Tag Archives: Ireland

Lack of information

As I was browsing along, I saw a picture with the text ‘Why are we so misinformed?’, I did not read the article, but the question struck home. You see, we tend to ask questions when we need them, information tends to stop commercial traffic and getting justly informed is very very bad for commerce.

To comprehend this we need to take a look at the telecom drivers. In 2018 I needed a new phone, my Huawei P7 was on its final legs after 3 years and there would soon be no more updates, because that is how Android tends to work. More important, when your phone is 2 full versions behind, the setting is there to upgrade quickly or face other consequences. In this setting I was looking for an affordable phone the had 64GB Storage. You see, the current phone had 16GB and even as it was a massive upgrade from the previous one (with only 4GB), time would tell that 32GB would not do it and I was almost right. So I set out to look for a larger phone and would you know it, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, none of them had ANYTHING that I could use, they merely had the models to keep the now people happy, but the tomorrow people would suffer. It is now 2020 and I am using a little over 34GB, as such what they had then would no longer suffice and that is AFTER I deleted Facebook, and I never use WhatsApp, Instagram or Pinterest, so the damage could be worse. The other phones were great contract captivators and to set a long term need some see the path of a little above board to hand the people what they think they need, not what they actually need, that is my translation and mobile phones are in a rough setting. Now the iPhone 11 will offer enough, as do some of the previous models, but $1800 is a little much for a lot of people, so there we are in a bit of a fix, for me it was fortunate that the Huawei Nova 3i offered what I needed, but I found it because I was looking intensely, not because people were informing me. Also, there was a Samsung 64GB, but none of the phone shops had it at the time, merely the 32GB. The addictive need of connection is seemingly required. It does not stop at mobile phones. The media has been protective of its advertisers and advertising opportunities since well before 2012, when I alerted them to a situation that would optionally bring pressure to millions of gamers, the news outlets ignored it, there were screenshots and there was evidence, but for them it mattered no, as I personally see it, the advertisement needs of Sony went first. 

As such, was there a lack of information, or were people optionally intentionally not looking in specific directions? I will let you be the judge of that, yet consider that even as mobile phones are the most visible ones, they are not the only ones and we will know in 7 weeks whether my setting (given yesterday) is a path that was exploited correctly. You see, how many news outlets, all crying and boasting US BS, on how far 5G is? When we look (at https://www.rcrwireless.com/20200911/5g/zain-completes-5g-network-deployment-saudi-arabia) and we see that Saudi Arabia finished the rollout of 5G to 38 cities, we see that we all are second to a Middle Eastern nation that embraced the 5G challenge rolling it out pretty much nationally. Scandinavia, Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, none of them are anywhere near that stage for at least a year, optionally 2 years. So what are we proud of? When we see a lack of information it also includes the screw ups that our political and business big wigs signed up for. So when we see Europe and in this case Ireland boasting “at launch it has about 35 per cent population coverage, but that will increase with the addition of 500 sites next year”, we see that they are not ready yet, they are a year away, and that whilst Saudi Arabia is 31 times bigger than Ireland and it was completed 2 weeks ago. Ireland is seemingly more ahead than anyone else in Europe and there is the kicker. You can only develop true 5G apps when the nation is ready and for the most none of them are, so when we see a lack of information, it is also because the information bringers have nothing to be proud of, and most importantly, no evidence against Huawei was ever brought, merely old farts in the intelligence community, all with links to others (big business) who are missing out and those people are really really sad (a lack of funds will do that).

So whilst I am applauding the question ‘Why are we so misinformed?’, we need to consider ‘What are we not allowed to know?’, a setting that favoured Sony in 2012, Microsoft multiple time and we can go in several directions when it is about 5G.

Have fun!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics, Science

That foul stench from Denmark

Yup, it is a line that has nothing to do with the Monarchy of Danske (or its nation), it comes from Hamlet and the loser translation gives us “everything is not good at the top of the political hierarchy”, it is what the EU faces. This is seen in ‘Switzerland gets ready to vote on ending free movement with EU’, it was given to us yesterday by the BBC. So as the people in Switzerland decide today “Swiss voters will decide on Sunday whether to abandon their free movement of people agreement with the EU”, we see two parts. The first is “Supporters say the move will allow Switzerland to control its borders and select only the immigrants it wants”, which I will set in green as the positive view, then there is “Opponents argue it will plunge a healthy economy into recession, and deprive hundreds of thousands of Swiss citizens of their freedom to live and work across Europe”, which I will label fear mongering bullshit; the additional “The justice minister says that would create a situation “worse than Brexit”” does not help. It seems to me that there is a growing EU fear, the people have suffered for a decade whilst those on gravy trains have been filling their pockets and the people have had enough. The total lack of checks and balances is a first the so called virtual checks and balanced that are set to promote silence is the other one. A two part harmony sets against the prospering of the people of the EU and merely helping out big business and the Swiss are considering to walk away. To be honest, I am not certain what is the best for the Swiss people, I reckon the those living in Switzerland and those either benefitting or suffering because of it will cast their vote and there is every chance that the bulls of them are not prospering. 

So when we see “Switzerland decided long ago not to join the EU, but it does want access to Europe’s free-trade area, and it wants to co-operate with Brussels in areas like transport, the environment, and research and education”, so there is a setting of cooperation all whilst the Swiss were never part of the EU. And this is countered with “The EU has consistently told the Swiss there will be no cherry-picking: leaving free movement would mean leaving those lucrative trade arrangements too”, as such my question becomes “Please present a list of lucrative trade agreements”. In all this Thomas Aeschi of the SVP seems to be in favour of abandoning the open borders policy, and even as his setting is overly simplified. I am not convinced that we have to see it any other way. I have been to Switzerland (before the EU coin was a reality), it was expensive, the cheese was great and the chocolates were nice. The people were friendly and there was a lot of white (snow), I reckon the in summer it will be green. I went up the Matterhorn (the easiest side), and in all this food was good. It seems shallow, but that was the view of a person being there for a few days with 5 days and 3 meetings looks at. I considered to open a Swiss bank account (for the fun of it and to be able to boast the I had a Swiss bank account), but in the end and the lack of confidence that I would be there any day soon ever again made me not do it.

When we look at the opposition we see “There will be a clear cost because we depend so heavily on trade with the EU”, which comes from Stefan Manser-Egli (Operation Libero), yet when we re consider the quote “it does want access to Europe’s free-trade area, and it wants to co-operate with Brussels” which was decided long ago. And when we look at a list of ALL the depending imports, how much is at stake and what will the difference be for the Swiss? Now consider that this world is a buyers market, so why is the Swiss choice a bad one? I can see why it stings for all on the gravy train, but the others, the people on an actual income, will they hurt more, less or the same? Unless someone proves clearly to the Swiss people that they are in for a lot more pain, is opposing the open borders policy a bad idea for the Swiss? The Swiss must do what is best for them and for Switzerland. There is more going on in Switzerland and the fear mongering through “worse than Brexit” is not the worst overbearing statement, but it is up there and it is false, Brexit is a much larger issue, which everyone in Europe will know when you see the impact of actual change, yes, I believe that some Swiss people will be hit, but will it protect more? Thomas says Yay, Stefan says Nay. I am not certain but there is a larger issue, and it was voiced through Hamlet, the $13 billion Apple bill is merely a first sign. The issue might be “The European Commission plans to appeal against a ruling that Apple does not have to pay 13bn euros (£11.6bn) in back taxes to Ireland”, the fact that the European Commission and the EU’s General Court cannot agree on simple tex matters, gives a first rise, the fact that two settings reset on a stage to avoid taxation for a $2 trillion dollar company? It seems to be that appeasing large companies is way too important for the EU and when the people end with nothing, hell comes a knocking, and it has. Lets not forget that this did not start with the UK, it all started in 2009 with the Greek government-debt crisis, it showed the EU to be toothless and in the pocket of greed driven people. Up to now not one of the people involved in the matter has seen a prison cell or saw their money captured. It seems to me that several laws are a decade late for overhaul and the is now a stage that sees the escalations. The quantitive easing issues of the last few years was the first stage, the limits it is about to hit will be second and the unforeseen Covid-19 is the third. The EU depleted of reserves becomes a large empty machine and I hoped that the UK would be out already, yet the Swiss are now following, one of the nations I did not expect to leave and this sets the expected steps of the EU collapse a lot faster than anticipated. And it is the last part we see “This Swiss referendum was in the pipeline before the UK voted to leave the EU”, as such, why is it only now on the b ig screen radar? If it was that important, why were the people not given a clear account of the pro’s and the con’s all over the EU? Is that not an interesting question too? 

So whilst we wonder what will be next, we see that the UK has a new player that optionally would like to expend its import and export stage. And as these two are optionally in a stage to do what is best for THEIR nations, we see the EU scramble for any scraps that they can get, that is how it goes in places where allegedly greed is the deciding factor.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Politics

Multiple rulers

We have a ruler at times. A ruler so we can see whether the size measures up to the setting we held ourselves to, and a size to what we hold others. We are all like that, and sometimes we use more than one, it is almost like we set a standard metrical and then another one to get the inch setting. There is one stage we avoid; not on purpose, but the stage we set because we did not think of it. That is the stage that I found myself in this weekend. Anyone who has a Playstation 4 (or better) has either been playing the Last of us part 2, or has been contemplating playing it. There might be the smallest group that did not (and that is fair) but that group is really really small. It started in 2013, a (small) player named naughty dog, famous for Crash Bandicoot and a few other titles, had an idea and made that game, that game was titled The last of us, we might not have realised it at the time but gaming history was written that very moment. They made the game that heralded the end of the Playstation 3 on a high. The game was graphically, musically and technically at the very top of gaming, do not take my word for it, the game got over 200 game of the year awards, which is a record by itself, so when it was remastered for the Playstation 4, I did not hesitate to get it, now there is the second part and what I have seen so far is blowing my mind (again). It als gave me the idea to come up with the two ruler rule. So far the only three passing that standard are Naughty Dog, CD Project Red and Bethesda. This does not mean that others are not good, some are great. Yet to fit this measurement you need to be better than the best. I believe that those makers could have turned their game into a movie and it would be as groundbreaking and as appreciated as the game. As I see it CD Project Red did that by getting the Netflix the Witcher made. OK, they cheated by getting Superman to play the lead, but still they got it done and it is every bit as amazing as the game was. Excellence is transcendental (or so I believe) and I feel certain that the Last of US (both 1 and 2) would make amazing movies/mini series. I played part 2 to some extent and then I remembered (I thought back to the first one) and I decided to play it again. Even now, 7 years later, the first game is as overwhelming as any new game is, yes, the second one surpasseds the first one by a fair bit, but both of them leave most others in their wake, the games are that good. This is not bad for the others, there will always be rocksteady, there will always be rockstar and they will endear the gamers in their own way, there is no doubt about it, yet when we see the bullet point memo people at EA and Ubisoft, they are done for. The few franchises they hide behind will not help them, even now, their games at 70%-80% reduced rate are a debatable buy and that is not a good place to be in. When a two billion company like Ubisoft gets passed over by what some regards as small studios, we need to realise that gaming has been on the fringe of technology since the 80’s. Some people decided to give the thought that gaming too is iteration (like every year an Assassins Creed game), some exploited other means, some good and some bad, and before some think that Ubisoft is all bad, they did bring us Assassins Creed 2 (and brotherhood), Far Cry 3, AC Origins, Watchdog 2, The Division and a few others, when we look past the iteration, we see that they make good games, if only they were properly tested and vetted before release, it is the largest flaw that Ubisoft brings us today. And it is getting noticed more and more as we take notice of games like The Witcher and The Last of Us. Wecan add games like Elite Dangerous and Subnautica and the remastered edition of System Shock (hopefully 2020), we see that the original ideas are still there and they are wiping the floor with the iterative wannabe’s. You see the stage is changing and gamers are not completely aware.

We see the created hypes and we see how Microsoft is hiding behind the marketing cry ‘the most powerful system in the world’, yet they got defeated by the weakest system of them all (Nintendo Switch) and as Microsoft hides behind the hype screen we are all missing the larger point. As 4K gaming hits the front yard of many gamers this holiday season, they tend to forget that the games will be twice the size and so will the patches. In this situation consider that in places like Greece and Turkey a Ubisoft patch will take up to a day (estimated), a day per game downloading a patch. The UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Italy and a few others have better connections, yet in these places in Rural areas their internet is not great, so the long term view of the approach that they are currently holding is that they will not be in a great place. Yes, France, Spain and Scandinavia the connection is well above decent, yet is that the same in rural areas? In France it is not and I just set the pulse point on millions of gamers who will be in an extremely agitated state soon enough, yet not if Ubisoft continues as it currently is. And we need to review that too. A game might seem amazing, yet in the 4K life, patches will be increasingly larger and larger. So what do you think will happen when a patch is not 38 GB, but 70 GB? How long until gamers lose their shit over this, because the second time it happens might already be enough for the gamer to demand a refund, and with some places having the 7 day purchase option in place, that cooldown will be enough to end the lifespan of places like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Activision. Yes, I get it, others will be in a similar place, but consider keeping a list of all your games and all the patches that come through, who will win the patch race agitation list? 

Yes, we get it Bethesda will also be in a bad place, yet RPG games like Skyrim are too great and will always have patches coming their way, yet overall when I look back at the games like Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout 4 the amount of patches have not been overwhelming. As I see it one breakpoint patch has had more to download then the sum of nearly all Bethesda games, that is the station we see, yet we forget that the station we face is nothing more than a small way station, the stations we are about to hit are proper terminals with larger needs. We need to measure what was and what will be to a much larger extent and use two rulers, the size of the game and the size of the patches, whilst we tally the number of patches. Breakpoint was regarded by gamers as the most disappointing game of 2019, 38GB of patches later and it is still up for debate, as I see it, they no longer have any freedom of movement, gaming will change but not in their direction, the games will need to be better and their infrastructure is not ready, the patch notes give a clear indication of that. So yes, we will see a console war, but we will see a lot more than that. Santa Monica Studios, Naughty Dog and a few others are ready and they make Playstation games. The people at Microsoft are not ready for the issues that sme games bring and their Azure cloud is useless at this stage, it is about innovative gaming, the iterative clowns have no place being here. We are about to see a console war and Microsoft could soon end up in 4th position, so when we consider the big three, who else will surpass them? Their marketing hype of the most powerful console for sale, and they forgot that they still needed good games to stay in that place, with less than half a dozen exclusive games, the pickings are slim for Microsoft, to see that you needed an additional ruler, a different stage of measuring. Just like the measurement of power, there are two ways of measuring it, all whilst the elements for both formulas were readily available, too many players were looking at one formula and forgot about the other one, and that is what the limelight will show at the end of the year and when that limelight shows bright, we will see that some players are done for, one ruler would not have shown it, they all focussed on the revenue and they forgot that revenue is hindered by the resistance that patches bring, these players forgot or basically ignored the danger of large patches and now that they are 26 weeks away from a new standard these players will panic, they will panic more and more and let marketing do the fight of the public arena all whilst it will merely stop activities for a few days and some patches required months. Now, we accept that both Sony and Microsoft have that house of Pox looming, but as I see it, Sony has more alternatives and in this fight, the one with alternatives is the most likely to win. In all this there is strength to any marketing endeavour, but its flaws are there too and once your board of directors start to earnestly believe the stories they tell, they have already painted themselves into a corner. 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Gaming, IT, Science

Contemplations

We all contemplate, we consider, we weigh and we make decisions after the contemplation. Yet it is not always that simple, at times the contemplation comes after what preceded. I cannot continue my novel until the laptop arrives, and even as it is completely unrelated to the idea I had for an optional TV series, the idea is still sound, as such I am considering whether the elements in it can be added to my novel, I am only at 60,000 words, it is something that I have to contemplate. We all have similar issues, it is notalways about writing, or playing a game, some contemplations are serious, some are not, yet they too tend to refract into serious parts of our lives, even if we are not initially aware of it. 

It is not the only thing that I am contemplating. I have seen over the last few days all kinds of messages, ‘tweaked’ advertisements and messages of a sort on how we can change business decisions after the Coronavirus. I am baffled on the premise of ‘new approaches to business’, I am willing to accept that new business is where you find it, yet the oversized issue is misreporting, mismanagement of government funds and mismanaging of attempts to look cool, all whilst we know that actual scientists need actual time to investigate. The greed driven elements before the Corona situation had created empty shells with the idea that some time in the future it would fix itself, all whilst those elements knew perfectly well that these things never fix themselves, they are merely pushed onto the next administration. An abuse on a global scale and the people see the impact now, they now get to live in a new situation and they elected the people that put them in that position. These governments never went out to muzzle the EU to the degree needed, as such well over € 3,000,000,000,000 in debt, as such the EU had no reserves left for what is coming now. And it did this after it was clear that the first trillion did not do what they hoped, yet they wanted it, because money has to roll and as such another stint of spending became the concept of normal. All this, whilst the proper stage of properly setting up tax laws for corporations have never been done, delayed decade after decade. All this whilst the EU had no issues to reject (in November 2019) any move to show names of those using tax avoidance a stage where the people would see the proposed situation where firms had to reveal profits made and taxes paid in EVERY EU nation they operated in, I reckon that the FAANG group has powerful friends all over the EU, and these 12 members should be looked at with a lot more scrutiny. The FAANG group is avoiding an estimated $500,000,000,000 a year, as such the irony is laughable, it would have paid for the issue they face now and in that same setting education and housing in Europe would be close to fixed, a stage history never had before. Yet, those with a low tax shelter option were happy to reject, they included Ireland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Austria, Croatia and the Czech Republic. We all see the damage, but we are all so relieved that Apple is now a $1,500,000,000,000 company, Yes, at what expense? It is food for contemplation.

So as we see not on how we can work from home and what we need to do it properly, I wonder what happened to all those tax reductions in the 90’s so that we could work from home, there is an apparent lag in what was regarded as enough and is now showing to be inadequate. So whilst some applaud ‘EU did not witness any major internet congestion’, it comes without the mention that Netflix and YouTube slowed down services to avoid congestion, apparently full services are not possible, but that is a story for another time (in the very far future if it was up to them). So whilst BEREC (an EU regulator) was all about the reporting mechanism to monitor internet traffic, we see that I gave you the links yesterday to other people who see that most of them cannot even report the amount of people getting the Coronavirus and optional those dying from it. As such we see another optional example that human lives matter less than any danger to what is laughingly called ‘the economy’, weird is it not? 

OK, I agree that one is not the other, but it seems that when the economy is in danger a whole additional range of support services come into play, when the lives of people are on the line, this support is seemingly missing. The EU shows even more signs of lag on different levels. In other news (as stated in my previous blog) we see Humanitarian actions that are empty and other pacifist actions that are useless, yet their actions pushed close to $13,000,000,000 out of UK and US hands and handed it to both Russia and China, in addition there are several damaged deal thatSaudi Arabia had with Germany, but I have no numbers on that. So whilst I am not anti-Humanitarian, I am a pragmatist and it seems that hollow actions are just that hollow in a time and age that none can afford, even now, we seem to be utterly anti-Saudi Arabia, yet there is no factual reason to do this. In opposition we see that the actions against Iran are close to non-existent, all whilst Forbes reported yesterday that there are 100 new naval vessels in Iran, it seems that there is a lot to contemplate, especially as some EU players are hiding behind the Nuclear deal like it is a Santa wish list, all whilst we see from several directions, some less than a day old ‘New tensions dim hopes for salvaging Iran Nuclear deal’ and ‘New IAEA report is reminder of old problems with the Iran Nuclear Deal’ a stage that shows that Iran does what it pleases and takes no time to be civil about it, when it is conventional it is one thing, the nuclear side is a direct threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia and the EU players are willing to burn those two elements if they look better, because Iran will make some bullshit excuse on how it was not their fault, that it was a fanatic and they possibly misjudged the situation and those European players will all nod in agreement, their pockets optionally lined with income never earned. And we are all letting it happen.

It is perhaps our greatest flaw, we do not act when we should, we let greed driven motivations overwhelm our needs and we seek to blame someone when we all let this happen, as contemplations go, we have to think through a lot at present and we need to do it faster.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Military, Politics, Science

The shocker of the week

I am not great when it comes to sports. I have some skills, I am a decent hockey player, I love my hockey and I enjoy cricket. That is pretty much the life I have and I am content. I am not really that deep into Rugby. I have nothing against the game, but it was never my cup of tea. I know that the Rugby trophies tend to end up on Kiwi soil and that is fine by me. As such we all have our view of sports and its players.

When I think Ireland and Rugby, my mind sprints to Devin Toner, standing almost 7 feet tall, wearing 15″ shoes, ladies taken notice of that as men with big feet, need big socks ;-). As such when you see him stand next to two team mates, making them look like 6 foot shrimps, you know that there is a force to be reckoned with. As such when I heard that Japan was going up against them, in my mind the score seemed a forgone conclusion. Imagine my surprise (and utter shock) as the game ends 19-12 in favour of Japan. It is not just me, the amount of memes crossing my screen is adding up fast, and I am still reeling from the idea that Japan was a contender in Rugby finishing up the second best team in the world.

And for the meme’s, well they are risky and hilarious, yet it is interesting how the Springboks see themselves and how they see Japan, Japan has 2 out of 2 wins, yet they still have to face Samoa and Scotland before the quarter finals start. Pool B has Italy on top, however New Zealand has only one game played, as such New Zealand could rise to the top soon enough. Pool C has the UK slamming both Tonga and the USA with a serious amounts of scores. Leaving us with Pool D, only Fiji has had two matches bumming out on both. As such the big game there is today; Australia versus Wales and the winner in this one is most likely to become the pool winner, with the other one decently likely to be runner up.

Even as I love my boatload of meme’s, this world cup is not settled, not by a long shot, and the scores will take a beating, as I see it (slightly biased) the big match might be tonight for the pool, but it is the Australia versus Argentina match on October 20th that will keep most of Australia on the tip of their seat. It could end up being UK versus Australia on day before, but that is speculation at best, what is not a speculation is that at present there is a decent chance that Japan becomes winner Pool A and they will have to fend off either Italy or New Zealand, to change that South Africa must win both matches. The chance of winning against Canada is good, against Italy not so, implying that they would be cut.

Their only chance is for New Zealand to strike it super unlucky and with them facing Canada and Namibia, I do not see that happen, against Italy anything is possible; however their match against Namibia indicates that New Zealand will make it.

No matter how we slice this world cup, Japan the host nation was able to shock Ireland into handing over what most would have seen as certain victory. That alone makes this world cup an interesting event, a game where the outcome goes topsy turvy on the game fans tends to be a great year to be watching the world cup, that is almost a given in many sports, Rugby is happily accommodating to its fans this year and the excitement for the game will be better for it.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media

Hammering Facebook

The Guardian has another story, which was updated a mere 6 hours ago. To be honest, I am a little ticked off. I get that the Guardian is giving us this and it makes perfect sense, it is news. Yet when I see ‘Fake news inquiry: Facebook questioned by MPs from around the world – as it happened‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/live/2018/nov/27/fake-news-inquiry-facebook-to-face-mps-from-around-the-world-mark-zuckerberg-live-updates), whilst in the same setting we see newspapers ‘hiding’ behind ‘from an unnamed source’, when we get blasted by well over 64 million results in Google Search on the death of a journalist that close to nobody gives a hoot about, the entire ‘fake news‘ seems to be nothing more than a targeted sham to me. Not the element of fake news, I get that, but some of the players are a little too hypocrite to my liking.

So let’s take a look at a few of these issues we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/27/facebook-fake-news-inquiry-the-countries-demanding-answers).

Ireland: “The Irish government is reviewing proposed legislation to promote online safety amid an outcry that tech companies are unable or unwilling to tackle harmful content. The move jars with Dublin’s normally effusive support for tech companies with an Irish base. Facebook has its European headquarters in Dublin and falls under the remit of Irish data protection authorities“. The first thing to do is look at the definition. The European commission gives us: “Harmful content, is authorized material subject to distribution restrictions (adults only, for example) or material which some users may find offensive even if, on the grounds of freedom of speech, there are no restrictions on publication.” First of all, the Pornhub site is freely available to every man, woman and child. In addition there is a porn version of YouTube that is also freely available, from that we can see that Ireland has a lot of other worries and these two are not available through Facebook. When we look at Ireland we see a nation that given in to big business through tax laws at the drop of any hat and they have harmful content issues? In addition the Times gave us on November 6th: “Google and Facebook will call on the government today to define exactly what kind of content a proposed digital safety commissioner would have the power to remove online.” It becomes a lot more entertaining when we see in Fine Gael last week: “Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton will travel to Westminster next Tuesday (November 27th) for a meeting of the International Grand Committee on Communications”, as well as ““Social media companies cannot hide from the genuine concerns of national parliaments from around the globe, it is imperative they engage with us in a meaningful way. “This document sets out a blueprint for how that can be done.” It is entertaining as she seemingly has a document whilst this entire setting has been going on for years (even before Cambridge Analytics). That entire meeting is in my personal opinion as hollow as it sounds. All trying to look important, yet where is that so called document from Hildegarde Naughton? It does not seem to be on the HN site (at http://www.hildegarde.ie), so where is it? When we are told: ‘This document builds upon the work done by the Oireachtas Communications Committee‘, we should be able to read and scrutinise it. You see, the Irish Law Reform Commission has a 2016 document (at https://www.lawreform.ie/_fileupload/Reports/Full%20Colour%20Cover%20Report%20on%20Harmful%20Communications%20and%20Digital%20Safety.pdf), it is merely that or a continuance of that? And this document is important, especially on page 165 where we see: “The definition of “communication” implements the recommendation in paragraph 2.53 that the proposed legislation on harmful communications should apply to all forms of communication, whether offline or online, analogue or digital, and therefore the definition includes communication by speech, by letter, by camera, by telephone (including SMS text message), by smart phone, by any digital or online communication (including the internet, a search engine, a social media platform, a social media site or the world wide web), or by any other telecommunications system.

This now implies that art is now no longer merely in the eyes of the beholder, basically if any art is regarded as harmful content, is comes under scrutiny (read: censoring) A massive part from Facebook is relying on art to propagate via digital medium, digital art is still in its infancy and it seems that this offends Ireland in the broader view it has, it is in that view that my message to Hildegarde Naughton is seen (at https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/priest-who-sexually-assaulted-girl-6-during-first-confession-avoids-jail-due-to-old-age-and-health-problems-36840577.html). When we contemplate that when you have health issues and you are old, it seems fine to rape a six year old. It is all in the nuance, is it not? So, what will you do when you consider this Grigor Malinov painting to be harmful content? Add a Jade Swim bikini with a brush and a fashionable colour? In light of what certain people get away with, the entire harmful content is not a joke, yet hammer Facebook with it, whilst there are other players openly in the field is too weird as I personally see it.

Then we get a Turkish advertisement variant with ‘MPs do not intend to publish Six4Three documents today, Collins says‘, either you have the documents and you inform the public, or you go home and polish your silverware! You scream fake news and leave the audience in innuendo and what I personally perceive as intentional miscommunication, and haven’t we seen enough of that?

Blame Canada

I can’t resist, whenever I see a Canadian flag, a Canuck or anything Canadian I think of that South Park song. It’s nothing negative, I think that Canada is awesome in hockey, it seems to have great people (several attended UTS with me) and it seems to have a healthy life. I’d take a job in Canada any day if possible (as well as the opportunity to watch Hockey almost every night), I might even be good enough to be a goalie for one of their NHL teams, even though I am nowhere near Martin Jones as a goalie (I merely wish I was). So Canada gives us: ‘Facebook inflated video viewing times for two years‘, I actually see an issue here, the Guardian gives us “only counting views lasting more than 3 seconds, the time a video must be seen to count as a view“, yet with YouTube the skip moment is 5 seconds an now as some people get 100% more ads with many of them not with the option to be skipped we see a shifted trend. This might be YouTube, yet there is no chance that this does not affect Facebook, giving rise that Canada has as optional a valid issue. Richard Allan (Facebook) gives us: ““it depends on the problem we’re trying to solve”“, something that might be valid, yet in the question by Charlie Angus we see: “Facebook has inflated video metrics, overstated for two years. “I would consider that corporate fraud, on a massive scale,” he says, “and the best fix is anti-trust. The simplest form of regulation would be to break facebook up, or treat it as a utility, so that we can all be sure that we’re counting metrics that are accurate or true.” I see his failure as a setting as there is a large intertwined part of Facebook, Vines, YouTube and a few other medium adding fuel to the video metrics, no matter if all hosted on Facebook. You would have to set the stage for all and to merely have Facebook here is a faulty stage, we get pushed into an assumption pool of no facts and biased metrics making matters merely worse. I feel certain that Charlie Angus should have and probably did know this making the issue a tainted one on more than one level.

Finally, let’s go out with a bang and add Latvia to the stage. When we get Latvia’s Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, we get the question: “how Facebook can help countries like Latvia, that face specific threats from Russia“. It took me around three minutes to stop laughing, I should be serious, but I cannot hold my straight face. You see, that is not the job of Facebook. I will go one step further, by stating: “Dear Inese, have you considered adding digital responsibility to both the Drošības policija and the Militārās izlūkošanas un drošības dienests?” There is an unconfirmed rumour that one of your routers is still set to ‘Passw0rd‘ and another one to ‘Cisco123‘, can you please confirm that? In light of the fact that ‘https://www.zs.mil.lv/lv/kontakti‘ directly links to Facebook pages, one might see how the Latvian military (as well as Latvian intelligence) could get phished in several ways, especially when there is the chance that some alleged under dressed biker chick would have been looking for ‘adventurous officers’. It gets to be even more fun when that alleged woman look a lot like a vogue model. You should introduce them to: (https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/fake-facebook-scams/), to have Common Cyber Sense is a government’s responsibility. Getting Facebook to do free consultancy via a hearing is just not Cricket.

I will end this with Brazil, I really liked his question: ‘He asks what Facebook is doing to prevent improper manipulation of its algorithms to prevent illegal manipulation of elections‘. It is a good and important question. I think the newspapers, especially the tech columns should spend space on this and let Facebook show them what is being done, what the impact is, how those metrics were generated and how its validity was checked. I think that the problem is a lot larger than we imagine. I would set a line towards American soft money. It has never been regulated and it still is not. We talk about fake news and political influence, whilst soft money is doing that in the US from the day after a president is elected all the way up to the next presidential election (or the senate, or congress). It is basically shouting at one, whilst the other element is ignored. The difference is that digital campaigns give anyone all the soft money they need, taking the rich out of the equation, the fact that I have not seen anything towards these lines gives a larger implied weight on all media. All those newspapers with ‘from an unnamed source‘ and that is where the blockage begins. There is a setting that it is not the ability or Russia, but the failing of others not correctly countering digital media that is the problem and that was never a Facebook problem, it merely shows the incompetence of others and in an age of advanced nepotism it is a much harder pill to swallow.

In all this, I never claimed that Facebook is innocent, merely that there is a lack of the proper questions making it to the table and even as a few nations were addressed, the issue is a lot larger and needs addressing, preferably before the 5G tap opens which allows the digital media providers to deliver 500% more than it is delivering now.

I wonder how many players have considered the impact of that game changer.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Military, Politics, Science

The devil is here, who is he?

We have seen attacks on nearly every religion. There was the satanic verses that attacked Islam, a book I never read mainly I had close to zero knowledge of Islam in those days. There was Apologie (1581), a book by William of Orange who would later create the Netherlands as a nation as well as taking that territory away from the Spanish, showing that the Inquisition as merely a power behind every Catholic throne, controlling kings who became mere puppets in its hands. It was all done by sacrificing ladies who lived a natural life and brand them Witches (as well as a few other niche population groups). Then there was Awful Disclosures (1836). this book was important as the book was proven to be a hoax and Maria Monk was merely a fraud, but in the end this book ended up doing massive damage to the Catholic ’cause’ and even gave additional rise to the Ku Klux Klan later on as well as the American Patriotic Association. Finally there is American Freedom and Catholic Power (1949) which is apparently still in print today. The writer saw the Catholic Church as an anti-democratic force bent on world domination, an alien power in American society determined to keep the masses poor, ignorant, and breeding.

These books are important to the setting, a setting of both corruption and nepotism on a global scale. That evidence was seen quite recently when we were treated on the world stage by the revelations in the Boston globe, which was shown in the movie Spotlight based on the true events of the Boston Globe Spotlight team. When the world is exposed to this, the world gets treated to a setting where thousands of priests on a national scale and a scale that was unfathomable on a global scale. In the search, the 6% rule where they investigate Boston Priests gave them in the end an initial 87 out of the expected 90 and the search started for the victims. The day after the story went to print; we see that the spotlight team gets swamped by phone calls from victims coming forward to tell their stories. This could in the end become the most shocking revelation of the twentieth century.

The movie seems to keep as close to the truth as possible with the setting that one of the members had initially failed as a list of 20 paedophile priests by lawyer Eric MacLeish in 1993, which he never followed up on. Yet at this point, they have done more than merely follow up on this and the setting became a movie that got the academy award for best movie, and best original screenplay. In the end, the audience is treated to ‘Cardinal Law resigned in December 2002 and was eventually promoted to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome before presenting a list of places in the United States and around the world where major scandals involving abuse by priests took place‘ this is what disgustingly might be considered as ‘nepotism at its finest‘.

Is this going somewhere?

Yes, this is the setting that you need to consider when we have two elements. The first is given in the Guardian where we see that in Ireland, one of the most devoted nations to the catholic church (next to Italy) is giving us: ‘‘Hit-and-run’ visit: Irish protesters reject pardon plea from Pope Francis‘. Large demonstrations with slogans like “The Pope is protecting paedophiles”. It is a setting that visiting Pope Frances would not have expected; a setting where the people are confronted with literally thousands of paedophilic priests and for the most (as far as I can tell) none of them are in prison. In Australia the scandal of Cardinal Pell hit the news and even as we cannot tell just how far it went, the setting where we were confronted with ‘The most serious charges were thrown out for “fundamental defects in evidence”‘, as well as ‘credibility issues over witnesses‘ has angered the population to no end. For me, from a legal perspective it needs to be about the law and the evidence. The fact that the Catholic Church has a large following of powerful people and that Australia too is drenched in operational nepotism does not help the case for Cardinal Pell, but that does not make him a guilty party. It counts against his visibility that the setting ‘The most serious charges were thrown out for “fundamental defects in evidence”‘ was not given more clear daylight in the media. We must accept that a judge will not merely throw away ‘fundamental defects in evidence‘ because it sets the stage for acquittal, the issue had grown too much by then, but in equal measure it will fuel all manners of conspiracy theory where the people will throw themselves into speculation, I do not feel that need, but the issue remains that 6% of the clergy with most of them not getting any conviction is fuelling rage, anger and even abandonment of the Catholic church and that is the setting that the current pope is confronted with. It is interesting that we can easily find the setting of ‘Studies estimated approximately that 20,000 Muslims convert to Christianity annually in the United States‘, yet we have to really dig to get any kind of statistic to see how many people move into the other direction. Yet the previous number is opposed by CBN who gave us “A recent article in Christianity Today (Aug 20, 1990) reported that in the U.S., the average age of those converting to Islam (31) is about twice that for conversion to Christian faith (age 16)“. Even as the numbers might have been dented due to extremism on one side and sexual child abuse on the other side, we see that the media is clearly set on misrepresentation as much as possible. The churches are that powerful that even that so called independent journalistic side sways to ambiguity as much as we see. One of the examples we see in that case is ‘Media, Culture, and the Religious Right‘ by Linda Kintz and Julia Lesage. If there is one issue then it might be that this is set into the American fit in all this (which makes sense). The setting we are given with “the ideology of clarity has helped move the centre of contemporary US politics far to the right as it made a tidy fit with a media culture that privileges the quick, simple message over time consuming complexities and ambiguities and that manufactures a commoditised audience by ratings” So basically trivialisation and simplification works for the church and their masses (pun intended).

I believe that the setting is actually a little less clear. I do believe that it is within the nature of all people to grow through faith and that faith in the Catholic Church is waning because of the events that are out in the open and the actions by the Vatican are not seen as acceptable (Ireland being a perfect example in all this). The people are more and more exposed to Muslims through work and through personal interactions and we are shown that the small group of extremists and the personal interactions show us Arabian and Pakistani interactions, especially the Pakistani interactions (which is much larger), where we see a more westernised group of people and we find a kinship. People all dedicated to a healthy family life as well as a dedication towards good work ethics and an appreciation towards the finer things in life. Even as most are dedicated non alcoholics, they do show a real appreciation towards good food. It is a personal observation, but I see that there is a more readily acceptance of Muslim elements than of Judean elements in all this. Yet the numbers are very sketchy, it seems that the media is embracing the Christian need on how far the flock has grown, yet the opposite direction seems to be actively ignored by all, which is interesting because the full picture is essential for anyone to give appreciation and acceptance of what could be perceived as the whole truth.

So when the Irish were confronted with “The pope’s requests for forgiveness in his Phoenix Park sermon, including for members of the church hierarchy who covered up “painful situations”, were far too little and too late for the crowd who had gathered at the garden dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives for Irish freedom“. there are two additional parts that need to be addressed, one in the positive light, which is seen with “The author, activist and abuse survivor Colm O’Gorman organised the event, which was timed to coincide with the mass. He told reporters that the pope had apologised and met survivors but evaded Vatican responsibility for crimes and cover-ups. “I think [his visit] has made it worse”“, in this I tend to agree with Colm O’Gorman. Apart from his movie as well as the coverage shown in the BBC, we need to accept that the pressures that the church gave through ‘Crimen Sollicitationis‘ was such an unacceptable setting and the fact that the media has for the larger extent ignored this and reported close to nothing is also a fact that should be seen as evidence. Especially when the document included: “every person, who in any way belongs to the tribunal or is given knowledge of the matter because of their office, is obliged to keep inviolate the strictest secrecy (what is commonly called “the secrecy of the Holy Office”) in all things and with all persons, under pain of automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication, incurred ipso facto without need of any declaration other than the present one, and reserved to the Supreme Pontiff in person alone, excluding even the Apostolic Penitentiary“, I will soften the blow by not including the Latin part of this.

It seems to apply to both victim and perpetrator, so the priest who would eagerly accept that silence, whilst the victim would not have any options at all. Consider being an excommunicated catholic in Ireland. It seems that all things are not created equal, especially via the Vatican and in this, the pope is pleading for forgiveness? How was this ever going to work?

In opposition we must also see “Maeve Lewis, of the advocacy group One in Four, agreed. “A missed opportunity. He made not one concrete proposal about what he intends to do.”” Here I cannot agree. I understand the setting that Maeve Lewis is trying to make and I get it, but this is too big, the entire setting of ‘one concrete proposal about what he intends to do’ was never realistic. The best the Pope could have done was to merely pray for strength of the victims whilst he admitted that such a large issue requires more time. That was as good as he was going to get in all this. The priesthood of sexual release in the light of the bible on the scriptures inside Mark 10, Matthew 12 and John 11 was not going to find any insight any day soon and the amount of non-prosecuted priests was too large by every standard. In the Netherlands the Commission Deetman report gives us ‘several thousands of children between 1945 and 1985 were seriously sexually abused , an estimated 1000 cases of penetration were established‘ in this we see later ‘since 2010 the Roman Catholic church in the Netherlands have fired 12 priests from their profession and removed 2 from their profession‘, in this, how many went to prison exactly, and in light of the thousands of transgressions, how many priests were never considered for prosecution in any way?

In all this, the people are in conflict with themselves, we see more and more growth of Christian abandonment, merely because of the treason by the Roman Catholic church, whilst protecting its flock of abusing priests and now we see more and more that since the 60’s the church has put in place draconian self-preservation settings like ‘Crimen Sollicitationis‘ and in addition we see the stage of Father Joseph Henn, who was fighting extradition in 2006, when the media treated us to “An American priest who is wanted in the United States on child molestation charges has gone missing while under house arrest in Rome” on August 3rd of that year and whilst we are partially informed through “is believed to be hiding in Italy while there is an international warrant for his arrest“, until this day for well over 12 years the Church seems to be actively engaged in keeping this priest form getting prosecuted in court. This is your faith and your children will remain a valid target for any priest. That is the setting that the people are confronted with and whilst the movie Spotlight gave much larger visibility to the entire setting, we see that millions of Christians now more and more in doubt of the Christian (Catholic) church as a whole. I would speculate that moving from church to church is not as completely acceptable (catholic to Baptist of protestant) to perhaps an agnostic or even a Muslim setting.

In support of my view there is in the first “Although 500,000 tickets for the papal mass were allocated, the Vatican estimated the crowd at 300,000 and other estimates were lower“, so basically in one of the strongest strongholds of the catholic church, merely 60% decided to attend, in what would have been close to a once in a lifetime event for many Irish people.

In this we now get the new setting that will play out over the next decade. As we are treated to more and more vilification that the Catholic church is bestowing on the public, are we witnessing the first steps towards the diminishing if the Christian church? Even as this is unlikely to happen in Ireland and Italy, or in England (Church of England) and Sweden (Lutheran), we are seeing a more rapid growth of Islam all over Europe. France has an estimated 2500 Mosques, and Germany seems to have well over 3000, many mosques in Germany are seemingly funded through Turkey.

What about the title?

Yes, here we need to address The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. I have not read the book, but from the settings and descriptions (read: reviews) we are confronted with the optional view that the book gives us the elements of identity, alienation, compromise, and conformity. They are concepts that confront all those disillusioned with their culture. In this, when we see the acts of the Vatican is very much in the centre of Christianity. If we accept that this is a path that a Christian in thrust upon through outside forces, at that point, we partially accept the Muslim setting that Mahound is the vilification form of Christians against  Muhammad. Yet, what if that was NOT the case? What if the path of Mahound is the path a Christian must walk to find his faith? What if the path of true faith is one that takes some people a lifetime, especially when they were on a forced faith through the pressure of parents and their surroundings from birth? To change faith is not what is done through insight of wisdom, what if the path is one we seek out because of our doubts and our love for our family to find the homestead of our lives to test the place where the safety and health of family is proven to be the correct one? Consider my thoughts in another direction, if the Agnostic wants to believe and does believe that there is a larger power, but cannot tell what it is and we see the Christian in doubt, knowing that there is a larger power, but there is now more and more evidence that they followed the wrong power, how can either find the right larger power? In my view it will take a journey that if completed within one’s life is still a great accomplishment. If we all accept that Muhammad was the true messenger of Islam, how can one set on a path to prove this to one’s self? If we see that the internet gives us thousands of books, all proclaiming that they lead to faith and immortality is the path to find the right book not a true journey? In this I give that we accept in two parts: “Every Muslim proclaims in Shahadah: “I testify that there is no god but God, and I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger of God.”“. In the first nearly all Christian’s will accept that there is ‘no god but God‘ and the challenge is merely to find the true messenger, and if we are on a path where there is too much doubt on the Christian church is the Journey not merely to setting to learn the truths of Muhammad and how he is the messenger of God?

If our lives can be seen as fulfilled when we address that one part in our lives, is the switch, the conversion towards Islam that hard to believe? When we come to think of it, is the Vatican not merely giving us the additional ability to walk away from their teachings as they embrace the protection of what in the largest setting of the world is seen as a criminal act against our children as well as the children of our neighbours?

So if the devil is here, what shape has the devil taken and how can we prove that this is the shape of the devil?

In finality, it seems fitting that I make a reference to one of my all-time favourite movies: ‘the Usual Suspects‘. The quote we get is “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist“, the problem is that he does exist and we have been pointing at all kinds of people on who the devil was, yet we forgot to embark on a journey to learn who the devil was not and that is the one part where Christians and more directly the Catholic church failed that task. So when we accept that the Catholic church was not that good, perhaps we can also accept that Islam is not evil, because the data and historic evidence shows the church to be not that good (well over 17 destroyed civilisations is only one part of the evidence), so those appointed as evil are more likely than not, not the setting of evil we were told. If we also accept the evidence that in 1095, 923 years ago, at the Council of Clermont, we were told “Pope Urban II begins by reminding the clergy present that they are shepherds and that they must be vigilant and avoid carelessness and corruption. He reminds them to refrain from simony and to adhere to the laws of the church. Urban complains about the lack of justice and public order in the Frankish provinces and calls for the re-establishment of the truce protecting clergy from violence. In the Historiography of the Crusades, there is a long-standing argument as to how much the pacification of the Frankish realm was designed to go hand in hand with the “export of violence” to the enemy in the east“, important here is ‘pacification of the Frankish realm‘, as well as ‘the “export of violence” to the enemy in the east‘, it comes from Fulcher of Chartres, who was at the proceedings and gave this account in ‘Gesta Francorum Jerusalem Expugnantium‘ 6 to 10 years later. The account would be given much later by Georg Strack in ‘The sermon of Urban II in Clermont 1095 and the Tradition of Papal Oratory‘. It became the foundation of Christian exponential growth into a region that was never that Christian to begin with, and through this, through the crusades the setting of hatred grew on both sides. The estimation is that over those two centuries (1095-1291) close to two million lives were lost in a time when the global population was a little short of 350 million, so 0.5% of the entire global population died in that one ‘skirmish’ that is not easy to overcome and we must realise that part too, because it polarised both parties in all this. So when we consider that we were pushed into a war by the greedy need of the church (several pieces of evidence exists), what other paths have we wrongfully considered? Now, let’s be clear that we all still openly oppose extremism in every form. Yet we also see that when we talk to our neighbours and we see that many Muslims embrace fundamental values of family and prosperity, how wrong have we been on several other fronts?

We need to realise this in the light of utter unacceptable levels of forgiveness requested whilst anti-Muslim actions are on the rise in many places. When we see politicians like Geert Wilders move into these streams proclaiming “he thinks Christians “are my allies” and that they fundamentally should want the same thing“, so how does that go over when that Christian priest sodomises his child? Are those views still aligned? Too much consideration on one side and total non-consideration on the other is merely giving view to levels of acceptance of evil and we should not ever allow for that.

Some players in this large game have been given way too much leeway and that needs to be openly scrutinised by all players.

In light of the issue I mentioned in my blogs in the last few days when we were confronted by the ‘Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest‘ that had been started months ago. We now see the Dutch Prime minister give us: “The Dutch prime minister on Friday distanced his government from a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest being organized later this year by anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders. Wilders “is not a member of the government. The competition is not a government initiative,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly press conference“, yet the competition is still held in Dutch Parliament, which makes no sense in any valid universe. In addition, we see a ‘casual’ distancing, whilst in equal measure that we are introduced to “This man, Geert Wilders, is known for testing the limits of freedom of expression. He is free to do that“, in this, if the Dutch are so ‘politically‘ correct, when we accept “Artikel 147 Sr, verbiedt sindsdien smalende godslasteringen die krenkend zijn voor godsdienstige gevoelens” (Article 147 Sr forbids blasphemy that is regarded as offensive to religious feelings), and in this the Parliament building is accepted as a suitable location for the venue of a ‘Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest‘?

The overall lack of coverage by the global media at large remains a much larger issue and it seems that giving a global light to these acts is becoming more and more important, in addition, it seems that when it comes to values, we see that some are not having any and believing in the Golden Calf called ‘Freedom of expression’ should also see vilification by the global population when it is done to intentionally inflict mental abuse of ANY ONE religion. It seems that the Dutch have liberalised themselves a little more than should be regarded as acceptable, but that is merely my view.

In the end: “I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze”, which is another nice quote by the Usual Suspects what remains for consideration is: ‘Who exactly is Keyser Soze and which identity does he have now?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Politics, Religion

Losing business in America

The Washington Post had an interesting article during the weekend. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/supreme-court-case-centers-on-law-enforcement-access-to-data-held-overseas/2018/02/25/756f7ce8-1a2f-11e8-b2d9-08e748f892c0_story.html) gives us ‘Supreme Court to hear Microsoft case: A question of law and borders‘ where the issue debated is: “At issue is whether a U.S. company must comply with a court order to turn over emails, even if they are held abroad — in this case in a Dublin server. The litigation turns on a 1986 law, the Stored Communications Act, passed long before email became a ubiquitous way to communicate and before American firms began storing massive amounts of data outside U.S. borders“, in this case it goes even further then the lawmakers or lawyers have considered. Apart from the fact that the server is physically in Dublin and a case would be required to be made in Strasbourg, there is one additional need (beyond the stringent privacy laws in Europe). Microsoft is phrasing it that in opposition, “an adverse ruling would leave the government “no basis to object” when other countries demand Americans’ emails stored inside the United States, that it would “trammel” other nations’ sovereignty and erode trust in a way that poses “an existential threat” to the $250 billion cloud-computing industry“, this leads us to the Cloud Act, as we get the quote (in this case from WCCFTech) “Congress is currently considering to make it easier for the law enforcement to access international data – one of the major headaches that the prosecutors currently face. Microsoft, Google and other tech companies who have had their fair share of issues with the government have long asked for a revamp of the legislation that demands companies to hand over data stored on a foreign land“, the question is not why it is needed, but on how the changing rule of privacy is impacting those outside of the US, more important, how it could turn against the US in the long term.

The danger is seen, not in Europe, but in Saudi Arabia where banking laws are actually extremely protective of the customers. Let me explain with the following information.

There are certain secular regulations passed by government, which although not dedicated as a whole to data privacy/protection, contain specific provisions governing the right to privacy and data protection in certain contexts. Examples of such regulations include:

  • the Basic Law of Governance (no: A/90 dated 27th Sha’ban 1412 H (corresponding to 1 March 1992)), which provides that telegraphic, postal, telephone and other means of communications shall be safeguarded. They cannot be confiscated, delayed, read or breached.
  • The Anti-Cyber Crime Law (8 Rabi 1, 1428 (corresponding to 26 March 2007)) (as amended), which generally prohibits, amongst other things, the interception of data transmitted through an information network, the invasion of privacy through the misuse of camera-equipped mobile phones and the like, illegally accessing bank or credit data of another, unlawful access to computers for the purpose of deleting, destroying, altering or redistributing private data, or the production, preparation, transmission or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through an information network or computers;
  • The Telecoms Act (approved pursuant to the Royal Decree No. (M/12) dated 12/03/1422H (corresponding to 3 June 2001), which states that the privacy and confidentiality of telephone calls and information transmitted or received through public telecommunications networks shall be maintained, and disclosure, listening or recording the same is generally prohibited

The Regulations for the Protection of Confidential Commercial Information (issued by Minister of Commerce and Industry Decision No. (3218) dated 25/03/1426H (corresponding to 4 May 2005), and as amended), which governs the protection of data considered to be “commercial secrets” under these regulations.
(Source: DLA Piper, at https://www.dlapiperdataprotection.com/index.html?t=law&c=SA)

So if we see Saudi Arabia push for equally protection in regards to digital privacy and digital personal data, there would soon be a jump by many people to get a futuristic @gmail.sa account.

So now we see the US pushing and they could lose out twice, first the fact that others will demand US data in the same trend for their own criminal legislation reasons (which should make the Wall Street boys nice and nervous. the second is that those who they are trying to prosecute will take their business to Saudi Arabia and protective minded nations. With Saudi Arabia looking at billions of investments coming from the Tech sector, giving in to big business like Apple, Google and Microsoft would be a small step to get the infusion of massive cash drops, infrastructure and evolution of their technological infrastructure. That alone could push the ‘Vision 2030’ plan that has been the shiny jewel for Saudi Arabia as envisioned by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud ahead by several years.

Yet when we see the WCCFTech, we also see the dangerous finale. With “Tech companies have continued to hint for a legislative reform that could help them deliver data on criminals when a warrant is served but the data is stored outside of the country. What these companies feel about the Cloud Act, however, remains unclear“, we see the crucible. This test is not set in law, but in interpretation. With ‘deliver data on criminals when a warrant is served‘, you see, a person is innocent until proven guilty, so as such the warrant becomes useless if there is no conviction. Now, I feel certain that the Cloud Act will take such matters into account, but in the clarity of the Act, it is an American Act and as such, even when we get “Thomas Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism and Paddy McGuinness, deputy national security adviser for Britain wrote. “The first one would be with Britain, which already has the authority to enter into such a pact.”” I am personally not convinced of that. The entire mess of the Safe Harbour or Safe Harbour 2.0 and/or the EU-US Privacy Shield, when we see privacy, yet in some places we see “for commercial purposes”, which is causing more confusion than give clarity, the fact that a lot is not done in the open and merely between the US and big business is making plenty of people worried. So when we see “2,400 companies – including Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Alphabet Inc.” whilst we see “Facebook’s default privacy settings and use of personal data are against German consumer law, according to a judgement handed down by a Berlin regional court”, whilst at the same time we see that Facebook list a case in the Belgian courts too. So the entire setting as we are given the view by Reuters “EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova, who presented the first annual report on the agreement, the Shield is “working well”“, whilst at the same time we see that one of the three largest players in the data industry is handed their marching papers all over Europe is a much larger cause for concern and Saudi Arabia is gaining an unique position to cash in on that setting, and they are not alone, in that same view China could make equal protective leaps, enticing business and data away from the US.

In this regard, when we look back at the Washington Post where we see: “With congressional action unclear, the stakes are high for U.S. v. Microsoft, such that more than 30 friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed by the European Union, members of Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tech firms, privacy advocates, and former law enforcement and national security officials, among others”, the issue is not merely what is in play, but with the changes towards G5 all bets are off because it is not merely more data and faster data, there will be a new dimension of machine learning and automation within the apps themselves and as such the issue on legislation on personal data and application data becomes a new and different fields of consideration. Now, this has no bearing on national borders yet, but when the value of application data grows (and it will soon enough on a near exponential scale), we will see these fields come into the view of consideration and debate.

The Saudi opportunity is seen in a much better light when we consider “E. Joshua Rosenkranz, who will argue Microsoft’s case, called the government’s position “a recipe for global chaos.” He added: “If ever there were a step that is sure to stoke international tension, it is sidestepping the treaties that were negotiated by countries precisely to protect their sovereignty, and instead unilaterally obtaining reams of personal letters”, so as we see that side in regards to the ‘sovereignty’ of accounts, we also see that if Mossack Fonseca pushes their boundaries and if they get their infrastructure and security up to scrap, they could open up new doors to alternative and additional revenues, because those who have the cash to secure their privacy will pay through the nose for it. So it will no longer merely be about tax avoidance, it will become about identity avoidance, repudiation avoidance and their cyber persona, all up for Encrypted Cyber Outsourcing. If your value in cyberspace is set to a value, being the one surfing with an economic value of $0 will be the most anonymous one and there are plenty of people who prefer to be that, out of sight of the Skip Tracers, the investigators and the media at large, in the cyber age, anonymity is becoming more and more important, especially to those who embrace anonymity.

The Washington Post gives a few alternative views and all very valid, yet in all this there is not merely the ‘criminal’ data as it is seen, it is the setting of data privacy within the persons national sovereignty set against the US, or any other nation that requests your data for whatever reason they give. We see this in the US case Blackwell, 2004, where we get “Illegally obtained evidence applies to criminal cases only and is typically “evidence acquired by violating a person’s constitutional protection against illegal searches and seizures; evidence obtained without a warrant or probable cause”“, that setting could stretch, especially when data obtained from another country is set against additional privacy laws and in addition, the proof required to set ‘or probable cause’ which might be another bump in the setting of borderlines, whether they are merely digital or physical. The law was never ready for Clouds and Cyberspace. This is seen in the unjust setting of ‘the law does not apply in Cyberspace‘, which is not true (proven on several settings), as the “conflicting laws from different jurisdictions would apply, and even as that happens for any person simultaneously, to some extent, to the same event. The Internet might not make geographical and jurisdictional boundaries clear, but Internet users remain in physical jurisdictions“. There is an agreement there, but as most systems as well as the lack of non-repudiation has been in play from even before I got my University IT degree, and since then too little changed, the failure to prove that the ‘internet user‘ is THAT ‘internet user‘ the law keeps on falling over and as that is paramount in setting the need of the warrant, the warrant should in the end go nowhere, which is exactly what the alleged criminal hopes for and legislation has remained behind the curve by a lot, optionally helping them out evading conviction.

So as we see these settings, we see that the U.S. v. Microsoft could in the end cost the US a lot more than they themselves bargained for, because that is in the end the nature of the beast of commerce, it goes where business and profit resides.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Politics, Science

Not the worst idea

An article hit my eyes this morning. First I was furious; this was easy as I had been set up with a lousy morning already. The one where you wake up knowing that bashing a person to death would be met with life in prison and the thought that this would be OK. I was that angry this morning! So, it is a given that you should not read certain news in an emotional state, but then I realised. ‘This might not be the worst idea‘. The article is ‘Marriage equality opponents call for broad right to discriminate‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/21/marriage-equality-opponents-call-for-broad-right-to-discriminate), you see, here we see the shortsighted, optionally two individuals who embrace the life of ‘Homo flaccidicus‘ (aka Homophobes). With “Monica Doumit, responded that the group “believes that no one should be coerced to use their creative talents to endorse a message with which they disagree”” we see opportunity. I will get to that later. And with “For example, we support the right of the many advertising agencies and meeting venues who have denied us service during this campaign to do so.” Monica Doumit opens a can of worms she would have been much better steering clear of. Tiernan Brady is right when he states that the comments showed the ‘No campaign‘ was engaged in was merely “a blatant attempt to unravel existing anti-discrimination laws which serve everyone in Australia well, not just LGBTI people”. Yet, Tiernan my friend, it might not be the worst idea. You see, Monica showed to be not the best intellectual mind and I will now lower my standards to meet hers. You see, these same people will not be forced into a different state, they forgot about their own self-interest in this. It will be their duty to loudly point at adulterers all the time and perhaps even stone them (I am opting for mandatory stoning). When you consider that amongst the penises and vaginas they know at least one out of three is involved with adultery (apparently that is what the statistics claim), so their foundation of friendship will be diminished by 30% at the very least (optionally for footy players this number allegedly goes up to 60%). So not only will they lose business to friends, the people that they are stigmatising will move to other grounds as well. So soon there will be no business left for them. Well, the Muslim community will, according to: “Sahih Bukhari (83:37) – Adultery is one of three justifications for killing a person, according to Muhammad.” be lowering the population soon thereafter as well. So house prices will dwindle down and I would like that too as I can’t afford a house in Sydney at present. So, getting back to the snakes and caves! When chastising the adulterers, as we read: “Mark 10:12 – And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery“, so these people will have to point out even more weaklings (in their mind). With divorce being close to 40%, these ‘discriminating No sayers‘ will soon have no friends, no business and no future. And the nice thing is that if THEY do not do these things we can do it for them and put them out of business that way as well. You see, doesn’t the heavenly father massively frown upon hypocrites?

So what they claim is not the worst idea, because they are forced to adapt to standards that will make themselves pariahs to the open world and there is no turning back from that. Merely because we all hate hypocrites and as we realise that Catholic Priests with young boys are no more than sodomites committing adultery, we could hang them in the trees around St. Mary’s Cathedral. This is the polarised world the No-sayer wants, and as it will largely impact these people, let us try this solution for a while. Their defence is that they are not announcing violence, merely stating their belief. Yet they forget that stigmatising and refusing service out of the allowed path of commerce is basically Psychic Assault, which in my book translates as: assault is assault no matter how you slice it.

So as these outspoken ‘no sayers’ (a path they are allowed to) are moving into the field of the ‘broad exemptions to discrimination law‘, they pretty much dug their own grave. In the mere practicality of these events, yes there are people who are uncomfortable with certain settings and they might voice this. So that couple could move on, especially as there are well over 2200 photographers and dozens good photographers are chomping at the bit to get any job that is out there. You see, the Guardian also gives us: “He said a bill would be guided by three principles: “Firstly, existing discrimination in the Marriage Act should be eliminated; secondly, a strong protection for religious freedom should be provided; and thirdly, we should not reintroduce commercial discrimination in Australia.”“, we can agree that part one is not an issue, it should not affect anyone who is not into the LGBTI field and their happiness should not affect the hetero sexual population in any way. If someone claims that it does, they are more likely to have internal struggles on contemplating what happiness is in the first place. I have always been in favour of religious freedom and as such there should not be an issue for the most either. There will always be groups that are offended by ‘another‘ religion. We merely need to look at Ireland in the 70’s to see that happen and nowadays they are so accommodating to large corporations like Apple that they have seemingly forgotten about the ethical issues between Protestants and Catholics and is seems that this wave is now moving to France and Luxembourg as well. Now we get the final part. With ‘we should not reintroduce commercial discrimination in Australia‘ another can of worms is opened. You see commercial discrimination never ended, it merely got pushed into the corner where the light is low. The evidence is clear in nearly every shop and we see the impact every day, but we ignore the evidence. We the people, we the multicultural sexual community (homo and hetero) are getting great at economic discrimination and as such there remains an issue where, if not set out in the open and force the issue towards people like Monica Doumit this will gradually become a way of life and that is not what we want, moreover, it is one that we need to fight visibly and outspoken, because before we know it, we will have a world where anything not in the mind of a small group becomes the standards and the bulk of us move from being a citizen to be no more than a pariah. This is a real danger and that is why I took my example over the top. By forcing them to the letter of the exercise as they ‘unravel existing anti-discrimination laws‘, by making them act against their own foundation of values, they will soon learn that their view was not merely wrong, it was self-destructive. So as we push for that to happen, if these laws are ever adjusted, we can than also tackle to a larger extent the commercial discrimination that is still in place.

We end up getting two wins in the event, I merely wonder if we can pull it off whilst keeping casualties to a minimum. I am not convinced that the casualty list can be kept to a minimum, yet what would be clear is that the casualties would go far beyond the LGBTI group, which might show the other casualties on how unfair and unacceptable the forced life of an LGBTI person was in the first place.

So as I stated at the beginning, it might not be the worst idea. It merely is one that comes with a higher cost than most trying to instigate it realise.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics, Religion

Strike a match

In Australia, an island with plenty of drought and as we go into the really nice and warm season, a match is not a thing we look fondly off, yet the strike of the match as we see it in France, where it is now uncomfortably cold is another matter. So is it ‘Strike a match!‘, or ‘Match a strike?‘, the strike called on regarding labour reforms could be the one that sets flame to that nation and set flame to whatever growth economy the French think they have. Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-reform-protests/frances-cgt-calls-another-strike-against-labor-reform-others-refuse-idUSKBN1CE2CH) give us “the more moderate CFDT, now France’s biggest union, and the Force Ouvriere preferring negotiations” these two are starting to figure out that the long protected labour rights in France are to ancient. With a mobile workforce all over Europe, it will soon be about taxable products and services no matter where they are and as such France is pricing itself out of a market of workers, faster and faster. The weird part is that France has so much to offer, so the fact that the economy is barely reaching +2% for the longest time is less puzzling and is more and more about the uncertainty that the labour laws are bringing entrepreneurs. Now, I am all for protecting the workers over greedy corporations, yet the draconian shape that it has in France is stopping new waves from moving towards France. French publication ‘the Local‘ (at https://www.thelocal.fr/20171009/france-how-tuesdays-mass-public-sector-strikes-will-affect-you) is giving us “with particular reference to the pay freeze and rise in social security payments, plus the government’s controversial decision to dock pay for the first day of sick leave (jour de carence) to fight against absenteeism“, this implies that former president Hollande has been asleep at the wheel. The changes imposed are to some extent to top the coffers from taking too much of a hit and with minus 2.6 trillion Euro the French coffers need all the help they can get. In this, many newspapers are all about how the appeal of President Macron is wearing thin, yet the bulk of issues that we see in a few fields are ignored to a larger extent. So, when was the last time that a corporate CEO got time with a national ruler to discuss national taxation? Because that is exactly what Tim Cook CEO of Apple seems to have been doing in France. With one source giving us “So, when Tim Cook meets with French President Macron, the matter of taxes could make for an icy situation between the two men. Macron has said he wants to promote France as a place for tech companies to set up shop, but he has also been critical about the role internet companies, in particular, play in society. Macron has been pretty vocal lately about how France and other E.U. countries should close up the loopholes that Apple and other tech companies have been able to use to move their earnings around to more tax-friendly countries, such as Ireland and Luxembourg“, is it a first indication that the French economy is in a much worse shape than expected? The fact that Tim Cook is visiting Élysée Palace not because President Emmanuel Macron is buying his wife the new iMac Pro (an assumption from my side). I am not thinking the worst of the French president, but the issue is questionable, especially as Apple is about to open a massive site in the Battersea Power Station, so as Apple (as I personally see it) is trying to spend the money twice, once by spending it in London and the second time by getting tax deduction for the amount just spend in London so he can get a second building for free in Paris. We see too many people in charge giving in to large corporations too easy and too often. Mostly merely getting it done for their ego’s whilst they sell short the needy coffers of their own nation. They present it as the cost of doing business. Corporations like Apple can merely offer to go somewhere else and the politicians fold like wet paper backs, no hard backs amongst them. As Apple is now getting the news to invest in several nations, $10B for a plant in Wisconsin, $500M in China and as we now see (at http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/10/10/detente-possible-between-tim-cook-macron-over-apples-future-taxation-in-france-eu) “Macron’s staff report that past tax disputes weren’t discussed in any way, but Cook acknowledged a sea change in how companies should pay taxes specifically where they are earned, and not in one country to cover the entire EU” is just one side, so as we also see “Apple continues to deal with a ruling by the European Commission, which will force a $15 billion payment of back taxes to Ireland —when the Irish government gets the disbursing fund established. Ireland disputes the ruling, and says that Apple has paid all of its required taxes. The European Commission is suing Ireland for the lack of collection, and to force the issue“, an issue that has played for the longest time. And every time when I see that politicians are ‘offended’ by the lack of payments I wonder how they are selling the lack of their treasuries to the Irish people. Ireland must be the richest nation in the world when it regards a non-paid $15B as not an issue. So whilst public services are lowering in Ireland and as we see “Sinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty said, however, that the government has failed spectacularly with today’s budget and suggested it was a lie to suggest you can cut taxes and solve the problem of the health and housing crises” (at http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/donohoe-defends-tax-cuts-despite-growing-pressures-on-public-services-809339.html) whilst there is an apparent issue with Apple’s outstanding $15 billion, we need to wonder on who the politicians are actually working for and who pays their income. Questions the media seems to walk away from. Yet this was not on Ireland, this is about France and the labour issues. It seems that Ireland and France are labour opposites. As Ireland is showing itself to be more flexible than a slinky in a hurricane, France is showing their flexibility to be zero degree Kelvin, which could remain detrimental to the financial growth of France in more than one way.

So as France is now huddled into a posing form of strikes all over the place, we see that emotions run high, so high that the French decided to release teargas, so that the people could cry over the matter. So as we see the news that 450.000 travelers are feeling the consequence of the French not agreeing with the labour overhaul, we need to consider how its impact is on the long term. You see everyone forgot about Marine Le Penn. After she was not elected, all the people thought they had evaded having to bite the bullet, yet in all this; the issue is not what had been surpassed, but what can haunt again. Instead of the media trying to figure out and illuminate what Front National had in store, with actual answers to how the issue could have been solved, the media bombards Macron again and again, the issue is not what happens when Macron fails. The issue is that when the dust settles, there would not be a long election, the labour parties would jump on the Le Penn bandwagon in a heartbeat leaving no options for France at all. The entire ‘Status Quo’ debate could quite literally blow up in their faces and when the next smear campaign starts, the people will in unity ignore the media to the largest degree. So as we see the nonstop battering of the strike and how bad Emmanuel Macron is doing, they are equally ignoring the fact that none of the other politicians have any better a clue or an idea on how to solve certain matters, which means that Front National is currently swimming free setting up whatever they want. Because the people might have shared some enthusiasm with some young sprout now President of France, but that trick only works once. In opposition, I doubt that Marine Le Pen has a clear path on how to fix the economy. The IMF is actually assisting her as we see Bloomberg with ‘Raising Taxes on the Rich Won’t Necessarily Curb Growth, IMF Says’ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-11/raising-taxes-on-rich-won-t-necessarily-curb-growth-imf-says), yet even as we see “The IMF report comes as governments in advanced economies face a backlash against the effects of globalization and technology. Voters from France to the U.K. have expressed frustration with what they perceive to be the unequal benefits of free trade and open borders”, the bandwagon that the IMF offers is equally a much larger problem. Even when we ignore the actions of Depardieu moving to Russia, the media has bungled the events for the largest degree. You see, as I mentioned before, whilst media is staring at the ‘super wealthy’ and giving rise to emotions of more inequality in an age where the people are pointed in the wrong direction by the media at large. Yet this group is a mere 330,000 souls large last year and less than half a million cannot supply the multiple billions (read: Trillion) that the treasury is already short of and the IMF knows this. This is the UK, in France, where less than 1% pay at the rate of 45%, we see an implied group of a little over half a million making it into that group. The reality that the IMF is selling is not realistic and everyone with spreadsheet skills can see that such a small group cannot address the trillions of debt that France has, so as we see that growth might not seem to e curbed, the issue is that the infrastructures are starting to collapse. In the UK the NHS is pretty much the most obvious example, but in all this France has a few issues of their own and none of it will be resolved until there is a fair setting of corporate taxation for the larger players who leech their zero tax vie Ireland and other options; options that the local shops can never rely on, which growth business inequality even more and a lot faster. Is it not weird that the IMF is in total denial through carefully phrased messages like “When it comes to corporate income taxes, the trend in lowering corporate tax rates is a pervasive trend overall in the last few decades. That is something which is often attributed to tax competition. There is, however, the interesting finding that this reduction in corporate tax rates has not been, in general, matched by a fall in corporate tax revenues”, which in my view means ‘corporate profit can be maximised through lesser taxation and increased production’, which is not for the corporations, but working a person to death whilst there is no quality healthcare is equally detrimental to the health of any nation. So how is that an option?

History has shown that again and again. This we see in the Guardian as it reported “Union leaders said they wanted to show a “profound disagreement” with the president’s plans to overhaul the state sector“, yet where will they go? That is the part the players are all ignoring and in this the media is one of the players. You see, we have seen quotes like “The main reason they voted for him was as a default, as a barrier against the risk of a Marine Le Pen fascist, far-right government“, yet when he does not deliver and as the failings of the left are stacking up. Where do you think the unions will go? They too require being ‘in power’ and they will align with anyone who gives them what they need to stay in power. The media has forgotten about that, or did they? That is the issue because the people at large are not in the know and when the bottle boiled over, they are in the ‘not caring’ team, which allows for a load of misinformation and the official media channels have lost the levels of reliability they need, they lost it the day after the election, especially when the failings started to show. So as the media blunders its way by blasting their current president, they forgot to notice that they have painted themselves in a corner. The question becomes: ‘Can it be fixed?‘ I am not certain, I actually do not know how some of the channels can regain the faith of their readers, that becomes the issue more and more and when that is too late, may Marianne symbol for the French people help them, because the others will not care and that is actually a lot more dangerous than any President Le Pen (should that ever happen).

So as we strike a match under the newspapers misstating our needs and matching the strike workers by educating on the dangers they are setting themselves up to, we might get some actual labour law evolution. President Macron is not wrong in the path he is taking. He is merely ignorant of the French population and their sentiment in certain matters. In that regard he has been a member of the Wall Street population a little too long, and regained his French feeling of solidarity much too short (as I personally see it). So this will not be resolved any day soon I reckon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics