Tag Archives: SCMP

The die is cast

it started Yesterday (well, it started earlier), the Guardian gives us ‘British-Iranian relations strained as oil tanker is seen off Syria‘, with the by-line “Adrian Darya, previously called Grace 1, photographed near Russian navy facility“. the starting quote “Britain is seeking to establish whether Iran has sold oil to Syria in breach of written undertakings given by Tehran to authorities in Gibraltar“, we can go with the speculative ‘yes’ on that answer, but it is not a given at present. The quote “Since leaving Gibraltar the ship had taken a peripatetic route towards Syria, but was last photographed off the Russian navy port of Tartus in Syria. TankerTrackers, a firm that monitors oil tankers, has seen no evidence that its 2.1m barrels of oil have been discharged” is no guarantee that it is not happening, or that it will not happen.

The issue is not the oil, the issue is what Al Jazeera reports (at https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/saudi-arabia-enrich-uranium-190909144444127.html), I tend to be in favour of ‘Saudi Arabia wants to enrich uranium but the US may not like that‘, I support the setting as the EU and the US no longer have any balls in dealing with Iran and Saudi Arabia has no choice but to be ready to deal with Iran. It is the consequences of inaction. We see the quote: “Saudi Arabia wants to enrich uranium for its nuclear power programme, the kingdom’s new energy minister said on Monday, potentially complicating talks with Washington about an atomic pact and the role United States companies might play in the arrangement.” We might think that this is the barricade that works, but you would be wrong, both Russia and China are chomping at the bits to deliver high technology power plants that can work with enriched Uranium, this is a billion per place and Saudi Arabia would need 4 straight off the bat. Two power plants to power the growing power needs of Neom City and One for Riyadh power needs and one for other power needs. Do you think that in this age where American and European abilities are downgraded time after time that both Russia and China do not stand a chance? The fact that in both the EU and US larger discrimination and anti-Saudi needs have been fuelled for almost two years, the Saudi government needs to find a solution that is best for Saudi Arabia, not a solution that makes them seem the nicest. That time has gone, that time was 2017, the actions of media since have shown that the anti-Saudi rhetoric is slightly too strong and the Saudi government knows that. In light of all information available, it is the Chinese government that has the strongest position of the three (when we include the US) giving them another benefit. The US has downplayed several parts and now that we see that the Chinese government is ready to step in, we also take notice of an earlier stage in October 2018 where the SCMP gave us ‘China may seek to boost ties with Saudi Arabia but it ‘can’t fill US arms sales gap’‘, I was never certain that it was ever completely true. I believe that China needed time to set things in motion, I also believe that in the gap between July 2018 and August 2019 they have been able to set that stage to a much larger degree and within a year that gap can completely be filled. One issue that was resolved was the Chengdu J-20, the Chinese answer to the F-35. the rumour is that the three weaknesses Canopy, fuselage and engines have been resolved, there was still some questions on the stealth coating, yet that would not prevent them from starting, there would merely be an upgrade of a delay in fulfilment of foreign orders.

With that larger issue out of the way, China is seemingly ready to hand out larger contracts, they might be in the running to aid Saudi Arabia in getting them on the road to keep the 50% promise of making SAMI products export ready, the question is which arms are the most viable ones at present. With the growing concerns and the fact that Saudi Arabia is ready to deliver gives a much larger concern that the US has been playing the wrong game for well over 2 years at present. Even now, less than a day ago, CNBC gave us ‘US wants energy dominance regardless of what happens to oil prices, deputy energy secretary says‘, a quote and a claim that is both flaccid and exaggerated. As such the quote: “The U.S. deputy energy secretary told CNBC Monday that America wants to achieve energy dominance regardless of what happens to oil prices” falls short on a few levels. It falls short not merely because of the additional “It just simply means that we are going to produce as much energy as we can, as cleanly as we can and as affordably as we can“, there is seemingly a line that goes from the US to all other nations, that is besides the issue that ‘clean‘ and ‘affordable‘ tend to be opposite in scope, clean power is not cheap and affordable power tends to be not clean. In there the balance is already out of whack when they want power creation dominance and if China is affirmative to the 4 nuclear power plants, the need for US power will fall to some degree, so the option of dominance goes out of the window. Not dealing with matters is what got the US in this stage, not dealing with Greece (via Wall Street), not dealing with Brexit (through arrogance), not dealing with Iran (through indecision) and not standing strong with their claimed ally (Saudi Arabia) has pushed them on a sliding scale of mind over matter. It is becoming more and more clear that nobody minds because the US no longer matters. As the EU and the US are downplaying the impact and chances of the next recession, or as the recession is used to create Brexit fear, we see a population that has had enough. That is the setting the US is facing and all the non-evidentiary stance on Jamal Khashoggi was not helping, that journalist’s missing cadaver has been milked for anti-Saudi media coverage for far too long.

In this stage, as we realise the factors we look at the stage where we see: ““We are proceeding with it cautiously … we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said, referring to a plan to issue a tender for the Gulf Arab state’s first two nuclear power reactors. Ultimately, the kingdom wanted to go ahead with the full cycle of the nuclear programme, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel, bin Salman told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.” and his royal highness has to, he has little choice, it is not only because of the power requirements of the kingdom, Iran is still a threat and that threat can only be countered by having equal solutions at the kingdom’s disposal and in all this, the total lack of actual actions against Iran by both the EU and the US do not help matters. In this, when we consider “The tender is expected in 2020, with US, Russian, South Korean, Chinese and French firms involved in preliminary talks about the multibillion-dollar project” we need to realise that the US and the EU nations now have a disadvantage to this tender. So whoever wins the multi-billion dollar tender, the losers are going to get confronted on how their tender fell flat due to inaction. It also made me wonder on some of the processes and I know that the World Nuclear Association is the best source.

So I had a look at some of the information, and the stage is set at: “Uranium-235 and U-238 are chemically identical, but differ in their physical properties, notably their mass. The nucleus of the U-235 atom contains 92 protons and 143 neutrons, giving an atomic mass of 235 units. The U-238 nucleus also has 92 protons but has 146 neutrons – three more than U-235 – and therefore has a mass of 238 units“. With the centrifuge principle of “The counter current flow set up by a thermal gradient enables enriched product to be drawn off axially, heavier molecules at one end and lighter ones at the other” and when you consider the image I wonder if it is the most efficient path. I wonder what happens, when we consider “heavier molecules at one end” it seems to me that the outer part (heavier molecules) when it is siphoned off, more uranium could be processed making the process faster. It was just a thought I was having, I remain in a creative stage. There is equally the option to see other solutions when we consider the Roman bath houses and 2 phase compressors. They did not get to their destination in one step, the compressor goes from zero to 5 atmosphere, the second stage takes 5 atmosphere and pushed it to 25 atmosphere, in the old days it was a lot more effective, even now we see the path where the centrifuge at its speed can do it in one go, yet consider a centrifuge park with 50% more units, yet creating enriched Uranium at twice the speed. I am not sure if it works, but I do know that we need to upgrade the technologies to make the Iranian technology obsolete, making the Iranians stop their intended steps, or being able to take the steps to end their actions altogether. People might not like that approach, but the stages we now see involving the Syrian delivery, the Houthi arms and drone supplies, it is clear that Iran has no peaceful intent in any direction. It is our responsibility to choose, either we support Saudi Arabia, or we move out of the Middle East altogether. Either way

This matters, because if we are to stop Iran, we need processes that are more advanced to give the clear signal that the actions of Iran should no longer be tolerated. There are two options in any war approaching disagreement, either you overwhelm them or make their solution obsolete. We have seen that advancing stronger gives the option for a peaceful edge and that should always be embraced, that is as long as you are willing to use that advantage effectively, the EU and US have shown that they are unwilling to do that. So another option is required. That path is seen in the Al Jazeera article with “Reuters has reported that progress on the discussions has been difficult because Saudi Arabia does not want to sign a deal that would rule out the possibility of enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel – both potential paths to creating a nuclear bomb“, whilst the intent might sound noble, it isn’t. This solution will not work because no one has a handle on Iran and no one is willing to deal with Iran and that is where the problem lies. As long as Iran is around the problem remains that much has been shown several times in several direction, only the arrogant and delusional political players in the EU and the US are still of the mind that a nice solution can be found, the problem is that Iran has been most effective in tailoring to those ego’s and it is time to give light to those tools and find a way to stop Iran, we have to because their willingness to transgress on nuclear limits has now been shown three times over. That is seen as the New York Post gives us less than a day ago: “The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog confirmed Monday that Iran has installed advanced centrifuges and is moving toward enriching uranium levels — another violation of the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by world powers”. I believe that the best solution now is to make sure that Saudi Arabia gets to the Iranian destination faster, or we allow an open war with Iran, what would you chose? I believe that war is a last resort, yet I am willing to go there if needed, which makes me a better and more ample decider than either the EU or the US, indecision is the only agenda point they procrastinate on, a stage that is too dangerous for anyone at present.

 

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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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