Tag Archives: Netflix

We’ve seen it all before

That was the thought I got stuck with when I was looking at The Disappointments Room, a movie with Kate Beckinsale, shortly after I stopped watching it. Now, this was not the fault of anyone, not her (watching her is as pleasing to the eye as watching a Rembrandt), not the director, the lighting, the camera work, it was all high end good, yet the issue for me remains, I have seen at least 15,000 movies, so there is an issue with me watching more movies. Lately I have been taking notice of that, and with Kate who made her debut in Much Ado about Nothing (1993), a small part I had actually forgotten about, I remember the movie well. Implies that there is a sliding scale ahead for me and I am not happy.

There are still happy moments too, I loved Earthquake bird and was amazed that Alicia Vikander was so great at Japanese pronunciation, apart from that (and the fact that Lara married a Ubisoft character, LOL) made it an interesting ride, that is all before that the movie is one hell of a psychological drama, that includes some level of triangle relationship is pretty awesome, the fact that it plays in Japan is merely a plus for many (including me). That entire movie was an interesting one, we had all seen it before, but as we experience the setting, we see a movie, one that is for the most totally new, and there is a point where I wonder how the makers Wash Westmoreland and Susanna Jones pulled it off.

Was it all about Japan, was it Alicia in Japanese surrounding, or was it that for the most the movie was not laced in a sexual setting, there are 1-2 screens, but they seem to make sense as this was the relationship between two people. Yet in all that, the entire Japanese setting is overwhelming and we look around as we notice more and more differences, but what set it off? I believe that the script was a big part of it, but all movies have to face that, so what made this movie different, why did I not have the ‘We’ve seen it all before‘ feeling? I think it is important, as we are all running to the next Marvel movie, a remake of Charlie’s Angels or a Ford v Ferrari movie, I wonder what we will get next year, because it is becoming slim pickings for anyone who grew up being a movie fan. There are movie makers who are a given, people like Ridley Scott, who seem to be answering questions in the movies as they make the movies, a lot has been done before and some movie makers seem to distinguish themselves in that way, but the scary question for me remains, what comes next? Oh, I believe that we will see plenty of fine productions, but the overwhelming feeling that I have is that the ‘We’ve seen it all before‘ will return and that saddens me a little because it will not be the fault of the maker, or the actors or the actresses. It resides in me and all the movies I have already seen, that is the part that saddens me and it is laced in another part as well.

When we watched a movie (in a far distant past in this galaxy), my grandmother would comment on ‘How she had already seen that movie‘ whilst I was in the frame of mind that the movie was new, yet she was proven right again and again as these were remakes, it is nice to be in the first viewing of a remake, but I got old enough to have seen the original of whatever movie was re-released in the last 5 years so it is a little less fun for me now.

For me this is like watching the Female Ghostbusters, or the real live Aladdin, both movies have one setback, the original was pretty darn good, in the original Ghostbusters, we got to see special effects that until a few years ago no one surpassed, in addition to it all it was a great fun film to see, so the female version had a different ghost to fend off, and they were unable to, we kept comparing to the original, Will Smith faced that and worse in Aladdin, he had to fight of the ghost of Robin Williams, in addition Disney had taken the voice section to the next level and we all still remember Gilbert Gottfried as Iago, it is hard to fight off those ghosts, especially when the current generation still remembers them so well. It was different for Oceans 8, yes it was all female, yes it was linked to Danny Ocean (George Clooney) but that was it and the theft of a $150,000,000 necklace was truly next level shit (to coin a phrase) and I am avoiding all kinds of twists that the movie has, you have to see them for yourself, and James Corden was not a twist, the man really can act ;), and the ladies in the movie set out to plan a great heist.

To think back, I really have no idea who at Disney was stupid enough to invest and to allow the entire real live version of Aladdin to proceed decades too early. Although that is merely my thought on the matter, the movie did become a billion dollar plus movie, so there is that too. For me next year, I am worried about the Grudge, an amazing original Ju-On (2002) yet the remake 2 years later was still good, there were two reasons for that, the first is Sarah Michel Gellar, we had just admired her in Buffy for 7 years and seeing her in a different movie was well appreciated, the second and not the least important one was that it was from the original maker Takashi Shimizu, so seeing another remake next year will not be on my list to watch. I have a few reservations on Fantasy Island, yet we have seen Michael Peña in several good movies and there is every indication (from the trailer) that they are taking the sweet caramelized smell of the original TV series with Ricardo Montalban (Mr Roarke) and Herve Villechaize as his assistant Tattoo in a new direction, that I want to see because the trailer is indicating that the caramelized part is gone, it will be a liquorice cured salmon, the first time is the most powerful one because most people have never had it, it is also an acquired taste, so you’ll love it or hate it, but it will be new and that is the part that matters to me.

There is another wave coming, but not made as re-release or remake, it will be a sequel of Candyman, with Tony Todd as the murdered son of a slave, for me it means that there is every indication that I can finally replace that movie as a Blu-ray and it made me realise that it was released 25 years ago, wow, when I was half my age (extremely approximately), I remember the movie, meeting Clive Barker and a whole range of other events around it, seeing it sequel will (hopefully) be an awesome experience.

Yet overall I see that there is more behind me than in front of me and for a lot of us, when we have budgets to keep to we need to select the movies we see on the big screen, I went from a movie every week to a life where I saw no more than 6 of them on the big screen last year and that is a big difference, nowadays I see the movies that are in the libraries, and with Netflix, Disneyplus and other streaming media, on one side I wonder how much is left for the silver screen. Yet on the other side, as far as I can tell, no one ever took Ryū Murakami 1999 masterpiece Audition to the western world, now that is a movie you want to invite Harvey Weinstein to. I won’t give away anything, but if you want to see horror with a difference, that is one movie to watch, there is a whole range of movies where we seem to forget that there is a whole planet outside of Hollywood that makes good movies, and even if we want to see a re-master, or a re-launch, personally I am still hoping for Claude Leloch’s Les Uns et let Autres to make it to Blu-ray, let alone to get it re-launched (if that was even possible). The Netherlands (who got caught up in WW2) has its own views on the resistance and occupation and it resulted to amazing works, like Black Book (2006) and Riphagen (2016), most people will remember the decorated movie the Assault (1986), yet very few of the non-Dutch will have any idea about a movie called Undercover Kitty (2001), whilst the person behind this (Annie MG Schmidt) is in Dutch circles on a level that equals Walt Disney, or perhaps a little more correct the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, who created Pippi Longstocking. Yet how many remember or even know of the Swede Gunnel Linde? He wrote over 40 books and in 1973 the White Stone (Den Vita Stenen) became a TV series. I wonder how many options a place like Disneyplus would have when we see how large the collection of children’s series would be, the same when we look at Netflix in light of Audition (not really a kids movie), yet more revealing, will this become the age of ‘We’ve seen it all before‘, or will we see that like the new Fantasy Island, we end up with movies that show a surprising twist, one we never saw coming, to be honest, not unlike some movies, we will have seen it before, even if we would accept the new special effects, there is a chance that we get to see another Thing (1982) which makes for an interesting version from its original 3 decades before, yet nowadays, we are more likely to see another Insomnia (2002) which was its own perfect remake, yet when it comes to remakes, it is a wild card, because no matter how we love the Departed (2006), there is a chance that you saw the original Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs (2002), at which point the timeline is too close together. I was lucky enough to have seen the original and yet Scorsese makes a magnificent movie, yet the original was made in such a way that it was brilliant in its own right and in this my mind would love to give Andrew Lau and Alan Mak the credit they deserve, yet in opposition, there are plenty of other movies that a lot might not have seen and seeing some of those works (again), in a new light is still worthy of watching. Sweden has jewels like Lilja 4 Ever (2002), we might have seen the Norwegian movie Trollhunter (2010) in a different form, yet when you see this movie, you wonder which one is the original (the other movie was released a decade before this), so there is not much call on that, yet the stories are unique, original and the stages we see are also a question ‘We’ve seen it all before‘, yet have we?

In 2015 Norway produced the Wave, like other movies we want to say ‘We’ve seen it all before‘ yet that too would be wrong, we have seen something similar, but never in this setting, that is where the feeling gets in the way, The Wave is an intelligent piece of work that takes Norwegian customs and leaves us wondering whether we choose the right place to live for the right reason yet can we avoid choices? (I am really trying hard not to give anything away here), the world is filled with movies that seem to look like a movie we had seen before, but we had not and this group of films is now going to be a central part in places like Netflix and DisneyPlus (as well as AppleTV) to set their markers for gaining a following. Sometimes remakes work really well Zatoichi (2003) is a nice example. Yet even more overwhelming are the works of fiction, the books that were released in other nations that no one thought of translating. Even known works like Swedish Sjowall and Wahloo resulted in amazing movies a decade ago when the world got to see Beck; in this Peter Haber made an amazing Beck, finally replacing the image that Sweden had through Gosta Elckman. Germany is another nation where there is an abundance of great art. We all seem to remember Das Boot, Downfall and Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex, yet how many have seen a version of Das Leben der Anderen, where we see the impact of Stasi (the East German secret police)? Perhaps you might not know it by Die Welle was based on the true story of a high school teacher in California who designed an experiment to teach his students about Nazism, when you see that in real life, you wonder what you know. We seem to believe that modern day fascism is impossible, yet the movie casts doubt on that and this was all before social media, so there is room for new versions and altered (read: different) versions.

It is hard to see the light in so many seemingly remakes and re-launches of past greats, but there is light and there is room for plenty more, as such I wonder whether it was just me when I thought ‘We’ve seen it all before‘ or was it the maker who was not aware of other versions of great stories?

I wonder about this not because of Christmas, you might think that we will get re-runs of other versions, I know that this is not the case as Netflix gave out Let it Snow (2019) which is actually a decent movie to watch, which was a nice surprise for me. As I feared that plenty of repetitions seem to be the case when it comes to Christmas, I merely chase that one side in movies, the one I had not seen before and as we get from stage to stage, that risk is increasing, yet the cameraman as he uses his instructed skills to show something different will be able to thwart that danger for all of us (one might hope).

We are about to get 6 times the releases that we have ever had before, because the large screen and Blu-ray line is gone, there is now a large screen, Netflix, Disneyplus, Stan, Amazon Prime and Foxtel release plan, even as they all end up on Blu-ray, we need to pick what we can optionally watch and they are all slamming whatever they can lay their hands on, so there is 6 times the likelihood that they hunt a similar story. Yet there in the end we get to see the issue at hand ‘We’ve seen it all before‘ and as out budgets are now a lot more defined, we all end up being in a place where we rather avoided that part of the equation.

 

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Finally!

Yup, there is a new fashion in town and it will force the companies to fix the one element in IT that most corporations have ignored fixing for the longest of times. The issue that needed fixing for the longest time was non-repudiation, the issue has been clearly around for almost 10 years, 15 if you want to set a time table, but today on LinkedIn ‘Netflix and don’t share‘ shows that the industry will start doing something about it. The problem is what drives the masses to think that a paid service could ever be free. And even as we see: “Market leader Netflix has already declared it is examining how to curtail password sharing among family and friends. But streamers are treading carefully in teaming up “against the grifters,” aware of the backlash record labels previously generated in the Napster era” we need to be aware of the setting that it is a Netflix world and if you don’t pay, that is fair enough, but it also means that you can’t have Netflix. This issue is not limited to Netflix, it has a setting in video games, a setting in programs and in the past it had a setting in music. The problem is how to go about it. For places like Netflix, there is the non-repudiation solution, so in your network there are a few devices that could be set to receive, in the home environment the router tends to be the most culpable solution, yet in equal measure the home devices are also solutions that give rise to the patch of hardware that will allow one person to be connected, as such, Netflix was nice enough to allow 4 devices to be linked. Yet what to use as a system of non-repudation?

Well, email is certainly one way of doing it, but that only helps to some extent, the nice part about e-mails are that it allows Netflix (and like-minded people) to communicate with the owner on hardware, so as long as the email address is not hacked, this is decently safe.

Non-Repudiation

The term Non-Repudiation is not new, It refers to the ability to ensure that a party to a contract or a communication cannot deny the authenticity of their signature on a document or the sending of a message that they originated. So you and only you could have instigated the connection, bio-metrics are only one part of it, so is a password, non-repudiation is more, an autograph have the elements to complete non-repudiation, but in automated traffic, a copy of a autograph is becoming exceedingly simple, so we need to set the state where two tiered enabling is the way to go. Even if the origin of the two tiers was done in separate ways, combining them in any stream would be a decent level of assurance to convict a jury of peers (and Netflix) that only you could have instigated the stream. And Netflix is not the only one seeking for a solution. Bank solutions, use a pin and a bank pass, it is close but in in the end it is not real non-repudiation. Netflix needs to find a solution and whatever they find will push authentication technology.

And the system needs to be simple, not just for customers sake, the setting of complexity in these matters was best described by Scotty the Chief Engineer in Star Trek 3 whilst sabotaging the Excelsior: “The more they over-think the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain“, it does apply to authentication and non-repudiation systems, especially when distance is an issue. So whatever we have at point X requesting for an authentication that tends to be the soft spot in the track.

It has to be simple, it needs to always work and it needs to set 2-3 alternatives at the spot. The problem with such a system is that it is not really non-repudiation at that point.

For example

A programmable dongle can be hacked; the hacked account can be copied. And these dongles will come from somewhere, so criminals will end up having access to the stuff they need.

As such the best you can hope for is a system that will take out 80% from accessing such a solution, add proper cyber solutions in the form of law and you have a solution that a company can live with, as it deals with 10% of the outstanding 20%. It is not pretty at times, but at least it works. So these solutions could stop 90% from using stated systems in a non-paying capacity.

We can go in all directions from there, but the world needs a solution where non-repudiation will stop 96% dead in its track, and only up to 1% would be able to find a workaround. Making the non-repudiation system a 98.9999% working solution. I reckon that this is as good a solution as we are going to get and the solution is needed faster as 5G will require correct non-repudiation solutions to be up and running. With 5G out and about, the criminals get a 500% chance to get to more systems to infect more and more devices as such the need for Common Cyber Sense is becoming a pressing matter and from there we can move onto non-repudiation. Consider that the current situation allowed cyber criminals to lay their fingers on $120 billion dollars and with 5G out and about criminals will have access to well over half a trillion dollars, one could argue that it is a great day to be a cyber-criminal, or we can do something about it, because the one thing I do know is that the banks will only take hits for as long as they cannot make a case for ‘negligent care, the person did not take care of the item like a father would take care of its child‘, that is not some rant, the art world is already working with terms like that. How long will it be until banks and payment systems will take the same steps? At that point, the hardship will fall on the owner of the hit bank account, not the bank, unless a clear established path of evidence is presented that the bank itself was the intended target.

Oh, and when banks are no longer held accountable how much attention do you think that the FBI has for little you? Common Cyber Sense will be the immediate requirement.

Non-repudiation will be the big next thing soon enough and whoever gets a system like that up and running will make an absolute fortune, it would change my 5G IP systems into small change, nothing more. It is the next thing and we are in dire need for such an inventor soon enough, not just Netflix.

 

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Branding

An Apple original, a Netflix original, Stan presents and so on. This is the view I started this morning when the trailer ‘For All Mankind‘ hit the screens. The game has changed and the value of IP has gone through the roof, finding quality IP is going to take on a new level of interest. Not merely finding the IP, getting there first means something now, it is a new form of Armistice and it is a game designed for all the creative Masters of Art out there. Yes there is the anticipation of new hits and movies we want to see. We look forward to people like Nicholas Cage (Primal), and Robert de Niro (The Irishman). Yet it goes further than that, the amount of movies that are popping up with references to ‘Basically, How to Write a Netflix Original‘, we see new cash cows coming into existence. Yet the basic need is not to write the story, it is to have the idea in the first place. I can, at any given moment drum up a new story; I have been writing my blog for several years now, creating over 1200 articles. All the articles have news references and have references to events, but creation was key! And that is not the stage, the stage is not the Wall Street journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-chips-down-saudi-arabia-finds-little-goodwill-in-the-u-s-11569495606) giving us: ‘With Chips Down, Saudi Arabia Finds Little Goodwill in the U.S.‘, this is a given and required little creativity, yet the creative eye will spot beyond the quote “Two-thirds of Americans now have an unfavorable impression of Saudi Arabia, according to a Gallup Poll earlier this year, the highest percentage the survey group has ever recorded for the kingdom. It is higher now than it was after Sept. 11 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi“, it would be able to see that the anti-marketing machine that even included the United Nations (the essay by Agnès Callamard), where even with a lack of evidence the Saudi Arabian crown prince was painted as the guilty party, Eggy Calamari even gave us: “The killing of Mr Khashoggi thus constitutes an international crime over which other States should claim universal jurisdiction. I call on those States to take the necessary measures to establish their competence to exercise jurisdiction under international law over this crime of extrajudicial execution,” we cannot deny that the likelihood that the life of Jamal Khashoggi was ended in an unnatural way with a certainty approaching 100%, no one denies that, yet the who remains an issue and the reference “for which the State of Saudi Arabia is responsible” can only be made through circumstantial evidence (and it still remains dubious at that), whilst the use of that evidence leaves too many gaps, giving a clear failure as ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘ is not met, yet in opposition these same state facilitating players have ignored actual evidence of Iranian actions of assaults and bombing of Saudi Arabian civilian targets. As such there is a creative engine in play and that engine is targeted at Saudi Arabia (the connections will make sense soon enough).

The actions by the UN to stop escalation with ‘US-Iran tensions escalate despite UN efforts‘, gives us the light that clearly produced evidence is ignored and shunned by the UN, giving us the stage that the discrimination of produced evidence is set aside, the western media to a larger extent has been accommodating to that, in the one case where the Washington Post could get a reprieve, even now when we see mere hours ago headlines like ‘Iranian president: US should end ‘maximum pressure’ policy‘ and ‘As tensions boil in the Persian Gulf, Iraq seeks to rein in Iran-aligned militias‘, we should notice that the Washington Post has gone to extremes to keep the mention of Saudi Arabia as a victim to an absolute minimum.

It is a new kind of branding, it is anti-branding. The western world is scared, too scared at present. First there was Huawei that has the hands on the largest bulk of 5G IP ever made, and it reduces several nations to an Intellectual property joke at best, the cream of all 5G patents is in the hands of Huawei (China), in this Reuters reported less than 12 hours ago ‘Huawei already producing 5G base stations without U.S. parts‘, more important, in 2020 that production line will be doubled, add to that that Norway is not siding with several EU nations not to block Huawei as a 5G solution has the US on the ropes, they are about to lose billions upon billions. It is the price of iterative complacency and it scares Wall Street. You might think that I switched topics, but I did not. There is a clear line.

As Saudi Arabia is more and more committed to build its Neom city, Huawei is now ready to implement their 5G solution and that pushes Saudi Arabia forward in ways never seen before. The academic consideration that Neom City will be on par with the latest Silicon Valley solutions has never been seen before and as that trail picks up speed, the IP consideration will be passed to other regions too, at that point IP firms registering their patents and Trademarks will rise in China and the Middle East even further, it is exactly the play I had in mind when I created my IP and even now I am looking at a golden parachute the size I never held possible ever before.

All this still reflects on the hindrance that pushes these technologies and there we see that Iran is becoming the larger problem in several fields. Even now, as we see projects grow, we also see the larger field that is fuelling this endeavour. The National gave us “Neom’s contribution to the kingdom’s GDP is projected to reach at least $100 billion by 2030” and that is a pessimistic view, as the 5G boundaries are met in Saudi Arabia, there will be a growing workforce trying to get their 5G apps on the ground as this could fuel millions in revenue for any app maker that makes it, and the most important part in this is the fact that being there first gives a lot more benefit for a longer amount of time. This path gained momentum as Huawei started to cater to 5G needs 6 months ago in both India and Pakistan, for Pakistan the middle East and in particular Saudi Arabia will give rise to more apps, better apps and stronger commerce; yet it is not merely in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates is also pushing for this boundary, as is Qatar. The experience in app making will spread form Pakistan further and further giving these entrepreneurs’ futures they themselves never thought possible under the stage of 4G and it makes them all hungry for success.

Creativity

It is there where creativity and needs interact. Whilst the arts are claiming a larger group to write idea’s for streaming TV, the creative engineers are pushing new telecom boundaries in 5G, setting a stage for a new kind of facilitation, one that is not limited to the iterative community, as they were trying to cater to the needs of guided anticipation, the innovators are going where iterative makers did not consider to look, 5 of my IP trains are on that track going decent for now, I still have a little more than 2 years to set the final stage, whilst the stage is curving to my desired needs more and more. That we see when IT Wire gave us ‘US seeks funds to remove Huawei, ZTE gear from rural providers‘ only 2 days ago.

As we see the quote: “Legislation supported by both sides of politics in the US seeks a sum of US$1 billion to help small and rural wireless providers replace equipment made by Chinese vendors Huawei Technology and ZTE Corporation“, we see a growing failure in the US. Don’t get me wrong, the US is allowed to do what it is, but instead of fuelling innovation forward, it is wasting $1,000,000,000 to remove rural equipment, whilst the supporting quote “helping small and rural wireless providers root-out suspect network equipment and replace it with more secure equipment” cannot be met with evidence on any level. Even the term ‘more secure equipment‘ is a grey remark open to interpretation, all equipment form 2018 onward will be more secure than the equipment that was installed in 2012, even with the latest updates this statement remains true, as this is the nature of the technology beast. What is adamant in all this that the lack of security in Huawei equipment was never proven other than one specific 2011 example, an issue that was apparently addressed and settled in 2013.

Even now, no espionage evidence by China was ever given in any way, shape or form. As I personally see it, this is all about economic foundations and progress and the non-Chinese solutions lack technology, innovation and quality to compete with China, now that the Middle East and Europe (to a larger degree) has allowed Huawei to get there, they will reap the benefits of it all, consider that over the next 5 years Neom city, block by block will be 5G ready whilst the longest changes in most parts of the world will be still upgrading, it will create a clear need for to use what is available and now we get to the union of both.

As we see the testing grounds of Saudi Arabia being there, the makers of streaming services will have a place to test and create 5G IP (or was that create and test). We have seen Hollywood, Bollywood and now there is a case to be made for Neomwood as well. If Saudi Arabia plays its cards right, there would be the stage for implementing and creating 5G streaming services and the creation of originals (to some extent) of TV series, shows and movies. People seem to forget that there are around 2 billion Muslims in the world, and the ability to cater to 25% of a global population, whilst the other creators have neglected this group offers a larger opportunity than most people realise.

Even as we accept the story of the 60’s where in the new production called for all mankind we see the stage and setting of the first woman on the moon, there is nothing stopping the Middle East of creating Islamic series that are about furthering their goals on the big screen and the little screen. The lack of actual quality TV in that regard (as far as I can tell) becomes more and more visible. There has been great controversy regarding the TV series Omar, I understand that thousands are stating that the show must be stopped because they believe such depictions are forbidden by Islam. Yet there are other ways to give light to Islam, to educate the non-Islamic community, and I believe that a larger stage could become apparent there. Also, the entire stage of soap series is seemingly ruled by Bab Al-Hara, a Syrian show by Bassam Al-Mulla that has been going on for 10 seasons, as I see TV watching people, they are never content with just one series and to be able to stream globally on 5G will be the larger need soon enough, owning the studios, production, IP and delivery will give whomever gets there first a much larger cut of the winnings and they can be huge, especially with 2 billion Muslims looking for more. I am still smirking (on the inside) to seek a way to make my idea: ‘How to assassinate a politician‘ a reality and optionally get it selected for Emmy and Oscar’s consideration (that is how I roll, never stop dreaming). In this, as I stated several times in the past, the slogan of FX (a filmmaker) is the best ever: ‘The story is everything‘, it is the holy grail that Apple, Stan, Netflix and all other streamers, as well as all other forms of medium are pursuing, it comes from creativity and as creativity overlaps from creation to technology we see a much larger shift in innovation, Whomever doubts that look at Big Brother and consider why it was a success. The overlap of technology, innovation and creation is a direct result of that is something that John de Mol Jr. saw immediately, it took a little while for me to catch on and it was an eye opener (I personally never liked the series, but I admired the approach of innovation and technology towards creation), now creation drives innovation and technology (as it should), yet I also accept that this interaction tends to be symbiotic and the direction of these streams can go in either direction making it the closest to a perpetual system, in this iteration will be the death of it and that is why I have been frantically against iterative designers.

In this, branding has been too much about iteration, Google and Huawei being the obvious exceptions, yet they are at present still the exceptions to that rule. I see that branding can be about innovation, but not the marketed innovation that Apple claims it is. Innovation as Heineken marketing shows it to be is a much better example, even as their product has not changed for the a longest time, their marketing has been on the edge of what is possible for over a decade, if we can keep creativity on that scale we have the making of long term success, no matter what field we move in, that is what the US fears, as innovation grows through Huawei, they see a dip that turns into a revenue canyon, the lack of forward momentum. Even now we see how economic momentum in the US is lost, whilst their IP investments are at an all-time high. If IP becomes the currency of a nation the UIS is indeed in a dire position and their stalling and delays of 5G will not help them, it is exactly in that part where we see the anti-Huawei weaves becoming a disaster for those embracing a non-Huawei solution. The fact that the hardware is not on par with Huawei is one part, the implied accusation ‘But Can They Scale Operations Timely‘ is a much bigger danger, as the markets evolve, scalability will be key and in that (for now) Huawei is far ahead of the others, making any non-Huawei advantage short lived, in addition to that part we see the earlier mentioned solution that Huawei is on the road improving and upgrading the base stations without US parts, when that one hits the US economy will take a much bigger hit, and as latency and delays add to the 5G part, those who want to be at the head of streaming will need to consider where they will be running from, as I see it there is a case to be made (to some degree) for Neomwood, when that happens, the revenue streams will change even further giving the US to live with the realisation that the entire Huawei war was the worst of all idea’s, especially when there were alternatives and especially as the security risks have never ever been proven.

I believe that due to data options there will be a larger change in trademarks in the next 5 years, also in that regard IP will decline in the US a lot more, as data is key, any delaying factor to 5G will have larger impacts over the next 24 months. Those who want to be ahead need to select what gets them there and not listen to fabricated fears and speculative events that have so far not been proven. As creativity shows, those who can dream the new stories, those who can consider the next idea will be catered to, because if the story is everything, the value of a poet and a writer outpaces the accountant by a lot. We can get all kinds of accountant a dime a dozen, yet how many poets are there? How many story writers and story tellers are out there who can spin a story that makes you sit down and relax? Consider what you watch on streaming services and what you are willing to pay for, now consider where the market is and you will see a large gap, a lag that was ignored for the longest of times. In 2020 alone we see a need to invest close to $50 billion, $6 billion by Apple alone for start-up; do you think that there is a higher need for a book keeper or someone who can create a story? As WarnerMedia buys back the old TV series Friends for $245 million, ready to spend $11 billion on content this year alone, how much are they willing to pay for an original idea?

Branding starts with a dream, or a thought that is actually original, how much originality could we find in the Islamic world that has ignored that path for decades? It is a path exploring, especially with 2 billion optional content customers. A path to a larger success that is currently written off through the fear mongering of governments and media needs, whilst there was not ever a need to do so; the facilitation of iteration pushed non solutions and whilst that happens, originality in content and technology will take a backseat to facilitate to the people who no longer should have any voice on the matter, their need to delay and slowdown innovation made it so.

 

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A night with Clio and Alecto

It started 2 days ago, I have been wondering about the news (no actual new news, just the rehash) and what to write about. I heard snippets all over the place on ‘more of the same‘ and ‘lack of originality‘, yet until yesterday (around 03:30) I had no idea what to consider when the article (at https://www.inverse.com/article/58121-google-stadia-launch-games-6-aaa-titles-to-get-in-november) hid behind ‘6 Huge Google Stadia Launch Games That Will Make You Rethink Consoles‘ to invoke interest in the Google Stadia.

It was the sight of 6 titles that had been available for some time that made me wonder if some people at Google had any idea what they are doing, so I decided now to counter it.

When we look at these games, we see a first person need, no one denies this, yet if the power is applied, we can go so much further. For example, we might see the RPG giant System Shock in a new light (it is being remade). We might look at the Citadel (Mass Effect Series) and consider it is too big (or the death star for that matter), but the situation is nice and contained. What if we set up a large space station, fill it with crew, not spawning them at certain stages, but a station with the amount of people that would ordinary fill a space station. Now the Death Star has been rumoured to contain a crew of 265,675, as well as 52,276 gunners, 607,360 troops, 30,984 storm troopers, 42,782 ship support staff, and 180,216 pilots and support crew, so too large. Yet is the idea too far-fetched? What if we scoop back to Citadel Station (System Shock version) and we have to contain a situation with 5300 people? Now the numbers start making sense. The game has difficulty settings impacting available ammunition, health food and so on and in addition, we can set the scenario to Contagion (zombie apocalypse), Competitor (sabotage), Patent run (thief) and Entity removal (assassin), each with their own issues, challenges and options. The ability to blend in, to not be seen, to steal stuff and more important to remain hidden whilst you optionally kill (or incapacitate) a specific target. Yet the station is different, the crew is completely managed by the system and in some cases it has to be done within a time frame (any except the zombie apocalypse). The option to do it alone, do it together and the fact that this location can be reused gives it all a larger replayability value on a long term premise.

To some extent System Shock had many parts, yet the original had floors and the enemy would not pass that boundary. What if that is not a constraint? What happens when a place that big becomes its complete environment? Like the station on IO in the movie Outland (excellent role by Sean Connery). What if we had a station where the ‘AI’ error of waves of people do not panic (like in AC Unity, repeated to some extent in Syndicate), what if a proper hidden body does not set off alarms immediatly, but what if a missed shift does alert security to seek for the person, a station requiring ID badges becomes a new challenge.

How is this original?

Because the template might have been used to give rise to the environment, it can be any space station. Games like Destiny, Doom, are all about trigger point, all about spawn points and all about flag points. Yet what happens when it is already all there, how do we get through the game when we set off alarms, when we alert security by giving rise to an alarm. I think that this is the part that Hitman 2 really got right. Some will raise concern, but a lot of NPC should not notice, and that is at the centre of a much larger interaction. What if we consider that the stages of Hitman 2 are too confined (not for the story they had mind you), what if an entire city is the premise; do you think that every cop known everyone? They react to the badge, the uniform (medic), the identity (clearance) beyond that they often do not. So to set the ‘futuristic’ stage, millions of gaming fans have voiced the desire to actually walk around the Death Star, On Babylon 5, on the Enterprise, on Citadel Station and so on, yet no one pushed to make it happen to the degree possible, even Mass Effect Andromeda dropped to ball to the greatest extent there, an original game that allowed for (non IP secured locations) to be addressed. Locations to be originally designed, all with the option of giving a run, a challenge and optionally a group of friends united to stop an infection ramping through thousands. We now have the technology (we have had it for 5+ years) and yet they all rehash IP that has been done before. We even see YouTube on the 32 games that are coming, yet rehashing is not a solution, yes they do have some new titles, yet all IP that is already out there, or titles that will also come to other formats. It is interesting, yet we have seen since the very first PlayStation and Nintendo 64 that their true growth was through unique IP, I wonder when Google will figure that part out. We accept that sometimes doing something over is easier and I accept that, yet when we see that these designers ignore dozens of great titles that are on My Abandonware and evolve these titles into a new stage and challenge that will captivate its Google Stadia audience is interesting to say the least. Even now some of these original creators are looking at bringing life to what was an excellent game and turn it into a new great game. I wonder why Google might have thought that this was a path that was not googley enough for them to walk on.

Dinner with Clio

There had been noise around Netflix, several sources, including the article (at https://www.barrons.com/articles/netflix-stock-has-new-worries-including-disney-and-the-loss-of-friends-51563582983) give us a view on optional issues. The article gives us: “For its second quarter, Netflix added 2.8 million net new international subscribers and lost 126,000 U.S. users, versus Wall Street expectations for 352,000 domestic additions and 4.8 million international adds“, some might state that Netflix was not on the ball; personally I believe that Wall Street was setting the stage where the insiders could profit from the backlash of “The company’s shares fell 10% on Thursday, a day after the results. They fell another 3% on Friday“, it is a personal believe, but when we see that the difference between company and Wall Street is a difference of 2.2 million subscribers, a difference of almost 50%, it implies that Wall Street remains unfamiliar with realism. In light of the growing group of streaming services (Disney, Stan, and so on) gives additional rise to the delusional view of Wall Street, especially when you consider that Disney has Marvel in its corner. Yet with the spending spree of Netflix that is set to a $15 billion budget is also a concern. Even as Netflix studios are a one-time expense, the growth needs to come from new IP and mastering innovation in stories, it is the one part that Google and Netflix have in common. I can’t comprehend that they are not considering cooperation in that regard. There is overlap, but one that could be overcome, especially if they need to push Google Stadia to a much stronger position with Microsoft and Apple biting at their heels. They have to set a stage where they can overcome that optional weakness.

As such I decided to give a little diner party, Clio and Melpomene were in attendance, Clio came with a plus one. Not only did they confirm my view of Wall Street, they gave me another example, one I did not know, a story that never made it to print ever.

There is no time, there is no date, it was late summer and in the cool breeze of night, 4800 years before Jesus of Nazareth would be born Hades met with Apollo in a temple at Gortyn. There was no reason, or none that anyone remembers. They merely crossed paths to exchange words. It was after the talk when Hades walked towards the waters at Lentas that he sensed something, he sensed the end of a life and anguish, anguish to a degree that was rare and he moved in a blink to that source. He found a young woman; she looked at him, in pain and anticipation, but not in fear. It took Hades back for a second, this young woman showed more strength and dignity than the thousands of soldiers he received from the battlefields. He gave strength to her to heal by smearing the smallest amount of ambrosia over her lips, her wounds dissipated slowly to show true beauty, her name was Anemone, she was no one special, merely the daughter of a fisherman, brutally raped and left for death. Hades picked her up and took her to a shelter. It was during that night he bedded her and she gave herself to Hades. In that shelter she felt truly happy for months, and it was not until the second week of May that she gave birth, it was not something that she would survive, to give birth to the child of an Olympian was taxing enough the power of death that was there was too strong and it claimed her. Yet Hades knew that would happen, this was now all planned. The baby was named Elissa and Hades set forth his first part, he left her in the care of Tisiphone, Megaera and Alecto. The furies would raise her until she was ready. Over the next years 7-10 Elissa grew fast and became stronger and stronger. The realm of the Furies gave her a never ending supply of cannon fodder. Yet the furies were well versed in all matters and she was not merely of steel, Alecto taught her how to be anyone, to take shape, and how to reshape form. Form was a weapon that could attack the senses, the ability to temper anger to any degree and drive her opponents utterly insane. Tisiphone took Elissa under her wing to teach her about the act of murder, to see in other ways, the ability to charm any snake instantly and make it do her bidding. Elissa learned that cutting a small lock of her hair and cast it could turn it into a snake, to merely draw some poison from it, or let the snake scout for her. She could see through its eyes and she could see the heat of people without the use of a snake, in the deepest night she could see all around her and they could never hide their warmth from her. Her reflexes honed to new heights she was able to strike in the blink of an eye, her daggers thin and short would ensure death to all requiring the veil of Hades to fall over their eyes. Finally she ended with Megaera and there thing changed, as she taught Elissa the power of envy, to see the true worth and value Megaera did something Hades never expected. You see there is an unwritten link between the Furies and the Muses, it is that link that Magaera relied on in the past to see what is true from false and there the game changed. The furies always remember the services rendered and it was at that point that Terpsichore taught Elissa the art of dance and with that skill new levels of balance and creativity were taught to Elissa, Erato taught her poetry of the heart, so that she could always see the true love from the false one, feelings from deceit, as well as truth from planned falsehood, finally there was Thalia who taught her comedy, because Magaera had seen how the jester, the funny person was often overlooked by others, by serious people driven to greed, Elissa looked deeper into poetry and learned that comedy is not merely a relaxant, it was also an interesting weapon. As the lessons ended Elissa had levels of balance never seen in any person that was not Olympian, and it was at that point that Alecto fed Elissa her dinner which put her to sleep and started the dream of what her mother faced that fateful night near Lentas and they unleashed Elissa on the world.

What exactly happened that night will never be known, yet the 4 old men that ravaged her mother were found feasting on the flesh of their sons, who had grown up to be as despicable as their fathers were. In the morning the villagers found the four elderly feasting on a broth containing the bodyparts of their sons; skulls, ligaments were visible in the cauldron, the men old, grey and turned utterly insane chanting slowly and fearful “ένα ακόμα δάγκωμα για συγχώρεση“, Elissa had completed her training and was unleashed on the world, the furies regarded her as ready for a plan of their own.

In a blazing sun

It was deep summer; the sun was relentlessly beating the streets and people. A woman was walking the streets of Heraklion; she ignored the weather and casually looked at market stalls. The street was filled with tourists and she got plenty of smiling looks, it bothered her not, over the centuries she had gotten used to it. She had not seen Heraklion for decades, so she took it all in, she was on an errant to take out a murderer, she was still every much the girl the furies trained, slowly walking towards her goal, it was a building on Evaggelistrias and as she observed the building from a distance, looking at where she needed to be, she looked back at watching the poor boy beaten to death only 2 days before, the police had no clue, but she was not the police, she looked at the building and she saw her target, the two man relaxing, smiling, laughing and drinking beer, they felt good about themselves. She waited patiently until 18:30, most people were starting their meal and she slowly and quietly walked into the building. there was no movement, no sense of anyone and she walked up to their front door, she dropped a lock of hair and quietly entered the house and moved swiftly into the house, the two men were in the kitchen fetching beer and slicing meat, she walked past them as their backs were turned so that the balcony was not a place they could flee from she knocked on the wall and as the men walked with surprise into the living room she merely stared them in the eyes, as her eyes turned deep black, they went pale and white, they over overcome by fear so intense that they dropped their beers, and rant out the door only to see the large snake on the steps, they screamed and ran up, they kept running in fear feeling the hunt of danger behind them hissing loudly, they ran onto the roof running past the water tanks until there was no roof left, they never stopped running, not even as they fell to the grass field on Anogion and the last they felt was the anguish and pain of broken bones blood leaving their bodies and the sound of hissing snakes until darkness set it. Elissa picked up the snake and softly placing the snake in her bag, she would release the snake outside the city limits, her work was done.

That was merely the beginning!

It took me 30 minutes to come up with this idea, another 30 minutes to look into ancient Greece (and a few maps) and 30 minutes to write this, so when we see the implied lack of originality, I am not sure what that was coming from. Creativity is all around us, and it only needs to right spark to set the stage to something fresh. I believe it to be just around the corner and Netflix has an advantage, Disney will not consider certain paths, they rely on families and fairy floss sugary sweetness, it is partially the weakness that Achilles showed (see Brad Pitt in Troy). I believe that the people want something darker. It might have started with an unknown British director named Ridley Scott when he made Alien in 1979; it was that feeling that I had when watching that movie and that same feeling I felt came to me again when I saw Brightburn. It might seem a little shallow, it is not overly epic, but that same feeling is what David Yarovesky left in me, he got the jackpot and if Marvel does not see that and use it (for example in Moon Knight), they will miss out soon enough, Netflix has an advantage because of the limitation that Disney keeps and even if they go via Fox, the delays they call for give Netflix an edge, they merely need to find the right spark to entice watchers, Google faces the same setting, imitation might be the path to flattery, but in this game originality and creativity are much more powerful partners, Even now decades later we still listen to Queen, watch Firefly (or Star Trek) and we watch Top Gun, again and again. Originality and creativity did that, not imitation.

So find your muse and get creative

 

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This stupid Neanderthal

Yes, you read it right, as the worst possible grammar allows for we see the needed expression: ‘Me is havening to be the stupid man today‘ statement. It all started in the middle of the night when the Guardian brought us: ‘Saudi state part-owns Evening Standard and Independent, court told‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jul/23/evening-standard-and-independent-unable-to-rebut-concerns-over-saudi-ownership). It gets to be worse (and the actual trigger) with: “Government lawyer tells court part-sale of news outlets has ‘national security implications’“, the naive Neanderthal in me is wondering what kind of drugs David Scannell is on and if I could get some of those (it never hurts to ask). The media (specifically the newspapers) are about the truth and about giving us actual information. The fact that the government has never ever been able to get a handle on whatever Rupert Murdoch does, in that same air the issues with Paul Dacre (specifically on a missing airplane), makes me wonder how the implied gossip that several newspapers spread are national security.

We could go with the premise that with a part owned Saudi Newspapers, the readers will actually get exposed to the acts or Iran, and the facts that many newspapers decided not to give visibility on that (like the proxy war Iran is waging via Yemen). That is beside the point that David Scannell is claiming national security issues against a Russian citizen, is that not laughable too (a Paul Hogan comedy kind of humour)?

So when we get David Scannell stating: “What is of concern to Her Majesty’s government is that a foreign state could be acquiring a substantial stake in Lebedev Holdings [owner of the Evening Standard] and the Independent simultaneously“, whilst her majesties government is seemingly forgetting that the current owner is Russian (born 8 May 1980, In Moscow Russia). Perhaps David Scannell would prefer to consider journalistic integrity and hold the UK newspapers to a much higher standard? He (his bosses more precisely) could have done that a decade ago by removing 0% VAT rights from these glossy ‘news’ bringers, a solution that would fit the UK citizen and resident to the largest degree, but just like the facilitation to the FAANG group (and their less than 2% tax), big corporations are facilitated to the largest degree and a clever Saudi investor thought that this was a good return for their investment. Then there is the other part.

When we see: “The heavily lossmaking free London newspaper is edited by the former Conservative chancellor, George Osborne“, we could consider that this is about changing the hearts of readers, yet if the government legal team is so worried about ‘poor record on press freedom‘, has that legal team not considered that in the end, when the papers becomes even more loss making that the current owners back out and the government could take over at £0.01 per share? In addition, if there is enough evidence in the statement of: “Both the Independent and Evening Standard insist concerns about editorial independence are unfounded and they are not influenced by financial backers” then what is this actually about? It seems that there is a reduced to zero chance that there are actual national security implications, the fact that national security events were always embargoed and as such these two papers must adhere to this, foreign owned or not and in the end, in addition, the fact that we saw last May the quote “There is nothing new about concern over the impact the company, which controls 70% of the country’s newspaper circulation, might have on democratic debate” (source: the Guardian), that keeping more papers out of the fingers of Murdoch might be a Humanitarian good, is that not important too? In addition, there is a second consideration, if the digital worlds that these two newspapers have, setting a stage that this evolution is passed on to places like the Dallah al Baraka Group, Al Arabiya, Al Saudiya and Al Ekhbariya could set a long term prosperity to both Saudi Arabia as well as their European affiliation. This is a long term slow plan and when we consider that Neom City is still happening, having a city well over 20 times the size of New York, also implies that overall the media will grow as well; digital marketing as well as 5G information streams will evolve, and evolve faster. Part of my IP was designed to do just that, whilst promoting commerce on several levels. We see that the evolution cannot begin in Saudi Arabia, but over time evolving those and new stations will be in the interest of Saudi Arabia who is eager not to lose it all to the UAE (Dubai Media Incorporated) or Qatar (Al Jazeera) changing the game and the way they do business is an essential must in the long term and in the short term evolution is more and more pressing.

Homo sapiens

Evolution has stepped in and as the Homo sapiens we are now, life is not that simple, the interaction of the media is larger and more complex. Yet I still find the approach through David Scannell laughable. We want to muster muzzles and bits to state who is allowed to go where, yet the unbridled freedoms pushes through by places like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google remain unhindered. Even in a stage where these groups pay less than 2% taxation in the end, the monster we know is still less acceptable than any optional new monster we do not know. The policymakers have been unable and unwilling to adjust laws ad legislation for almost two decades, the premise of iteration and Status Quo are found everywhere but were given on how the new owner (partial new owner) is setting the stage of national security. When we look at the fines we see in the direction of Facebook and Equifax are partial evidence that this ship has sailed years ago, the latest data breaches show that there is no stopping the flow of data and whilst we look towards North Korea who does not have the storage abilities, skills and bandwidth to do 10% of the issues that they are accused of, we see that the foundation of the current batch of National Security monitoring teams are seemingly in a stage that they have no clue where to look and what data to sift through (a common shortcoming).

So in all this we have larger issues and whilst we forgot about July 2015 ““source close to the family” (MH370 disaster)” with the additional “what is also important is that we saw an issue in 2014 the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) decided to investigate a case whilst using only 1 of 83 plaintiffs” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/31/that-joke-called-the-first-amendment/), it would be my personal recommendation that the government (as well as David Scannell have bigger fish to fry. We could start a new Leveson investigation and force harsher settings, but all kinds of chief editors will burst into tears in the House of Lords and as we know that those gentlemen are really unwilling to slap crying girls around, so we get nowhere ever and the option to remove the 0% VAT from some of these newspapers is not regarded as an option, so we are at a stalemate with no solution. But the call via National Security seemingly remains.

In the complete evolved view we see that there is political power into the ability to reach an entire nation through the newspapers and the media, yet in that light when we accept Gay Alcorn (the Guardian) who gave us: “There is nothing new about attacks on News Corp’s influence on policy and politics in Australia. There is nothing new about claims that Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are not just right wing, but distort and manufacture news“, does it actually matter whether news is manufactured by NewsCorp (Australia) or the Independent (partial Saudi)? Is pushing this path not a race towards discrimination lacking all diplomacy and subtlety?

I am merely asking, because even as i really do not care who the owners are becoming, and the fact that the previous owner is Russian, is it not just all water under the bridge. To be slightly more precise a bridge called Facebook transporting terabytes of data per minute?

In the end, the legal battle is seemingly set to “The legal challenge was only against the decision to refer the Saudi investment to the Competition Commission on merger grounds“, whether valid or not (that is a legislation issue), the fact that the entire article has only one mention of the word ‘merger‘ in that entire article. Informing the public on the exact nature of the issue on the merger, would that not have been an essential first? If that is the case, how does National Security actually fit would be my question, but we really don’t see a clear answer on that either, do we?

 

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A sucker is born every minute

It is a nice expression; it is one that those who live by the rules of ‘opportunity knocks‘ rely on. In slow times you need the occasional sucker to infuse the grounded capital with lose change and they are all for it. Then there is the expression of ‘there is a hustle Smurf nearby’, where the experienced player creates a new account to amass gear from inexperienced players and newbies.

It comes down to the status on how something is seen. Some Investopedia page passed in front of me this morning and woke me up instantly. It linked to Barron’s (at https://www.barrons.com/articles/microsoft-stock-videogame-streaming-cloud-xbox-xcloud-51560373000) where we see: ‘Buy Microsoft Stock Because of Its Videogame Opportunity, Analyst Says‘, the entire setting is like a rewrite of the Divine Comedy, as Inferno is all that Microsoft seemingly delivers on a whole (as I personally see it). They went from an innovative system (Xbox 360) to a flawed concept and in the three iterations we see basic shortcomings that have never been fixed over the space of 6 years.

The beginning is already fun to work with: “Microsoft stock will rally because of its strong position in the videogame industry, according to Evercore ISI” No! It does not have a strong position, Microsoft degraded from 2nd to third position, and they could end up fighting over 4th position. The strongest console of the world got surpassed by the weakest one; the Nintendo Switch system surpassed them as they truly comprehend gaming and gamers. They got there in 2 years; it took Microsoft almost 7 years to get to this stage and ending up decently below 50% of the share that Sony has with its PlayStation. Microsoft games survives through marketing and bad decisions, with the optional good decision every once in a while.

The Microsoft stage of pushing for online, whilst basic shortcomings are frustrating gamers more and more, so when we see: “Ultimately, we believe gaming can become the next major narrative as it relates to Microsoft’s long-term growth opportunity” my response is: ‘Not Really, whilst the exclusive range of games is not impressive, the shared stream (Xbox and PS4) are often shown to be PS4 gems, whilst Microsoft is merely nice (with Assassins Creed Origins being a clear exception). The PS exclusive range is still growing and whilst the larger part of Microsoft IP is done through buying software houses, it has been in history the first step towards a more complete level of failing. There are examples all over the world for over 20 years.

Then the final part: “Materne is also optimistic over Microsoft’s cloud gaming offerings, where gamers can stream gameplay over the internet. Its XCloud service is slated for release this fall“, this is not a given. Microsoft decided to stay very quiet on the entire xCloud during its E3 and in addition, it is a soon a more direct competitor to Google Stadia. With the basic failings that Microsoft has shown to have, the audience is willing to take a look at Google Stadia, new brands have that effect, and it will gnaw directly on the Microsoft slice of the gaming cake. Apple is another contender, but there are still questions on that front for now. In short Microsoft got surpassed by Nintendo Switch, it is at less than 50% of the Sony PlayStation stage and it has disappointed gamers too often in their need for online dependency, a side that gamers do not like to relate to at all. There are enough indication that the next project (Project Scarlett) is more likely than not to hold onto the flaws of Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. Its mixed media on mentions given in E3 2018, whilst giving less or no clarity on E3 2019, loaded with one liners that are implied to be connected but are regarded to be seen as separate statements show the flaw of Microsoft to a much larger extent. So as we see that ‘Microsoft is the Netflix of gaming‘, whilst not realising that there is more to that, we might go with the quote: “Xbox Game Pass is described as the ‘“Netflix of video games” and lets Xbox and PC users play a range of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for $9.99 per month. xCloud will essentially be an upgraded version of this pass, and will work on more platforms, so it will likely cost more than $10” (Source: Inverse)

This entire setting only works well if there is enough bandwidth, in this stage the chance of congestion grows close to exponential as there will be no solid large 5G in many places until 2022, This means that it will be select in the US, Europe and outside these two. So as such the market slice will collapse overnight, Google Stadia will have a similar issue. Yet whilst Microsoft is about the marketing Hype and WOW factor, Google has been playing a more cautious long term game; it will pay off for them. All whilst the solid information that is essential was not given at E3 merely hinted at. It implies that Microsoft has not figured out how to best maximise on the revenue (read: an implied stage to exploit gamers). That in itself is the recipe for disaster. It is like the silent ‘always online‘ push that was tried in 2012 and pushed an angry mob straight towards the Sony solution. I personally believe that Microsoft has not learned its lesson yet and will give more disappointment soon enough. that whilst the bulk of the frustration could have been avoided in more than one place and never was, that alone convinces me that Microsoft might be an option, but it will be a risky one, one that is flawed and dangerous to boot, but then some investors like the rough stuff.

Now we get to the part that Investopedia has (at https://www.investopedia.com/microsoft-s-strategy-to-become-the-netflix-for-games-4691138): “One of the things Microsoft has going for them, unlike say Amazon, Verizon and Google, is a popular gaming console and a host of already super popular games, such as the entire series of “Halo” games. At the recent E3 video-game conference in Los Angeles, the company unveiled 60 new blockbuster games for both its console and PC, including “Gears 5,” “Batman: Arkham Knight,” “Cyberpunk 2077,” and “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.”” Now consider that this list of 4 only has one exclusive and for the most 50% of that list has nearly everyone desiring it on PS4 and optionally PS5 as well. The fact that ‘Batman: Arkham Knight‘ is a 2015 game giving rise to some people not doing their homework #JustSaying.

It is true Gears and Halo are Microsoft exclusives and they do have a large following, no one denies this, yet two titles don’t make for a victory (they also have the Excellent Forza IP which was oddly missing in that list).

Yet overall the entire matter of being surpassed by the weakest console is a much larger issue. The matter of change is upon them and their play is to not do this implies that there is a larger online need and the people a shivering back from that stage. They feel a little more powerless. Even as xCloud is all online, the push to completely be there will backfire, if only to be able to game when the internet congests, a part that too many have not considered to the degree it needs to be considered.

Until 5G and 5G speeds are commonplace, the gamer will be confronted with ISP’s that will react towards congestion through bandwidth throttling, when that happens, you do not want to be in a multiplayer game like Fortnite losing your connection, any promise that this will not happen is bogus from the very start. It is still a tool used, even within the last 24 hours we see throttling in combination with ISP’s all over the world, because it is a tool they need to minimise congestion. The moment throttling hits, the game is quite literally over for these players. So how often does this need to happen for people to trade in their xCloud (and optional Google Stadia) solution?

When that crystalizes in front of you, what will the losses be? I believe that there is a clear future for this kind of gaming, no one denies that, yet until there is a much stronger 5G presence, I am not sure how it will actually properly work (outside of a staged test phase). And for now that stage is for the larger global gaming population 2-3 years away.

 

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Merely the beginning

Yes, the news is full of the overwhelming success that Avengers: Endgame is and rightfully so, yet the Washington Post looks further. The article (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/avengers-endgamemakes-disney-invincible-in-2019-then-what/2019/04/29/b5e35016-6aaf-11e9-bbe7-1c798fb80536_story.html) gives light to the strategy that is surrounding Disney plus as owners of the Marvel franchise. We get part of it with: “Disney’s films will no longer get licensed to partners such as Netflix during what’s known as the “pay one window;” instead, they’ll go exclusively on Disney+. That’s a big selling point for the streaming app, but it’s a costly decision that reduces the amount of licensing revenue Disney can earn from its films after they leave theaters.” this is a point of view that is true and the strategy is valid, yet having the stage where we see a time exclusivity (like in gaming) where the others get the option after 6 months is not to be ignored as an alternative. In addition, the mention of the ‘real’ editions of the time honoured animations like Aladdin and the Lion King are now on screws, especially after Dumbo has become a miserable flop. That is the puzzle that comes next, as I personally see it, the cast was golden, the director is phenomenal and the story is sound, so why did it flop and is that the premise for the other movies? We know that Robin Williams made Aladdin the success it was; this puts a megastar like Will Smith in an awkward position. To willingly step into the shadow of a giant takes monumentally sized balls to begin with and even as we know that Will Smith is no coward, willing to step into the fringe of movie making, I cannot stop being worried on how Aladdin will fare. As such the other Disney productions will be under pressure as well and that is just the beginning.

Disney has had the longest issue with being too sweet for most adults and even as we saw Pretty Woman in 1990 as a new view on what Disney could do, there was a distinct feeling that the Disney people were so far out of their comfort zone that they needed guides to find their way back. This is particularly important as Marvel has its own dark parts (more than just a few) and without that defining dark there is a larger concern down the road. I believe that so far they handled it fine, yet the worry remains: “will the wrong Disney executive demand the Marvel TV version to be lighter, sweeter and less dark“, so far what we have seen from X-Men: Dark Phoenix, The New Mutants imply that we should not be worried, yet waiting with worries for too long is not good either. What I saw from Cloak and Dagger season 1 is a clear warning, yet perhaps it is also important to consider that the movies will be less in danger of becoming laced with Disney Sweetness than the TV series. Their Metascore of 68 could be considered as supporting evidence in all this. Some gave the following views: “a horribly sentimental soundtrack“, as well as “If you want a show chock full of “edgy” liberal issues thrown into the plot regardless of if it fits with the story, then look no further” (which was the most negative review) we see the initial issue. Even the more positive ones give us “Through its initial four episodes, the real star of Cloak & Dagger is the structure and editing and overall environment more than any individual actor“. I believe it that some of the changes took away the dark side that would have made Cloak a lot more appealing, it was his dark side that appealed to me in the original comics; the TV parts I saw were too emotional, I am not stating that this is a bad thing, merely that . The comic books decently graphic about his devouring hunger, I missed seeing that in the few episodes I saw. Yet it is not all bad, Mayhem is showing to be the direct confrontational angry type she was in the comic book.

This is in part my issue; Disney is seemingly trying to skate away from the darkness is what will have a larger non positive impact on series that were pretty phenomenal in comic book form. So far the silver screen Marvel productions have exceeded expectations swimmingly; it is what I saw in Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the defenders that felt off, not bad, but off.

It is not the cast or the work done, no matter what, Mike Colter makes Luke Cage totally believable and real. I believe that the scripts fell short (from my personal point of view). Perhaps it is my non-US view, the fact that there had to be complications and conspiracy plots from day one in these series is why it is falling short. Even as we hear noise like ‘creative differences’, I believe that the entire conspiracy twinkle has ran its course to the largest degree, to be honest, that is why I stopped watching Kiefer Sutherland in Designated Survivor. The series started great and then when we suddenly see an FBI director compromised around episode 6 that was it for me. Oh, and before I forget this is a series that is all about conspiracy, but the way it is done was too far out there, it lost flavour. I believe that Marvel series have been pushed into that field too much as well (as well as several other comic book based series). I believe that the effort to go too deep too fast to please an audience is exactly why appeal is lost to some degree and Luke Cage gets to pay for it (as well as Iron Fist). With over a dozen movies coming in the next 2-3 years as well as optional TV series, this critical look early on will be more essential than most realise. You see, a Marvel overdose is pretty much similar to a Star Trek overdose, at some point we lose the interest to watch it, which is actually opposite to the feelings we had with the comic books and as such we have to consider our point of view. Now, like the comic books there is a filtering, most of us do not care for all the franchises. I was a die-hard Batman and X-men fan and I never got into Spiderman that much. I still loved the movies and I read the comics at times, but it was not my number one, neither were the Fantastic Four. That’s fine because Marvel (and DC) had a flavour for everyone, so much choice, as such we would be more protective of the comics we were nuts about and that is fine too.

Yet there is still Disney to consider and their long term need to make everything too sweet and too ‘pink’. Even as we realise that most cancelations might be linked to IP and the fact that Netflix will be a direct competitor of Disney+, yet the idea that Disney is a little too uncomfortable with these dark tainted series on Disney remains a concern for many fans and as such it is a concern for some fans of these series that they are now part of Disney. The factual reasons are not out there, or perhaps better stated, there is no source I trust to give me the actual truth (except a joint statement from Marvel and Disney and that is unlikely to happen).

Even as Forbes gives us: “Marvel meanwhile plans live-action series for characters including Loki, Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier, and several other characters“, the die-hard fans will now wonder whether we will get the Asgardian Wars on TV or silver screen, not only as it was an awesome story, but that also puts Asgard, the X-men and the Canadian Alpha Flight team on the range implying the coming of a few more series, or movie franchises. All of them have a large following, so Disney would be nuts to walk away from an optional few billion more. Yet that does require Disney to allow for very dark streaks in their acquired paintings and that is where the problem is likely to rise, or at least that is what I think is likely to happen.

Even as Disney can ignore everything this year, the year that Avengers: Endgame broke every record, the long term view is less of a given, with view n 2020-2023, there will be more issues and other issues to deal with, not all of them revenue driven, but revenue will be the mainstream in any discussion that surrounds whatever ‘creative differences’ we will see make the headlines on all kinds of media channels and to ignore this so early in the year is not a healthy thing to do, especially as most of the upcoming movies will be staged to bring in a billion plus each. As stated, I do not think we need to worry about the movies too much, but the Marvel TV series that will be another matter, they will be the bread and butter of Disney+ and those people like their shows a little too sugary to my taste.

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