Tag Archives: Oracle

Middle of the seesaw

To be honest, I am not sure where to stand, even now, as we see ‘Google starts appeal against £2bn shopping fine‘ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51462397), I am personally still in the mindset that there is something wrong here. 

We can give the critique that my view is too much towards Google, and that is fine, I would accept that. Yet the part where we see 

  • In 2017, €2.4bn over shopping results.
  • In 2018, €4.3bn fine over claims it used Android software to unfairly promote its own apps.
  • In 2019, €1.5bn fine for blocking adverts from rival search engines.

Feels like it is part of a much bigger problem. I believe that some people are trying to stage the setting that some things are forced upon companies and I do not mean in the view of sharing. I personally do not believe that it is as simple as Anti-Trust. It feels like a more ‘social mindset’ that some things must be shared, but why?

The BBC also gives us: “Margrethe Vestager, who has taken a tough stance on the Silicon Valley tech firms and what she sees as their monopolistic grip on the digital landscape” this might feel like the truth, yet I personally feel that this was in the making for a long time, Adobe was on that page from the start. I believe that as the digital landscape was slowly pushed into a behemoth by Macromedia, who also acquired Coldfusion a change came to exist, for reference, at that time Microsoft remained a bungling starter holding onto Frontpage, an optional solution for amateurs, but there was already a strong view that this was a professional field. that stage was clearly shown by Adobe as it grew its company by 400% in revenue over a decade, its share value rose by almost 1,000% and its workforce tripled. There was a clear digital landscape, and one where Google was able to axe a niche into, the others were flaccid and remained of the existing state of mind that others must provide. Yet in all this Social media was ignored for far too long and the value of social media was often ignored until it was a decade too late. 

For example, I offered the idea that it would be great to be in the middle of serviced websites where we had the marketing in hands, my bosses basically called me crazy, that it had no functioning foundation, that it was not part of the mission statement and that I had to get back to work, I still have the email somewhere. This was 4 years before Facebook!

I admit that my idea was nothing as grandiose as Facebook, it was considered on other foundations an I saw the missing parts, but no one bit and now that I know better on the level of bullet point managers I am confronted with and their lack of marketing I now know better and my 5G solutions are closed to all but Huawei and Google, innovation is what drives my value and only those two deliver.

But I digress, the Digital Landscape was coming to be, and as we realise that this includes “websites, email, social networks, mobile devices (tablets, iphones, smartphones), videos (YouTube), etc. These tools help businesses sell their products or services” we can clearly see that Microsoft, Amazon and others stayed asleep at the wheel.
some might have thought that it was a joke when Larry Page and Sergey Brin offered the email service on April 1st 2004, yet i believe that they were ahead of many (including me) on how far the digital landscape would go, I reckon that not even Apple saw the massive growth, perhaps that Jobs fellow did, but he was only around until 2011 when it really kicked off. IBM, Microsoft and others stayed asleep thinking that they could barge in at a later stage, as I see it, IBM chose AI and quantum computing thinking that they can have the other niche no one was ready for. 

When we consider that we saw ‘Google faces antitrust investigation by 50 US states and territories‘ 6 months ago and not 5 years ago we see part of the bigger picture, of course they could have left it all to China, was that the idea? When we get “Regulators are growing more concerned about company’s impact on smaller companies striving to compete in Google’s markets” we will see the ignoring stage, when it mattered smaller places would not act, as Google acted it became much larger than anyone thought, even merely two years ago we were al confronted with ‘companies’ letting Google technology do all the work and they get all the credit and coin, why should Google comply? Striving to compete with Google is no longer a real option and anyone thinking that is nuts beyond belief. The only places that can hold a candle are the ones with innovative ideas and in an US economy founded on the principle of iteration no one keeps alive, but they are all of the mind that franchising and iteration is the path to wealth, it is not, only the innovative survive and that is being seen in larger ways by both Google and Huawei. Those who come into the field without innovation is out of options, it is basically the vagrant going to the cook demanding part of the pie the cook made as they are hungry, yet the vagrant has no rights to demand anything. 

And as we are given (read: fed) the excuse of “Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820bn and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s fairly impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data” we can give others the state where Microsoft did its acts to take out Netscape, how did that end? It ended in United States v. Microsoft Corp.. In all,  we see that in the end (no matter how they got there) that the DOJ announced on September 6, 2001 that it was no longer seeking to break up Microsoft and would instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty.

As such, in the end Microsoft did not have to break up hardware and software, they merely had to adopt non-Microsoft solutions, yet how did that end? How many data failures and zero day breaches did its consumer base face? According to R. Cringely (a group of journalists and writers with a column in InfoWorld) we get “the settlement gave Microsoft “a special antitrust immunity to license Windows and other ‘platform software’ under contractual terms that destroy freedom of competition.”” (source: Webcitation.org). 

Yet all this is merely a stage setting, it seems that as governments realised the importance of data and the eagerness of people giving it away to corporations started to sting, you see corporations can be anywhere, even in US hostile lands and China too. That is the larger stage and Google as it deals in data is free of all attachments, as governments cannot oversee this they buckle and the larger stage is set. 

From my point of view, Google stepped in places where no one was willing to go, it was for some too much effort and as that landscape shaped only google remains, so why should they hand over what they have built? 

It is Reuters that give is the first part of it all (at ) here we see: “EU regulators said this penalty was for Google’s favoring its own price comparison shopping service to the disadvantage of smaller European rivals“, yet what it does not give us is that its ‘smaller rivals’ are all using Google services in the first place, and Google has the patent for 30 years, so why share? This is a party for innovators, non-innovators are not welcome!

Then we get “Google’s search service acts as a de-facto kingmaker. If you are not found, the rest cannot follow“, which is optionally strange, because anyone can join Google, anyone can set up camp and anyone can advertise themselves. I am not stupid, I know whatthey mean, but whe it mattered they could not be bothered, no they lack the data, exaytes of data and they cannot compete, they limited their own actions and they all want to be head honcho right now, no actual investment required.

In addition when it comes to Browsers, Wired gives us “I spent the summer and beyond using Bing instead of Google for search. It’s a whole new world, but not always for the better“, I personally cannot stand Bing, I found it to have issues (not going into that at present), so as we are ‘not found’ we consider the Page rank that Stanford created for Google (or google bought it), when we consider when that happened, when was it reengineered and by whom? And when we got to the second part “Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords“, that was TWO DECADES AGO! As such, who was innovative enough to try and improve it with their own system? As I see it no one, so as no one was interested, why does there need to be an antitrust case? As such we see the Google strategy of buying companies and acquiring knowledge, places like Microsoft and IBM no longer mattered, they went their own way, even (optionally) better, Microsoft decided to Surf-Ace to the finish, I merely think, let them be them.

We are so eager to finalise the needs for competition law and antitrust law, but has anyone considered the stupidity of the iteration impact? If not, consider why 5G is in hands of Huawei, they became the innovators and whilst we are given the stage of court case after court case on the acts of Huawei, consider why they are so advanced in 5G, is it because they were smarter, or because the others became flaccid and lazy? I believe that both are at play here and in this, all the anti-Google sentiment is merely stopping innovators whilst iterators merely want to be rich whilst not doing their part, why should we accommodate for that?

so when we see (source: Vox) “United States antitrust officials have ordered the country’s top tech companies to hand over a decade’s worth of information on their acquisitions of competitor firms, in a move aimed at determining how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant” who does it actually serve? is it really about ‘how giants like Amazon and Facebook have used acquisitions to become so dominant‘, or is it about the denial of innovation? Is it about adding to the surface of a larger entity that governments do not even comprehend, let alone understand? They have figured out that IP and data are the currency of the future, they merely need to be included, the old nightmare where corporations are in charge and politicians are not is optionally coming to fruition and they are actually becoming scared of that, the nerd the minimised at school as they were nerds is setting the tone of the future, the Dominant Arrogant player beng it sales person or politician is being outwitted by the nerd and service minded person, times are changing and these people claim that they want to comprehend, but in earnest, I believe that they are merely considering that the gig is up, iteration always leads there, their seeming ignorance is evidence of that.

Yet in all that, this is basically still emotional and not evidence driven, so let’s get on with that. The foundation of all Common Law Competition Law is set to “The Competition and Consumer Act prohibits two persons, acting in concert, from hindering or preventing a third person trading with a fourth person, where the purpose or likely effect of the conduct is to cause a substantial lessening of competition in any market in which the fourth person is involved“, yet in this, I personally am stating that it hinders innovation, the situation never took into proper account of the state of innovators versus iterators, the iterator needs the innovator to slow down and the foundation of Competition Law allows for this, when we see ‘preventing a third person trading with a fourth person‘, in this the iterator merely brings his or her arrogance and (optional) lack of comprehension to the table and claims that they are being stopped from competing, whilst their evidence of equality is seemingly lacking (as I personally see it). 

In this the Columbia Law School is (at least partially) on my side as I found “Scholars and policymakers have long thought that concentrated market power and monopolies produce more innovation than competition. Consider that patent law—which is the primary body of law aimed at creating incentives for innovation—was traditionally thought to conflict with antitrust law. Known as the “the patent-antitrust paradox,” it was often said that antitrust is designed to prevent monopolies and other exclusionary practices while the patent system does the opposite, granting exclusionary rights and market power in the form of patents. Given this framework, it makes sense that scholars, courts, and government agencies have only recently considered antitrust and patent laws to be complementary policies for encouraging innovation.” it gives the foundation and when you consider that iterators are the foundation of hindrance to innovators, you see how competition law aids them. In the old days (my earlier example) Microsoft and Netscape that was a stage where both parties were on the same technology and comprehension level. Microsoft merely had the edge of bundling its browser with the OS and got the advantage there, Netscape did not have that edge, but was an equal in every other way. 

Another name is Gregory Day, who gives us: “a greater number of antitrust lawsuits filed by private parties—which are the most common type of antitrust action—impedes innovation. Second, the different types of antitrust actions initiated by the government tend to affect innovation in profoundly different ways. Merger challenges (under the Clayton Act) promote innovation while restraint of trade and monopolization claims (under sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act) suppress innovative markets. Even more interesting, these effects become stronger after the antitrust agencies explicitly made promoting innovation a part of their joint policies” yet I believe that iterators have a lot more to gain by driving that part and I see that there is actually a lack of people looking into that matter, who are the people behind the antitrust cases? Most people in government tend to remain unaware until much later in the process, so someone ‘alerts’ them to what I personally see as a  ‘a fictive danger’. In this I wonder who the needed partner in prosecution was and what their needs were. I believe that iterators are a larger problem than anyone ever considered.

In the case of Google, Amazon and Facebook, we see innovators driving technology and the others have absolutely nothing to offer, they are bound to try and slow these three down as they are trying to catch up. 

Ian Murray wrote in 2018 (CEI.ORG), “Yet there is no such thing as a dominant market position unless it is guaranteed by government. AOL, Borders, Blockbuster, Sears, Kodak, and many other firms once considered dominant in their markets have fallen as the result of competition, without any antitrust action” and that is a truth, yet it does not give that the iterators merely want innovators to slow down, so that they can catch up and the law allows for this, more importantly, as the lack of innovations were not driven over the last decade, South Korea became a PC behemoth, and China now rules in 5G Telecom land. All are clear stages of iterators being the problem and not a solution, even worse they are hindring actual innovation to take shape, real innovation, not what is marketed as such.

As such, governments are trying to get some social setting in place by balancing the seesaw whilst standing at the axial point, it is a first signal that this is a place where innovators are lost and in that are you even surprised that a lot of engineers will only take calls from Google or Huawei (Elon Musk being an optional third in the carbon neutral drive)? 

It gets to be even worse (soon enough), now that Google is taking the cookie out of the equation, we get to see ‘Move marks a watershed moment for the digital ad industry to reinvent itself‘, this is basically the other side of the privacy coin, even as google complied, others will complain and as Google innovates the internet to find another way to seek cookie technology, we will suddenly see every advertisement goof with no knowledge of systems cry ‘foul!’ and as we are given “Criteo, which built a retargeting empire around cookies, saw its stock tumble following Google’s announcement. Others such as LiveRamp and Oracle-owned businesses BlueKai and Datalogix, as well as nearly all data management platforms, now face the challenge of rethinking their business” (source: AdAge) we will see more players hurdling themselves over Competition Law and optionallytowards antitrust cases because these players used someones technology to get a few coins (which is not a bad thing, but to all good things come an end).

And I am not against these changes, the issue is not how it will be reinvented, it is how some will seek the option to slow the actual innovators down because they had no original idea (as I personally see it). Yet we must also establish that Google did not make it any easier and they have their own case ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC. to thank for.

That verdict was set to “With respect to Google’s cross-appeal, we affirm the district court’s decisions: (1) granting Oracle’s motion for JMOL as to the eight decompiled Java files that Google copied into Android; and (2) denying Google’s motion for JMOL with respect to the rangeCheck function. Accordingly, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, and remand for further proceedings.” in this situation, for me “The jury found that Google infringed Oracle’s  copyrights in the 37 Java packages and a specific computer routine called “rangeCheck,” but returned a noninfringement verdict as to eight decompiled security files. The jury  deadlocked on Google’s fair use defense.“, as I see it in that situation Oracle had been the innovator and for its use Google was merely an iterator (if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it).

Basically one man’s innovator is another man’s iterator, which tends to hold up in almost any technology field. Yet this time around, the price is a hell of a lot higher, close to half a dozen iterators ended up giving an almost complete technology surge to China (5G), which is as I personally see it. They were asleep at the wheel and now the US administration is trying to find a way around it, like they will just like ORACLE AMERICA, INC. v. GOOGLE INC.  more likely than not come up short.

And one of these days, governments will figure out that the middle of the seesaw is not the safe place to be, it might be the least safe place to be. As the population on each end changes, the slow reaction in the middle merely ends up having the opposite and accelerating effect, a few governments will learn that lesson the hard way. I believe that picking two players on one (or either side) side is the safest course of action, the question for me remains will they bite?

 

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Travel by Ransomware

On Tuesday an interesting article was given by the guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/07/travelex-being-held-ransom-hackers-said-demanding-3m#maincontent), the title ‘Travelex ‘being held to ransom’ by hackers said to be demanding $3m‘ almost said it all and then I noticed something. First we get “Criminals are thought to be demanding about $3m (£2.3m) – to give the firm access to its computer systems after they attacked using the Sodinokibi ransomware on 31 December“, the price is not set without quarter, this we get from “They are reportedly threatening to release 5GB of customers’ personal data – including social security numbers, dates of birth and payment card information – into the public domain unless the company pays up” as well as “banks who use Travelex’s foreign exchange services to stop taking online orders for currency, affecting Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and First Direct.” You see Travelex, based in London, has a presence in more than 70 countries with more than 1,200 branches and 1,000 ATMs worldwide. It processes more than 5,000 currency transactions every hour yet, even as we see that it is on the London Stock Exchange, however the group is based in the United Arab Emirates. As for the actions we see “On Thursday 2 January, the Met’s cyber crime team were contacted with regards to a reported ransomware attack involving a foreign currency exchange. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing” here is the snag, what are the chances that US actions are impeded as it impacts 70 countries? Is there a reason why the FBI is not equally involved? You see, Sodinokibi is a spin off from Gandcrab and as we see (at https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fbi-releases-master-decryption-keys-for-gandcrab-ransomware/) the FBI got those keys. Now the keys will not be compatible, but if they get one solution, they might get another solution. The fact that corporations are hit and we see “the developers behind the wildly successful GandCrab Ransomware announced that they were closing shop after allegedly amassing $2 billion in ransom payments and personally earning $150 million“, we would want to think that the FBI is on top of this and get some pay-back (I had to use that pun).

We also learn from Acronis “Sodinokibi ransomware exploits an Oracle WebLogic vulnerability (CVE-2019-2725) to gain access to the victim’s machine“, and when we go to the Oracle page we see that there had been a solution from last May onwards. there is also the part “Product releases that are not under Premier Support or Extended Support are not tested for the presence of vulnerabilities addressed by this Security Alert. However, it is likely that earlier versions of affected releases are also affected by these vulnerabilities. As a result, Oracle recommends that customers upgrade to supported versions” the question becomes did Travelex forget to do a few things? the article does not pan out on that.

Yet in all this IT News (at https://www.itnews.com.au/news/ransomware-shuts-down-travelex-systems-536191) gives us ‘Unpatched systems could be attack vector, say researchers‘, and they also give us “No evidence has surfaced so far that structured personal customer data has been encrypted, or exfiltrated. This is in contrast with a report in Computer Weekly that alleged the criminals deploying the Revil/Sodinokibi ransomware had attacked servers storing sensitive, confidential information that included customer names and their bank account and transaction details” and it does not stop there. They also give us “Troy Mursch, chief research officer at security vendor Bad Packets said it notified the forex multinational in September of a serious vulnerability in its Pulse Virtual Private Networking servers. The vulnerability went unpatched until November” which sets a much larger question mark on the entire issue as the news give us that the attack came almost a month after that. They curtiously also give us “Prior to that, security researcher Kevin Beaumont noted that Travelex was operating cloud instances of Windows Server on Amazon Web Services that had Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) enabled and exposed to the internet, but with Network Level Access (NLA) control disabled. An RDP flaw, known as BlueKeep, allows for full remote compromise of Windows without user interaction” and these issues are not asked about? At least the Guardian article does not stop on them. 

The most hilarious response is seen at the very end of the IT News article with “Despite the attack closing down online systems, Travelex said it does not currently anticipate any material financial impact for its parent Finablr” Travelex might have numerous issues to consider, but the customer does not make the high point of that, or as I would mildly put it, who cares about Finablr? Well I reckon that the London Stock Exchange cares as the value of Finablr made a crashing 17% loss, that is almost one in five pounds that is lost too those bright young lads (ladies also). They advertise (on their website) ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary technology‘ instead of ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary hackable technology‘. It is a small difference, but a distinct one, especially as Oracle had placed a solution for months and the second message by Kevion Beaumont does not help any I reckon. In support a source gave the BBC that they feel let down, complaining that their travel money is “in limbo”, which is interesting, as the Guardian article gives us “Travelex first revealed the New Year’s Eve attack on 2 January, when it sought to assure that no customer data had yet been compromised” and as the article came 5 days after, the absence of victim mentioning is an interesting one, it seems that Travelex is not handling this situation well on a few levels, optionally also in arrear of making mantion towards the customers, all in opposition to the text on Travelex.com, which gives (among more data) “Tony D’Souza, Chief Executive of Travelex, said “Our focus is on communicating directly with our partners and customers to protect them and their information from any further compromise. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy and security of our partner and customer’s data as well as provide an excellent service to our customers and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. Travelex continues to offer services to its customers on a manual basis and is continuing to provide alternative customer solutions in the interim. We are working tirelessly to bring our systems back online.”” 

As such we get Travelex giving us one part and the BBC giving quite the opposite, and at this point my question becomes, exactly how much money is ‘in limbo‘?

That and a few more parts all rise to the surface when I look into this matter, the entire time gap on the side of Travelex being the most prevalent one. The one part that Acronis made me wonder about was the exemption list, the fact that It will try not to infect computers from countries based on the locale setting of the computer, which gives us “Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanian, Tajikistan, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan“, the reason is unknown to me, perhaps they fear those countries and their ‘justice system’?

By the way, the entire Finablr website mention was essential, they are so for the ‘future’ yet security is seemingly not among it. That part is seen when we consider “In April 2019, the Cybereason Nocturnus team analyzed a new type of evasive ransomware dubbed Sodinokibi“, as such it took the Oracle team months to get a solution made (which makes perfect sense) yet the lack of implementation by Travelex is less normal. From all information it seems to me that Travelex should have made larger steps to be secure no later than Halloween, so the issue is a little larger than we consider, and the fact that Sodinokibi is a much larger field that goes back a few billion dollars. This is a contemplated speculation when we look at CSO Online where we get “While Sodinokibi is not necessarily a direct continuation of GandCrab, researchers have found code and other similarities between the two, indicating a likely connection” implying that for at least one person $150 million was not enough. 

As such, the entire Travelex issue will be around much longer than the ransomware will be, there will need to be a larger amount of questions to its mother organisation Finablr as well. From my speculative side it seems that some players are lacking certain IT skills, or/and a larger shortage of it, that is the initial feeling I got when I saw the information that Troy Mursch and Kevin Beaumont handed over to the press, and so far the information as seen supports a larger failing in Travelex and optionally Finablr as well. There is support for my way of thinking, no matter who is on the board of directors, none of them are IT experts and that is fine, yet by not having a visionary IT expert leading the charge we see a larger failing coming their way. It is not merely having an IT department and a security department, someone needs to spearhead and protect IT issues in the Board of Directors and there is no evidence that this is happening, actually the Travelex issue gives rise that it is not happening at all. More important, the issue with the website is that it is highly sales oriented, and when I had a look there (I reckon the Sodinokibi members as well), I wondered how secure are Unimoni, Xpress Money, Remit2India, Ditto and Swych? When one of these points get attacked, will the board of directors act appropriately? It is optionally a little ironic that they are hit whilst they advertised a paper on their site on November 20th (a month before the attack) ‘Why data protection is your new strategic priority‘, my initial thought? ‘Sarcasm, when it backfires it becomes irony!‘ Yes it seems like a cheap ride from my side, but we forget that Common Cyber Sense is a real thing and corporations need a much larger vested interest in being safe than ever before, GandCrab showed that part months before this event took place and I reckon that Financial corporations need to take a much larger vested interest in that matter, or so I am led to believe, I could (of course) be wrong.

What do you think?

 

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Another Brick in the growing Wall

The wall of profit is going nicely in France, even as I would like to take another gander on how the western media is all about ignoring the Houthi attacks with drones on Saudi Arabia, it seems that we will get more on that soon enough. As I see it, we have a situation where at present 5 attacks have been ignored by the western media, like they are all about calling Saudi Arabia the big nasty, even though there is no factual evidence, merely biased opinion on several fronts. Today is not about that. Today is about France (the land of Wine, Cheese and Citroen). This place is pushing a few boundaries and even as we think that things are still open to discussion, it seems that the mighty bosses of banks (one particularly) have made their choice, I mentioned it a little over a week ago, yet all were easily persuaded to ignore it. Now that we are given: ‘French parliament passes “Huawei Law” to govern 5G security‘ (at http://telecoms.com/498728/french-parliament-passes-Huawei-law-to-govern-5g-security/), we see an optionally much larger change. This might be the first step in changing the landscape on a much larger scale and as far as I can tell it is just the beginning. There is an important notice to all this and it opposes the UK point of view to almost 180 degrees. In the UK, Alex Younger (big boss of MI-6), aka El Capitano de observadores furtivos is off the mind that important infrastructure should never be in foreign hands. This is a policy issue and I do not oppose this choice. It is the short minded and stupid American view of being shouting anti-Huawei accusations without proof that I object to. Now we see on the other side (France) where Mathieu Duchatel gives us “the French government is creating a regulatory environment that helps reduce its vulnerability to foreign intelligence collection“, which is another policy approach. I tend to like this more than the one Alex Younger gives, but both are valid points. Yet the one Duchatel gives us leaves the players with more options.

To see this, we need to go back to 1993, when Sybase and Microsoft dissolve the partnership they had and Microsoft receives a copy of the SQL Server code base, this was the best approach and after this we see that Microsoft sets their own designers to make evolve their SQL servers, a choice that ends up making them a direct competitor of the code Larry Ellison pushed for (the solution we know as Oracle), and whilst he went sailing across the oceans, MS SQL Server got the be lean and mean. Even as we see flaws, we see that Microsoft created a much larger market than we thought possible. It is that path Europe and America needed for 5G. So as the Yanks decided to screw themselves 6 ways from Sunday, Europe has a much better approach and now we see the path where France has opened up a dialogue to enable that solution down the track. It is a solution that would assist Huawei as well, as we see a solution that uses the Huawei 5G path as a benchmark, France et al could deploy a non-Chinese 5G solution that is set to the Chinese standards and that would suit China (read: Huawei) in a few ways. It all goes from bad to worse for America. What everyone seems to forget is that Azure in China is Shanghai Blue Cloud Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly (or is that holy) owned subsidiary of Beijing 21Vianet Broadband Data Center Co., Ltd. and it now implies that the accelerated evolution of 5G via Huawei has the stage where the best upgrades to implementation and facilitation to 5G will come from 21Vianet and not from Microsoft. Just as Sybase gave the keys to Microsoft in the 90’s, we now see the opposite where the business advantage will be with the Blue Cloud bosses, together with Huawei they now have a much larger advantage than anyone realises. Even as there is a shift in china through the players like BitTitan, I believe that Huawei is still preparing for a much larger innovation giving 21Vianet when that kicks off an overnight advantage that Microsoft cannot equal, not for a much longer time, leaving Microsoft losing momentum to a much larger.

If you want proof, then I have to admit that I cannot give it, the market seems to facilitate to a larger shift and it is not some hidden gem that no one else found. I believe that the Sybase example is what we face today, as Mathieu Duchatel is setting the new policy, we see policy that is accepted over most of the EU, so as Germany, Spain and Italy accept this push, most of the EU nations will follow, they are willing to drop America like a bad habit ion all this. The US overplayed its hand and now they will face the consequences of choice. In this the UK must soon make up its own mind. The path Alex Younger opted for was not wrong, but it is a larger choice that could impede economic growth to a much longer degree for a much longer time, two elements the UK does not really have at present.

The SCMP article (at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3020354/while-weighing-5g-security-risks-france-predicts-it-can-manage) we see another solution for France and somehow I believe Credit Agricole had been preparing for this step a little longer than most others. France needs to be on top of this as 2024 Paris is coming near soon enough, implying that a multi-billion euro scheme for 5G will be announced before years end to get anywhere near ready and it seems that the Credit Agricole dividend is about to push upwards to a much larger degree. And when we get to the end of the article where we see: “5G infrastructure poses more complex problems. The distinction between core and edge is no longer as relevant, as many software operations will operate in the cloud“, we get to be introduced to the benefit and advantage that Beijing 21Vianet Broadband Data Center Co. now gets to have; Microsoft forgot that most cannot get to China (for simple linguistic considerations) that limitation does not exist in the other direction. And now as the cogs connect we see how the market takes a shift. Remember when I made the joke (and connection) to the cloud; it is merely someone else’s computer. Everyone so needy to muddy the water claiming it is so much more complex. OK, to the smallest degree it is.

To see my point of view consider the NASA Mainframe that was there for the moon landing (and perhaps a little more), now consider my old Mobile, this 2011 mobile needs 5% of available processing power to do what that entire NASA room did. The mobile that followed 4 years later was 400% more powerful with 1600% more storage and the one that followed was close to 300% more powerful than the previous one with an additional 1600% more storage, the market shifted THAT fast.

So when we see a data center now, and consider that a dozen racks with terabyte storage can be replaced by ONE drive, yes there is an Exabyte drive now, one drive with well over 1,000,000 terabytes. We are nowhere near replacing the entire data center, yet in 10 years, that center could be replaced by one large tower in that time, it might look a little different (I always loved the Cray systems, it comes with a place to sit and heating, but that so called ‘cloud’ will be in one clear specific location (just as it is now) and that is the issue;

it is the location of someone else’s computer that is the issue, soon it will no longer be in America, China is now in a position to offer the same, optionally cheaper and when the America BS starts with ‘It needs some vague quality seal of approval‘ (a SAS marketing trick we saw 20 years ago).

It will be at that point that the entire mess becomes ugly real fast and we are already pushing in that direction. The problem is not China, or America. It will be the policy considerations on where data is allowed to be; a lot of cloud issues on data locations are still open to discussion. The problem is not the hardware, it will be the place with the most logical policy in place, that will be the main player for the next stage and it seems that France has been keeping busy on becoming that European location. I reckon that China does not care, as long as they get the business and that is when we see the American failure on getting the business. They planned on greed when pragmatism was the only solution to push the market forward. Now as most nations start waking up on the loss of pragmatism, we see the consideration, to be a player or a tool and some are realising that they banked on the wrong horse and the American horse is about to become a ‘horse no show!

Whether it was merely some bank, some policy, or a larger linked consideration, this time the French have played a good long term game and they have every chance to reap the benefits of that game. We have yet to see how it all plays out and Paris 2024 will be the big test, but as the issue stands, the French are pushing forward, it is there that I found some references to Credit Agricole, DGSE, and a very large billion dollar option. Even as 21Vianet and its subsidiaries are not mentions, neither is Azure in any way, it all falls to the one mention of ‘Microsoft Corporation‘. This might all be true, but I still seek confirmation, on a stage this large 21Vianet could not have been unmentioned, the same for the entire Azure part. the line “the proliferation of real-time data from sources such as mobile devices, web, social media, sensors, log files, and transactional applications, Big Data has found a host of vertical market applications, ranging from fraud detection to scientific R&D“, makes its absence of certain players either short sighted or the elements of that article were unreliable. I believe it to be a little of both.

I wonder how the game unfolds; I reckon we will know a lot more by the end of the year.

 

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The political winds

It all started nice and slow this morning. I had one task that is due in 4 hours and 34.3 minutes (roughly), so the unnatural act (for me) of sleeping in commenced and it was nice. So there I was morning ritual all shot to smithereens and it was 2 hours until zero hour. My ritual of checking breaking news gives me the BBC and the Saudi Tankers, an interesting part, but the intelligence on the events are missing, even in open source intelligence it is too much on ‘decent confidence’ and ‘statistical probability of certain parties’. One source gives an implied presence of Hezbollah in Shinas (Oman), yet there is zero reliability as well as the fact that any attack would have required different tools as well as location does not add up, as it is at that point that Israel Hayom gives me ‘Saudi Arabia retaliates hours after Houthis attack oil facilities‘, the fact that we see “Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, claim attack on Saudi oil pipelines“, this is indeed a different status and I will dig into this when i get more data, this event could escalate matters fast. As such the defence needs of Saudi Arabia will explode (pardon the pun) soon enough.

Yet this is about UK politics and the issues will relate soon enough. The Independent (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-hunt-conservative-party-wall-street-journal-london-a8914171.html) gives us ‘Jeremy Hunt appears to struggle for an answer when asked why people should vote Tory‘, you see as a conservative (yes, I am a Tory) I struggle too. There is no shame in this, we need to walk a tightrope and keeping balance is actually a lot harder than you might imagine. So when we see Jeremy Hunt give us: “Because we are not going to solve this problem by retreating to populist extremes” he has a point, it is clear and he is correct, yet the problem is that we are looking at the wrong extreme. Nigel Farage is not the populist extreme, the European Central Bank is the populist extreme, just not a populist extreme for the people, they are the populist solution for the IMF, Wall Street and American commerce, three that they were never supposed to cater for and the European ignorance is just amazing. Also, the view that the media remains silent on many issues involving the ECB, Mario Draghi and their acts of non-accountability have become too staggering. And as the media is in denial in one side and then bashes Nigel Farage at every opportunity gives additional light to the fact that the media botched plenty of issues.

The people have been misled to a much larger degree and now they are willing to try Farage and the Brexit party, not because they like him, but because they largely mistrust all other parties including my own conservative party. That is the realistic stage, so why vote Tory?

The problem is not easy but the biggest issue is the debt, both sides (mainly the Labor party) have pushed again and again and left the British nation with 2 trillion pounds of debt. Even in the most optimal stage it will take well over a generation, it is passed in two parts. The first is no less than £20 billion in interest payment and an optimal £20-£50 billion in annual debt decline; if this is not done soon it will be too late for everyone. The benefit is that the UK without the Euro can steer shallow and deep waters, all having their own risk (and rewards), all having options, but the drag of the Euro 27 nations and their bad choices as well as the ECB and their unacceptable acts will no longer be part of it. It will be the first clear stage of resolving the issues that politicians are too hard to solve. Still, it will take a generation, perhaps two to resolve it and when there is momentum in the first 5 years that will signal economic improvements as well as economic opportunities.

Immigration

If that was not the case, do you think that the refugees would be racing and running to make it to the UK as fast as they possibly can? No, the people in the lower tier are actually seeing the lack of progress for the people all over Europe, and for now the UK is in a similar stage, but it could improve, the UK is in a stage where it could improve faster and better than anywhere else in Europe. Do you think I would sit on billions of IP if any official in the EU27 could be trusted? The EU27 and America are all in the stage to fill their pockets as much as possible before it is too late, I would rather make all my IP public domain and watch them all fight each other on claims that they were first and not giving actual evidence. That is why Google, Huawei and optional Saudi Arabia are seemingly the few parties worth talking to at present.

Google and Huawei have shown to be pushing innovation, not iteration. In addition, the acts we see in Saudi Arabia on renewal and Neom City are showing a push for larger changes, changes that the US and the European Economic Union is no longer able to make, they are stuck with a mountain of debt making everything a discussion, and no resolutions. The fact that for the most tax laws have NEVER been properly been adjusted so that the large corporations (FAANG group) make proper payment has never been addressed, it is a failing on both sides of the Isle, both Tories and Labour have fault at that. the BBC news in March 2018 gave us ‘Google’s tax bill rises to £50m‘, and we get two parts in addition: “The technology giant’s annual accounts show that the company will pay corporation taxes of £49.3m on UK profits of £202.4m” and “The total value of Google’s sales in the UK is about £5.7bn a year“, now I have nothing against google, as a matter of fact, I love Google (platonically mind you). Yet the numbers do not add up. When we consider that google is making 202 million out of 5,700 million, it amounts to a profit margin of 3.54%, considering that the Google Pixel 3 is well over £700 makes me wonder. Yet let’s not forget that Google is not alone here, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Facebook, Amazon all have profits that go into the billions (well the FAANG group players at least). So the tax image is wrong and the people get to pay for the cost of commerce, not exactly fair, is it?

This is the realisation that has been sweeping through the lower tiers of the population and they have had enough, and I get it. We see all these utter BS approaches on what we can sell to the government of Saudi Arabia and we cannot even sort out proper taxation to big business? Small businesses have been driven out of shops through large corporations working from abroad, the Britons have been dealt a raw deal and it bites, the Tories did way too little to deal with it (opposing the Labour party who did nothing at all when they were in charge). So the people have gotten to the point where they will try anything, especially give Nigel Farage and his Brexit party a chance.

Yes, how would I vote? Well, I am all for Brexit, yet I remain a Conservative. The issue is not Brexit, it will happen (read: it should), the issue will be about what happens after that, it will be a mess for close to two years and issues need to be resolved and it will take time and it will take serious discussions, Nigel Farage has charisma, he has knowledge yet what about his team? The players like David Coburn, Julia Reid, Nathan Gill, or Raymond Finch? I am not sure any of those people can hold proper seats like Home office, Foreign office, Defence, or Treasury. That is the problem the UK faces. Getting a proper government in place, Labor was never trustworthy and even as Tony Blair did a lot of good, he bungled plenty too. In that regard whatever came after Harold Wilson (1976) was pretty bollocks by the view of some (a view I only partially support).

These parts matter, the failings form the past are now part of the current battlefield and the failings are important to consider with a debt of 2 trillion, that is why the Brexit party is likely to be the biggest player, yet I remain a conservative, the mess needs to be cleaned up and whilst labour will indiscriminately spend money that they do not have, the Nigel Farage side lacks the true experience that the people need to clean the overall mess up, Brexit is an essential first, but the Brexit party is in my humble opinion not ready to properly deal with the 20 steps that follow.

Was there not a Saudi side?

Yup and we are getting to that now. You see the economy is only one side. Military hardware is only one part of optional commerce, the national growth of 5G will benefit the UK, yet these parts can also be sold to Saudi Arabia, there is more than Huawei and even as the UK needs to catch up, and catch up fast, the sorted problem is not merely military hardware, that part needs services and whilst the UK can be a push forward there, they are up against American Giants and it is a fight worth fighting. The infrastructure for Neom City and even beyond that all the way to Riyadh represents an initial £350 billion, with more on the horizon. When I set the stage for my £2,000,000,000 IP, one part was that I did look beyond one side and since then found four more avenues where people merely accepted certain solutions and never looked at what else was possible. From Marketing, Awareness creation, communication, applied applications on the setting of streaming (yes, that was a pun and a puzzle all at once). And the biggest parts are not big business, it is a small business approach with global ramifications, and the nice part is that Huawei was nice enough to implement part of it in their 5G prospective and not look further, so happy, happy me (for now that is).

This is not merely one part, all the players (and the FAANG group) all want access to Saudi Arabia, so who do you think they will hand options too? These hypocrites who decided to suddenly revoke export to Saudi Arabia whilst ignoring the activities of Hezbollah and Iran, or those who stood by Saudi Arabia and their right for defence? Let’s not forget that the aid of Saudi Arabia was called on by the legitimate government of Yemen, a part most seem to ignore again and again.

Saudi Arabia is trailing in technology on several ides and they are trying to address this and those who facilitate for the progress of that will find themselves with the sweetest deals. More importantly, the UK will need proper trade partners to a larger degree. The US is all about export and the fact that export needs to exceed import, several nations are in that stage. The list that place true value to import to goods and services is small, so having the proper foreign office in place is going to be essential in the next 5 years, the Brexit party cannot deliver on that and that will make matters much worse down the Brexit trail. The Conservative need is easily shown when you look a few degrees beyond the current point of exposure. It is when you look towards the applied stage of the long game, that is where you see that the bulk of all politicians fall short. They will merely tell you: ‘We will solve it when we get there‘, or ‘We have a plan and we will present it at the proper time‘ and it is way too late to take that approach, it is well over a decade too late for that.

If they cannot clearly show you a plan, they are extremely unlikely to have one, which is not a stage the UK (and many other nations) can survive on at present. As such the political winds are blowing, top some degree those who we are willing to trust lack the power and know-how to make it work long term, most of the others are no longer trusted to the degree that they need to. I remain conservative inclined, yet they too need to realise that not only is the party over, facilitating in that direction is no longer an option, making that heard loud and clear is essential.

 

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Nationalisation, the second tier

The news is fresh, it is new news, yet it was foreseen, it wasn’t really news, but the drive has come visible, much more visible than most expected. As some might focus on the Guardian and the image of a beautiful young lady as she is afraid for her life, as she seeks refugee status in Australia, we see all the men and many women feeling sorry for Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun. It might be correct, it might not. I do not know, yet what the Guardian is not telling you is seen in the Arab News (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1431206/saudi-arabia), there the news is: ‘Saudi Arabia goes full steam with Saudisation of sales jobs‘. I think it is good that any nation pushes for national held jobs, no matter what country it is happening in. So as we read: “Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced on Sunday that it would be providing citizens with job opportunities in an attempt to reduce unemployment. The job opportunities will be in sales roles, including medical equipment stores, construction and building materials shops, car spare parts shops, carpet shops and sweets shops, according to Saudi state news agency, SPA.” I think it is good that the news is seen, yet what about the impact? It is not a national thing, it is regional, Oman is doing the same, Qatar has been doing it for a while and the UAE is on a similar trend. If it works it is great, yet what everyone forgets is the announcements of 6 months ago, this basically impacts Google, Apple and a few other players (the FAANG group as a whole) as they were opening their offices in Saudi Arabia as well, so from the Saudi view it is great to be Saudi. Many people all over the world dream of a Google job and now we see that Saudi’s are added to that knowledge pool. And that is what it is a knowledge pool that can drive Arabian IP to a much larger extent. In light of Neom City, in light of new Financial Districts in Riyadh, we see the opportunity for growth, yet do these events constitute actual growth as that question is equally important.

If we accept the same news two days ago (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1430961/business-economy), we see that the headlines might give us ‘CEO of Saudi Arabia’s newest technology investment fund STV shoots for the moon‘, we might giggle, yet perhaps that same feeling came upon us when in 2001 a man named Mark Zuckerberg had an idea, how did that end? We can also consider that as Abdulrahman Tarabzouni is a MIT graduate, so he optionally has a better education than Mark Zuckerberg had (Harvard), which is me, myself and I starting a competitive flame between those two schools. The nice part here is that the STV (the investment fund) has half a billion to start with, so they can cream the best start-ups to truly grow their perspective and turn it into billions of wealth, if properly set their idea of a hundred times over might be conservative. We tend to not look into those directions, yet the ownership of IP is not merely an essential it is a wealth maker and a wealth breaker and as an MIT graduate he would (read: should) be able to see the difference between the wheat and chaff, it makes for all the difference.

Even as the Arab News introduces in opposition: “Some analysts point to two difficulties in the STV strategy: The high valuations of the global technology sector, and the comparatively high levels of geopolitical risk associated with the region, and the Kingdom, in the minds of some foreign investors.” We need to recognise that being first implies the avoidance of ‘high valuations of the global technology sector‘, the second part is ‘geopolitical risk associated with the region‘; that second part might not be zero, yet there is no clear danger to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition as the footing of Iran diminishes the growth of Saudi Arabia will flourish, as well as the fact that the involvement and connections of Abdulrahman Tarabzouni with Saudi Aramco, Careem, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Microsoft, Syphir tech company, Google, Member of investment committee, Middle East Venture Partners, as well as advisory roles at public and technology institutions in KSA, it would be my personal believe that if this person cannot navigate the rivers of political risk, no one would ever be safe to invest in Saudi Arabia and as we see billions from the FAANG group go that way soon enough, we can pretty much consider the second risk a dud in all that (for now).

The progress that Saudi Arabia is showing in 5G, now equalling the largest players on the western hemisphere shows not only the commitment for the Middle East, it shows that Saudi Arabia is taking the non-petroleum options extremely serious. It goes even further when we consider the news a mere 4 hours ago: “T-Mobile CEO to regulators: China is beating US on fast 5G wireless but our Sprint deal can change that“, how exactly will that happen? Merging Sprint and T-Mobile sounds nice, but they still lack higher technology equipment, Huawei beat them and the longer these players remain in denial, the larger the damage and that is where the STV can cash in. Any Huawei linked technology start-up has close to a 20% advantage over anything else. Let’s not forget that players like Verizon are not really using 5G, or as they say 5G Evolution, which I discussed in ‘Tic Toc Ruination‘, where we see: “We are given “Verizon’s network is not yet 3GPP compliant. It uses Verizon’s own 5G specification, but will be upgraded to be 3GPP compliant in the future“, so does that mean that it is merely a Verizon issue opening the market for Sprint, or are they both involved in that same pool of marketed pool to some form of ‘5G’ branding, and not the standard?” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/06/tic-toc-ruination/), something clearly seen from various sources a month ago, so how was their technology backdrop solved? It was not! I made additional observations in ‘That did not take long‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/22/that-did-not-take-long-2/) where we see: “we are (again) confronted with what Neville Ray CTO of T-Mobile calls: ‘duping customers into thinking they’re getting something they’re not‘, America will not end dead last here, but they will be trailing (as currently is implied) behind more than one Middle East Arabic nation“, an observation I made on December 22nd last year, so not only am I proven right a few times over, the fact that for what I observe to be high paid people hiding behind presentations and wording whilst not having the actual goods is merely the facade of defeat presenting itself as ‘innovative opportunity‘, so we are watching these people heralding their Edsel whilst it is about to go up against the Maserati Gran Turismo and optionally the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Sedan as well, and in what Universe does the Edsel have any kind of a chance? Parking perhaps (it is not that big) but how can you see innovative technology as innovation when parking is your only way to shine?

the sad part is that I have been talking to stone walls for 2 years now, the upside is that when they fail I have the documentation showing just how stupid they have been, and the end is nowhere in sight. I prepared issues on optional 5G tourism, cyber protection and a few other places that will really open up the valves of disgust from consumers when they are confronted with the impact on their daily lives. Even outside of governmental infrastructures Huawei is set in a stage where they have billions in optional business in both information and SME environment. The large presentation based players (like 5G Evolution) were so intent on pushing the large infrastructure that they forgot that actual business comes from other area’s and when the first sale is done, they are merely left with the stage where they wait for consumers to catch up, that part is no longer a given. We see part of that (at https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/CES-2019-to-offer-glimpse-of-future-for-5G-AI-and-Huawei), where we are treated to: “About 4,500 companies are set to take part in this year’s CES, which continues to expand beyond consumer electronics as tech pervades once-mechanical industries like automotives. China now stands out in developing and applying both 5G and AI technologies. A decade ago, Japanese home electronics makers had a substantial presence in the Central Hall, an area packed with big-name companies. But as they have lost prominence, Chinese companies have emerged to fill the gap. Huawei Technologies, Alibaba Group Holding and Haier Group will all have exhibits in the Central Hall.” This matters as it is direct visibility; this is the direct stage in Las Vegas and its CES2019, people will get to see 4500 companies and some there proclaiming to equal Huawei, yet less than 5 will optionally have something to show the people on that level and I am speculating that they merely equal Huawei at best and this is one month before the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona where Huawei is set to take the centre stage and most of the attention. We cannot speculate what we will see exactly, but we will know on Sunday 24th February, and we will then optionally see the Samsung 5G router (not Mobile) and optionally several 5G mobiles, yet at that point we can use the dictionary torpedoes to sink that hype seeking content, contant that we have been exposed to from several sources. That part is not only visible, the results as shown by one source, gives us that AT&T is just not up to scrap at present.

Even as I have no real confirmation on how accurate the results are (so be aware of that), we are shown what PC Mag gave the people earlier and with the cautionary footnote (as would be appropriate): “remember that these are just test speeds ant that they will most likely improve with time. More importantly, there are still no 5G smartphones available yet, so these tests in the AT&T 5G network are just part of a process“, the fact that we see the results as in the image are bad, really really bad for a 5G environment!

From my point of view, test or not, their 5G should have knocked it out of the park leaving us with the entire 5G Evolution bit as what I personally would see as a sham, not a champ.

Nationalisation is only as good as the goods you have and in this the partnership with Huawei was essential and at present more and more technologists are stating the same thing. So those with a Huawei partnership will leave the others behind them on a larger scale in several layers and structural foundational flaws, the impact when the others cannot deliver will be fun to see, especially to mock on a daily foundation. I reckon that we have that right when we are treated to bloated presentations where we are left in the dust with the message: ‘It is great to be a consumer, in this age‘. Do not worry, we have his number and will point out that flaw soon enough several times.

We are finally seeing the impact of iterative technology versus frog leaping ahead. The iterative players will soon diminish, so from the Saudi point of view, they did bet on the right horse and that impact will give them multiple victories soon enough. You see, do you still think that the larger players will stay in a place with inferior abilities? When exactly was that ever an option for those who wanted to stay in the major leagues of technology?

 

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Tic Toc Ruination

There is always a next deadline, a next target and a next threshold. When we see that point, some see obstacles, some see challenges and others await opportunities. It has always been this way. In the past we had 3G, Telstra could not keep up and gave us 3.5G and called it something else. The audience was deceived and has been deceived for a while in many ways. In Australia, as I personally see it, too many politicians dance to the needs of Telstra and as such, in the long run nothing was done. As 4G matured on a global level we saw the eCommerce run and we saw growth everywhere. And as the 5G moment grew near too many were sitting on the sidelines, all talk and no hard work. Huawei, Ericsson and a few more worked hard because he fin-tech term ‘be there first‘ applied a hundred times more to mobile technologies and we saw the escalation as China went ahead of the curve. Suddenly Huawei 5G technology got banned, a bankrupt America started and soon most nations followed, now, or at least 5 hours ago, the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/05/bt-removing-huawei-equipment-from-parts-of-4g-network) reported one additional move ‘BT removing Huawei equipment from parts of 4G network‘, we see “In a statement, the UK telecoms group has confirmed it is in the process of removing Huawei equipment from the key parts of its 3G and 4G networks to meet an existing internal policy not to have the Chinese firm at the centre of its infrastructure“, all at the behest of spymaster incredibili Alex Younger. Yet actual evidence of Chinese activities was never given in evidence. Alex does something else and in retrospect to his French, American and Canadian peers something that is actually intelligent. He gives us: “the UK needed to decide if it was “comfortable” with Chinese ownership of the technology being used.” OK, in opposition of American stupidity making claims they cannot support, Alex is giving us the national need and the premise that another government should not have ownership of infrastructure this important. I can accept that, yet in that same light, that equipment should not be American or Russian either. He also gives us: “We have to keep adapting … we are evolving again to meet the threats of the hybrid age … our task now is to master the covert action of the data age“, and he is correct. It does not state that Huawei is a danger, a risk or actively undermining the UK. I get the setting of national security first and in this Huawei might optionally in the future be that risk, it is not the same setting the yanks gave us.

Yet there is the opposition as well. At present not only is Huawei ahead by a fair bit, Engineering and Technology (at https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2018/12/china-continues-to-dominate-worldwide-patent-applications/) give us: ‘China continues to dominate worldwide patent applications‘, it is a lot larger than Huawei, yet the stage we need to comprehend is “China submitted 1.38 million of the total 3.17 million patent applications submitted“, and a chunk of that 43.5% is mobile and 5G technology. China is ahead in the race and as some people start living in denial, the stage we will see in 2020 is not that America will start its 5G part, there will be a moment when China lodges IP cases that oppose patents, and the optional proven stage of patent violations. At that point the nations moving in silly ways will learn the hard way that whatever they tried to overcome will cost them 200%-550% more that they thought it would. The entire patent system will be upside down as technology makers will be found to be technology breakers and that is one side why the US is so opposed to certain levels of protectionism (apart from their pharmaceutical patents). To give you a perspective, China applied for more patents than the US, Japan, South Korea and the European Patent Office combined, the difference is that big, there is a second benefit to a worldwide growth in IP filings and some technology offices will soon encounter the receiving side of a desist to move forward lawsuit. The Apple Samsung war in patents has shown that impact for years and when any firm is stopped in their tracks, for any 5G violation, you can flush that 5G implementation timeline down the toilet.

ZDNet gives us: “Sprint announced that it is now the fastest mobile carrier across New York City, providing customers with access to its gigabit-speed LTE services after upgrading its network in preparation for 5G services going live next year“, which sounds nice, yet when we see: “launching a 5G mobile service there in the first half of 2019“, the way the dates were given last week personally implies to me that any setback gives reason that there will be no 5G before Q3 2019. Now, I might be wrong here, yet in the past we have seen again and again that these timelines were never met and the pressure is really on this time around, making setbacks and delays even more likely. So a we see New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Indianapolis, and Phoenix moving into the 5G realm, we now see the absence of an earlier mentioned Boston, Sacramento, Dallas, Houston, So as we see San Francisco, I see no Mountain view, no Palo Alto and no San Jose (consider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnzTgUc5ycc, just a little Helix for the fans). So will San Francisco get 5G, or will Google and Facebook infested Mountain View get the5G? The problem is not whether it comes now or later, the fact remains that implementation and deployment had to be done and be past the 100% deployment preparations 6 months ago and the players left it to the final moment, whilst some of the infrastructure should have been available a long while ago.

The setting is not merely 5G, it is the availability that is connected to all this that follows. Part of this situation is given weight to issues when we consider Telecom Lead giving us (at https://www.telecomlead.com/5g/192-operators-start-5g-network-investment-gsa-87745). The quote: “192 mobile operators in 81 countries are investing in 5G network as compared with 154 operators in 66 countries in July 2018, according to the latest GSA report released in November 2018” shows us that 15 countries are already late to the start and it involves 38 operators. Now, that might be valid as some are not in the size to be the initial adopters, yet it is merely the top of the iceberg. This Titanic is showing a leak when we get to “GSA also said 80 telecom operators in 46 countries have announced their plan to launch 5G to their customers between 2018 and 2022. 37 networks will launch 5G services in 2020 alone“. If this is the stage knowing that you are in one of the 37 countries. The 9 countries that are optionally launching between 2018 and 2020 might have a local advantage, yet which of these 9 are starting fist, or get to start between 2021 and 2022 is equally an issue to explore. We see: “Telstra, TeliaSonera Finland, Ooredoo Kuwait and Qatar, Zain Kuwait, and STC Saudi Arabia have done 5G deployments using commercial 5G base stations but are waiting for devices to enable service introduction“, here we see Australia to be ahead of the curve, yet waiting for devices implies that it goes beyond the mobile phones, I reckon that there is something else missing, yet what it is and when it comes is not given. The article also gives us the entire 5G trap and the Verizon steps that are in question. It is the reason why I mentioned Telstra 3.5G in the first place. We are given “Verizon’s network is not yet 3GPP compliant. It uses Verizon’s own 5G specification, but will be upgraded to be 3GPP compliant in the future“, so does that mean that it is merely a Verizon issue opening the market for Sprint, or are they both involved in that same pool of marketed pool to some form of ‘5G’ branding, and not the standard?

If that is truly the case, if this is truly verified, will the day that the 5G switch is turned on in the US, Japan and Saudi Arabia show that Saudi Arabia and Japan gives the people true 5G and America does not, does that make them the loser in the 5G race on day one? The question now becomes is Sprint 3GPP compliant, and more important what is the failing of 3GPP compliant bringing to the table?

When I look at the data opportunities that 5G brings, the opportunities that blockchain technology can revolutionise (especially in America) in retail with 5G are unheard of. There is a true growth of investment options available, yet are these opportunities seen as such?

So where is the ruination?

You see, this is the first time in history where high-tech is running ahead in China. In the past, America had the radio, they had the TV, they had video, DVD, Japan brought the Blu-Ray, and the US had 4G first; yet it all falters when we realise that this time around China is not merely on par, they are optionally ahead in the next technology wave, we have never seen this advantage from China before, and at the speed at how they caught up in the past, is worrying many nations as they are now ahead and optionally they can create more headway as they start giving the US less and less advantages, optionally resulting in greater economic advantages for China as America ends up having to catch up now, an advantage of being first which is now optionally no longer with the US.

The question becomes, will the consumers have to pay for that lack of headway? Even as we push for the comparison in the past app stage of 4G, we see that the IP war can become a much larger headache when you are not China, it might be good, it will most likely be bad and in the end we might benefit yet the reality is that massive amount of money will start going to the far east (China) and it will impact all manners of ecommerce soon enough. Yet will that happen? We might know tomorrow as the techboys (and one techgirl), AKA Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Ginni Rometty, Safra Katz and Steve Mollenkopf meet with White House officials later today. So as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Qualcomm decide on what happens (or needs to happen) in the next 24 hours, I wonder what concessions they will get from the White House as long as they all finish second to none and give America the 5G pole position result. Ego comes at a price and I reckon that we get to know the cost of White House ego tripping before the end of the year.

In all this, I wonder, can I make matters worse when I ‘give’ 2 billion in IP value to Huawei? When we are pushed, should we not push back? When the others face too late the element of delay by not adhering to logic, and by ignoring common sense, should I give them consideration? That is actually a main point here, as technology becomes the main political pawn, how should we react? We can agree with Alex Younger that any nation needs to negate technological risk, we could consider that he seemingly had the only valid opposition against Huawei, as it was not directed at Huawei, but at the fact that the tech is not British, the others did not work that path, and as we see that technology is cornered by the big 7, those in the White House with an absent person from both Apple and Huawei. We have accepted the changed stage of technology and that might not have been a good thing (especially in light of all the cyber-crimes out there), also a larger diverse supplier group might have addressed other weak spot via their own internal policies, another path optionally not averted. So as we focus on national needs (which is always a valid path), should I hand that 2 billion dollar patent to Australia, who is too often in the pocket of Telstra (as I personally see it), or put it on the market for any to buy it, when that happens, do I create opportunity or limitations?

That is a question that most of us did not consider as the tech market had been global for the longest of times, yet as 5G comes into play, that might soon change and with that we will get new answers, new challenges and a lot more diversity (whilst having to entertain a whole range of new limitations as well). In my view there is an unseen balance between ruination and opportunity, yet this is where time is not a factor, it will be about the connectivity that one offers another and that is when we see that time influences it, but it is not the larger factor of influence. It is a market where diversity becomes an enabler against time (partially in opposition of time). I stated this before. As 4G gave us the golden path towards ‘wherever we are‘, 5G will be largely about ‘whenever we want it‘. It affects ‘on demand’, it enables ‘I need it now’ and it gives rise to security, automation and non-repudiation to a much larger extent. We have clearly seen that Huawei and China are in pole position of that race, and we must wonder who of the other players can catch up in time offering the full 5G with all elements validly in place (not using Verizon’s own 5G specification, or a version thereof).

I look forward to 2019 as I have already found 2 optional gaps; I wonder how many more I will find.

 

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It’s called an alarm clock

This all started with the Guardian, they put an article there that connects directly with the last two articles and that is why I decided to take a look. It also directly connects to me with my Data skills and as such I thought it was a good idea to look at it. So the article ‘You aren’t as anonymous as you think‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/13/anonymous-browsing-data-medical-records-identity-privacy) is not a consideration, it is an absolute truth that goes back to the ages of Windows 3.1. All these users thinking that you cannot be found, and that you are invisible online. That was never a truth. Yes, you can hide, you can deceive people on location, but in the end you leave data behind. So when the article treats me to “Names and other identifying features were removed from the records in an effort to protect individuals’ privacy, but a research team from the University of Melbourne soon discovered that it was simple to re-identify people, and learn about their entire medical history without their consent, by comparing the dataset to other publicly available information, such as reports of celebrities having babies or athletes having surgeries“, I was not at all surprised. If data can be aggregated, to some extent that data can also be reversed. The mere consideration of ‘comparing the dataset to other publicly available information‘ makes it happen. It goes even further when you consider not publicly available data. For example data on those watching a YouTube video, data from supermarkets (loyalty programs) and there are dozens of them. The amount of people who are connected to no less than half a dozen of them is staggering. Now consider the data in places like Facebook and you have a setting to create wires, each wire a person and a system fast enough to extrapolate dozens of wires a second, 85,000 people identified a day. You might think that this is nothing, but this new database is only growing adding more and more public data to it every second. Even if we start now, within a year 31 million people would be identified, categorised and classified. It will grow faster after that, actually the growing of that dataset is only a dozen a second in the first day, it already accelerates soon thereafter and this has been going on for close to a decade at the very least.

The text that follows: “This privacy nightmare is one of many examples of seemingly innocuous, “de-identified” pieces of information being reverse-engineered to expose people’s identities. And it’s only getting worse as people spend more of their lives online, sprinkling digital breadcrumbs that can be traced back to them to violate their privacy in ways they never expected” is true but a little fear mongering in nature. You see, it only matters when you put your life online. I saw this danger and the reality of it well before 2003, so I never allowed for internet banking, EVER!

There were issues with the X.25 protocol for a long time, my bosses then called me crazy, the flaw in the defence computer found in 1981 was ignored, people told me that I had no clue because I was not educated (with two graduates and a master I would oppose that nowadays, but then I could not). So when I saw the presentation recently by Raoul Chiesa (Telecom Security Task Force) I found the pieces that I never had in those days. His quote “We encountered a huge number of breaches on tested infrastructures, usually getting access via the main X.25 link. More than 90% was insecure“, that is the smallest part (here), so today I take my anger out on two Lt’s and a Major then were eager to belittle me and call me dumb whilst removing me from access from a system that I tried to warn them about (I held thus grudge since 1981). At the Dutch Defence Ministry, the payment systems were used to keep track of it all, it was a mere customer support function. It was fun for a month, and then I considered (and tested) the flaw. Even as there was a boss and he had a keyboard with actual keys to unlock certain options (like the keys of a lunchbox), but it was merely a charade. I learned that the system had a flaw. It was possible to get the down and out of every officer in no time, especially if they had loans. There was the flaw, and when I tried to warn someone I was muzzled and send to the basement to clean out the archives (which gave me access to a lot more). So when we see the data setting, there is a lot more going on because if someone figured out the how to get into one system, they can get into a lot more systems.

In this specific case I learned that the system was only for those following the menu rules. Yet when you press ‘SYS REQ‘ you get a blank screen, even as this was not new, knowing that one program gets you into the main screen, the people were able to get into ANY part because security was not monitored to the extent it needed to be (good old IBM), so even as you get into the system, by entering “MDET 2710” I got a new blank screen, but now with the cursor almost in the middle, I have found the loans system. So by entering the registration numbers of soldiers, when there was a loan, there would be numbers and now there is an issue, because when you know there are debts, there are issues and weaknesses. I always suspected that this was how some officers had been gotten to, but I was the idiot and quickly send away.

Now consider the fact that X.25 is still in use, that there is still a use for it (attached document) and now consider that page 19 gives the Australian defence prefixes. Now also consider that prefixes are not that secret. Now switch to page 40, where we see the assessment of Raoul telling us (unverified) that 1% of the top 1000 companies are ‘not penetrable‘, this now gives us that the top 990 companies that still have X.25 links are indeed optional data sifts.

It is that bad!

Getting back to the article we see the setting where we are confronted with “In later work, Sweeney showed that 87% of the population of the United States could be uniquely identified by their date of birth, gender and five-digit zip codes“, depending on the country it can get a lot worse sooner. You see, the Netherlands has a well-designed postcode (very postman friendly) so the 4 letter code gets you to the near location, the two letters that follows can get you to within a 10 house distance; that alone could offer the setting of identification sooner. But the clarity should be there, a zip code and a birthdate is all you need. Now, tell me how often have you filled in some voucher for a great deal and you got a massive discount? Did it include your zip code? Well, the credit card will most likely have sealed the deal uniquely identifying you to an amazing offer and from there you are now the direct target for targeted marketing and other offers. This does not need to be a bad thing, because the more 40% discounts you get, the better your quality of life looks, yet now that it is linked to a bank card or credit card also means that optionally EVRYTHING purchased after that can be linked to you too, now we get a spending pattern, we get products and services you need and want, giving those offering it a setting where they can optimise how much you get to spend (by varying services and costs). This also links to “Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, a computational privacy researcher, showed how the vast majority of the population can be identified from the behavioural patterns revealed by location data from mobile phones. By analysing a mobile phone database of the approximate locations (based on the nearest cell tower) of 1.5 million people over 15 months (with no other identifying information) it was possible to uniquely identify 95% of the people with just four data points of places and times. About 50% could be identified from just two points“, there we get the next tier, because any additional tier gets the owner more clarity on you as a person and what you aim for (what you desire). Where you are, when you were there and why you went there. Now, a lot of this is still a stretch, because you go to work and you lunch and shop around the office to spare time. Yet that is not a given in the weekend is it and that data set grows and grows.

You might wonder why this matters.

It might not for you, you might not notice but having the needs of 3 million people in London mapped also implies where the good deals are and where true profit can be found. London is perhaps the best evidence as it is so choc-a-block full. So when you are interested in setting up a building anywhere in London is a good place, yet when you know where the spending sprees happen, you can also tell where they are much lower and the latter is the place you do not want to build. It could set the profit margin up by close to 10%, not merely in value, but by starting somewhere and the plots are sold before the building is finished, that is a hell of a lot o margin to play with. The other side is equally happening. Consider that all your activities are known, how much is a health insurer willing to pay for access? Evidence that shows a person to be a 15% larger risk factor, what will his or her premium be like in the end? Consider: ‘Insurers have to tell you why they’ve ended your coverage‘, so we accept that, but what are the chances that we get to hear the truth? They might have told you that you falsely claimed that you were a non-smoker, but is that actually the real reason?

The next quote is a little silly, but it was Apples finest hour, so I cannot deprive you of it: “Even if location data doesn’t reveal an individual’s identity, it can still put groups of people at risk, she explained. A public map released by the fitness app Strava, for example, inadvertently became a national security risk as it revealed the location and movements of people in secretive military bases“. Yes that is one option, it was a certain lack of common cyber sense from the military side of things, but not the worst, when you combine the X.25 issue, sniffers and military locations, it becomes easier to identify logistical targets, yet that is not the issue, it is the data that matters. When you figure out what goes where, you get the setting that data in transit is no longer as secure as we once thought it was, so as data is cloned in transit we lose even more. Oracle stated in one of their papers “Enterprises are concerned about the lack of control on the data in the cloud due to on-going data breaches, lawsuits, government/regulatory agencies involvement, the volume of the data being generated by hundreds of applications and the related components“, it is not merely that, it is the factual setting where data is trusted, and too often to what we might consider is the wrong party.

Wired gave us that with: “Like any industry, there are many newcomers that give the reputable cloud solution providers a bad name. These companies are poorly financed, staffed, and resourced. They are traditionally an IT solution provider who has installed some server in a data center and called it a cloud. They are not security experts, and have poor security measures in place“, that is part of the problem, we cannot tell one apart from the other and they are all on LinkedIn trying to grow their business. A valid step to take, but how can we differentiate the wheat from the chaff? That is the first issue already and we haven’t even started to keep data safe. You think that people would employ common cyber sense in keeping safe, but no, the bosses tend to go for the good deals, the ones that are on special and when they get one they let you sort it out after data was transferred, that is the cold reality of corporations.

And when it is set up, there is always one employee stupid enough to think that some mails were specifically for them and when they look at the present it is a mere cool meme, after which they have given access to the outsider, including their cloud account. That is the cold light of day in this. So the alarm clock is not there to wake you up, but to tell you that you have been asleep and things are already moving from bad to worse.

And it is not over; the large companies are still at it. Consider the headline ‘Apple Rebuilding Maps App, Hopes to Outperform Google‘, you would think that they would give up and merely use Google Maps, but the reality is that the data coming from 800 million iPhone users is just too much not to get. The business intelligence value alone goes deep into the billions and there we see it, we will connect to one or the other, but we will connect and let others collect data on activities and events, completing the picture of every unique user that is online. The fact is that if it all was secure it would not be a big thing, but there are two flaws in that thinking. The first is that free services are never free, Apple is not wasting a billion dollars on a solution that is merely a free service, for every million invested, they expect between 3 and 4 million in return. The second flaw is that whilst you think that apps are secure, they are not. Let’s be fair, most merely want to write a cool app that has fans and makes them some coins, 99% of these developers are all like that and that is a good thing, but when the system is flawed, issues happen and we are caught in the middle, whilst all our details go everywhere. Some do it intentionally through Facebook, some do it without knowing what they are doing, they are introduced to the impact down the line.

That is how it crumbles and the people need to become Data Aware and have a better Common Cyber Sense more and more, because the response ‘It was just on my own computer‘ no longer holds any water when it comes to defending your online actions.

In opposition

There is one part in the article that I do not agree with. It is the part: “One of the failings of privacy law is it pushes too much responsibility on to the consumer in an environment where they are not well-equipped to understand the risks,” said Johnston. “Much more legal responsibility should be pushed on to the custodians [of data, such as governments, researchers and companies].”” I only agree in part, the fact that data is collected needs to be revealed from the start and it is ‘opt in’ only! That means that if the customer disagrees, no data is to be collected ever. Yet many will not like it because the unwary user is the treasure trove they all want. I do not believe that we can allow for the ‘not well-equipped to understand the risks‘, like a car, a plane and a shotgun, usage can be socially fatal and have long lasting considerations.

If you did not want to learn, then do not use it. Additional responsibility is to be placed on the custodians regardless, but leaving the consumer in the country of ‘no man’s land’, in the city of ‘never accountable’ is also no longer acceptable form my point of view. The ‘figuring it out‘ time has gone. The impact is too large to remain on that route and there is enough evidence to show it.

My last ‘disagreement’ is with the end quote: “Privacy is not dead. We need it and we’re going to get there”, it is optimistic and I love it, but it is not very realistic.

In the online world: “Privacy is optionally public domain. Getting somewhere eager is to become a member of the public domain charter and that population already surpassed a billion and still growing every minute“.

 

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