Tag Archives: Jeddah

Moby’s Dick

5G is the phrase and the bad part is that the media is shouting what others say and they are not very informative, they are all about bashing Huawei. What is interesting is how bad the situation is in the USA. If 5G is a huge white sperm whale, we need to realise that most people in the telecom retail field are no more than a subversion of some Ahabraham and they are not even holding a spear, merely sucking its dick.

Lifewire however (at https://www.lifewire.com/5g-availability-us-4155914) gives us two elemental parts that most cannot see through all given BS online. I made mention of this setting before (last week at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/02/03/facebook-folly-and-5g/) in the article called ‘Facebook Folly and 5G‘ where I mentioned the news by VentureBeat: “So as we are given: “As reported by VentureBeat, Verizon has detailed that it won’t have true 5G hardware for its 5G Home service ready until later this year. That means expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston won’t be likely until the second half of 2019“, how many people have figured out that ‘expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston‘ implies the largest part of the USA and they are not up for anything before 2020 (and that is me being optimistic)” We see Lifewire giving us both: “It’s also possible that other larger cities like New York City and Chicago will have access to Verizon’s 5G service in 2019“, as well as “However, because the company won’t have standards-based 5G hardware until late 2019, 5G service might stay within the four cities mentioned above — at least for now“. So it is not exactly news, but it is more revealing than most are giving us. Australia added to all with the article in the WA Today. There we see (at https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/western-australia/it-was-a-strange-approach-ex-navy-admiral-opens-up-over-huawei-job-20190208-p50wja.html) ““The purpose within Huawei is to oversight the way that we manage our people, look after them, etc., that’s the role it plays with Huawei,” Mr Lord said. “Everything in Huawei is done for the benefit of the people and the shareholders.” Mr Lord said he referred allegations about Huawei to the parent company in China. “Most of the allegations just don’t come with any proof,” he said. “Whenever there’s a doubt, an allegation made, I query it, I get a solid response. “I don’t from the people making the allegations. I don’t get any proof.”” With this we see a real solid response from former rear admiral John Lord, an actual person with established credibility.

In the last 2 years none of the American claims held any water, yet the press has been too reluctant to assault that part. The truth of the matter is that all media for the most merely adheres to the needs of the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers. America is still big business when it comes to advertisement.

So when it comes to dubious people like Rob Strayer (the US State Department’s top cyber official), when we see: “allowing Huawei and other Chinese companies into their next-generation telecommunications networks would allow Beijing to expand its surveillance state around much of the globe“, it comes lacking evidence, lacking up to the amount of 97.5% of evidence. America has become about fear, fear because they played the iterative game or a decade and when a true step forward was required the US could no longer keep up, they were lazy and complacent for too long. In addition to the previous statement we see in addition “A country that uses data in the way China has – to surveil its citizens, to set up credit scores and to imprison more than 1 million people for their ethnic and religious background – should give us pause about the way that country might use data in the future,” this is given to us whilst the US has been doing something similar to its citizens? They do not call it ‘imprisonment’, they merely set unbearable premiums to essential services and cost of living, they hand over data to third parties and let the mess run itself, limiting people and what they have access to more and more and that has been seen for a decade. Bloomberg gave us merely two days ago: “Trade should be free. The gold standard is archaic. Antitrust should protect consumers rather than punish bigness. Tax rates should be (modestly) higher for the rich. Government should run big deficits during recessions to support growth but get frugal during good times to reduce debt.” It sounds nice in theory, yet this requires commitment and Americans have no clue what commitment is, unless it is linked to the need for greed. This America is so polarised we see the protectionism of President Trump versus the socialism of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and neither path is a great one, they both have flaws and neither will consent to the golden path in the middle, because the gold in that path needs to be sold to pay for the outstanding interest payment due on the American debt for June 2019, and every month it takes 5 weeks to acquire enough just to make the monthly interest payment, so the entire 5G part is essential for America to stay afloat, a plan that is set to fail. It is the plan behind what some call ‘fixing American capitalism‘ because the capitalists are calling the shots and they who made it into that club do not give a hoot for those outside of that club.

This is an important element, because even now, as America is on their ‘European Tour’ for the 5G anti-Huawei wave, we saw only yesterday the Bloomberg News ‘German Government Rules Out Huawei Ban in 5G Expansion, Official Says‘, you see when it is about BS (read: cow manure) versus results, results always win and Huawei has the goods, they have the result advantage and that is where the USA gets themselves into trouble. There is of course the example 2 decades ago of some Colin Powell with a silver briefcase giving us the ‘WMD presence presentation in Iraq‘, you all remember how that ended, right?

As Germany and others adapt the “subjecting all potential service providers to stringent security standards”, America sees that they are in another presentation war and they are about to lose that one. If they had only stopped being complacent about their technology remaining in an iterative field! So when I am all about selling my IP to either Google or Huawei, I am no longer in a place where I am certain that Google is the best solution of the two, it is after all in America. Even as a global company that will optionally bite for them down the road. In addition we see: “Telecommunication companies have warned about costs that would arise if Huawei were cut out of supplying 5G equipment. Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG has warned that Europe would fall behind the U.S. and China in 5G with such a move” a stage that the Australians are already watching becoming a reality, there only Telstra wins and that is fine by too many people who are seat holders in the capitalist game, for them the playing field is never allowed to be plain and level.

And there we get to the true issue, the issue that Bloomberg (one of the few) gave proper light to (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-24/huawei-stokes-u-s-fear-with-low-cost-networking-gear-that-works)  : ‘Another Reason U.S. Fears Huawei: Its Gear Works and It’s Cheap‘, marketing can hide behind levels of deception the AT&T issue) relabelling 4G LTE ‘5G Evolution’ an event that is gaining momentum in the news, especially as Sprint is suing AT&T now over deceptive conduct. Lifewire and others are showing that outside of a few cities there will be no actual functional 5G until at least 2020 and that whilst we now see that Zain Saudi is using Nokia for their: ‘Zain Saudi, Nokia conduct 4.9G pilot to boost capacity and customer experience with 5G-ready massive MIMO active antenna on 2.6 GHz‘, they are clear it is not 5G, it is 4.9G, yet the infrastructure is set now to run the pilot, it gives users above 700 Mbps, which is extreme broadband whilst the hardware will need replacement to make it true 5G, we see that parts of the infrastructure are now actively being tested. They are merely one step away from the stat that was given last year august, the then given claim “Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is expected to commercially launch the fifth generation (5G) network by mid-2019” is now almost there, on time and with the 3GGPS specs. America is not merely falling behind; it is starting to trail the entire stage at best. With their non-actions on AT&T for too long, for their claims on national security that have not been met with ANY evidence on all this. They are all hiding behind the claim makers with pretty degrees and actual evidence did not present itself in any way, shape or form.

When the Saudi even is the success, we will see the EU making a very sharp turn in another direction, they cannot afford another American fuck up. After the Iraq WMD, 2004 and 2008 collapses, America is playing with a strike three against them. And it gets to be worse. Reuters confirmed only a few hours ago (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-hungary-pompeo/pompeo-visit-to-focus-on-us-concerns-over-huawei-in-central-europe-idUSKCN1PX1RS): ‘Pompeo visit to focus on U.S. concerns over Huawei in central Europe‘ with “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will voice concerns about the growing presence of China’s Huawei Technologies in central Europe when he visits Hungary, Slovakia and Poland next week, a senior U.S. official said on Friday as Washington tries to bolster ties with a region it acknowledges it has neglected“, America has resorted to playing its political game. Going to places with beads and baubles trying to impress the people they can still impress with a suit, another silver case presentation, yet this time around without the silver briefcase. They hope to get discord in the EU by playing the individual members against one another, from my personal point of view it will be because the US is soon out of options to pay their interest on the 21 trillion debt they have no way of dealing with. Their greatest option would have been to dispose of their iterative play, but the capitalists in charge decided that it would cost them too much, now it will optionally cost them everything.

So even as Moby’s dick is out in front, the players know that is expected, they do not need to grab their ankles, they merely have to swallow whatever comes next, there will be an aftertaste, but that is what they signed up for, if that is not what they wanted, they should have embraced innovation a lot more than they did. So, now we will (optionally) get to watch the people in Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and Dammam watch their 5G connection, making it one third of the Saudi population with optional mobile access to 5G, consider that stage where Huawei, Samsung and Nokia being the only three options in 5G mobiles, now see that in the earlier light where the US will only have partial 5G in less than a dozen cities. They can cry ‘we are larger’ for all they want, yet the stage is not that they are larger, they were surpassed by what Americans describe as ‘a third world nation’, so how is that as an achievement?

So as Americans hide behind “The United States was particularly worried about Huawei’s influence in small eastern and central European countries where it was easy for China to penetrate state systems, the U.S. official said” without any supporting evidence, we are merely watching that nation lose footing, a nation that merely embraced greed and the need for greed without the consideration that a greed game is one sided and never ever goes the way of anyone but a small group that merely cares about self above everything else.

It fits the bill rather nicely, Ahab and his obsession, willing to sacrifice everyone else, willing to set reason aside in all this. That is what we see with the 5G whale, we see accusations without proof, without proper vetting of evidence, and the media to a larger extent is just as guilty, eager to get the goods from all without properly vetting the stage, and as papers basically repeated what they were given, like the T-Mobile case, whilst it is out in the open that “In a 2017 civil lawsuit, Huawei was ordered to pay T-Mobile $4.8 million in damages. The two companies later reached a private settlement. In a statement, Huawei, which denies wrongdoing, says allegations in the Tappy case were “already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim.”” America has become that desperate. So how does it help anyone to feed that machine of desperate stupidity, even as it was decided that: ‘a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim‘.

When we give weight to the elements, how obsessed has America become in regards to their White Whale? Why is the media not properly looking at that part or the equation?



Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics, Science

A new danger

There is a setting of dangers, the dangers are not merely setting, and for the US it is inequal discussion on how many allies they have left in the near future. It is not a new danger; the actions have been under scrutiny for some time. Yet last night something changed. We understand that electing the 45th president, a ‘former’ greed driven billionaire would always have consequences, yet the amount of consequences shown is now escalating.

The Washington Post gave uis 90 minutes ago ‘GOP fundraiser Broidy under investigation for alleged effort to sell government influence, people familiar with probe say‘, the article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gop-fundraiser-broidy-under-investigation-for-alleged-effort-to-sell-government-influence-people-familiar-with-probe-say/2018/08/17/c9e55792-a185-11e8-8e87-c869fe70a721_story.html?utm_term=.774c7a3358da) a different setting. We always knew that there are two sides and the ‘less progressive’ republican side was always a little of a hot potato to some. Yet with “The Justice Department is investigating whether longtime Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy sought to sell his influence with the Trump administration by offering to deliver U.S. government actions for foreign officials in exchange for tens of millions of dollars“, that hot potato has now turned into a handgranate. With the quote “As part of their efforts, prosecutors have subpoenaed casino magnate Steve Wynn, the former RNC finance chairman and longtime Trump friend, for copies of records and communications related to Broidy” we see that there is a much larger net being used. It is not merely about Broidy, with names like Steve Wynn we see that there are several names involved, all people with almost direct access to the President of the United States, and with names like Jho Low and Guo Wengui we see another side of ‘entrepreneurship’ hitting the limelight.

Yet how real is the setting?

Part of it is seen in the Wall Street Journal, and with “through June and into July, Mr. Low had been living freely in China, a person aware of his travels said”, as well as “Mr. Low had a close relationship with former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who in turn was courted by China. Malaysia’s new government suspects Mr. Low helped arrange infrastructure projects, financed by China, from which funds were diverted to cover debts”, the second part now giving us that America as well as other players wanted access to Mr. Low, yet that in itself is not evidence against Elliott Broidy. What it does tell us that multiple players want access to this billionaire, all for their own reasons and with the US with a debt surpassing 21 trillion, we can only wonder what some people want Mr. Low for. The additional part is that Malaysia is now pulling all the plugs. This is seen as Channel NewsAsia is reprting that “The Bombardier Global 5000 aircraft, estimated to cost US$35 million was allegedly bought with money belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)” (at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/malaysia-to-prove-jho-low-private-jet-bought-stolen-money-1mdb-10621726). It seems so flaky and weird to merely focus on one plane. The amounts are massively larger then the $35 million, so in that case, if that evidence falls over, will the case on that side against Jho Low collapse? When we look in that direction and look at Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, we see that hsi platform is set upon anti-Chinese activities and when we see the accusation “critic on Chinese ventures in his home country for being too expensive and has suspended three China-backed projects worth around $22 billion that were signed under the previous administration”, we see that there might be  case in that part, yet why focus on $35 million in a $22,000 million setting? We also see an additional stage in “Explaining his decision at a news conference last month, the veteran politician said the contract and loan terms behind the deals were unfair, noting that the interest rates on China’s loans were much higher than the 3 percent figure at which the government normally borrowed, the Associate Press reported“, is this all about the money, or merely a way to set the stage for re-negotiation. In that setting, the sound strategy becomes that Elliott Broidy was setting the stage for the United States to poach the finance deals away from China and in that setting, getting Jho Low to give the goods would help the US pretty decent. In addition, when we look at the education of Jho Low, we see that he is an alumni of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the same school that has President Trump, as well as the bulk of CEO’s that at one stage were the captains of the Fortune 500 lists, it includes dozens of airline CEO’s, so in that setting the Malaysian government goes looking for a $35 million plane?

So what is exactly the danger?

It is not on merely the setting of Elliott Broidy in all this, it is the setting where we all need to realise that there is a cost to doing business and it has transgressed borders for the longest of times that, whilst we accepted that in Europe to some degree, Americans never accepted or comprehended that. The media players used that part in all kinds of election setting and fear mongering for the longest of times. From my point of view (optionally a wrong one), we see how people like John Brennan is a danger to that setting. People dedicated to the protection of that their nation will not accept the global cost of doing business; they are in line with monarchists and devoted workers to their nations like we see in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, as well as Canada. In republics, republicans are in a setting that this time is gone; it is the age of the corporate setting of common sense towards pragmatism. The problem as I see it is that those of no use to the needs of such a republic lose value overnight, that whilst the monarchist setting is to embrace all the citizens and protect them all. It is done at a cost, one that those people tend to accept. Yet in the republican view, these costs are counterproductive to corporate profit, the non-consumers are a cancer, needed to be cut out. When globalisation sets in to the business degree that will be a lot easier and that is where we see the stage. So when we see “In the 48 hours since President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, over 70 former intelligence officers and leaders have come forward denouncing the president’s decision to revoke or threaten to take away security clearances from former government officials, including a list of 60 former CIA officers who signed a statement today, obtained by Axios“, we also see that America (or is that Wall Street) are confronted with a change no one was ready for, so the economy becomes a stagnant danger to them, one where they do not make profit.

When we see names like:

  • Jeremy Bash, former CIA and DoD chief of staff
  • Bob Flores, former CIA chief technology officer
  • Kent Harrington, former national intelligence officer for East Asia and CIA director of public affairs
  • George Little, former chief spokesman, CIA and DoD
  • Phillip Mudd, former CIA analyst
  • John Nixon, former CIA analyst
  • Greg Vogel, former CIA deputy director for operations

We see that the USA is in an upcoming setting of polarisation and that is just within the republican side of government and its administration. There is a change coming and the outcome is hoped for (on both sides) but the outcry gives us that this is a round that Wall Street is likely to lose this battle and that changes the game. In addition, when we see the required application of intelligence data and who gets access to it sets a new border, the fact that others (like France and UK) need to realise that shared intelligence data is no longer safe, because the data shared within corporations while used to set a very different stage of what is regarded as needed for security. The corporate side is already countering the advantage that a national intelligence system has. We see this in part when we look at Business Wire (at https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180806005526/en/Global-Database-Valuable-Italian-Business-Intelligence-Data), where we see ‘Global Database Makes Valuable Italian Business Intelligence Data Available – Completely Free‘, before you dismiss this, also consider that “Any registered user can now access key information about 7,564.575 registered companies in Italy“, registration is free and that is merely one of close to a dozen places where this is happening. All connected, it is an optional setting of open source intelligence that is merely a foundation pillar. You merely have to add LinkedIn and Facebook to have a dataset that will allow you to extrapolate data that will make plenty of intelligence groups envious. You see, this is not about finding the criminal, or the terrorist. They are either known or not an issue. This is the setting of finding economic opportunities, the setting to see who is connected and interacting with the alumni of places like the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. A group of people with connection and access to funds totaling well over 157 trillion Euro, so whilst we wonder on the fear of where is the terrorist (whilst the danger of getting run over in the street is 20 times more likely, we forgot that our futures, any future is set in the stage where there is economic viability and availability.

That is the part that we see to forget, or even worse actively avoid contemplating. In the time when we are led to believe that there is economic upturn everywhere, we seem to forget that as the river of economy changes, we will either be in a place of plenty, or we are set into the next stage of drought and it will be the one view we have until the end of our lives. It is about ability to live with a level of expected comfort which is likely no longer set to national boundaries, it will be set to the boundary of the corporation or business group that we work for and facilitate for, it will be as cold as that, and until we get past this greying generation, which is optional until 2035, that is how it will be for those in this era. The man behind the Global Database, namely Nicolae Buldumac has figured parts of that out, so that is why he and 30 others in London are doing this. When we look at the article (at https://medium.com/@buldumak/cookie-audience-vs-data-audience-which-is-better-44971ad12ee4), we also see ‘Cookie Audience Vs Data Audience: Which is Better?‘, he found a way to not create the best of both worlds, he found out how he can make both work for him and that is where he created more than economic opportunity. He has found the stage where he can optionally get the facilitators work for him and that seems to be exactly what he is doing. When he is done he will have a similar setting for France, Germany, the UK and Spain. So basically the 5 largest European economies are opportunities where he has the keys and data to.

So when we get to look at the US again, do you think that this will be about Elliott Broidy or people like him in an outdated setting? No, they are the garnishing of economic times that surpassed them and it is the data makers and facilitators like Nicolae Buldumac where the republican mindset of corporations will rely on next, they are the future and their path for enablement is what sets the stage for Europe. This is not clever technology (well in a way it is), it is about the quality of data and what it allows for and that is where we see that the moment that data hits a critical point, it will equal the value of Facebook or more. Some will argue that most of that is all in any Chamber of Commerce and they would be right, but those entities do not talk to each other, they are founded on borders of a national level or lower and in the entire euro setting they for the most never aligned, so someone did it for them and on their own dime, optionally replacing them, or better stated, reducing those previous players to mere data entry points. Governments had to realign their data dimensionality a decade ago, but everyone was so busy keeping their own pond clean that they forgot that the pond is only important to the land surrounding it, when that floods, the ponds become merely crevices of a lake, Lake Europa, that is where Nicolae Buldumac it taking them, so soon others (like Asia and America) they will look at the parts of Lake Europa and see where fishing is the best, those land borders no longer matter and that is the stage we find ourselves in. A changing setting of what sets the identity.

Am I the first?

Hell no! This was all done before. Forbes in 2013 gave us an article by George Bradt. The article called ‘How Army Intelligence Techniques Apply to Business Leads‘. Here we see “Marketing may have a bias to giving sales people a large number of leads, while sales people seek potential customers they can engage with. The answer is to move from big, unstructured data sets to “finding that guy” that really cares. This was Mishor’s ah-ha moment, realizing that army intelligence techniques could be applied to business“, yet it goes further, when you consider one, and the other, you should also realise that the parameters are bidirectional with the proper data flags. So when we see the two streams lead to the same insight. “On the one hand, Mishor is creating value with a systemic, scalable way to connect seemingly unconnected data to identify the most valuable target customers. On the other hand, Mishor built his business by connecting seemingly unconnected hopes and needs of his prospects” we see the solution at both ends, and in addition we see that we can define the need much more precise. From my point of view we can see a third direction. That part is not easily seen, so I will give an alternative example.

In factor analyses we go from many to one. We get the setting that the numbers equate to a factor, it is basic statistics. When we go into the other direction we see the foundation of a discriminant analyses. The third part is seen in that the data setting when something is proven in a factor analyses, it should almost always fail as a discriminant analyses and vice versa. I tend to use humour on that and state ‘It is sarcasm, when it backfires it is merely irony‘. The intelligence data was always on finding the person, yet in a stage of lacking resources, being able to safely remove a person as a threat is equally valuable. If you cannot find that one person, reducing the 5,000,000 stack to a mere 5,000 with 99% certainty is just as valuable, because the one final link could reduce that to 50 whilst not having to revisit the previous 4,995,000 considerations. As I see it in this day and age, not only is the stage of military intelligence and business intelligence not mutually exclusive, they are more and more overlapping. The overlapping field becomes an insightful pool of data where it will no longer be about the one person, it will be more and more about a setting where the value of Analysis of covariance will be important.

In the intelligence it could be seen that it is not merely about the terrorist and its connections. It will be about the moneyman and who else links, both optionally to the mastermind. In business intelligence that setting is not merely see as to where a person studied. It is more and more important on where the patents are and who has them as well as the people creating those patents. In this economy the economic value of a patent over overwhelmingly important. That part is seen when we get back to the 5G race, we saw that last march when we were confronted with “U.S. President Donald Trump has blocked microchip maker Broadcom Ltd’s (AVGO.O) $117 billion takeover of rival Qualcomm (QCOM.O) amid concerns that it would give China the upper hand in the next generation of mobile communications, or 5G“, in addition Forbes gives us within the article ‘Ericsson Vs Huawei: Who’s Winning The 5G Race?‘ Yet there we see two parts. The first is “However, two of particularly significant scale and market presence are Ericsson and Huawei. Will one conquer overall?“, as well as “Financial strength matters. Ericsson will have to turn the ship towards profitability and growth waters, in order to continue the required investment in product development”, which relies on “Ericsson recently announced what seems on the surface to be an impressive 5G patent application. Calling it an “end-to-end” submission, the filing combines the work of 130 Ericsson inventors and promises to include everything needed to build a complete 5G network“, the ability to set 600 million will give the optional 60 billion in return and it will in addition set the stage for European growth to a recently unprecedented (or was that non-presidential?) scale and America wants slices of that pie, if not the whole pie. The stage of corporate setting versus national setting in direct exposure of what is to come and the 5G battle theatre will be a big one, because the winners there will be the next kingmakers and everyone will want parts of it; that was never in doubt. The evidence is all over the place.

Forbes also gives us the new danger setting with the question ‘Does a global geographic footprint matter?‘ It is close to everything in this game, if only that the global footprint lets corporations walk all over government. Amazon, Apple, IBM and Microsoft have been doing that for the longest of times.

There is one part with Forbes that I do not agree with. They state “I would give Ericsson the edge here, considering its global presence includes North America“, I believe that Europe is the much larger powerhouse. You see, America is a mere 325 million, whilst the EU represents 512 million with direct access to India, China and Russia. All stages that America denied itself; if the setting of data (amounts and quality) determines their value; which players and where would they be able to grow this path the fastest and longer? The fact that Ericsson is not merely in the US, but they are showboating in Saudi Arabia is also a sign that they realise that stronger growth everywhere matters, the presented quote “Saudi telecom operator Mobily and Ericsson held a 5G demo at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, showcasing the functionalities of the next-generation mobile technology. Ericsson supplied Mobily with a standalone 5G system, including a prototype 3.5GHz radio, baseband, and prototype UE device for the 5G demo, which showcased 5G throughput, targeting speeds of up to 1Gbps. The demo is part of Mobily’s plan to highlight expected 5G benefits consumers and industries across Saudi Arabia“, is merely one of many.

The question now becomes: ‘is exponential growth, growing too fast in all directions not a danger all on itself?’


Leave a comment

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

Price of freedom

What is exactly the price of freedom? We hear it all the time. Certain things must be done so that we can remain free. You can hear it in the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Australia even in New Zealand it can be heard (not just from the sheep). No, it is that currency, freedom that is the question. You see, what exactly is that price and what does every nation have to pay, so that they can be free. When was the last time you considered that part?

When was the last time you got a clear instruction on how to launch a missile so that it lands EXACTLY in what the Houthi’s call “Two ballistic missiles were fired on Saturday evening from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, allegedly targeting Khamis Mushait, a city in the south-west of the country, the coalition forces announced“, whilst in the Saudi Gazette we see: “the other failed to target any populated areas of the city after landing in a desert area“. Now consider the claims we have seen in the past weeks on how they were targeting specific places in Riyadh, which is several times the distance that we saw approached now and the Houthi’s cannot get that right 50% of the time. So when we see “Missile launched at Saudi capital, Houthis claim responsibility“, what are they actually targeting, are they targeting anything? I believe that there are two kind of teams working in Yemen, an Iranian and a Houthi; the better shots were clearly Iranian and with the quote ““This hostile act carried out by the Iranian Houthi militia proves that the Iranian regime is still providing the terrorist Houthi armed militia with qualitative capabilities…with the main objective of threatening the Saudi Arabian, regional and international security,” Al-Malki stressed in the statement.”, the statement is not wrong, but it is not correct either a I personally see it. I think that the Iranians are actively training Houthi troops, so when we realise that they are intentionally firing into dense populated civilian areas. Why is there not a much stronger response from Europe? It was only yesterday that the independent reported (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-deal-latest-eu-donald-trump-sanctions-miguel-arias-canete-a8359126.html), that ‘it remains committed to accord despite Trump’s withdrawal‘, so that is the price of freedom, a nuclear deal with a nation committed to act in terrorist ways via puppets. The question becomes, what is this so called freedom worth to you, because when you are called on the accountability of what your politicians are doing, are you ready to pay that bill?

In this regard, the Conversation (at http://theconversation.com/trumps-high-stakes-gamble-on-the-iran-nuclear-deal-could-work-96449), offered an interesting thought. With “Though Israel provided a great deal of proof that Iran had lied about its nuclear program in the past, no evidence was offered that Iran was continuing the past record of deceit. The vast majority of experts agree that there is a greater likelihood of an arms race in the Middle East without the agreement than with it“. The statement is more important than you think. You see in the first we get ‘Iran had lied in the past‘, we also get ‘with a nuclear deal there is a smaller chance of nuclear arms acceleration‘ and ‘there is currently no evidence that Iran is currently acting in falsehood‘. They are important because if they lied then, what is stopping them from lying now? There is evidence of Iran acting in falsehood when we look at Yemen, now we have a ballgame, because any evidence of any level of nuclear advancement is a signal for Saudi Arabia to do the same thing, they clearly stated that. The conversation is in the belief that a nuclear deal is better, yet they call this not on the setting it is in, they are now about: ‘There is a chance the re-imposition of sanctions could work. However, it is a high-risk gamble‘, it is set as ‘a possible defence of withdrawal’, it was not about the withdrawal, it is about the nuclear setting where Iran will do what it pleases as it has done so in the past, allowing Uranium into Iran, whilst all players agree that monitoring precise Uranium numbers is not an actual reality, and with both Saudi Arabia and Israel on the firing line, it is not a high stakes gamble that they are willing to make. And leaving the decision of such a gamble with people who are not on the firing line is folly, because they pretty much have nothing to lose, in the worst case, their ego’s get to take on for the team. Explain to me how that was ever going to be a good idea? It gets even worse when we consider that President Rouhani is only in charge as long as the clergy and military agree on his actions, how exactly is that called being in charge? We get this from the NY Times on May 9th, where we see “Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday hinted that his country might step up its nuclear program, signalling a possible escalation in an already volatile relationship with Washington after President Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal”. So that is an outcome that the clergy decided on (apart from their advanced degrees on nuclear physics)? The stated issue by Ayatollah Khamenei is a dangerous one, in light of other materials, there is an increased issue that this deal was not a good idea from the very start.

I still believe that removing the Iranian navy is a first move, not only does it hurt their morale, it sets the Iranian clergy directly in opposition against the military, merely because the clergy thought their side to be invulnerable, there is nothing as uncommunicating as a clergy that knows that they are a direct target. They become the axial in a blame game, a good place for Iran to be in internally (for us). The biggest Issue I saw was not on some Iranians, merely on that a future president could end up being another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and as such the escalations begin again, yet now that person has nuclear options not a thought you would ever be willing to give any extreme Iranian president.

The issue is not merely the nuclear deal, it is Europe as a whole. When we see “Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner for energy and climate, said the 28-nation bloc, once the biggest importer of Iranian oil, also hoped to boost trade with Tehran“, they are ‘hoping‘ to boost trade. This is merely an economic necessity, the European economy is reported to be good, but now consider, it is 1941 and you are willing to deal with Nazi Germany, just to look economically better. Make sure you see the 1941 reference; this is no reflection on today’s Germany. Boosting trade with Iran comes at a price. Now consider that this has been going on for a year and now Iran states: “I would love to do this another three years, yet my good friend Turkey should be allowed in the EU“, now what will happen? A nation that should by the EU’s own standard never be admitted is now optionally a new EU nation. In that part when we consider the quote: “Mr Salehi said Iran had several options, including resuming its 20 per cent uranium enrichment if the European countries failed to keep the pact alive. He said the EU had only a few weeks to deliver on their promises“, this alone is an issue, because it is feasible that Russia has been delivering the hardware needed to an undisclosed location, now setting a different stage. In all this the EU is so willing to set the price of freedom in the basement, whilst knowingly endangering both Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The nightmare scenario

The nightmare scenario is not that Iran becomes nuclear; no it is the same issue when we look back to the era of Nazi Germany. I still personally believe that the State If Israel got created in an effort to get the blood rage that would have haunted Europe for decades off the streets, that danger was very real in 1945-1948. The Dutch NSB members, the Germans in general, we also get the quote “This was a time of often enthusiastic collaboration with the Third Reich, as French police and paramilitary organisations were among the many who rounded up ‘enemies of the state’ and sent them to Germany for extermination.” (I think that this was merely part of occupied France), or what we get from historian Jan Grabowski “‘Orgy of Murder’: The Poles Who ‘Hunted’ Jews and Turned Them Over to the Nazis“, at this point we have 4 countries where a people in utter rage could have persecuted Europeans for decades, that ugly reality alone and not even considering Belgium, Denmark, Italy and a few other places, on how long restorations would have additionally lasted. I am close to 100% certain that it would still be going on by the time I was born, so that image is part of all this.

The reason is that once this goes wrong, when we are optionally going to be a witness to a lynching unlike we have seen for 350 years. When this goes pear shaped and it is close to a certainty that it will go wrong, those who politicised this to happen, might in person feel what it was to be like Cornelis and Johan de Witt, who both got lynched and mutilated by the angry mob on August 20th 1672. These politicians will hide behind complications and mere uncertainties, but so did those who opposed the house of Orange, it did not end well for them.

When that happens, Europe will fall into anarchy, it will happen not because it is destined to do so, but because too many politicians have been trying to sell a bill of goods and there will be escalating levels of mistrust and anger. In this it will not matter whether Saudi Arabia or Israel will get hit, the hit will be enough to make every European politician a valid target for hunting and lynching. Their entire approach to keep every deal going whilst there is too much overwhelming evidence of the unacceptable acts by both Turkey and Iran will be the fuelling cause for it all.

After that I have no way to make any predictions, some politicians will take a long vacation in a nation without extradition the moment things go massively wrong, or try refugee status in America, but those who do not get out in time, will not have any options, they will, due to their own stupidity get hunted down.


That question is actually a lot more important than you might think. There has been an interaction of politics and media, that has never been a secret, yet in the past there was a level of balance, now, in the age where it is all about commerce and circulation, we see a different setting, the media at large are for the lack of a better term no more than a concubine, who splits her attention between the advertiser, the shareholder and the stakeholder. None of those three are the reader by the way; they merely get introduced to what we now call ‘stories of eventuality‘, which is different from actual news. Most papers merely use what Reuters offer and work with that foundation in any way that they can. This is not a national issue; it is a global one, so when something is not actually nationally set (apart from big events), we do not get the news we get some paraphrased context. Now consider that we have had that for 3-4 days and suddenly there is a nuclear explosion in Riyadh, Jeddah, Tel Aviv or Eilat. When that happens, do you think that the people will remain calm? No, they will be scared out of their minds and all the pretty stories that the news gave, and all the politicians who hid behind ‘we do not expect this to happen’ or ‘it could be so good for us all if it works out’ will not stop a group of people who will add up to many millions, their fear will catch on and they will hunt down anyone related to the Iran Nuclear deal and the messages that they handed out. Like Johan de Witt, they will be trying to get away, but an enraged crowd of that many people cannot be avoided, the only issue is, can those who signed it see that danger in time?

Is there real danger?

That is the part no one, especially me can predict. There is too much not known and even more at times misrepresented, so it is not likely but that merely is set to the foundation of facts, and we are often not given facts, merely speculations (even I am to some degree speculating), I am trying to stay as real as possible, but in light of what I just gave, based on the founding facts that we all have been able to see around us for a few years now. When the fears of nuclear events become reality, which person will not go into fear driven panic? All that, because the politicians of today are set in a battle arena where it is all about the economy and anything that can contribute to that economy must be embraced no matter how the political setting is. That is the setting and even as there is no real stability in that setting, as we see pressure on more than one currency, we will also see the need for intense economic growth and some will give representation that Turkey give options in this, that is the first moment where failure will translate to pressure, when that happens all bets are off and in light of those sliding values, should Iran (yes, I stated ‘should’) do one stupid move in any nuclear setting we will see a different kind of fallout, we will see the kind where the bulk of 740 million Europeans will all pretty much lose it on the spot, that is the moment where we will see on how ‘speech making’ will be a hangable offense to those people, no courts, no judges, millions of hysterically enraged (enraged through fear) who will seek people to hold accountable (the blame game), that is the wrong day to be a politicians, let me tell you that much.

Now, I do not think the danger is that big, although it is directly linked to the acts of Iran, so it is not zero. The real danger is grown with the moral setting of both Iran and Turkey, the fact that some want to keep the discussion going, whilst it should have been discontinued a long time ago will also count. We are heading into murky shallow waters and the end game cannot be predicted, merely because of the amount of players and they all have their own needs. Yet the one part that I do not fathom is that some are willing to add the ‘price of freedom‘ as a currency to calm both political and economic waters with people who have no regard for either element in that setting, a dangerous precedent I think, but that might merely be me.


Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics

Tubing it along

There is news, news that has been about a few weeks and I have kept an iLook on it. In one part it is as techofreak as it gets, so I should be on board the moment it launches, it is so versatile that it has no other option than to change lives on a global scale, yet there is the issue that it is so new that it is a little scary. That is the reality of all new technology; consider the first 10,000 Facebook accounts, the first 100,000 internet users. It all starts in a small geeky way and this will be no difference. It had more presence in the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, so that is why I took another look. You see, the entire matter is not merely where it is, but it is how the technology is adapted, that is the first part in all this. To set this in the proper light, we need to take a step back. In the UK they have the HS2. So when we see the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16473296), we see “The initial plan is for a new railway line between London and the West Midlands carrying 400m-long (1,300ft) trains with as many as 1,100 seats per train. They would operate at speeds of up to 250mph – faster than any current operating speed in Europe – and would run as often as 14 times per hour in each direction“, so when we consider London – Birmingham we see ‘1 h 25 min’, as their fast option at present, which at 117 miles, makes the HS2 a 45 minute saving, so how many billions is that going to cost? Now consider that each one technical glitch will cut the 45 minutes. Now, I am all for progress, now when we go by two numbers we see “a projected cost of £56 billion, up from the initial cost of £32.7 billion in 2010“, we see that 8 years ago, they had it wrong by close to 100%, so we see a waste of £56 billion plain and simple. The UK could fix its schools for that amount of money and overall, there is absolutely no reason to go that distance, it is just too short. Now we get to the next stage of travel.

Welcome to Hyperloop!

Now as we see this in the Saudi Arabian setting it changes, you see when we look (at https://www.tahawultech.com/news/virgin-hyperloop-one-unveils-vision-2030-pod/) we see ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would take 76 minutes (currently over 10 hours) utilising the land bridge for both passenger and freight movement, positioning KSA as the gateway to 3 continents‘ as well as ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi would take 48 minutes (currently over 8.5 hours)‘, so here we see a clear forward momentum. Not merely 45 minutes gain, but gains that take away 90% of the travel time, now we are talking improvements! I never quite understood the HS movement, not in the UK (where there is some benefit) and even less in the Netherlands where the improvements are as shallow as it gets, all this ‘good for the economy‘ whilst I think it greased the careers of certain people, and in the end nothing for the citizens, and the less stated on the Dutch government joke called Fyra at a mere €11 billion loss, it is not a lot if you say the amount fast!

So even as we are burning ourselves all over Europe on high speed trains Hyperloop technology is different, you go by tube (as literally as it gets) and within that tube you have the option to truly accelerate, the nice setting that this will reflect on cargo and passengers alike, so it is also versatile. So when we read “The hyperloop-enabled transportation sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will stimulate economic growth and diversification of Saudi industries, according to Virgin Hyperloop One. It will also nurture the manufacturing and innovation sectors, and spur job growth in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom“, we are not seeing the whole picture. You see it is almost a lot bigger than that. The currently planned £380 billion mega city Neom would be an optional first as well, so Riyadh would be linked to Neom, which now is set to connect Egypt and Jordan, it also opens the doors almost directly to Sharm-El-Sheik as well as the Israeli city of Eilat, all golden opportunities which allows Saudi Arabia to grow the economy in Riyadh on a much larger foundation than ever before. In all this Cargo and passengers are set to near exponential growth, especially in the short term. So we have near direct connections between Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the centre of all this. It will not take long for these nations to grow all kinds of alliances and commerce will flourish like nothing we have seen before and Virgin, with its Hyperloop One is in the centre of this growth. Even as Europe is trying to get something similar rolling, we see that France is alas out of cash for such an endeavour (at present) ‘Hyperloop gives cash-strapped French cities hope‘ (at https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/hyperloop-gives-cash-strapped-french-cities-hope-1.726967), it is a stretch, but it makes a lot of sense for France to get involved in all this, in their setting Hyperloop makes sense, especially regarding cargo (cheese and wine settings anyone). So when I see “TransPod’s technology is based on magnetic propulsion and electrified tracks, moving pods through a vacuum tunnel designed to reduce friction. As with most Hyperloop projects, the bulk of the estimated costs are for deploying infrastructure. Co-founder Sebastien Gendron estimates his company needs €20 million (Dh88.1m) in financing to complete the Limoges project at the current stage, and says he’ll raise half of that from private investors“, in all this, I am surprised that no one there called Ubisoft (more specifically Christian Guillemot, Claude Guillemot, Gérard Guillemot, Michel Guillemot or Yves Guillemot), they have the cash and more important, to be the founders of something this futuristic that will be moving through France with the Ubisoft symbol would be worth its weight of a train in gold I’d imagine.

So back to Saudi Arabia, the one part I do disagree with is ‘in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom‘, you see, once the line is in place, it will spur the economy in more ways, beyond tourism and beyond cargo, for close to double that prediction. A system that far ahead will also spur infrastructures growth as the rest of the world will be lagging behind, especially where engineering is concerned. They all claim they have ‘the technology‘ yet at present there is a lot more reliability that under these settings it will only be running in the KSA in a more serious setting in the foreseeable future and that is where the advantage grows, in addition, when the travel times are shifted to those degrees, emergency surgeries, medical disasters when Hyperloop technologies transfers and adjusts in more than one perk, we will see both the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centres in Riyadh and Jeddah grow abilities to attain options because they are now less than 2 hours apart. That transfers to all manner of services, when they are no longer separated by time to that degree, it will drive a lot more than the ones we see at present. and let’s not forget, this is merely the first degree of Hyperloop, as the engineers figure out a lot more than is currently possible, the growth will blossom further, and as we see forward momentum on this scale, we understand that there are risks, you when the gain is not 45 minutes, but 90% travel time is reduced the picture shifts a lot further on a larger scale. Even as we were introduced to ‘tube’ transport in Logan’s Run in 1976, we never imagined that it would be an actual solution, not until now do we see that there are places where it is more than a solution, it is the drive to move forward on nearly every field.

So even as I accept that we are not there yet and there are all kinds of issues down the line, movement is now a given, and even a some used the London underground map and added some Hyperloop fun to it, the setting is not that impossible on some part of those tracks. It is a part where all technology can move forward, we merely have to adapt parts of it. Consider that change as new venues of technology open will up, and there is serious cash to be made for all the players in this field, you merely have to find the niche where your solution fits.

That is where Vision 2030 is now becoming a driving force, not merely because there is $500 billion to be found, but because those who do get their working solution in place, for those there is a lot more to be made over time, Saudi Arabia is merely the pilot, it is the global setting where profit becomes a very serious opportunity, it will drive the now nearly born new Nouveau Riche generation to a very new level with amounts the previous generation never ever dreamed of.

When you sit down and consider the map, we do not merely see Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, we see that Saudi Arabia has the opportunity become the axial for those three continents, an option we never would considered as realistic when Vision 2030 launched 10 years ago, now that picture is shifting and with the growing technologies as Saudi Arabia is embracing these new opportunities we see a shifting picture, even as oil might be funding this, the reliance on it is fading a lot faster than we thought possible, not merely through Hyperloop, but through the changes all the technologies enable one another with and that also gives new directions, because it is no longer about volatility  (as Saudi Arabia was accused of by others in a previous blog), it is about stability and the enabled stability that these solutions bring.

For in the end making money will always win over waging war, that has been proven for the longest of times.

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics, Science

Mining the Ocean

We might look at how Dow dropped 1175 points; we might in equal measure react to the act that Yemeni Houthi’s have decided to perform another attempt to send missiles into the Saudi civilian populations, all factual events of the last day alone. Yet that is not the initial issue that I am looking at. These are short term events and the media loves them because they get to report on the event, the proclaimed solution and the actual solutions. All follow up stories and the media loves them for the coin they tend to bring to their personal pockets. So it was nice to get a look at Saturday’s article by Jonathan Watts who gave us a look at an upcoming disaster (at https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/feb/03/day-zero-cape-town-turns-off-taps), not in Saudi Arabia, but in Cape Town no less. Yet it must be said that what is good for the one, could potentially hit the other as well.

So when you initially read the caption, you might think that the quote “In 10 weeks engineers will turn off water for a million homes as this South African city reacts to a one-in-384-year drought” is no big deal. Let’s face it, an event that hits once every 7 to 8 generations is not really a big deal is it. Yet that is not really the part that matters. You see, when you see the pictures, not on merely the empty swimming pool, but the image on the Theewaterskloof dam and how we see on what was and what now is. When we realise that ‘Day Zero, the apocalyptically named point when water in the six-dam reservoir system falls to 13.5% of capacity‘, is upon them just as autumn is ending, is in my view a much larger issue. When we see the people in queues with as many jerry cans as they can carry, that same point of befuddlement is reached when you consider why alarms have not been ringing a lot earlier, or were they ignored? They were not! The official Cape Town page (at http://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-water-and-sanitation-services/Residential-water-restrictions-explained) gives us a lot. So as we see “A daily limit of 50 litres or less per person whether at home, work, school or elsewhere” we need to realise that 433 thousand people will still potentially drill down on 21.6 million litres of water every day. I am not putting any doubt on the 10 weeks until day zero, I merely wonder what else could be done to bring that number down and not to forget, that the WWF reported merely 4 days ago that only 39% of the Cape Town residents are adhering to these restrictions. The question becomes, when these restrictions began. For how long was there some plan of no-water, because the article gives us: “Greg Pillay: “We had to go back to the drawing board. We were prepared for disruption of supply, but not a no-water scenario. In my 40 years in emergency services, this is the biggest crisis.”“, it is fair that there was no plan and the fact that this happens once every 384 years makes the non-plan acceptable part, but the fact is that the empty dam pics should have been an alert stage when it had gone down to 50%, the restrictions to the degree as now might have been less severe pushing the reserves forward to a longer time. Now we see that the oddest thing will happen in 10 weeks, the taps will be turned off, no water from the taps. As seen the current 10%, who own up to 95% of all assets can likely afford, that each person buys a 20 ft. container filled with mineral water and ship it to their home, yet the other 90% will not have such an option setting a very dangerous situation, a very flammable and oddly fluid one to say the least.

the one good part is that Cape Town will start getting more rain by the time Day Zero approaches, so with April getting on average 300% more rain than the quarter before, and the steady incline in the months thereafter implies that the worst might be over, the dangers are that mother nature is a bitch on the best of days, so if they end up with a soft and warm winter the Cape Town goose ends up being most literally dry-cooked. There is just one other element. It is the one that they got to live with in Australia, these water catchments have no real purpose if the rain falls in the wrong place, so there is still that risk to look forward to.

So, why mention Saudi Arabia?

Well, Saudi Arabia has a similar drought pressures, yet they have additional issues as well. In Saudi Arabia, according to some sources groundwater extraction far exceed the level of natural recharge. The Al-Asha aquifer in the Eastern Province experienced a drop of 150 meters over the past 25 years. the National Geographic reported in 2015 that by 2012 80% of the aquifers had been depleted. That is one large setting whilst on taps the vein to find out in the first just how reliable those numbers are, but in the second degree as to how the impact on larger cities will become when the news brings them the story that ‘the fore mentioned source of water has been drained‘, because at that point the breakdown will be a lot larger when you consider 433 thousand in Cape Town versus 5.1 million in Riyadh. When that happens in one place, who long until Jeddah, Mecca and Medina follow? The problem is that there is no way to tell because there is no transparent oversight (an issue in many countries), there is no way to reliably forecast the issue and in all this the long terms impact of places that want to upgrade and maximise their economic potential sounds nice, but when the water level hits zero, everything stops, and right quick.

This might be the one long term danger that some are not looking hard enough at. so with: “Under the slogan “Bounties of our land,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih inaugurated the 12th International Geological Conference on Sunday and an accompanying exhibition at a local hotel in Jeddah“, is nice to propagate the Vision 2030, but it is still 12 years away and at present, the water mining issues as well as the water disruptions that are currently still happening (as stated by more than one source) would impact it all. The growth of infrastructures, the middle eastern heat that is about to hit Saudi Arabia for the next 6 months, whilst the rain will again decide to remain absent until December (speculated forecast), that alone would require a much higher priority to resolve water issues in Saudi Arabia, or at least give it additional priority. The fact that there are 27 plants in Saudi Arabia, creating millions of litres of water every day implies that perhaps it is time to see if this process can be improved upon and more important 9 more plants will be added to the need of Saudi Arabia. Now we can agree that Saudi Arabia has made massive strides here and the fact that they have upped it to 5 million cubic metres a day should not be underestimated. I am merely speculating that if someone finds a way to improve this process by 1%-5%, the impact for the water quality of life for Saudi’s would go straight through the roof, the impact is that large at present. In addition, the fact that for now the 36 plants would suffice in the short term, the long term is still not a given, that is because the need cannot be predicted. Here too it is about the data captured and to learn where the losses to the water cycles are found and how they can be prevented. More important, if mining is an initial issue now, how much of an issue will it be in 10 years, because depleted places could have other implications too, implication mind you! There is a lot that is not known, but it seems to me that both Saudi Arabia and South Africa will have issue to deal with over the coming year. Not just the water as needed for consumption, whatever else relies on water will also impact structural changes and even more drastic show an optional impact on infrastructure. Part of this was also seen last month (at http://meconstructionnews.com/27099/emerson-opens-new-tech-lab-in-saudi-arabia), where Emerson is set to a “new $25 million new technology and innovation centre at Dhahran Techno Valley, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia enables the company to host Saudi students, entrepreneurs, researchers and industry stakeholders to collaborate with its technical experts to develop process automation technologies and design products and solutions that, “meet the country’s goals.”“. Yet how much priority is given to design new ways to give rise to measuring and monitoring production, distribution and delivery of water solutions towards data collection, designed to contribute to longer term forecasting of water needs. You see, most of these systems tend to be short term, or when they are longer term they lose reliability because of a number of factors, so what happens when we can map and monitor the factors themselves? It is one of the powers that 5G could bring to an automation system, automated drone technologies that monitor and feed. This reminds me of a 2006 paper called ‘Modular learning models in forecasting natural phenomena‘ by Solomontine and Siek. Now in the paper we see in the abstract: “Comparison of the algorithms based on modular local modelling to the more traditional ‘global’ learning models on a number of benchmark tests and river flow forecasting problems shows their higher accuracy and transparency of the resulting models“, now what if the plant is the source of the river and the pipes are the river themselves. What if losses and therefor risks of these pipe systems could be mapped and correctly categorised? Only last year the Saudi Gazette reported (at http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/500157/SAUDI-ARABIA/Water-supply-disrupted-in-five-Jeddah-districts), “Residents of five districts in southeast Jeddah have complained about disruption of water supply to their homes after the National Water Company (NWC) changed its supply schedule. The residents of Al-Musaed, Quwaiza, Al-Nakheel, Al-Raghama and Al-Obaid districts in southeast Jeddah were mainly affected by the supply disruption“, now there can be all kinds of valid reasons why this happens, yet the official response was: “it was beyond their control as the quantity of water they receive from Shuaiba plants was less than what they received before“, the question is not whether, why or the issues of delivery, it is whether quantity of water changes can be measured and set into data models that give better forecasting, this is seen as that nations will soon face provision from 36 plants and any plan to rely on full production and let things run will have longer term problems. Knowing where water is going and what losses are measured will also give rise to initial better information and longer term better water measurement. In my view it is the same with almost every port in the world. It is not how much you ship and how many vessels you service, it is the one place where idle time is not monitored, that is the place where the cost of it all spins out of control really fast.

As I see it, both South Africa and optionally Saudi Arabia have a flaw in the long term view of water, from the articles South Africa is already past the initial point of worry from what I have read and I am speculating that Saudi Arabia has an optional issue growing as it is working towards Vision 2030, because when those tech firms start rolling in in 2031, Riyadh with all its growth could potentially grow by at least 10% in the short term, the question becomes whether Riyadh would be ready to service a jump that is twice the size of Cape Town? I have no way of knowing and it is not yet the point where it is out there, but Vision 2030 is only 12 years away and desalinisation plants do not grow overnight, which would be awesome if someone could design one that did so.

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics, Science

Questions that follow

Is it not an interesting day, for some Mondayitis is only just now setting in, for some the Mondayitis issue is just a ‘fab’ for others to avoid becoming active until Wednesday around after lunch time, and for another group, well, we never know what they are up to, so let’s ignore them for now. There is however a group that works 24:7 (please do not imply that those people are journo’s).

I am talking about the financial institutions, no matter how we oppose greed, it is the one motivator that will never stop being efficient in many walks of life. That consideration came to me as I read the article ‘HSBC’s response: ‘Standards of due diligence were significantly lower than today’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/08/hsbc-responds-revelations-misconduct-swiss-bank) this morning.

The article is to some extent a barrel full of laughs. Let’s have a look at some of the mentioned things. The fun already starts at the second sentence “Private banks, including HSBC’s Swiss private bank, assumed that responsibility for payment of taxes rested with individual clients“, you see the word ‘assumed’, in this case that translate to, the bank sets the responsibility so that it makes an ‘ass’ of ‘you’, banks do not work from the ‘me’ setting (ass-u-me). When was the last time when you received a letter from a bank (any bank for that matter) where the word assumption was used? Most banking contracts have two one-sided parts, what your responsibilities are and how you get charged the moment you make an error (like simply withdrawing a little too much). So are you giggling yet?

The next one is an interesting one for more than one reason “HSBC’s Swiss private bank has reduced its client base by almost 70% since 2007“. Yes it is interesting, because WHERE did those people go to? The fact that they moved away from HSBC is no indication that there was a sudden massive influx of taxpayers, was there? So was the exodus reported on? My bet is that this was not; the statement is likely to be ‘this account is no longer under our care‘. This hunt for tax evasion, sounds nice, but it also comes with a flaw, not that I oppose such hunts (I will forever be roughly $1,915,000 short from making that list), but did some of these ‘witch hunters’ realise that moving these funds would have a side effect? You see, it would all be good and fine if those accounts all resorted to their original nation getting properly taxed, but that is not the case is it? As these Status Quo places get upset the dynamics change, when the accounts can no longer be hidden on Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland or Guernsey. How long until we see a new circle of banks, now in Bahrain, Dubai and Jeddah? Do not think this will not happen, because it already is happening (at http://www.thenational.ae/business/banking/dubai-islamic-bank-confident-on-loans-portfolio-thanks-to-record-profit), so as we are reading on how a bank voluntarily moved from 78 billion to 45 billion, I have to wonder on the impact of the sentence at the very end: “However, providing client data to foreign authorities would itself constitute a criminal offence under Swiss law“. This than gives rise to the question how these changes are enforced. More important, the sentence implies that providing client data to local authorities is an option, and what they do with it, is not covered here, but it is an interesting question to consider.

The second article, which also came from the Guardian discusses more HSBC issues in ‘HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/08/hsbc-files-expose-swiss-bank-clients-dodge-taxes-hide-millions), so is this High School of Business Concealers a real bank? Well, that is a moral question not a scientific one. This is where we see more ways to get a case of the giggles. “The Swiss arm, the statement said, had not been fully integrated into HSBC after its purchase in 1999, allowing “significantly lower” standards of compliance and due diligence to persist“, so if we consider the leak by Hervé Falciani, which happened in 2007, considering the fact that the Swiss bank had been acquired in 1999, the simple question ‘Were banking executives allowed to sit on their hands for 8+ years?‘, the question might seem unfair, but no alignment in a bank that was until doing 78 billion seems very odd to me. It almost sounds like a trial in equity. “Yes, sir, I have washed my hands of everything and I have made very certain that I am not being kept in the loop for anything“, might make for interesting academic considerations, but so is the story of the Mayfair prostitute with her Hymen intact (the moral is that neither is realistic).

When you read on you will see the sentence “We have opened a company account for him based in Dubai“, so is the interest of HSBC moving towards additional banks? That question is not asked and should some consider asking Lord Green (who was group Chairman of HSBC in those days), they are unlikely to get any answer.

It is so interesting to see the HSBC onslaught all over the Guardian, but this is not just about that event. It is also nice to see how last weekend, Yahoo reported on how the Swiss Franc is boosting business in German brothels, so in the end at least one party is getting screwed (the question is who of course). Weirdly enough, the Telegraph has a passable view written by Peter Spence (yes, I am surprised too). The end has the quote that mattered in my view “What has happened in Switzerland might be a sideshow compared with larger global players, but is illustrative of a world in which central banks are increasingly looked to for answers“, I am not sure whether this is entirely correct. There is a difference between incorrect and wrong, and this one skates on two sides, you see, the mess, which I discussed in ‘A seesaw for three‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/18/a-seesaw-for-three/) is still at the heart of this, there is a credit swap in play with many governments in play, it is a global dance act which includes the US, Japan and the bulk of the EEC nations, as tax havens are now under scrutiny, the people using them are looking for options, some will make a deal, but the larger part will be looking for an alternative, I reckon that the Swiss have been very aware with the move of those HSBC accounts and the question is not just where those 70% moved to, but who else will be moving sooner rather than later. When you consider that, we see the picture as it reshapes the issue. The Swiss are holding on for dear life and at some point the Franc will lose some of its value, but as this happens, we will also see a currency destabilisation. That part is seen (in my personal view) as Switzerland is no longer playing the ‘offset’ game for other loans, which means that the game will transfer to other shores, but which shores will they move to? That part is not a given, but when we see how new players are now willing to become a member of the banking secrets. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia would only need to adopt two rules in their banking laws (if they have not done so already).

  1. Providing client data to foreign authorities constitutes a criminal offence.
  2. Personal wealth can be declared via the bank, who will charge a fee of n% (where it is likely that n < 5).

After that, both the Oval office and Buckingham palace can kiss any chance of those taxable billions goodbye, which could spell a massive exodus from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey towards sandier shores, which will hurt the Commonwealth beyond expectations. All this started from the wrong viewpoint from the very beginning, the US became reckless on how it dealt with its 18 trillion in debt by going after non-taxed fortunes from American account holders, this drive (supported by many) started a new fire and now that the flames are getting higher, those avoiding taxation are moving to shores where not only is taxation an almost impossibility, it will also limit the other acts done by both the US and the EEC to keep their currencies high, which is an act that will backfire to some extent for a longer period of time.

Personally, I am all for holding the wealthy tax accountable; we all have to pay our taxation. Yet, at present, in this economy, we are now chasing those cars, whilst we have no parking lot, so even if one is caught, what to do with this person? The US, Greece, the UK and a few others should have seriously changed certain laws half a decade ago; this mess would not have been so complete. The fact that this hunt is so visible at present gives also pause for that what we do not see. Yes, we see that the US added 257,000 jobs in January, but how many are not shown as we also see that RadioShack is filing for bankruptcy this week with over 4,000 shops expected to close (2,000 went to sprint). A host of Shale gas companies will go the same way, whilst the mountain of companies going under in the oil and gas sector is a lot larger than many can fathom. These events have a clear bearing on the banks too. Shale gas operations, oil platforms, all these places will get hit and it will affect many banks who held onto debts with the certainty that black gold brought, now there is no blame here, yet the consequence of persecuting tax dodgers will also come with another negative boost as a league of them will move to the Arabian shores, when that happens, the little stability the Euro and the US dollar had, will go straight out of the window.

Here is the kicker, no matter how wrong the expression ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ is seen in light of the tax dodgers, we must wonder how much lower the coming negative financial waves would have been if the hunt for the tax dodgers would have been delayed. In the end, it was not a solution to not go after them, but the timing truly sucks. This situation translates to governments getting kicked in the head, just as they had just accidently stumbled through no fault of their own. Yet in all this, Greece has made ZERO clear steps in dealing with its own tax dodgers, so where to go next? More questions are to follow, but I am not sure if there will be ANY answers forthcoming as it seems that three parties have painted themselves in the corner, whilst the fourth was not in the room at all, in addition these four parties aren’t even clearly communicating with each other, their only goal is to meet their own needs whilst three cannot move and the fourth can’t get into the room, one would offer the thought that a mere pre teenager would have done a better job of it all. I am not sure if I could disagree.


Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics