Tag Archives: Microsoft

Picture this!

Yup, we all have these moments, I whilst facing the jabberwocky of insomnia ended up facing a new bout of creativity and I thought of sharing it right here, it can use the benefits that 5G brings but is not reliant on it, it is an altered way of looking at pictures. It is however a little more, ad to be honest, the issues at Ubisoft brought them forward, with an undisclosed part that is depending on certain pats that might come up in WatchDogs 4 (if Ubisoft still exists by then).

OK, to get you there, this needs to go in stages. 

Digital picture frames. We have all seen them, the cheap solutions in some asian setting that allows for some resolution and has some memory to show pics at 480dpi, not the greatest resolutions, but for the family snaps it is OK. There are more expensive versions, that have much higher resolution (and are more expensive), some will allow for an SD card to keep the pics and that is what they display.

The second stage is a new stage, what if the picture frame is whatever you need it to be? Now we move from the family snapshot to the presentation gigs. There are versions that call themselves ‘Clear 3D Rear Holographic Projection Screen film’ solutions and they are good for the usual presentation that are in a preset stage, but presentations on trade fairs tend to be anything but preset. Trade fairs tend to be dynamic, consider E3, ECTS, Horecava, Efficiency Trade Fairs, it is you against the world and sometimes that is quite literal. What if the display technology is adaptive?  Consider the projection screen film, it is a great option for some, but is depending on rear projection and that is not always a solution.

So what happens when we change the equation? What is the film is triple layered and the plasma technology is not set to dimensions? So whatever you screen you cut with scissors, has a determined point 0, but the size at that point allows to become whatever we need it to be? That sheet can placed in whatever frame we need it to be in and at that point we attach the thingamajig (technobabble for Display engine with embedded projection core). And it has what it needs to start the display, it needed a point 0. The rest can be set in the stage of side 2. So we have a sheet, it has two attachments, one with point 0, one with point Y, after that the image can be presented. Any image when one side is known, the rest can be made, no matter the size. If the size grows beyond a stage the engine needs to reflect display technology to deal with the matter (different subject). The issue is only partially solved.

3. The leaks that Ubisoft shows, is also a larger need to keep things confidential, so what happens at trade shows? So what happens when these displays are all set with a Micro SD card that has the cloud encryption so that a player like Ubisoft can keep its presentation on a Paris server, or Microsoft on their Seattle PCXT, IBM on their, you get the idea, marketing HQ keeps their presentations under wrap and the presentations would not be able to get leaked. 

4. The displays are merely part of the solution, there would be SD/MicroSD options to reflect that, but the larger stage is that not merely in trade show, in EVERY shop, the location can decide what display format fits them best. Almost like a TV to fit your exact size and that is where we go with this. 5G will allow for that approach and not all requires the internet. Mobile 5G stations can present whatever they need. Like the Schwarovsky Rose presentation is saw a few years ago, the option to localise whatever you need to present, a stage absent of one of the most important parts, heavy TV’s monitors, whilst most of that device is never used, a stage where we overthrow the part we require to be left with the part we need. 

A TV that is set to size using a pair of scissors, I wonder if we see that in Cyberpunk 2077, I might just have given a few idea’s to the technical nerds on planet internet.

 

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The inferring line

We all see the news, we see what is implied and we wonder on what it means, at least that is what some of us do and the news is always sided to the part they want to illuminate, there is no evil or bad intentions there, it is the way the writer thinks, or the view that the writer has. We might agree, we might disagree, but the writer is entitled to the view they have, at least that is what I think, so when I see ‘Technology of Business’ in the BBC, I wonder about the ‘Business of Technology’, it is not merely the reversal of a phrase, behind it lingers the fact that a formula and solution are reversible, or in Market Research there is the unwritten law (well, perhaps, seemingly unwritten), that it cannot be reversed, as such when the factorial analyses goes in one direction, the opposite would be a discriminant analyses, if the factor is proven, the discriminant analyses should always fail, no exclusions to that, if both make it there is a connecting factor in play, not really a covariant. When you realise this, there is a much larger truth to be seen. SO in this I do not oppose ‘Have we become too reliant on Big Tech firms?’,
I merely wonder about the elements behind this. When I was working in the 90’s in IT, on the edge of IT, there was an unwritten law to steer clear of one another in Big tech, so to not get in each others fairway and maximise profits, as such we see the advantage that players like Google and Amazon have. They researched their part and they went their own way. I am merely looking at these two because Microsoft, IBM, Sun and a few others were overlapping and they had their own way of setting the stage. So there might be truth in “Big Tech firms have been getting even bigger during the pandemic and their success means they have plenty of funds to snap up other businesses”, yet the involved stage is a little larger than projected. So I do not disagree with people like Sandeep Vaheesan when they give us “All of them will be in the M&A [mergers and acquisitions] game if they’re not already. Start-ups are more likely to sell out during the pandemic when they might struggle to meet their obligations and the buyout looks especially attractive – the pandemic is speeding up the buyout date in some cases”, I am merely seeing that this stage was in play for much longer and now we might focus on what the larger players are gobbling up, yet this is not any difference from what has been going on for 20 years.

It is the way business works, the larger fish eats the smaller one. Adobe ate Macromedia (I still believe it is the other way round), Novel got wordperfect, Microsoft ate entire shoals of software makers and so on. And yes, the pandemic has an impact that is much larger and that is not on the buyer, also not on the seller.  Some were surprised to see Microsoft acquire the game Minecraft for $2,500,000,000. The seller was mostly not unhappy, he went from mama basement software developer, to nerd to multi billionaire.   It is the game developers dream to get that done and his game was addictive as hell (I know, because I have it on every console). Microsoft grew it even further with the direct ear of over 200,000,000 ears of needy gamers. It is marketing heaven for Microsoft, and that is before you realise just how much money is linked to the optional micro transactions.

At some point these firms need to rely on merging and acquisition to grow, it is merely the way it is, and sometimes nature hands these players a windfall (like the pandemic). I believe that we are not too reliant on big tech, I believe that we are in a holding pattern due to a lack of innovation, the innovators are out there yet they are not getting the visibility they need to push it along and that is a larger stage than we realise. You merely need to search ‘innovation’ on Google to realise that it is marketed and it is labelled, yet true innovation is the one element that defies labels and marketing, because I saw and learned that what a firm does not understand (in 1997) cannot be marketed, it cannot be sold, because its leaders are drawn to memo’s with bullet points and that is when you see firsthand how true innovation defies labels. It is a conclusion we have seen too often and lately a lot more often than we considered it.

Even when we see some brands giving a platform to the real innovators, it relies on someone recognising it and I agree that it is not a bad idea, but I also realise that if I do not see everything, then someone else is likely not to see it either. It is not a good thing, not a bad thing, it merely is and there big tech has its first problem, how to recognise it soon enough. Not everyone is a Steve Jobs, who was able to recognise 9innovation when it walked through its doors, Jeff Bezos et al is a different stock, a different breed, they made THEIR innovation, it does not mean that they can recognise it when it hits and there the true innovators have the challenge, on how to set their IP in a safe space where it can be recognised without them needing to set the stage of losing a lot of money hoping others will see it. It is the inferring line that they face and all innovators must face it, for the most they will rely on big tech who can afford to squander a purse of coins and not worry on how it hits them, it makes the game harder for innovators, but not impossible, they have options and on a global stage it does imply that these players will seek the largest beneficiary. When we see Huawei against Nokia and Ericsson we see that the two Scandinavian players have to set a wager holding a dead man’s hand, When we see Amazon, who is seen against its competitors Google Play, Apple play and so on, yet is it not interesting on how Alibaba and Ozone are not mentioned in plenty of places? Ozone particularly is not as big, but it is still a contender and in the stage of IP, where that patent is more important than most think it is. In this Alibaba has a larger benefit as it also delivers into Russia. The inferred line is thinner than we realise and there are more players, even as some ‘market’ them away into obscurity, you see when these players get the IP, they grow on a global scale and that is what is feared in the west and also by a player like Amazon, you see, they are the largest player and will remain so, but what happens when the dollar collapses? The way that this US administration goes about it, that setting is a lot more realistic than some are willing to admit and when the dollar goes, the Euro and the Yen will take massive hits, losses of 35% would be a good day.

Should you out that consider that the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/dbe16ce4-f154-4985-a210-279fa1f53e24, and them alone) gave almost 5 hour ago “Millions of digital banking customers unable to access their money after German group falls into insolvency”, consider that an impact like this should make the front page on pretty much EVERY paper in the west, yet the Guardian has NOTHING, and others are like that, something that hits millions is left unreported. So when we see a repetition of the Sony 2012 events (the Guardian was the reporter there), how much on innovation and how much innovation impact will not be reported on when it ends up in the hands of Alibaba and/or Ozone? How much marketing shielding will Amazon receive? The inferred line is something else as well, it shows where we are told not to look, when does true innovation actually do that? 

A line that is ignored by plenty of players is a line that might show actual danger, especially when its impacts our lives.

 

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Speak through deafening silence

We all tend to be in a motion to listen to the right person, sometimes we know that person and sometimes we do not. In this age and as we see tidal movements towards black lives matter (I personally believe that nearly all life matters), we look at the cacophony of chaos and we are trying to make sense of what is real, what is sincere and what is different. So, whilst I modernised the idea towards the idea of renewed IP in video gaming, I started to look in different directions, I do that at times. I do it because it tends to remove tunnel vision from creativity. As such I get a new lease on balance, it is part of my own process. And in light that the new IP would be best suited for Ubisoft as they already have parts in their archives, my mind ended up not being very happy. The idea that their process is the better choice does not bode too well. So as I was looking at the change, I overlooked something different as well. 

As such was my mind when the BBC gives us ‘‘Speak and be heard’: Why black media matters’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-53142308/speak-and-be-heard-why-black-media-matters), added to that is “Sara Lomax-Reese owns WURD, one of a handful of black-owned and operated radio stations in the US. Her father, Dr Walter P Lomax Jr, was a respected physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He originally acquired the station in 2003 in an effort to amplify and empower the voices of Philadelphia’s black community.” with a less than 3 minute video. That is all!

So one might deduce that black lives do not really matter that much at all. And now I give that proof.

The Evidence?

The video is really good, it gave me a lot more than I bargained for. It starts with a link to the 1996 Telecommunications Act where according to the video individual voices were eliminated. The Wiki page (at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WURD) gives some information, but I am baffled by the amount of information that we do not see. We get the gist, poison and speculations (facts too) of nearly every reality TV station on the planet. Most of them in great detail, in case of WURD it ends with “The new owners reinstituted the WURD call sign. After a period of apparent indecision during which the station aired various types of music and CNN Headline News, management settled on the current talk format.

So even if I wanted to slap the BBC around, I would be partially unable to do so, there is not much, as such I wonder how trained are the ‘all black lives matter’ in the stage of digital media. Even now as I listen to WURD Radio (streaming) I wonder what more they can do in light of the stage that they are on. 

I hear a lot of references towards Facebook, they give all kinds of Coronavirus information and a lot of Philadelphia news. There is nothing bad about WURD, I am just amazed at how little information on WURD is out there. If we see the digital media, I feared a tidal wave of information drowning me, that is not the case. So as I listen to Solomon Jones, I wonder just  how much more could be done, let’s face it, if black lives truly matter, then they need a voice box that is a lot larger than we are now seeing. Not the people screaming ‘black lives matter’, but voices that inform all others that they matter and that part is not out there. WURD is merely one station in a stage where there would be at least one station per state. And there are a lot more, via Google using “black radio stations US” I find 31 stations, so there is a lot more and whilst I get the news on a young man who gets a whole clip (14 bullets) in his body, I get it that they are talking about it. From my personal experience I know that 1 bullet stops a person, the second shot kills that person. In keeping a community safe we need to see that a lot of questions need to be asked, but at present the mood is too hot and too emotional to see any progress, but questions need to be asked. I personally believe that a clear voice needs to be available. In all this the voice of Solomon Jones comes across clearly. So why does the BBC article have merely 34 words with a less than 3 minute video? This is what I see as evidence. 

In all this it did not need to be merely about WURD, although I must admit that they bring it nicely. And it is here that I notice the first improvement. When you seek a station and you find it, Google gives the low down on the right side, yet if EVERY station found would have a stream button right there, it would optionally become a first step in improving and increasing the visibility of every station. In this stage of globalisation, being able to listen to a local station is actually more important than you could ever imagine. And it is at this point that the video shows the gem it has at the near end: “Media Institutions are in some way cultural institutions”, when we realise that and we wonder how big business has gotten a grasp of strangling budgets to kill of cultural aspects we see a much larger failure, if the Gates Foundation is so close to bringing good, then the idea of them bringing a million dollars a year for every State in advertisement money to these stations, is not a big request, let’s face it paying for advertisements makes sense, and before it is dwindled down to the presentation that digital media is cheaper, wonder how much print advertisement is used, is it such a leap to give these rural and local media stations some of these dollars? Oh, and it is not merely Microsoft or the Gates Foundation, I reckon that it is in the interest of the entire FAANG group to dwindle some dollars in that direction. 

We might believe that it is all cultural and we get it, but culture needs fuel, if it is not fed, it dies, the formula is that simple and as we see the results in the US, we see what anger does when it lacks culture to give wisdom to those in anger, a person who has nothing to live for is the most dangerous man in the game, perhaps that is why a young boy got 14 bullets, it makes us wonder how desperate and how uncertain the person was that was shooting the young black man.

Even as the BBC gave light to WURD, I see that a lot more should have been done.If it was up to me, the video (the entirety) would be part of a 10-20 minute video on local news and how it could optionally temper and improve lives, not merely black lives, but all lives. We all want to see the a better world where all people have a place and optionally a place where they can voice concerns, it is (my personal believe) that larger business enterprises see that as a hindrance to their bottom line and that is the biggest evil, that is why the FAANG group needs to be involved, if the biggest firms become a shield the others will stop their game and we see will over time see a better answer to the one that the 1996 Telecommunications Act seemingly brought.

 

 

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Multiple rulers

We have a ruler at times. A ruler so we can see whether the size measures up to the setting we held ourselves to, and a size to what we hold others. We are all like that, and sometimes we use more than one, it is almost like we set a standard metrical and then another one to get the inch setting. There is one stage we avoid; not on purpose, but the stage we set because we did not think of it. That is the stage that I found myself in this weekend. Anyone who has a Playstation 4 (or better) has either been playing the Last of us part 2, or has been contemplating playing it. There might be the smallest group that did not (and that is fair) but that group is really really small. It started in 2013, a (small) player named naughty dog, famous for Crash Bandicoot and a few other titles, had an idea and made that game, that game was titled The last of us, we might not have realised it at the time but gaming history was written that very moment. They made the game that heralded the end of the Playstation 3 on a high. The game was graphically, musically and technically at the very top of gaming, do not take my word for it, the game got over 200 game of the year awards, which is a record by itself, so when it was remastered for the Playstation 4, I did not hesitate to get it, now there is the second part and what I have seen so far is blowing my mind (again). It als gave me the idea to come up with the two ruler rule. So far the only three passing that standard are Naughty Dog, CD Project Red and Bethesda. This does not mean that others are not good, some are great. Yet to fit this measurement you need to be better than the best. I believe that those makers could have turned their game into a movie and it would be as groundbreaking and as appreciated as the game. As I see it CD Project Red did that by getting the Netflix the Witcher made. OK, they cheated by getting Superman to play the lead, but still they got it done and it is every bit as amazing as the game was. Excellence is transcendental (or so I believe) and I feel certain that the Last of US (both 1 and 2) would make amazing movies/mini series. I played part 2 to some extent and then I remembered (I thought back to the first one) and I decided to play it again. Even now, 7 years later, the first game is as overwhelming as any new game is, yes, the second one surpasseds the first one by a fair bit, but both of them leave most others in their wake, the games are that good. This is not bad for the others, there will always be rocksteady, there will always be rockstar and they will endear the gamers in their own way, there is no doubt about it, yet when we see the bullet point memo people at EA and Ubisoft, they are done for. The few franchises they hide behind will not help them, even now, their games at 70%-80% reduced rate are a debatable buy and that is not a good place to be in. When a two billion company like Ubisoft gets passed over by what some regards as small studios, we need to realise that gaming has been on the fringe of technology since the 80’s. Some people decided to give the thought that gaming too is iteration (like every year an Assassins Creed game), some exploited other means, some good and some bad, and before some think that Ubisoft is all bad, they did bring us Assassins Creed 2 (and brotherhood), Far Cry 3, AC Origins, Watchdog 2, The Division and a few others, when we look past the iteration, we see that they make good games, if only they were properly tested and vetted before release, it is the largest flaw that Ubisoft brings us today. And it is getting noticed more and more as we take notice of games like The Witcher and The Last of Us. Wecan add games like Elite Dangerous and Subnautica and the remastered edition of System Shock (hopefully 2020), we see that the original ideas are still there and they are wiping the floor with the iterative wannabe’s. You see the stage is changing and gamers are not completely aware.

We see the created hypes and we see how Microsoft is hiding behind the marketing cry ‘the most powerful system in the world’, yet they got defeated by the weakest system of them all (Nintendo Switch) and as Microsoft hides behind the hype screen we are all missing the larger point. As 4K gaming hits the front yard of many gamers this holiday season, they tend to forget that the games will be twice the size and so will the patches. In this situation consider that in places like Greece and Turkey a Ubisoft patch will take up to a day (estimated), a day per game downloading a patch. The UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Italy and a few others have better connections, yet in these places in Rural areas their internet is not great, so the long term view of the approach that they are currently holding is that they will not be in a great place. Yes, France, Spain and Scandinavia the connection is well above decent, yet is that the same in rural areas? In France it is not and I just set the pulse point on millions of gamers who will be in an extremely agitated state soon enough, yet not if Ubisoft continues as it currently is. And we need to review that too. A game might seem amazing, yet in the 4K life, patches will be increasingly larger and larger. So what do you think will happen when a patch is not 38 GB, but 70 GB? How long until gamers lose their shit over this, because the second time it happens might already be enough for the gamer to demand a refund, and with some places having the 7 day purchase option in place, that cooldown will be enough to end the lifespan of places like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Activision. Yes, I get it, others will be in a similar place, but consider keeping a list of all your games and all the patches that come through, who will win the patch race agitation list? 

Yes, we get it Bethesda will also be in a bad place, yet RPG games like Skyrim are too great and will always have patches coming their way, yet overall when I look back at the games like Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout 4 the amount of patches have not been overwhelming. As I see it one breakpoint patch has had more to download then the sum of nearly all Bethesda games, that is the station we see, yet we forget that the station we face is nothing more than a small way station, the stations we are about to hit are proper terminals with larger needs. We need to measure what was and what will be to a much larger extent and use two rulers, the size of the game and the size of the patches, whilst we tally the number of patches. Breakpoint was regarded by gamers as the most disappointing game of 2019, 38GB of patches later and it is still up for debate, as I see it, they no longer have any freedom of movement, gaming will change but not in their direction, the games will need to be better and their infrastructure is not ready, the patch notes give a clear indication of that. So yes, we will see a console war, but we will see a lot more than that. Santa Monica Studios, Naughty Dog and a few others are ready and they make Playstation games. The people at Microsoft are not ready for the issues that sme games bring and their Azure cloud is useless at this stage, it is about innovative gaming, the iterative clowns have no place being here. We are about to see a console war and Microsoft could soon end up in 4th position, so when we consider the big three, who else will surpass them? Their marketing hype of the most powerful console for sale, and they forgot that they still needed good games to stay in that place, with less than half a dozen exclusive games, the pickings are slim for Microsoft, to see that you needed an additional ruler, a different stage of measuring. Just like the measurement of power, there are two ways of measuring it, all whilst the elements for both formulas were readily available, too many players were looking at one formula and forgot about the other one, and that is what the limelight will show at the end of the year and when that limelight shows bright, we will see that some players are done for, one ruler would not have shown it, they all focussed on the revenue and they forgot that revenue is hindered by the resistance that patches bring, these players forgot or basically ignored the danger of large patches and now that they are 26 weeks away from a new standard these players will panic, they will panic more and more and let marketing do the fight of the public arena all whilst it will merely stop activities for a few days and some patches required months. Now, we accept that both Sony and Microsoft have that house of Pox looming, but as I see it, Sony has more alternatives and in this fight, the one with alternatives is the most likely to win. In all this there is strength to any marketing endeavour, but its flaws are there too and once your board of directors start to earnestly believe the stories they tell, they have already painted themselves into a corner. 

 

 

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Murdering innovation

It started with the BBC about 30 minutes ago, 30 minutes after they released ‘Amazon v EU: Has the online giant met his match’, the title intrigued me and anyone who wants to go after Bezos and his haircut is allowed to do so, yet the EU tends to not care about anyone’s haircut, so I decided to have a calm read of it. 

Certain things made sense, yet a much larger part does not anto illustrate it, I start with a quote on the article: “The EU now looks set to charge Amazon for anti-competitive behaviour. This could cost Amazon a lot of money and could alter the shopping experience it offers customers.” To understand this I need to take you on a little time trip, my initial stage of Amazon was seen in 1994, I heard of it in its beginning and to me Amazon made no sense. You see, I grew up in the Netherlands, and for the most, any shop, in any retail area was never more than a hour away, optionally up to 2 hours if it was an exotic item (weapons, drugs) I had access to most items ever needed, as such Amazon made no sense at all. In 1997 I visited the US for the first time and Amazon started making sense. You see there are massive differences between the US and EU in certain ways and most people in the EU might not have gotten it. Amazon was an innovative player and came up and matured a retail direction. So when we get  EU’s competition enforcer Margrethe Vestager stating “We never accept in a football match that one team was also judging the game”, I merely wonder what her game is. And the setting of anti-competition law makes no sense. It makes no sense, because for close to 25 years others refused to go into the Amazon direction, as they remained in denial of what could happen. They remained in denial because they were iterative and small minded, they want the technology of others to come to them for free. And that is a thought that murders innovation. We see it in almost every area of technology. I worked for a company that stopped Facebook innovation 4 years before Facebook was created. Bullet point spreadsheet users who rely on the mission statement and the bottom dollar. They are left on the sidelines guarding iterative traffic. They feel that their option grants them more personal wealth. Now, anyone who has read my blog knows that I am no Jeff Bezos fan, but this he got right and the entire Covid-19 issue worked for him and now the champions of iteration (like EU’s competition enforcer Margrethe Vestager) are setting up shop to murder innovation a little more. You see the others now want the Amazon system for free, they want to enjoy the decades they were not working on innovation and merely (optionally) fucking their mistress whilst they claimed they were hard at work guiding their commision like it was a taxi meter. 

When I gave the stage of setting tax laws properly in 1998, people accused me that it was too complex and nothing was done, now that these firms are raking in the billions, those same people are staring at the sky stating that there was nothing they could do, but they merely ignore their own inactions.

Yet the larger concern is the stage that erupts when we see “It runs an online store and also sells its own products on that platform. The criticism is, that it’s both the player and the referee.” Yes, Google and Amazon innovated retail traffic, after the Netscape issues Microsoft hid in the IE cloud they created and IBM never showed interest, they merely did their own less profitable thing and now they want to push in on a market that had evolved for well over a decade and does fine without them. Microsoft came up with Bing a decade after Google and still has no proper way to set the algorithm for ranking, and misses out on a decade of data, which is how I see it. IBM has its own innovation (Quantum computing) and is still 2-5 years away from innovating that field, the rest of them are innovation candle holders at best. 

Yet I cannot completely ignore that the EU has optionally a case to bring, yet their own inadequacies regarding the mapping of the other players that never showed any interest in innovating the field Amazon is in is also food for thought. Those iterative players that will only step in on the second tier after the innovator has proven their case, how is there any level of fairness to give them the playing field? 

So when we see: “is the company using that data to give Amazon’s own products an unfair advantage?” I cannot completely disagree, yet the larger issue is that Amazon created a level of data collection that other data dogs refused to bark at. Now we all can agree that not every retail shop can wield such data and they should not get hit, yet this stage that Amazon has was in the UK going on for a long time via Dunnhumby did for Tesco and in The Netherlands it was Albert Heijn (et al) and their Air Miles. If you go after one, you need to go after all and that is not happening is it? Yet there is a size difference, but none of them came with an overlay of algorithm and made sense of it, they all wanted their own little corner, the innovation of Amazon was larger than that and everyone was in that selfish stage until they all learned (the hard way) that their way was the losing one. 

In all this Amazon is not completely innocent, yet that does not mean that they are guilty. The question we see: “But does Amazon unfairly promote its own products at the expense of third parties?” is woefully incomplete. The issue (just like with Google) is not on what is offered, but what EXACTLY did the searcher ask for? It is a huge part in all this and it is left on the sidelines, optionally intentionally and that hurts, because in all this the central side is not the sellers, or the implied sellers, what did the buyer exactly ask for and that matters, especially in the case of Amazon. The buyer did not ask for “A western where we see Talulah Riley naked with loads of added violence in the highest resolution”, they asked for “Westworld season 2 bluray”, and those two searches are not the same. We can come up with a lot more examples, but I hope that the point comes across. We forget that the largest issue is what the buyer seeks and the bulk want the latest products, they want the ones that ship immediately and can we honestly say that the founding setting of the product sought has all the elements in place (like shipping and overnight shipping options) are these elements properly set to those other sellers? You see, the backwash on what is optionally possible is one thing, the fact that these shops set up the parameters of what can be done in comparison of what is done are two different universes. 

For example, I cannot get to ‘there’ from ‘here’ in Google maps. These two locations are not defined, so when someone is looking at the Sombrero galaxy, it does not mean that there is a path getting there. 

It is the innuendo and the missing elements that make some strike out, optionally murdering innovation. Whilst we see: “The general defence is that there are plenty of companies that act as both a shop and supplier. Tesco and Sainsbury’s both sell their own labelled products in their stores, for example.” a setting duplicated in NEARLY EVERY OTHER country. Pretty much every supermarket chain has that setting, and it is ignored, because they are ‘too small’. I believe that the stage is different, as I stated, the others refused to adhere to the needs of the seeker, the consumer. As such they are out of the online game and that part is surprisingly overlooked. It is not the business of Amazon (or Google for that matter) to fill in the blanks, if Bing does that, perhaps it might have a future to some. 

It is our task to protect innovation, there is too little of it (not what a marketing manager claims is innovation, but actual innovation) if we do not, we merely end up fuelling the EU gravy train and those people need to focus on actual issues, not their gravy train. In this I am not stating that Amazon is completely innocent, I am merely stating that there are a few sides that some people left in the dark. To illustrate this I entered “buy arkham knight ps4”, the results in Bing and Google are very different, bing seems to be all about ebay, that same search in Google and Amazon give a much better result, they gave me what I was looking for. I personally was not looking for ebay options, yet was that part of the equation given? 

The buyer is the larger part in all this and most screamers forgot about that part.

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Donkey Balls!

The explanation is actually almost too simple, I am writing this whilst I am rewatching the Expanse on Bluray (thanks to the awesome sale JB Hifi had 3 weeks ago). I was watching and browsing whilst I got exposed to ‘Media rules must help news providers harness digital platforms’ value’, the link was on LinkedIn and came from Facebook. I do not disagree with the setting, but the entire issue is much larger and has traps on a few levels. That issue is a little less complicated when we consider the news on the daily mail where we see ‘Top Facebook exec says it DID help Donald Trump win but only because ‘he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen. Period.’ And NOT because of Russia’, the claim was apparantly made by Andrew Bosworth and it was in the Daily Mail on January 8th. It is not the claim that is the issue, it is the linked advertisements that the viewer gets. I ended up with advertisements by Telstra and Microsoft. Now, there was nothing wrong with that, yet if I had not clicked on the story, the advertisements would not have come. That is the issue, even newsmakers need to rely on clicks and there is the first issue. Basically the (short) story has the following 2nd headlines:

  • Andrew Bosworth is a longtime senior Facebook executive and confidant of Mark Zuckerberg
  • Bosworth wrote a 2,500 word memo shared internally with Facebook employees that was published on December 30
  • He claimed the Cambridge Analytica scandal was a ‘non-event’ and admitted the Russians did manipulate the U.S. election
  • Bosworth also essentially branded criticism of the company as fake news because the press ‘often gets so many details wrong’ 
  • The memo was initially leaked to the New York Times on Tuesday before the top executive published it in full on his public Facebook account 

5 times to get the clicks, 5 times to get advertisements and the news channels are in the setting to get CLICKS, making the quality of news debatable and there is the larger issue. When the news becomes a commercial vessel, how can it be trusted?

SO when I looked at the news (according to the Sydney Morning Herald) we get: “It would allow news publishers and digital platforms that distribute news to continue building on existing commercial arrangements, and support the development of a Digital News Council to advance cross-industry collaboration. It would also encourage more transparency for significant changes to the ranking of news content in News Feed and guarantee to publishers we’ll continue to share measurement data on how their content performs on Facebook as well as insights on their audiences, without sharing personal user information.” Here I see that there are optional ‘agreements’ on the sharing of revenue (which I do not debate, or wonder whether that is wrong), yet I do wonder about who has the stronger pull. Revenue based decisions, or news quality decisions and the ambiguity of it deepens the innate mistrust in me and the mistrust of the optional news that it breeds. So the quote “It would allow news publishers and digital platforms that distribute news to continue building on existing commercial arrangements” sets the steps for commercially inclined news, not neutral based and news baked news. It ends up not getting the clicks and that is the larger problem. The digital problem is that there needs to be space for news to set the parameters, yet the click is what gets the revenue and they tend to be on opposite sides of coins of different currency. Better stated was the Expanse response, which was ‘It really is Donkey balls’, the settings a larger one and those relying on click based revenue would not be interested in slaughtering the goose with the golden egg and I get that. But we need to move the news into another stage of the media, now making it revenue based, all whilst those participating should require to pay these newsagents something, it was their material used.

So whether we accept that the previous elections used a much better digital profile, we need to take the news out of it, and give them their own digital channel, not set to a click based system. It requires new levels of innovation on digital media and we all better accept that fast. 

What is the solution?

I actually do not know, but in part it will be creating awareness with the people, they need to realise that they are part of that problem, they are the inquisitive types and usually that is not a problem, yet the push the click based activities forward and at the point they become part of the problem. As I see it, the news might be part of social media, yet they should not be part of the click based equation and until the news starts realising that, as well as the fact that their shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers are part of the problem and not part of the solution, this issue will continue.

So those who have seen the Expanse season three and know that the initial weapon was something more might realise that in the digital media that click is the something more towards a weapon, all thanks to the shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers. We need a much larger change and until cash is taken out of the equation it cannot continue, yet that too is a dicey position, because the news has every right to cash in on materials they created. We cannot ignore that part of the equation.

 

 

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To knowingly intentionally ignore

There is a state in any person’s mind to ignore anything that does not fit the need of the receiver. This is not a bad thing (at times), and we can ignore all we can, yet to deceive ourselves that it does not exist is another matter. 

To look at the station we need to look at the consideration of two settings. The first is ‘an organized effort to gather information about targer markets or customers’ this is the foundation of market research. After this we consider the second part, which is ‘the process or set of processes that links the producers, customers, and end users to the marketer through information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems’, as I personally see it, some do not see the difference (or ignore that there is one), or as I would imply, to knowingly use one as the other. The first difference is the population. In market research we investigate a population and we set our hypothesis based on the station of it. We dabble, we slice and dice this population, and we draw conclusions. The problem is that some hide behind the slicing and dicing, calling it the arbitrary process. For the most I have no issues with it, or better stated I do not care one hoot about some of these analysts. Yet lately I see the impact of decisions and business processes and I wonder if the people accepting the marketing stories whether they are in the dark, they do not care or if they are clueless. 

It started with Microsoft, then Ubisoft, after that there was a stage at Apple as well as a stint in the US administration. All acts based on what some would call ‘a market research into the people and the impact of view’ yet it seems like the marketing research of passing a bitter pill to the extent of surviving the action. That is clearly how it feels and the first act on my side was remembering a previous conversation, a conversation I had roughly 20 years ago. The premise was that a board was cutting expenses and setting the stage of having the environment where they stopped getting a 90% approval on their product and settling on an 80% approval. It is a dangerous and slippery slide. Yes it seems cheaper and it might in the beginning be cheaper, yet the station as we see it is dangerous as the degrees of freedom diminish (intended pun). As a product drills down in different areas, the 10% shift implies that on three fields the danger grows that the overall approval rate is optionally down to 60%, especially if the 20% missed rate hits any consumer 3 times. This is where Ubisot is at present and that is where Microsoft was in the last few years. In that stage we see “to develop technology that will enable them to stream games to whatever piece of tech a person is holding – be that a smartphone, console, or something yet to be invented”. It is the Ubisoft statement and that is fine, yet with the testing and inadequate versions over the last two years alone gives the consumer (the player) a much larger lag, especially when these players are only relatively happy and get hit again and again with downloads that tend to exceed 20 GB, how long until the player has had enough?

It is nice to drill down unto a group of satisfied players, yet the larger issue is that the non players are too often disregarded making the story told one that is largely built onto a shallow base of shifty sands. My view is supported by one small detail, as the PS5 was viewed, we saw an absence of Ubisoft games, the station of that 20% is now growing is it not? One of the largest software makers in history had no business not being present at this Sony show, whether they are going forward on both systems or not. It seems to me that this is not a small part, this is a much larger part and it seems to me that the predictions that I gave last year is slowly coming to fruition. 

Could I be wrong?

Absolutely! I cannot state that there is certainty, that would be short sighted on my side, but the symptoms are there, the lack of excellent gaming, dozens of updates that are several GB in size, there is a lack of testing there is a lack of listening to the gamers and the ones setting the stage of listening are rolling the dice which they optionally loaded themselves. They look better that way, yet the consequences for Ubisoft seem better, until the gamers move away, when you set the stage of a non-assassins creed game to call it that, something they did once before, the stage changes. Even as we were given last year “Ubisoft didn’t provide numbers, but said that it had made a “sharp downward revision” in the revenues expected from both games, which it blamed on a failure to differentiate Breakpoint from its predecessor, an overall lack of interest in sequels to live games, and excess bugs for the game’s failure.” (source: PC Gamer) There are two parts in this, the first is that the game sucks, the basic failures seen only yesterday by myself give a larger rise to that Ubisoft has much larger issues at present. The fact that I ended up with the game at 20% of the full price only 6 months ago, and the fact that to start the game I needed a 38GB patch shows that the issues are close to massive. It is not ‘to differentiate’, but to ‘properly code’ a game that is at the core of it all. The difference of Market research where Ubisoft investigates their game against ALL gamers, to a stage of Marketing research where Ubisoft merely investigates the Ubisoft players is part of that optional setting. When anyone hides behind the message and not behind the quality of product, we have a much larger issue and in the next console war, it would optionally set the deck to a very different stage. 

This is not about Ubisoft, Apple and Microsoft have shown similar failings for too long, and the stage where the US administration is in shows similar flaws, even as it is not a product, trust is, and it is faltering on several levels in the US. We can blame several stages in this, but it is not the blame, it is the investigation into the analysts and the conclusions drawn seems to be a much larger stage of marketing research, not market research. One optional stage is the way evidence is rejected and optionally completely ignored. We might look at the Coronavirus, it is not the point, that element merely brought it to the surface faster. Huawei is the first one that matters, no evidence was ever brought to light, it shows a stgs where the US is close to economic collapse, at that stage we see the greed driven marketing research where the actions are at disposal to the US assets, not the US citizens. This matters because it shows that the slicing and dicing of data is not getting the attention it is due, it is happening on corporate and political levels and elements like ‘How Austin Tech Is Democratizing Data’ might seem nice in theory, yet the larger issue is that some views are now seemingly solely supported by the topline makers, not actual academics with the education required to make some conclusions based on data, not the presented views that those in charge of governments and corporations would like it to be. So when we learn that “Imagine business analysts, marketing teams and even the C-suite having the power to interpret data without the help of the entire IT department”,consider that we are now in a phase where those who have are about to decide the fate of those who have not and those people are in for a massive rough ride, or so they believe. When we see the corporate players like Ubisoft and Microsoft folding on strategies as they lose larger and larger market shares, we will see destabilisation of a much larger degree and there the game is up for grabs. Even as some resorted to terms like data democratization, it is a much older principle, it is the discrimination between those who matter to some, against those who do not. Corporations will find out the hard way what their choice brings them, in politics it is a different story and the impact there is nowhere to be seen. We cannot predict it until it is too late and there I expect (or is it dare I expect?), is the stage larger, even as places like YouTube is flooded in some positive light, the negative impact is much larger. The US riots are merely a consequence to part of what happens in data, it is not the cause but there will be much larger and much more defining then we ever expected, the problem there is that after the fact, repairing damage is close to impossible. You see it is not ownership of data, it is the fact that decisions are made on a level where too much data is disregarded. Hiding behind entrepreneurial action is close to a farce. The largest danger of misinterpretation and as the sources are less and less trustworthy and that is disregarding any ethical consideration, or to make it slightly more simple, as data democratization moves forward, the essential part of comprehensive information will be filtered and optionally disregarded too often, a such a full view is not available, implying that the decision makers are merely looking at a limited scope and consider that action when it is done by a billion Euro company. 

We are only seeing this because the surrounding scope was pushed to the forefront, as such those reacting are doing it too late having to disregard increasingly larger consumer markets. When was the last time that such an action was an actual benefit to that company?

 

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Playing the fifth station

I am watching what is to come and even as the first part was not my bag of tea, the New Spiderman game definitely was, a new Gran Turismo and now I stop with shouting titles, a lot more publications will do that. What was interesting was the response the game makers had (the man behind Insomniac games to name one), the additions that the PS5 enabled, and so far I am watching actual gameplay and it is blowing me away. The presentation is giving new titles from franchises we love and new titles from origins we never saw and so far it is pretty mind boggling, but Sony is pretty good in that respect, so I am not overly dumbstruck, yet the graphics and the environment as we see it in the game Stray leaves me with thought, Sony, not unlike Microsoft is going in a direction we expect, as such I see a gap that players like Apple and Google can touch on. Sony has well over half a dozen exclusive titles that players want, and there we see the first part that I sort of expected. We see the exclusive and the likely less exclusive games, yet after 30 minutes still nothing from Ubisoft. I am certain that Ubisoft will be on the PS5, no doubt, but the stage where the small software houses are taking the limelight and sharing it with Sony shows just how bad the stage of Ubisoft is at present. Then we get to see Ghostwire, a game teased before, now we see it on the PS5 and this game alone is reason to get the PS5, and even as it is not the most expected game, it is certainly taking the limelight and that is a new feeling. When we see what comes with Hitman 3 I feel certain that no Microsoft Hype has a chance at present, I am cautious because their show a few years back was really good, but they have to take all the stops out to even equal what Sony is bringing. And that is important here as Hitman is most likely coming to both systems. With a lot of titles handing out the Holiday 2020, the expected image that PS5 will come with an overwhelming amount of launch titles (or first month titles). At the end of the presentation it is clear, there is no Ubisoft, they are in trouble, because there is no way that they want to miss the event, Bethesda was there with 2 titles, so why not Ubisoft? 85 minutes after the start, we get the power hammer, Eloy is back and what we see on PS5 blew me away, Horizon 2, Forbidden West is a PS5 Gem andI can’t wait to get my fingers on this console, which was shown right after, it is gorgeous, you should see the video on YouTube yourself and see what is there, words cannot describe it. No matter how some Microsoft fans shout that their system is the biggest and the strongest, without good games it does not add up to much, so far they are 3 million systems behind Nintendo and that is not all, 4 reviewers were completely blown away, it is that overwhelming and most of us will be waiting with bells on for the next 20 weeks. 

Sony, you’ve done it again!

 

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Between fact and speculation

There are two parts in all this. The first is fact, the second is speculation, the facts come from what we know and have seen. First fact given by the BBC is that the PS4 has so far sold 108 million worldwide, the Xbox 49 million, which is 3 million less than the Nintendo Switch, The PS4 and Xbox both started in 2012. The Nintendo in 2017, surpassing the Xbox in half the time. As such, that so-called strongest console was surpassed by the weakest console and in 4 hours we get to see what the new PS, the PS5 will bring us. In all this there is no surprise for me, I saw this coming in 2016, and as the Xbox One X showed us the face of Microsoft and their short sightedness, I saw how they would lose the market more and more, even as Microsoft is trying to create hype after hype, selectively giving us missing information, the consumers are waking up to the colossal error that Microsoft has become and I firmly believe that it is about to get worse. If it was up to me I would direct Google and Apple towards alternative paths making Microsoft the system in 4th or even 5th position. I am that mean at times. 

Speculation

Speculation is another path, yet that is not about the hardware, that is set to the business practices of Activision and Ubisoft. To give you the example, I have been an Elite fan since its release in 1985, In 2016 it was on early release on the Xbox and it was pretty much the ONLY reason I got it. The game is still fantastic and since that point, over 3 years, the game has had a speculated 53 updates, the last one 3.4 GB, Ubisoft released AC Odyssey in 2018 and has a speculative 54updates, the last one 24 GB, almost 800% of the Elite Dangerous one. Activision seems to have a new record, Call of Duty has seemingly a 85 GB patch. That is way too massive and games on the PS5 will end up being larger, a lot larger. Under that given situation, the entire patch system needs to change. Ubisoft especially (Breakpoint 38 GB, AC Odyssey 2 GB) is a setting that gamers will no longer accept, it is a little bit ridiculous that Ubisoft cannot properly test its games. The AC series especially has shown a lack of proper testing, yet that will dwarf in both the PS5 and Xbox X series life. Under the new setting, the makers can hide behind ‘everyone has broadband’ and ‘there is unlimited download’, yet it is clear that rural Germany and France are not on the big internet page and the entire Coronavirus work at home part with congestion all over the place, in the same setting whilst players like Netflix is pushing 4K series more and more, the entire mess of congestion will only increase. Players like Ubisoft will not survive the quality they have brought so far and there is no doubt in my mind that both Sony and Microsoft will have to protect their player sooner rather than later. This is the speculative part and we will hopefully learn more in 4 hours when Sony gives us the works on the release of the PS5. The time of  release is nearing more and more. As I see it, it is a mere 22 weeks away and some will have to save up for both a 4K 125Hz TV as well as the PS5. As I see it, Sony is extremely likely to have a massively great 2020 soon enough and an even better 2021. None of this matters to Nintendo, it will work great on the new TV and they have already surpassed Microsoft, who will need the largest part of 2021 just to break even with the weakest console. They are not in a good place and whatever hype they create, it will not look good, yet that is still speculative of me and I hope to be proven right no later than March 2021. 

Gaming is about to change and we are only hours away from seeing it ourselves. 

 

 

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Not the Country

Yes the day is growing dimmer and here I am daydreaming towards June 1st, the first day of winter in Australia. Yes, here we are considering the cold and in that stage the news made me rewatch Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece Brazil. Thank god for Bluray at times. I saw the initial release in the cinema 35 years ago, it was an amazing piece of work and it adds up, it was never judged ‘relevant’ in the US, yet 20 years later it was as a cult movie judged as the 54th greatest British film of all time. In 2017 Time Out magazine saw it ranked as the 24th best British films ever. I always wondered how Robert DeNiro saw his role in this work. Yet let’s get back to the beginning where the bulk (mostly Americans)saw it as a not to be considered as a relevant piece of work and that is where we get to today’s BBC who gives us ‘Microsoft to replace journalists with robots’ , in light there we see “I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs – now it’s taken mine” yet the cornerstone here is that AI actually does not (yet) exist. We (experts too) seem to rely on the setting that AI is the field where “machines mimic cognitive functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as learning and ‘problem solving”, they currently cant, they merely follow a guidance path to make decisions yet new materials are not learned, it is added in scripts and data. New decision data is not added by the computer, it takes human interference, which means that any reference missed will be a larger failing in the AI and this is merely the beginning. The problem here is that the decision makers wont make any as such the AI field will be falling to a much larger degree. 

And now we see that Microsoft is relying on a field that does not really exist. The problem is not the delusion we observe, the problem is that they set a stage of optional scripting and machine learning as the default towards what is AI and AI is actually a lot larger. As such they will miss opportunity after opportunity, optionally we might see that the Toyota Isis, a large seven seater CVT automatic will not be found on Bing as it is terrorist equipment. And that is when we look at it with the funny glasses. The real danger is misalignment of different information, and that is merely a first. McKinsey and Company gave us in 2018 issues like: ‘Economies stand to benefit AI, through increased productivity and innovation’, so whose innovation? Which increased productivity? Is reality part of that situation? McKinsey (and company) seem to paint it as “Even in the near term, productivity growth has been sluggish in developed economies, dropping to an average of 0.5% in 2010-2014 from 2.4% a decade earlier in theUS and major European economies. Much like previous general-purpose technologies, AI has the potential to contribute to productivity growth” How exactly?  We see some conceptual babble, yet the direct impact is not there. Will shoes be sold quicker? Will there be more laptops sold? Not really, the consumers are not there, as such it is a machine that services no one. And since October 2018 there has not been much change. The difference between expected and factual is not a small leap, it is the size of the Grand Canyon. 

The promise of something that represents AI is still years away, but Microsoft is already laying off its journalists. I wonder whether this is about AI or about the setting of what some should not be doing. Just like President Trump who states that the WHO is no longer to be paid for all kinds of reasons, yet might it be possible that the US cannot pay the bill? It is merely $25,000,000,000,000 in debt. And that was before the riots and all these companies folding. Even now that the G7is seen as ‘outdated’ and other invitations are handed out, the stage is not the G7, the stage is that this would be about results and the new invitations will make the meeting, an expensive meeting about meeting and greeting larger economies and ‘their’ face value. So whilst we see the G7, the G8, the G20 and all these meetings, none of them are about stopping the US (and Japanese) debt. In all this, the people in the movie Brazil are getting the better deal here. We are heading to a cliff and there is no coming back from that. The Fiscal cliff that is and as we relabel things and call them other things and waste meeting after meeting on how to call things, things are not getting solved. I wonder if Russia, China and India are in similar stages. In all this there is a much larger game in play. It is a stage where I do not feel like Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) fighting a machine, I am nothing more than Mr. Archibald Buttle (Brian Miller) getting thrown from system to system on a mere typo, and that was without the AI that some call AI and is not AI, I reckon things will go increasingly worse for some soon enough. In this I wonder if the US will be around to see it happen, the riots are pretty interesting, the fact that the US police officers are holding international journalists at gunpoint is a first indicator that their centre is rather unlikely to hold. If you want to see just how weird the world could become, watch Brazil and see just how amazing this piece of work is, and lets not forget, this movie was made in 1985, 35 years before the insanity truck was driving around.

 

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