is up against the image of certain channels, their digital policies, as well as the approach they have towards news and advertisers. It is becoming less about journalism and merely about the positioning of media which is done tremendously below average. If you want to see how it should be done, watch The Guardian (UK) and BBC News (also UK), for those with language skills, the Dutch Volkskrant (at https://www.volkskrant.nl/), as well as The Swedish SVT (at https://www.svt.se/). As I personally see it Australian media has a lot to learn and that lacking part is not up to the ACCC, apart from them bashing the Australian media from drowning people in advertisements to a level that is just making them irrelevant. It is merely my point of view and I might be wrong, yet I personally do not think so. The foreign amount of visitors to the Guardian, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the French Le Monde (at https://www.lemonde.fr/) are indicative of my views.

So in all that, how are regulations going to solve anything in any near future?

 

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