Tag Archives: LA Times

The Iranian play

There were two stories out there. In this for now I am ignoring the Afghanistani part, as the BBC gave me a nice idea. They actually have a nice uncut gemstone in their possession and I need additional time (as I have only one set of eyes). So we look at the Yemeni setting where the media is happy to report on Houthi attacks, but there is a lull in this. The Yemeni do not have the required weaponry, implying that Iran is still driving this stage of concern. It is Al-Jazeera who gave us (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/29/several-killed-in-houthi-attack-on-yemens-largest-base) ‘Dozens killed in Houthi attack on Yemen’s largest base’ the start is nominal, but it is “At least 30 soldiers killed and 60 wounded in rebel attacks on major military base housing Saudi-led forces” that is the concern, the base is in most SW art of Yemen in Lahij. The issue with me is “armed drones and ballistic missiles”. You see, the missiles are one thing, there are too many players who want to grease their pockets, so until forensic evidence comes through, it is anyones guess where the missiles are from, but the armed drones, they are the problem. Yemen has no infrastructure for this, Iran is the only player willing to supply Houthi forces and that is the problem. You see as Iran pushes and pushes and both the US and UK are hopelessly stuck in their ego’s Saudi Arabia stands alone against Iran. Yes, the US and UK make claims, but they have backed down at economic sanctions, even though they are aware that this step will never work and with China and Russia making deals with Iran, Iranian funds keep on going towards Houthi forces. As far as I can tell, from the western media only Reuters looked at this, the Guardian, BBC, Washington Post, LA Times and many others ignored it, isn’t it nice for the media to largely avoid having to mention Iran in a negative light? What do those take holders have to care about (apart from their wallets)? Yet that is not fair on my side either with all the Afghanistan issues, I get that, but this has happened a few times before and it is bothering me, the transgressions by Houthi forces and by Iran are passed by. In this particular instance the Houthi forces attacked a military target, and it might not be nice, but I need to stay fair. In other instances they knowingly and blatantly attacked CIVILIAN targets and that was ignored as well. 

So when we see another threat in the light of ‘Iran vows to respond in kind if Biden targets nuclear program’, I wonder if I should sell my solution to meltdown their reactor to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seems fair enough. I reckon that suddenly the western media will be all over the KSA for this, so I need to mull this over and there is the additional issues that it is still a concept, I never felt good about people selling concepts, not in IT and not anywhere else either. I reckon it makes me a service minded person, not a sales minded person. 

Yet it also feeds another sentiment. When the people really on one side, Iran might finally consider that they no longer have option, other than end up being the courtesan to either Russia or China. If they feel happy about that, so be it. As I see it, we need to start giving open support towards the KSA (or openly hostile towards Iran), either will do. But staying on the fence is no longer acceptable. If we do not do this, we need to equally silence the voices of the UN and HRW on Yemeni issues, is that not fair? If we do nothing, we need not look at articles in the news on what happens there either, those articles seem like empty reminders of what sitting on ones hands looks like. 

I get it, some will see this as an overreaction, but so far how many Houthi attacks were there on CIVILIAN targets in the last year alone? How many were reported on? Who reported them? When you tally these elements and you see how one-sided the media has become it might dawn on you that silence was never golden and it is no longer acceptable. And I get it, some will state that they support the Houthis. I get that, but do that loudly to and when Saudi Arabia closes the oil-tap, consider that you enabled that step, and it is fair, if we need not consider our non-allies, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the same right, but I reckon that the stakeholders in certain areas are really desperate to avoid that step, it would cost them a bundle and they like feeling rich in the wallet and poor in the soul. It is a state of mind some people can live with. 

I never did and yes, I have supported the wrong people in the past, but I was always direct, people always knew where I stood, it is time to set open policies all over the middle east, we have that right, and I believe we are running out of options. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Military, Politics

The lies we are told

You might get it (you might not). The media lies to us, they lie pretty much all the time, but they have engaged in an act whilst they hide behind the truth, is showing a one sided coin more or less of a lie than implying it to be valid currency? This is more clearly seen 6 days ago when Al Jazeera, the LA Times and AP News gave us 6 days ago a clear issue I saw 10 days ago, they created a wave and for 4 days they let it simmer, and now they have the sheep they needed, but I reckon that it will soon backfire. I gave 10 days ago in the article ‘Silent Screamers’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/05/16/silent-screamers/), so am I so much more intelligent that I saw clear questions arrive FOUR DAYS before so called journalists? I know I am in many ways more intelligent, but am I more clever, wiser? I do not think so, but it is not for me to say, self monitored wisdom is not too clever and often extremely unreliable. 

So when we look at the article (at https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-05-20/hamas-amass-arsenal-rockets-strike-israel) we see the clear headline ‘How Hamas amassed thousands of rockets to strike at Israel’, there we see “In the fourth war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, the Islamic militant group has fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israel, some hitting deeper inside Israeli territory and with greater accuracy than ever before”, I find the stage of ‘with greater accuracy’ a bit debatable, but that is merely me. So whilst we get a nuanced history lesson that is useless, we get in the end “Today, most of the rockets we’re seeing are domestically built, often with creative techniques”, the ultimate lie. Now, I am not debating that this happens to some degree, but 4,000 missiles requires a large created factory, it needs a massive electronic stage as well as the ground resources for explosives for 4,000 missiles and precisely created tubing, are you catching on? So whilst Al Jazeera gives us ‘Palestinian solidarity rallies around the world’, it is done by people who are not told the whole truth, the media decided on that. Over the last weeks whole ranges of media was eager to emphasise on the Israeli (IDF) strikes, and trivialise the response and the initial startup act of missiles. But the math is (decently) clear 4,000 missiles is around 30 forty foot containers filled to the brink of missiles. You think that the ‘most of the rockets we’re seeing are domestically built, often with creative techniques’ statement holds value? So whilst Andy Rain gives us an image with “Supporters of Palestine attend a demonstration in central London, UK”, did anyone truly look at the elements? Did you actually believe that Palestine has the space and the infrastructure to build 4,000 missiles? Was it suddenly more digestible through ‘with greater accuracy’? Consider the elements.

In the first the media avoided looking into the missiles and more important trivialised rockets fired.

In the second, a blogger (me) got there 4 days ahead of these so called super intelligent papers?

In the third, when we see the LA Times give us “Hamas has unveiled new weapons, including attack drones, unmanned submarine drones dispatched into the sea and an unguided rocket called Ayyash with a 155-mile range”, a stage where Hamas has a weapons research infrastructure? How much more do you need to see that Hamas is merely the puppet of Iran? How much more destabilisation will we globally see and witness before the lazy fat assed overpaid politicians will make ACTUAL moves? Consider these questions and seek out answers. I am not telling you to believe my word, seek out the evidence and make up your own mind. YouTube, the internet gives you most of the evidence. The BBC, Al Jazeera, LA Times, Washington Post, CNN, NY Times and Boston Globe will complete the package. A stage we allowed for, a stage we catered to and now we sleep with the stage we avoided to look into.

Have a great day!

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

Can’t stop the message

That is the name of the game, at times, no matter the source, we cannot stop the message, we can optionally reduce the impact, that is as good as it gets and that has been the centre stage, not for a day, a month, a year, a decade, but for several centuries. The message will get across, history is filled with examples of that all over the world.

So when I wrote “the same model could optionally be used to misinform (or disinform) the person through links that have ‘altered headlines’ One party could use it to flame to larger base of the other party and no matter what claims Facebook makes, the PDF report shows that they are seemingly clueless on how to stop it.” In ‘Presidents are us’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/07/11/presidents-are-us/) I knew what I was talking about, as such it gives me great pleasure to see the BBC give us ‘ISIS ‘still evading detection on Facebook’, report says’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53389657) with the added text “One network’s tactics included mixing its material with content from real news outlets, such as recorded TV news output and the BBC News theme music. It also hijacked Facebook accounts, and posted tutorial videos to teach other Jihadists how to do it. Facebook said it had “no tolerance for terrorist propaganda”.”” They are basically all stages we have seen before and stages we will see again. History has shown that you can not stop the message, you can merely delay the spread and optionally the impact. That is as good as it can get and the fact that we still see: “The researchers believe that at the centre of the network was one user who managed around a third (90 out of 288) of the Facebook profiles. At times, this user would boast of holding 100 ‘war spoils’ accounts, saying: “They delete one account, and I replace it with 10 others.”” People basically never learn. 

And it is not better, not gets to be worse, I wrote in 2013 “This technology should also include Microsoft services including their search engine Bing. Tracking in mobile devices remains a key point. The big advantage of Microsoft’s emerging technology is that it could track a user across a platform.” In the article ‘Patrons of Al-Qaeda’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/10/22/patrons-of-al-qaeda/) that was more than 6.5 years ago, do you think that these people sit on their laurels?  So if big-tech can be flaccid and automated to keep track of nearly anyone, what do you think that Trolls and Terrorists will use to get their message across and this is not new, it is not news, it is the situation that has been out in the open for years. As the BBC gives us “another key to the survival of ISIS content on the platform was the way in which ISIS supporters have learned to modify their content to evade controls.” Yes! And that is news how? Consider that the top 10 technical universities graduate close to 15,000 every semester, so 3 teams a year. Now consider that these parts can only persuade 0.1% (which is massively low), that implies that these players gain 15 tech savvy experts every 4 months and that is before we add those who cater to organised crime, in that numbers game we see that the government’s involved are not in a place to compete, their infrastructure had been downplayed for close to a decade and as salespeople from big-tech come around on the ease of automation we see that the mess merely gets worse and that INCLUDES several defence departments in Europe, the Commonwealth and America. That is the situation and there will be no release any day soon (except for the tech person on the help desk relying on his right hand, plenty of release there). So when you consider that I was merely looking at 10 schools, and the mess is actually a lot larger, how much of a joke is the entire ‘dealing with election bias’? If players like Facebook cannot stop or largely diminish a group that nearly all want gone, how about a situation where a larger group is in doubt of acting? How many backdoors will be given to the Cambridge Analytica minded people? That question becomes a lot more important when we consider the LA Times giving us less than 5 hours ago ‘How Facebook keeps its biggest advertisers happy’ with the quote “The social media company made nearly all of last year’s $71 billion in revenue from advertising and has worked hard to build relationships with both brands and advertising companies through a clubby network of invitation-only groups called client councils”, do you think that people spending $71 billion are kept happy with “offering everything from birthday cakes to ski trips, and dinners at the Silicon Valley home of its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.” Do you think that is all it takes? So the people ending up having dinner at that place will also get access and that is where some will be looking, the people with access and that is why the message cannot be stopped, that is why some will persevere and that is before my 5G IP hits the markets. I honestly have no idea to stop some, because some will not be stopped, I can only minimise the dangers, but I am also at the mercy of some Telecom minimisers (or was that mini-misers). Anyway, if Trolls and Terrorists get through 0.5% of the time, those with election needs and other message needs are likely to get through 20-40 times as often and any of the Big-Tech players will remain unable to stop them, unless we employ the bullet through the back of the head solution, this will not ever stop, history has proven me right and the fact that I saw this well over 6 years ago and the BBC got up to speed just now (OK, that was an exaggeration) gives wind to a much larger problem. 

You can never stop the message. Wake up! It is actually that simple.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics, Science

Sign of the Times

There are issues we see and at times issues we ignore. It is not because we want to be indifferent; it is because until it lands on our doorstep (quite literally) we remain ignorant of the actual size of the condition. The LA Times is giving us two parts in this. The second will come a little later as the page was not working correctly, yet the first part is given with ‘Seniors facing eviction fear homelessness and isolation as California’s housing crisis rolls on‘. It is not a local issue, it is a global issue and for the most, the inaction by governments imply that they remain in denial on just how big the issue is.

The premise “It also helped that even as the surrounding neighbourhood gentrified, rent control held his rent below $400. But three months ago, a real estate investor purchased the complex and soon told all tenants to leave. Suddenly, Canel faced the prospect of having to find a new home in a market where nearby studios rent for more than his monthly Social Security benefits — his sole means of support” is not a unique one. It is the direct result of ‘trying’ to attract large businesses. Just ask anyone renting in San Francisco on the Google pressures they face (similar from LinkedIn, Apple and a few others swimming in that pond).

And it seems that Los Angeles got a decent deal with: “Households with at least one person 62 or older made up 26% of no-fault evictions in Los Angeles city rent-controlled buildings between June 2014 and May 2019, according to the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department“, In places like Sydney Australia or London United Kingdom the mess is a lot worse and it is not getting better any day soon. The article (at https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-08-28/senior-housing-crisis-impact) gives us a lot more. The feeling you get with: “the average price for a vacant apartment in L.A. County is nearly 40% higher than it was in 2012, at $2,329 a month, according to Zillow” implies that the shift to work until the day you die is no longer a fabrication; it is the direct impact of the cost of living. To give the Australian example, I looked into an apartment. The pictures might not give the whole story, but the impact is visible. The area has a safety score of 2 out of 10, yet the rest of the information is lacking and missing, which is odd to say the least. We see so many stats option, yet they are there merely mimicking distraction. It seems that the NSW government does not like to hand out too much negative information. As I arrived the police was dealing with (another) dead person. It seemed to be drug related, but there is no clarity or reliability on that.

As the images imply it is a studio apartment with separate bathroom and separate kitchen (kitchen not added here). It is on the ground floor with merely one of three without protected bard on the windows, all the flats around that place have them, not that location. A serious kick would remove the door if they are unwilling to go via the window. I was standing in the two opposite corners implying that the living space is less than 4 meters long and almost 3 meters wide, so it is around 12 square meters; the inner doors were removed, so the kitchen and bathroom were all open. If the doors are added, usable space for the living room decreases by over 1 square meter twice over. More important, if you add a one person bed, a table and a chair, the available space is pretty much gone, even more important, it seems unlikely that a TV and a computer will fit; there will be no space for a sofa, entertaining guests is out of the question. Neither the bathroom nor the kitchen will fit a washing machine, so laundry will need to be done by hand. The kitchen was actually decent sized, yet there is a lack of storage there too and with one corner requiring the fridge (there was space for that) we will have to just eat in the living room, which is what most people do anyway. The door for the bathroom was missing and the frame implies it opens outwards, forcing the bed to be right in front of the window. The bathroom is luxurious in size compared to all other parts or this place, yet no space for a washing machine here either. The shelves on the right are the only shelf space I saw in this ‘apartment’, implying the need for a cupboard for clothes, but where to place it, there was no space left. Yet Housing NSW sees this as a very acceptable unit for one person. I think I have to disagree with that. Pricing was not an issue, the price was decently amazing for this dog shed, compared to what else I saw the price was right, but who is willing to live in a dog shed even if the price is right?

The place is away from most options and conveniences and that is not the big issue, not if the place was more secure and larger, the living unit needed to be 50%-100% larger and have space for a washing machine (in either kitchen or bathroom). I believe that only prisons are smaller and whoever comes out of prison might find it acceptable, which is until that person starts yearning for a washing machine to keep clothes clean when that happens all bets are off.

I know that there are perfectly decent places to get, but they are rare, really rare. Only last Monday did we see: ‘Homelessness in NSW reaches ‘crisis point’‘, the problem is that political Sydney has been catering (read: sucking up) to big corporations for too long, there has not been one clear action, not one clear activity to actually achieve anything regarding social housing or affordable housing in general. In this article (at https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2019/08/homelessness-in-nsw-reaches-crisis-point/)

We see: “To break the cycle of homelessness we need the [New South Wales] and federal governments to fund more social and affordable housing in the inner city“, as well as “A recent City of Sydney street count found while the number of people sleeping rough fell from 278 in August last year to 254, the use of temporary accommodation rose by 16.8 per cent“. Both are debatable on a few levels. In the first, the housing issue is far beyond the inner city, even when we take out a few high end suburbs (like Kiribilly and Bondi), the bulk of all suburbs have a large lack of affordable housing. the lack has been clearly seen in the inner city, inner west, eastern suburbs, northern suburbs, northern shores, Chatswood, St. Leonards, Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, Edgecliff, and this list goes on for close to a dozen suburbs more, all lacking, all failing. The second larger failing is that it only seems that rough sleeping fell, the homeless support systems are now all in a stage where they are not allowed to offer sleeping places for more than a year, all that whilst everyone knows that the waiting list on NSW housing is 6 or more years. Even as we accept “The NSW government has invested around $1 billion in funding for homelessness services over the past four years” that number becomes highly debatable when we nit-pick through that list and see where all the money had gone to. In this when we look at the statement by NSW Communities Minister Gareth Ward “Since 2017, our assertive outreach teams have helped house more than 450 people previously sleeping rough on inner city streets” we need to add a little dimensionality, 450 people in two years comes down to less than 19 a month. Now, I am happy for those 19 people, yet if the house I showed is all they get, they are still in a bad place, missing doors, essential options and some level of security. This is not on Gareth Ward. This is on a much larger Australian parliament failing its residents and citizens. Yet that government has been catering to players like CBRE Residential Projects, with a dozen projects, according to their search engine options below $700K (not that affordable, yet there are no prices given, not anywhere. So when you look https://www.cbresi.com.au/, wonder what you can afford. Because as I stated, these places usually are not given a price and only after you give all YOUR details will someone optionally get in touch with you. so if buying a place is what you need consider that at a max of $500K, most real estate places will give ‘We couldn’t find anything that quite matches your search‘, when you seek rental in Sydney and you are able to afford $300 per week (which is way above senior budget, the most likely response from the system is ‘*****THIS IS FOR A CARSPACE ONLY******‘, so a dog shed is all you can hope for (at best).

Whilst rentals in a place only slightly bigger than the one I visited started at $345 a week, implying that the old given “Economists say you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your earnings on rental costs” is a bloody joke, many are in a stage where they spend 50% or more on rental, some even is high as 75%-85%, that number shows just how delusional some housing economists are, the numbers they rely on have been outdated for well over a decade, even in my good days is was already on 40% of income for rental, and when it comes to food 10% is a massive difference on any budget.

Housing issues is a sign of the times, it is not a mystery, it is a given, what is also a given is that many governments needed to do a lot more well over a decade ago and it was all pushed forward in some empty scheme to let realtors pay for it all, something that was never ever going to happen. It is a large population. In the Netherlands the housing shortage is dangerously close to 1% of its population, In Sweden is was given that 80% of all municipalities faced a housing shortage (not just the big cities), what is interesting is that I saw the dream house in Sweden (in a smaller town) that was the size of a villa (with 4 bedrooms) and went at the price of €40,000, which is truly unbelievable. So sad I missed out, it actually was on a hill and looked out over Långsjön Lake, the fact that I missed out on that palace still makes me sad 15 years later.

The fact is not merely the entire housing issue, when you combine housing issues and age discrimination, the entire matter becomes a lot worse and more pressing, but not to worry, at least 5 governments remain in denial of age discrimination as well, so it is all a nice and compact package ruled by short sighted people (seemingly the trademark of many politicians).

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

Bitches on parade

Yes, the time is now nearing. Bloomberg gives us (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-25/bankers-head-to-saudi-arabia-to-compete-for-world-s-biggest-ipo), and as it starts with “Global banks will this week start making their case on why they should be hired for what’s set to be the world’s biggest initial public offering“, we see an interesting shift. It is the initial public offering (IPO) towards Aramco and all the bankers are dressing up like they are the bitches on the Easter parade. The question is how will these American bankers be seen? Those who were eager to exploit their options; events emphasized via media friends these so called events of Jamal Khashoggi. Should they be allowed to make a bid? As Bloomberg informs us on “The oil producer was originally working with Evercore Inc. and Moelis, as well as HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley“.

Now let’s walk a little time line, Morgan Stanley chairman and chief executive James Gorman gave the people on January 24th 2019 (several sources) ““The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was utterly unacceptable,” Gorman said as he responded to questions on a panel“, yet actual and factual evidence was never presented, was it? Merely speculation on events and evidence that remains debatable. OK, I feel certain that Khashoggi is unlikely to be alive, but there is nothing pointing at ACTUAL evidence and the essay by Agnes Calamari never changed my position. Perhaps merely wrongly chosen words by James Gorman, which now implies he should not be part of this $100 billion+ windfall (I’ll take his place). Then we get to J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, he pulled out of the conference on October 2018, so he should be disregarded as well (I’ll fill in for him too). Now, HSBC Holdings Plc held their ground, in light of innuendo, the active use of implied events that remained unproved, HSBC Holdings Plc kept a straight wave; this was business, not emotion, so I say welcome HSBC (if I had a say in the matter).

And the story on Evercore Inc. and Moelis is simple, they blew their chanced way before July 2019, as such it seems that they are out of the picture too. I am of course willing (for a modest fee) to take any of those three seats, business is business. I have no idea what I would be doing, yet uniting with HSBC whilst we share 50% and I get a really nice retirement bonus to unload my part to them is not out of the question. This is a market worth well over 100 billion, I’ll be really willing to take a 7.5% part and hand the rest over to HSBC, I reckon that I am the first person in their history to hand them close to $40 billion for them being supportive to my needs, the average hooker gets $50 at best, so there! Oh, and I do realise that there are Chinese banks eager to take place, so it might end up being a three way split.

And a man like me has dreams, with that amount a nice house in belle air and a super yacht becomes an actual reality (yes, I am typing this whilst I am not awake at present). The stage for me is simple and clear.

For the other players the case is less nice. I believe that those being sanctimonious and hypocrite need to be held to account. There is a consequence to play certain games and resetting the ledger so that they can courtesan themselves into a market worth will over 100 billion is not that acceptable to me and it should not be acceptable to you either.

The entrepreneur gave us yesterday ‘Why Saudi Arabia Is Being Increasingly Seen As The Place To Be To Start A Business In The Middle East‘ (at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/338516), they are right, but they need to see the thorns that the roses bring. the article starts so nice with: “Alper Celen’s decision to trade his cushy job at the prestigious global management consulting firm’s Scandinavian offices for a move to Saudi Arabia to grow a start-up there didn’t make much sense to his colleagues“, yet these players need to realise that this is an Islamic nation, under Islamic law and etiquette. It is a lot more rigid than France is and I have seen a 6 figure Euro deal fall away because the salesperson accidentally used ‘pour toi‘ (informal) instead of ‘pour vous‘ (formal), the buyer walked away and went straight to the competitor. When it’s merely €100K most ‘big players’ will shrug, yet now the game comes in suitcases set to the billion dollar plus that game becomes a whole new dimension. The problem is that those you talk to are indifferent to the billions, it is their bread and butter for you it optionally is not. Those players in dime sized poker games are all willing to bluff like the cardinal for the large games, but a bluff is still a bluff, when you are found out, or seen as unworthy, you will lose a lot, you will lose it all and you might not have the means to get back from where you came.

Yes, you can win big, but the whole game is larger and there is every indication that the Saudi families have kept score on those rallying behind a journalist no one cared about, with a larger lack of evidence of any kind. Soon we see their move and their idea of the Easter Parade flaunting their dresses on Takhassusi St hoping that they are still regarded to be in the game and perhaps they are. I merely wonder if they should be allowed to be in there (HSBC excluded from this consideration).

Now that Vision 2030 is off to the races they all want in (as would I), yet in all this, after all they did and all that they connected to, should they be allowed to? We have to pick certain fights and that is fine, we have certain values which make us jump in certain directions and that is fine too, but to make a 180 degree turn when it is about the money, should we accept such a party in that event when there are hundreds who want to take a slice of that cake? I do not think so.

The events regarding the Saudi conference were larger, there was a distinct impact and as such those play that game should not be allowed to play when the large trophies become available. I lost my option to an apartment in Rotterdam because I did not have the right ‘friends’, OK, fine, but you cannot rely on me giving you a pass when you come knocking. It is then a tits for dad situation at that point and now that there are really serious gains, those people should always be disregarded.

I suddenly remember a quote from Age of Ultron; there we hear: “Keep your friends rich, your enemies rich and wait to see which is which“, well Saudi Arabia found that out, after they discovered that, they have no real need to keep the charade up, so as I personally see it, goodbye Evercore Inc. and Moelis, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, it was nice knowing you. The nice part is that when they are evicted from the offer, they will have to reconsider the game they played, the media they embraced and the values that they gave to fattening the cow whilst ownership remained in the air. I actually love it when people get to learn a lesson by losing billions, it feels like that for one moment, one tiny moment the playing field was level for all of us.

The Aramco train is now officially on the road and we will hear a lot more in the coming month, I for the most will be most interested to see how much the Chinese banks end up with. And yes, I have woken up and I know that any chance for any of those billions were delusional at this point. Yet there is always tomorrow.

Hot News

In light of all this, Al Jazeera reported less than two hour ago ‘Houthis ‘fire 10 ballistic missiles’ at Saudi airport‘, at this moment, I see Arab News, Saudi Gazette and two more all having a version of that, yet nothing on the BBC, not the Guardian, not the Washington Post, not the LA Times and not Reuters. I got the news before all them and I have nowhere near their tools. So, are you still convinced that some people should be allowed at certain tables to fill their pockets whilst they shun the people whose money they want? And as we realise the quote “The rebels fired 10 Badr-1 ballistic missiles at Jizan airport, killing and wounding dozens, the group’s military spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday“, a quote made by Colonel Turki al-Malki, we need to see that US corporations are playing a convoluted game. Consider the impact that some have, do you think that when the newsgroups get wind that something really matters to the heads of these banks that they go to bed and sleep, not with 100 billion for grabs. The world media is all about fairness and then jinxes the game by taking balance away. From my point of view it is increasingly important that those players are denied a seat at the table (any table for that matter). Saudi Arabia needs to take a hard look at who they consider their friends. In light of all the unreported news of events by Houthi forces I feel more and more inclined to think that the US is turning into a player that no one should ever consider an ally, their only allegiance is to currency, I hope that the people who need actual allies realise that part before it is too late.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics

The Scott Pilgrim of Technology

There is a moment when we have to take account of actions; we have to push into the direct limelight the ACTUAL dangers. I did some of it when the DJI issues hit the news. With ‘That’s the way the money flows‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/21/thats-the-way-the-money-flows/) we see certain actions, but have you considered the actual dangers?

In this case (for a few reasons I move towards the article in the Verge. Here (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/22/18634401/huawei-ban-trump-case-infrastructure-fears-google-microsoft-arm-security) we see what transpired half a day ago. With the ARM announcement people are getting worried. Yet they validly ask: “halting its access to current and future chip designs and coming on the heels of similar breaks from Google and Microsoft. Huawei is in deep, deep trouble, and we still don’t have a clear picture of why“.

Yes that is seemingly an issue, if there actually was an issue, in addition we are given “There’s never been a full accounting of why the US government believes Huawei is such a threat, in large part because of national security interests, which means much of the evidence remains secret” and that is where the issue is, it is hidden. There has not been one respectable cyber engineer giving a clear account of where the actual flaws are.

So when we see: “There was never any hard evidence of backdoors in Huawei’s cell towers — but, as hawks saw it, there didn’t need to be. As a hardware provider, Huawei needs to be able to deploy software the same way Apple deploys iOS updates. But as long as there was a pipeline from Huawei’s China headquarters to cell towers in the US, there would be a strong risk of Chinese surveillance agencies using it to sneak malware into the network“. We can accept that to some degree, yet the actual issue stated with: ‘there would be a strong risk of Chinese surveillance agencies using it to sneak malware into the network‘. If it is about risk then that risk is actually zero, you see Cisco solved that problem for Russian, Chinese and North Korean intelligence months ago. The fact that all over the US and now Europe, we see the dropping of Huawei as a consideration is not merely an act of discrimination, it could also be seen as an act of customer being betrayed by their governments.

What is the evidence?

As some experts give us something like: “The vulnerability could allow an authenticated, local attacker to write a modified firmware image to that component. A successful exploit could either cause the device to become unusable (and require a hardware replacement) or allow tampering with the Secure Boot verification process, according to Cisco’s advisory” and make no mistake, routers from Parks and recreation, to the Pentagon right up to the White House are optionally affected at present, the list (at https://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20190513-secureboot#vp) shows a list that is impacting vulnerabilities to MILLIONS of devices and the media remains largely silent on it.

And when we also consider: “Other routing and switching gear patches won’t roll out until July and August, with some products slated for even later fixes, in October and November.” we should all realise that Chinese equipment does not make US hardware vulnerable, Cisco (an American company no less) did it for them. The Washington Post is not really covering it, are they? Perhaps because we see (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/brand-studio/wp/tag/cisco-webex) loads of space reserved for partner content, giving us the credo that I have mentioned a few times before. The media has become a whore (or perhaps better stated a person relying on questionable ethics). They cater to their shareholders, their stake holders and their advertisers; there is the real danger and the real vulnerability.

Keeping the people knowingly in the dark from actual dangerous situations, but that is not really what big business wants is it. The dangers that Huawei grew to twice its size was just too dangerous for those on the Wall Street gravy train, and whilst we see these dangers for almost a month, the value of Cisco goes up? Whilst millions of devices are vulnerable with many of them in that state to deep into November, optionally remaining a danger until well into January 2020, for the simple reason that delays are almost inevitable in these situations?

When we realise that we can Google on reported true and false weaknesses that hit Huawei and Cisco, it is shameful to see the following list:

News source

Huawei ‘danger’ given

Cisco vulnerability mentioned

Sydney Morning Herald

Yay

Nay

the Age

Yay

Nay

the Guardian

Yay

Nay

BBC

Yay

Nay

The Times

Yay

Nay

Australian Financial Review

Yay

Nay

Financial Times

Yay

Nay

Washington Post

Yay

Nay

LA Times

Yay

Nay

NOS (Dutch)

Yay

Nay

Dagens Nyheter (Swedish)

Yay

Nay

 

However, in case of the Sydney Morning Herald we do get to see sponsored content for Cisco and the Washington Post gave the readers Cisco Partner content.

As far as I have been able to tell, none of them gave any light to the vulnerabilities in Cisco Routers and Firewalls. Would you agree that a flaw impacting millions of devices is news? Many of them pulled a similar stunt in 2012 regarding Sony in the month before the release of the PS4. In regards to the list, these are supposed to be the more respectable choices for news; the list of absent news giving sources is a lot larger.

Whilst the IT news magazines gave the broader setting (as well as Cisco on their own site), we see that the media is seemingly playing a game of: ‘Let’s rent a hotel room on an hourly rate‘.

When we see Tara Seals in Threatpost giving us: “A critical vulnerability in Cisco’s software-defined networking (SDN) software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to connect to a vulnerable data-center switch and take it over, with the privileges of the root user” (at https://threatpost.com/cisco-critical-nexus-9000-flaw/144290/), I suddenly realise that there is an inner demon with a pitchfork stabbing into my brain telling me that I am a pussy, I disagree! So here it is: “A message for the Pentagon IT department; Do you still have the password ‘Cisco123‘ on some of your routers? If so would it not be a great idea to change it before the Chinese Ministry of State Security and the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (SVR RF) decides to download your servers at their earliest convenience?

I know it is an annoyance, but with Cisco flaws the way they were it is merely a small consideration, and let’s not forget that at this stage no Huawei device was required to acquire the information on your servers. I personally believe that it is time to reward those who do not apply common cyber sense to be rewarded with limelight. I have had to clean up the mess of others for well over a decade and now it is time to give those people the exposure they deserve (my findings regarding Credit Agricole will have to wait for a few more days). When you consider that the flaw also hits the Nexus 9000 Data Centre Switch, a device that is according to their own site ‘Built for scale, industry-leading automation, programmability, and real-time visibility‘, as well as “operate in Cisco NX-OS Software or Cisco ACI modes with ground-breaking Cloud Scale ASIC technology“, and lets be fair, there will always be an issue, a device on such scale cannot be flawless, yet when such a flaw is clearly reported on a level this big and the media merely looks at accusations against Huawei and leaves actual dangers unreported, the integrity of the media has become too large an issue on a global scale.

The issue is twofold for me, the first is that Huawei was never a risk and even as I disagree with the dumb headed approach that the US had, I am very much on the side of Alex Younger (the apparent fearless leader of MI-6), he is merely stating that non-British equipment (in this case Chinese) could be an optional threat in the future. His issue is that this level of infrastructure must be British and he is not wrong, no nation is wrong to have high level infrastructure equipment (whether it is 4G or 5G) in national hands. That is the application of common sense (yet realistically speaking not always pragmatic or achievable). so when he stated last February ‘It’s more complicated than in or out,‘ he is actually spot on, no one denies that. Yet the Americans had their big boots, brainless and started accusations that cannot be proven, that is an issue! For the US it was all about the money and American technology is losing more and more headway, they are literally falling further behind on a daily basis. As I personally see it the direct consequence on iteration versus innovation technology. When the best innovative step is Samsung giving the consumer the ability to share power wireless (which is awesome), even me as an anti-Samsung person will admit that they hit the jackpot with that one. How sad have players like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, INTEL et al really become?

How much of a Scott Pilgrim must we become fighting all the tech companies in the world before we get told the direct truth by the media? How much shaming must we do to make the media make us the number one directive, not the number four option? and as I have been considering more and more to put my IP vision valued at $2 billion public domain and let them fight it out among themselves, basically I am just too tired to engage in another round of bullshit with these so called executives and VP’s who (with the exception of Huawei and Google) do not have a clue on what they are doing in technology in the first place.

The larger problem is not Cisco; it is security and identity management. Most corporations are close to 5 years late into implementing an actual non-repudiation system and that is partially because there is no real good system or good way to ensure non-repudiation, an issue that should have been addressed almost 10 years ago, but never was, I personally tend to blame complacency there. I personally believe that a drive to iteration prevented innovation to get us there, but that is merely my view on the matter and I am perfectly happy to be proven wrong on this specific part.

Dozens of options (I actually had another idea towards a new solution to applied solar technology) all having larger impacts in larger cities and pilot places like Neom City, what does it take for some of these players to wake up and smell the dangers of corporate death through marketing set towards iterative release?

 

2 Comments

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

Will there be any Ivy League left?

I always understood that a decent education was essential in getting a good job, nowadays that is not a given, with several graduate degrees and a master, I am finding that at some point age discrimination is pretty overwhelmingly everything in the commonwealth. So when we get the juice on what makes for a good university, the LA Times article (at https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-college-admissions-scandal-target-letters-20190503-story.html) are some universities actually as good as they are cracked up to be? When they admit students through bribery and other means, does that not give a clear case that the overall result of these students imply that they no longer have the best?

The accusation: “The 33 parents charged in the scandal so far are accused of paying $15,000 to $75,000 per child for rigged college entrance exams, and $100,000 to $400,000 per child for an athletics recruiting scam.” is a two edged blade. To what extent was the university part of the admittance? The second part is which deserving student was there for removed from consideration? There is a third, mainly how much additional funds will be shoved into some directions for these students to actually graduate?

The third one is a consideration that is set on very thin ice. Beyond the admittance part, there is actually no evidence of any kind that wrongdoing was done, and when we consider the amount of people trying to get into Stanford, Harvard, Yale, MIT and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the case could be made that beside a very small greed driven group within the universities, there is a mere showing at best that this merely involved a few rotten apples at best, but how can we be certain?

You see, there is more to “Federal prosecutors have sent a letter to Yusi Zhao, whose parents paid $6.5 million to the consultant at the heart of the college admissions scandal, informing the former Stanford student she is a possible target of their investigation, a person familiar with the matter said“, we can accept that there is a clear case of timing that is to be played, but it goes beyond that, the fact that “Neither Zhao nor her parents have been charged in the case that has ensnared 50 people, including Hollywood actresses and financiers“, I personally would argue (based on not having seen any evidence) that them either not being investigated, or having avoided the trap in the first place implies (emphases on implies) that they have had clear intent of not getting caught, the innocent always get trapped initially, only the aware avoid all set traps. Yusi Zhao is the daughter of Chinese billionaire Tao Zhao and the implied fatherly side was seen in the New York Post (at https://nypost.com/2019/05/03/meet-the-posh-billionaire-family-entangled-in-admissions-scam/) only two days ago. To be honest, I would be able to relate to “But Yusi “Molly” Zhao’s pharma tycoon dad once bragged that he has no time for rich kids who “don’t rely on their own abilities.”“. Yes, the amount of stupid rich kids that squandered the family fortune, there are plenty of examples and an exponential more examples in the Hollywood film script department. You want to give your kids a leg up by getting them a good education, yet there are more good educators beyond the Ivy league, There are excellent universities in Illinois, California (Berkeley to name one), Columbia, Indiana and Florida. Plenty have highly desired degrees, so why would someone spend $6.5 million when $125K does it; merely because Mark Zuckerberg attended Stanford? People can’t be that dim can they? Well, they can but they end up not being billionaires that is the short and sweet of it.

The problem is not merely the kids of the 33 parents; the issue is that the overall value of the universities involved would find an impact down the line. Will there be the impact when they graduate on the papers that they publish? Will academia go with the statement that as the position was fraudulently acquired, whatever they publish would be scrutinised as non-valued? You might laugh at that, but that is a much bigger issue than we think. Anyone who had to present and upload there papers for grading, having it checked for plagiarism, we all sweated when the number get above a certain point.

  • Did we make a mistake?
  • Are all our references correctly in place?
  • Did someone copy our work?

We get the weirdest fears, often all undeserving, but every university has forever been hammering down on plagiarism, so when one of their papers ends up being a tad too high on the checking software scale, will the thought be they got into the university fraudulently? So they might go with the old stage of having more likely than not copied other work. It sounds crazy, but is it?

It is that much of a leap? If a non-sailor can get into a sailing position with help of a fund supported coach (John Vandemoer), staged as a competitive sailor, what else could have happened? I was (to some degree) a sailor myself, yet I could not hold a candle to some real sailors and she gets in under the radar with full sails unfurled? I believe that this should be regarded as a signal that more was going on.

The news is spreading like wildfire and as we get most of the information we saw in the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/05/03/she-paid-college-consultant-million-get-her-daughter-into-stanford-she-said-she-was-tricked/)

Here too we see the emphasis on “No members of the Zhao family have been charged, and they are not mentioned in court papers. But when U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling announced the arrests in March, he said one family had paid $6.5 million. The Los Angeles Times first reported that it was the Zhao family that had paid the seven-figure sum — far more than anyone else charged in the scheme“, I personally still have the feeling that someone who has been able to avoid all mention has worked much more with intent than the others, now I could be wrong, but the old truth that to avoid a trap you need to know one is there seems to be central in all this, more important. Yet the reference that the LA Times had was missing, how it all started (at https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-morrie-tobin-college-admissions-scandal-20190331-story.html), how Morrie Tobin, regarded to be a crooked Finance exec, and when Andrew Lelling gave the media “Our first lead in this came during interviews with a target of an entirely separate investigation, who gave us a tip that this activity might be going on,” we get to see “The tip led investigators to a soccer coach at Yale University, who, in turn, pointed them to William “Rick” Singer, the college admissions consultant who would confess to being the mastermind of the admissions racket. With Singer’s cooperation, FBI agents set about building cases against dozens of the wealthy parents on his client list as well as people at universities across the country Singer allegedly paid to help students cheat their way into school.” within the short time that follows, we see 33 parents and 17 others to be the target of a court case that will impact several Ivy League Universities and even as this was from one tip, the rest will be squawking like goose to get away with as little damage as possible, as such we cannot tell how far this will go, but it will hit others, I have very little doubt on that front.

My reasoning is this, this has been going on for a while, and the way that the amount of money has been moved around implies that the people involved are not on their first milk run. The ABC quote: “Prosecutors said Huffman, 56, made a $15,000 contribution to Singer’s foundation in exchange for having an associate of Singer’s in 2017 secretly correct her daughter’s answers on a college entrance exam at a test centre Singer controlled” gives rise to that. Not merely the fact that she did it, but somehow she was contacted or she contacted a party involved, the fact that the SAT scores were ‘corrected’ in the window available implies that the system is larger spread and available to a larger worried audience (read: parents in fear that their kids will not be good enough). The term ‘associate of Singer‘ also implies that this man had fingers in many American Pie’s and to keep it a secret to the degree it was requires cooperation on certain levels, secrets like these tend to get out in the civil world, the fact it did not is an implication by itself.

There is optionally the fact that this kid went to a test centre that Singer controlled is up for debate whether that was merely fortunate for Huffman. If there is one issue, than it is the issue that there is every change that the kids will now walk with a mark on their life, a mark they optionally did not want, require or ask for.

God help us from overprotective parents at times.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media

The Australian Catastrophic Colliding Canine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics, Science

What possessed them?

The LA Times brought us the article ‘The Navy’s newest destroyer, the Michael Monsoor, is as much an experiment as a ship-killer‘ (at https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-michael-monsoor-zumwalt-20190126-story.html) a few days ago. My personal view is that it is the ugliest vessel I have so far ever seen. Now, for a functioning being pretty, pleasing or even appealing is not a requirement. It needs to be the killer that scares every other killer and even there it falls a little flat.

The initial consideration for laughter is seen when we consider the line “In the end, what was once intended to be a class of 32 destroyers will now be only three — making for a per-ship cost of about $4.4 billion, according to a December 2016 estimate by the Government Accountability Office, the most recent cost estimate available. Including development costs, that number balloons to $8.2 billion, the GAO said“, so basically the US gets three dinghies for a mere twenty four billion dollars (aka $24,000,000,000), or twenty four thousand million

Three mechanical driven rowboats that amounts to one third of the entire US national budget on education, how perverse is that? Well, it is their tight to choose of course. Yet when we learn that “Despite the higher price, the two advanced gun systems have no ammunition, cancelled because of cost“, a smart bullet system that costs $1,000,000 per round. With the added “The gun’s shells were to be rocket-propelled, guided by GPS and loaded by simply pressing a button“, we are treated to a system that congress will not fuel with ammunition. That is the foundation of a failed and sunk project whilst the vessel is for now still afloat. It was even more fun to learn that optionally the system I designed to sink the Iranian fleet could also be used here, giving us an optional $135,000 solution to drown a $8,300,000,000 mishap, how is that not return on investment? On my side that is!

Do not get me wrong, the US is our ally and I have no such inclinations, my focus was sinking the Iranian ego trippers, I merely found it interesting to know that for a stealth boat, any stealth boat has a similar weakness and mine was set to kick the Iranian dinghies a little, so I take no pleasure that my solution is likely to work there too and it shows the failing of a design and project to be much larger than anyone considered, giving us all a lot more to ponder, because some elements should have been clearly seen on the drawing table and it seemingly was overlooked to such a large extent.

The second part in the mishap is seen when we consider that the design was awarded in 2008, laid down in 2011, launched in 2013, christened in 2014 and repurposed in December 2017 with ‘New Requirements for DDG-1000 Focus on Surface Strike

When USNI News gives us (at https://news.usni.org/2017/12/04/navy-refocus-ddg-1000-surface-strike) “The Navy is revamping the Zumwalt-class destroyer’s requirements and will morph it into a focused surface strike platform, the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) told USNI News today” Are you kidding me? After 8 billion and change, a path that spans 10 years (with all the fiasco’s on the internet), we see the calling of ”revamping’ instead of loudly calling the entire Zumwalt class a failure? Did the $1,000,000 per shot not give a clear indication that something extremely weird was afoot? Was there no quality calculation showing us that some implementations were not realistic and that a system like this having a flaw that might be swallowed by a $135,000 could spell a lot of trouble in any direction?

I feel particularly concerned with Rear Adm. Ron Boxall when we see: “I was very pleased with where we came out because some of the decisions were much more about the concept of what we’re getting instead of the actual platform we’re getting“. To him I would go (off course in an informal way) with: “Robby, pal, when the betrothed concept is too far from the begotten actual, we need to consider, ‘product fraud’ (you did not get what you ordered), we can go with ‘failure’ (they did not deliver what was promised) and we certainly need to go with ‘fiasco’ (congress will not allow you to purchase the bullets that the dinghy fires)“, so overall there are three levels of non-success to consider on a whole range of issues that these three puppies have and lets not call them ‘ship-killers’ ever, OK?

And when we see “at the same time look at some of the challenges we’ve had. It’s no surprise, we have some very expensive bills still outstanding with the LRLAP (Long-Range Land-Attack Projectile)” so is that a way to state that invoices were unpaid, or that paid invoices have not met practical delivery? The question is out in the open, because we can go in a few directions. It becomes a larger issue when we see the NY Times Magazine (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/magazine/navy-gunfire-ammunition.html). Here we see: “All three of the failed projectile programs had similar design features and shared a fundamental conceptual problem. “When you try to make a rocket-boosted projectile that can steer itself to a target, you basically have built a guided missile,” said Tony DiGiulian, a retired engineer who has studied all these weapons“, with the added “So why not just build missiles in the first place?” he said. “That’s what you’ll end up with anyway” at the very end, yet leave it to an engineer to apply common sense to an optional working solution. What stopped you guys? Too much outstanding issues with Raytheon and Northrop Grumman? I could have told you that part and I am certain that the navy has scores of common sense people around, still the eight billion was spend and congress will not foot $600 million for a full armory of shells, is anyone surprised?

So not only are we confronted with “the Navy then spent $700 million to have BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin develop the Long Range Land Attack Projectile for the Zumwalt deck gun. It also came to nothing” with an added “rivaling the cost of the Tomahawk cruise missile, which has a 1,000-mile range“. And now we are treated to: “they are evaluating a new shell, called the “hypervelocity projectile,” that is lighter and narrower and could potentially be fired from the upgraded five-inch guns at targets 40 miles away. The program is experimental and in its early stages, and it is unlikely to produce a viable weapon soon“. So not only is the US Navy in a phase where they have nothing, they have been in an 11 year phase of denial and unsupported science fiction ideas that went nowhere with an optional total bill of $256 billion, averted to a mere twenty four billion by scrapping 29 (ugly) vessels.

The fun part is that there was an option to consider, weirdly enough it was not DARPA or the US Navy who came up with the idea; it was film director Jon Favreau who had the brainwave in 2009. Yes, it was a drone used in the movie Iron Man 2. Yet the idea is far less weird and less science fiction then you might think. The air force has its drones, yet the navy could have deployed its own drones, vessel drones are not a myth and even as they are not stealth, they are small enough to get in quick, fire and get out, with a Zumwalt cruiser as a home base. So when we see: “We just doubled the range of our artillery at Yuma Proving Ground,” Gen. John Murray, Commanding General of Army Futures Command, told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium“, we see that the Army has one part of the equation and that droning that solution might have saved the US treasury a few billions. The drones will not endanger manpower, the drones do not required oxygen and can approach submerged and all that at a fraction of the cost, was that so hard to figure out?

Now we get that the brief was never about drones, yet when you try to find a 2010 solution for a 1988 version of smart bullets (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfGnUzGRIuY) we need to consider that someone spending billion to not get there was a terrible idea from the moment the first invoice was paid.

Did I oversimplify the issue?

Let’s also realise that the road to triumph is paved with failures, that makes sense, as not every solution is the breakthrough we aim for, more precisely the failures tend to contribute to future success, yet in this case there seems to have been a lack of common sense on a whole spectrum of issues (or so it seems). And it is there where we see the issue in the larger field, especially with all the failures that seem to define the Zumwalt class, especially as the bulk will be shoved under the carpet through ‘revamping’.

In addition, when we revisit General Murray and consider the quote: “A 70-kilometer target range is, by any estimation, a substantial leap forward for artillery; when GPS guided precision 155mm artillery rounds, such as Excalibur, burst into land combat about ten years ago – its strike range was reported at roughly 30 kilometers. A self-propelled Howitzer able to hit 70-kilometers puts the weapon on par with some of the Army’s advanced land-based rockets – such as its precision-enabled Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System which also reaches 70-kilometers“, what would stop us from adding a drone part in there? Not in the launch, but in the shell itself. Consider the simplicity, when there is one shot, there is a lot less cyber security needed, that whilst the vision for the drone operator is merely the need to adjust the trajectory and there are accurate low expense solutions there. The initial cyber part is not too expensive and merely requires a 240-300 second fail-safe on hacking, there are plenty of solutions there. When we consider that an artillery round could be adjusted, the enemy needs to know the frequency, the codes and the option to interfere, the drone operator might not have to do anything and merely need to lock out changes at some point. An optional 12% increase on a 89% certain hit, making every shot a hit, a better result could not be asked for, so when you consider my ad-hoc idea (open to loads of scrutiny at present), we are still left with the ‘what on earth possessed them in the first place‘, we get it, the defense gravy train is very lucrative, but to revamp the brief on a 24 billion fiasco that was 10 years in the running is taking the mickey out of the entire train ride (staff, fellow travelers and equipment).

War never changes, the technology does but at some point we are confronted with the simplicity of common sense and adjusting the view towards another direction would not have been considered and preferably before the ship was launched might not have been the worst idea. If an optional solution to force a reactor meltdown is seen in a snow globe, what other ideas have not been looked at? Even when we look at it from a complete non-military way, what other options have we never investigated?

It is the same for 5G, when we consider that not the telecom operator but the consumer is at the heart of it all, we see a whole new range of solutions that brings new technologies, and new innovation and they can lead to new services and new foundations of income and profit of course.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Military, Politics, Science

When wrong is right

There is now too little doubt, I got it wrong, and I will happily and freely admit to it. You see, the entire Salisbury and Novichok was a shamble from the beginning. There was little doubt in my view, as I have been around the world twice, as I saw things on several levels, there was a massive issue with the entire Skripal case, as such I had a massive lack of faith in the reports all over the news. Not merely the setting where we see from the early setting that GRU players were mentioned, the fact that the hit was unsuccessful and the setting that I still see as an event framed in stupidity. A setting with a whole host of issues that could go wrong from the very beginning, how could anyone support it?

And I decided not to do it without clear evidence.

So I was in a stage of impressing denial, plain and simple. Apart from the setting that was brought by the media, there were issue with the evidence as Vil Mirzayanov gave clear evidence that was countered from day one with publications in all kinds of magazines, even the documents in the OPCW gave rise to doubt, but the media all ate it like flame baked chocolate chip cookies. The Guardian brought its version of doubt and also gave us valid questions and in all this the media machines continued with a mix of facts and speculations (as media would have done).

Yet we have seen that and in the stage of all this, the LA Times now gives us ‘Spate of fumbled spycraft may be laughing matter for ordinary Russians, but not for President Putin‘, now that we see that there is a chance that the FSB has messed up to this degree cannot be ignored. So as we are treated to both “Like Russian President Vladimir Putin, the GRU — the country’s military intelligence agency — is more accustomed to being feared than being mocked. But a recently exposed run of bumbling spycraft — think Austin Powers, not James Bond — has made the spy agency the subject of biting humor, at which Russians happen to excel“, as well as “the Kremlin is worried about its “brand, image and reputation as a great power.” And Putin, a former KGB officer whose approval ratings have been slipping, is doubtless “unhappy with the image of Russia as being incompetent, and the potential public perception of themselves as fools,”” Finally we get “Putin-watchers saw peril for the head of the GRU, Igor Korobov. Unconfirmed reports in the Russian press said that after the U.S. indictments of seven military intelligence officers, the Russian president summoned Korobov for an official dressing-down” It is the final part that makes for the entertainment as I wrote yesterday: “How badly are these ladies trained (me stating the need for a well-paid job and replacing Colonel general Igor Valentinovich Korobov), I mean, I could hardly do any worse, could I? Let’s face it, in Australia a general’s pay starts at $235,595 with 0 years of experience in that rank. I’d accept that as a starting wage (LOL), even if it turns out to be merely for a year“. I wrote it in ‘Consideration for dinner‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/10/15/consideration-for-dinner/). So now we see that in the end, I would have been a better director of Russian Military Intelligence than Russian General Igor Valentinovich Korobov, who would have thunk it? Yes, I stated that expression and in light of history it would be quite apt.

So as we have been treated to all kinds of sources far, wide and speculative, I have tried to maintain to the facts as much as possible. A few years ago, the open setting of who were GRU officers, who would rely on an operation using unstable elements, the lack of investigating a certain laboratory. Yet, now looking back, there is additional implied evidence that there was a much larger issue and it is not with the UK, it is with Russia. We see this in the writing of Mark Galeotti. We see: “If Putin is showing his anger, it is not because they are spying and hacking and killing, but because they are not doing it well enough“, a statement from a senior fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague. He is correct. It is nice to see that there is an implied failure on the Russian side and it sets the GRU back to the age of the early cold war where they would walk in the US wearing a weird trench coat, thinking that everyone in the US looked and dressed like Humphrey Bogart. It makes counter intelligence exceedingly easy for the FBI and MI-5, so they should be relieved, but they are unlikely to be that. All these issues are pointing towards a larger game and falling asleep now is perhaps the largest of all failings to embrace. Part of this was tipped on in February by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42636245). Here we see the mention ‘Just weeks before Litvinenko died, Russia passed a law giving the FSB authority to act against “extremists” and “terrorists” abroad‘, yet the issue is not the statement, it is the Russian definition of what THEY consider to be a terrorist and an extremist. You see an extremist is someone who holds extreme political or religious views, yet in case or Russia is that a political view that is not their political view? Then we get the part of terrorist. Here we see that this is a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Yet is the word ‘violence’ mandatory? We have e-terrorism, which is still terrorism, is it not?

So as we were going into the entire Salisbury debacle, we were treated to two people allegedly called Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov and they were giving us: “insisting they were sports nutritionists on a holiday jaunt to Britain — and that with all the iconic tourist sites available to them in London, what they really, really wanted to see was the cathedral in a provincial city“. I was in disbelief! Someone was going to be this stupid about it? Now, I have heard and seen the folly of underestimating an opponent, yet until this week I had never considered that overestimating an opponent could be so equally deadly. It is like watching that old series The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs, where I am thwarted by Briggs, in this case played by Igor Valentinovich Korobov, it feels that unsettling, to face an opponent you rigorously overestimate.

It got to be even worse when they were caught ‘red’ handed, trying to hack into the computers of the OPCW, which in light of the fact that I got most their memo’s merely Google searching them. OK, they wanted the Skripal case documents, which were likely slightly more secure, yet in all that, when we are faced with such bungling, how can we lose sleep over any operation the GRU does when we can read it on page two of The Sun staring at the ‘lung’ section of a page three girl. It seems that the job (for now) for MI-5 is exceedingly simple. So as we are treated to the operandis modi of the Kremlin (according to the LA Times, where we see: ““Step No. 1 is deny; Step No. 2 is to undermine whoever made the allegations,” said Polyakova. “And usually Step No. 3 is to spin multiple versions of the story, to try to confuse the public narrative about what is the truth, and what is not.”” so, if we give a view to Alina Polyakova and her view in this, we need to compare that to the political field, the US political field might be the most apt one. So, the deny part, how did that work out for former president Bill Clinton? Then we see the undermining part, how did that work out for former (being the operative word) FBI Agent Peter Strzok, and the third and final part, the spin part? Well, the spin part is actually decently effective (usually it is), partially as most people can no longer tell the difference between journalistic news sources and morning TV shows that cast some version of the news on a malleable turntable. So that one the Kremlin is seemingly getting right (at least partially), although having a much better trained GRU might not be the worst idea in all this.

If we can keep a sense of humour in all this, we should take notice of Grigorii Golosov, a political scientist who stated: “thanks to the efforts of the two (Russian agents), the word “Novichok” was now better known to non-Russian speakers than “Sputnik.”” Yes, that is certainly true. The LA Times also re-staged the setting of: “the Kremlin not only vehemently denied involvement, but demanded definitive proof of the suspects’ guilt, which seemed at the time like a tall order“. That is where several insiders were, as well as myself, as we saw the train and CCTV footage and saw such a large lack of tradecraft that is seemed a joke to consider it at all, yet the egg is on out faces, I admit that! The fact that my skills surpass these so called Special Forces people at the GRU is just blowing my mind (quite literally). It gets to be even worse (or more hilarious depending on your placing on the table of intelligence) when we consider “seeing the cathedral in a provincial city“. So with the options ranging from Aldershot to Wrexham, they went to Salisbury? How could this be sold in any believable way?

There is one additional consideration and yet it is also a danger. As we are laughing at what the GRU is unable to do, we need to be weary that the SVR has not made these levels of blunders (a speculative statement, I know). In this, we need to recollect the words of Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin: “Russia couldn’t have been behind the operation because it was done so unprofessionally“, me and several others agree on that, so if that is the setting of the stage then we need to consider that the SVR might be poised to take over that part and properly train those people, giving us optionally new waves to deal with. Now, in all honesty, one would think that this is never going to happen, yet Vladimir Putin is an SVR alumni, so the thought is not that crazy and being placed in a setting of such embarrassment might make him jump and demand success stories, just as Saudi Arabia has its own optional folly to deal with, getting on board selling non ethical solutions is not beyond any opponent of those relying on overly ethically accepting solutions.

You see as several sources are now all heralding “Saudi Arabia is preparing to acknowledge the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi happened as the result of a botched interrogation” into the media (CNN et al), I need to accept that I was wrong twice, considering that generals have a much better handle on things, so me getting proven wrong twice (so close together) is not the craziest theory to embrace at present. The fact that there is no reliability on the sources at present makes me a little cautious. As CNN gives us: “The Saudis are preparing a report that will conclude Jamal Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey, according to two sources“, there is not just the lack of who the two sources are, there is a larger setting that is still weird, so after we were informed on “Turkish authorities have an audio recording which indicates that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed“, we see Reuters give us: “A team of around 10 Turkish police investigators had already left after a nine-hour search“, so why not just publicly play the audio? It would have given Turkey huge bonus points with Iran, yet that part we do not see (or hear) do we? We get to hear no evidence for now, which is another matter of concern. As Turkey will not play the audio, they would if the audio is not openly played that they are merely showing that their claims cannot be trusted (here is me hoping that I am not played a fool a third time in a row).

And all the sources, the Sun being the weirdest one give us: Audio and video recordings which emerged yesterday proved Khashoggi, 59, was tortured and murdered inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, by a 15-strong hit team yesterday“, so where is that evidence? And a hit team of 15? This is part of the entire fake news matter and the UK newspapers (if you call the Sun a newspaper) is part of the problem, is it not?

So I might have been wrong, but in the setting where even the news is optionally fake news, I still think that I walked the right path in the end, even as I overestimated the abilities of the GRU to an almost unfathomable distance, I feel that I was bringing the news better, more complete and with the right questions, questions that some parties have never and will optionally never ever be able to answer. So, London School of Economics, I will happily and with a slight case of humility accept my master in Business Intelligence and Master of Journalism.

Thank you very much!

Elvis has left the building, until tomorrow that is!

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics