Tag Archives: Sweden

Darkness through inaction

I had the weirdest dream, it was dark. When I woke up, the cat woke me up and I was slightly weirded out. Everything was pitch black. Was I dead? Was I blind? I looked at my watch, and the time was bright green, I was not blind. I looked around, it took a lot longer than usual. It was the darkest black. I slowly walked to the wall, I turned the lights off and on, nothing happened. Then I remembered my emergency flashlight (better safe than sorry) and it gave some light. I looked around, everything was black. I walked to the windows and looked out, outside was black too, yet this was London, close to Hyde Park, no light anywhere. I walked to the kitchen and got the emergency tea lights and the candleholders. Over a dozen were placed all over the apartment, all IKEA and all working. Three in the living room, one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, all whilst checking what had happened to the stove, there was gas so I placed the filled kettle on the stove. I inspected the apartment and I got a decent insight in the damage. There was no heating, there was no light, but there was gas and there were candles. 

This is not imaginary, people in Lebanon know what I am talking about and when we consider the Independent (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/gas-prices-rise-electricity-bills-b1935122.html) and they give us ‘Gas price spike will add £29bn to UK electricity bills next year, analysis finds’ yet this is only half the story, you see there is a growing shortage of electricity and it is getting worse. I had hoped for 2-3 more years, but that is less and less likely. So even as my version will not apply to many, but some will face it, it is now becoming heating versus light versus food. Yet there is a workaround. I spoke about it in the past. Even as Elon Musk has an advantage with his car battery, he is not alone and for plenty of applications there are alternatives. Consider a battery, rechargeable batteries, the size of 4 D-type batteries in a row. A stage where you can have one, a harness of two of those beauties linked to charge systems. And there are several solutions. In WW2 people used bicycles. So your home trainer becomes a more powerful charger. There are of course the solar panels, but it is not a solution for all, some will put some version of a wind-vane on their roof. All options to charge the batteries. So when we see that, we also need a new light source. Emergency lighting based on LED systems will come more and more into play, some are more festive and there are several solutions there. It is however a solution I saw in Sweden that could be the larger station. 

Swedish plug

This plug is a lot smaller than others and there is the station, an additional power net in every home and the people with decent DIY skills can do it themselves. And in the beginning it will be merely light and chargers, but over time we will see more and more shift to the low power consumption curve. In the Netherlands electricity prices went up by 57%, so how long until that is a setting no one can afford? Some state (using ‘could’) that electricity prices in the UK will rise by 30%, do you think you have a lot of time? And then we need to consider both the US and Canada, they might not be in the same boat, but they will see the prices rise too. As such the ideas I am giving you now are not new and not unique and taking notice of these dangers sooner rather than later is also important. There are solutions now and some are not elegant, not the prettiest, but they work and that will always be better than sitting it out in complete darkness. And in the stage where you can have 10 4 Watt LED’s are the equivalent of 10 30 Watt lightbulbs, it  is not a lot, but it might be enough and as the batteries are stronger you can have 8 hours with 10 8 Watts that compare to 10 60 Watt bulbs. Even though the bedrooms will suffice with 4 Watt solutions. And this situation is not that far away. The price hikes will force people to take that stand soon enough. And the sooner you can start, the better off you are because when 20,000,000 start on the same day the only people who will end up with lights are those willing to pay the 450% markup, commerce taught us that lesson in a pretty harsh way in the past already.

Feel free to take no notice, but when you forgot your Tea lights at IKEA and you wake up in complete darkness, it will be too late, I hope you will never face that. Yes, I admit that this setting in London is remotely small, but at present it is no longer zero, which is a setting you did not face a year ago, neither did you face a 30% price hike and that is now (by some) a speculated setting a mere year away.

Consider what you have, what you face and what could be and arm yourself for that situation, your choice, your consequence. And also consider the optional savings you make especially in a 30% price hike when you have a solution that takes 75% less energy, even if the battery is the last  part you get, you will already be making a saving.

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The same gramophone

It started over a month ago with ‘From horse to course’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/23/from-horse-to-course/) there we saw the attack and the debatability on some of the presented evidence. Today we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/sep/15/eu-poised-to-tighten-privacy-laws-after-pegasus-spyware-scandal) ‘EU commissioner calls for urgent action against Pegasus spyware’ and it would make sense, until we get to “The investigation was based on forensic analysis of phones and analysis of a leaked database of 50,000 numbers”, so in well over a month there are no top-line statistics? The list was attacked by a few well over a month ago, but here we see the Guardian, specifically Daniel Boffey hash over the same stage with nothing to show for it, so is he what some might call ‘a fucking tool’ for stakeholders or a wannabe journalist? Consider that we pretty much get the same details we saw in my article and these parts came from the BBC and the Guardian’s own article from last July. That article gave us “NSO has said Macron was not a “target” of any of its customers, meaning the company denies he was selected for surveillance using its spyware, saying in multiple statements that it requires its government clients to use its powerful spying tools only for legitimate investigations into terrorism or crime”, so whilst we now see “analysis of a leaked database of 50,000 numbers, including that of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and European Council president, Charles Michel”. So did Daniel forget to do his homework or was he acting on the needs of a stakeholder? I actually do not know, hence I ask here. The largest failing is that the Guardian gives us some emotional charged article and no homework was done, there is no top-line on the nations involved with the 50,000 phone numbers. All whilst I also showed (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/28/retry-or-retrial/) a few days later when The Verge got involved that 50,000 numbers imply a cost of no less than $400,000,000 which is still not looked at, so why is the Guardian (BBC too) this unable to perform? In that article ‘Retry or retrial?’ We see the Verge giving us “The Washington Post says that the list is from 2016” and that journalist no one cares about was still alive. A setting that is seemingly overlooked by TWO news organisations and none of them vetted information through a top-line which is what I would have done first. So how many of these numbers are EU numbers? How many are in France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany or Sweden? In over a month neither newsagent got that part done and if the Verge is to be believed the 2016 list without a top-line shows newsagents to be massively incompetent. 

Added here we see the added part “A consortium of 17 media outlets, including the Guardian, revealed in July that global clients of the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group had used hacking software to target human rights activists, journalists and lawyers”, that part negated is that the NSO group is a service branch towards governments on the tracking of criminals and terrorists. This caper costs a government “$500,000 for an extra 50 phones” (source: The Verge) all whilst the entire list represents a minimum value of $400 million. So which governments spend that much on these numbers and when you consider that it was a list of governments, we see additional info that the leaked list is a fictive list, there is no leak that hands the phone lists of all these governments and that is before we consider that one number might be on several lists. Consider that both Macron and Johnson want to know where Merkel gets her lingerie (ha ha ha). OK, that was a funny, but the setting is valid, there is a genuine need for several governments to keep track of a person and when we consider that I could have made a top-line within a week (depending on how the data looks) why did the Guardian and the BBC not succeed? Why do they not have any reference to the leaked list being a 2016 list? 

Also in the end we see the Guardian give us “NSO says it “does not operate the systems that it sells to vetted government customers, and does not have access to the data of its customers’ targets”” when we consider that we see more debatable sides to a list of 50,000, we see the lack of actions for well over a month (almost 2 months) and at no stage do we see any clear allegations against any government apart for some mention of Hungary, all whilst the top-line results could have pointed the finger at someone. Do you actually believe that the UAE or Saudi Arabia have any interest in a Dutch Human rights activist? At the prices that the NSO charges, I very much doubt it. 

So here I stand asking the Guardian (and specifically Daniel Boffey) what on earth do you think you are doing? Who are you serving, because the lack of evidence and lack of clear verifiable data implies you are not doing this for the readers, if that were true the article would have looked very different.

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Would it still be news?

We get that at times. A question regarding the news, not what they bring, but what they are. I was left with a few questions today when I took notice of ‘Saudi news channels start moving operations out of Dubai’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/9/1/saudi-news-channels-start-moving-operations-out-of-dubai). Just as the BBC is in London, the NOS is in the Netherlands (Hilversum), Swedish News is predominantly in Stockholm. I always assumed that Saudi News was in Riyadh, so to see that they were in Dubai which is a nice and large town in another nation was a little bit of a surprise. So as I take notice of “Riyadh has told international firms to put their MidEast hubs there by the start of 2024 or risk losing out on business” has a certain amount of sense.

The question becomes who offers more, Dubai or Riyadh? I am not talking money, even though for the international stations that will be some part of it. Dubai has its yachts, its connected jet-setting, yet what does Riyadh offer? It is a genuine question. I must admit that I only recently saw Riyadh through the eyes of YouTuber Jason Billiam Travel, and he did an excellent job, if you have never been to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the view that (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk_4wPK6oks) where I got my first glimpse of the Kingdom Tower at the beginning of the video no less. He was able to give me a clear impression that Riyadh, the capital is larger than the entire nation of Bahrein and he gives us a lot more over several movies, more on Riyadh and more on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There is one element that there is no yacht club in Saudi Arabia. If I had the ability to create one in Riyadh, I would. Even if it is just to set aside my sense of humour as the nearest decent amount of water is almost 400Km away (Sea of Dammam, aka the Persian gulf), so the idea to have a restaurant in the building that represents a yacht would be a fun idea. A place where 8 million people live and most have never seen a boat with their own eyes, so to create a concrete yacht that is a restaurant and optionally an international hotel will get the eyes of a lot of people. But we were talking about the news and Al Jazeera also gives us “Saudi Arabian news channels are starting to transfer operations out of Dubai amid a push by the country’s crown prince to get multinational companies to relocate their headquarters to the kingdom” and it makes sense, although it would have made initial more sense to have Saudi news offices in Saudi Arabia, but that is merely me and it is a thought that is based on the idea that news channels should be local. So when I see “Saudi Arabia has been pressuring international companies to put their Middle East hubs in the kingdom by the start of 2024 or risk losing out on business in the region’s largest economy” I do realise that too many people will focus on ‘pressuring international companies’, yet is that fair? Consider that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should award business to its local parties, so Dubai has benefitted with its Media centre to the largest degree for well over a decade. And the reason seen in “The move is intended to limit “economic leakage” and boost job creation” makes perfect sense. 

There are actually two additional reasons to contemplate, whether it is all news is in the middle. With that shift the media will get a lot more exposure to Neom city as well as the tourist visibility places that Riyadh has to offer, the Kingdom Tower is merely one of them. The Grand Mosque of Riyadh is according to many another one.  

The entire setting made me wonder why Saudi news was not set on a local premise in the first place. I am not saying it was wrong, I am merely wondering what was the reasoning in the first place. There are many valid reasons that come to mind, yet none of these have been tested at present and with Neom City now a mere 9 years away, the local presence seem to make more and more sense. There is of course more, there is a larger stage to promote Jeddah as well, we can argue that this could be done from either place, but I have seen on how minds get distracted from other places as the distance increases and Dubai is very far away from Jeddah, it is not enough a reason, but it is one and consider that in the last 24 hours globally ‘Neom’ was mentioned 10 times. One in Chinese, three in Arabic and the rest in English, in a world where there are thousands of publication, 10 mentions? Yes the news needs adjusting and perhaps it starts with getting the international news stations local. As I see it it is a lot less about economic leakage and more about ignoring Saudi events, in this the Houthi attacks on civilian Saudi targets might finally get the exposure it deserves. 

Will it still be news after the switch? I hope not, as it had been happening for too long, but that is merely my 2 coins on the subject. 

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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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