Tag Archives: Microsoft

Refraining

It happens, sometimes we need to stop ourselves from acting, from jumping, from engaging. It is not that the action is wrong, it is because it is wrong at that stage. I do not know what pushed the act, yet the stage is larger and as I almost decided to trot on the novel I am still working on, optionally by giving away in another setting what comes afterwards, I was able to stop myself from doing what should not yet be done. 

It might also be the impact that Dracula (the Claes Bang edition) has on me. It was probably the first time that marketing drove me to watch anything. The ad (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIEr1Pcu03Y) and it is not merely the billboard (which was all kinds of perfect), it was not merely the cast Claes Bang and Dolly Wells are beyond believe, it is the way the story is set, it is a new and novel gander into the path of the undead, all whilst exposing us to all kinds of fears and in this the vampire fear is actually not the worst one. It pushes the envelope and it pushes us all to  surpass ourselves. Yet whilst doing that, we need to refrain from overacting on our impulses. It is a sort of balance between 2 innovations on one side and 4 iterations on the other. We want to be the 2 innovation side, but over reacting, reacting without some level of self discipline and we become mere iterations of the same. 

In this I created an approach to one game in my article ‘Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/10/electronic-entertainment-expo-2019/), yet there I merely considered the approach to one game. 

Yet in the larger stage we create a very new kind of sandbox. Where every coloured ball is a new addition, a new DLC if you must that is added to the game, making the game a lot larger over time, so what I started with the teaching of Islamic religion using Medina as a centre stage, could evolve into another direction, a sandbox game that allows your person to evolve, to increase into a larger game where religion now becomes a segment, as we added new forms of gameplay, we didn’t alter religion, we merely enlarged the stage, a side of exploring, a side of economy, allowing you to get a house (in the game) and interact with others, whilst exploring the knowledge that is given to you, teaching you history and economy in new ways, altering what you know by letting you see what others saw. But in this, refraining becomes a much more essential stone. It is not like some Americans do, adding and adding. Sometimes more is not more, it is merely clutter and the overall experience is lessened. But how to go about it?

This is where QA becomes the essential side of developing any game, in the streaming world we will be able to create more, but it becomes a lot more important to create better and that is an essential lesson a maker like Ubisoft never figured out, not over at least a decade and I have no time to hold their hands, but the right people can take lesson from what I say, they can create and optionally create the right way. And my bonus is that Microsoft is equally not on the learning side, they are all about their azure and it will cost them, the sales of their latest Xbox One series X-file is so far proving me right. Between all the ‘hidden’ numbers, we see that the PS5 has well over 250% more consoles sold than its Microsoft counterpart and that difference is merely increasing. Yes, their golden boy talks a good talk but they are faltering in the field, all about cloud gaming now, optionally deserting the gamers on what they call the most powerful console in the world. There is an acceptable understanding that games need to evolve and that exclusive games take the cake (one Microsoft cake versus 15 Sony cakes), and we see that streaming will be the long term battle, but there they are falling hopelessly behind Amazon all whilst Google remains a player in that field and Netflix is yet to show it serious intent. And as we look at the options out there, they are also optionally restricting their stage and setting. All whilst I (mere little old poor me) came up with three games, one with the optional stage for up to 1,000,000,000 interested players and one stage where I redesigned three AAA+ games in new editions. And why is Microsoft failing? They have seemingly no alternative options to show in any direction. One UK newspaper gave us three hours ago “GAMES with Gold subscribers are getting closer to the official reveal of the free Xbox games for August 2021, but will Microsoft add a new Xbox Series X optimised game to the lineup?”, with all the careful leaks we see, this list is apparently more secure than the Windows source code, odd, is it not?

And these races are important too, you see, these races show the essential gaming experience that streamers can have, the consoles have too many ‘more of the same’ titles, all of them, even as we accept that there are markets and exclusives, but they are not the full range, mere icing on the cake, in a world where the three big cakes are the taste makers, two are too much alike and that is the market where the streamers and cloud games can rule. This why the Google decision on Stadia made no sense and I reckon that Amazon is loving that approach, it gives them a massive advantage. To be honest, I am a little shocked, 2 years ago I had no view on Amazon Luna, they were mostly one of the lot, a position 3 or less, now there is a decent indication that the Amazon Luna could evolve into the second best system in less than 4 years, that is impressive, they have a chance to overtake Nintendo by 2023, Sony will take longer, but if they push innovatively, they could be the ruling system by 2025 a setting I would never have anticipated in January 2020. That is the second marvel of gaming, true gamers are always on the edge of technology, a setting a few makers forgot about. Amazon apparently did not, is it a given, no it is not, but the fact that this stage is entertained implies that Amazon got a lot further than anyone anticipated. 

Is this till about refraining? To some extent it is, Amazon is not alone, even as the story of Microsoft can be dumped overboard, their story remains the same in the end, Google could change if they alter their current course and Netflix remains an unknown for now. So, Amazon Luna has the stage, it is what they do over the next 6 months that will decide how large their cake might be. Google sees (in their search) that refraining is merely another word for abstinence, a big mistake, refraining is halting action, stopping to act, it is also a setting to pause and reconsider, a tactical move to oversee what can be done, what is the best path to go and an optional form of balance between the fastest road and the shortest road, because these two are not always the same. I will need to keep my eyes on Amazon Luna for now, I wonder how close they end up getting to what Sony has achieved. 

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The New business

The BBC informs us(via another route) that there is a new business in town, this business works on the old premise of the bully and the backstabbing method called Ransomware. Now, this method was not unknown, we have seen it before, yet the article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-57946117) called ‘Ransomware key to unlock customer data from REvil attack’ gives us “US IT firm Kaseya – which was the first to be targeted earlier this month – said it got the key from a “trusted third party”.” Yes, this might sound true, but I still have an issue here. And the quote “Kaseya’s decryptor key will allow customers to retrieve missing files, without paying the ransom. The company’s spokeswoman Dana Liedholm declined to answer whether Kaseya had paid for access to the key”, I get it, Kaseya accepts that there is a cost to doing business, without the key they are helpless, but in this instance they have also given voice to the new business. This is not on Kaseya, ransomware is a much larger stage and the law is not ready to deal with it. So when we get “But members of the group disappeared from the internet in the days following the incident, leaving companies with no way of retrieving the data until now”, I think that it was not merely fear. I think that they found a weakness in their armour and they needed to fix it, perhaps the FBI and NSA got too close? It is speculation, but I reckon that any hacker inviting the wrath of the NSA has something to fear, only the stupid do not fear that hunting machine. So when we get to the jewel of the article, a setting that describes a few elements by Joe Tidy (Cyber reporter), we see “Firstly, giving away the key now is far too late for most of the victims of this massive ransomware attack. Secondly, the mystery gifter was most probably linked to – or working with – the criminals directly.” I feel that he is on the right track, I get that Kaseya prefers the term ‘trusted source’, but that does not put Kaseya in the clear, moreover, as I reported the massive bungles that were made and the lack of oversight within Kaseya gives them a reason to cooperate with organised crime, but not a right, a right to do that is a form of treason towards ALL their customers and as Joe said it “giving away the key now is far too late for most of the victims of this massive ransomware attack”, if you doubt that call Coop (at +46107400000) and ask them the damage of 500 supermarkets shutting down, as well as a loss of data. And then Joe gives us the gem at the heart of this “I’m told by a hacker who claims to be a part of the inner circle that it was “a trusted partner” who gave the key away on behalf of the group’s leader, who calls himself Unknown. My contact says it’s all part of “a new beginning”.” I understand that this is hard to swallow and optionally it is a form of bragging, but I am not convinced that this is the case, as Joe gives us “it could well be the start of something else”, yes that has the ring that sounds true. It is the start of a new business venture and Kaseya is merely the pilot. In this we have two sets of minds, the first is that the shortsighted greed drive of Kaseya (as I discussed it in ‘Dream number three’, at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/06/dream-number-three/) needs to have consequences. The dominant sales types with their ‘we’ll fix it down the road’ can no longer be allowed in this industry. The second part is that we have no choice but to return to a stage of targeted killing, and I do not care whether one of the hackers is a poor little 16 year old person hiding behind  ‘minor protection laws’, they guilty they get the $0.17 solution (price of a 9 mm bullet). We have no choice, the law did nothing for too long, giving hackers pass after pass as they ‘claimed’ that it was the only way. Well, so far it did nothing for a lot of people spanning a timeline that is a little over a quarter of a century, it is like an armistice race with too many casualties and the law merely shrugging at the damage that was not theirs. With Kaseya a large corner is turned and Kaseya partially has itself to thank for that. And in all this is has become time to recognise that Kaseya is not merely a victim (no matter what Dana Liedholm tells us), it did this to themselves as the source in the other article “were helping Kaseya plug the hole long before the hackers found it”, as such the ‘we’ll fix it down the road’ no longer holds water, especially as we take tally of the victims that are victims because of the shortsightedness of Kaseya. And they are not alone, there is every indication that the Microsoft exchange group and Solarwinds are part of that same stack. I have personally seen how the needs of proper testing took a back seat to Marketing and the board room drive of greed in more than one instance and that too needs to be addressed, yet I feel that the media will paint over that part with articles in emotional ways, their stake holders will not allow that to be any other way, adhering to their bonus whilst relying on marketing and sales to set out a new path based on ‘we’ll fix it down the road’, should Joe Tidy be correct (and I believe he is), we will soon see a new wave of REvil attacks and the law will be on the sidelines, as will governments all pointing at one another, all whilst keeping their ‘friends’ out of the line of fire.

It is merely my look on things, and I expect to be proven correct before the end of 2021. 

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Two to plenty

I have had enough of looking at covid numbers, and I have had enough of several things. As such, I feel the most at ease giving service (I did it for more than a quarter of a century) and creating new IP.  And as I was playing a personal favourite, I realised that Microsoft was holding two massive trump cards and to overthrow that, the other makers need to consider taking a leap, a leap that will make the Microsoft position shaky, very shaky indeed. This solution will optionally fit Amazon the best. Netflix has a chance, but if Google does not change its position, then they are up at the mercy of the developers. It is a choice they made. 

So what is out there? You see, I always knew that our lives revolved around creating places to live, kill things and eat (let’s not forget about the food). Minecraft drilled into that brilliantly and as Markus Persson, Jens Bergensten, and Stephen McManus played on that brilliantly, they sold it to Microsoft in 2014 for two point five billion. Then there was Bethesda who created Skyrim on 11/11/11. A game that for a very long time avoided (not completely) the levels of grinding. And Microsoft offered $8,500,000,000 to the makers. Yes a brilliant move, but it also implies that if someone makes a game like these two for Amazon, the Microsoft gaming share will drop by a decent amount. And it is a tall order, to make something alike and different enough not to be seen as a copy. It can be avoided to some degree. For one, the building materials can be set to marble sorts (Romans and Greeks), giving us all kinds of other challenges and achievements. In a lot of ways Minecraft was brilliant and close to perfect, but it can be done in other ways too and the Minecraft setting will require a streaming solution, which get us to Amazon Luna. But they are not the only player, anyone picking these ideas up can design something for Google Stadia. And it matters, with the massive amounts of revenue to be seen in the next two years, would you turn away a billion dollars? I wish I had been more pressed as a programmer in my youth, I would have done it myself. Alas, I made choices, I have no regrets, but if I was a decent programmer, I could have had more (not in a greed driven way). And now I get to spout other non 5G ideas to the world giving them a chance to take a slice away from the Microsoft pie. 

I will leave it to you, but consider that Skyrim has over 15 million players, Minecraft has 126 million players. Do you still think it is a bad idea? And as the gaming frontiers are changing, as Microsoft is trying to sell THEIR Microsoft Cloud all over the place, the gaming dimension polarises, Microsoft only respects what their board of directors tell others what matters and I have no intention of seeing my devices being overrun by some Azure thin client. As such I see the need to set my dreams and non 5G IP considerations towards public domain, to let you all grow on non Microsoft fields. Azure might have the advantage, but that does not mean that Google and Netflix are out of the race. It is merely a speculative idea and I will let you consider where the race takes us all.

So when you are creating YOUR version of a sandbox game, you can focus on building (and you need to), yet the stage of that can be done in various ways. You can focus on how the Greeks and Romans did it, so you need to create a place create income and become part of an economy. Anything else and you face the dangers that it is too much like Minecraft. As you grow your status and economy, you can opt for one side in game one, the other in game two and every iteration opens up the free game to a much larger extent. If you are in Volos, Larissa or Ladochori (Greek places) you will have to employ different solutions, but in a sandbox game, location is not the key, it is the surroundings you face. A setting that shapes all your decisions. You can only go with the flow and create, and seek, and pillage, and murder and explore. And in all this pillage and murder remains open to addition or choice, but in a sandbox game you make the decisions, you set the tone and you become your own legend (sanctified by Amazon, Google and/or Netflix).

If I feel up to it I will draw out a much larger setting towards real social media for gamers, not marketed messaging for large corporations.

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The devil rang

This is too good, I had just finished yesterday’s article and the Guardian gives me ‘Spyware can make your phone your enemy. Journalism is your defence’, in this that I have some troubles accepting that journalism is my defence, they are al about circulation and satisfying their shareholders and stakeholders (optionally advertisers too). But the article came at the right moment, even as this is about Pegasus and the NSO group. Whenever I look back at the title ‘Pegasus’ I think back to Pegasus mail and windows 3.1. It is a reflex, but a nice one. So, the article gives us “The Pegasus project poses urgent questions about the privatisation of the surveillance industry and the lack of safeguards for citizens”, which is nice, but Microsoft, Solarwinds and Cisco made a bigger mess and a much larger mess, so pointing at Pegasus at this point seems a little moot and pointless. (Microsoot’s Exchange anyone?)

Yes, there are questions and it is fair to ask them, so when we see “This surveillance has dramatic, and in some cases even life-threatening, consequences for the ordinary men and women whose numbers appear in the leakbecause of their work exposing the misdeeds of their rulers or defending the rights of their fellow citizens”, yes questions are good, but the fact that millions of records went to the open air via all kinds of methods (including advertiser Microsoft) is just a little too weird. And it is not up to me, it was The Hill who asked the people (5 days ago after the Kaseya hack gone public, the larger question that actually matters ‘Kaseya hack proves we need better cyber metrics’ and they are right, when we see “Once “infected”, your phone becomes your worst enemy. From within your pocket, it instantly betrays your secrets and delivers your private conversations, your personal photos, nearly everything about you” we read this and shrug, but at this point how did a third party operator (NSO group) get the data and the knowhow to make an app that allows for this? Larger question should be handed to both Google and Apple. The fact that the phones are mostly void of protection comes from these two makers. This is a setting of facilitation and a lack of cyber security. The NSO group decided to set a limited commercial application (more likely to facilitate towards the proud girls and boys of Mossad) and they took it one step further to offer it to other governments as well, is that wrong?

So when we see “All of these individuals were selected for possible surveillance by states using the same spyware tool, Pegasus, sold by the NSO Group. Our mission at Forbidden Stories is to pursue – collaboratively – the work of threatened, jailed or assassinated journalists”, if that were true, we would see a lot more articles regarding the 120 Journalists jailed in Turkey, not to mention the 60 journalists that were assassinated (read: targeted killing exercise) there as well. The papers are all about a journalist no one cares about (Jamal Khashoggi) but the other journalists do not really make the front page giving pause and skepticism to “the work of threatened, jailed or assassinated journalists”, my personal view is that the advertisers and stake holders don’t really care about those lives. Then I have issues with “This investigation began with an enormous leak of documents that Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International had access to”, was it really a leak, or did one government take view away from them (by Amnesty International) and handed it towards the NSO group? A list of 50,000 numbers is nothing to sneer at, as such, I doubt it was a leak, it was a tactical move to push the limelight away from them and push it somewhere else. As we consider Kaseya, Solarwinds, Microsoft and Cisco, the weak minded democratic intelligence players from the Unified Spies of America come to mind, but I admit that I have no evidence, it is pure speculation.

And then we see the larger danger “But the scale of this scandal could only be uncovered by journalists around the world working together. By sharing access to this data with the other media organisations in the Forbidden Stories consortium, we were able to develop additional sources, collect hundreds of documents and put together the harrowing evidence of a surveillance apparatus that has been wielded ferociously against swaths of civil society”, who did they share access to? Who reports to another faction that is not journalism or is purely greed driven? In this, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/jul/19/spyware-can-make-your-phone-your-enemy-journalism-is-your-defence) gives us one other gem, it is “not to mention more than 180 journalists from nearly two dozen countries”, as such we see 0.36% of the data is about journalists, so if I was to look at a slice and dice dashboard, how will these 50,000 people distribute? So when we see “If one reporter is threatened or killed, another can take over and ensure that the story is not silenced”, yes, how did that end up for those journo’s in Turkey? What about outliers in data like Dutch journalist Peter R. De Vries? He is not getting the limelight that much in the last three days, you all moved on? You pushed the limelight towards Jamal Khashoggi for well over a year, who achieved less than 0.01% compared to Peter R. De Vries. I reckon that this article, although extremely nice is there to cater to a specific need, a need that the article does not mention (and I can only speculate), but when we see all this holier than though mentions and we see an inaction on Turkey’s actions, as well as a lack of news regarding Peter R. De Vries, I wonder what this article was about, it wasn’t really about the NSO group and Pegasus, they are mentioned 4 and 7 times, the article was to push people towards thinking it is about one thing and it becomes about the 0.36% of journalists in a list of 50,000, all whilst the number is mentioned once in the article without a breakdown. Someone else is calling, when you answer, just make sure the local number is not 666.

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Disturbed by memory

We all have that, we all get these thoughts that come from childhood, or from early teenage years and we make some form of connection, but the links are vague, missing and usually incomplete. For me it started today as I was figuring out a few things. I had the thoughts before. The first one was about elemental droids (see image) it was a comic book in the early 70’s, and just now I learn that there was a reboot in 2019. The second was some form of living cars, in part animals. Yet this was well over a decade before the original Transformers were launched as a cartoon. The mind is trying to make links, there is the option for gaming, the option for more. I am not doing to much about it, because it is not my IP, someone did the work, someone is doing the relaunch and for the other part, my mind is trying to make links and it is grasping back to those images for some reason. Just like there is setting where streamers (or Hollywood) would do good to start talking to Don Lawrence, who is one of the creative minds behind the Trigan Empire, as I see the half baked series on current channels, that might be a great catch for whomever scores those rights. 

Yet the creative writing mind of mine is seeking an outlet and the images my mind calls forth seems to be pushing me back to the 70’s, not sure why. It is like the mind found the solution and it is trying to remember the complete story to present to me, but that is merely me speculatively grasping. 

In an era where IP is growing a much larger concern in nearly all fields, as we realise that gaming will represent an amount exceeding $200,000,000,000 by 2023, IP is everything and we already see that only the strongest franchises will survive, Sony and Nintendo have their fair share, Bethesda, Guerrilla and a few others have strong IP, the rest needs to find it or become lost in mediocrity. And they all want their slice of that 200 billion dollar pie. So new IP is where it will be at and at the end of 2023 streaming games will be a massive part of it, games designed to work in client server mode with the client will be as small as possible. And here Amazon Luna has an advantage, with the only unknown player Netflix, who has game-able IP all over the place, so there is the crux. Google is not developing in house and Microsoft seems to rely in their master chief to save them. In that setting the consoles have their market and Amazon Luna has an optional field that could fetch them a massive advantage over the other players, but will they grab it?

We might wonder where they find it. And in all this we see what was brought in 1985-1992, the IP on three systems might not be protected and those owners might be interested to see their ideas push to new levels, there are all kinds of new options, especially in the old alternatives. But that does not stop my mind of thinking up new ideas and new IP. For those in doubt, consider that Jeff Minter brought us the mutant camels and everyone was happy. Yet it took 17 year old Matthew Smith to teach us that Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy were more than ground breaking. Someone had to take a jump into the unimagined. And in all this we ignored a whole range of games, because in those days it as always about the next game, not admiring the current game. That led to the diminished visibility of Andrew Braybrook who would bring the people Paradroid and Paradroid 90, Microprose brought us Covert Action and no one considered where those two could lead us on consoles and in streaming. Even now, some of the games from those days are now making it to Android, they will have an advantage as they develop for streaming systems and those systems will want these games, because the more games they have and the more games that an work in a limited 5G environment, the stronger the pull will be and soon these systems will wake up to the call of number of games and they want that level to be as high is possible with as much quality as possible. In the last 24 hours over a dozen sources are making this claim, as I have clearly made the claim for weeks, for months even. We are now seeing the media waking up, the streaming systems were already on that page, but do they have the IP? That remains to be seen. Yet time will prove that I am right, the moment they make a run for the IP, we will see that they have the sets to make a run on the number three position and they are setting a Hugh yield low impact race. Microsoft paid billions for Bethesda, a good move but there we see less then half a dozen IP, good IP mind you, but still the same IP on other systems and that is the difference, there will be a run on IP that other systems do not have, or not anymore, and the remastered and new versions will be accepted (Mass Effect proved that), yes, Mass Effect is exceptional. Yet the makers relied on that to push forward. Now when one of the players get their hands on a dozen IP’s that can be remastered, we will see systems with over a dozen unique games. If they are good enough, it will make them a winner, that is the game and the winning system will have a much bigger slice of 200 billion than mediocre games do. Sony is ready, Nintendo seems to be ready and Microsoft claims to be ready. So where are Netflix and Amazon? They remains silent and they are having a game plan, they aren’t silent because the media makes it so, they are silent because in the final hours any marketing wave will be 2-3 times more powerful than waves created a year in advance. For me Netflix remains an unknown, Amazon less so and they are off to a good start, will they make the number three position in gaming? It is becoming more and more likely, but it is not a given. And there is more, Microsoft gave us 4 hours ago (via Video games chronicle) “As an industry, I would love it if we came together to help preserve the history of what our industry is about so we don’t lose access to some of the things that got us to where we are today and built this industry. That would be a cool thing.” And we see the intent, but not what happens to the IP, it seems to me that Microsoft wants to claim it all, they fear the setting I gave for some time and now it becomes sort of a race and there is where I get to laugh. I put my IP out in the open, making it public domain, it gives game makers free reign to make gams for Sony and Amazon free, but that also limits Microsoft, and any created game is a loss for Microsoft and as they try to make the historic jump (over time) they will lose out more and more. In a stage Microsoft gives us ‘I would love it if we came together’, yes because that has always been their objective (not really). They want it all under the Microsoft flag, a flag I personally detest because of steps they made in the past. They ignored the players and decided for the players what the players wanted, it is not the right way. So as a gamer I revolted and published IP for all other game makers to freely use, my way of stopping a short sighted giant. And it was easy to do, I had the time and I (hopefully) expect that my 5G IP will get me through, it is all I need. The rest is to make a new stage for gamers by gamers and that stage is highly unlikely to have a Microsoft logo. 

And still my mind is giving me issues with a comic book from the 70’s, I see a little more, but so far not enough to identify why my mind is pushing me there. Irritating!

Yet I do believe that the mind will win and it will show me what I missed (and why), perhaps in my dreams, perhaps not. 

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The Lawyer wins, the law loses

Yes, it is a stage that we will be seeing soon enough. As the lawyer wins, the law loses and tht is just the beginning. As we see ‘Apple loses appeal in Fortnite court battle’ (source: Australian Financial Review) there is a secondary stage that comes up. It is not immediately clear, but someone gave the reader by Jeff Dotzler in GC Consulting in 2019 ‘Will You Get Sued if Your Business is Hacked?’ There we see “Even though the company was able to restore the records, one of the affected clients, Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics in Boynton Beach, sued Allscripts in federal court. Surfside accused Allscripts of not doing enough to prevent the attack or lessen its impact and sued on behalf of all affected clients for “significant business interruption and disruption and lost revenues.”” Now consider that ‘significant business interruption’ can be replaced with ‘game score disruption’, a stage I saw coming a mile away. Epic Games did not  consider the stupidity of their actions and now, should they win they will soon face several, if not well over a dozen class cases. They cannot make some ‘we are not responsible draft’, the moment ANYONE at Google or Apple squeals the setting of the hack and it comes with the accompanied ‘We could have prevented that’ Epic Games is lost, it will cost them billions in settlements and lawyer costs. If you doubt that, consider ‘SolarWinds says unknown hackers exploited newly discovered software flaw’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/solarwinds-says-unknown-hackers-exploited-newly-discovered-software-flaw-2021-07-12/), so they just got out of one mess only to land in a new one and these people have a decently simple system, Epic Games will have to spend on protection that is several levels higher and I feel decently certain that it is not enough. The moment any profile is transgressed on whilst there was a purchase, that is the game, loss Epic Games and loose they will, a lot. 

Even as we are told “SolarWinds said the flaw was “completely unrelated” to last year’s hack of government networks”, it will not matter, another flaw is found and there is every chance that more than one will still be found. In this Forbes gives us ‘Why SolarWinds Is The Wakeup Call No One Heard’, it comes with “everyone talks a good game, but the very structure of American (and other businesses around the globe) makes it nearly impossible to, for example, deliberately and significantly reduce EBITDA to prepare for cyber warfare” and when you consider that EBITDA is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation. You see the problem, it is not all, it is earnings before interest and depreciation that bites, earnings before interest is all earnings with cost diminishing this and too many corporate players tend to cut cost. In some cases they have no choice in the cloud a lot does not matter but it is transgressed on (according to some numbers) for almost 90%. And when you add that Amortisation is merely anther view of  depreciation the path is clear. Steve Andriole also gives us “The number of severity of cyberattacks will explode in 2020.  Cyberwarfare has now levelled the playing field in industry, in government, and in national defence:  why spend ten or fifteen billion dollars on an aircraft carrier when you can disable it digitally?” You think that this is about defence? Do you have any idea what 50 million whining gamers can do? EVERY ransomware player will target Epic Games and with an open Android and iOS setting they will succeed. I saw this when this all started in 2020 within 5 minutes, the short sightedness will hit Epic Games and others in a few ways. Think I am BS’ing you?  Consider that several sources gave you a month ago “Hackers Stole 780GB Data Including FIFA 21 Source Code in EA Hack” and EA has been in this game a lot longer than Epic Games has been. That is not evidence, but it is a setting that we need to consider and when Epic Games loses that data the class actions start, and it is not something that they can keep quiet (apart from that being a crime), the people will talk and the parties involved, including government parties will find a nice letter making claim to financial losses. The law source (see above) also gives us a link to the Ohio Data Protection Act. There we see “Under the law, damages cannot be imposed if a state court finds your company had a reasonable cybersecurity plan when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability. Or, as the legislation puts it, the law is “an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.”” In this I offer ‘reasonable cybersecurity plan’, was it followed through? Was there a backup if it fails, was there consideration for cross platform transgressions? In this last part I offer to the older programmers 

IF(clipper)
  
ELSE

   …
ENDIF

Those who know will nod and consider what else Epic Games and others have forgotten, what happens when someone exploits a Sony flaw over the entire system, and at that point these companies have little to no protection. 

Which gets us to ‘when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability’, but the suing side will argue that the breach could have been prevented on day zero, or even day -1, which will be their way of saying that they opened the system when they were not ready and that is another billion in class actions right there, and I agree with the stage that there will be enough cases that have no bering (just like the loot box cases in the media), yet Epic Games will have to hand to their lawyers to investigate them all, the hours alone will rake up millions and that is merely year one. The lawyer wins his bread and butter for a year (at the very least) and the law is up the creek without a clause. The law was never ready for this, so the going will be good towards the coffers of Epic Games, a looting box that requires time, not money. 

So when we go back to Forbes and consider “When I took the results to the CFO (to which technology weirdly reported), his only question was, “what’s all this going to cost me?,” which of course was the wrong question.” We see there setting, but I wonder who gave that same question to the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) with the question ‘What will this cost the firm?’, a question that he can decently predict when he considers 1-5 class actions and that result has to be scary and any consideration of future profit goes straight out of the window, not merely the legal costs, marketing will have to offer a whole range of products and services to stem the tide of people leaving for the next safer harbour, the most dangerous of all settings, and that is merely the beginning of year one as Android and iOS stores open. Forbes also gives a reference to Andy Greenberg (Wired Magazine, 2019) said about why governments have been unwilling to deal with cyberthreats: “More fundamentally, governments haven’t been willing to sign on to cyberwar limitation agreements because they don’t want to limit their own freedom to launch cyberattacks at their enemies.  America may be vulnerable to crippling cyberattacks carried out by its foes, but US leaders are still hesitant to hamstring America’s own NSA and Cyber Command, who are likely the most talented and well-resourced hackers in the world.” And this is not a government setting, Epic Games will be hit be greed driven and vengeance driven hackers as well as organised crime, a %5 billion company? With the state of cybercrime convictions? They are definitely on board. A stage Epic Games could have prevented from the start, but someone saw 30% of $5,000,000,000 and did the math, but whoever did the math was not ready for the tidal wave they would be inviting through that choice. In this, Forbes had one more gem, it comes from Nicole Penroth and ‘The hubris of American exceptionalism’, when we see “More hacking, more offence, not better defence, was our answer to an increasingly virtual world order, even as we made ourselves more vulnerable, hooking up water treatment facilities, railways, thermostats and insulin pumps to the web, at a rate of 127 new devices per second”, now consider that Fortnite is on Windows, MacOS, Switch, Sony, Microsoft, iOS and Android, they drew more than 125 million players in less than a year, do you think that there will be no flaws? And how many devices a second will that add to the equation? Do you have any clue what level of protection is required, even as Sony, Solarwinds, Nintendo and Microsoft have all been hacked even though they had nowhere near that level of complexity required. This was a dangerous situation from the start and gamers will soon have to seriously consider to remove any program that has an ‘open’ store, the cost will be too high for a lot of them. 

And that is not all, as Nicole spoke about ‘an increasingly virtual world’ the danger that open stores will mean that you either have a dedicated computer, or healthcare and safety products will not be considered to be insured in your house, when that happens we get a whole new level of nightmare, I can only imagine that setting, but I am clueless as to the impact, we cannot oversee that, not with an evolving IoT and 5G evolving before our very eyes.

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Murdered by politicians

Yes, that is the setting, the danger that a politician is getting you murdered. The evidence? Consider the setting we are given We are given “Google is being sued by 37 US states over policies on its Android app store, Google Play you might think that this is fair, but is it? The governments (US, UK, EU) they are all helpless to stop players like REvil and bitcoin miners. They say that they are on top of it, but consider asking the millions of Sweden that could not enter the 800 supermarkets close because of what was done. You see a trickle of events and that is good, merely a trickle, yet when the iOS and Android stores open up, it becomes a tidal wave. 37 states catering to the greed driven, they want to avoid paying their dues all whilst tax offices cannot properly adjust theirs, all setting a stage where the pathetic (Epic) can report that they are avoiding their 30%, but in all this the stage becomes that you will be transgressed on your data and your systems and it will not be a trickle, it will become a tidal wave of advertisements on gambling and deceptive conduct, with every game you have it will increase 200%, so with three games you are looking at an expected 8 times the amount of advertisement (Read: harassment and bullying). So when we see “It criticises the commission Google takes on purchases made within Google Play, which can be up to 30%, in line with Apple’s App Store policies and the stores of other rivals such as Amazon and Microsoft XBox” and there is the second party. These stores promise (and so far kept) all kinds of promises, when you are outside their store, it ends, your internet actions will go to the highest bidder, your system will have all kinds of advertisements and the people who screwed up the neat life you had will back away in the shadow, saying it is out of their control. 

That is how I see it, that is what I am speculating will happen. The moment that comes through, I will delete EVERY game I have, I will remove any third party that was offered to me, the price will be too high and find out how high it will be for you when you leave even one application on there. 

And in an interview (source: BBC) with Sundar Pichai we get “I asked about whether the Chinese model of the internet – much more authoritarian, big on surveillance – is in the ascendant, Pichai said the free and open internet “is being attacked”. Importantly, he didn’t refer to China directly but he went on to say: “None of our major products and services are available in China.”With legislators and regulators proving slow, ineffective, and easy to lobby – and a pandemic taking up plenty of bandwidth – right now the democratic West is largely leaving it to people like Sundar Pichai to decide where we should all be heading”, this fits as the interviewer is not giving the larger stage to what happens when the greed driven get involved, it tends to stream towards organised crime, because they are as entrepreneurial as anyone else, when it is about the green they tend to be a lot more innovative than any government has proven to be, and that is a setting you do not want on your mobile store, ANY STORE. So as Amazon, Apple and Google are turning them away, all the others are a lot less likely to do and for the alleged avoidance of 30%, so far I have not seen any third party player willing to do that. And consider the 10 apps you do have, when they give you the additional 1-4 advertisements, do you see any money there? No, I wonder where all that coin will go to, that I merely the beginning, after that it gets ugly in a hurry, yet at that point when we ask the names of the people involved in these 37 states that include New York, Tennessee, Utah, North Carolina, and Washington DC. How reachable will these people remain for answering questions? I am willing to lay a bet there that they will all vanish like snowflakes in a heatwave. What do you think?

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Chook Chook thinking

Yes, I could have said ‘train of thought’ but that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it. The thought came from two articles. The two articles set my mind in motion and they are not related in any way, other then the provider of both articles which is Reuters. The first article (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-regulation-tencent-m-a/chinese-antitrust-regulator-blocks-tencents-5-3-billion-video-games-merger-idUSKCN2EG029) gave me ‘Chinese antitrust regulator blocks Tencent’s $5.3 billion video games merger’, I have nothing really to add, other then the thoughts I had wondering what the antitrust regulators were thinking. I am not saying, or implying that anything wrong was done. The ‘official’ version is “Antitrust laws are statutes developed by governments to protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition” that is the official version, unofficial it is that competitors use their version of the excuse “to protect consumers” into a version of “stopping competitors with actual innovative inventions to get the upper hand over their need for revenue (read: greed)”, Google has been the most clear victim but they are definitely not alone. In the article we see that it is about Tencent Holdings Ltd’s and the merger of Huya and DouYu. If the merger goes through we get a setting where their combined market share in the video game live streaming industry would be over 70%. So I am not sure what to think, I do not know whether it is valid or not. It was merely an article that  got my attention. 

The second article is ‘FTC extends probe of Amazon, MGM deal’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mgm-m-a-amazon/ftc-extends-probe-of-amazon-mgm-deal-source-idUSKCN2EF2EF). There we see “Amazon.com’s deal to buy movie studio MGM for $8.5 billion is headed for an extended probe by the Federal Trade Commission, after a source familiar with the matter said on Friday the agency had issued a second request in its review of the merger”, so there is no connection there, and there will not be one. But the two articles made me think on what else Amazon could do. They do have the inside Track at present and if they push they could do titles that all others are not considering. To see this, we need to go back to 1983 then ‘Dragon’s Lair’ took the breath away from nearly everyone who saw it, it was an arcade machine and a laserdisc. No one had done it before and it took the cake, now on streaming no laserdisc is required, with MGM, Amazon has the option of launching a whole range of interactive movies. James Bond might be the most visible one, but when we consider the size of their IP which also includes the Hobbit, TombRaider and a few others, we can see that interactive movies have an option, and Amazon will own it all. The larger station is not merely interactive movies, but it is a play style that Sony and Microsoft added to their games, they merely forgot to make games like that. They did nothing wrong, they added flavour to their games. Yet Dragon’s Lair showed that a game like that is possible. In 1995 Tia Carrere added to this with The Daedalus Encounter, it started on 3DO but it did get on PC on the early age of VGA and CDROM systems with often no more than 300KB/s. Now with the consoles and streaming systems coming we can do a lot more and now we see that Amazon might be holding on to a lot more and even if the FTC tries to block it, it is merely a temporary setback, Amazon has the inside track and when the others consider this they might wake up and take old ideas into innovative new internet streaming highways. 

As I said, it was merely a train of thought, but so far the others aren’t showing their actions and that is before Netflix steps into the ring, consider what they have and what they would be able to push for, the innovative player takes the cake, that has been proven by Sony and by Microsoft in the past, and with the bar set to $195,000,000,000 in 2022, do you think that the innovators are going to let slip any sliver of a pie that big? What are you thinking?

As stated it is merely a train of thought, but is it that far fetched when you think of what we can now achieve?

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The Wheel (reinvented)

I happened to stumble upon 9 to 5 Google, with all kind of non-Google news. The article (at https://9to5google.com/2021/06/25/bandwidth-xbox-game-pass-and-amazon-luna-announce-july-2021-game-additions/)

We see titles like:

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction
Saints Row The Third: Remastered

Some of them are really great, but I am missing something, a new dawn, an actual new dawn, a setting we have never seen before. I am a little bit surprised, none of them have anything really new. I am not talking about new games, new titles, new originals. I am talking about a new stage of gaming, cloud gaming made it possible, so what is stopping them? I even dropped a few ideas in previous articles (go look for them). Cloud gaming allows for a new stage, so why do we see the same stage props that we saw on PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox360, N64, Wii even Nintendo Switch. Cloud gaming allows for a different station a larger setting with optionally a private set social media option, none of them are going there, they all seem to be much more relaxed in reinventing the wheel. None of them show us a station that is actually new. Perhaps it is still to come, but it is day 1 where you show that you are not the sheep or it’s herder, you are new, you are unique. So why do they not see that option? I am pondering it, I actually do not know. But to see some level of herd mentality is a little disappointing. Will it be up to Netflix to teach them that? 

The Amazon Luna has a refreshing amount of new games, yet there is an overwhelming presence of Ubisoft, not that this is bad. There are plenty of titles I never saw before and that is good, but so far cloud gaming shows more of the same, nothing refreshingly new and that is a disappointment. And with Luna starting at $6 a month and Ubisoft+ at $15 a month Amazon will soon need to reconsider what they have (without Ubisoft) and see how they are different from Google, Microsoft and Netflix. Being different is at times scary and it does have its own unique set of challenges. Yet we have seen how exclusive games make a console, Xbox proved it, Xbox360 continued it, Xbox One wasted it. Playstation 1 through 5 have shown that exclusive games make the difference and Nintendo did this as well. Now consider that cloud gaming is more than a console, it offers a few unique settings that others cannot offer, the cloud gives the makers a unique advantage, so why was this not drilled on? Why was that source not tempered into a powerhouse? 

Cocoon (at https://cocoon.com) shows a ‘new’ kind of social media, not unlike what Google Plus offered. It seems that none of them adjusted those two ideas in a stage where the gamer can talk to friends, can optionally open up to talk to fellow gamers of a game. All options were there and it seems no one took that. No one took the idea that games can have a larger impact on more settings and it seems to me that these makers are all about others doing the work and no innovation comes forward. Achievements can be traced back to 1982 (Activision) and we have seen the evolution on systems, yet as far as I can tell no one in cloud gaming land had the idea to evolve that into something more. It was the Xbox360 that had the last evolution, it was Ubisoft that reinvented the badges and none of them took it to the next step, so why would anyone consider cloud gaming when we see: “Cloud gaming enables you to play games on devices you already own, without the need to purchase a gaming console or gaming PC” yet if we already have a gaming solution, why go there unless it offers more and in this I do not mean the same games and more games. Cloud gaming needs more and so fr I see none of this happen, I left the ideas months ago and so far none seem to be clued in on what others seemingly throw at their feet. At best we are most likely to get a ‘we are looking in that direction’, which is like marketing telling Jaguar that they are waiting for more customers, it is innovation that drives a system to customers, when innovation is absent the customer merely looks form a distance and considers ‘I can already do that. It is innovation that drives the games, the hardware, the technology and from there the customers flock. Yes there is an equal chance that they distance themselves, but the true innovator can see the chances that are out there. So what is keeping them?

Consider that we see Ubisoft+ at $15 a month, yet on consoles Amazon (the dot com version) offers the Division for $10, The Division 2 for $13, for Honor $12, the Crew $15, Black Flag $11, and in this case the subscription only pays if you pay more than one new game every month, so how long until the mediocrity of Ubisoft games (and its glitches) gets to you? Yes, it seems interesting when you consider the latest games, but still, you break even in month two, after that the cost continues and any delay will set you off, that is the setting we all ignore and their marketing hopes we ignore it. And when we take notice of Android Central and with “Ubisoft is dedicated to cloud gaming, specifically Stadia and Amazon Luna, and that was reflected in numerous announcements”, so what happens when they service the consoles, PC’s, Stadia, Luna and xCloud? What happens when patch after patch is required? How happy will you then be? This is not on Ubisoft, this is the cost of doing business and I expected that Stadia and Luna were ready, yet all I read is that there is a ‘more of the same’ approach and games alone will not get you there. Luna has a fair amount of titles that I see nowhere else and as such they have an advantage, but none of them took the environment to the next level and that is a bit of a disappointment, and there were options. There were ideas that I (others too) threw out there for them to pick up and they did none of that. Perhaps it is not the mission statement (which already cost one firm billions), perhaps it was not their technology, which shows us that they were optionally not ready and there was no brainstorm on what else is possible and that is the foundation of ANY game. 1984 gave us (unknown to George Orwell) Elite, Ultima, Archon, Spy hunter, and Lode Runner. Some of these games still have a following today, some of these games reinvented themselves (Elite Dangerous is the most visible one). They all set a new standard, the hardware evolved and now we see the makers of that hardware show us that they can do it using our PC, MAC, Console. But they had the option to give more and they seemingly neglected that.

New hardware that brands ‘itself’, yet they ignore the path of awareness. When we look at awareness, perception, and cognition we see mere words, but any market researcher will look deeper and the makers of cloud gaming seemingly learned nothing, not even from their marketing department. Perception without awareness, cognition without perception and awareness with no lead towards cognition. Three elements that they do not connect but that is the larger mistake, one leads to the other. It is almost a Pokemon setting water beats fire, grass beats water and fire beats grass, yet what do we get when we reverse that? No one looked at that part and in the Pokemon setting it does not really work, yet in consoles we see what lacked (even though there was a hidden hint with Sony) they never pushed through, now cloud gaming has the opportunity to make it all a reality and it seems that they are not doing that. Perhaps Netflix will and make a clean sweep, or perhaps Nintendo will. We cannot tell, but the one that does will have a massive advantage, a place where others seemingly dreaded to go, and now that setting changes the game completely. Yes number one and two will remain the positions for Sony and Nintendo, but the number three (most likely Amazon Luna) is not secure, so the one who innovates the cloud the most will head for position three with the option to gain and optionally overtake position 2. Will that happen? I cannot tell, because Nintendo has been innovative and it has a massive advantage, even before their second version is out. Yet personally I feel that one thing is clear. More of the same will not hack it, not in this economy of people trying to pay their bills, unless there is a massive upside the consoles will remain the largest players in game land. That part is almost certain. There is a clear space for cloud gaming, but not in the ‘more of the same setting’ not for 1-2 years to come. 

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Dark side of the Jedi

Yes, I guess that George Lucas really had no idea that this would hold for well over 45 years, but that happens when you become the real innovator. In this we recognise innovators, but the path of one is often dangerous, perilous and it only works when the competition is at your heels. Consider that Star Wars came out when we had The Omen, Taxi Driver, All the presidents men, Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, the Duellists. All excellent movies, all driving the others to do better, that is why it works, so when I see “reversing the Trump-era award to Microsoft Corp and announcing a new contract expected to include its rival Amazon.com and possibly other cloud players” I merely wonder how stupid Trump actually was. To give $10,000,000,000 to Microsoft when they screw up their console position and hand the number two place to Nintendo with the weakest of all consoles, only to likely lose again in the future to the Amazon Luna and possibly even to Netflix? How delusional can you become? Microsoft tried to attack the Apple tablet market and failed miserably again and again, they blew their mobile market and they are trying to create waves for their Azure market, that is the player we want for the U.S. Defense Department? This all whilst we get a day ago “Microsoft has “paused” SQL Server in its Windows Containers project. Microsoft advises anyone interested in running SQL Server in a container to use the Linux root instead”, so basically the two non entries (Google and Amazon) were a better solution off the bat?

So, this Jedi (aka the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) is off to a rocky start. I had never expected to be any commander in chief so delusional that they would hand the contract to one player, all whilst better solutions (in the worst case merely equal) would be considered without proper vetting? I am not stating to merely give it to Amazon or Google, that is why vetting is an important process, yet in all that, Reuters (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-pentagon-jedi/pentagon-hits-reset-on-trumps-10-billion-cloud-deal-welcoming-new-players-idUSKCN2EC1YY) gives us “The company cited a 2019 book that reported Trump had directed the Defense Department to “screw Amazon” out of the JEDI contract”, is this how Americans see their national defence, as an ego driver? It would be one thing if Microsoft is the better party, but that hasn’t be the case for some time. 

So when I see “the plan would likely involve a direct award for “urgently needed” capabilities and then a “full and open” competition for multiple suppliers by early 2025”, which we get from John Sherman, acting chief information officer for the Defense Department. My issue here is that when I see ‘urgently needed’, I also remember the joke (not a funny one) that the Zumwalt class represents and the billions spend there, then there are a few more projects, all with pressing needs. And whilst we are getting towards it, the entire Kaseya and Solarwinds debacle shows the larger pressing matter. Security matters! And the matter of security can never be properly investigated if it is appointed to one player, one debatable player mind you. I am not stating that security at Google or Amazon is better, but the Exchange issues, which we get from ZDNet in April shows us “Four zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server are being actively exploited by state-sponsored threat groups and others to deploy backdoors and malware in widespread attacks”, this doesn’t mean that Google and/or Amazon is better. But the debate is on and Microsoft lost top dog and pole position years ago, they are merely in it to remain mediocre, all for the good of the board of directors. They lost to Apple (tablets), then they lost to Google (with Bing), then they lost to Amazon (web services and SaaS) and now surpassed by TikTok (video against China), that is an impressive fail rate. Consider that Bing has a market share of 2.71%, which against Google with 91.95% is slightly too funny for words. 

But this is not about Microsoft, it is about Jedi (all these funny acronyms). So when we consider the dark side of that forceless solution (by Microsoft) and we need to wonder about “the Defense Department also announced its plans for a new multi-cloud initiative known as the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, or JWCC. It must provide capabilities at all three classification levels — Unclassified, Secret and Top Secret — and parity of services across all classification levels; integrated cross-domain solutions; global availability including at the tactical edge; and enhanced cybersecurity controls, according to the Pentagon”, not the intent, but the investigative presumption of ‘enhanced cybersecurity controls’, both Solarwinds and Kaseya showed us that and this field is still widely in development, and sources like business wire are setting the Marke that cloud security will double over the next 4 years, a stage of increased visibility will both increase security and criminal activities, the winner remains unknown at present, even if we acknowledge that REvil has the upper hand, we have no way of knowing what happens tomorrow,  if security comes from innovators there is every chance that Amazon or Google will get there before Microsoft will, even Apple has a better chance of showing innovation than Microsoft in the cloud atmosphere at present. The fact of what happens next will be out soon enough, yet my mind wonders why anyone would be stupid enough to award national defence to anyone without proper vetting.  So when we accept that it was meant as “part of a broader digital modernisation of the Pentagon aimed at making it more technologically agile”, wouldn’t you want to vet to broaden the application of data, the security of the system and the application of security towards data, users and access? There is a reason that SELinux had roots going back to the NSA, this they all wanted to throw away? And the media is merely reporting the news, not questioning that time line? Why is that?

Only the agile and versatile remain superpowers, and the former president was willing to hand over 50% of THAT equation? So consider that what was JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) could have become the Darth (Defence Application Reprehensive Technology Hype) defence system. 

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