Tag Archives: LA Times

A two sided sword

It is nice (novel too) when the press does your work. Al Jazeera (at https://aje.io/xvndmj) with the headline ‘Nobel Peace Prize winners warn of growing disinformation threat’, which sounds nice, but the complication is that the press is part of the problem, in the last two years 

I looked at issues with the NSO group, Jamal Khashoggi (the reporter no one cares about), one sided accusations against Saudi Arabia, bungled investigations involving Jeff Bezos (and the UN), Ignoring the events from Iran and Houthi forces and that running joke known as the ICIJ with their papers of hope (Pandora papers). All issues that show the press being part of the problem, not a solution. All vying for digital dollars any way they can. 

So when I see “Maria Ressa of the Philippines said the greatest threat to democracy is “when lies become facts”, while Dmitry Muratov of Russia said society is currently in a dangerous “post-truth period””, I am not opposing Maria Ressa, I am stating that the disinformation problem is a lot larger than what we hear and journalists are part of that problem. 

Journalists have with some regularity placed themselves on the axial of a seesaw and tried to keep a balance between events taking place and Stakeholders that need things go certain ways (my speculation/presumption). It is a setting that have been going on since 2012 (which is when I started to take notice). So when I see “Muratov also told Al Jazeera that disinformation was a significant and growing threat. “Manipulation leads to war,” he said. “We are in the middle of a post-truth period. Now, everyone is concerned about their own ideas and not the facts,” Muratov said” I feel an involuntary giggle coming up. It is correct what he states, but the part of ‘Manipulation leads to war’, was this communicated to the morning breakfast shows? Was this communicated to newspapers who do this way too often? 

Yes there are problems and they are all over the place, yet the press is part of the problem, it stopped being part of the solution when shareholders needed to see more money from news outlets. A plate for pigs and there are too many pigs and the plate is seemingly getting smaller. 

So it needs to be clear, I am not opposing the person who achieved the standing of winning a Nobel price, I am however pointing towards the wannabe’s behind these people maximising digital coins at the expense of clear reporting. In case of the ICIJ, has anyone seen a clear dashboard giving us numbers of people per nation, nations with government people involved and non-government people? No, you haven’t. More importantly when we see the stage of those in zero tax nations (and their right to be there), what is left? In that stage we see the ICIJ speak like parrots, repeating the same thing over and over without any real revelations, any real criminal activities. So when you see “The new data reveals confidential information about the owners of offshore entities mostly registered in the British Virgin Islands, a notoriously secretive jurisdiction, between 1980 and 2018.” You get no real information, merely some silly essay person waving his dick. The problem is that this so called “confidential information about the owners of offshore entities”, is absent of criminal activities. It is about tax laws and these clowns have not achieved anything, merely made you all angry that some people get LEGALLY away with avoiding taxation. So Boo Hoo flipping Hoo. 

So I get it that some journalists should receive protection, but in my personal view, we could do without those 600 at the ICIJ brilliantly. The term of “when lies become facts” sounds really nice, but that means that we hold journalists and what they write accountable, an act that hasn’t been the case for the longest of times, should you doubt that, read the Leveson report. The stage is changing and to some degree journalists and news outlets are responsible for that mess. Consider that the big papers which include the Wall Street Journal, The Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Boston globe and the NY Times. How many did a real piece on how tax laws have failed a nation? None as fr as I can tell, they are all screaming ‘Tax the Rich’ but it were these tax laws that got them in that setting. The disregarded acts by Iran are visible all over by the bulk of these papers seemingly disregard these parts, just like the assaults by Houthi’s but they are all eager to slam the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one sided reporting is disinformation, I hope that this is clear? Filtered information (like morning shows) is also a form of disinformation and they all serve some stakeholder (as I personally see it).

A stage that has to change and it should start with those calling themselves journalists. 

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Direction and Course

We are all driven by doubts. We are all driven by needs and we are all enticed by desires. There is no exception, none at all. Not if you are a cleric, Christian or Muslim. Not if you are a farmer or a politician (although too often I think that the first party is more intelligent than the second one). We are all driven by surges, by vectors and by elements outside ourselves. They are the particles that fuel the internal engine in us and the mindset that accompanies it. I remain on the fence regarding the building scandal in Rotterdam, the political power-drive for a place called Vestia. The simplest side is a mere tally, 524 homes are removed to be replaced by 137 locations to inhabit, with an added 101 apartments for higher incomes and 143 apartments for sale, the tally does not add up. A new station is created with -143 locations. This was about money, plain and simple. So whilst Vestia hides behind “We achieve this by taking an effective and innovative approach to rentals, sales, liveability, maintenance, investments and operating costs. We are committed to providing good service to our customers: the people who rent and buy our homes”, so whilst we see one, we also see that they enabled the removal of 387 social housing locations, it was the simplest math problem. Someone got rich here. Yet in the setting of greed, there is so much out there, Rotterdam is not even the smallest blip on any, not even a Dutch radar. 

There is more out there, the stage of the media is getting out of control, stake holders, the setting of lobbyists that are gracing the foundation of media is getting larger, os getting stronger and the media itself does not care, it is like watching a crack whore reach for the goods. Their grasp towards digital dollars without contemplating the larger stage is ludicrous. As an example look at the home page of the Independent (independent.co.uk), the Los Angeles Times (latimes.com), The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com), and Dagens Nyheter (www.dn.se). Notice the advertisements? Let’s be clear, the papers are allowed to do that, yet consider who can afford that. Consider the cost of a front page advertisement in the paper versus the front page of a website. Consider the stage of who gets the visibility and how they got there. Now there is an opposing side to this some are merely advertising, there is no ‘stake holder’, there is no political need, but that stage is fluidic and siding with the stake holders. Consider the past, how many advertisements for some Microsoft device passed you by? How many claims of mobile data for less, how many ads are localised? Consider seeing the LA Times, seeing “Coliving Homes in Sydney. Coliving homes for rent in Sydney from A$1,300/month, inclusive of weekly housekeeping”, now there is nothing wrong with the ad. And it is powered by Google Ads and there is nothing wrong with that. Yet consider that an apartment costing A$1300 a week has an ad on the front page of the LA Times. The setting is so much larger than even I can understand. This is global and this is not some anti-Google setting, I am making the claim that there is a layer between the media and advertisers. Electronic lobbyists, I call them Stake Holders, and they are raking in millions. The view is not easy, and I am not making a claim that I have it, it is so convoluted on the global scale that no one really has an idea, it would require the Google source data and a very powerful computer to suss it out to the smallest degree. I saw glimmers as Microsoft was advertising its Surface pro, but that could just as easily be seen as a glimmer of delusion. The problem is not me, it is not anyone who might not be able to see it, it will be the media, they are part of it. They are setting a new course, they are setting a course towards their digital dollars at the expense of the people, what I often refer to the ‘click bitches’ they create though emotional articles. A newspaper will give you ‘Pandora papers: biggest ever leak of offshore data exposes financial secrets of rich and powerful’, whilst they also give you “the move was not illegal, and there is no evidence the Blairs proactively sought to avoid property taxes” Consider that journalists waste time on non-illegal actions whilst we see some papers give us ‘Houthi blockade restricts aid’, is that not interesting? The UN was all about attacking Saudi Arabia recently whilst keeping (according to media) Houthi and Iranian elements out of that think-tank presentation. So why are we not given the full view whilst some are wasting our time on “the move was not illegal”. I believe that political lobbyists and digital lobbyists are uniting to some extent, optionally the political lobbyists are also on the digital platform calling themselves ‘stake holders’. This is speculation, this is not proven (yet) and there could be all kinds of ‘evidence’ proving me wrong. I do not know yet, but the views I have seen over the last 15 months proving me to be correct more and more. And now, I am taking the light to my work and looking deeper into it all, because anyone not criticising and digging into his own data will fail from the start, and I do not like failure. But that is just me, to seek a direction and course requires energy and it needs a drive, but what that drive is remains open to debate, even for me.

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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. 

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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!

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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.

 

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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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?

 

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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.

 

 

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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?

 

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