Tag Archives: Sweden

Dream number three

I am trying to remember something. Yesterday I came up with short story number three, I dreamt the story and the big lines were done, but now I forgot the dream, only fragments remain. A stage where it is about one thing leading to another, I see the ending but I can no longer see the beginning. It is a shared setting that eludes me, and every time I my mind moves back to the story, it is overwhelmed with other facts. It takes me back to yesterday as I was writing the Kaseya story. The BBC is giving us “Researchers from the Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure found the problem and were helping Kaseya plug the hole long before the hackers found it”, yet if we are to believe ‘long before the hackers found it’ I wonder why Kaseya was continuing on the path they were. More important, if that was really true, why was Kaseya not monitoring the situation 24:7? In my case the story is not completed, I am creating it (almost) on the go. Kaseya is seemingly in a stage where they are in denial. First a few, then up to a 1,000 and now, after other sources give us a stage that sets the premise to up to 100,000, some sources give us ‘Between 800 and 1,500 companies potentially affected by Kaseya ransomware attack’, I get it, it is optional a seesaw that is balancing between optionally managing bad news and the speculative media on the other end of the seesaw. Neither side is overly reliable in my personal view. Yet the BBC gives us “the way the cyber-security world has pulled together to reduce the impact of the attack has been incredible”, you see, I have been involved in IT work since 1982, I have never seen competitors pull together, so the story of ‘the cyber-security world has pulled together’ remains debatable. They are all scared, they wanted solutions faster, automated and cheaper, it is like the house where you can choose 2 out of three, now the choice is nil, because the underlying factors are haywire. In this setting, and yes, this is all speculative. We have a solution that is faster/slower, automated/manual and cheap/expensive. They wanted it fast, but that requires matching hardware and software. This is where ‘plugging the hole’ is a problem, as such there was never a cheap solution. Then there was the automated setting, that is the one that they could pull off, but in a stage where there is too little security, and if ‘long before the hackers found it’ is to be believed, I speculate that the need was manual when the wrong parties opted for automated. And in the third we have cheap and expensive. They needed a solution that was cheap, but they needed a lot more expensive elements. This is ALL speculation, but the setting where we see system after system fail, in my personal opinion is all a setting towards shortcuts and that led to the weakness we now see exploited. I personally believe that players like Kaseya are too plenty and when we see ‘the cyber-security world has pulled together’, we see a stage where they all have a seemingly fat meal, they all get to set a field of limitations for all others and that will have long term repercussions. Microsoft, Solarwinds, Kaseya are examples that how us that the hackers are gaining more and more advantage and that is the larger stage. In this setup hell will get one happy resident and it is not the ruler of hell, I will let you consider who I am talking about and it is not a player that is mentioned in this article, neither is REvil, they seemingly found a gap that they exploited hoping to bank $70,000,000 but the stage is out there and the snippet “were helping Kaseya plug the hole long before the hackers found it” is merely a factor, so how long did the plugging take and why was it not successful? The words ‘long before’ should be an indication. So why are we (clearly) seeing several facts and the hack was still successful? The article is (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57719820) merely one factor, the amount of MSP’s are another and the lack of alarms is a third part. A dangerous setting of cheap, seemingly fast and proclaimed automated systems in a stage where no one was the wiser. Consider a fast automated system without proper alarms and without logs, and that is merely one player using (or claiming to have) cloud solutions. A stage that is no solution (ask COOP in Sweden if you doubt me) and one that hands over cash to organised crime. How much risk are you willing to take with your business?

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Your data or your life!

It is not the dream, not this time. I was persecuted by a Construction AI with diminishing reality capacity, but in the humour side there were a few criminals trying to get away with a golden car (like Goldfinger) and they got in the middle, so there. No, today is about Ransomware. Reuters gives us ‘Ransomware breach at Florida IT firm hits 200 businesses’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/200-businesses-hit-by-ransomware-following-incident-us-it-firm-huntress-labs-2021-07-02/). Like the solarwinds issue we see “The attackers changed a Kaseya tool called VSA, used by companies that manage technology at smaller businesses. They then encrypted the files of those providers’ customers simultaneously” and no one, most visibly the media is asking the questions that needs asking. The Microsoft Exchange issue, the Solarwinds issue, now Kaseya. We understand that things go wrong, but as I see it the hackers (read: optionally organised crime) have a much better understanding of matters than the lawmakers and police do, we see this with “encrypted the files of those providers’ customers simultaneously” and that is before we consider that ‘an American software company that develops software for managing networks, systems, and information technology infrastructure’ has the kind of security that can be trespassed upon. And why do I think this? It is seen “The attackers changed a Kaseya tool called VSA, used by companies that manage technology at smaller businesses” and contemplate the issue that this had been happening for the last 5 months. A lack of larger systems as well, and all this continues as the law is close to clueless on how to proceed on this. We see statements like “In their advisory and further incident communications, Kaseya said that only a few out of their 36 000 customers were affected”, yet CNet gives us “REvil, the Russia-linked hacking group behind the attack on meat processor JBS, is linked to the Kaseya attack, The Wall Street Journal reported. Security firms Huntress Labs and Sophos Labs have likewise pointed to REvil”, which gives the law the problem that a member must be a proven member of REvil and that is largely not the case, moreover they have no clue how many members are involved. When one player gives us “We are in the process of formulating a staged return to service of our SaaS server farms with restricted functionality and a higher security posture (estimated in the next 24-48 hours but that is subject to change) on a geographic basis”, all whilst one of the victims is the largest grocery store in Sweden (COOP), the setting of “only a few out of their 36 000 customers” becomes debatable and it will affect the retail stage to a much larger degree, especially when you consider that they are cloud based. I stated in the past (based on data seen) that 90% of the cloud can be transgressed upon. And they are all servicing the larger stage of people dealing with IT requirements on a global scale. Now consider that cloud systems remain largely insecure and beyond the fact that ITWire was giving us “SolarWinds FTP credentials were leaking on GitHub in November 2019” and it was a direct results from someone who thought that ‘solarwinds123’ was a good idea. Oh, I remember a situation involving Sony and stated that there might be an issue that someone (I implied the Pentagon) had a router with password ‘cisco123’, I did that in ‘The Scott Pilgrim of Technology’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/23/the-scott-pilgrim-of-technology/) in MAY 2019, and did anyone learn anything yet? It is now 2 years later and still we see these levels of transgressions? Some might say that IT firms are helping REvil get essential revenues, some might say that these IT firms got themselves in this mess. So when we look at some firms relying on ‘Five years of experience for an entry-level job’, or perhaps “Any of the following will be grounds for immediate dismissal during the probationary period: coming in late or leaving early without prior permission; being unavailable at night or on the weekends; failing to meet any goals; giving unsolicited advice about how to run things; taking personal phone calls during work hours; gossiping; misusing company property, including surfing the internet while at work; submission of poorly written materials; creating an atmosphere of complaint or argument; failing to respond to emails in a timely way; not showing an interest in other aspects of publishing beyond editorial; making repeated mistakes; violating company policies. DO NOT APPLY if you have a work history containing any of the above” (source: Forbes). All this in a stage of age discrimination and narrow minded thinking of HR departments. Yes that is the dynamic stage of people that have bad passwords and a stage of transgressions. So whilst we might think it is a stage of ‘Your data or your life’, there is a larger stage where the law has a bigger issue, it has the issue of IT firms cutting cost and having a blasé approach to the safety of their systems, and more important their customers. And whilst ABC New York gives us “The number of victims here is already over a thousand and will likely reach into the tens of thousands,” said cybersecurity expert Dmitri Alperovitch of the Silverado Policy Accelerator think tank. “No other ransomware campaign comes even close in terms of impact” (at https://abc7ny.com/amp/ransomware-attack-4th-of-july-cyberattack-kaseya/10859014/) we see a first stage where the statement ‘only a few out of their 36 000 customers were affected’ is as I personally see it marketing driven panic. And that is a much larger case. I get that the firm hit does not want too much out in the open, but between a few, 2% and optionally a stage that could go beyond 27% is a setting too many are unable and too uneasy to consider. And when we see that 27%, do I still sound too ‘doomsday’ when I state that there is a much larger problem? And when we see the media go with ‘MSPs on alert after Kaseya VSA supply chain ransomware attack’, all whilst I stated a few issues well over 2 years ago, they should have been on the ball already. I am not blaming the MSP’s, but I do have questions on how their systems are so automated that an attack of this kind (the stated 1000+ customers hit) all whilst some sources state 50 MSP’s, there is a stage where triggers would have been there and the alarms were set to silent because some people might have thought that there were too many false alarms. This is a different stage to the larger playing field, yet I believe it needs to be looked at, especially when the damage can be so large. I am not certain what work lies ahead of the hit customers like COOP that had to close down 800 supermarkets, but in all this something will have to give. 

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Something rotten in Denmark

I always liked that line from Hamlet. I have nothing against the Danes, but I have been several times and the people in Copenhagen look down on others and more so on foreigners. A sort of extrovert nationalism. They were never openly negative about me, but that vibe is undeniable. Should you doubt me, be there for half a day, then take the ferry to Malmo and compare the feel, the Swedes are much warmer. But that is as far as I can take it, my co-workers in Copenhagen were really warm and kind and even now, 10 years later they still are. So when I saw ‘NSA spying row: Denmark helped US gather data on European officials, says report, I merely had to giggle. And when we are given “The Defence Intelligence Service (FE) collaborated with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to gather information, according to a report by Danish broadcaster Danmarks Radio” we need to wonder just how united that EU really is. There is the optional “Intelligence was collected on other officials from Germany, France, Sweden and Norway, according to the report”, which implies that any Dane hoping to have a jolly good time in another Scandinavian country is up for a nice surprise. So even as we take notice of “In a new report shared with several European news agencies, the NSA is said to have accessed text messages and the phone conversations of a number of prominent individuals by tapping in to Danish internet cables in co-operation with the FE.” we can boast and shout, yet if we consider that this was there in 2013, where exactly does ‘In a new report’ come from? In addition, we see the Netherlands and Belgium being not part of that equation, why is that? So as we are given “Mr Snowden accused US President Joe Biden of being “deeply involved in this scandal the first time around”. Mr Biden was US vice-president at the time when the surveillance took place” my question becomes, whose bread is he buttering and his look like a super sad puppy dog with the byline “US whistleblower Edward Snowden expresses wish to return home”, I merely wonder if traitors should be given any choice in the matter, although there is something satisfying on him coming from Russia to end up straight in front of a firing squadron. And when we look back to June 2015 where the BBC gave us ‘Snowden NSA: Germany drops Merkel phone-tapping probe’, I feel that someone kept it all alive to be used when appropriate, and now seems to be that time. And one little item comes to mind, We see Operation Dunhammer, yet the Dunhammer is “a species that are wild in Denmark or grown there”, it seems very specific doesn’t it. Did the NSA seek out that name, or is there a lot more to the story? Even as we see “Mrs Merkel, then-German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and opposition leader at the time Peer Steinbruck were also reportedly targeted”, it is something specific within a specific scope and that tends to be not of interest to the NSA unless there is a specific case, optionally with an operational push from the White House. That and the fact that between France and Sweden several other nations were not mentioned, we seem to see half a story, not the full ball of wax (as they say). 

If we want a simple comparison, someone is farting in the lunchroom and someone else is pointing at the air vents to focus attention to the wrong area. How typical is that?

And it is Channel 6 news that gave us “In August, Bramsen relieved the head of the country’s foreign intelligence service, among others, after an independent watchdog heavily criticised the spy agency for deliberately withholding information and violating Danish laws”, there are more sources, but this one also gives us “the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, known in Denmark by its acronym FE, in 2014 conducted an internal investigation into whether the U.S. National Security Agency had used its cooperation with the Danes to spy against Denmark and neighbouring countries.” Which is basically the left hand offering the right hand to do what needs to be done. Yet the stage is coming out now as it was then, in the stage of a Democratic president, I find it odd that the information remained contained under the previous REPUBLICAN president. It seems that some have no issues letting NSA secrets out of the bag when it suits someones political agenda, which as I personally see it constitutes treason of a very different kind. 

So elaborate in my own way, consider the Mexican mathematician, Dr Fibre Nachos, he gives us a number of food clients to grow his business, one gets us a second one, the two gives us three, three and the previous two give us five, five and the previous give us eight and so does one grow ones business. But alas, there is always a person hindering the growth (me in this case), I do not want to share my nachos, they are all mine (it is the one element that the hungry, the greedy and the selfish have in common). 

So we are at the beginning of one. One element threw this out in the open and they did it AFTER the republican was gone, and no one in the media is looking into it? We can all cry over “systematic wiretapping of close allies is unacceptable”, yet sometimes we have no choice, should you wonder that consider the events surrounding the Martel affair in 1962. Now we have a larger scaled problem, it is not merely governments, it is the stage of large industrials who also set a stage of political imbalance, and as the surrounding areas become less and less stable any nation needs to find issues to keep their nation safe. The EU is perhaps the best evidence in all this. The entire Vaccine rollout with Astra Zenica and the concealment of documents and pricing in a place where they claim to be transparent gives rise to a lot more subterfuge than can be found at Grizodubovoy str. 3, Moscow. And everyone is crying foul? Can anyone tell me the setting on why someone let the information out now? This was not Snowden, he had already done that, someone decided to play traitor all by themselves and it seems that it is OK with the powers in Washington DC. The fact that it is a specific list of nations and that the US seemingly trusted Denmark is also a point of discussion, one that seemingly hasn’t happened yet. Why is that? I might reflect on Hamlet and something rotten, but that is a reflection on Shakespeare and his view on ‘it shows that everything is not good at top of political hierarchy’, in my view one person got the green light to release information, the problem is that the hierarchy is not the problem, it is the treason of a chosen few who are in a stage to set a stage of imbalance and that tends to be the one not in charge, optionally a big tech push for whatever reason they have. I believe that the US needs to hunt down that source because it is limiting their options to grow their economy as well. Yet that is merely my speculated view on it all. 

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The assumption of knowing

It all started yesterday, the NOS notified us via ‘8 wounded by optional terror attack Sweden’. The stage was less clear through two parts. The first that this was not a big city, it was Vestlanda, which is in the South of Sweden, basically a village with less than 15,000 people. About an hour ago the BBC gives us ‘Sweden attack: Man injures seven in stabbing attack’, a very different headline. Two different headlines, but neither is wrong. The BBC also gives us (as did the NOS) “Police are treating the case as attempted murder but also investigating the possibility of terror motives” as such SAPO is on the case. The Swedish Security Services (formerly known as Säkerhetspolisen, or SAPO), it is at present under the leading and watchful eyes of Klas Friberg (aka Big Boss). We are told “Initially, detectives began treating the incident as suspected terrorism, before re-classifying it as attempted murder. According to the local police chief, the suspect is a resident of the area and previously known to police but in the past he was only suspected of “petty crimes”, AFP news agency reports” (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56272565) there is a need to side with caution, there is no harm in treating it as one and finding out you are wrong, it is always better than not acting and learning too late it was a a dry run. 

In Sydney (on 15–16 December 2014) a mental case called Man Haron Monis was a self pronounced ISIL operative, there was enough evidence in the early hours that this was not the case and that he was a head case, but there is nothing wrong with siding with caution, lives were on the line. In Sweden there is a different setting, optionally one that requires Swedish Intelligence to take a larger look, and it makes sense, terror has several definitions, yet the one that matters is the result when the things we hold for granted are no longer reliable and a terror attack in Vestlanda would do that in Sweden much more than in the three larger cities, in this setting dozens of smaller places would have a security issue and that worry would run over to Norway and optionally Denmark as well. Yet, it is early days and we do not know what is and what is not. And the problem is not over, actually the PM (whilst being openly honest) gives us “Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the “horrific violence” was a reminder of “how frail our safe existence is”.” He is not wrong, but I believe him to be incorrect. The application of ‘how frail our safe existence is’ is the problem. There is no such thing s a safe existence, the fact is that Scandinavia is perhaps one of the least likely targets, as most terrorists will use bombs, they do not care about one person, they care about hundreds, Stockholm is perhaps the most likely of targets, yet it is still small compared to Munich in October, Amsterdam in April, or London and Paris most time of the year. They all have infrastructures that have too many weak spots, to many options and as such the largest part of Scandinavia (including Finland) tend to be less likely places to hit, that is beside the point that in these places tourists and foreigners shine like Christmas lights and these terrorists tend to dislike Christmas lights, a stage we all need to recognise. That does not make a person like Klas Friberg wrong. I am speculating, he needs to be certain and that is what he is doing, making sure. 

Still, the assumption is there and the truth is we really do not know at present. Even as I dug through the papers in a dozen nations, most of them are somewhere between the BBC and the Dutch NOS, merely one or two are playing the terror card, the others merely mention that it is investigated s an optional one. There is a small caution in many cases and at present there are too many unknowns. As we are told “Five different crime scenes, a few hundred metres apart, were identified, local police chief Jonas Lindell said.” We need to realise that this is not a person merely going nuts, he was seemingly on a ‘nutty’ rage trip over a distance and that calls a few things into question, optionally that this was ore than merely an attack by a head job and as such the authorities need to be certain, I get that. If Sweden gets to be lucky, the person was a head case, if that is not the case this might optionally be a lone wolf act and that is the problem, there is close to no attack against such a strategy. There are too many settings where lone wolves will achieve what they are told to do and the Swedish Security Services needs to be certain, that is clear and I hope that we can soon return to the happy view of 

Instead of

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Setting a standard

As I am rewatching the Stand (1996), I am also interested watching the new version when it is released. A stage where we wonder if the Stand is fiction or a stage where it becomes future history, and if that is debatable,  should the Stand now be seen as a documentary? You think I am joking, but merely partially so. You see, the news gives us ‘Ten Republicans voted to impeach Donald Trump. The backlash has been swift’ (at https://www.sbs.com.au/news/ten-republicans-voted-to-impeach-donald-trump-the-backlash-has-been-swift). A stage tht SBS gives and a lot do not, why is that? So as we see “In Michigan, a challenger to Mr Meijer received a boost when Steve Bannon promoted him on his podcast”, we should wonder if Steve Bannon, who was (quote NY Times) “charged on Thursday with defrauding donors to a private fund-raising effort called We Build the Wall, which was intended to bolster the president’s signature initiative along the Mexican border”, should we give any consideration to a person who was pardoned before it went to court? And this is a man who was directly connected to Cambridge Analytica. A person like that is (as I personally see it) tainted, and as such I wonder if we can trust a person who is challenging Peter Meijer in Michigan. I personally see it that anyone pushed forward by Steve Bannon will come at a cost, can we afford to accept that? It is equally an issue that there were only 10 republicans on the impeachment side, I reckon that they are ten people who still have some level of morals and the US has seen enough moral-less behaviour.

The setting is a lot bigger than you think, as we see the far right scrapping for attention, we also see the danger of Trumpism, especially in a stage where its industrial complexes are surpassed by China. We hear all the accusations of IP theft, yet so far the US, Sweden (Ericsson) and Finland (Nokia) are barely catching up with China, they are still decently behind Huawei, and if that IP was stolen, they would at the very least be on par and Europe is catching on. The US is about to become irrelevant. Irrelevant due to a $25 trillion debt, irrelevant due to a lack of innovation and irrelevant due to Trumpism, the US needs to set a standard, the Republicans need to set a standard and they have to do it fast, or they will not be seen in office until past 2035, optionally past 2039. With the Democratic nanny state in charge, and no exit strategy in place, the Corona issues will merely set a much faster downfall than ever seen before. Even now we are treated to ‘New Zealand reports first case in the community in months’, the cause was a woman who had been in self isolation for 2 weeks. And it gets to be worse, what I warned for recently is now a given “The Ministry of Health said the woman had tested negative twice before leaving an isolation facility in Auckland on 13 January”, we see one patient and two false negatives, yet the media is drowning the events. Then we see ‘despite Pfizer shortages overseas’, a setting I expected as the amounts required were nowhere near possible and in all this the stage of properly informing the public is out of the question, we see small bites of events and I see a lot as I check 8-14 news sources, but a lot of it will not be seen everywhere, merely in some places, and why is that? Sop whilst the US is trying to figure things out, the world has its own demons to fight and in all this the media is seen as less and less reliable. 

We need to set a standard, we need to stop facilitating and we need to hold people to account, that includes politicians that facilitate for greed and industrial needs, and as the media (in this case the Guardian give us “World Health Organization estimates air pollution kills more than 7 million people each year”, we still see the absence of the actual issue, even as they source against ‘1% of people cause half of global aviation emissions’, a stage that is debatable at best, the Guardian is actively ignoring the fact that the European Environment Agency told us all that 1% of ALL plants are responsible for 50% of the Air pollution damages, they did not come out against with evidence, no with the Commercial world having 24,000 planes flying, we get “Frequent-flying “‘super emitters” who represent just 1% of the world’s population caused half of aviation’s carbon emissions in 2018, according to a study”, so 80,000,000 people caused that, all whilst the 1% of plants are more manageable, so why keep us in the dark? Hiding behind the word ‘study’ is equally BS. And the setting will get worse as the nanny state pussies will cater to the media again and again, because, as I personally see it, they cater to the share holders, the stake holders and the advertisers and they are the industrials that are greed, revenue driven, contribution driven and profit driven, and if you think that Trumpism is a problem, the sliding of standards is pushing Trumpism to the surface, because the greed driven profit from that side too, and that is debatable, I know that, I get it and I understand it. Consider the quote from a comedy ‘Operation Petticoat’ (1959) where we are treated to the quote “In confusion there is profit!”, we are living the confusion, you better believe that someone is banking on the profit, and until we regain a setting of standards this will continue.

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A,B,C,…..D?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reality helps out gaming

Yup, it happen, it is a little rare, but not unusual. So as I was setting the stage of a post apocalyptic game in Sweden, I was a little stuck. Yet reality was there to help me out. Yup, the Local SE newspaper gives us (at https://www.thelocal.se/20171101/why-sweden-is-home-to-65000-fallout-shelters) ‘Why Sweden is home to 65,000 fallout shelters’, we assuming that this is partially true, because 65,000 is a bit much, but it is something to work with, and as such we now have shelters, a lot of them, so the game is still in concept stage, but with that many shelters, the idea is starting and in this, Norway is helping out, they apparently have the Sentralanlegget (read: Central Facility). As such we now have a start and I am not one to be the minor, so I am setting the map stage from Alesund (Norway), to Sundsvall (Sweden) and the map is everything south of there, so it is a huge map. Instead of travelling everywhere, the stage would be that you get to chose the top of person you are and from the you wake up in a place (somewhere), and that age is the beginning. I have a few twists in mind, but it will include seeking strawberries on Gotland (the Swedish readers will get this). 

I will not give away the whole enchilada, because the gamer needs a surprise or two, but I want to set the stage where permadeath will make the game a lot more challenging (yet not essential), in addition to that with Oslo, Goteburg, Malmo and Stockholm in play, we have a lot more to see and to do. Yet it all started with one shelter and as we have no idea where we are, the sage is set for RPG, mystery and a whole dose of challenges. 

Wow, that took mot of the day to think this through, but I was hindered by the fact that Fallout is a really good product and I wanted to avoid the overlap, it cannot be completely avoided, but it can be minimised to the least and that is how I went to work. 

In this, the stage was about setting a new game based on a foundation that we have seen dozens time over from the C64 up to the current generation of consoles. 

So the news in the Local dot se was really a nice find, they give us “The country is home to around 65,000 bunkers, fit to host seven million people in the event of war, and an official report has now advised the government to start building more, following a 15-year pause”, implying that every bunker is for around 100 people, that is something we can work with. If the bunker is too big, it might not be operable with one person, with 100 that is still a risk, but a lot less likely. With that starting point, the stage is set for a story, because as I said before ‘the story is everything’, and in that resetting stage we see a larger need to find, to travel and to achieve. 

And the timing is right, some sources are confirming the fears I had regarding AC Valhalla, I will not give them here, because I would merely be repeating their reviews (read: rants). I have not seen it, and mot of the evidence has (as I suspect) been based on previous (pre gold edition) alpha’s and beta’s. So I will wait and take another look in 32 hours when the game becomes available. I know a person who is getting the game and I am not willing to spend a nickel on it (at present), I can wait for Black Friday and get it at 25%-50% of retail value. The other thing is that I am still playing Watchdogs: Legion. Now, that game has a few issues, but it is definitely a step up from one and needs you to engage in more sneak than number two demanded. It can be a good thing depending on your view on what hackers do. Yet there is little to no question, Watchdogs is a decent hit (it is better than a lot of other Ubisoft titles), even as Eurogamer gives us ‘Watch Dogs Legion review – a bleak and buggy retread of Ubisoft’s formula’, I particularly liked “Legion is too terrifyingly real, and just a tad too grim. I doubt the very real climate in the UK is helping much – which clearly isn’t Ubisoft’s fault – but I usually play games to escape the ills of Westminster, not to be smacked over the head by them. I appreciate that terrorist attacks and food banks and too many homeless people add a frosty layer of authenticity to this fictional vision of the capital, and I know this isn’t Ubisoft’s fault, either, but good grief, it’s depressing to recognise so many signs of a fictional dystopia from your local real-life news reports”, perhaps after the American President events it is a little too real, but that too adds to the positive, the hackers and their need to act. The ‘frosty layer of authenticity’ is as I see it positive, not negative. It is about hackers for a reason. Yes the game has issues, but nothing that will break the bank or glitch into reset. In some cases a better description (read: rant) might have been the solution, but such is life. 

Overall, after playing for a while, I do not disagree with “it will eventually grow stale as missions rarely deviate from this template”, yet as a hacker I signed up for the, did I not? Not to get shot in the face when a hacker should have far too little firearms experience against Albion special forces. So the article (at https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-11-03-watch-dogs-legion-review-a-bleak-and-buggy-retread-of-ubisofts-formula) is good, yet I feel that there is a setting that is partially overlooked. Yet I do understand and like the words Vikki Blake give us “Watch Dogs Legion is dark and unpleasant in more ways than one, and it doesn’t matter how many protagonists a game boasts if you’re unable to care about a single one of them”, it is an eye of the beholder view, agree or disagree, it is up to you. That part matters, because Ubisoft got a small reprieve, if AC Valhalla is near perfect they get a shot to survive, if not they might end up being part of Microsoft too. Microsoft is unlikely to pass up on 23 houses with fps experience, especially if they can get it for 5 cents on the dollar and lets face it, they spend most cash on Bethesda anyway. 

So here I aim handing out free Sony exclusive materials because that is the guy I am (when pissed off an absolute nightmare), and I did have some fun designing a way to sink the Iranian fleet (we all need hobbies). As such setting my fingers into a post apocalyptic games was also essential, you see it was an actual snow globe that gave me the idea on how to meltdown Bushehr 1 (a still untested concept), and that side might actually help me to design a few missions for the Swedish post-apocalyptic game which I aptly renamed ‘glödande godis’, and we all need candy, whether we glow in the dark or not. Ah well, such is life.

So even as reality can help out a gamer, we need a fair amount of indiscriminate imagination to get it all to work and lets face it, at present only the Japanese know what life in a post-apocalyptic setting has been (small reference to August 6 1945).

So whilst we will get to know what is the truth around AC Valhalla in a little over a day, the stage of finding an alternative to fallout will take a little longer than that.

In the mean time we will sit back, relax and enjoy the Trump show (as he is getting fired), for me it means that we can enjoy a more global version of the news in 1-2 days and that has been sorely lacking at present.

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As jobs become available

Yup, there is always good news if we know where to look, even as we see a setting where over 50% of all coronavirus cases are in the USA, India and Brazil, we need to think hard of what numbers are not shown. Even as India has well over 3 times the population of the US, there is no way that the numbers add up, with the US having over 9 million cases and India barely passing 8 million, the stage is not completely seen. The population pressure and environment should give India a lot more than the US, so the stage is not clearly seen. I have less doubts (but some) with Brazil, there are over 5 million there and that number seems off (I am emphasising on seems), when we consider the 211 million people there, the pressures in Rio and Sao Paolo, the number seems low, more important, the mortality rate on Brazil merely seems high, in my personal view, either there are a lot more cases, or the mortality rate is skewed, optionally from connected complications. So as more people die, more jobs open up (one would hope). In this stage we could say that every silver lining is the foundation for a new dark cloud.

These numbers are important, especially as the EU goes into a new lockdown. There is the larger issue. We see Spain and France being at 1.2 and 1.3 million. Nothing wrong with that, but a similar setting of populations is seen in Germany with only 510K sick, these numbers do not add up, especially hen you consider that Germany has 83 million, France has 65 million and Spain has 46 million. The German numbers are as I see them off. This matters, because if the numbers are too surreal, the lockdown will merely be a pro forma exercise that does close to nothing in too many places. The problem is that I can see that these lockdowns are the best we can get until there is an actual vaccine, and there is not date on that. One source gives us “On Tuesday, front-runner Pfizer revealed in an earnings call that the first interim analysis in its Phase 3 clinical trial has not yet occurred. That means there hadn’t yet been enough Covid infections among the trial participants to take a first stab at analysing whether the people randomly assigned to receive vaccine were infected at a lower rate than people who were assigned to get a placebo injection”, so consider that phase three is not done and this needs to come and be confirmed before we have a setting where manufacturing can begin. And it is even earlier ‘the first interim analysis in its Phase 3 clinical trial has not yet occurred’, that implies that we get to a stage where any solution would not be here before January 2021, and that is if the second analyses of clinical trials those who precede towards ‘a vaccine is working’ is well over 8 weeks away, making the earliest stage of manufacturing would start on January 2nd, if a solution if found by coming Monday. Are you feeling frisky yet? And all this before the realisation starts that 2 billion doses will take more than a few days. I got (from Vaccine Europe) “On average, it takes between 12-36 months to manufacture a vaccine before it is ready for distribution” and on top of that Sanofi is one source stating that they can make 2.5 million doses a day. This gets us to the 2 billion shots, taking 800 days to make and that is if everything goes right the first time. So there will be a waiting list that is well over 2 years and that is WHEN a vaccine is a reality. Now consider it takes another 12 months before a vaccine is a reality, implying that Covid-19 will be around until January 2024 at the very least. At what stage will we learn that masks are a good idea, and I am happy to set the stage that lockdowns are some proof, but what proof remains the issue, do you still think those Swedes were nuts? 

And in this, consider the news that CNBC gave us in June ‘AstraZeneca is aiming to produce 2 billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine — and it could be ready by September’, do you still think that I was crazy saying that the media is a much larger cause of all the fake news we get?

I am not stating that I know when there is a solution, I am not proclaiming that I have all the answers, yet the numbers are clear and they tell a few stories, and in all those stories we see that some of the reflections offered to us are incorrect, incomplete and dazzled with issues. On the upside, my 5G IP has benefits under Covid (and lockdowns) but they were not designed as such, it is merely an upside to it all. And when we look on, we might see the corporate needs, but they are merely in it to keep their heads above water, and I do not begrudge them that, but a lot of the actions are made on incomplete views and more incomplete data, that much is certain. 

I get it when some state that there is an overreaction, yet some setting (like face masks) are never a bad idea, it makes sense that some lockdown measures are essential, yet how will that ever work in Mumbai, which is 4% the size of Sydney, but has close to 300% of the population, and people under why I doubt the Indian numbers? They test 500 a day, even as they had until recently 100,000 new cases a day. That it’s why the numbers make no sense. And this is merely getting worse, as economic barriers collapse, the setting will continue to degrade. I believe that India is in a much worse state, but that does not absolve Europe (or the US), this will get worse and those governing will be seeing the inside of courts, defending the stage, the setting and their actions. The media (even those with ludicrous headlines) they all want their digital media coin, so they will rely on hardline after headline and it will be about creating flames, not information. That is how I see it and feel free to disagree.

And as November is a mere 2 hours away, consider the time line I gave. Then consider the headline that the Guardian relied on yesterday ‘‘It’s possible’: the race to approve a Covid vaccine by Christmas’, unless the vaccine is properly tested by Friday, that deadline cannot be kept. So when you see “Kate Bingham, who heads the UK’s vaccine taskforce, said the UK was in “a very good place”. But there are still hurdles to clear in the coming weeks” (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/30/its-possible-the-race-to-approve-a-covid-vaccine-by-christmas), and when we see “It could be Oxford University, partnered with drug company AstraZeneca. It could be Moderna in the US. Or it could be Pfizer and the German company BioNTech. All three have either recruited the last of the tens of thousands of volunteers they need for the critical final trials or will shortly do so”, in this I merely wonder whose trumpet she is blowing. I am not blaming her or the three, they have a hard job, yet unrealistic time lines are hard on us and they are facilitating for those trying to manage bad news and that is not right, not in this case (well, most often not in any case).

So if you are hoping or relying on a vaccine, think again. The numbers do not add up, on several sides and the media is not asking questions, so I am.

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When is a summit not a summit?

This is a more important question than you might gather. You see we accept the meaning of summit “a meeting between heads of government”, yet the entire virtual thing is not really a setting that most governments are happy with. Any summit allows for the high placed people to have a little tete-a-tete (A face-to-face meeting, or private conversation between two people). In such an event the Dutch King can assure people on clean water projects, all off the books. And plenty of people want them to be off the books. So when I see “Saudi Arabia will hold the scheduled G20 summit online on November 21 and 22 I wonder how effective it will be. And virtual meeting tend to spill, on a global level. In this, when I see “Summit organisers said on Monday they planned to build on the success of the virtual special G20 summit at the end of March and on the results of more than 100 virtual working groups and ministerial meetings”, these will all be on the books and the data would be leaked the moment it is received somewhere. Even as we agree on “The G20 brings together the leaders of both developed and developing countries from every continent”, in a v brutal setting, I doubt that this will be the case. And in this setting the stage we are given with “With its one-year chairmanship of the G20, Saudi Arabia wants to focus on issues such as women and climate protection. The originally planned in-person meeting in Riyadh would have been the first regular G20 summit in the Arab world”, I am actually somewhat doubtful if anything clear will be achieved. When we see “such as women and climate protection”, we accept that in some meetings people will not oppose certain actions when there is a personal conversation between two parties, yet one person in a digital setting is not willing to submit to a decision by himself when the other 19 listen and no agreement will end up becoming a case. As such for this summit, Covid-19 is perhaps the worst thing we could ever face. 

Yet the stage is one that could be powerful, but not for them. If Huawei had prepared correctly, there will be a chance that this is the first summit where it will be completely 5G indoors. You see to weeks ago ‘Zain completes 5G network deployment in Saudi Arabia’ implying that Saudi Arabia is one of the first nations ever to deploy 5G, moreover, the US is nowhere near that setting. This summit could be the first visibility of active 5G solutions, which would be also a first and it is happening in Saudi Arabia, all whilst Sweden in May only had “Sweden’s first 5G base stations in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö”, whilst Denmark gives us “Denmark customers in several Danish cities are now enjoying the benefits of 5G connectivity as Ericsson’s rapid deployment of new 5G”, the list goes on, but in Saudi Arabia we see that Zain completes network deployment, as such there is optionally a need for Saudi Arabia to show off its 5G ability, making it the first nation to have any official stage where we see the power of 5G, the stage is that much bigger. And the people who set the stage on ‘we are going to be there too’ need to realise that they weren’t there, as I expected they are slow, slow by almost 1-2 years and that stage is evolving against those who wanted to play the anti-Huawei card, now they get to see first hand what it is to be second to Saudi Arabia. And it was not a small deployment, we can see that with “Zain KSA’s 5G network now covers 38 cities across the Kingdom” their deployment is a lot larger, it is not three cities in Sweden, or a few suburbs in Denmark and when you consider that only 17 cities in Saudi Arabia are over 200,000, we can see that this is the first true victory of Saudi Arabia over the west, the first time where we see that a lack of evidence and dragging ou heels is going to be the downfall of us. Politicians will make bombastic speeches on how for now 4G is good enough, but they know that they are spilling the BS as wide as they can. Saudi Arabia is now officially a 5G development platform location and as such we would most likely get to see what else is possible and it will be visible first in Saudi Arabia and China. So when is a summit not a summit? When it is a presentation platform, and there is every indication that we are in for a whole range of goodies pithing the next 8 weeks.

 

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On the way to a destination

It was yesterday that I came up with the Vatican game, a way to expose the truth and let it be seen to everyone who wishes to know. It was a stage where I got to design original gaming IP. I have original 5G IP, but the games (TESVII, Watchdogs IV), they are all based on IP others made. I came up with other gaming IP, but the Vatican view is 100% my IP (as a game that is). It is also intoxicating to design original IP. Originality is the food of life, in originality we trust, the rest can fake it until they make it.

Yet the intoxicating side is there, it will always be there and everyone creating or designing original pieces can concur. Yet in the light of the PS5, we can see that the intoxicating part tends to take over, especially as I spend $3 on a MAC game, only to be haunted by the bugs. Then I got a dose of irritating steam, I set up that in ONLY want to see MAC games, but I get every PC game in sight, can people not design anything without massive flaws? Oh and Apple is not off the hook, but I will tell you about that soon enough. I think back to the ideas of ME:A(1,2), Mass Effect Andromeda, both parts 1 and 2, in a very different coat, but that is not what is driving me today. Neither is it the new Mario 3D bundle out in 8.4 hours (when the shops open), no now is about the idea that is moving in my mind, left right centre, up and down. It was an idea I had written about before, a game that is based in Amsterdam, in about 500 years when the population is zero. It is set to people with two life cycles, a normalised on and a biological one. The biological one has no needs, nature preserves it in every way, the normalised one, needs tools, needs technology and it needs sustenance. Yet the two cycles are opposing one another and what heals one, will kill the other. I got the idea watching Aftermath: Population Zero, in this series we see scripted AI showing us what buildings will look like after 300 years and no population to maintain anything. This got me to thinking, what if we set that to a city (Amsterdam) and we deploy it parameters? It sets the stage where every game will be different, more importantly your neighbour playing the same game will get to face a different Amsterdam. That was the premise, so not only do yo get to seek for technology, it will be in a different place, optionally in a different building, in another street. It sets a different stage to survival. Yet this is merely one facet, the other facet is to adapt to a new stage, a stage where the plants that sustained you become poisonous. That too is part of the game and Amsterdam with all its canals will be about plants and water plants. So there I was considering the drive, curiosity can be a drive, but it is not powerful enough. Yet in all this there is a stage, and in that stage does technology drive us, or do we drive technology? 

It is important, but for different reasons. With ‘Dubai may be as indebted as South Africa if dissenters are right’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/dubai-indebted-south-africa-dissenters-200917095907711.html) we see the stage we need to see. Even as we accept “Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings include Dubai’s local bank borrowings to make the calculation, arriving at an estimate of about 290 billion dirhams ($79 billion). The debt burden could equal 77% of this year’s gross domestic product, according to S&P, comparable with what the International Monetary Fund predicts for South Africa and just behind Oman”, consider that the UAE has a population that is less than 10 million, about the size of Sweden, yet the debt is half of that of Sweden and here is the kicker, nearly every nation on the planet has crushing debts, so who has the actual funds that allow for these debts to continue? In a stage where we are polarised against nature, we need to see that embracing nature might be the only option left. Should you doubt the and of course, you can, consider the debts out there and consider that we are handing the debts to the next generation. In all this, IP is the only way for some to keep the next generation afloat. My version of Amsterdam was more spot on than even I realised. And if patent are the next currency, or at least the grounds for basic wealth, I am sitting decently pretty, but is that enough? I reckon that the next generation will see a very different stage of life, one that is not set on what is, and what they are entitles to, but what they can conquer, what they can overcome ad nature is a bitch when it comes to adversity. There is no denying that we are in a state of change, but our governments have gone the way of the dodo and the ostrich. They merely latch onto the largest payday possible and they cloth for bad weather, but that time has come and gone, it is no longer on what we can overcome, it is about what we can survive. You see, the owners of the debts could decide t cash in, and where does that leave us? Some even set the stage by claiming that there is good debt versus bad debt, yet in the end, all debt is bad and we need to catch on. As I see it this is the first generation that is worse off then the previous generations, in addition to that, we have created a life of legalised slave labour, legalised discrimination and legalised inequality. I wonder if we realised that when we were young, did we realise that this was a stage that we were signing up for? We might want to blame covid, but that would be wrong, perhaps it drove it to the surface, but the weak spots were already there. Even as CNBC gives us ‘What Would It Mean If U.S. States Went Bankrupt?’, yet it is too late, the US is already there, with the $25,000,000,000,000 debt, we need to accept that the annual interest would be no less than $150,000,000,000. This implies an amount that taxation is not getting, in addition to that, there are the spiralling costs of keeping the US alive (infrastructure) and it is not the only nation facing this, Japan is also on that scale and the EU is almost there, but they are all in denial that this is so, they are all setting the stage that they will overcome this, so how is that? Covid-19 brought it to the surface a lot faster, but we were already there and those who want to survive, will need to change to a patent grounded economy, which means that China has a decent advantage, so does the US and Japan less so, the EU is pretty much toast. In this everyone is in denial. You see the US amounted to $3.5 trillion collected taxation, but that is before the funding of the US started. When we take this into account, we see that the US was already $900 billion short, and that is before the $150 billion interest hits them and they are not alone, it is not merely an American flaw. Japan and the EU are on the same horse, not as big, but still a massively large horse of deficit. So when this collapses (when, not if) we see that the economic value of any nation will be the patents that they hold and as such, I personally feel that I am sitting pretty and with two new IP concepts created this week alone, I wonder where I will go next, I heard that the pastries in Monte Carlo are super yummy! (Piers Morgan told us that much) and bless his heart, I do like my pastries, so where we end up being, it will be in a very different economy soon enough, how soon? Well that depends on the powerbroker holding onto this failed horse, they like to stay ahead of the debt curve, surfing that wave for as long as they can before the wave crashes, it will drown a massive group of fin-tech people, but those who survive will come to worship the nations with patents, and as the new economy comes up, will you understand that you are merely driving these exploiters, or will you demand a fair system? Because that demand went so well the last time around. 

No matter what destination you go to, the currency you currently have will no longer have value, it is a harsh reality, but it is the one we all signed up for and the only one that the powerbroker accept, they have too much invested in the idea that their arrogance is the only one that ever mattered. 

 

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