Tag Archives: IOS

Gaming to get a degree

This is a state we should consider. We all have had our share of subjects that made us shiver in secondary school and college. Some ran away from these subjects, some cheated to pass these subjects and some dug in. I was the third group, but it was close. There was every chance I could have gotten into one of the other two teams.Yesterday as I was mulling things over I took a look at Law Empire Tycoon on my iPad. Things were happening in the back of my head but it was still a silent whisper. A second part was that I was rewatching the West Wing (I am now at season 3), and it took a little while for things to step into gear. The idea was forming in the back of my head, but it was a whisper, nothing more. Today the idea pretty much exploded in my mind. The game Law Empire Tycoon is an adjusted version of Bullfrogs Theme Hospital. It is not a copy, it is the same style, the same way (in many ways) but it is an original game. The graphics are new, the interface is similar but it has a few more sides to it and a few added complexities. It is an excellent game (as far as I can tell at present), like all games it does need some infusion of dollars, but not too much and even if you do not, you can still play the game, but a lot slower.

I wonder what happened if we turn this system around and make it an educational tool. Consider the White House, congress, US house of representatives and these are three games where the people learn, really learn more about their government. It can be the foundation for similar games in Canada, the UK and Australia. A game all set to teach about government. It will have a few sides and it will have a few questions left, right and centre. Yet it could be an idea and the makers of Law Empire Tycoon have a larger setting ready, so are they the ones creating an educational game that teaches the people parts and sides of their government. It is merely an idea, yet will it work? I am not certain, but it is an option to consider, especially when the student (gamer) gets the lowdown and learns in a way books seemingly are not doing it to way too many people. 

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As questions rise

The BBC gave us the rundown late yesterday (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58540936) where we are given ‘Apple rushes to block ‘zero-click’ iPhone spyware’. A setting that comes at times and this is not against Apple, yet the article left me with questions. I get that there is initial finger pointing, as such pointing to the best in the field makes perfect sense to me and it is done with “it had high confidence that the Israeli hacker-for-hire firm, NSO Group, was behind that attack”, I do admit that the term ‘hacker-for-hire’ will be one that requires more precise explaining. Bill Marczak from the University of Toronto’s Citizen which first highlighted the issue gives us “we previously found evidence of zero-click spyware, but “this is the first one where the exploit has been captured so we can find out how it works,”” and this got me thinking. 

Where is the timeline? With what version of iOS does it start? Version 14, version 14.5, version 13? So how long was this in play? It is not the fault of the BBC and it is the first issue.

We then get “the security issue was exploited to plant spyware on a Saudi activist’s iPhone”, so how many activists are monitored? When was the transgression detected? How was the transgression detected? At least two of these questions require investigation and the BBC did not go there. We can argue whether they were required to do so. 

So whilst we are lulled to sleep with “Security experts have said that although the discovery is significant, most users of Apple devices should not be overly concerned as such attacks are usually highly targeted” which could be an absolute truth, we see the setting that Apple is protected. So why was the weakness there in the first place? The answer might be extremely valid, no system is truly secure, we have seen that for a long time. Yet in the moments where I saw this article I phrased a few questions that I have not seen anywhere else (as far as I could tell). And of all the people who could be infected, we get the mention of ‘Saudi activist’? The article was set to certain measures and without proper and a clear explanation there is every chance that additional questions will be asked from the University of Toronto as well. This is not against them and I have nothing against Bill Marczak (I do not know anything about him), but the stage was set in a few measures and that makes for a worrisome setting. A BBC article absent of a few facts and the insertion of a few innuendo’s. All whilst there optionally might be questions from the NSO Group. A stage where we see a setting where (in my personal opinion) someone was standing of the axial of a seesaw to keep the almost in balance. And as the NSO Group, Saudi Arabia and Apple where alternating on the seesaw, the man in the middle offset the balance by just enough to make is wonder, to make us lay blame. Yet all that happened with several facts missing and the smallest mention of “continue to provide intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world with life-saving technologies to fight terror and crime”.

We all need to do what we need to do, yet I wonder if the BBC (and Reuters) did enough here.

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The Lawyer wins, the law loses

Yes, it is a stage that we will be seeing soon enough. As the lawyer wins, the law loses and tht is just the beginning. As we see ‘Apple loses appeal in Fortnite court battle’ (source: Australian Financial Review) there is a secondary stage that comes up. It is not immediately clear, but someone gave the reader by Jeff Dotzler in GC Consulting in 2019 ‘Will You Get Sued if Your Business is Hacked?’ There we see “Even though the company was able to restore the records, one of the affected clients, Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics in Boynton Beach, sued Allscripts in federal court. Surfside accused Allscripts of not doing enough to prevent the attack or lessen its impact and sued on behalf of all affected clients for “significant business interruption and disruption and lost revenues.”” Now consider that ‘significant business interruption’ can be replaced with ‘game score disruption’, a stage I saw coming a mile away. Epic Games did not  consider the stupidity of their actions and now, should they win they will soon face several, if not well over a dozen class cases. They cannot make some ‘we are not responsible draft’, the moment ANYONE at Google or Apple squeals the setting of the hack and it comes with the accompanied ‘We could have prevented that’ Epic Games is lost, it will cost them billions in settlements and lawyer costs. If you doubt that, consider ‘SolarWinds says unknown hackers exploited newly discovered software flaw’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/solarwinds-says-unknown-hackers-exploited-newly-discovered-software-flaw-2021-07-12/), so they just got out of one mess only to land in a new one and these people have a decently simple system, Epic Games will have to spend on protection that is several levels higher and I feel decently certain that it is not enough. The moment any profile is transgressed on whilst there was a purchase, that is the game, loss Epic Games and loose they will, a lot. 

Even as we are told “SolarWinds said the flaw was “completely unrelated” to last year’s hack of government networks”, it will not matter, another flaw is found and there is every chance that more than one will still be found. In this Forbes gives us ‘Why SolarWinds Is The Wakeup Call No One Heard’, it comes with “everyone talks a good game, but the very structure of American (and other businesses around the globe) makes it nearly impossible to, for example, deliberately and significantly reduce EBITDA to prepare for cyber warfare” and when you consider that EBITDA is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation. You see the problem, it is not all, it is earnings before interest and depreciation that bites, earnings before interest is all earnings with cost diminishing this and too many corporate players tend to cut cost. In some cases they have no choice in the cloud a lot does not matter but it is transgressed on (according to some numbers) for almost 90%. And when you add that Amortisation is merely anther view of  depreciation the path is clear. Steve Andriole also gives us “The number of severity of cyberattacks will explode in 2020.  Cyberwarfare has now levelled the playing field in industry, in government, and in national defence:  why spend ten or fifteen billion dollars on an aircraft carrier when you can disable it digitally?” You think that this is about defence? Do you have any idea what 50 million whining gamers can do? EVERY ransomware player will target Epic Games and with an open Android and iOS setting they will succeed. I saw this when this all started in 2020 within 5 minutes, the short sightedness will hit Epic Games and others in a few ways. Think I am BS’ing you?  Consider that several sources gave you a month ago “Hackers Stole 780GB Data Including FIFA 21 Source Code in EA Hack” and EA has been in this game a lot longer than Epic Games has been. That is not evidence, but it is a setting that we need to consider and when Epic Games loses that data the class actions start, and it is not something that they can keep quiet (apart from that being a crime), the people will talk and the parties involved, including government parties will find a nice letter making claim to financial losses. The law source (see above) also gives us a link to the Ohio Data Protection Act. There we see “Under the law, damages cannot be imposed if a state court finds your company had a reasonable cybersecurity plan when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability. Or, as the legislation puts it, the law is “an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.”” In this I offer ‘reasonable cybersecurity plan’, was it followed through? Was there a backup if it fails, was there consideration for cross platform transgressions? In this last part I offer to the older programmers 

IF(clipper)
  
ELSE

   …
ENDIF

Those who know will nod and consider what else Epic Games and others have forgotten, what happens when someone exploits a Sony flaw over the entire system, and at that point these companies have little to no protection. 

Which gets us to ‘when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability’, but the suing side will argue that the breach could have been prevented on day zero, or even day -1, which will be their way of saying that they opened the system when they were not ready and that is another billion in class actions right there, and I agree with the stage that there will be enough cases that have no bering (just like the loot box cases in the media), yet Epic Games will have to hand to their lawyers to investigate them all, the hours alone will rake up millions and that is merely year one. The lawyer wins his bread and butter for a year (at the very least) and the law is up the creek without a clause. The law was never ready for this, so the going will be good towards the coffers of Epic Games, a looting box that requires time, not money. 

So when we go back to Forbes and consider “When I took the results to the CFO (to which technology weirdly reported), his only question was, “what’s all this going to cost me?,” which of course was the wrong question.” We see there setting, but I wonder who gave that same question to the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) with the question ‘What will this cost the firm?’, a question that he can decently predict when he considers 1-5 class actions and that result has to be scary and any consideration of future profit goes straight out of the window, not merely the legal costs, marketing will have to offer a whole range of products and services to stem the tide of people leaving for the next safer harbour, the most dangerous of all settings, and that is merely the beginning of year one as Android and iOS stores open. Forbes also gives a reference to Andy Greenberg (Wired Magazine, 2019) said about why governments have been unwilling to deal with cyberthreats: “More fundamentally, governments haven’t been willing to sign on to cyberwar limitation agreements because they don’t want to limit their own freedom to launch cyberattacks at their enemies.  America may be vulnerable to crippling cyberattacks carried out by its foes, but US leaders are still hesitant to hamstring America’s own NSA and Cyber Command, who are likely the most talented and well-resourced hackers in the world.” And this is not a government setting, Epic Games will be hit be greed driven and vengeance driven hackers as well as organised crime, a %5 billion company? With the state of cybercrime convictions? They are definitely on board. A stage Epic Games could have prevented from the start, but someone saw 30% of $5,000,000,000 and did the math, but whoever did the math was not ready for the tidal wave they would be inviting through that choice. In this, Forbes had one more gem, it comes from Nicole Penroth and ‘The hubris of American exceptionalism’, when we see “More hacking, more offence, not better defence, was our answer to an increasingly virtual world order, even as we made ourselves more vulnerable, hooking up water treatment facilities, railways, thermostats and insulin pumps to the web, at a rate of 127 new devices per second”, now consider that Fortnite is on Windows, MacOS, Switch, Sony, Microsoft, iOS and Android, they drew more than 125 million players in less than a year, do you think that there will be no flaws? And how many devices a second will that add to the equation? Do you have any clue what level of protection is required, even as Sony, Solarwinds, Nintendo and Microsoft have all been hacked even though they had nowhere near that level of complexity required. This was a dangerous situation from the start and gamers will soon have to seriously consider to remove any program that has an ‘open’ store, the cost will be too high for a lot of them. 

And that is not all, as Nicole spoke about ‘an increasingly virtual world’ the danger that open stores will mean that you either have a dedicated computer, or healthcare and safety products will not be considered to be insured in your house, when that happens we get a whole new level of nightmare, I can only imagine that setting, but I am clueless as to the impact, we cannot oversee that, not with an evolving IoT and 5G evolving before our very eyes.

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Thought for imagination

Consider the next setting, I am in the Harrods foodcourt, I feel the meat-pie as my right hand caresses the side pf the pie, I see two small basins of ketchup, I grab the knife in my left hand as I slowly use the sharp knife to cut a part of the left side of the pie. I cut through the pastry and the what I think is minced meat. It looks a little dry, but the overwhelming scent of fresh and warm meat enters my nostrils. I add a small bit of ketchup to the pie. The slice is cut in half and I slowly eat the part on my fork. My senses overwhelm with the spices in the meat, the pastry and it does not taste dry, it is an amazing experience and this is merely the first bite.

All what you saw before is true, all came from my imagination. You see I have had meat pie in the past and I envision what might be the perfect meat pie. I have been to harrods twice, but I never set foot in the food courts. Not for any particulate reason, I just never got around to it. I hope to do so in the future, but that will be part of the future that I see, or it might never happen. This is life. So what was this about?

The train of thoughts started a little while ago and that train entered the station again when I stumbled upon same article today ‘Netflix reportedly plans push into video games market’ by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jun/02/netflix-reportedly-plans-push-video-games-market). The thing that got to me was “Streaming company said to have approached game industry executives with project at early stage”, one could argue that they kill their own project by approaching Ubisoft, Ubisoft has another setting of needs and their product is what I personally would call ‘faulty at best’. Yet it is not all bad news “Netflix has been approaching senior game industry executives about joining it to lead the creation of a subscription games service, according to reports from the tech news site the Information and Reuters”, is the right sentiment, but as I see it, the safest route is to take the route Apple is seemingly taking. Games absent of in app purchases and absent of advertisements. These two elements will spell a much larger stage of doom on the industry than you know. Places like Android and iOS are now filled with phrases like “These ads are driving me insane, every level again”, and it will not be long until people have had enough. Then there is the stage of deceptive conduct in advertisements, a decently new approach to getting people to install your software. But these two elements will have a disastrous impact on gaming soon enough, and it will hit Apple as much as it will hit Google. Then there is the competition, Amazon did a lot better than I expected it would. I (personally minded) thought that it would be an easy win for Google, a tech maker if ever these was one. And it is ahead of Amazon, but I never expected Amazon to be this close to Google in the first place, as such the Amazon Luna remains in the race and there is an element that might not make Google the winner in the end. Google’s approach to exclusive games is not that impressive (as far as I can tell, they have none), Amazon Luna has acquired the knowledge it needs to make that difference. And the article repeats my thoughts towards gaming, with “However, the new offering is at a very early stage, with executives focusing on Apple Arcade as the potential competition. Users of that service, exclusive to Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and AppleTV, pay a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for access to a library of downloadable games, spanning genres and target audiences. Apple sets strict rules on developers, banning them from monetising their games through in-app purchases or advertising, in order to try to keep Arcade a premium service” is the right move, but they made one mistake, a big one, there is no mention of the Amazon Luna and the Luna is in a primed spot to become the number three system behind Sony and Nintendo (yes, I have written off Microsoft to remain a competitor), so even as Netflix has the advantage of a subscription group that makes the head spin of all streaming gaming solutions, good games is where it is at, innovators and makers of original creators that is the winning combo and Netflix (might or might not) move into a field where it is not certain it will become the third position player, or what they classify in the Tour de France, the polka dot player. On the plus side (from my point of view) it will soon thereafter reduce Microsoft to the 6th position, behind Sony, Nintendo, Amazon, Netflix and Google. So as I see it, their investment $7,500,000,000 investment in Bethesda goes tits up and Bethesda is not to blame, the board of directors at Microsoft is. 

I remain a Sony person, hence my Playstation remains on its pedestal, I would say right next of the shrine of Panigale, a Ducati shrine where the executives of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati come to pray for inspiration, OK, there is no Panigale there, because I could never afford one and I am not a racer, but engineering perfection can be recognised by plenty of people, so there! Yet the stage is given, inspiration comes from excellence in creativity and that is what a good gaming provider offers. I wonder if Netflix is considering what they need to do to get there. Microsoft merely bought the IP out there hoping it would thrust them there, but they had too much against them, like the most powerful console in the world that has nothing to offer (at present). They might in the future, but with all the bad decisions haunting them, all whilst Amazon is already on the run towards an upcoming third position, they might not be in time to make a real difference anymore. All this whilst they are trying to bash xCloud streaming everywhere. They become their own worst enemy and when it happens, the people will not trust Microsoft, I see elements of that everywhere and they, what I personal regard as a push towards whatever influencer they can muster is more than a bad call. 

Microsoft (as I personally see it) forgot that good games come from the mix of imagination and creation, they used to know that, yet it seems that they forgot, I have no idea why, the wrong board member, the sentiment of revenue over substance, it could be a boatload of things, but there you have it. And Netflix? 

Well the article gives us the important stage “One key decision that has not yet been finalised is whether a game subscription service would also require Netflix to develop games itself. Apple Arcade is filled entirely by third-party developers, but other gaming subscriptions rely on first-party exclusives to drive signups.” They are hitting the nail on the head, it is the exclusives, Microsoft forgot, Google never embraced and that is the stage why Amazon Luna is in a good place, Netflix could be too. One of these two needs to get these 2-3 exclusives that no one thought about that they are locked into third position and in an industry that is about to have a relevance of 90.7 billion, with a stage that has an annual increase of 24%, it matters, the difference between third and fourth position implies the stage representing several billions, when you consider that good AAA games cost (according to some) $500,000,000 to make, but that result in a God of War with a 97% rating, it is the price of an original masterpiece and it sold over 10,000,000 copies, implying that the game close to a billion. In streaming land, that setting will be a nail driver, 2-3 games like that and people will jump on that bandwagon a lot faster than you think. So as Microsoft gave us (via sources) that they will build native games for the cloud, why would anyone buy one of those overly stated powerful Xbox’s? And in that stage, would you trust a provider who dropped the ball three times in a row to provide you with original games, all whilst they bought the talents and are trying to grow through that premise? So far Netflix might make it, but as far as I can tell, Amazon Luna is most likely primed to get there at present.

And that too will set the indie developers off into a direction, where they end up I cannot tell (it will be their choice), but there are a few indicators that it will not be in a direction Microsoft will like. As I see it, outsourcing gets you a labour force, hiring creation and imagination grants you a universe of opportunity. I will let you work out the rest.

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When perception is the brand

Yes, this sounds confusing, but it actually is not. It started with a simple article on the BBC, the article ‘Chloe Khan and Jodie Marsh rapped by watchdog’ caught me by surprise. The idea was given to me “The Advertising Standards Authority has named and shamed four influencers it said repeatedly failed to disclose when their Instagram posts were actually advertisements”, now I do not are about influencers, I tend to stay away from them and I do not use instagram. But the people that do follow these influencer tend to do so for very specific reasons. It comes to blows (to coin a phrase) when we compare this to Twitter. So when we see these two tweets, we do see the ‘promoted’ mention at the VERY bottom and these pages go towards photo’s and text surrounded by massive amounts of advertisement, some of these providers will try to get one photo per page with a next mention and the next page will show you even more advertisements. So is this not deceptive? What is the setting of the Advertising Standards Authority at that point? Is the creation of what I call ‘click bitches’ not deceptive? This has been going on for years, the in game advertisements on Android, and iOS devices have all kinds of deceptions, what have they achieved there? 

And now we get to the first part, when is perception the brand. What is the perception? Are the tweets safe? Is the word ‘promoted’ enough? When we look at “Promoted Tweets are ideal when you want to increase your Twitter audience reach and engagement. When you have a big announcement, a new blog post, a marketing campaign, or an upcoming event you’d like to reach more people than you would organically, Promoted Tweets is the better strategy. This is because your Promoted Tweets will appear in users’ live feeds and search results” we see and accept that, yet when we see promotion emphasised by large breasts, is it advertisement, or deceptive conduct? Some people might not be able to tell the difference, and I believe that it becomes more and more about the ambiguity of perception. So, as such is the ‘shaming of people like Chloe Khan and Jodie Marsh warranted? As the Advertising Standards Authority is failing people, millions of people on Twitter, on iOS and Android games, is going after smaller players not merely hypocritical? As such, is the advertisement of 23 camping pictures deceptive? Perhaps the overload of advertisements is merely a side effect? As such, does the inability to act against Twitter, Facebook and Mobiles games not merely make the act against the influencers slightly overkill? And all this is before we take notice of “The ASA was responding to the #filterdrop campaign that called for it to be compulsory for influencers to state when they use a beauty filter to promote skincare or cosmetics”, this is what magazines have been doing for years, where was the Advertising Standards Authority then? 

It all takes another turn when we take a look at the freedom of speech, this is shown in the last tweet. 

First of all, the person gives the names and they are seemingly correct, but it is “Given that anti-rationality, anti civil rights (anti-woke) channel GB News is losing major advertisers already, due to the crap they are peddling, suggest some alternative advertisers” that makes me wonder. You see filtered information is handed to us by the bulk of the news channels. The evasion of news regarding Houthi missile and drone attacks against Saudi civilian targets is the most visible one, but not the only one. If the left filters to the left, is the right not allowed to filter to the right? And so far I saw three GB news articles on Youtube there was a view I might not agree with, but should they be attacked as such? So when we are given “I’m excited to tackle difficult subjects with voices you haven’t heard before”, so what is the problem here? And GB News matters, you see perception comes in two sizes, the perception we see and detect and the one that sneaks up unnoticed, but they are both filter forms that aid the perception that the transmitter wants to give us, so where these advertisers leaving through peer pressure, or is there a case of actual evidence? Consider that Andrew Neil has been working as a journalist since 1973, meaning he optionally has more experience than the sum of some news channel cast members. In addition, when we see “due to the crap they are peddling”, do you think that other breakfast TV shows are not peddling crap? Is one side better than the other? No, I do not think so, but there is a chance that if both exist I might get a decent balanced central view. In the end this is not merely about the news, you see if it was about the news, people would simply not watch it and if no one watches it the channel dies, but there is a larger need, the need for advertisers and there is the crux, saturation demands that advertisers choose where they are and they are wherever the masses are, the Express gives us “Despite the complaints from some viewers regarding the sound, the show pulled in thousands of viewers as according to BARB data, 164,500 people tuned in to watch between 7pm and 11pm on Sunday night”, which accompanies ‘Launch show beats BBC and Sky despite ‘technical difficulties’’ and that would scare any news channel, the fact that there might be a market for GB News and that is where these advertisers are soon to be, where do I get the best reach? It is a business decision and that decision is what other media fear, Fox grew to greatness and the news channels are scared of that, and whilst they TOO adhere to shareholders, stake holders and advertisers. The bulk of the advertisers can only afford one place, not all places and that is the fear of filtered information. The news is too much on shareholders and stake holders, all whilst the advertisers play (at times) a dubious role in this setup. Am I a fan of GB News? I do not know, I have not been able to make up my mind yet. I get it, a 24 hour channel needs it human interest stories, but when I see news of a cremated cat, I wonder who will cover the Yemen events. Consider that the BBC gave us on the 8th of March “The UN says the war has caused created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and caused an estimated 233,000 deaths”, yet the UN gave us on December 1st 2020 “UN humanitarian office puts Yemen war dead at 233,000”, so do you think that in 4 months in slaughterhouse Yemen ZERO deaths occurred over a period of 4 months, or is someone not doing their job? And when we realise the answer to that, do you really think I give a toss on the premise of a cremated cat from either GB News, Fox News, CNN, BBC, Channel 7, Channel 9, Sky News, ITV, CNN, Euronews, or CNBC? You have got to be joking. Does it make GB News bad, lousy or useless? No, but they are slightly to the right and the left does not tolerate any channel on that side of the aisle, they thought that Fox News was enough, but if Andrew Neil gets his way, the European channels will get nervous soon enough and no matter what the advertisers do, when someone bails ship others will try to get a slightly sweeter deal, when that comes out GB News will get its share of advertisers, I have no doubt, what remains is the perception created and it takes a little more time to see how GB News will fare and how the people will perceive it.

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A repetitive bashing

Yup, I will admit this upfront, that what I am writing is a little repetitive, yet when I stated it initially we were before the Bafta nominations and we were before the actual winners, now that they are out, the repetition sets in. 

So as we took notice of those who made it and those who did not, let’s be sure that being nominated is already a huge step forward, yet there can only be one winner, or in this case two. 

So when we see Nintendo with its switch and we see the wins that Hades and Animal Crossing New Horizons, we see groundbreaking moments in more than one way, Hades where dying is part of life and part of the game, which is a first, then there is the addictive Animal Crossing (I know, as I am as hooked to this just like the other 19,999,999 players), two games taking home multiple awards, yet that was not enough, Sony was there too, taking trophies for the Last of Us part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Sackboy and Spiderman: Miles Morales. All great games, all getting awarded and in some cases Nintendo and Sony were vying for the same title, the moral of this story, Microsoft might buy all the talent (that $8.5B invoice) but in the end the story and originality are everything and the games that the two houses brought did just that. Microsoft (Rare Studios actually) had one win with Sea of Thieves and Ubisoft was absent, my predictions are in part seen in the Bafta’s as they are massively absent, it is the consequences of not comprehending your audience. My advice to Ubisoft? If you try to make a game that should appeal to all, you end up with a game that pleases none. It is a flaw they have shown again and again, yet I must also allow for a part that is not of my liking, it is Rainbow Six, it is not my cup of tea, but for those who do like it, they are raving, as such I was expecting to see them show up, because fair is fair, they have poured a lot of talent into a game that is showing appeal to millions, as such I was a little surprised. 

Another prediction I made was the fact that indie developers would become more and more important and Supergiant Games showed that, it took home 4 bafta’s, a company with 20 people took the limelight away from a multi billion company named Ubisoft, that has got to hurt. And as the media is all about the impact of lockdowns, they better realise that these games were there, lockdown or not, the games were about fun and in that regards both delivered, it seems essential that some of the players start to realise that small lesson, the fact that I (over a few articles) set the stage of a unique RPG game should tell these people that their time is up, they tried and failed (and now these software houses are dying), it matters because I never wanted Ubisoft to go under, I needed them to make gams better, because good games is what we all want, yet last week we were given ‘Ubisoft removes some new Assassin’s Creed Valhalla quests and decorations to address crashing issues’, we are till seeing these things all whilst the game was released on 10 November 2020, a week early because they were ready, well we know how that is ending, do we not? And as we contemplate “Based on the latest financial disclosure, UBISOFT ENTERTAIN has a Probability Of Bankruptcy of 36.0%, significantly higher than that of the Electronic Gaming & Multimedia industry” (source: microaxis.com), as such a software house that was nowhere near collapse is now regarded as a lace where their downfall is almost one in three, a stage that they did themselves, but I am not happy, like any other junk I hope for another AC Origins, another Far Cry 3 and I loved Watchdogs: Legion. But I also warned all last year that their next two products better be beyond good and Watchdogs: Legion was, the other (AC game) was not, so as we are treated to ‘Try Ubisoft+ for a week for free’ might be the last attempt by their marketing to stop the flow going somewhere else, but I think it might be too late, if they had a massive great announcement during the Bafta’s, there was a small chance, but when we see special forces comment on Breakpoint on Youtube to the degree I saw, they better realise that the gig is up. They had good game and then they got lazy (optionally Rainbow Six and For Honor excluding), not my kind of games, but I want to make sure that the truth as I see it is given to you as complete as possible. And as we see that subscription services are getting more and more sides, we might realise that Ubisoft is one of many and they are not in a good place at present. 

A stage they could have prevented years ago, if only they had listened to their gamers, things would be different, very very different. Together with Microsoft they are pushing gamers somewhere else and that I still important, You see, Sony is now great, but they became great because the competition was fierce and Microsoft forced them to become good, the gap between Sony and Nintendo is too large making me worry about the PS6 (a extreme future view), in addition, Ubisoft forced both to keep their game high and indie developers are less likely to do this as they often are set to a specific system (example Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch Productions, Guerrilla games, Santa Monica Studio), and I do not mind, but when there is no competition, the high enders tend to get lazy as well, not the software houses, they are competing with each other. 

I still fear a lull in Sony because Microsoft consoles might fall away in 2022/2023, that part is seen as they are more and more promoting streaming gaming on your mobile, it seems that they are trying to get their streaming solution on PC, Android, iOS and other places (not on my system they will), and in all this other sources give me an implied state that sales of Xbox to PS5 is 1:2 moving towards 1:2.5, so I have reasons to doubt the existence of a Microsoft console in 2023, all because (my personal speculation) because the makers were asleep at the wheel from 2012 onwards, all the pushy games they played with their always online whilst that adjustment should have been fixed no later than 2014, that is now 7 years ago. They lost the field and I am actually not that happy, because it optionally takes the fire away from Sony in the longer run. Yet for now, all we can do is be happy for the Bafta Winners and enjoy the games they made, I am still missing Sackboy, but I have all the rest, so I am good for now and as I am replaying God of War in easy mode, so I can focus on exploration and the story this time around, that is besides the amazing views the game gives and lets not forget that this game is almost 3 years old. As such, I end this article hoping you all have a great day and I hope you will enjoy a game or two on whatever system you prefer. 

Have a great weekend!

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Science in art, deception through science

Just as I got past the first female night-horse (read: nightmare) I got into another one. I am not sure why, but for some reason it matters, in this there is a CIA wet work operative played by Graham McTavish, there is a spotter with him, he minds the listening system. They are watching a man seemingly talking to himself, but it is too much of a one sided conversation, the sniper (McTavish) changes the scope to thermal, now he sees a shimmer, one he had seen before, it was digital cloaking. He signals the spotter, who starts changing the dials on a small box and after several seconds he nods, he listens. He says ‘the other person is whispering Greek’, and he listens, they are looking at an almost surreal setting, it is almost 30 seconds until the spotter states ‘I cannot be here’ McTavish looks around, the man is absolutely pale with fear “I cannot be here” he states again, puts his sidearms in his mouth and pulls the trigger. The sniper gets out fast, they were both using suppressors, as such there was too little sound to set the alarm off. He grabs all the gear and he gets out as quickly a possible, all whilst sending the alert signal.

The scene was weird, I do not remember seeing it on TV or in the movies, but it got me thinking on communication, and soon thereafter encryption, do not ask why, I have no idea, but the slithers of one, connected to the idea of another. To show this here is an image

As you can see, it is in foundation a sudoku setting, an 81 figure number (nine times nine), yet the stage is to some degree predictable, every number used once, per square and no number the same in a row or column, even as there are only nine combinations, there is a larger stage for encryption systems to work on, but what if we look at killer sudoku?

As you see in the image, the stage becomes a little different, we get a combination of puzzles and it is that combination that could give reality to a new encryption method. A stage where the sudoku itself is merely part of the puzzle, it is the other part that gets us the encryption. Is it a 2H box, a 2V box and so on, but in that stage it becomes a lot harder to figure out the numbers. The shapes can be anything, a letter, numbers, any combination. The numbers are numbers but there are ways to encrypting that too, and as every level is larger the computer undoing the cypher will take more and more time, all whilst there is an optional setting to reset that setting, a solution in apps that makes any high end encrypted system a much larger option for diplomatic staff to keep encrypted data with them, without them knowing what they are carrying, or anyone for that matter. If they are not part of it, they are merely the vessel that the channel carries.

Or in humorous terms (an ode to Danny Kaye) “The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!”, as such the issue is not the servant, that person has no idea what they are carrying, a new stage where 2-3 apps set a larger stage and with the security out of the way (thanks to Microsoft and Epic) anyone can be a courier. Yes, when you (optionally) saw ‘Microsoft sides with Epic in its fight with Apple, promises a more open MS Store’ with the text “Microsoft filed a declaration in support of Epic’s request for an injunction against Apple’s plan to remove its access to iOS development tools. The company said in the filing that the Unreal Engine is “critical technology for numerous game creators,” and that taking away Epic’s ability to support it on iOS and MacOS devices “will harm game creators and gamers.”” Most people do not see the larger picture, all this was merely a way for Epic to shun its duties, duties that allow smaller players to avoid larger costs, yet once greed sets in there is a larger stage and they paved the way for organised crime to take much larger steps for people to be tempted to quick cash only to learn at a much larger stage that they became mules. It is that stage that also allows for a new encryption systems, with people having 1-2 apps, that the person with the third app will be able to capture what they need, sometimes it will be with the persons consent, but not always, and that is where we are at. The rich taking what they want and not wanting to be held responsible, no matter what damage they are at the head of, what a world we live in, it seems that my nightmares are a much more pleasant place to be soon enough.

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Tik..Tik..Tik..

Yes, the news is here, the news is also largely ignored, but it gives us that there is a clock in motion, a countdown if you will. It starts off with Notebook Check who gives us 15 hours ago (at https://www.notebookcheck.net/Huawei-is-expected-to-bring-HarmonyOS-to-up-48-devices.504072.0.html) ‘Huawei is expected to bring HarmonyOS to up 48 devices’, which might seem trivial, and to some considering what is out there is, yet they all forget that Android and iOS have never had any competitor, so this is a first and Germany is smack in the middle of it. So the German time makers might say ‘tik tik tik? Ve have vays to make you Tok!’ And after this pun there is one little bit where we see ‘Huawei will have ten per cent of German smartphone market’, which is a little over a week old, but it is merely support to ‘China is close to ‘world domination’ and Europe must wake up to the danger, German spy chief says’, to this (slightly less diplomatic) I would say “Yes, you stupid idiot, if you weren’t asleep at the wheel taking viagra 24:7, you might have a working pencil! And written acts of needs when it counted”, so you might think this is out of bounds, but it is not. When we consider “Beijing was ‘very cleverly’ spreading its influence across Europe, Asia and Africa – warning that its technology is now so advanced that Germany cannot tell if it is being used for sinister purposes”, so as Gerhard Schindler (no relation to Oskar) is giving us ‘its technology is now so advanced that Germany cannot tell if it is being used for sinister purpose’, we see the first truth, technology in the EU (and the US) is massively behind Huawei and Chinese IP as well. This is a stage I saw coming well over a year ago, optionally two, the stage was that clear already at that stage, and the administrations didn’t set their technology departments in gear like they should, now they are 2-5 years behind, in the stage where 5G is starting, the technology masters of the west are coming up short by a lot. So whilst some give us ‘German defence minister takes hard-line stance on Huawei’, I merely wonder what he will take a hard-line stance with, he has been made technologically inferior in more than one way. And whilst we are remembered for “Australia banned Huawei and ZTE from its fifth-generation wireless technology infrastructure in 2018, citing the likelihood that they would “be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took up that refrain in 2019, warning European allies that any partnership with Huawei could jeopardise U.S. military cooperation with their countries”, yes a collection of brown noses giving Pompeo what he wants and now he has nothing left. Whilst the US was screwing about with options they never had (only really large debts), Huawei took the low road and satisfied the user settings, now that the high road is still missing they are all squandering in the blame game whilst the infrastructure is missing and will be for the next 2 years in far too many places. 

Huawei took a massive hit, but the waiting game is almost over, the people making vast claims, showing no evidence are coming up short and in election years they better start typing their resume and give the crap they created to the next person who needs to make it work, good luck with the notion.

So whilst the mobile gamers take notice of “The Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ and Mate 40 RS Porsche have flash memory that bears the HiSilicon logo, which indicates that it was created by a division of Huawei. Not only that, but it is incredibly fast. Based on the results of measuring the homegrown Huawei SFS 1.0 flash module, it was possible to establish that it provides almost a twofold increase in the speed of operation in comparison with the UFS 3.1 flash memory. According to reports, the sequential write speed was 1280 MB/s, and random 548 MB/s”, it might not be the best in the business, but it is as close as you can get and more important, it is a lot cheaper, how many people with gaming needs and wealth do you know? And all this is hitting the consumers when Microsoft is releasing its Cloud to game on any mobile. Are we catching on yet? 

So in this stage we might go left, we might go right, but a large group will choose Huawei, in a stage where HarmonyOS (if it) satisfies, the larger rocks will fall and Huawei is setting the needs of the next generation. All issues that have been out in the open for two years, as such the lame excuse that ‘Germany cannot tell if it is being used for sinister purpose’ is a clear wash. A setting stage where those sucking the trombone of President Trump will need to wash their hands from any connection to the stupidity that they preached, as such The players are out in the open and calling them on their stupidity is making me warm and fuzzy, how about you?

As such we have a station where a collection of devices (I actually do not know how many) will be up to twice as fast where it matters, and you thought this was about something trivial?

100% more speed and power at 60-80% of the cost implies that Google and Apple will be getting massive hits in the beginning of 2021, and if HarmonyOS catches on, Google will have a much larger problem for a much longer time. If it is about data Google will lose a lot, if it is about branding Google will lose a little, yet Huawei will gain a lot on the global stage and Apple? Apple can only lose to some extent, there is no way that they break even. 

A stage ignored is a stage lost. I wonder if I got that from Sun Tsu, von Clausewitz or Machiavelli. It does not really matter who taught me, Sundar Pichai will feel that lesson, as will Tim Cook. I see no other options in this case, it is the setting after this that ill matter and the technology groups will have to work hard merely to keep up (for close to 3 years) that is the cost of falling asleep at the wheels of industry. Boy do I feel happy, jumpy and giggly with my IP, such is life and pounding on stupid people has its own internal reward I say!

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Outdated?

When you stop being a teenager you think that you are on top of the world, that is for about a decade, some have kids, some do not, but the you hit category three (old fart), you tend to feel outdated. This gets me to a comedian who had the setting (40 years ago) that there were three categories. Teener, Twenny, Old fart. Perhaps he was right. 

So here I am looking towards the options of data vaults, and personally I find them lacking. They are all seemingly founded on a population that hides the porn from partners and spouses. 

The problem is that there are specific needs to hide files (JPG, PPT, XLS, MOV, MP4, DOC, PDF, RTF, TXT), yes some want to keep the natural pictures of partners and spouses when she was 21-24, and even a decade or two ahead, she still has the ability to make you horny. Yet there is another person. They get horny on the dollar amount that patents represent, and in this age where 70% of clouds are invaded, this stage where data in transit is no longer safe, the need to set a secure location, with an optional link to a tablet is becoming essential. You see, those who have the IP trust no one, none at all. Having a secure application on one station, and that being the ONLY place where they can link is a setting that will grow pretty much exponentially soon enough.

So whilst I was trying to find a secondary place to keep the files, I see that the apple store caries failure after failure, and that is when you auto-delete anything that has an annual fee. A dozen data vaults, al copying the same idea, all seeing the stage to files being safe in open space. Yeah right!

But it dawned on me that there is a lack in services available. And this station is not one that I can do, merely because I am not a programmer, what is making me wonder is why programmers could not come up with this by themselves. To be honest, the app F-Vault is close to perfect, if they add the iPad app and link the two and also have players (PPT, PDF, DOC, RTF) in there it would become a pretty picture.

Yet the idea that everything has to go via your iTunes, your Apple TV and so on is weird. There is every chance that data will be copied to other places and that tends to be the end of IP.

Yet in the second, the change that Apple pushed for (in their defence) makes sense on the broad view. Yet it also gives rise to the perceived lack of privacy and safety when it comes to IP. At best you end up with 4 versions, at worst it is soon on the internet making IP public domain and that ends the value of the IP. With all these programmers, no one thought of that? F-vault has the option of fees, but for $10 (AU$15) you become a lifetime member and it all unlocks for you the VIP member. $10 is fair and if the added setting comes, it will be a steal at $20, as no-one else has the essential needs.

In NCIS it is seen as Gibbs rule #4 “Best way to keep a secret. Keep it to yourself. Second-best, tell one other person—if you must. There is no third best”, it is not merely about secrets, the rule applies to intellectual property as well, in bigger firms they have lawyers, yet hat if the inventor is you? What if the invention is one THEY want? Upload it? You have got to be kidding me. In all these settings, it seems no one thought of expanding the need, reaching the larger station, because it is about a lot more, consider the writers of their stories, the makers of a new concept. You think that studios are waiting fr the great idea? They seek out anyone who can give it to them, almost no questions asked. In 2008 today gave us ‘Million-dollar ideas often stolen in Hollywood’ with the added “37-year-old Cleveland resident Jeff Grosso, who paid his way through film school by playing Texas Hold ’Em, wrote a screenplay about it, then sued Miramax over its poker movie “Rounders.””, we get the added “attorney John Marder, who specialises in representing aggrieved writers. Many are victims of a system that favours studios and networks and offers little protection for writers and ideas”, to be honest, I do not know who is right, but I do know that at present there is only one system where my IP is safe, until some parts are upgraded, there is no way I am storing this on my laptop or tablet. So whilst we ponder our own safety regarding “Ideas are not subject to federal copyright protection and, until recently, that was the only legal avenue for relief. Federal law says only the expression of ideas — actual screenplays or treatments — are copyrightable. Therefore a writer would have to prove that a finished film or television show was almost identical to his original screenplay. A studio can get around that by simply tweaking a few details”. So when the greed driven are that driven to remove the original creator and the law falls short, is anyone even surprised that I would offer my IP to Huawei? The US claims that China blatantly steals IP, yet they cannot keep a muzzle on the greedy needs of players like Hollywood, it seems that the holy dollar is the golden cow they all worship at the expense of any soul. The article (at https://www.today.com/popculture/million-dollar-ideas-often-stolen-hollywood-wbna15641336) gives a lot more, but it mainly instills the fear that any idea needs to be safely behind lock and key and you have to have faith in yourself. So when writers consider the approach of anyone who would take it” to be an invitation not to get paid for your work, at the point we will see other studios waking up and smelling the lack of creativity whilst having coffee. Yes, there is an alternative, getting an agent or a lawyer and make their pitches with that person present I an option, but an expensive one and writers tend to lack funds. 

Yet the stage is here, and I must ask myself, have I become outdated? Has the world moved on to cater to absolute greed? I wonder, yet I also wonder what happens when a player like Huawei takes my IP and gives us an additional 5G dimension others did not see coming. At that point, I wonder what those in Washington DC will d when they missed out again and again as they catered to the wrong people. There is only so many times that you can do this until there is nothing left. It is a stage often looked away from, but President elect Biden has this matter facing him from day one. $8,500,000,000 is in danger as they angered Saudi Arabia (and I greedily hope for my 3.75%), a nation who actually has the fastest 5G now, so as app developers over there see a larger option to become app powerhouses, and they are hungry to become them. The US doesn’t merely misses out on revenue, the data usage connected to all the is monitored outside of the US, and the US has more gaps in what was a near complete picture in the past. Not merely the US, Google is now also in a setting where they are soon to be showing gaps in their data wall. We might ignore ‘Huawei’s New ‘Fight’ With Google To Beat Android Is Suddenly More Threatening’, and it seems like a joke, but Forbes also gives us “the combination of HarmonyOS, its Android OS alternative and HMS, its Google Mobile Services replacement. Until the latest sanction speculation, the HarmonyOS threat to Android was tempered by the chipset sanctions. But if Huawei’s smartphone sales can recover, that materially changes. Furthermore, Huawei has now confirmed that HarmonyOS will be available as an open-source OS, pushed at other Chinese OEMs, to build bridges, Huawei says, between China and the West”, bridges the elude Google, so the dangers I predicted in 2019 are now coming to pass and they are about to land on the US economy as well, when app revenue dives, when app data is going elsewhere, the value of Google will take a step back, so will the value of Apple. It is a simple stage, what was iOS/Android, is now iOS, HarmonyOS and Android. HarmonyOS is not just a slice from the Android cake, as Apple fails to set options in China, their Chinese slice goes directly to HarmonyOS and that is a extending well beyond China, consider that both Google and Apple lose not just the Chinese part, but no less than 30% of the Indian part on top of that. Now we see a different powerhouse, all whilst Google, Apple and others are seeking margins the are no longer where they were and IP is setting a much larger tone, so this was about a lot more than a simple data vault, was it not? And as Forbes gives us “Huawei’s ecosystem pushed further into Google territory. We now have multiple mapping options, for example, to replace Google Maps. And now, critically, we also have a search alternative as well. This is beginning to feel more like the real thing. Yes, Huawei is short on apps and a global developer network, but it’s ploughing in money to its community and it knows consumers worldwide want its recipe of premium smartphones for less—a recipe now being replicated by those other Chinese OEMs” (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/11/01/huawei-wants-to-beat-google-android-apple-iphone-and-samsung-galaxy-after-trump-ban-update/?sh=12fce8b1e39e) almost two weeks ago, the stage shifts and the players better realise that it was the lack of creativity in the US that started all this (a pretty stupid government administration did the rest). In the end do you think that some of the players will sit still? They are about to lose billions and this is just the beginning, the lack of real 5G in several nations is the foundation for more losses, all in a stage where we still have not seen any real evidence that Huawei was a security risk, other than Huawei being a Chinese company. 

So how long until the people catch on that the world map is changing and when we realise that the US is no longer a superpower (apart from super debt), what will they end up doing? I will let you see the light be yourself, when you consider who is outdated, consider that what we thought was a station of IP, a station too many players ignored from the start, perhaps the values we assign because Hollywood and Wall Street gave them to us, perhaps they too have become outdated. Just a thought to consider.

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The new setting

I had a partial start on Bethesda’s Elder scrolls, but not one for their Fallout series. You see, you do have the right to sell your IP to a third party (Bethesda to Microsoft) and set the agenda of forcing a million dedicated players into the arms of what I personally see as a disreputable solution for gaming, but I am entitled to create IP free for Sony exclusive solutions that offers the people an alternative. The idea that I am handing out free dedicated IP for Sony developers was probably not in consideration for Microsoft (who paid $8,500,000,000 for Bethesda software), yet the idea of me handing out free lollies was not on their mind either, and PS5 directed IP even less so. 

As such here I am watching Jason Bourne on Netflix whilst my brains is considering a larger stage for a radiated world to survive in. Yes, I can’t just be like any other normal guy enjoying porn, no my mind has to create puzzles and RPG settings, life can never be simple, can it?

Whilst I was starting all that, there was a larger (read: additional) stage I wanted to create. A longer stage. An idea to interact the PS5 with both (read: either) Android or iOS device, creating mini games that give an additional stages to the game. It can all be done on the PS5, but I considered that some games are interesting if an element gets added (for free), so here I am considering my old NBC knowledge the decontamination parts that were not really in the Bethesda games. Yet that part could be a stage in the game, finding the plans, creating the solution and managing it. Even if it is part of the game itself, management parts of that game can be set to automatic (after the elements are set), but if we create management apps, giving the player an added 30% return on doing so, we create interest, the need to participate. 

The game needs an enticing environment, yet we have seen so many games in the US, What if the stage is not there, but the setting is Stockholm? It is relatively close to a lot of places and what if we use that setting to create a haven, not like in other games, but one that requires fresh water, fresh meat and of course a red wire collecting images of the Swedish bikini teams between 1975 and 2175, fair is fair, and if you play a girl, you get to find the collector cards of Swedish fireman and park rangers (fair is fair). We just know (read: assumption) how you ladies want to see images of Alexander Skarsgård and Peter Haber, fair is fair after all. Yet we need more than simple alternatives for snow globes or pip-boys, but the setting is one that needs adjusting. We need more than a race from item to item and that is not by creating places to are to, but by creating a narrative that goes beyond what w expect, that shows the larger stage of the repercussions of radiation, not by taking pieces away from the adventure, but by adding to it, by creating an additional awareness, one the previous games only hinted at. I am not blaming the games, they were and till are fine games, but I want to create something new, not by creating a copy, a copy is second rate, yet if we skate on the fringe, if we add to the narrative we et something new and that is the are for the gamer, that is the race for those who love to play games, to get more, not to merely get more of the same. The difference is distinct and gamers know this, I know this, so we get create more as we create something new, something that differs and is different. 

That is the challenge, that is the perspective we require, one we have not faced before. It is how I got to think out the Palyar prerogative playing in Amsterdam, that is how I got the previous answer to a new IP, holding an answer to Bethesda and the Elder Scrolls and over the setting of Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration, which I came up with in the past. A setting to Watchdogs IV and a few more ideas, all new IP, all in advanced concept stages.

Life tends to be about new settings, for the most it is about adapting to them, for some it is about creating them.

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