Tag Archives: Italy

S.P.I.D.

Yes, we do love our acronyms. There was SPQR (Senātus Populusque Rōmānus), there is RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging), there is FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition) and my favourite SPID (Stupid people in defence). The last one gets a new level of non-intelligence when we see the BBC article ‘Nato investigates hacker sale of missile firm data’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-62672184). The article alerts us to “Nato is assessing the impact of a data breach of classified military documents being sold by a hacker group online. The data includes blueprints of weapons being used by Nato allies in the Ukraine conflict.” And to show you just how stupid this is, lets take a look at ‘What did they not see?’, which I wrote on May 1st 2021. There I wrote “Ransomware gangs are now routinely targeting schools and hospitals. Hackers use malicious software to scramble and steal an organisation’s computer data”, in addition to this we have ‘Exposing lies?’ Which I wrote on July 23rd 2019. There I gave the readers “The FBI send their cyber experts and behold, they too agreed that it was North Korea. Even as we were extremely aware that they had no way of doing it, the FBI stood firm on their findings.” These elements matter. They matter because on July 30th 2021 I wrote ‘In retrospect’ where I gave the readers “It goes back when I designed an intrusion system that stayed one hop away from a router table between two points and to infect one of the routers to duplicate packages from that router on that path, one infection tended to not be enough, 2-3 infections needed to be made so that the traffic on that route between two points could be intercepted, I called it the Hop+1 solution, I came up with it whilst considering the non-Korean Sony hack. That  thought drove me to think of an approach to find the links.

So when we see ‘now’ (8 hours ago) that “The pan-European company, which is headquartered in France, said its information was hacked from a compromised external hard drive, adding that it was cooperating with authorities in Italy, where the data breach took place. It is understood investigations are centred around one of MBDA’s suppliers.” This is important because I learned basic issues like data at rest and data in movement A DECADE AGO, as such, how stupid were these people? And that is before we start digging into the ‘compromised external hard drive’ part, who got it compromised, where was IT, how did SE-Unix fail, or are these people even more stupid and they relied on Microsoft? So whilst we understand “a Nato spokesperson said: “We are assessing claims relating to data allegedly stolen from MBDA. We have no indication that any Nato network has been compromised.”” Yes, because admitting to a faulty network is a bad gig for all around. I reckon that this gets shovelled under any carpet as soon as possible, and the criminals? They get to fill their pockets. A stage that has a few issues from the get go and that is before we start digging into “Cyber criminals, operating on Russian and English forums, are selling 80GB of the stolen data for 15 Bitcoins (approximately £273,000) and claimed to have sold the stash to at least one unknown buyer so far.” There is still the issue whether the claim is true, who was the culprit and where did it all go? There are all kind of questions and that is not on the BBC or their fault. What one person claims is another person’s believe and yet another man’s doubt. But there is a rather large problem, the fact that there was an external hard drive, the fact that it allegedly was compromised implies that there are failing policies in place, there are failing IT divisions in play and there is a large amount of military IP in the open. There is a lack of questions and the fact that it is not front page news in EVERY paper is yet another matter. So when we take notice of “A former Nato official said: “There’s a lot of over-classification in Nato but these labels matter. They are applied by the originator of the information and NATO SECRET is not applied lightly.

“This really is the kind of information Nato doesn’t want out there in the public.”” We seem to see the change of a dance, what direction and which tempo is unknown to me. It gives a speculated view that there might be additional damage, but that is speculated and in light of one compromised device the question becomes how was this one undetected for so long and whatever more could be compromised? So when you take a dab at my hop+1 solution, consider that a compromised device indicates that some people of rank in that place were especially stupid. But that could just be me and I merely wonder how the relationship of mundane workers at place X versus the amount of SPID’s in that place becomes an interesting investigation. Merely because there are a whole range of players who would want that data and they are all willing to pay, so these hackers could end up with 10-50 times what they have now. 

Enjoy the day!

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The reality teaser

That is my name for them, it was today that I was recollecting something I thought would make a good game. Yet it is not a mainstream game, it is a niche, but it will appeal to some and from there I would hope that it would catch on. I wrote about it on July 12th 2021, the article ‘New and reinforced’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/12/new-and-reinforced/) was the start of the idea. A game that was for the streamers, not that the consoles could not get there, but the sheer size of the game and the intricacies that would need several patches over time made it not feasible on consoles, but streamers are a different matter. There it was possible. The Zombie survival game came from that setting. And here the issue starts. You see, several games on Android and Apple have ads, they show something that is not in the game, but adding it would be a good idea. There has been some complaints on that and Apple and Google seemingly do not care, the advertisement money is coming in. Yet the idea that the Last Fortress uses as a teaser is actually a good idea. It is not implicated in the Zombie survival game I had in mind, but the addition of a room creator is not a bad idea. Especially in a safe zone. You see, I have mentally added a whole range of artisans that add to the game and to the gameplay, but in today’s world they are often forgotten. 

  1. The Seamstress

The seamstress adds to the creation of armour, now her speciality is not better armour, but more comfortable armour. I remain a devoted follower of checks and balances. So metal armour would be +5 protection, but they have a comfort level of -2, as such weapons and movement are degraded by 2 points. So it is not the greatest solution. But here comes the seamstress. Her ability starts by adding comfort levels to EVERY piece of armour, and as she does more alteration her plus one will become plus 2. As such metal armour has no longer any setbacks. A stage games forget about, the checks and balances.

2. The watchmaker
Yes that is someone you would ignore, but the watchmaker would add the setting of clockwork traps. Together with a tinkerer they could create traps that have a longer usefulness, and also they would use less power or none at all, a corridor with traps that can reset themselves. 

These are but two of a whole range of people that are optionally in the game to be saved and added to the community. But what happens when it is not in a place you know like Los Angeles or New York? What if you had to create a safe space in a place like Palermo, or perhaps Messina? 

An island where you need to eradicate well over 93% of 5 million people? Now the idea of a watchmaker and a tinkerer does not sound so weird does it? There is no way that you will find the 5 million bullets and not everyone is turned yet, so you will need weapons, you will need to find food and you need a safe space to optionally grow food and create drinks. So even as the reality teasers give you something you cannot play, that does not mean it cannot be made and next to the survival game on the Citadel and that might still be an option later down the track, but you need to start somewhere and a zombie survival game is as good a place as any. And be honest, who considered Sicily as a starting place? 

It is merely a thought but it opens up all kinds of venues for the game, you see when the mechanics are in place, the same game could be launched in a place like Malta (525,000), Gotland (57,000) but here we can now add a dimension, Gotland will allow us to add Hyperthermia as an element, as such the seamstress suddenly becomes close to essential. Each with their own challenges and as we become more and more adept we will see places where the population is increasingly hostile (Cuba), we could add Nassau, Crete, Falklands and so on. A game that evolves and has an increasing amount of places where you need to find your way around and learn to survive and no cheating these special people will not be in the same place every time, perhaps in some games they are not even there. As such I had decided to Create 15 special people. Each with a special skill that by itself is merely useful, but combined with another special person becomes a real game changer for the game. It is my way to have checks and balances and still keep the game interesting down the track. 

And credit where credit is due, it was the reality teasers that put me on this track and if you wonder where I get my ideas from and why game makers are not on this track you would be right. Some game makers are on the right track and give us new places to dream of (Guerrilla software) and the older ones like Insomniac are also on the right track, but the larger players like Ubisoft are losing the plot. We see news like ‘Ubisoft’s Bad Luck Streak Continues With Delays, Cancelations, Cost-Cutting’ where we get to see “Guillemot reiterated that despite these issues, the company is still aiming for over $US400 ($555) million in operating profits this year”, yes because gamers are really interested in how much profit you are making, even though a game like Valhalla was released on November 10th 2020 it still shows crashing bugs almost two years later. And when we see that the game is now in shops at 1/3rd of the original price. You think gamers are interested in their profits? They want a good game and there the plot falls for too many game makers and that is a shame because good games are worth their weight in gold. Still good games are coming, but from other directions and soon that changes too, because more and more are seeing the benefit and the larger profit margins of streamers. If I can find the hidden cache of 50 million people all willing to pay $10 a month, how long until others are figuring out that small thinking only gets you so far. It is the larger dream cut in manageable pieces could bring the game everyone has been waiting for. And it is not that far ahead, some of my ideas are already possible and could be ready early 2024. And when you consider that people are gawking at games that will not appear until late 2023, I think I have set the proper foundation of larger games and where they could go. Too bad some others are not ready for that yet, but I reckon that Tencent will give them a cruel wake up call, if they get where I expect them to go. The people at Google, Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft will be either adjusting their faulty vision or they will all become inferior to Tencent, a setting we would never have believed less than a year ago. Sony is still safe for now, but they too will see the realisation that there is a much larger player in town than they bargained for. 

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An apolitical setting

That is where I find myself. It comes from the BBC with the article ‘Ukraine anger as Macron says ‘Don’t humiliate Russia’’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61691816). I see the dangers, I see the anger and I see the fears. We are given “Ukraine’s foreign minister has hit out at French President Emmanuel Macron after he said it was vital that Russia was not humiliated over its invasion”, we are also given “Mr Macron has repeatedly spoken to Mr Putin by phone in an effort to broker a ceasefire and negotiations. The French attempts to maintain a dialogue with the Kremlin leader contrast with the US and UK positions.” Now we all feel that Russia needs to lose and the Ukraine has (for the most) clearly shown that, but the defeat needs to be worse than that. I am for the most on the side of the US and UK. Yet there is visible wisdom on the side of France. You see Russia might still at some point embrace ‘In for a penny, in for a pound’ and that is the danger setting. You see, if that pound is nuclear driven there is every chance that life in France will end, as will it all over Europe, the UK and the US. But for France the cost is larger. The top exports from France will be gone forever. It will start with end of the cheese and wine clubs. This might be seem trivial, but consider that this stage will end for ALL ETERNITY French wines and French cheeses. Yes, Sweden has good cheese, Wisconsin has good cheeses, as does the Netherlands. Good wines are allegedly found in California, they are found in Italy, Greece and South Australia as well as in New Zealand. Should this go South, it will no longer be available from France. So I get the stance of France. 

If we believe that the players could be swayed by political settings, keeping one open seems imperative. Yet the setting that defeat needs to be more pronounced is also essential. I feel that it is important that after September 30th it will no longer be allowed for Russians to hold property and/or businesses outside of Russia. They cannot have anything to say in non-Russian nations. When you consider the Russian billionaires in the field and their fortunes will be destined by yachting between Dubai and Russian territory their lust for life will diminish. The family of Russians  will not be allowed schooling and life outside of Russia. When this setting is seen over generations, we see the unrest that Russia faces. It will be a situation that goes far beyond Moscow on the Hudson. As such I to a point support the setting that President Macron sets with “Mr Macron told French regional media that Russia’s leader had “isolated himself”.

“I think, and I told him, that he made a historic and fundamental error for his people, for himself and for history,” he said. “Isolating oneself is one thing, but being able to get out of it is a difficult path,” he added. Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has aligned himself with Mr Macron, suggesting Europe wants “some credible negotiations”.” Yet I do believe that there will be the essential need for a larger cost to the Russian people. I have had some issues with the economic assault on people like Roman Abramovich, but the time has passed and they have (for the most) not spoken out loudly enough against the acts of the Russian state, its acts in Ukraine and it gets to be worse. The recent burning down of the All Saints Skete of the Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra in the city of Sviatohirsk, Donetsk region is merely one of the most visible settings and there needs to be a price to pay for all Russians. So to some degree I side with President Macron, but that setting is not sailing when we give a pass to certain people after the war. That much WW2 has shown us a little too clearly. So whatever comes next, Russia needs to realise that the invoice is due and it will be staggeringly high, higher than the one Germany was given on 28 June 1919 in Versailles. We can flicker over the treaty required that Germany pay financial reparations, disarm, lose territory, and give up all of its overseas colonies. We can also look at the simple setting that in that same treaty they were given the limitations of

  • The German army was limited to 100,000 men.
  • Conscription (forced army service) was banned; soldiers had to be volunteers.
  • Germany was not allowed armoured vehicles, submarines or aircraft.
  • The navy could build only six battleships.
  • The Rhineland became a demilitarised zone.

In Russian terms it means that they will be limited to protecting the China-Russia border, because the setting will play after this one. And controlling that much area with 6 ships? Good luck with that idea. Optionally only 5 as they lost another one in the Ukraine. As such I reckon that the Russian oligarchs will sell whatever they have and quietly live out their days in places like Dubai. It is not a given, merely a speculation.

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The dangers of appeasing

We all know it, we still do it, although most people tend to be cautious of the setting where and who they appease, but it still happens and for the most there is no impact. For the mot there are no consequences. Yet in some cases there are, yet are we aware? Are the appeased parties aware? Because that side still matters, the appeaser and appeased are often, nearly always going from a place of innocence, or at least not knowing what will happen. 

And today the BBC gives us one side. The article ‘Clearview AI fined in UK for illegally storing facial images’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-61550776) has a side to it, one that most are eagerly or unknowingly ignoring. 

We see “Clearview AI takes publicly posted pictures from Facebook, Instagram and other sources, usually without the knowledge of the platform or any permission. John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said: “The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behaviour and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable.”” My initial answer is ‘And?’ This is a foundation of Facebook, it is granular data analyses and lets face it, the images were given to the internet and “but effectively monitors their behaviour” is merely the next step. You see, there is a side that we want to ignore. There is the setting of ‘publicly posted pictures’, it therefor becomes PUBLIC DOMAIN (in some cases), granted, not in all cases and there we need to ask Meta whether THEIR rules were broken. And then we get the whopper “People expect that their personal information will be respected, regardless of where in the world their data is being used.” Where is that set in stone? I mean, really. Where is the law that states that this has to happen? And then we get the part that matters “When Italy fined the firm €20m (£16.9m) earlier this year, Clearview hit back, saying it did not operate in any way that laid it under the jurisdiction of the EU privacy law the GDPR. Could it argue the same in the UK, where it also has no operations, customers or headquarters?” And now we see the setting “it did not operate in any way that laid it under the jurisdiction of the EU privacy law the GDPR” I am not debating or opposing, I am asking. Because if that is the case, if that is true, then the actions against Clearview are close to pointless and lets be clear Russia and China might be doing EXACTLY the same thing. It was on the internet and this is not new. To see that, we need to go back to September 7th 2021 when I wrote ‘As banks cut corners’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/07/as-banks-cut-corners/) there it was banks versus organised crime and the image (see below) remains the same, but now it is set in a commercial stage with connected images to boot.

The BBC article is less than an hour old. I wrote about similar settings out in the open 8 months ago. So when we get John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner stating “The company not only enables identification of those people, but effectively monitors their behaviour and offers it as a commercial service. That is unacceptable.” Consider the word “unacceptable”, he does not state that it is illegal, interesting is it not? So exactly what are these fines? On what legal transgression are they based? 

We see the data protection act parts when we are given:

use the information of people in the UK in a way that is fair and transparent
have a lawful reason for collecting people’s information
have a process in place to stop the data being retained indefinitely
meet the higher data protection standards required for biometric data

So what defines ‘fair and transparent’? I know what the words mean, but what do they mean here? Have a lawful reason? It is public domain, a collector has a perfectly valid reason, does he/she not? And when we get to the word indefinitely, we can set a stage of 100 years, because that is not indefinite, so where is the definition of indefinite given? As for biometric data, we accept that “physical characteristics — that can be used to identify individuals” there is however one side that is less clear. It is “used to identify individuals” what if the photo is not the identifying part, but the data is? I am merely stating a fact, most photo’s are not the greatest source of identification, for example (see below) how tall is Peter Dinklage? This photo will not give that away, will it? 

And this data protection act only works for the UK, if the British people were photographed outside of the UK, the photo is out of consideration, is it not? Consider ‘people in the UK’, what if they were in Rome, Amsterdam or Brazil. How would that rule apply? All questions that come up and there might be for a lot of them rules that stop certain part, but not all parts and Clearview has 20,000,000,000 images. We would need to check them all and that will take a group of 20,000 people months, if not a whole year. So who pays for that part? All whilst there are parts that rely on Public Domain. It is a dangerous setting. I get it, it is dangerous and my part of the banks, merely makes things worse, makes the dat more complete and that is not merely banks. Consider the data Dunnhumby has, the data collectors, the panel creators. Dozens of data agencies and consider that several are outside the UK and EU, what happens when that data is combined? This mess is a whole lot worse than anyone considers and it was not due to big tech, it was due to greed driven people seeking new currencies and people are currency. I am not stating that Clearview is innocent, but they got here because the laws were lacking for decades. Now that the data sources are there, it is already too late. Whatever music John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner is playing, it suits his ego and the ego of his friends. For the people it is largely too late and it has been for a while, a setting I saw a long time ago and I illustrated it last September. I knew this because I used to do this and I was good, very good at doing this. So I leave you to wonder just how protected you are, because you are not, but you will learn that soon enough.

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Interchanging hope and despair

You think it is odd, but it is not, stay with me. As the body goes through a point where it can no longer tell the difference between pain and pleasure, the soul has a similar event and in that event it can no longer make the difference between hope and despair. You might think that this is some new revelation, but it is not. It is old, very old. I reckon before the first crusade. To understand this we need to take the first sidestep. 

Sheherezade
We all have heard the story of Sheherezade and the 1001 Arabian night. But which version did you read? Most of us have had some translation of Sir Richard Burton, but none of them are complete. You see, if you had the whole complete tale and you would do the math, you will find that 5 stories are missing. 5 nights are not accounted for. This is because some clerics found them too dangerous in western hands. As such the clerics decided that these 5 stories were to be removed. Do not ask me for them, I never saw them either. Only certain members of the Royal family of Saudi Arabia have seen them (if they read the book), they are in a basement, it is one of the most controlled environments in the world. In that room is an altar, some kind of book altar (I think) and on it is an exquisite piece of work, the complete stories by Sheherezade. The only place in the world where the 5 missing stories can be found.

Vladimir Bartol
This is the second sidestep. A novel from 1938, it would become the foundation of the first Assassins Creed game by Ubisoft. It is the story of Hassan as-Sabbah. This is where the slogan “Nothing is true, everything is permitted”, but that saying is actually older, older then Hassan as-Sabbah, It comes from the Arabic clerics who travelled Europe in the 9th century (Spain, Italy, Greece and Slovak areas) They founded the premise “Nothing is true, in this world perception is all. Only a blind man can see what is real. The blind man can smell what is true, can hear what is stated. Perception can not be maintained. In this world, where one is perceived to be noble, nobility tends to not ever be found there. In this world of greed and wringing, like a cloth made devoid of water, of blood. Those wielding perception are in charge of what is real. This is more often seen in clergy and nobility than anywhere else” harsh words, but that was merely the beginning. You see, we now get to the first story.

Speculated story one
The first story was based on the life of Antarah ibn Shaddad al-Absi, and Sheherezade who knew so much also knew of him, and created the story of two student knights and alternative path away from the ways of ethics. The names of these two knights I do not know, there is no hidden thing here, I never saw that book. But the story goes that these two knights plotted in the night, not against their teacher, not against his values. But the simple fact was that the Arabic people could not be protected if they adhered to all ethics, at times ethics must give way to the protection of the people. The infidels deserved no consideration. But the story was one of insight on how ethics  are the cornerstone of what was right, still the story struck to close to the real world and the story was removed from consideration. We do not know what happened to these knights, some tell us that one went north, the other south. The one who went North did not go to Lucera, but his disciples (mostly women) created a convent somewhere in southern Germany (unknown where, some assume the black forest) and in that convent the women kept up appearances and kept to themselves. Seen as a convent and a hospital of mad people, a curtain was created. One wing and its basement were the sick, the mad. The less sick were properly treated for on a higher level of that wing (I presume the second floor) and below the destitute there was a trapdoor and another layer, one where the knights trained, day and night. Where they recorded the deeds of the corrupt, the wealthy the true noble and the christian demonic types. For decades they were there recording it all, reporting it all. If I am correct, it still happens today, but the stage is not the one they had there. They have moved into a very different area and seen as some version of clergy, no one seems to check and there is the rub. In a place without ethics, ethics removed makes one more fluidic, but at a price. The question becomes what is that price?

It is there in that place where hope and despair become faded, one cannot tell the difference, because the ethical walls were removed and who can tell whether they are still a force of reckoning. There is no record of them, there is no telling, no tale. 

So whilst we try to be noble, whilst we try to be true, we act on the values that the perception makers hand us and we seemingly copy these value blindly. Consider that greed comes naturally in banks and consider the life of Bob Diamond (Barclays, 2012) and see where this so called ‘highly respectable’ man had access to, and seemingly still had. You see he was behind an IPO which raised US$325 million (and crashed in 2021). So in a place with ethics, where do you stand where a person like that is trusted with $325,000,000? In many places where the light of perception does not shine, such a person is not allowed to be an uber driver (or a barber for that matter). As such it seems that we have larger problems, because the values we seemingly embrace are the beginning of the end of our souls. When did we sign up for that? It seems that despair is all that some bankers will leave us.

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Residual seeking

Yes, what is it? Well it connects to the game I am designing. You see, Any RPG has its sides and it needs to change, it needs to be a lot less Bethesda (their games are not bad), yet I seek originality and this all connects to ‘The stage of commerce’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/25/the-stage-of-commerce/) where I give a lot more and in previous articles (seek and thee shall find) where I give more of all this. Yet there is a side I forgot about. You see, we all expect coin, we all expect funds. But what happens when money had no value in a place where they have no lemonade caps? Well, we will have to make a gander towards older times. In this we need to set steady steps towards other parts, but what if the few gold coins we find have more value by making it into something else? Gold and silver have their uses, especially in the arcane, but when do we see that in gaming? That is the 10th (might be 14th) altering thing that other RPG games are not giving you. So what happens when the chest holds a broken sword? Pieces of chain and two coins? There is a need for nearly anything, you just need to adjust your view and lets be honest, what was the last RPG game you played where it was not about gold, credits, or caps? Any place can grow on commerce, but the driving force of commerce is not always gold based. Many places had other means, even in ancient roman times, the soldiers were paid in salt. Salt was more valuable than coins in some places and a return to that opens a whole new set of gaming parameters. Then we have the fact that the broken sword can be remade as a knife, or could be melted into iron and iron (if enough is obtained) gets you a plough, which means more land and more food for a town. All settings to adjust the view of the gamer and to be honest, I cannot find one game offering this alternative view. 

As I wrote in that previous article “because of the random factors the rainbow tables are dynamic and that creates a whole new environment. One where the game can live without you and you become a contributor, not the driving force of anything.” This is important as your play style changes, the dynamic setting remains to some degree and that can push you in other directions. A stage where you optionally have an island that is an evolving stage as we start the island at 18,040 km2 (Halmahera), but there is nothing stopping us to upgrade the island down the track to 138,794 km2 (Java), there is something awfully satisfying to that. It evolves playing and makes it about the game you play, not WHERE you are. And lets be honest, if you could play a game again a year later and that place is 600% larger? Not go from one island to the other, but end up in a similar island a lot bigger and in that setting when you play the generations, what more can you find? It might not be needed as 18,040 km2 is huge, but the option opens a new frontier for RPG gaming and that is what we want, new frontiers and in that only streaming systems would be able to do this, and as I stated very recently, the streamers differentiate themselves or they will become trivialised. There is nothing interesting in playing the same Ubisoft game on these two systems. Yet what happens when AC Brotherhood suddenly has Spain and France added to the game? It becomes a different game, you as a gamer would have to make choices, because you could never see it all. You see, replayability becomes infinitely more important for streaming systems, and as such to prepare the next level of RPG games for such a setting is becoming more and more important. It was one of the truths I realised when I designed Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration. Evolution is where gaming is and the current makers are too much about selling the same cookie to all the other systems, all whilst some can only store cookies, the others are capable of storing a whole apple pie. And when you can have the apple pie, are you really looking out the window for the next cookie dealer? Fair enough if you are hoping for Shannon Elizabeth in a girl scout outfit, but what are the chances? 

Consider how far the Stadia and Luna can take you and then look at the failures of Ubisoft, what are you waiting for? Now, in their case I will make an exception for AC Origin and some might like to play the others again, I get that, but do you really want a Ferrari to get your groceries, or do you want to see what is 2365 km of your current location? How will you get there? You might never see it all, and that is fine too. A game that still has more to offer is a game you will play for a much longer time and there is also the rub. Ubisoft and others have made us completionists, yet how much of your own nation have you ACTUALLY seen? Are you really that driven in gaming, or can you see that the story is bigger than you. Can you see that beyond the main story, beyond all the quests there is just more and we will never see it all? That is perhaps the only real flaw that Bethesda has in its games and we all fell for it. In previous systems it was a natural flow of what a system could hold and we get that, but the newest consoles (PS5) and streamers have broken that limit, so we need to use the new settings to offer more gaming, different gaming and we need to throw repetition out of the window. That is merely my view on the matter, and it starts by creating a new mould, one based on historic parts, but still offers more than we have gamed before. It is possible, it is out there. Grab it and make it yours.

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The forgetful disabler

This happens to us all. I believe it happened to me this evening. This is not easy to explain. At times our mind fills the void. 

For example, the simple guy (me) wants to dream of that super sexy doctor (for whatever reason) and there is Doctor Remy ’13’ Hadley that comes to MY personal assistance in feeling relaxed (Dr. House was busy) and my inner (really happy) angel smiles, it was my day to make that part of me that feels like a million bucks to feel like a vagrant. Sometimes life smiles. But the brain can do the opposite too You think you are in your apartment, relaxing on the sofa, but the sofa feels different, almost inhumane and the brain gives you a 60 minute ride that contains 4 seasons of American Horror Story and then some, and the brain kicks in and removes that part instantly the moment you wake up. I think I just had one of those, so the person is trying to remember Olivia Wilde and the brain goes ‘No, no’ you are so much better off not knowing what just happened to you. And the brain relaxes because in the corner of my mind is the phrase ‘the guardians of the realm of Hades’ and I have no idea what it really means, but for some reason it feels really good not knowing. Yet I believe that the brain is trying to teach us in the light and the dark sides, the problem is that not all lessons are sweet ones, the dark bitter ones are also not to be denied. In sports it would be like being the goalie for an NHL team and whilst the mind is trying all options of a defence, all options of blocking the puck, the brain gives you a rundown of 20 years of hard moments and that is fine, but if it leads to that one sweet moment of blocking the winning goal of the opponents, should we ignore or avoid it? Should the brain listen to Elmo Zumwalt stating that the newly designed weapon will hurt that vessel carrying his name, all whilst it will (and was designed to) stop the Iranian vessels. To listen to the captains of your better judgement sounds nice, but that voice does not tolerate the bad instances, yet those too have a lesson to teach, we all know it and ignoring the voices from the dark corner could be equally dangerous. We can listen to the environmentalist on how bad our planet has become through plastics yet plastics protect our heads in the form of helmets. They keep us safer in our cars in the form of seatbelts and the application grows in all directions. It is the application of plastics for quick consumerism, the application of cutting the corner of waste that makes it evil. To ignore one good corner because there are three bad ones is not a bad thing, but it is the rejection of our consumerism that makes it a problem. As such I feel happy that the brain denies me something, but it also makes me wonder what my own limitations are, the lesson the dark corner was ready to give me. It is its own version of safety through disaster, yet I also know (anyone from the merchant navy does) that there we see the basis of why fire and emergency services exist. Our current world environment subjects us to an abundance of hazards, risks, and dangers, both seen and unseen. And it is in that dark moment we see a new way of avoiding harm, enabling thousands to avoid harm. You see in 1860 (or around that time) that gave British Captain George William Manby an idea that he developed into the modern fire extinguisher. I truly believe he did not get to that point be thinking about his version of Olivia Wilde, his idea came from a much darker corner than anything I can design and now that dream from darkness saves tens of thousands of lives every year. So should we avoid looking there? Perhaps Hades has its own Guardians, perhaps we were never supposed to see what was there. Yet I believe that not all that is dark is truly there to hurt us. It is like a thimble-full of Bitrex into an Olympic swimming pool and you can detect the bitterness in those two and a half million litres of water. Should we therefor stay away of Bitrex? It is not dangerous or poisonous, it is merely the the most bitter of substances. You think it is a weird, but there is a reflection. A Jewish Dutch writer wrote in 1957 ‘the Bitter herb’ a book still read in preparations for exams 20 years later. A reflection of the distance and sometimes even hostility displayed by many people in the Netherlands towards returnees from the concentration camps. A lot of us seemingly forgetting the darkness of that lesson, because if that lesson was really learned we would not see Americans in Nazi outfits (something that happened this week). I believe there is danger to shy away from our darkest lessons and the brain is protecting us, but it is doing us no good at present. That is the part I fear happened to me and I know not why the brain did this. Yet we also know that the brain protects us from needless harm, yet is all harm needless? I do not really know the answer to that question, but the storyteller in me wants to know, because it allowed me to come up with the premise to several games, several concept scripts and it also drives IP innovation, if you disbelieve that ask the people who once met Captain George William Manby and the invention he left us. There are dozens of good examples and yes not all ways to Rome are comfortable ones, but is that because the journey was a bad one, or was it because some decided that it was a great way to cut corners? 

The disabler called forgetfulness is not always a shiny white steed. At times it is a simple bright coloured donkey and that cretin is a bloody stubborn one. Ask any Asinara, the mere question some have is ‘Are you an incomplete albino?’ Whilst the fact in the back is that they are the only white donkey’s and yes, that happens only in Italy. It reflects on the jackass in us, and every jackass is a MALE donkey. They said Moses was lost in the desert for 40 years, perhaps because he was too stubborn to ask his wife for directions? It is merely a thought, but that is how all things start, with a mere thought. It allowed me to create IP, stories and concepts. So where should you be looking for the next invention? In the sunshine, or in a dark corner? And if you wonder who the guardians of Hades are? Ask a girl named Felicity Heaton, I reckon that several streamers ignore looking in one direction because their male ego’s are offended, but yet there is a female director named Olivia Wilde, now if there was someone around with a large sack of coins, they might do wisely to take a gander in another direction, that is how wealth is created, not by saving £180 on a bottle of shampoo at Harrods. That does not make you rich, it merely stops you from squandering something you already had. But that is a lesson for another day.

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The educational track

What if education got a helping hand? We seemingly play games, we seemingly read books, we seemingly learn. What if we unite this? And here we have a setting to the larger stage and I will admit that Ubisoft has the baton. They got it when they aded the Discovery tour to AC Origin. And when we weren’t in a rush to get the achievements we would have learned a decent deal of life in Egypt. The embalmers, the beer makers and so on. I stated it before, Ubisoft screwed up [plenty, but not that game. That one they got right and credit should be given where credit is due. 

And Ubisoft (others too) have been sitting on top of a whole range of IP that they could redistribute in a ‘plus setting’. The stage is decently easy. We have the person we play, we unite the maps of AC Origins and AC Odyssey and we go to town. Remove the wild animals, remove the enemies and so on. Then we add the tracks and works of 

Homer, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Plato, Hesiod, Democritus, Socrates, Empedokles, Anaxagoras, Herodotus and many more (well over 300 more). When set in a time line we learn and we now have an educational program. This can be done for Greece and Italy (aka Roman empire). The finny part was that I would have expected that Ubisoft had picked up on this, especially after the discovery tour. And let be honest, it is a much more interesting way of learning. See it as missions, from person to person, take a gander from where they were born to where they stopped living (or until the big works are illuminated). We see all thee boring books (not all mind you), but to use games to educate has not been explored enough and weirdly enough Ubisoft has an inside track here the renaissance  (AC 2, Brotherhood), US independence war (AC 3), And there is plenty more to tip on and with streaming systems seeking a larger hold, having the games with optional educational side will be a growing thing and lets be clear the expected $200,000,000,000 that the analysts state that gaming represents might go longer for Ubisoft if they find the larger application and I reckon that AC Origins (with Odyssey) might show to be a larger cash cow that could help them stretch time, time they basically no longer have. I would grasp at all options to stretch what is there. And they are not alone, but they are as far as I can tell the most visible one. 

We need to realise that not all games have an educational option, but those who do could have a larger stage to fill and a larger appeal (especially to parents). And don’t knock the idea. To get kids (11-16) interested in classical education topics is hard enough, getting them to walk the timeline of Homer and write a paper in it (with screenshots) might be the new setting no one in education considered before. It might not be their fault, but I reckon it is the foot in the door Ubisoft desperately needs at present. 

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The intelligence nightmare

Yes, that is how I see it. You think that you have seen it all? It is about to get worse and the BBC actually is showing us the start of it. With ‘Thousands of pro-Russia Serbs march in Belgrade’ we are merely scratching the surface. The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-60630351) does not give much, but it gives us “Friday’s march was a show of support for Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine. Serbia has religious, ethnic and political ties with Russia that have existed for centuries” You see it is a lot worse, Serbian arms dealers are all over Europe. Paces like Rotterdam, London and Paris come to mind, but there are more and now as we see all the pro Russian events starting, we see a stage where Serbs could destabilise most of western Europe. They can fuel lone wolves tying hands all over the place and they sit back and watch the chaos unfold. A setting Moscow really likes. So how speculative is this? Well the issues with arm dealers in these three places alone are worrisome and they have been for the longest of times seeing a lot more visibility in 2020. Now with this BBC article it is still speculative to connect the two, but I am not sure that it is merely speculation. There have been issues for the longest of times and it is merely brought to the surface and a more visible pedestal now. 

The problem is that a lot was not monitored for the longest of time and now the intelligence organisations are lacking information on too many sides. Some sources (unconfirmed ones) give rise to activities in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Luxembourg, USA, Norway, Montenegro and Austria. Do you really think it is all speculation? They have been busy under nearly everyones noses for over a decade and now that Russia is pushing the buttons, some are claiming allegiance, some are waking up and some are set to set Western Europe on fire. Which is which? I cannot tell, but there are connections on all kinds of levels. Did no one consider why Russian weaponry was relatively easy to get in Amsterdam and Rotterdam? In 2020 the Times gave us “While Serbia had a glut of Cold War-era stockpiles and a robust but underused defence industry, the Iraqi government was ill-equipped to battle an insurgency. So in late 2007 the two countries struck a £190 million deal to bring Serbian assault rifles, machine guns, anti-tank weapons, ammunition, explosives and other ordnance to Iraq”, I personally believe that these pipelines were there to also get Russian weapons into Iraq, and not merely the ones they have, to a larger degree the Russians provided hardware and that sets a new station, the station of storage. The Netherlands has been (for the longest time), a transitional port of arms, but there is also the speculation (never proven) that at times a container was ‘misplaced’ and ended on Dutch soil, a container filled with arms. So, how much of this is speculation? There is a fair amount of it, but I worked in the harbours of Rotterdam, when I was young and gullible, so anything is possible. Yet in this day and age, when serbs are ‘proclaiming loyalty’ do you want to take that chance? I will let you figure it out.

And whilst you do the Intelligence organisations of Europe will have to take a harsh look at what they have on the Serbs in their domain, because they really do not get to have a choice in that matter, not anymore.

And me? I have found a few more cogs to add to the previous story, I like to remain creative.

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Direction of education

I have been contemplating a separate direction of optional IP. You see, the studios are all focusing on the ‘next big thing’, to seemingly achieve that they tend to go towards the big successes and hope that they have one more slug to deliver. This is not a bad plan, but there is an equal danger on that larger stage not meeting expectations. This is not some curse, it comes from expressions like ‘it rains on the just and unjust alike’, ‘dress for success’, and that list goes on. Yet when we look back, what did Star Trek look back on? What inspired ‘Dallas’, ‘MASH’ and several others? Then I remembered something, something I saw 45 years ago and it still comes up in my mind every now and then. It was a series called ‘Once Upon a time’ and it ran for a long time. It was originally called “Il était une fois…”, a French educational program created by Procidis.

It is time to dig into such a corner (not that corner). You see, we forget that those who inherit the world might not vote, but they are a powerful group and the big wigs seem to forget that THEY too were young once. Consider Marcus Aurelius, the fifth of the good emperors. He died in 180 AD, he was also a philosopher who wrote Meditations, a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. Some still call it a literary monument to a government of service and duty. I was taken aback when I read [6] “to disbelieve the professions of sorcerers and imposters about incantations and exorcism and the like” written by a person who died 1600 years before BS Puritans decided to burn 14 women at the stake in Massachusetts Bay for witchcraft (Salem). All whilst these puritans optionally were afraid of women who merely needed a good fuck (optional speculation). In the end 19 people and two dogs were burned, 1600 years an Italian told them the truth of the matter, and it is time that historic figures more in a life like setting are the stuff of inspiring on TV and not cartoon like. I have nothing against cartoons, yet it is time for the next generation learn on how inspiring, innovative and generation crossing these greeks and Italians were. Some of the Italian practices are still in use 2000 years later. Julius Caesar started encryption by coding his messages. Aurelius wrote a guide that still inspires today. And that is before we consider Homer, Aristotle and a few others. History needs to teach and the classrooms aren’t getting it done, so it is time to give them a hand and the streamers are always looking for new IP, but they seemingly forgot to what the past achieved and what could be possible. Everyone wants another Game of thrones, yet those under 14 needs to be prepared for the future and a good grasp of history is the way to go. If I can create a way to create a concept of burning down a nuclear reactor using an invention from 1900 by Mr Perzy I, what could the next generation achieve when they get a good grasp of Homer, Pythagoras, Gauss and Hilbert, how good could this world end up being? There are of course no guarantees, but considering that the Pentagon cannot be relied on to properly vet translations, people elect a person as president who seemingly is proud on ‘I grabbed her by the pussy’, we seem to ignore basic knowledge and it goes beyond mathematics, or basic philosophy. As I personally see it the media (TV) has forgotten to educate, it is all about the wow, the numbers and the profit and there is every chance at least one generation is coming up short, and we get that it is not all fun and all Game of Thrones, but we need to do more, or streamers should do more to offer a wide interesting scope of educational programs. We could rely on the Squid games to control the population but is that the way big wigs want to go at present? They need numbers for circulation, for ratings and when you decrease the population by X, those numbers would never be reached. Now an argument could be made that certain ratings are easier met when you only have 78% of the population to work with but that requires math, does it not? 

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