Tag Archives: NY Post

Finger in a dike

We have all heard the story of the boy who stopped a flood by putting his finger in a dike; Robin Williams made a reference to it and women in comfortable shoes in the past (whatever that means). The story is known, the act sounds just too ridiculous, because any flood that can be stopped with a finger is one that will not amount to much flooding. Yet the story behind it is very different. You see, the story is about the dangerous Muskrats, who dig themselves boroughs in dikes. These boroughs have canals that can go for hundreds of feet and as the Muskrat population grows, the dikes and dams they are in could be damaged beyond normal repair and that is when the dangers start, because dikes are important in the Netherlands. A large part of it is vastly below sea level, meaning that such a loss could have impacted safe living in that place. Muskrats are also fierce fighters and feeders, meaning that as their population grows, the other animals become extinct. Even as that rat has a usual lifespan for a year, in that year it can reap damage that only people can match. So as we consider the damage a year brings, we need to now consider todays story in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/14/freedom-of-information-act-document-leaks-could-become-criminal), where we see: “criminalise passing on information discoverable under FOI requests“, so basically any news given, even when it can be obtained by an FOI request can become an issue that follows prosecution and even conviction? How is anyone allowed to pass this as law allowed in office, especially as he lives by the motto that was a Herman Brood hit (read: I’ll never be clever). There is a weighting here. I for one have spoken out against the non-accountability of the press. The one time they got scared (read: The Leveson enquiry), they started to scream foul and promise bettering themselves. A promise some of the press broke even before the ink of that promised dried. Yet there is in equal measure a need to keep the people correctly and decently informed. There is a need to get cybersecurity on a decent level and there is a need to hunt down hackers. In this places like Sony are feeling the brunt of hackers and until the authorities are willing to execute the parents (or children) of these hackers, depending of the age of the hacker in front of their eyes, they will not ever see the light and these issues will happen. In this, the entire whistle-blower thing is another hot potato and some politicians seem to think that the one will stop the other, which is even more delusional than my idea of executions to make a point. There is another side to all this that is linked. You see, in the military there is a strict need of secrecy. In that this Bradley Manning person is just a traitor who did not realise just how stupid he really was. The fact that he did not spend life in prison until death is another failing which has been covered by too many for too long and too often. Julian Assange is another matter. Basically he was a mere facilitator, we might seem to consider him a traitor but in the end he did not break any laws and the US knows this, they just have another need to address the ego of certain people. I see Snowden as a traitor, plain and simple. As we were misrepresented with a movie, a book and all kinds of stories, there is still the issue that things did not add up. The never did and never will. In this light a whistle-blower seems to be a very different needed person (I will get to that later).

The three names mentioned all have their own role to play in all this. In case of Manning, it is treason plain and simple, whomever got him off lightly did a stellar Law job, but in the end, he committed treason under war time conditions. Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2013-08-02/bradley-manning-s-crime-is-smaller-than-treason) gives us the view of John Yoo, a legal expert, whose view I share: “His actions knowingly placed the lives of American soldiers, agents, and allies at grave risk. In the world of instant, world-wide communications and non-state terrorist groups, Manning committed the crime of aiding the enemy, and he is lucky to escape the death penalty“. As an operator, Manning had access to do his job and he abused the access he had endangering the lives of his ‘fellow’ soldiers. In this the less diplomatic view would be that he was more entitled to death by hanging than some of those executed at Nuremberg. So as we realise that Manning soon could have more rights than an optional member of the press is just a little too insane in my book. In all this, as we see that part in a little biased light, we need to realise that the press has a need to expose certain elements. Yet they too are biased and they are biased towards advertisers and stakeholders, which is why certain military documents are placed in a juicy sexy light, yet the issues of Microsoft, Sony and a few others that clearly food for thought for a generation of consumers seems to be misplaced. So how should we see the less responsible acts of the press in that light?

The second part is Snowden, again, as I see it a traitor, here the issue is severe on all sides, the Intelligence community failed miserably on several sides as one person has seemingly access to systems that should have been monitoring access on a few sides. I saw within two hours at least 3 issues for consideration of prosecution of certain heads of intelligence for mere gross negligence. The issues found with NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III just adds to the issues in Alphabet soup land. In this there would have been the need of a very different whistle blower, one that could have walked into the US supreme court stating that his nation is in serious danger giving evidence free from prosecution where an ‘uncle’ of the NSA walks into the office of Admiral Rogers (current director, not the director at that time) asking what the f**k he thinks he is doing on the farm. In a system that is about subterfuge and misdirection, those making errors are often chastised in unbalanced ways. As they are about deadlines and being flawless (which is a delusion all by itself) finding ways to clear issues, solve issues and give support in a place that is relying just a little too much on contractors is an essential need. In this the US is the most visible, but we can agree that the UK has its own demons, the most visible ones were in the 70’s, yet the cloud is now a dangerous place and in addition, I foresee that the near future will bring us more, because if a place like Sony cannot keep a lid on its data, do you actually believe that the cloud is secure? It is not, because some people were pushing too fast for a technology that has issues on several levels. As the cloud grows the customer is no longest charged per Gigabyte, but per Terabyte, so as the cost seems to be 0.1% of what was, they are all seeing the financial benefit and they are clearly ignoring the need to comprehends data sizes and what to put where. As the sales teams are giving nice presentations on security and no loss of data, they seem to be a little more silent on amount of data replicated somewhere else. Which in case of Intelligence is a bit of an issue under the best conditions. By the way that switch from GB to TB happened in the last 5 years alone, so this market is accelerated but in ways that seems to be a little too uncomfortable and I love tech and I embrace it whenever possible, so others should be a lot more mindful and worried than I am at present.

Last we get to Julian Assange, he is either loved or hated. I tried to remain in the balance of it as he basically broke no laws, but to shed the dirty laundry in the way he did was a little stupid. We read all the things on how certain stuff was removed and so on, but there is an issue. In all this we heard all the military stuff, yet when the mention and threats of bank presentations came, he went quiet and dark less than 48 hours later, so it seems that some issues are just not given to the people, especially certain facts that should have been brought out. Here we see another side of the whistle-blower. I get that certain events should not be allowed out, yet when I read: “We would expand the Freedom of Information act to stop ministers and departments from being able to block the publication of information they see as politically inconvenient“, which we get from Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson. We see another part of the conversation, one that needs scrutiny on a few levels. The entire issue that a conviction is possible for releasing information that is readily available under the FOI is dodgy to say the least. There is a side in my that there should be a certain level of control on whistle-blowers, yet in that same light as we see too often that corporate whistle-blowers are refused the light of day by the press calls for questions marks on the earliest given Mondays of any week.

If the dike is to stop the people from drowning we need to make sure that the muskrat is stopped for various reasons, yet when that dike is also the road that facilitates for the shipment of toxic waste, we need to wonder what the basic need of that specific dike is. And that is before we see that the road facilitates for ‘Big Pharma’ to ship its medication, whilst the 1000’s of tonnes of pharmaceutical waste is left ignored, which is ignored by the media when Dr Who (read: World Health Organisation) is telling people that there is now a direct danger to newborns, with in India alone an estimated 56,000 deaths of newborns dying from resistant infections. So as we see very little of that in the news, what are those opposing the whistleblowing actions crying about? They themselves have become filters on what the people are allowed to learn about. Doesn’t that sound slightly too sanctimonious to you?

The issue that goes on is that these events are less and less an issue of rarity. The Times (at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/600-tonnes-of-waste-dumped-under-road-dmttlzrkh), gives us, when you are subscripted, a view that “Up to 600 tonnes of household rubbish have been dumped under the A40 in Buckinghamshire, in one of Britain’s worst incidents of fly-tipping”, this is not some issue that is done with a simple truck, this took time and staff. This was deliberate and orchestrated. In this the whistle-blower would have been essential in dealing with such a crime, as it stands now, it made someone an easy £90,000 and the damage could end up being considerable larger and more expensive. It is anyone’s guess if the CPS will ever secure an arrest and conviction. So as we see the toxicity of the changes the UK and others could face. When we consider the final part “Thomas Hughes, the executive director of Article 19, said: “The Law Commission’s proposals would move the clock backwards, undoing improvements in the UK’s 1989 Official Secrets Acts, and setting a dangerous example of eroding freedom of expression protections, which may be copied by oppressive regimes globally”, we must ask what the devils own sugar did the Law Commission have in mind when these changes were proposed. By the way, the moment it gets adopted, there is every chance that any person with direct links to Wall Street will see other sides. This is what we get from the NY Post, “The Financial CHOICE Act 2.0, which passed the House Financial Services Committee last week, has provisions to keep corporate whistle-blowers involved in any wrongdoing from collecting awards. The act would also require the whistle-blower to try to stop violations from happening within their company — a stipulation that advocates fear would force employees to choose between being fired or not reporting anything at all”, we see this at http://nypost.com/2017/05/14/whistleblower-bill-sparks-fear-among-advocates/, so you tell me who this is all supposed to benefit. As I see it, we see a shift where those who have not are stronger and stronger segregated from those who have and those who continuously want to have. A mere adaption from the battle strategy segregation, isolation and assassination? Assassination needs not resolve in death, today we see how economic and financial death could at times be much worse than anything permanently offered, although the mothers in India might disagree on that. The question becomes where does the press truly stand, with informing the people or with the advertisers they rely on nowadays?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Military, Politics

Dumping costs

I saw the news two days ago, but I left it on the side as I was looking at other issues (like Euro leaders enabling Greece and so on). Yet, the article ‘Taylor Swift criticises ‘shocking, disappointing’ Apple Music‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/21/taylor-swift-criticises-shocking-disappointing-apple-music) is a lot more important than you think. I was unaware for two reasons. One, I do not use streaming services. I go to the shop and buy those silver coloured circular contraptions. I think that they are called CD’s. For all the ‘security’ claimed to be, I do not trust online providers. If someone ever wipes their records, whatever I owned will be gone. There are other reasons, but they do not matter at this moment. What is the real price now is the light that Taylor Swift throws on big business.

You see the quote “Swift has joined independent labels in attacking Apple’s plans not to pay royalties during the three-month free trial of its new Apple Music streaming service” is pretty important. The richest corporation in the world decided to attempt a new business model. So this corporation, the wealthiest one in the world basically will not pay royalties to new and starving artists (the 99.9999943% who are not Taylor Swift or successful).

How come, it takes one artist to open her mouth whilst the media and so many others remain quiet? One artist speaks up and suddenly we become aware. Can anyone explain to me how it is possible that Rolling Stone Magazine (at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/apple-introduces-apple-music-streaming-service-24-7-radio-20150608) did not lead with this fact when the article was published on June 8th 2015?

It is also very interesting how Taylor Swift opened the door for everyone to suddenly give voice, where none were saying anything at all (in this I am referring to the larger news outlets, not the smaller and small digital reviewers who seem to have been asking questions as early as the first week of June, perhaps even longer.

The sheer audacity that a third party seems to have to pay for the cost of a trial business model is plenty of reasons to ask Apple some questions, especially as they are already using tax havens to a planetary maximum. In all this we also see the Wall Street Journal where they (at http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/06/15/apple-to-pay-common-royalty-rates-for-music-service/) that initially the quote “Apple is offering a three-month free trial from June 30. During that period, Apple won’t pay music owners anything for songs that are streamed” (on June 15th), whilst the people at the Wall Street Journal seem to be devoid of opinion in that article. Consider that this is the Wall Street Journal, and the used business model, a clear model of exploitation is not raising any clear questions on an editorial level is even more astounding.

I am on the fence for two reasons, as I will concede that I might have missed it until it came to the Guardian or BBC, the fact that pages of newspapers in online searches are only now catching on is equally disturbing to me. Why did this issue remain below the radar for so long? I have mentioned before that too many newspapers seem to ‘appease’ (read cater to) their advertising base (read large corporations), this event only seems to enforce the unacceptable trend.

The WWDC2015 did not seem to have any information at all (June 8th). I understand that Apple might have steered clear from mentioning it, yet that others had not considered these events is equally questionable. The last part is visible in the Guardian article at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/08/apple-streaming-music-regulators-beats-music-spotify. This was on May 8th, where we see that several questions are being asked, yet not the royalties part, moreover, when we consider those involved, we must take a look at the quote ““Apple has been using its considerable power in the music industry to stop the music labels from renewing Spotify’s license to stream music through its free tier,” claimed its report, which also alleged that Apple had offered to pay major label Universal Music a fee “if the label stopped allowing its songs on YouTube”“, whilst the royalties part was overlooked. Now, it is very valid that royalties issue is initially overlooked, yet consider that Dr Dre (Beats Music) is gunning for Spotify, was he also unaware, if so, keeping many in the dark from that date onwards, does that not point towards another set of questions? Even though the competition Commission was taking a look (at http://nypost.com/2015/04/01/competition-commission-probing-music-streaming-services/), where we see “a probe of Apple and other premium music-streaming services to see if they are working with music labels to unfairly squash no-fee streaming services” yet the fact that Apple in addition would not pay royalties for the first three months is an additional worry, was it not?

So in light of all this, The Wall Street Journal article does not ask questions regarding that business mode and Rolling Stone Magazine, seen as the one place for performers and music lovers refrained from illuminating that issue, so why are questions not asked, more important, why are the bulk of reporters only now shouting their articles regarding all of this? At least as a non-journalist (that be me), who focusses on non-musical issues has a decent excuse, what about all the others? All this illuminates a silent acceptance of events, just like the people seem to respond to FIFA. In that light it seems that the legal field who should be all about justice and social legality should have been a lot more protective against these large corporations a lot sooner, where were they?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media