Tag Archives: Netflix

What was the past

It is something we all face, we see what we had and we miss it. Consider NCIS, an awesome series, and when we were introduced to Agent Fornell, I remembered Joe Spano, he was young innocent, wearing a bowtie and being the psychiatrist at Hill Street blues station. I miss that series at times. I know time moves on and we got Blue Bloods now, yet Hill Street Blues struck a chord in 1981, others did less so, it is hard to explain, because it sounds negative on the series that are out now, but the reality is that something got lost in TV series in the last 10 years. There are series that spring outside the equation, series like NCIS, the Magicians, Lucifer, Fortitude, American Horror Story, but the equation is very unbalanced. When you are trying to figure out how that happened, do not worry, it is simple. In 2019, the number of original scripted television series in the United States hit 532. It is almost 450% up from 1981. Hollywood is so much towards creating amount and less about creating quality, which is why the series I mentioned and a few more stand out. I keep n hearing mentions of Game of Thrones, but not much more, one show takes the cake and that used to be different. Discussions were going on regarding Hill Street Blues, Dallas, Dynasty, Bergerac, Tatort, and a few more. Yet nowadays, the amount of series crossing our eyes increases, yet it seems that nothing between the ear sticks. That tends to be quality, not quantity. There is a reason why a series like NCIS has been around for 18 seasons. Yet at times I still think of the old Hill Street blues station. And each nation had its own quality shows. Germany brought us Tatort and Derrick, the UK gave us Bergerac, the Avengers, Hammer house of horrors, and the list from other nations goes on. But now it seemingly needs to be American, whilst overall (with a few exceptions) the quality is not fantastic, not bad, just not great. And I do believe it is not the cast, not the team and not the writers. It seems to be the pressures to create on too limited a schedule with repetitive ideas again and again.

Why is that?
It is no secret, Hollywood is all about return on investment, but that circle becomes virtual and fictive when quality goes down. There is a need to make money and we get that, I am not against the idea of making money, but what do you think when 2019 had 532 series, all needing originality, all needing ideas and only so many writers with actual original ideas around. It didn’t require rocket science, it was a simple equation. So how long does it take for the Hollywoodians to figure out that there is a limit to quality series that can be produced? You might think that I am talking out of my (non-mouth), but the setting of Netflix handing over $18 billion in the last year for IP should get us to ask questions. Netflix’s 2019 costs to buy, produce and license content will be $15 billion. And when you considered they made a little over $20 billion in 2019, it seems that I am wrong, but am I? Consider how long this pattern can continue? No one denies that you have to spend to make money. Yet, how is the equation correct? And 

Netflix is merely one of several stations, so when this model implodes, we will see Netflix, HBO, Stan, Apple, Amazon and Disney, all spending billions, all whilst the people will have to make choices and we get that, as such some will survive, some will not, we all get that. Yet at that point, what happens to HBO, Stan, Disney, Apple, Amazon and Netflix? Where will you be? 

Differential
I need to set a separation here, we have the money side and the creation side. Yet the money side  will hinder, impair, and optionally drive the creation side, even though the negative sides are only looked at after things go wrong. I believe that continuation can only exist if the quality is of the highest caliber and I personally believe that this is not possible when you create 532 series in a year. At some point something has to give and that is before we consider that there are really good series out there and no one denies that they are good. Yet consider that in 2009 Joss Whedon created an amazing series called the Dollhouse, not merely a good series, it set the tone on serious matters and was cut off after two seasons. He also lost the tone on Firefly, yet that one is still around, after 17 years, now seen as a cult classic. Out of the 532 series, what else will we lose out on, because they are the silent victims, scrapped because the moment was wrong, the analyst did not get what mattered and as such the makers lose out. This setting is important, because with 532 titles that group will increase, too little time, too much to miss out on.

Creation cut short for reasons not within the stage of an audience. Streaming makes this a much smaller factor, but it still will not make it zero. Yes streaming will be important to give good series a larger chance, but in all that the numbers are not adding up, not when you consider what Netflix as one provider sets their cost at and all the other streamers with their own costs as well. Soon it will change again, yet not for the reasons you considered before. You see streamers have one larger station, and internet congestion will hit them too, especially in light of the issues hitting the internet. And we will see places all over the world get a earful of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), and int he end we will rely on all kind of matters, but we forgot that streaming is not alone, there are PC’s for gaming, there are computers for FaceTime, there are computers for work from home, gamers and now with PS5 and the new Xbox it will increase, there are ‘digital editions’ consoles without 4K drives and they all have to download. And they will need to do so a lot more than before on the Xbox One and PS4. The stage is not on the gamers, but we have already seen the news on YouTube and Netflix throttling down, so how can the growth rate continue when the internet is clearly becoming the weakest chain in that link? In March the Guardian reported ‘Disney+ streaming service to launch in UK with lower bandwidth’, so there you are, your new 4K TV so that you can admire Baby Yoda in the Mandalorian, and the service can merely give you 1080 resolution. That is the reality and it is not getting any better until 2023, so can you consider the issues that streaming has and cannot deliver? It is not merely the amount of series, it is the stage where we cannot see their full potential and the UK is not alone, these elements are showing up all over the Commonwealth, al over the EU and the US is also not absent of issues. It was a stage I saw coming in 2018, yet they all declared me a fool, now they say it is a complex issue. Well it is not, it is the issue that was clearly out in the open, ignored by too many. Even now we see the blame game continue n other fields, how long has the PS5 been sold out? How long did we know that this was a setting of hundreds of thousands per nation and we get ‘The UK’s biggest game retailer blames PS5 size for launch delivery delays’, really? The size was known for months, the amount of systems were known for months. Too many people are reacting at the 11th hour, in systems, on the internet and with the ISP’s. Who will they blame when streaming is cut down again? When do the people get the next news from ISP’s that there are issues? Oh, wait, that moment passed already. When we are treated to “Possibly the most common form of buffering occurs when your internet speed is too slow to download the amount of data needed”, as well as “You need at least 25 Mbps for 4K streaming video on your computer or Ultra HD enabled devices”, yet on a global scale and especially outside of metropolitan area that issue is becoming an issue in streaming. So as Net Neutrality is back on the political table in the US, it becomes a massively larger issue to face. This all is not the fault of the streamers, lets be clear about that part, they are a factor, but not the cause, like the blame game couriers, here the ISP’s should have been ready to a much larger degree and we cannot blame them for the covid lockdowns, yet the setting of bandwidth limits has been known for some time, at least a year and that was also out in the open, as such the stage we see will be a larger issue and that I merely a fraction of the station that I see, the math does not add up, it was clear for a much longer time and so far too many parties are aligned to ignore that part. We see solution A, option B and everyone dances around the overwhelming lack of bandwidth.

Consider that Saudi Arabia has a 5G internet that is 750% faster than anything the US has, did anyone consider the weird setting in that regard? And the interesting part is that no one is asking the questions that matters, how come that Saudi Arabia of all places has an internet is so much faster? It is a much larger setting and the people are seemingly kept blind, which is fine by me, but when you lose out on HD episodes of NCIS, American Horror Show season 10, Superman & Lois (2021), or A Discovery of Witches season 2 (2021)? When the throttling continues or increases, what happens to streaming? What happens to net neutrality? Did anyone consider that part of the equation when they saw the $15,000,000,000 bill that Netflix had for 2019? There was a reason why sacking Huawei was a really bad idea and others will soon catch up on that idea. I have no issues with an alternative being found, but none have the capabilities at present and they are unlikely to have them until 2022, should you doubt that? Take a look at how abysmal the USA has its 5G at present, look at how fast streaming is in rural USA, you see the US is a lot more than the 25 large cities and plenty of people live outside these places, should they not be able to stream at the max? When we see that discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, as is the streaming of rural versus metropolitans discrimination or not? Consider that for a moment. So let’s not wait until the 11th hour, let’s make sure that the right people look to the right places quickly, the term sooner rather than later cannot apply, we are already 2 years too late for that. It is the technology side, with the finance and creativity, too many forgot about the technology side of it and now it starts calling foul, it cannot deliver more.

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Cursed by choice

It is a setting some will remember, some fondly, some less so. It is a state where you have too much options. Let me try to explain this, for example, your iPod you find after a year and you see hundreds of songs you have not heard for some time, but you cannot decide, or perhaps a choice of 5 RPG games and you have select one to play. The inability to seek between good options if you want.

It is a setting the reflects on to situations. The first is the one, the only, the musk (Elon to insiders). BBC reports “Tesla’s share price surged about 14% in New York following the news it was being added to the index. Given Mr Musk’s 20% stake in Tesla his net worth rose to $117.5bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth has jumped $90bn this year as Tesla’s share price has continued to rise”, I look at the setting differently, some say he has the Midas gene, he can anything he touches to gold, I reckon like Steve Jobs and a few others, he has the ability to turn generic outliers into commercial successes. We can go from the fact he knows what is useful, we can go with he knows where to push, who to push and how much to push. We can look at it in different ways, but in basic “Tesla’s share price surged about 14% in New York following the news it was being added to the index. Given Mr Musk’s 20% stake in Tesla his net worth rose to $117.5bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth has jumped $90bn this year as Tesla’s share price has continued to rise”, and that is before he realises (perhaps he already knows) that he is optionally sitting on an additional $1.2 trillion (meaning $1,200 billion) and the wired has seemingly no caught on, I had a few ideas in support of that, but the IP is already his, so why bother, he will figure it out. And that is before he goes to space, there he might make a few coins more. 

It is one setting and the opposing view is seen when we look at the lovely youthful youngling known as Taylor Swift. That BBC view (at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-54969396) gives us “Writing on Twitter Swift said it was “the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge””, here we want to answer in anger, yet the article also gives us “Swift signed a deal with record label Big Machine in 2004 granting them ownership of the master recordings to her first six albums in exchange for a cash advance to kick-start her career”, as such if there is no clause with a mandatory first option to buy back, I wonder if Scooter Braun did anything wrong. The news gives us that she signed over ownership on her first 6 albums, so I understand that she is not happy, but did Scooter do anything wrong? She is not the first, I learned a lot later in life that Paul McCartney has lost ownership of Beatles songs. I actually never knew that. And he is not alone, as such, and especially as we know and have seen that Taylor is very intelligent, why she learned her lesson the hard way. As one is cursed by many options, the other one was forced by a lack of options. The most dangerous part in all this is doing something expecting them to act in another, when we see “US entertainment magazine Variety first reported on Monday that Braun had sold the rights – known as masters – to an investment fund. It said the deal is thought to be worth more than $300 million (£227m)”, I wonder how much the songs were bought for, as such still, one third of a billion is a whole lot of money, I would not sell my IP for that (I would set it to a percentage of the patent value), yet overall I could be tempted. And there is a setting switch, it is about awareness, how many people in the music industry have a real grasp of IP and what it is worth nowadays. Games, movie, TV series, they are all in need of music and there is so much one can compose, it was perhaps one of Ubisoft most brilliant moments in all this, get well known songs or well known artists to support the IP, Imagine Dragons is perhaps one of the more known artists, it propelled the game, not merely the graphics, the music was a large part of it and Ubisoft was exceedingly clever there, they might not own the IP, but they knew a good deal when it was there and musicians need to catch up, especially in this age of Netflix and streaming. Now this is not an attack on Taylor Swift, this might have been her only option, yet the stage remains, what kind of legal advice did she get? I do not know, I am merely asking. So when I see (according to the BBC) “When his company, Ithaca Holdings, paid $300m to acquire Swift’s former record label last year, Swift saw it as an act of aggression that “stripped me of my life’s work”. She accused Braun – who also manages Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato – of “incessant, manipulative bullying”” we see a lot of emotion, but the stage is did Scooter Braun do anything wrong or illegal? We might say immoral and unethical but neither is a crime according to law and that is the setting we need to see and perhaps Taylor should have appealed to Elon Musk who has well over 3,000 times what she apparently needed, it is merely food for thought, although, I reckon that Elon gets a dozen of these attempts to contact an hour, and optionally when he figures out where his optional missing $1.2T is even more.

Such is life!
There are two groups cursed by choice, one group has too many, the other has (far) too few. Which one do you belong in? And what makes you think that you are in one or the other, because that contemplation tends to be a solution in itself at times.

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Have at it

I just had an idea, it happens, we all do. It happens whilst I was watching the Downton Abbey movie, for some reason my mind wandered about time travel, the time travel stories we have seen in the cinema, the TV series and the stage of altering the past, yet what if this was different (it always is), I remembered a line in some Star Trek novel giving us “How can we set any station to something that never happened?”, or something of the sort. It gave me another notion, one I am not exploring in the story I was writing, so I am putting it here. What if aliens came to alter history, our history, not to do us harm, but to prevent us from harming them. Consider that we find the setting to dimensional travel (which is done by altering the vibration speed of the electron), it would allow us to see another dimension, this is not new, It has been done before. Yet what happens when we visit an alternative universe where we embraced MASER technology and during the 70’s we used masers to carpet area’s, that technology was not in our reality, so as it comes here, we see a much more powerful and less peace driven people use it as a weapon. When that time is changed, the victims of a maser mine take matters into their hands and decide on a timeline change, one that stops the dimension gap from being explored. So we get in the first  setting an alien invasion, in the second setting our technological advancement in the form leading to invention that were never ours and the stage that we have to be stopped, so how to go about it?

It was  simple application of drive, fears and expectations to set the brief in motion. Ah well, feel free to tinker with it. In light of what is written here, it takes some work, a lot more than the field I designed when I set towards meeting nowhere where we see 8 couples meeting on some kind of a station and no-one has a clue why they are here, or where they are. A setting that has us wondering the bottom of the sea and the vastness of space, so far I have the setting up to the cliffhanger of season 3, but I will admit that season three is still empty. Like season 1 where I set the option of what they did not see coming (and I know what is on the other end), so as they are in a stage where they are on a third between here and the sombrero universe, they went into season 2 and ending the season we see the second way station which is a lot larger and a lot closer to the sombrero universe. A vast connection of what might be, and why not?

So as we look into the IP I casually throw away (mostly undone IP), I see another setting of where we are, we are in a stage of ideas that are flowing over us like a waterfall (it is in my case), I would gladly hand that part over for some sleep, yet there is still the other part, how can we create original IP? Even as Netflix is throwing $17 billion this year alone at new series and the continuation of existing series. I am wondering if there is anything truly original left? When we see the old series and the originality that the set as well as the foundation for other series, I merely wonder, is there anything left? It makes sense for others to grasp at what DC and Marvel have and soon other comics will find their materials in a much stronger movie setting, but that is for another day. For now I need to ponder on original choices, even as my idea seems original, it is founded on the original story RendezVous with Rama, I openly admit that and even as I made a lot of it original, there is a link because my work is an homage to the original thinker Arthur C. Clarke. It is not always good what we make, but when we see the errors we design, we also tend to see around them, or to improve upon them, at least I expect that is what most of us tends to do, the rest? That is up to them.

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A,B,C,…..D?

We all have ways to promote the thinking pattern within ourselves, we all have our way to get about it, I am no exception. Yet, today is a weird day, I am overwhelmed with a thought and a sensation from the 60s. I was a wee young lad (a little piss ant is more like it), I was never a saint, especially when I was young. And in all this we all had our own ways to deal with ourselves, again, I am not exception. 

The sensation that bugs me today is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while. It is like a nuisance that keeps on bugging me and I do not exactly know why. It is a drink, in the Netherlands it was for a small time (in the 60s) decently wanted. The bottle was long and slim, with a light blue lid, it contained some form of a tangerine drink. That drink has been on my mind for a while now, and I miss it, but until recently it’s been nagging me and I do not know why. I looked up a few things and I noticed that there is no decent tangerine liquor. The drink I used to have was a lemonade, basically tangerine juice, settled with a third ingredient like water, still water. So why was it on my mind so strongly?

I had been considering a lot more from that era, mostly TV series, it was all before the house of Pong set up its shrine (a manhunter New York joke). And then it hit me, it was 1968, the Dutch TV series ‘De Fabeltjeskrant’ created by Leen Valkenier started, the UK got it later titled ‘The Daily Fable’, the setting had connections to the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, Aesop, and others. No matter how simple it was then, it was close to unequalled until it ended in 1989 after well over 1600 episodes, a gem too many had forgotten about, The adventures narrated by Mr Owl, with Miss Stork, 

Mr. Cunningham the Fox, Mr. Crow, Boris the Wolf, Bert and Fred Beaver, Zippy the Hare,Shelly the Tortoise, Miss Ant, Gerald the Pigeon, Milord the Horse, Harold the, George the Guinea Pig in the British version, Mumbles the Mole, Myra the Hamster, Greta the Cow, and Zaza the Zebra. There were more characters, but I stopped watching when I grew a little older, yet consider the simple fact that this series ran for over 1600 episodes and consider all the old tales as well as the tales of Grimm and others, what a treasure trove it could be, even today, we are all looking at the hi-tech series, but there is a reason that Tim Burton struck gold with the Nightmare before Christmas, stop motion animation is still an art that can move all the senses we have and we forgot about that tiny detail. We seemingly forgot about the situation where what was is still good, but how to embrace it? The fair part is that children do not mind, they embrace the story, the interactions, the inclusion, it is the inclusion that tends to take the cake, but it is merely one of a few factors and to be around for 22 years, that matters, that shows that you have a winner. So can it be relaunched? That is the question we need to face. E can remaster it, it can be remade, but in the same way? It is like the original Mass Effect, these gems are close to timeless, in 15 years when we have the Playstation 6 and the Zbox (or XboxX), a game like Mass Effect will still have a value that equals its weight in gold, so TV series too will have their moment and the IP and its owner sees a new life where none was expected. It is the showing of a real visionary, a game like Mass Effect (the original trilogy) is truly one of those. 

So whilst my mind focussed on a tangerine smell and a faint taste of what was, the reason was lingering in the back of my mind and the Daily Fable is not the only thing from those days. Netflix is investing a little over $17 billion in this year alone, but on how much actual IP? What if a fraction could get them several series that could give them a much larger offering of series? As the workflow comes back (after another lockdown), we see that there is a need for materials that will be there for the younger and the not so young viewers. 

It is about series, games, streaming and non streaming. It is all directed via IP, but it is not the only option, there is a whole league of games that lost their IP protection years ago, the same for TV series and the clever mind is one that looks in the past and find the troves most forgot about.  A setting we need to take another look at. So consider on what Netflix is spending and then add the billions that DisneyPlus is spending and see what some can get at a mere farthing per pound, a setting too enticing to ignore, but the will be the name of the game soon enough. 

It links to an old joke, what is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant? A zookeeper has a $10 note and hands you 10 $1 coins, an accountant squeezes the $10 note until it gives up 11 $1 coins. We can laugh at the or realise that the Netflix has an optional $1,700,000,000 around, all because not the right accountant took a look at the $10 notes. We can laugh at the joke, or we can consider that there are parts none of them looked at, why is that? Or better stated, where are the gemstones? You already saw one, let me give you one more, it was a Swedish series called ‘Den vita stenen’, a series based on a 1965 award winning book. In a collection of nations, a mere 2 options and that is before you realise that France, Germany, Norway, Estonia, Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. They all have the gemstones no-one noticed or they forgot the impact they had focussing on a local market tends to have that impact and the time goes short, soon more than one will catch on and when they get it done it will be too late for them.

Such is life, as such, did you get to point D? If so, is it a square, a rectangle, a trapezium or a parallelogram? All options and none are the same.

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A streaming war

Yup, this is about to come to larger blows, you see, there is Netflix (of course), Apple, Amazon Prime, Canal Plus/Foxtel and Disney Plus. There are a few more, but in many cases HBO is added to the film channels of Foxtel, and so on. Yet these players never took a serious look at the treasure of the east, Japan particularly. Yes they all look at the manga, yet there is a lot more. The Zatoichi series, which was followed by an amazing movie with Takeshi Kitano. There are a lot more, and even as there are some really good movies around that are done in
Japan (Earthquake bird with Alicia Vikander), Japan has a lot of original non manga material to offer. In the horror section there is the Audition and Oldboy, the second one is also seen as a remade English version, but it is nowhere near as good as the original, perhaps it was the atmosphere. There is of course the setting of Ju-On and that video that kills within 7 days, but those are the visible ones that made the press. A lot of people got interested in Japan as a provider of entertainment after Kill Bill part 1, that is fair enough, we all have our moments. For me it was the 1980 TV-series Shōgun with Richard Chamberlain, based on the novel by James Clavell with the same name. A series where we see giants like Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Shimada, Frankie Sakai, and Hideo Takamatsu (and many more). Not just that, even the Middle-Earth trusted Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) was already amazing 40 years ago. I reckon it might be time for a remake, if only the 1980 version was not so darn perfect. Yet there is more in Japan than just remakes. To see that we merely have to look at the Playstation 4 and the almost perfect Ghost of Tsushima. Until the game was there, I know nothing of this place and the setting it had. And I know I am not alone. We might want to travel back to 2006 when Clint Eastwood release the second part, Letters from Iwo Jima. As Flags of our fathers showed us the American side, Clint took a gander and showed us the other side as well. What we ended up with is a near complete view of a war no-one really wanted, but we were all forced to fight it, because there was no other way. 

Yet as we see the roll call of movies in Japan, we see the western view of it and some of it is really good, there is the Forest with Natalie Dorner who is pretty amazing (for those who merely know here from her ways to excite Henry VIII, or be the sweet dear in GoT), this is the movie to watch her in). We need to acknowledge that a movie about Japanese in Japan can only be made by the Japanese. We do not deny that Lost in Translation is a gem, yet who knows of 100 Yen Love, and before you think that this is mere love movie, think again, in this particular case it is Billion dollar baby on steroids. A slob turning her life around and it is that underdog fight that for some reason is a lot better when it is done in Japan. There is another example, The Ramen Girl, underestimated and a little shallow, but it shows us a side of Japan we rarely see, their strife for excellence, a spiritual side perhaps, perhaps not. But there is a multitude of sides to Japan we always seem to ignore. The technologists look at Japan, because what we see there now will hit our borders in about 5 years. Yet in all that, we seem to forget that Japan has a soul and even if we do not understand it, some wall parts are shown in their movies and TV-series. With the world wanting more and wanting something different, there is every chance that Japanese entertainment goods will b e fought over by the streaming giants. And if these parts do not convince you, take a look at Gokusen (2002) and I can tell you right now, the plot twist that hits you at the end of season one, is one you we’re never ready for. 

You could say: Only in Japan!

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Sto what? It’s the Rage that we get to see

Yup, IGN gives us ‘PS5 File Sizes Revealed for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls’, which is not really that much of a surprise, yet there is a part that was a surprise “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Launch Edition will require at least 50 GB, while the Ultimate Launch Edition will need at least 105 GB of space as it also includes a remastered version of 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man”, so even as IGN gives us that there is more gaming with Miles Morales, the stage that the game is that extra is a nice surprise for the PlayStation people. Yet the issue is the storage, I saw this issue coming a long time ago, basically, storage issues were on my radar since 2012, when Microsoft was a lot less eager to listen to its users. In the stage now, we see that Microsoft is finally listening, we see the stage the I foresaw in the Xbox One series X, 4K gaming requires storage and a lot of it. Now both systems will have space for an additional SSD, so there should be more than enough storage when the additional drive is installed. There is however the newness of the NVMe SSD. Even as the 2TB drives are not cheap ($368), it is the 4TB (at $1199) where the price tends to really matter. Now the are generic NVMe SSD, as the PS5 one is less generic, even faster and currently not available, the stage is coming to larger upgrades and there is no doubt that Microsoft has its own version. 

So even as we need to take to heart the message that IGN gives us, we also need to consider that there is a real setback for those relying on the digital edition versions of either console. When we consider that the PS5 dic holds 100GB, and when we also consider that the games are 50GB or larger, consider the patches that you have to download, and consider the download of any new patch, and people are surprised that I am a DISC fanatic? 

You see, before 5G is completely deployed (For Sydney that is the time of now until somewhere 2022), consider the no less than 175.000 systems (Microsoft and Sony), and the setting that the bulk will need to download 50GB optionally more than once a week. Congestion is the only path that remains. Consider that normal usage during the lockdown forced YouTube and Netflix to downgrade their streams, Netflix would not show 4K movies (as I understood), so what do you think that all the downloads of games and patches will accomplish? 

And in all this, the fact that until the systems have enough storage, games might have to be downloaded more than once, we see more congestion and IGN gives us that 2 games amount to 20%, so now add Skyrim, Fallout 4, the new TES game and the new Fallout game and this list will go on for a while, so on both systems we are likely to see 99.3% filled drives, implying the until the additional drive is installed, more games need to be installed multiple times and it will add to congestion. Now consider the stage in the UK, London, where we see 6 million people and there is every chance that there will be a little over a million nextgen consoles in London (both Sony and Microsoft), so how much congestion will they face? Consider that the lockdown will continue in the UK, a console might be the only relief that a lot will see and in all this, they will be screaming congestion next to YouTube and Netflix, did no one catch on?

It is the simplest of settings and we will see congestion all over the EU, the US, and most Commonwealth nations. So when we realise that last March we got “Sony Will Throttle US Game Download Speeds to Help Ease Internet Congestion”, how do you think it all goes when two companies launches their nextgen consoles on a global scale? When we consider that the new games are at least 20% larger and millions will take the ‘cheaper’ edition that is digital only, do you have any idea the level of congestion we will face? It will go down somewhat AFTER we get the additional drive, but for some that might be a year away, and now we will see a group of people relying on the digital edition, so no drives, that sets the stage to millions with downloads only, I wonder how many people have the bandwidth to deal with the console needs, because at $10 per GB, that bill will add up really fast. 

In the end people will trivialise their digital needs, but in about 8 weeks the first groups will set the threshold on an international stage and the news will suddenly be about how gamers use all the bandwidth, they will suddenly be the bad guys. Yet the stage we see now is all about a digital shift the the business world is not ready for and the vilification of Huawei is not helping, but I reckon that we will see the impact during the holiday season of 2020, the final numbest is unknown, because the total sold systems from Sony and Microsoft will not be clear in the initial setting, they are both part of the issue, this is nothing against either, this is the future of gaming and this will be the first time when the internet not the system will be the bottleneck, it is a new situation for all of us.

 

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In Netflix we trust

Yup, as marketing titles go, it is not the worst and to be fair, Netflix has its ups (and downs), yet there is no denying, they have been offering a lot more than most and the really good series that they do not have (Billions for example) does not mean that they are not on a high. In that setting I was considering to additional titles for the Netflix barn.

Title unknown

It is a weird title to set the stage to, I saw the movie about 25 years ago and I still remember parts of the movie, this movie sticks with me like nothing I have ever known. In the movie a man basically commits a misdemeanour and unknowingly leaves the state, as he lives his live, a well respected man, engaged to a nice lady and a decent breadwinner, he is contacted about the event. He is willing to pay a fine, he is willing to make repairs (he did no damage to anyone), and he is offered a deal one months of light jail time in the state the crime was committed and the slate is wiped clean, when he gets to the town he is arrested and in court he is made an example of, nothing of his goodwill is shown and he gets a much longer jail term and not in a light jail, the system intentionally thoroughly destroys the man and after a long time, he escapes. A little later we see the man approaching his fiancé, she asks him how he will survive, his response “I’ll make it, I’m a criminal now”, the man is a psychotic shade of his former self.

I was unable to find the movie, but I would love to see it again, I also believe that this movie could be remade into a modern version, I reckon Will Smith might be a great fit, but that is not a dealbreaker, there are several really good actors, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Don Cheadle, all great choices, all established actors, because this is not a soft movie, this would be a much darker version as today is a much darker reality than the people in 1950 could dream of. 

Hiding Out

Hiding out is a 1987 comedy drama. It is not one of the best 140 movies from the 80’s, yet I still remember the movie. I believe it to be a diamond in the rough (sorry Disney). Jon Cryer made it into an above average movie. And it could be made into a serious piece of work, perhaps a 3-4 episode mini-series. The story is about 3 stockbrokers passing off bogus stock for the mob, when the issues start the mob get rid of one of them and the other two run for cover into the arms of the FBI, yet on route things happen and one more bites the dust. The one remaining (Jon Cryer) goes underground in high school. I believe that it could be a much larger story, especially if we add darkness and realism to the remake. The original was fine, especially in 1987, but in 2022, if we set the stage in episode one into a more realistic view of stock markets and how bogus junk bonds are created, the risk involved and how the US government is basically unable to stop it, merely limit the damage at best. From that we get to episode two and shed light on FBI protocols and activities. How they work (to some degree) and the options of evading the FBI (and the mob) as the protagonist ends up in a less visible state (like Arkansas, Ohio, Idaho, or Wisconsin). As such we see the stage of how the new protagonist sets up his new identity in one of these state colleges as an economics teacher. Episode three will be set in college life and how he falls for one of the other teachers, and her life (so we can use the ATM part to get the mob and FBI back on track), and in light of that we get to the final episode where we get the showdown, the arrest of some (not all) of the mob and the essential need of the protagonist to enter witness protection. The episode ends with him falling of the radar and some look on how witness protection works. I state all this in an academic approach, but it will be a drama (some comedy would be nice too), Jon Cryer is too old for the role now, but I believe it would be nice having him as the clued in FBI agent, or perhaps one of the mob bosses. Merely two ideas mixing in my mind, and it is only Monday, what will I be capable of on Wednesday? 

Well, that will be another story, optionally another creation whilst I wait the terms I have to wait for.

 

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The Fantastic Four and the bully

Yup its Friday! The match is set and also tempered and set against the Fantastic Four, they face it because the people who they are defending against are not that clued-in on the abilities of the digital economy and they merely want better pickings from these four, I am actually surprised that Netflix is missing there on a few stages, but perhaps they promised the not so clued in spectacle seekers to give them all the illumination they are worthy for, it is a dicey call, but when you can lose it all, you can also play it all.

They are up against a congress who has fiddled and played away well over 8 trillion in stupidity, the rest was unavoidable, they are that not clued in and the batter is about to hit the hedges, so they need a play so that they can retire unabated and without accountability. This was not new, there had been announcements and for the most, I actually thought that in light of what was playing now, that US Congress might give this a miss, but no, I was wrong.So as we look t the article (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tech-congress/big-tech-ceos-ready-defenses-for-u-s-congress-hearing-into-their-growing-power-idUSKCN24O16K), we notice the lead ‘Big Tech CEOs ready defenses for U.S. Congress hearing into their growing power’, yet did we also notice “The panel is questioning the companies as part of its probe into whether they actively work to harm and eliminate smaller rivals, while not always making the best choices for their customers”, perhaps you remember the old court case, where we get the number one hilarious moment (at https://www.nbcnews.com/video/senate-gop-and-white-house-tentatively-agree-on-1-trillion-coronavirus-relief-88172613521), NBC was not the only one giving us that, but you get the idea on how clueless American Politics seems to be. You see, there are two parts in this. The first is “while not always making the best choices for their customers”. The sides here are 1. ‘Who is the customer?’, and 2. ‘What are the best choices?’, as I personally see it, congress does not have the brightest players in the first place, so there is every chance that at least 20% of that panel is clueless to the digital environment. And that is not all. If we consider “The high-profile hearing, which will bring together Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai, will be a key moment in the growing backlash against Big Tech in the United States and is likely to set up a face-off between the executives and skeptical lawmakers from both parties”, we see an optional stage of discrimination. In the first Twitter and Netflix are not there, in the second, as far as I (and others can tell), these players have acted on the letter of the law, the fact that others can’t do that, is not competition Law, it makes it something else (not sure what actually). I agree that I do not have all the answers, but this in the end we need to see that this is optionally not about what they say it is, the European Law and their GDPR is biting hard, as the US privacy shield is falling short by too much, there is every chance that the US government is missing out on terabytes of personalised data as their FISA act opted access for and that is not sitting pretty with them. So where is my evidence?

We see part off this in “Apple is likely to be quizzed about the way it manages its app store after facing criticisms it hurts newcomers. Apple told Reuters it will argue it does not have controlling market share for apps. The iPhone maker views its store as a feature designed to ensure the security and reliability of its phones.” The App Store is a rather large being, but it is amped towards Apple products, and as such security is key. So far the issues we see are a mere fraction of what could be. In this Forbes gave us that part yesterday with “With the July 22 launch of the Apple’s SRD program, security researchers will be able to go and hunt bugs much deeper within iOS. Apple said that the iPhones, which will be dedicated exclusively to such work, and known as security research devices, will come “with unique code execution and containment policies.” What this means, for example, is that the file system will be accessible for inspection rather than just looking at crash log snapshots or using jailbroken devices. The latter being far from perfect as jailbreak vulnerabilities are generally patched quickly, and so any research is more easily denied by Apple as being flawed.” Again, this shows two parts, the first is that Apps are often defined by hardware and Apple hardware is in transit, making most issues moot for Apple, the second part is that we see “the file system will be accessible for inspection rather than just looking at crash log snapshots”, we can argue that this betters the US government access to data, but does not really prove it, the merely get a better look at where to seek what they desperately want. I am still not convinced that this hearing isn’t an option for old goats (oops, I meant members of Congress) to get selfie time wit the 4 most wanted selfie objects in history.

I wil forgo on Amazon, these people have enough problems to set a proper definition of what is a hazard and how to identify it, I briefly discussed that in ‘6 simple questions’ in February this year, where a load of shortcomings, or is that shortcumings? Are set in motion, I never understand how people get their rocks of on bad work, but that might merely be me. I discussed it (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/02/03/6-simple-questions/) it also had a link to another article that shows questionable parts of FTI Consulting, as such and quoting CNN who gave us “The report’s limited results are a reminder that it can be extremely challenging to reconstruct the activities of a determined, well-resourced hacker”, all whilst the identity of the hacker is still up in the air, and this is set against a person who has more money than the combined resources of all who live in New York, which is saying something. He is 25% of what Congress faces? To be honest, I feel that the US audience are facing another Mickey Mouse show, which is weird as Disney is not in the dock, but I got extra popcorn, so that I can watch and giggle at the same time. Oh and by the way, I wrote this all on an innovative MacBook Air, as such we see that other players are not up to scrap to show us what is truly innovative. As I see it, this is the first truly innovative piece of hardware since the release of the G5 in 2004, so I wonder what Congress is really trying to achieve. And when we see “in recent weeks the firm has published blog posts and a white paper asserting that it still faces plenty of competition and that the fees it charges ad buyers and sellers are justified.” We see an optional path for Google, all whilst the non US Data centres of Google are being upholstered to avoid GDPR issues, as I see it the US Bully, oops, I mean Congress, are out of their depth in an age where computers and hardware changes quicker then the identity of the average man’s mistress. There are so many tackles and interactions, I have no trust in what US Congress is trying to achieve, but there is an upside for me, a they fail more and more, we see that my IP is still untouched and no one got near it, all this whilst the 5G site is going forward in most area’s, l except the USA. Perhaps Congress should have other priorities, like sorting out the tax laws that these four face, is that a little over the top?

 

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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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Contemplations

We all contemplate, we consider, we weigh and we make decisions after the contemplation. Yet it is not always that simple, at times the contemplation comes after what preceded. I cannot continue my novel until the laptop arrives, and even as it is completely unrelated to the idea I had for an optional TV series, the idea is still sound, as such I am considering whether the elements in it can be added to my novel, I am only at 60,000 words, it is something that I have to contemplate. We all have similar issues, it is notalways about writing, or playing a game, some contemplations are serious, some are not, yet they too tend to refract into serious parts of our lives, even if we are not initially aware of it. 

It is not the only thing that I am contemplating. I have seen over the last few days all kinds of messages, ‘tweaked’ advertisements and messages of a sort on how we can change business decisions after the Coronavirus. I am baffled on the premise of ‘new approaches to business’, I am willing to accept that new business is where you find it, yet the oversized issue is misreporting, mismanagement of government funds and mismanaging of attempts to look cool, all whilst we know that actual scientists need actual time to investigate. The greed driven elements before the Corona situation had created empty shells with the idea that some time in the future it would fix itself, all whilst those elements knew perfectly well that these things never fix themselves, they are merely pushed onto the next administration. An abuse on a global scale and the people see the impact now, they now get to live in a new situation and they elected the people that put them in that position. These governments never went out to muzzle the EU to the degree needed, as such well over € 3,000,000,000,000 in debt, as such the EU had no reserves left for what is coming now. And it did this after it was clear that the first trillion did not do what they hoped, yet they wanted it, because money has to roll and as such another stint of spending became the concept of normal. All this, whilst the proper stage of properly setting up tax laws for corporations have never been done, delayed decade after decade. All this whilst the EU had no issues to reject (in November 2019) any move to show names of those using tax avoidance a stage where the people would see the proposed situation where firms had to reveal profits made and taxes paid in EVERY EU nation they operated in, I reckon that the FAANG group has powerful friends all over the EU, and these 12 members should be looked at with a lot more scrutiny. The FAANG group is avoiding an estimated $500,000,000,000 a year, as such the irony is laughable, it would have paid for the issue they face now and in that same setting education and housing in Europe would be close to fixed, a stage history never had before. Yet, those with a low tax shelter option were happy to reject, they included Ireland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Austria, Croatia and the Czech Republic. We all see the damage, but we are all so relieved that Apple is now a $1,500,000,000,000 company, Yes, at what expense? It is food for contemplation.

So as we see not on how we can work from home and what we need to do it properly, I wonder what happened to all those tax reductions in the 90’s so that we could work from home, there is an apparent lag in what was regarded as enough and is now showing to be inadequate. So whilst some applaud ‘EU did not witness any major internet congestion’, it comes without the mention that Netflix and YouTube slowed down services to avoid congestion, apparently full services are not possible, but that is a story for another time (in the very far future if it was up to them). So whilst BEREC (an EU regulator) was all about the reporting mechanism to monitor internet traffic, we see that I gave you the links yesterday to other people who see that most of them cannot even report the amount of people getting the Coronavirus and optional those dying from it. As such we see another optional example that human lives matter less than any danger to what is laughingly called ‘the economy’, weird is it not? 

OK, I agree that one is not the other, but it seems that when the economy is in danger a whole additional range of support services come into play, when the lives of people are on the line, this support is seemingly missing. The EU shows even more signs of lag on different levels. In other news (as stated in my previous blog) we see Humanitarian actions that are empty and other pacifist actions that are useless, yet their actions pushed close to $13,000,000,000 out of UK and US hands and handed it to both Russia and China, in addition there are several damaged deal thatSaudi Arabia had with Germany, but I have no numbers on that. So whilst I am not anti-Humanitarian, I am a pragmatist and it seems that hollow actions are just that hollow in a time and age that none can afford, even now, we seem to be utterly anti-Saudi Arabia, yet there is no factual reason to do this. In opposition we see that the actions against Iran are close to non-existent, all whilst Forbes reported yesterday that there are 100 new naval vessels in Iran, it seems that there is a lot to contemplate, especially as some EU players are hiding behind the Nuclear deal like it is a Santa wish list, all whilst we see from several directions, some less than a day old ‘New tensions dim hopes for salvaging Iran Nuclear deal’ and ‘New IAEA report is reminder of old problems with the Iran Nuclear Deal’ a stage that shows that Iran does what it pleases and takes no time to be civil about it, when it is conventional it is one thing, the nuclear side is a direct threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia and the EU players are willing to burn those two elements if they look better, because Iran will make some bullshit excuse on how it was not their fault, that it was a fanatic and they possibly misjudged the situation and those European players will all nod in agreement, their pockets optionally lined with income never earned. And we are all letting it happen.

It is perhaps our greatest flaw, we do not act when we should, we let greed driven motivations overwhelm our needs and we seek to blame someone when we all let this happen, as contemplations go, we have to think through a lot at present and we need to do it faster.

 

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