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The arms race

It sounds weird, but whenever I see two brands fight each other for market I think of the old arms race (when Russian equipment allegedly worked). In this war it is GoPro Hero versus DJI Osmo and would you have it, a man named Matt Gonzalez posted one really good review putting both against one another. Now two things I like about it was the neutral flavour of the review. He was giving both sides a fair chance and gave what he thought mattered. The review called ‘GoPro Hero 11 VS DJI Osmo Action 3 – DON’T MAKE A MISTAKE’ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNHWjUXxtHs) is excellent. For me the GoPro won, but there was another side that Matt was unaware of. You see he gave you correctly the information, but in Australia the two differ by a mere $10, and at that point the larger sensor by GoPro owns the entire field in my personal opinion. DJI had a few other things that worked in their favour, like the touch screen front display and the ease of their connector (magnetic), yet I personally come from the world of photography and a larger sensor is a massive advantage in my mind. Their are a few more advantages, but as he states, it is a personal choice in the end and he is correct. Because he is on the fence, not taking a side this review is much better than some other comparing reviews and it is well appreciated. I have been looking at the GoPro Hero 11, especially if things go my way, and I have been smitten by all these walkthrough videos, yet the idea of having a GoPro is enticing for a few ways. It was also the stage where we hear that not much changed, but for a player like Google (or Amazon) a lot changes. When we consider that these videos also get advertisement, the idea of a software solution that can identify the video, the location, map it out and have advertising that connects to that specific street is one that is currently not completely researched. Deeper machine learning opens that field for more directed advertising, optionally opens the pricing. You see 5G will take localisation and personalisation to higher levels and thousands of walkthrough videos that allow for inserting advertising that is not merely to the point, but also to the place and to the interest of the watcher will take the forefront and it will be sooner rather than later. Consider merely this video where GoPro and/or DJI could appal to the 61,000 subscribers. Or perhaps a London Walking tour video with 331,000 subscribers and most likely at least twice as much watchers. These number work and I am merely pointing at TWO video’s. So, yes there is a market no and there will be a much larger market soon enough. You only have to wait for the 2024 Paris Olympics when thousands more videos will hit YouTube, and I have no idea how much TikTok will get, but I feel certain that they are already on board. But perhaps just like the $6 billion I found players like Google, they will fret that it is not enough, too small a find. Of course when you see ‘Google Reports Slowest Revenue Growth In Nearly 10 Years’ where we see “$69.09 billion vs. $70.58 billion expected” my $6,000,000,000 which is merely the lower estimate going for a lot more was not that much, it was a mere 402% of the total annual margin of profit, so I think I have something and now we see the stage of additional advertisement revenue. OK, I am not stating that the second part is a given, I am merely stating that this is a path a place like Google could entertain. And with the walkthrough videos they can test and experiment, when Paris 2024 comes with their tens of thousands of videos it will become lost opportunity. But then perhaps like the Russian weapons side, the Google engineers have become a little too flaccid, they cannot entertain that race in innovation. I cannot tell, I was never that kind of engineer. I still feel strong about the solution that can put any Russian reactor in meltdown mode. But that is me, always skating the edge of innovation, even when I am not wanted there. But as I see it, I am sitting on IP that gives Google (or Amazon) $6 billion plus so there!

In the end this was about GoPro versus DJI and that is still the case, they have opened up markets and that will continue in other ways too. You see, I watched a dozen over the last week and NONE of those videos gave me a travel agency advertisement that traveled to THAT location, you still think my idea is in the air? If someone watches a travel video to a greek island, d you want to see an advertisement to a car, or to a travel agent? What would have the best impact? You tell me, it is not a race I am in, but I am seeing it happen like all the other watchers.

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The other white meat

Yes, you heard the phrase but do you know the origin? It comes from an advertising slogan developed by advertising agency Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt in 1987 for the National Pork Board. The campaign was paid for using a checkoff fee (tax) collected from the initial sale of all pigs and pork products, including imports. The slogan has stuck in a few ways, but the slogan was hammering me tonight and it took a while for me to figure out what the back of my head was mulling over. For this we need to take a sidestep. I have been considering the GoPro Hero 11 and as soon as the next pay-check comes in, I might get me one. The numbers that we are given are “The number of GoPro devices shipped worldwide has been decreasing since its peak of 6.58 million units in 2015, to around 3.15 million units in 2021”, some short sighted people will think that it is a declining population and you would be really wrong. You see at this point people are still using the GoPro Hero 4, they aren’t updating. It does everything they need it to do and these users are happy. But the short of it is that well over 10,000,000 filmers are making all kinds of movies, some action, some self centred and a lot of them are walk-around videos. There are thousands made and hundreds are addd on a daily basis. All uploaded to YouTube and TikTok. And there is the gem. Thousands of films filled with open source intelligence all out there and the one who can turn these films into facts is sitting on a treasure. You see we see how fictive people like Jason Bourne are avoiding CCTV and some people are actually doing this. But they cannot hide from the lonely walker with a camera, they often do not see this backpacker or tourist and there we end up with a load of information. Now 97% will be useless, but it is that 3% that gives value to the app that would be made. You might think that it is a waste of time, and for a lot of people it is. Yet the intelligence community see these solutions as diamonds in the rough. Both sides make a case and it is not about privacy, it is not about personal rights. It is about finding terrorists and it is already hard enough as it is, to leave a source unused is utter madness. Oh and do not think I have a great idea. I am 100% certain that others have had it to, it is merely the option for more people to create intelligence apps that is an essential need. It was the GoPro Hero 10 that inspired me to alter one of my IP to specifically help out real estate, yet for the most that is merely a hardware application. In the field Business Intelligence needs a boost and getting sliceable and dice-able data that they can work with will soon be the best next thing. Getting data from large cities is often hard enough and these films will not completely do it, but the idea that 12-30 movies in one week gives the data firm a top-line stage for a place like Manhattan or London is not out of the question. They are merely the most visible places but not the only ones and it is that drive that Business Intelligence needs. With too many fake accounts on social media, that source is becoming less and less stable, but a GoPro walk around video is a different matter. That is data that is easily verified as authentic and could give the researchers a top-line result that could be the starting point of a market research. 

So, I leave it to the programers to analyse a film and see what they can get from it. Good luck!

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Questioning the drawing board

That happens at times, we all have a drawing board, we have an idea or IP and it goes swimmingly and then the floor drops. Not because of the idea or the IP, but the floor drops because you forgot, or were unaware of certain parts. This happens and there is no real blame here not in any direction, it is merely what is. This is currently happening to me. In this my IP bundle 3 was knowingly with some risk, because it is depending on certain Meta evolutions, but over time there would be the stage. Yet in event number one we are confronted with a video regarding Modern Warfare 2 Amsterdam Mission. (At https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_LlSR6-ibA) this is so close to real that the metaverse cannot be that far behind (when they figure out where to put their data centre). This is part presumption (a better from of speculation) and the fact that certain players want a benefit now in the metaverse and that works in part in my favour. Yet my idea was set to a stage where the takings were set to somewhere between two and three billion. In part because of the Meta risk, in part to how things tend to evolve. That is in part the name of the game. Now with the evolution stage being that far pushed, the takings of my IP could be 5-10 times higher and there still is a risk. So what gives? Well there are three cogs in that machine. The speed of adapting to the metaverse. That cog is now a lot smaller (hence quicker adaption) because of some of the Modern warfare 2 imagery. Cog two is personal evolution, this remains steady at the same size, it will go quicker because of cog 1, but not that much faster. Cog three is technological attachment. That one remains a little bit of a mystery. Because of what we see in Modern warfare two, we can assume that the rest will be as great, but that is not a given, there will be congestion and there will be overlap, but it matters as the whole image is now a presumption of what Modern Warfare 2 brings. And that matter as the adaption goes quicker, more will adapt and that quantifies the 5-10 times larger growth then I had foreseen. The risks remain the same, as the adaption is more complete my solution will find a home in a lot more cases than I can anticipate, but that is less presumption and more speculation. Amazon is still the frontrunner, but Google has options here too. Amazon has a few extra benefits (if they adapt), but that does not take Google out of the race, not by a long shot. And this matters in other ways too.

You see, these thoughts raced through my mind when I saw the three day old article ‘90% of schools in England will run out of money next year’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/oct/22/exclusive-90-of-uk-schools-will-go-bust-next-year-heads-warn) there we see “Nine out of 10 schools in England will have run out of money by the next school year as the enormous burden of increased energy and salary bills takes its toll, the Observer can reveal”, I do not completely agree with this. I can agree on the entire energy setting. The UK and other nations are dealing with the Russian part of the equation, as such we are given “electricity and gas costs for schools in his chain had rocketed from £26,000 a year to £89,000” and there is no way that any organisation can foresee a rise of well over 300%, as such other solutions need to be found. We can return to covid stages and shut the schools down for now. This could work in my favour, but I prefer not to go there. Amazon will have a much larger benefit there and both Google and Apple are close by. In all this Apple could trump Google, but that too is speculation. What does matter is that these two elements have similar solutions and we need to look at solutions. The concepts of schools are now more and more outdated. Outdated might not be the right word, but the drain on energy needs to be stopped and as such schools in winter become a no-no. But that same setting gets pushed to homes and they are equally not entirely on the mark for dealing with this. The reality is crass and not that nice. But you need proper isolated warehouses where you can place a few hundred students all with proper internet access, all with power supplies. Well, that or properly isolate schools which should have been done decades ago. The lesser evil needs to be found and I am not sure what the best for education is. As such we have a drawing board, but we need to question that one too. That drawing board is set to old standards, new standards are required and I am not sure where to find them, and I need not worry as it is not on my plate, but that stage is altering enough that we all need to think what is possible here. There is a larger stage and that is on the politics (of the UK), the stage that 90% runs out of funds is only in part on energy, the rest is the consequence of inaction. We want to give blame but the Covid era was a year and too little was done there, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine made the mess complete but that too is only in part (for western Europe). I believe that Strasbourg and London should have had large debates with Elon Musk on the energy issues and that could have been started well over two years ago, now it is seemingly too late and one generation will get the mess of inactions. That is almost a given. I could be wrong, but see of what is happening and see what was not done, not merely in the UK, in most of Western Europe. The early bird that hesitates gets worms. An expression seen in 1988, so this is not new. I will let you mull over what could be a solution for schools, but I am not sure if there is a good one at present, it might be a little too late for several solutions. 

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The opposite point of view?

That was the setting I looked t when I saw the article in the New Arab (at https://english.alaraby.co.uk/analysis/saudi-arabias-line-neom-project-too-ambitious) where we see ‘Is Saudi Arabia’s ‘The Line’ NEOM project too ambitious?’ The title gives us a handle and my first question is should that not be the case? Now we take the Empire State Building for granted, but in 1930, people thought the same regarding the Empire State Building. Things need to be too ambitious. The entire setting of Neom and the Line is too ambitious, because this has NEVER been done before. And even if people write it into the ground calling it a ‘gazillion dollar project’ the truth is that they are writing fear, because I personally guarantee you that they would not write that if it was a US project. Two architectural projects and both as in Saudi Arabia. But back to the article. We then get ““In the aftermath of the pandemic, economic rehabilitation is at the forefront of all countries’ political agendas. This is why Saudi Arabia will have no issues in filling any labour gaps with regards to construction and investments in the project itself,” Siddiqa explained.” This is a fair point and every nations has this hurdle, as such I do not see a real problem, a hurdle, not an obstacle. Again a fair point is seen with “NEOM is not without its challenges, some of which Riyadh has addressed and others which remain an obstacle. Financial challenges are the biggest obstacle for mega projects like NEOM and The Line. Research shows that Saudi Arabia has not been able to achieve much success in attracting financial resources and investment from foreign governments and companies.”, what I would like to add is that these companies were eager to invest when oil was their fortune, but investing in something that they at present do not understand is somewhat understandable, greed needs assurances and they have an image (of greed) to uphold. Then the article throws a reality our way. With “While the initial plan was to complete NEOM by 2030 with an allotted $500 billion, some reports claim that the city may not be completed until 2050, which will likely increase costs significantly. For this reason, it is predicted that the entire project, including The Line, will cost the Kingdom $1 trillion.” And here we see the first larger hurdle. With ‘the city may not be completed until 2050’ which is true, but now we also see the essential need to hold onto the larger need for perfection and precision. Any party that cuts corners will become the foundation of failure for the entire project and even if only one phase is ready in 2030, the KSA will show to be a global game changer. And lets fave it, on this day and age that delay is not the biggest one. The line is a city for 9 million people. Rome was not build in a day and that is a fair notion to take. If it helps, I reckon that my IP for Augmented Reality could optionally make an optional larger difference there. But the larger truth is that the Empire State Building took a year to make, the Line is over 200 times larger and as such getting it all ready by 2050 is still an amazing feat, more important it is a building no one else has been able to build as well as a first building to allow nature to restore. That setting is a larger achievement. More important I reckon that the side development in material waste and sewage will have larger repercussions for the internal development of any city and such part have never been this centralised before. A place where pollution stops. Consider London where we would suddenly halt ALL car traffic for a week. The impact of cleaner air would be seeable and sense by all, a city 50% smaller and it has that impact, so what spin will the KSA receive when others offer their version of complexities? Then we are given a part that I found debatable. It is “The financial viability of PIF is highly dependent on the Kingdom’s oil exports, a market that has proven volatile in recent years. In 2020, Riyadh faced a significant fiscal deficit of more than $79 billion. In a country where around 60% of its financial resources came from oil and just 9% from non-oil exports in 2021, the financing of the NEOM project is likely to face financial ups and downs.” So, yes we get ‘In 2020, Riyadh faced a significant fiscal deficit of more than $79 billion’ this is true, but what about 2022? The guardian gave us (months ago) ‘Largest oil and gas producers made close to $100bn in first quarter of 2022’ and two weeks ago we got “Aramco had a 90% year-on-year increase and marks the biggest earnings for the world’s largest energy exporter since its public listing three years ago.” As such the 2020 point of view for a 2022 article makes a lot less sense. And the reference of “around 60% of its financial resources came from oil” might sound fair (or at least correct) but both Neom and the Line show us that this could change, a city with no cars means 4,000,000 less cars creating pollution, needing no gasoline are clear markers in that change. And when the achievement is established other nations will want the same event (especially in Texas where they now start to have energy problems). A stage that could export Saudi skills in other ways too. One significant hurdle is shown with “the biggest technical problem that Saudi Arabia will face in NEOM is the reliance on foreign skilled workers, an issue that is unlikely to be resolved in the short term.” This was true and yes it was a problem, but I illuminated that with “there is now a decent chance that the small hidden engineering texts will be Arabic/Chinese and not Arabic/English. A station that was always likely to happen, but now it seems it is becoming the passing of a fact” a side I saw solved on August 11th 2022, a week before this article was written. I set that in ‘Stirring the soup’, a stage I saw coming a mile away and that too is the larger defeat for the west, especially as China has both the upper echelon and lower echelon of workers, workers Saudi Arabia will need and a job market that is now closing for Europe and America. A longer set of issues that hd been out and open for all to see, now the Silk Road gets the chance to build whilst fuelling itself with oil and revenue, both at the same time. I reckon that Strasbourg never considered that. How interesting that I had done that.

In the end my point of view is that there is no ‘too ambitious’, it comes with the terrain of creating something never done before, as long as the decision makers realise that 2030 is not a static point of completion, they will end up being in a good place. Even completing Phase one by 2030 is an achievement not found anywhere else in the world at present and that completion takes the project crown away from America, not a bad first result. And in all this the redesign of world powers might also be a first, with the chance that China becomes the worlds first power and America? Well they will have to content with the number 6 slot, that is also a consequence of catering to Wall Street, the larger view is lost when the spreadsheet users were all set on next quarter, not next decade. In this I will shown to have been correct yet again. I wonder what else I could see in the near future.

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For Saudi brethren

This morning when I created ‘Crossover salad dressing’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/08/23/crossover-salad-dressing/) I wrote “I came up with several ideas to propel Neom and the Line in such ways that is not seen at present, so why not? Are these marketeers (most likely in London) losing the plot of what might be?” And as such a few were eager to make me say how. It is fair enough, and in this case I do not mind. You see, others are seemingly incapable of figuring things out. So now I get to open that door and show what others were not able to figure out.

Awareness
Some people seem to believe that it is all about awareness. That used to be the case, but now it is different. There is so much noise in awareness, through click farms, through trolls and through fake message makers that the numbers in Twitter on awareness, on likes in Facebook, hearts on Twitter. The numbers are no longer as reliable as they once were. Engagement is the real metric. Engagement also creates awareness and that awareness is real. So how to coin in on this? Well we see the Neom and the Line options in Twitter. The problem is how can we propel those two projects? Even as the same option is for both, lets focus on the line. 

I see the creation of awareness through the people, to engage them and to offer them something new, something that all can use. In that setting we create (what we will see later) a stage. A stage with two images. That stage is placed in three locations in a large city. London, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris, Beijing, and that list goes on a little longer. In the first stage we have 5 sets of 3. 5 cities get a set. And we have three locations. Mostly malls, although in London we should avoid Harrods (too expensive). Now the three locations have a stage where people can make selfies and put them on social media, use them to create little quick-films and a few other things. They will propel awareness in many ways. They merely needed a stage. 

So each two weeks the stages rotate over the three places and after 6 weeks, that set moves on and the second set comes to this place and now we have three new sets. That is the setting 5 sets each having two images. Each image on a canvas 5 metres by 3 metres, with optional representation with leaflets and more. It would be best if these stages are in a city that has a Saudi consulate or embassy, for support reasons. As such we have 15 locations and for 30 weeks these 15 locations will propel the Line in social ways. People taking selfies, people sharing how they look in the Line, in Neom and that same set could then got to 5 new locations and over that time thousands will share their selfies on social media, share with friends and family and propel awareness all over the internet to thousands that might never have seen the tweet, the news or the stories. A propelling machines that is fuelled by looking cool, by looking different and by looking unique. A stage that these marketing people could have seen coming a mile away and could have been set months ago, if not almost a year ago. So why did they not see this? Perhaps the Saudi spokespeople decided against it, decided on other paths. That is possible, but is it not the duty of a marketeer to  hand all options? To give alternatives? So why am I the one giving them this? Because I believe in Neom and the Line. They will encourage the dreamers to dream what comes next and I am now too old to be that next cycle. I have what I created, I have what I possess and I have what I concocted and this is merely a slither of my concoctions. It should not be that difficult. Just a simple setting of what is visible and what could be made visible. As such I leave these thoughts and ideas to my Saudi brethren and may they push the ideas of Neom and the Line to places where they are not aware of these things and may they become more visible on a global scale.

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Was that all? No, there is more!

It started with watching another Eaton Centre Mall video (Toronto). This one was 6 days old (a Saturday event) and as I was watching I came up with one more piece of IP and the other piece matured. More importantly, it opens a much larger setting for shops. If Amazon pushes in, it will be the first time that Google has a realistic chance of losing market share, if Google steps in it could do a bit more than set its market share in stone, it could fan out beyond Malls and shopping centres. There is a much larger option to push the envelope in several ways. This is fuelled by what might be a realistic new option for Neom and the Line in Saudi Arabia. I have been keeping these two in the back of my mind, but that is as far as I got, I reckon that there are more marketing ways of supporting that place and a few (non-connected) ideas came to mind. With non-connected I usually mean that a lot more pondering is needed to see how far an idea goes and how easy it could be surpassed by others. That always remains an option. My ideas are good, but I am surrounded by equally gifted people (especially at Google), and as such the 

IP needs to be trimmed, expanded on or redrawn. To make it faster, to make it better and to make it innovative. It was when the filmer passed Kernels that my mind made a UNIX joke and at that point I also realised a few other things. Not on what was there, but on what wasn’t there. It went beyond the 5G IP I have, it was the setting that the Eaton mall (according to the map) did not have a concierge desk (information desk). There is nothing wrong with that, but consider that what my 5G IP does could also be implemented in other ways (with less capability), but it is capability that we have now, so why is it not there? The map is actually rather good and very interactive, But what happens when we see (below)

And the location, app or solution allows the visitor to download the brochure of any of the shops there. More important, why was this not a basic solution for years? They’ve had 8 years and they are not alone in this failing, there is  whole range of malls who do not have that, Google could have stepped in years ago (in case of Eaton Mall 8 years ago). So why were they asleep at the wheel in this? They have Lightbox ads, but never saw this? Lightbox ads are interesting as I found a new use for those. But the setting is there and as I was considering a new piece of IP and a new  setting to use it, I also saw an old stage that could be implemented now and the mall seemingly never saw it, thought it was too hard or whatever reason they have. And it is not merely them, Apple, Gap, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, Rexxall and that list goes on for a while. All options missed out on or rejected for unknown reasons. And malls do not get to have that luxury, not anymore. The stage of rent, the stage of people who seek engagement and interactions, they are missing out and as such will consider other places and a place like Eaton Centre is not in the luxury place that it can allow for that. As I see it, Harrods is the only place that has that luxury, the other 116,500 malls are under the hammer. They trimmed what they could over the last two years and they have nothing left to trim, so they need engagement with their audience, not tomorrow, today!

It sounds a little dramatic and perhaps that is the case, but if you check on the resources and funds available the malls are in dire need of more people and more sales. You see, the larger players have a global budget and they too need more revenue, but the smaller ones, they are at their last breath, as such they need something now and I listed the setting of what they could do NOW to make a difference and I put it here because it does not hinder my IP, it is based on what exists and merely needs an adjustment, so I am handing it over to Google, so they can wake the bloody hell up and start doing stuff for their users and customers. Yes they do a lot, but when I see a Google Nest advertisement 5 times a day, I wonder if they are doing the proper things in the right directions, with the lack of what I see I have a lot of doubts in that regard, but that might merely be me and if I am right and Google does not act, Amazon could potentially act and create a new market share and expand on that. Time will tell.

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Networking for game makers

It seems weird, it even might appear dorky. Yet the setting is not to be underestimated. Now I have the advantage of age, so I was there when the very first games were new. One such moment in time was Dungeon Keeper (the very first one). 

Peter Molyneux had both a slam dunk and a home run all at the same time, the world went nuts for the game and those who did still remember the game up to this day. So it was disappointing when EA trashed it in their own shortsighted ways. Now, I am not about to ‘reinvent’ the dungeon keeper game. It has been done and the original is the best. But the setting that we had where certain rooms call for certain characters, that idea has merit, it still has. Consider the Warhammer 40000 game called Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr. They had the right approach, it is for all intent and purposes a new for of Diablo. It has its appeal, it has a few issues, but for the most it is an appealing game with a decent storyline. Now what would happen when we come across one of those giant cathedral ships? We dock and we get into the works. Now, I am very much against a game that is too alike. But the idea of being able to activate rooms, that will call for certain characters to join you has its appeal and the larger station is not getting it all up and running, but to fix things certain order must be found. So at times you will have the high need for engineers, but the next you need electricians, and the number or engineers get in the way. There are all kinds of settings we can go, for example an electrician will not appear unless there is at least one engineer, and so on. There is a stage where we need to set out what we need, what we can get and as the ship gets to be more and more fixed wealth and parts are yours, so you can upgrade your ship which will bring its own rewards and abilities. And as we map out the cathedral ship we will be able to find more, discover more and face more challenges and dangers. The nice part is that this game would have a small ship for the tutorial, get the introduction to other characters, but the larger foundation is that on a streamer, you can always add ships over time. A mere thought that took less than an hour. Yet do not despair, it will not be that easy and the art people will need to bring their A game to make it a true original. But I feel relieved, the idea that Peter Molyneux had will live on, it will entice more people and I feel that it is important to give credit (Like the Behemoth DSS Molyneux). There is a need for gamers to network, to exchange ideas and to keep the gaming community entertained. I played another Lego Star Wars, this one (the new game) is pretty fun, it has a lot of new parts in the game. It is a larger and true better game. It is a game that brings all the boys to the console (girls too). Perhaps in 10 years someone will come up with a new way to let Lego Games shine again. I do hope so because gaming for the mere fun does not happen enough. You see, I remember seeing the very first one 17 years ago. My first thought was “Cool, a game for kids” and I played in the store and it was fun to play. That was until someone from the shop tapped me on the shoulders asking if the other ‘kids’ could have a go. I looked puzzled, but then I realised I had been playing non stop for well over half an hour, I bought the game the next day. It was around easter 2005. Now 17 years later the game still entertains and that is a tough call. So even if we do not know how long this goes on, I do hope that someone in 2035 sees that game and gives it another spin. The old games can bring more joy than anyone remember, and when you see someone go on “Oh, that is so old. Why?” Stomp him (hard) and consider that some of these games only had 38Kb to work with, now we can do more but in gaming (with a f=ew exceptions) we achieve less. Why is that? A cool game does not guarantee a good game. A good game needs a decent story, it needs decent graphics (for its time) and it needs some level of challenge, yet we need to remember that no challenge is a challenge in itself. There is a reason I made the claim that I made yesterday (look it up if you are curious). Game makers are too often looking in the wrong direction, some for valid reasons, but the new ones are all following the wrong people. There is a reason I have what I have and I keep it cleverly locked away on a system nowhere near me, and for now the number of those interested would be increasing from 2 to 4. So what happens when someone figures out what I found out? Networking gets you there (well I personally hope not before I sold my IP) but networking in game makers has become too much like ‘Look how cool we are’ and not enough of discussing good ideas. The ECTS (London 90’s) was great. Talking to Richard Garriott and Peter Molyneux. They ACTUALLY shared good ideas, that time is now mostly gone, but it also means that the quality of gaming is harder to maintain. Until the end of the year we have Gods of War:Ragnarok, Gotham Knights and Hogwarts Legacy to look forward to. And after Horizon:Forbidden west that is slim pickings. Now there are more good games, not that many great games and that is a shame. Consider that HFW scored 4.6/5 at Amazon 9/10 at IGN and 5/5 at JB HiFi. Valhalla (Assassins Creed) scored a mere 8/10 at IGN and one critic gave it a mere 65%. One thing that stood out was “It’s a lot buggier than it should be but also impressive on multiple levels.” That is a multimillion project by a firm that is (overvalued) at multibillions and has a little over 20,000 people. They could not get close to a Dutch firm with only 360 people and they have nowhere near the resources Ubisoft had. That is the state of gaming and it is not getting better, but there is hope. The streamers could open more doors and make more gaming an option. And there is also the new player (Tencent) coming soon, so the streamers need to upgrade their gameplay by a fair bit. I still think that Amazon could take the larger lead with its Luna, but I reckon that they will lose ground if they go the way they presently (as fr as I can tell). They need their own games, they need to accept different settings and they might just pull ahead, I put enough gaming IP on my blog site for them to get active on, one I did today (see the beginning of this story). Whatever they do, they have less than 2 years. After that Tencent will be in play and it will not play nice. I wonder how US Congress reacts when Tencent gets over 4% of the US market, ban it like Huawei? We will see, there is time to watch it happen.

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When time becomes orchestrated

Mr. S. King resigned (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/08/mr-s-king-resigned/)
Another episode (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/03/02/another-episode/)
And then there were three (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/04/03/and-then-there-were-three/)
The continuation (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/04/04/the-continuation/)
And a little more (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/04/04/and-a-little-more/)
A dark matter of factuality (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/05/11/a-dark-matter-of-factuality/)
————
Recap and time stitching (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/07/19/recap-and-time-stitching/)
Parlez vouz pierre tombale? (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/07/20/parlez-vouz-pierre-tombale/)
Watch this shit (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/07/21/watch-this-shit/)
And then there were two (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/07/22/and-then-there-were-two/)
Where the colossus is no more (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/07/23/where-the-colossus-is-no-more/)

I am still missing a few parts, but I forgot where I left them. As such a recap becomes pretty essential and a more complete version is coming up.

Part 0
He was walking the streets of London. It gave him time to think as he casually walked around his neighbourhood and Hyde Park. He had been walking for a few hours, it had been a nice warm day and as he got to one end of the park, he noticed an ice cream vendor. He walked in that direction when he felt the tap on his leg, he looked down to see a child, the child offered an envelope. He looked at the boy who clearly looked nervous. He took the envelope and gave him a £5 bill, the child smiled and ran off. He looked at the envelope for a second, put it in his inside pocket and he got himself a nice chocolate ice cream. He turned around and walked back in the park. It took about 5 minutes to devour the ice-cream. It made him feel good. He grabbed the envelope and he noticed that there were coins in there. He carefully opened one side. There was a note too. He let the two coins drop in his hand. They were authentic Drachma’s two of them, pure gold. 

He then looked in the envelope, only the note remained, he took it out the paper smelled but was empty, that was until he decided to use his Olympian view. The paper was something entirely different. It was like there was a maelstrom within the paper, the letters started to shape. “Αγοράστε ένα ερείπιο στην Ελλάδα και πηγαίνετε εκεί. Ο χρόνος δεν είναι ένας παράγοντας, απλώς η ακρίβεια του” So he had to buy ruins in Greece? That made no sense, but the message seemed clear as the origin of it. Was this his grandfather? It did not seem his style, but there was an Olympian link and the two drachma’s were an indication of Charon, or something Charon related. He went back home. He made himself some tea and sat down behind his trusty laptop. It took an hour to find something nice, and for £5,000,000 he became the owner of a derelict piece of real estate as well as a nice piece of land. The place was out in the open and not too close to any neighbour of village, which seemed essential. 

Now he merely had to find a flight to Crete. But that was for tomorrow. He had done enough for now and as he looked at his bank account he suddenly noticed that his bank account was not as empty as he thought it was. He had enough for the Greek event, but now he noticed that a deposit was made by Up Stairs Enterprises, not a small amount either. A deposit of £15,000,000 was added to his account only hours ago, he wondered what that was, but there was every indication that the answer would be handed to him sooner than he thought. For now he thought the best of it and decided to take a walk to Great Marlborough St in Carnaby where the Shakespeares Head would treat him to a nice drink downstairs and after that a nice Bambi dish upstairs, one must not forget good food at times. 

 

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Where the colossus is no more

Part 4

He arrived a little past 20:30 at de Gaulle, he went straight to the counter to get a ticket to Rhodes. There was one in an hour, it was Italian airways via Milan, he took it and went pst boarding to the gate. It was all a repetition  of something he had done dozens of times. The airport was almost new, he had been in this airport once as he had to change flights, he never went through the departure lounge though. There was nothing significant here. And there was nothing really interesting at the gate. He got on board and sat down. His mind started to wander as they took off. 

The map showed Rhodes, but nothing stood out there. The documents and the drawings were different, the drawing was what seemed like an old oil lamp, the text was in French and referred to the sight of Helios. Yet how the lamp fitted into this was unknown to him. The writing gave that there was a shrine, a shrine to Helios. The lamp of illumination would shine on the places it reached and it could reach more if the items were united. That part did make even less sense to him. Jacques III Thuret came 2 millennia after ancient Greece and likely the same time when the shrine of Helios was lost to the world. There was a cult to Helios, but he knew nothing of it. As such he would be going in blind, but what was more important, someone knew a lot more and that was never a good thing. Even as he knew that his ancestors had created some items or relics, the ones that survived are a lot more powerful now, then they were in those days. As such when he arrived on Rhodes 6 hours later he would be considering his options. He took a taxi from the International airport to Rhodes and asked the driver to take him to the Rodos Park Suites hotel. He got there 15 minutes later, paid and tipped the taxi and booked a room. His credit card could take that hit because it did not look cheap. He got a nice suite a double room, it was not large but looked comfortable. The bed felt nice and the TV was clear. He switched the TV off and as he walked into Rhodes he looked his Olympian sight it was almost dark, almost, there was a small spot that was seemingly illuminated. He walked in that direction. It took almost half an hour to get there. He looked again, the place looked a lot more illuminated, when he switched back to his normal sight, he saw that no one would notice it, but that might not be for much longer.

There was something at play here. He looked around, he was at the Platia Rimini. The hotel mentioned this place, they called it the “Sound and Light Garden”, it was beautiful, nicely arranged and quite peaceful. But it made no sense, he was now close to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, which was somewhere in the 7th century. He needed answers and none were coming forth. He walked into the garden and looked. The garden were alight in Olympic views and normally nicely lit in normal view. He tried to focus but the light was way too illuminating for that. So he sat down on the bench that stretched the sides of the path in the park and suddenly he saw it, it was as small as a flicker, but it was there. So he walked to the well in the middle, it was dry but there it was, a little out of the middle, the circle of discolouration. He looked around. Too many people here now. He looked deeper and closed his eyes as fast as he could. Whatever was there was bright, really really bright. He had closed his eyes. As fast as he could, but he was seeing blurbs of white all over and he saw them everywhere he looked. He closed his eyes for a minute whilst sitting on the bench again. Most had dissipated, but there was still a few spots, they would subside soon enough. He was thinking of the vault he had. So what happened if he created another portal? With a hole that led to the hole under the well? The problem was that he did not control it as well as he wanted to, so he might have to resort to brute strength. He hated that because he would leave a mark, but he saw no other way, he did not know where the others were and how soon they would be here. So he walked across the street to the Dromos Street Food where he had the Satay Chicken and nachos with Greek Salsa, both were really nice, and the coffee was good, nothing to write home about but still good. He sat at his table with his back to the wall and his view on the park entrance. He looked at the people, but the two in Paris were not showing up and the people seemed uninterested it specifics of the park. For a moment he thought there was a catch, but it seemed that the couple there were remembering the park and what they did there. They were still in love and softly speaking in each other ear on what they did there. He smiled, to be young and still this much in desire for one another, these two had no idea how lucky they were. It was almost dark when he finished the Papara Beef which made him more hungry. Odd, but that was the result of a really nice beef, better than anything he had had in London. He ordered another coffee and paid, he took the coffee with him as he scoped out the area. There were no people in the direct area. He got rid of the coffee and walked into the park again, but now keeping a close eye on the entrances and who was around, he stepped into the empty well and stood as far away from the lighted spot, there was no one so he summoned his bident and focussed he tabbed the well once and pushed hard, harder then anything he pushed before and slowly the ground and the well gave way. There was not much sound, but too much to his liking, the hole was large enough, he jumped in and ended in a well lit room. He quickly put some shades to protect his eyes, but it was not needed. This light was strong, almost a strong as a LED torch, but not too strong as long as he did not look into the flame. The oil lamp was on top of a golden hand, he got the lamp, blew out the flame and looked around, it was an empty room, there was a path going north and down, he saw that the corridor had collapsed a little further down. He got out of the well and he got away as fast as he could. At the wall of the park he summoned the vault and placed the lamp, closed the vault and walked off. He left the golden hand, it would add to the puzzle and it would leave him unexposed. He went back to the hotel, enjoyed a nice hot shower and he went to sleep. The next morning he had his breakfast and he bought some clothes and a nice duffel-bag. He made a point of of buying postcards and posted them with names he remembered from London. He kept them around for most of the day as he walked the streets of Rhodes, it was late in the afternoon when he noticed the orthodox priest, he asked for the postbox, the priest pointed down the road and he went there to mail the cards. He returned to the Dromos Street Food, he had another Papara Beef with a coffee and smiled at the woman who helped him the day before. He was happy that he got the pink shades, it did put the woman on the wrong food, alas, the waiter liked them a whole lot better. He asked if I asked pink and my solemn response was “υπήρχε μόνο αυτό”, he sighed and walked away, something she really liked. She started the conversation “Have you heard?” I shook my head, “heard what?” The well in the park collapsed there was a golden hand under the well. I tried to look shocked “Really?” Yes she responded, the hand was large it took several man to get it out, the police have closed the police have closed the Sound and Light Garden for now. There were reporters, so he backed off, he did not want to give the wrong people a shine on him. He looked at the commotion, and noticed that all the camera’s were pointing at the park. He nodded to the woman and paid for the coffee and sandwich. He was about to walk off when she handed him another coffee in a takeaway cup with the smiling “for the walk”, he nodded and smiled. He gave here the customary ‘Antio’ and walked away from the scene in the general direction of the hotel, walking and shopping most of the day. When he got back he made a point of keeping eye on the people going in and out of the hotel for at least 10 minutes. His Olympian sight saw that there was nothing watching the place or him, yet he had the feeling that someone was staring at him, he had that feeling in Paris but not as strong. He saw nothing, so he went to his room and packed the bag, he signed out and knowing that he could get the 22:45 from Rhodes to Gatwick with Easy-jet was his sign to leave Rhodes and the parts they were looking for were not on him, more important, they were in a place where no one could ever find them, so the relics were safe, but he was really curious on what was going on. 

End of episode. 

This was part two and the parts over the last day would be the two parts of a three parter. The third will not be tomorrow, because I have a few more parts to figure out, but consider I had all this in under an hour, what more could I get done? I reckon that I might be one of the never published 30,000 wannabe’s in Hollywood, but it is not about selling this, it is about the story and you will get more soon enough. 

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And then there were two

Part 3

He woke up the next day nice and refreshed. He had breakfast, read the paper and was considering what to do next. He knew he had the watch, but the watch was dangerous, even the trip into the past of Rotterdam was a lucky but dangerous setting, he realised that. He basically survived a bombing that might not have killed that many, but it made 20,000 homeless, even if knocked down the impact could have been severe, so he was happy that the watch was in his vault. He was about to walk away when the paper caught his eye. He had looked at the International news, the business news but it was a corner that he usually ignored that was the eye catcher. Vandalism in Paris, there was a photo of a place he recognised, it was an image from the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Church he visited the day before. He looked over the article, someone broke in broke several of the tombstones, the ones on the side of the one he visited. These people were less subtle. The authorities were investigating the senseless act of vandalism, they were pursuing leads.  

He put the paper aside. Apparently he got there in time, but who else was looking for the clock? There were several thoughts, but none of them made sense. Too specific for tomb robbers, too violent for thieves and in that the surrounding stones were damaged, not the most subtle of ‘explorers’, there was more to this. He checked out and walked back to the train station and boarded the train to return to Paris, this needed to be investigated. 

CROSS Architecture. Wir sind ein junges, international tätiges Architekturbüro mit Standorten in Aachen und Amsterdam.

He needed to learn who else wanted to stake a claim on that watch. Getting the ticket and getting to the train was relatively simple, he got off where he needed to board. There would be a train in 35 minutes. He saw a shop, bought the Guardian and got to the platform. It was 10 minutes later when the train arrived and he got to the seat assigned to him. He didn’t feel like looking at the environment he was travelling through, he did that yesterday. He decided to read the paper, even if the information was pointless and in some cases useless. It kept him occupied. Some of the information was interesting, but for the most it was the proverbial waste of time, reading it was as useful a passing of time as watching paint dry. It took a little over 157 minutes to get where he needed to go and from there he walked the same path towards the church. When he got close to the church he saw the abundance of police cars. Too many to be useful, this was a presentation to the people. He kept his distance and looked around. It was then that he saw the Imperial House just next door. He walked on the other side of the street until he was directly opposite the Imperial house and crossed straight to the restaurant. He saw that one of the tables was free and sat down. He waited to be served. He ordered the spring rolls and noodles. He ate slowly taking in all the traffic, all the people and memorised it all. He switched between his normal and Olympian vision and nothing sprang out to him, it was about 20 minutes later, just as he was ordering more tea when he noticed it. A man and woman, passing by a third time. His Olympian vision saw nothing stand out. They were human, nothing special. Yet they were observing the church they were taking turns at looking around and they had each others back. They were a near perfect team, observing and checking all the elements they could see. He felt decently safe, as he was eating and drinking tea. He was done, he saw them walk off and they would be back in minutes. They were very good. He got up and took a turn to the left. He saw the crossing and crossed the Rue de Rivoli. He walked into the small street and looked around, there was not that much traffic, there was none looking at him. He stood in a corner and waited, the couple walked past the crossing focussing on the church. He focussed his Olympic vision on the couple, he would now be able to find them anywhere fast. He walked away and left the area of the church. It took 20 minutes before he passed a nice cafe. He walked in, ordered a beer and took a small table. The beer was served, it was a Stella Artois, he took his time, savouring every sip and let time pass by. Every now and then he looked out and focussed on the two he needed to investigate and it was not before 7 PM when their direction changed. He waited another 10 minutes and he moved in the direction the couple had vanished towards. It was a small trip, a mere 15 minutes. When he got close he saw where they were. They had taken shelter in the Cour Des Vosges, what seemed to look like a suite on the second floor. Very convenient for him, so he slowly walked around until he had enough privacy to get up and he did as fast as he could. At every moment looking around for prying eyes. When he got to the upper floor he saw that one of the windows was open, it was one that led to the corridor where they were staying. He waited in a corner, he saw the couple leave the room, they were talking to each other, speaking softly, but for him it was not a problem, they were discussing diner and the excellent quality of food that the Cour Des Vosges served. That was a nice surprise, it meant that he had time to investigate the room. He waited around 10 seconds and walked into the corridor, walked to the door and slowly gained entrance to the room. He was cautious not to leave any prints, not to leave any footprints or any kind of disturbance. The drawers and lockers were all filled with clothes and all kind of stuff, so far they looked like perfectly ordinary tourists. It was then that he noticed the small safe. It was easy to get entrance and there was what he hoped for. Hopefully a clue, images, documents and maps. The maps were of Paris and Rhodes. He memorised the documents as fast as he could and he memorised the maps, the Paris one was useless, he had been there, but the post-it on the map stated that the watch was most likely in the tomb of Jacques III Thuret. He looked at the other map. It was Rhodes, there was no post-it, but the documents gave the information he needed. He carefully put everything back in exactly the same order and left the room. He left the hotel in the same way he came in, as he left the hotel he saw a window with the restaurant, in the corner he saw the two enjoy whatever they were eating. It seemed to be a lamb dish. He walked off. Whatever came next, it would be in Rhodes. So he signalled a taxi and asked the driver to take him to Charles de Gaulle airport. Time to see what Rhodes brought to the equation.

Part 4

Still to be continued (remaining as evil as I can)

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