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Mere numbers

Yes we all have mere numbers, and it is nice that some are advocating the lack of numeric connections on the news. Consider that we are being confronted with a disease with an optional  death rate of 3.4%, however the news is being brought like that is not the death rate, it is the survival rate. From ‘Murder inquiries could be hit if coronavirus reduces police numbers‘, to ‘WHO says coronavirus death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought‘, in all this we see a massive level of overreaction by all (including media), why? Lets face it, it is a flu and 3.4% in fatalities is still lower then your chances to cross the road whilst the crossing light is red in Manhattan, Regent street London or Parramatta road in Sydney. The overreaction I see is just staggering, even now we see ‘Wall Street slides after Federal Reserve makes emergency US rate cut‘, all as we see the numbers that give us “Coronavirus Cases: 92,880 Deaths: 3,168” and this is all before you realise the slight side factor “Recovered: 48,589“, so as the amount of people are restoring it and as we see a level of fear mongering whilst the amount of people not alive is a mere 3.4%, in addition, as we see the small realisation that in a group of thirty including me, i would feel that I was the one not making it, that is until I realise that one of the other thirty is Rupert Murdoch, which would make him the unlucky fellow, age is apparently a factor, the young have a much better chance, so there you have it, playing Russian roulette with thirty others and one gun, making it one out of the thirty not making it, and when you realise that a pistol has 6 options, we see the overreaction. Age is a factor, making it a setting where the bulk of the people will end up having to pay their taxes. I did have fun last week, as i was in a train I stated on my mobile (with no one at the other end) “I’ve had the sniffles ever since I came back from China“, within a few minutes I was alone in that carriage, that will teach people lo listen to other people’s phone calls. Over reaction can work for you, I learned that a long time ago and I do have a flaky sense of humour to boot (every now and then I should just kick myself).

Even in the UK with now 51 cases, the UK still has no fatalities, we get it, it is a disease with an optional not happy ending, but we need to realise that so far the death toll is a mere 3.4%, some nations have a larger death population by drinking water. When you consider “Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 485 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year” and you consider that this flu virus has only taken the lives of 3,168 people, the overreaction by others is just a little too much. So as we are treated to adjustment in interest levels and we see US rate cuts all whilst the death toll in the US is so far 9 people, we see a massive overreaction, and it is time to call the media and governments to attention. In the US Heart disease will kill 165,000 people, cancer 152,000, no one cares, yet this flu that has killed 9 shows an overreaction that is uncanny, it is lower than diabetes, yet we overreact, all whilst sugar intake is off the charts.

Caution and the wind

We all need to take caution, I am not stating that this is the case, but the overaction seen all over the media is just stupid, a disease milked for circulation through the use of implied danger, not shown danger. The best headline is seen with ‘Corona Causes Stupidity To Go Viral‘ (at https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2020/03/01/corona-causes-stupidity-to-go-viral-n2562371), here we see “the United States has excellent care everywhere. While there is no “cure” for a virus, we have the ability to treat the symptoms more readily available than any other country in the world. And we also care to administer that care. Most of the rest of the world: not so much” for the most, the issue is spot on, even as we now see that the US has 9 fatalities, the media is all to happy about keeping people in the dark on the 3.4% fatality rate (at best), 

Still, we should not throw caution in the wind, yet between that status and the mediated one where we see “80pc of Scots could get disease“, all whilst no national numbers in any country show any numbers that could give rise to such a blatant form of miscommunication. I think that the danger of Scots becoming British nationalists is a lot higher, if you catch my drift.

Even if we for whatever reason ‘hide’ behind the numbers, we all take a position, the media as mostly fear mongering, the governments in easing whatever economic pressures there are and even me, as to the overreaction of so many others. A disease with a death rate of 3.4% gives a different optimistic side, my survival rate on most cardiac options I could get hit with is a lot lower than 96.6%, so I have a better chance to live longer if I get the Coronavirus, how sic is that?

China, South Korea, Italy and iran, all  have thousands of actual cases and there we see that ONLY China and Italy have a percentage of non-living that is at the 3.4%, South Korea has a fatality rate that is less than 1%, so 99% survives there, 32 deaths in 5,328 cases, as such Australia with one kill out of 39 is not in any danger of being an issue, especially as 21 cases have made a full recovery. Yet the media does not give us that part, does it? And when we see how it hits the places where poverty is a danger, is that because there are no cases in Monte Carlo? (fingers crossed), or perhaps it is because Saudi Arabia currently only has one case? 

No matter how we slice it, we need to sit down and take a sober look at the numbers, in the first it already is a pandemic, in the second we see the cold numbers give us that 96.6% will merely get sick and recover without dying of the disease. There were 4 flu viruses in the past, the avian version (1957) killed around 2 million, the manana virus (Spanish flu) killed 50,000,000. the other two killed a million each, this Coronavirus does not add up to anything serious, the numbers prove me right. There is a massive overreaction, especially when you consider serious diseases like Ebola, or HIV. Their death rates are indeed serious, this Corona event does not add up to much at all and it is time that we take that into consideration.

By the way what was the rate cut by the federal reserve when HIV became an issue? It seems to me that this is an event that the media, especially the financial writers seem to have forgotten (read: ignored). So whilst the media is giving us ‘Washington state residents frustrated over obstacles to get coronavirus tests‘, or even ‘WHO warns of protective gear shortage as global recession fears mount‘, in a case where we see proven that 96.6% will not endure any fatalities, the overreaction is clearly seen, yet the lack of governments making sure that all people realise that there is too much overreaction in the midst of a generic flu season is a little staggering. All whilst the headlines are spiked with phrases like “its battle against the deadly virus“, I personally believe that the fatality rate needs to be a lot larger than 3.4% before we have a viral publication of “the deadly virus“, at least that is my take on it, call me crazy, but a situation where a virus optionally kills 3,200 all whilst traffic kills 1,250,000 people annually is a stretch, especially when you realise that the virus could have been a mere complicating factor in several deaths, the elderly die for all kinds of non-natural causes, the virus is a given complication here, but there will be some debate whether the complications, or the virus was the killer remained to be seen and the elderly will get hit harder, no doubt about that.

When we consider the mere numbers, the ado about Corona becomes much about nothing, even if it does kill, 3,200 deaths does not amount to anything when we compare it to the lack of life through survival in Syria (Idlib, Aleppo) or all over Yemen, did you consider that?

 

 

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That’s the way the money flows

The Independent had an interesting article 2 hours ago. The article (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/china-drones-spy-us-dhs-security-data-alert-a8922706.html). The title leaves little to the imagination with: ‘Chinese drones may be stealing sensitive information, DHS warns‘, after the Trump google play, after his refusal to submit to subpoena’s, after the anti Huawei activities that so far has never yielded any active evidence (the 8 year old case was settled within months are done with). Now we see: “Chinese-made drones in America may be sending sensitive data to their manufacturers back home where it can be accessed by the government, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned“, which might be a nightmare if it was not so hilarious. You see the next quote: “CNN, which obtained the internal alert, reported that the DHS fears drones will offer Chinese intelligence unfettered access to American data“, it comes across like we have a case where a CNN reporter has been hit by a silly stick and never recovered. Consider the drones we see, there is no space to have a dedicated hack system on board. Yes some can be done with a mobile, and there is plenty of space in that device, now consider the ‘sensitive’ data that needs to be found, the data needs to be connected to (and with all these faulty Cisco routers that is relatively easy at present), then a selection needs to be downloaded and that is merely for one place, one device. All this stops when any person uses common cyber sense. It is the revelation that we see next, that is the one that matters. With: “Though the alert didn’t name specific companies, the vast majority of drones used in the US and Canada are made by the Shenzen based Company, DJI, CNN reported” we see the part that matters. As drone services are up on an almost exponential growth as we see the push that got there. The news from November 2016 gave us: “Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s) and drone delivery partner Flirtey delivered the first order, a Peri-Peri Chicken Pizza, and a Chicken and Cranberry Pizza“. Consider the option to avoid traffic in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Pittsburgh, all places with massive congestion. Drones are the optionally the newest quick way to deliver food, Amazon needs, Walmart needs, all in growing need due to the events where retailers and shippers combine forces to avoid a few items, and with congestion set to zero, people will flock to that consideration. Now the operational part, it seems that DJI is ahead of the curve, another Chinese company decided to truly innovate and now that the push is there and America is bankrupt (as I personally see it) anything possible to avoid money going to China, America is taking a pot shot at that. So when we are also treated to: “A spokesman for DJI denied that any information was being transmitted to it from its drones, adding that the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government.” I start wondering if DHS was able to do its job properly. Now let’s be clear, there is no doubt that ANY drone can be used for espionage, especially if it is quiet enough. Yet is that the issue for DJI, or is that an issue with the spy that utilises drone technology? Yet that is actually not the only side, on the other side we see mentioned: “Those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities,” Now, this part does make sense. It is the same as the Apple Fitbit, that due to its global nature started to hand out the jogging patterns of Special forces in the Middle East, so within 3 days several members of the two dozen operatives had a check on their calorie burning and health, whilst the mapping data showed the world where the CIA black site was (oh apologies, I meant to say a military specialist endeavouring location of an undetermined nature). The question becomes how was the ‘the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government‘ achieved? Was that verification process competent, or perhaps slightly less so?

I am not stating my verdict in either direction; yet the entire Huawei mess, as well as the DJI setting implies that the growth industries are shunned from America, mainly because it is not an American industry. Yet in all this, the forget that places like the EU and India are large enough to go forward with both players and truly grow further, whilst the downturn and the economic lag that the US is creating will merely grow the loss of momentum and the recession it will fuel in other ways. I would consider that the setback that Google is trying to create will have larger repercussions down the road. As larger Data vendors will now optionally choose the Chinese side, they will grow market share. You see no matter how it is sliced, all this is data based and data can only grow if there is usage. So when people remain with Huawei as their phone keeps on working, we see that there is a larger concern soon enough. At some point people will stop trusting Samsung, Google and Apple phones, which works out nicely for several players (Microsoft actually more than most), what do you think happens when the larger share of 14.7% of a global market changes to player three and not use Google apps to some degree? Google momentum relies on non-stop data and usage, when a third of the 60% that these three cover stops, do you think that this has no impact for Google?

The same applies to drones. You see intelligence makes the drone and as it grows its market share and the collected data of drone usage is set, the innovation of DJI grows faster. It is the difference between generation now and generation 2022, DJI will grow and can grow in several directions, yet the entire the setting of ‘data theft’ we see that there is a lack of ‘what’ data. What data is collected, the flight path? Well, I think we all need to know in 2023 what flight path was taken for the delivery of 342,450 pizza’s delivered per hour, is it not? It is not that Google Map has that data, and within a building in New York, is there truly a clear sign in the drone itself who exactly the merchandise was for, or was that on the box (instead of the drone). Now, there is no denying that some of that data would optionally be accessible to the Chinese government? Yet what data, what level of data? Do you think that they have time for the hundreds of drones and the data whilst they can monitor 20,000 times that data with a spy satellite (and an additional truckload of data that the drone never had in the first place?

It is when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘ where the questions become pressing. It is like watching Colin Powell coming into a non-disclosed location with his silver briefcase and in the end the lack of WMD’s, are we going in that direction again? when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘, it is at that moment I see the optional comparison (an extreme lose comparison mind you) with the innocent preachers daughter who did the naughty thing to 30% of the boys coming to Sunday sermon, having attempted things I cannot even rent on adult video. It is the CNN article (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/20/politics/dhs-chinese-drone-warning/index.html) that gives additional rise to concerns. When you see: “Users are warned to “be cautious when purchasing” drones from China, and to take precautionary steps like turning off the device’s internet connection and removing secure digital cards. The alert also warns users to “understand how to properly operate and limit your device’s access to networks” to avoid “theft of information.”” It seems to me that there are dozens of ways to get this data, a drone seems like an expensive long way round-trip to get to that data, whilst more can be accessed in several other ways and it is the speculation through ‘device’s internet connection‘, so when we see one of these devices (at https://www.dji.com/au/phantom-4-pro-v2/info#specs), we are treated to: “The new Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features an OcuSync HD transmission system, which supports automatic dual-frequency band switching and connects to DJI Goggles wirelessly“, where did the internet come in? Yes there is an app, to get a live view from the drone, so what ‘unfettered access to American data‘ could there be that Google Maps at present does not have in more detail?

It is the next part that is the actual ace. When we see: “DJI, which reported $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, is best known for its popular Phantom drone. Introduced in 2013, the drone is the top-selling commercial drone on the market“, information the Independent did not give us, that is the actual stage as I personally see it. It was $2.7 billion in 2017, there is no doubt that when drone delivery truly takes off, at that point revenue that sits between $15 and $27 billion is not unrealistic, the dire need to avoid congestion on a global scale will drive it and that is before you realise the non-US benefits in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Moscow. At that point you will see stronger growth and I haven’t even looked at the opportunities in a place like Mumbai, Tokyo, Delhi, Bangkok, Rio, Buenos Aires and Sydney yet. Everything leaves me with the impression that this is not about security, it is about money. That fact can be proven when you realise that everyone remains silent on the 29 new vulnerabilities that Cisco reported merely a month ago. How many Cisco router stories have come from that non-technologically refined White House, where they are currently optionally limited by “Cisco routers, including ones that can be found in malls, large companies or government institutions, are flawed in a way that allows hackers to steal all of the data flowing through them“, the cybersecurity company Red Baron handed out that issue to the media last week, so who picked up on that danger to ‘unfettered access to American data‘? And when you consider ‘it allows potential malicious actors to bypass the router’s security feature, Trust Anchor. This feature has been standard in Cisco’s routers since 2013‘, when we realise that Cisco is a household name on a global scale (especially when connected to the internet), the entire Cisco matter seems to be at least 15,000 times worse than any DJI drone ever could be, and the fact that DHS remains silent on that gives (again, as I personally see it) is added proof that this is merely about the money and the fact that US companies are losing markets on a global scale.

I could set the stage by singing ‘All ‘Bout the money‘ by Meja and ‘That’s the way the money goes‘ by M, but then, I realise that people would most likely pay me serious money not to sing (my voice is actually that bad).

That’s the way the money flows, specifically at present in a direction that the US is for the foreseeable future most displeased about.

 

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Two sides of currency

There was more news yesterday. The article that gave me the previous view has been updated with a new one (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/16/shamima-begum-isis-extremism-expert-criticises-sajid-javid). At the foundation of it is the view of Hanif Qadir, CEO of the Active Change Foundation. I disagree with him on a few levels. Now before I begin, we need to look at his ‘resume’, this is important in this case. As such we see: “Hanif once joined Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, but was deterred by the crimes he saw being committed against civilians and turned his back on them. Upon his return to the UK, he vowed to safeguard young men and women from similar experiences, losing their lives and harming their communities. Having a unique understanding and hard-won experience of the modus operandi of Al Qaeda / ISIS inspired groups and individuals, he is now recognized as arguably the best violent extremist and de-radicalization expert in Europe“, the important part is that he knows the game, he knows what is at stake, yet I still disagree.

When we see: “Hanif Qadir said Sajid Javid’s reaction to the teenager’s predicament fed the narrative of Isis. On Friday Javid said he “would not hesitate” to prevent the return of UK Isis recruits, an approach at odds with Begum’s family in Bethnal Green, east London, who want the 19-year-old to return home “as a matter of urgency”“, I am with Javid on this. In addition there is: “Javid is fuelling the [Isis] narrative and giving wind to the sails of other extremists. If we continue with this trajectory we’ll be sowing the narrative for them to reap and use against us“, it is a fair enough view to have, but that is the setting when all was ‘well’ with ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaeda and such. This is no longer the case. They are not defeated, that much is certain, yet the world is very aware on how desperate they have become. The next part we see is: “If the government doesn’t change their approach to this, we potentially have a second wave of Isis coming, the connecting up and reloading of Isis, fence-sitters who are more sympathetic to another kind of narrative” and finally we get: “Baroness Sal Brinton, president of the Lib Dems, who described Begum’s radicalisation as a form of grooming. “We know that in that particular school three girls went [to join Islamic State], but probably more were approached. Surely our child protection laws have to kick in. As she returns we should look at what happens, as she was 15, and what happened out there“. I think that the cure is much simpler. It is called targeted killing, it is a simple path; if Shamima Begum wants back she has to earn this. As the Baroness points out (a little clumsy) we understand that there was grooming, we know that there was a stage, the fact that 15 year old girls got to fly to Turkey, had access to her passport, got to travel via smugglers, into Syria implies that they have optional intelligence value. It is the price for life, plain and simple. The message needs to be clear and without any level of reservation. Those who embrace terrorism will be hunted down and put to death. The European governments have a clear responsibility to its citizens. And here we see a clear field where we do not negotiate with terrorists. There cannot be a stage of some level of ‘biased’ mercy. People like Shamima Begum will optionally open options for ISIS and become the second wave. It is almost damned if they do and damned if they don’t, in this case the setting of not allowing them back, or merely long term imprisoned might be the safest route in all this.

And again we see the failing of the EU. when we see: “In Brussels the focus has been on trying to raise standards in the swift sharing of information among EU member states, and its dissemination to border databases should there be an uncontrolled wave of returnees“, we think that we are seeing something novel, yet the dangers had been shown since 2012. One year after the Syrian war there was a massive drive of refugees. In December 2012 the number of refugee’s trying to find alternative living had surpassed 500,000. At that point there was the already growing concern that if only 0.1% was ISIS minded, there would be a massive security concern in Europe, the fact that we now see ‘the focus has been on trying to raise standards in the swift sharing of information‘ is evidence that the EU has been sitting on their hands for too long a time, whilst those sitting on their hands remained to be well paid, and you still think Brexit is a bad idea? The intelligence failing in Europe had taken monumental proportions in 2014 as the Greek-Turkish events took a larger stage. Merely 4 years and as it seemingly shows, not actual quality improvement. That is the danger that the UK faces as an Island and ISIS is too large a problem to ignore, whether they get defeated or not, the timeline shows that splinter groups will form and they will take a slow silent step hoping that governments will fall asleep again, people like Shamima Begum will assist in making that happen. So when I see: “Although Begum is likely to be traumatised, Qadir said that if she received the right mentoring, counselling and passed through the necessary security protocols, she could be successfully rehabilitated“, I see a failing in the making. At this point I completely disagree with Hanif Qadir. Only the ego driven and their need for justification will give us the story that they can rehabilitate her. There are too many pressure points for Shamima Begum. At some point some radicalised person will find a way to blame the Europeans and Americans for the loss of her two children and the cloud of terror will be on route to disaster. In addition, she will need to be monitored 24:7 for years to come, if her family failed her once, it will do so again. She will play nice the first 18 months, yet at some point, she will be ‘woken up’ and that is when the problem starts. It is amazing how people cannot learn that lesson. They seem to focus on 9/11, focus on Syria and forget about the sarin attacks (in Syria), they focus on events that the media exploded on mental health cases like Sydney Martin Place, and forget the Charlie Hebdo shooting of January 2015 to a much larger degree. Two people, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi were able to kill 12 and injure 11. What is the damage when 6-8 start having fun with a Belgium FN MAG? Consider that I could with decent ammo, set the stage for a (800 m – 1,200 m) slaughter spree in London, and consider what would not be in range on that distance? It is a direct option for hundreds of deaths in the shortest time. Now consider the impact on tourism and economy if 6-8 did that. I used this example as it is relatively easy to get a hold of one in India, Egypt, and China. Consider that ISIS still has a logistic system in place and until it is utterly destroyed weapons like that can make it into Europe a lot easier than you think. Now consider that one attack will impact a little yet 3-4 events will massively upset all lives. If you doubt that, consider how long France needed to keep its soldiers in the street, merely to make the people feel safer. Consider that impact in London, Amsterdam, Manchester and Birmingham. It will end up doing a lot more than merely spook Europeans.

If a tiger gets out of the zoo, you would like to catch it, when 3 run amok you either consider the death of the visitors, or shoot to kill as soon as you can. We would all like to hide behind the tranquiliser gun, but when there is more than one, the danger of mass carnage becomes a little too large for comfort. You can do this exercise yourself. When you are in a zoo (any zoo that has a tiger), consider three tigers to get out, how much time will you get to get yourself and optionally your children safe, actually safe? How many will not make it? Try doing it on a summer day when the zoo is filled with children on school excursions. How many do you expect to die?

That is the actual situation, yet the area is not a zoo, it is a city filled with people and the members of ISIS are in their stage of ‘doing the will of Allah‘ in the end being nothing more than rabid animals. They will kill indiscriminately. We sometimes look back to videos like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LItKd2VE-NE, yet these are seemingly the most humane ones. Sources filter the video’s away as soon as they can (which we understand completely) and as such we have no reference just how inhumane the actions of these terrorists are, and as the spoof video’s come (like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Momc2e1wHG8) we end up merely persuading ourselves that it is all a joke, yet it is not. The problem is when it happens, the moment you get the real deal the first thing you will do is blame someone else, it was their fault. It is not, you will be just as much to blame as anyone else. So when we consider: “Ferdinand Grapperhaus, recently braved the critics by revealing that the government was cooperating with local authorities in Syria for the return of women accused of Isis membership and their children, and if this woman is shown to be involved with ISIS in any capacity, at that point will you blame Ferdinand Grapperhaus for allowing this to happen, or will you blame yourself for getting him elected? The problem is that until something happens there is no issue, it is the hidden trap. In my personal opinion, anyone who sided with ISIS remains a danger, to others and optionally to themselves as well. Normally we have systems in place, when someone is a mental health problem we have procedures, we have support systems in place. When they actively engage with ISIS, ISIL and Al Qaeda in the attack on others, either directly on the front lines or in support functions behind the lines, we have nothing and weirdly enough, it is the ISIS support people that become the larger problem down the line, they can really rack up the damage in whatever nation they end up living in.

That is the currency we all forget, that is the danger we allow others to be confronted with and that is why I am in opposition of Hanif Qadir and Baroness Sal Brinton.

Have a great Sunday

 

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Costing in the key of life

Over the last decade, political parties have squandered the needs of their constituents. Liberals, conservatives and Labour alike in both the UK and Australia. I have seen the pressure as housing is no longer an options for many. It is a skewed approach to a solution that fit only the truly wealthy. It is a system that has been ignored, shovelled all over the place and no one has done anything serious to address it. How much longer can this go on?

Yesterday’s article in the Guardian by Robert Booth is only the tip of the iceberg that sank the good ship lollipop (at http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/jan/01/london-flats-costing-up-to-1m-outsell-more-affordable-homes). The title ‘London flats costing up to £1m outsell more affordable homes‘ is on one side deceptive on the other side it is illustrative of several administrations that have not considered any solution, just a propagation of the Status Quo. The quote ‘sold more than twice as many two-bedroom apartments costing between £650,000 and £1m as cheaper homes priced at about £300,000‘ is partially deceptive. You see when you see the data ‘Sales of London homes banded by asking price per square foot’, we see the numbers, but what is missing is not ‘what is sold‘ but the metric ‘available places that people can afford‘, Even higher educated barristers admitted to the bar will not be able to show an annual income of £200,000, which means that even the highest educated are not in line for anything decent any day soon. In Australia the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is now marketing the alternative in the trend of ‘Use your spare room to help pay off your mortgage!‘, they voice it like ‘my new business‘, but in the end, it is a risky approach to either a mortgage that is higher than you bargained for or one that was outside your reach an they are voicing the ‘entrepreneurial’ edge to hide the risk. What if that person suddenly gets into a financial wash? What if the Granny involved dies? All elements that take weeks if not months to resolve and the mortgage is still due. In addition permits might be needed. Nothing of that is clearly shown. The entire housing market is in a dangerous place because the political parties have ‘conveniently’ ignored the lower branches of income and in all that the rent is also still rising whilst incomes are not moving forward. So we are in a place where London, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are pricing their cities into non-sustainable situations and it has been going on for the better part of two decades. All these places have been trailing demand for over a decade by a decadent amount, whilst they should have been ahead of the curve for at least a decade.

When we look at the following quote in the Guardian “Campbell Robb, the chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter. “It is promising to see the government finally focusing on building more homes. But the only way to truly solve this housing crisis is for both the mayor and central government to finally prioritise building homes that Londoners on ordinary incomes can afford to rent or buy, instead of just higher earners.”“, question marks should be clearly placed, because ‘finally focusing on building more homes’ should have started in 2003 in both London and Sydney. Now, we have to accept that the city is no longer an option for many, yet when we look 4 minutes away from there we see the same trend of shortage. We are face with either not enough, or not affordable. A increasingly larger population in Sydney is now confronted that their income will at best support the rent of a mere studio apartment, meaning that the bulk must rely on 2 incomes to get anything above a one bedroom apartment, more than that, the current growth of rent means that any year that an annual increase of 3% is not met or exceeded, the living standard goes down on a quarterly base. These numbers might sound scary, but compared to London it is nowhere near as bad as it gets. The political parties have abandoned its population all for the need and premise of inviting wealth into the UK and Australia, whilst there is no evidence that these people are spending a great deal in those places, other than supporting and funding new unaffordable buildings. This goes far beyond these mere borders, we see a similar evolution in the Netherlands, where the issue is even more interesting as larger proportions of the Netherlands are facing a similar issue we see in London and Sydney. There is no ignoring the act that the Netherlands is only a fraction of the size of the UK (and an even more diminishable part of Australia), which of course drives prices up even faster. The Guardian article shows the most dangerous part at the very end with the quote “Since 2009, the fastest growing locations for new housing have been Barnet, Brent, Croydon, Newham and Wandsworth. In Croydon, the price of dozens of flats in the Coombe Cross development have increased by around a quarter, with one-bedroom flats rising £63,000 to £287,950“, now implying that the outer doughnut is no longer affordable, moreover, the fact that not more alerts are ringing all over Whitehall with an increase of 25% is even more unsettling. The average UK salary might be set at £26,500, but that implies that well over 50% of the UK is faced with a house price well over 1,000% of their income, making it never an option. That same trend is seen in Australia, where the median house price is now set at one million, setting the house price on average between 1,500% and 2,000% of their income, an issue that could have been avoided if the parties a decade ago had set clear paths in motion to battle this dangerous trend. Whilst both places are steering towards the New York unaffordability we are also faced with a situation that our values of life are in equal decrease, because as we move from nations that are no longer ‘working to live’, but nations that moved to ‘live to work’, our values will diminish faster and faster and it is all due to a path of greed and a path of flaccid and unreliable politicians. Labour UK 1997 – 2010, Labour AUS 2007 – 2013, in Australia partial fault is also with the Liberals as John Howard was sailing the good Ship Wallaby from 1996 – 2007. All parties that seemed to forget that not everyone can afford to live on a $100K+ income and we will be paying for their shortcomings for a long time to come.

I wonder if it ever gets properly solved without having to resort to ‘culling’ the population at large.

 

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Freedoms removed by Amazon

One of the most outrageous articles of the year hit me this morning, via the Guardian off course! The piece in question is ‘Amazon proposes drones-only airspace to facilitate high-speed delivery’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/28/amazon-autonomous-drones-only-airspace-package-delivery). In the first, since when does a company decide on traffic rules? Can anyone explain that to me? In the second, since when is a company allowed to set FAA rules (or in general rules of flight regarding safety of airspace)? In the third, how in the name of all blazing hell does a company decides on how amateurs, hobbyists and innovators do their work?

Well, it seems that Amazon has stepped up to the plate to ‘suggest’ a few changes. Let’s face it, Amazon is a place of nothing, a mere grocery store for parchment products. In the UK they paid £11.9 million in taxation and the year before that £4.2 million, so why should we give them even the slightest consideration? The Australian Amazon site is limited to kindle stuff, so they pay even less there. You know, they are big in Luxembourg, so there is every possibility that they can pursue their drone packaging strikes in that country. But to give any consideration outside of Luxembourg and the US is a little too strong, so the quote “Amazon is proposing that a pristine slice of airspace above the world’s cities and suburbs should be set aside for the deployment of high-speed aerial drones capable of flying robotically with virtually no human interference” should not be taken too seriously.

We cannot fault Amazon for having vision, but it comes at a cost. You see “It envisages that within the next 10 years hundreds of thousands of small drones – not all of them Amazon’s or devoted to delivery – will be tearing across the skies every day largely under their own automated control” shows us that there would be a massive drop in the need for delivery people, which is not good for job security. Now, in opposition, these things happen, when people started to correspond through their computers, the people did not think it would grow beyond the realm if Geeks and Nerds, now, the bulk of the population has not touched parchments, quills and ink for a long time. Less postman were needed and on a global scale dogs were in mourning for nearly a decade.

Now we get the part that Amazon thinks is visionary “The company’s aeronautics experts propose that a 200ft slab of air – located between 200ft and 400ft from the ground – should be segregated and reserved for state-of-the-art drones equipped with sophisticated communications and sensing equipment and flying at high speeds of 60 knots or more. A further 100ft of airspace – between 400ft and 500ft – would be declared a no-fly zone to act as a buffer between the drones and current conventional aircraft such as passenger and cargo planes, thus mitigating fears about the impact on manned flight or dangers posed to people on the ground“.

I wonder how these aeronautics experts got their degree, perhaps it was added to the side of the pot of vegemite in an effort to market the product to Americans? Perhaps their degree was the wrapper for Troyer Roll Butter (if you know the product, the joke makes sense, Google it!). You see, the sky is filled with these weird things, that need to be all over the place, they are called helicopters, the police uses them, the press uses them and oh, yes, the emergency rescue services uses them all over the world, also in city areas. So this ideas hold a few operational holes even before it is seriously considered.

There is an additional concern. We do not deny that drones will be the big thing in the next decade, which also means that indie developers and visionaries will emerge, so is the quote “segregated and reserved for state-of-the-art drones equipped with sophisticated communications and sensing equipment” anything else than an attempt to crush market growth and keep it in hand for a few established brands? How will that ever be any good for innovation? Furthermore, the image gives way that hobbyists, rural hobbyists will be pushed from their rural live to little spots, just like the Native American Indians were. In my view, if you want to be top dog, you’ll just have to create a superior product that can anticipate these events. By the way, helicopters come in all these areas, including in the no fly zone, so this idea is saturated with bad insights from even before day zero. Not a good start me thinks!

So in reference to the position papers where the call states “It calls for a “paradigm shift” that will allow hundreds of thousands of small unmanned aircraft to fly under their own technological steam without the current involvement of humans through air traffic control“, that part could only work if there is one player, once there are more, if becomes a technological jungle of miscommunications and lost handshakes due to iterative updates, flaws and glitches. So how about letting drones work above the freeways and major lanes? It would not hinder anyone, hobbyists and innovators continue and unless a helicopter absolutely must land on a highway (likely medical emergency) they can continue without any hiccups.

Wow, I just solved the ‘lack’ of free airspace in 7.2 minutes. How clever am I?

Then we see “Amazon sets out five capabilities that drones must meet if they are to be allowed to fly inside the new 200ft high-speed corridor“. well let’s just agree that this is not up to Amazon to begin with, the fact that they precede this with “to realise that futuristic vision safely“, implying that they are working on a solution only they will offer, laws must abide with… In my view it is not up to them, many nations know that drones will be the new slave labour force (read: unpaid population that will drive others away from a job), which is a little out there (the way I framed it), but the reality is that this market will massively evolve over the next 2 decades and we have to give space to innovators and visionaries, not limit their scope to the need of “sophisticated GPS tracking that allows them to pinpoint their location in real-time and in relation to all other drones around them“, which is basically stating that drones must be a product made by DJI, Raytheon or Northrop Grumman to be allowed in this airspace. Amazon does NOT get to make THAT call!

the additional quotes “Online flight planning that allows them to predict and communicate their flight path” and “Communications equipment that allow them to “talk” and collaborate with other drones in the zone to ensure they avoid each other” give additional notice to forcing us into a one player path. That is not what innovation is about. First the TPP is pushing innovation to the mercy of big business, now Amazon add more limitations here? That is not a playing field that the world signed up for.

So as we see that hobbyists and indie developers (and visionaries) are slowly pushed into reservations like the Native American Indians by the quote “Under Amazon’s proposals, by contrast, hobbyists would only be allowed to fly within the new 200ft-400ft corridor if their vehicles were equipped with the latest hyper-sophisticated gadgetry for autonomous flight. Otherwise, they would have their activities confined to geographically demarcated airfields in relatively unpopulated areas that would be set aside specifically for the purpose” we have to wonder what Amazon has up his sleeve. Because either the US government is so bankrupt that it will agree to anything to not collapse before the results of the next elections, or is Amazon just waving in the air to be noticed?

The quote by Brendan Schulman, drone lawyer and senior executive and DJI gives us additional issues regarding the Amazon statement “by far the greatest use of unmanned aerial vehicles today was by amateurs. That’s currently by far the most common use of the technology, so before you disrupt their experience you want to think carefully about what slice of airspace would really be needed by these new technologies“. I would say ‘Amen!’ to that, because the issue that the article danced around (perhaps intentionally) is that Amazon needs to adhere to established safety protocols, we do not change protocols because of Amazon. I can agree that down the track changes will have to be made, but that time is not now and especially as the paper ignored several basic avionics issues.

Which now gets me to the paper where in a mere flash something stood out to me. Consider the quote “Amazon believes the current model of airspace management will not meet future sUAS demands, particularly highly-automated, low-altitude commercial operations. A paradigm shift in airspace management and operations is necessary to safely accommodate the one-operator-to-many-vehicle model required by large-scale commercial fleets“, in that apart from a massive dose of arrogance, we see “the one-operator-to-many-vehicle model required by large-scale commercial fleets“. So it is already on the premise for big business where one controller manages 100-200 drones. The shift of a workforce that only requires payment in cc’s of fuel.

In my view, the air is for now still empty, it will change, that much is certain, but it will be the people that decide on how far this goes, it is not Amazon to make that move. I am not entirely certain that Amazon should be the lead at all, but that is perhaps a discussion for another day.

What is in the last part an issue is the small part privacy activists were given. They are all up in arms regarding police and spook drones. Which is massively farfetched as these people have already given away their liberty through Facebook and other social means, so these two parties receive via e-mail all you did, including the amounts of times you ogled the ass of the neighbours wife (and teenage daughter). We seem to forget the massive danger that follows, it is not Amazon with its non-human package delivery system. It is the fact that in any innovation, organised crime follows pretty quickly, because they know that it takes the government up to 5 years to catch up, so in the first 5 years they can strike it rich. Drug deliveries, via cheap drones to penthouses. The paying clientele gets balcony to balcony delivery via a $499 drone and there is no link between the parties. Crime is already making a nice killing here, so the proper focus is not here and when it gets to be in the right place it is already too late.

So Amazon should not be setting the pass for removed freedom, it should set pace to create the right atmosphere, an attempt that they failed miserably from my point of view.

My opinion in this matter is strengthened through a previous article regarding Amazon which was published on March 30th (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/30/amazon-tests-drones-secret-site-canada-us-faa). The title ‘Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration‘ already implies the ludicrous part in all this. A ‘secret Canada site‘. Why? Because a spotter could take a pic? Because of industrial espionage? Actually, that last one is not THAT far-fetched. So let’s leave it for now.

In the article we get two parts that show my view the first is “Into that aerial slice the company plans to pour highly autonomous drones of less than 55lbs, flying through corridors 10 miles or longer at 50mph and carrying payloads of up to 5lbs“, which represents as stated in the article for 86% of all the packages, now that is fair enough, if you want to address 80% of what is done now, yu see a choice that is just common sense. Now part two “The Company wants to offer its customers the ability to have packages dropped on their doorstep by flying robots within 30 minutes of ordering goods online“. Initially that pat makes sense too. Yet combined, we get ordered articles are delivered within a range of 18 miles. Here we account for loss of time for picking up, after which the drone gets 30 minutes, so 18 miles is pretty much the limit, so this is a metropolitan solution, this is less about ‘global change’, but more the need to address the high impact profit places like New York, Vancouver, San Francisco, Honolulu, Seattle, New Orleans, San Jose, Chicago and Los Angeles and a few other congested places. The ‘global’ part was just nice to give it marketing. They need to address congestion and dromes will make sense. Yet the visionary part is that they are trying to address it on a global scale, because if this is accepted, Amazon would be sole player in places like London, Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Munich, Berlin, Rome and Sydney for that matter too. That seems to be the reality and it is not a bad idea to have, but in that adjusted view, Amazon does not get to set policy, especially as Europe might develop its own drone solutions. Binding options for developers through ‘sophisticated GPS tracking‘ is what I would call ‘the big No No’.

Brendan Schulman, aka the drone lawyer shows us the merits of my thoughts “Amazon’s Canadian airstrip-in-exile should be a “serious wake-up call to politicians and regulators”. “America has led the world in aviation development,” he said, “but for the first time in history we are at risk of losing out”“.

There is the part, where I made the reference to the TPP. These presentations are all about big business carving their patch making sure no one else can inhabit it. The plane industry is polarised, but drones are another matter, drones can invigorate visionary workers and dreamers, because a drone is not an expensive tool, you can buy them in a game shop and the next kid getting one could be the one who revolutionises that field because he/she thought ‘what if I want to do this, could I alter my app….?’ that is all it takes to create a billion dollar corporation.

The FAA has (according to Amazon) taken much too long to make up its mind, it also stated “it does not believe that drones can be flown safely under their own autonomous control, and is insisting that humans must keep them within eyesight at all times“, which makes it non-profitable for Amazon. For now the FAA is right, but there is no given certainty that this is still a truth in 5 years. The mobile industry, Wi-Fi and sensor market is evolving at an alarming rate, my $699 mobile phone now has the same technological options a $15K digital film camera had 10 years ago, only the lens is the physical difference in quality, so that market will evolve, possibly beyond my comprehension before I die.

I feel certain that the FAA realises this, but they report to others and those people see that drones will be the new orgasmic high for organised crime. Common Law in the US and in the Commonwealth is flawed enough for all players to realise that this opens up massive undeclarable profits for these players. With the one to many option, whatever small chance of successful prosecution of a drug dealer any Districts Attorney had in the past, flies straight out of the window via drone. Here we see how the law has not caught up again.

Should it stop drone development? No! But there are a few sides that need addressing, which cannot be done today, but soon it will be the only blockade remaining. What happens when that day comes?

 

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Comprehension

Yesterday has been a weird day for France, unlike here in Sydney; they had their dealings with terrorists. You see, I remain in the mindset that what happened in martin Place last month was a crazy person with a gun, the fact that he was a Muslim makes little difference. He was a mental health case with deadly intent, it got him killed, but only after he killed some of his victims. France is an entirely different kettle of fish. Here is the YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBGVwZyXYlQ (in French with English subtitles), I normally would not add something like this, but it is important to see the difference. This is not some hostage situation asking for a flag, this is almost military precision, it is direct, clean (pardon the expression), kill and get out! A policeman was on the scene and was executed without any consideration.

Here you see directly what Israel has faced on a daily basis; this is what the direct hatred of Jews looks like. Even though this is against a satirical cartoonist, the hatred of these extremists’ remains the same. The Guardian has an article by Jonathan Freedland that covers several parts of what bothers me. The article ‘Charlie Hebdo: first they came for the cartoonists, then they came for the Jews‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/09/charlie-hebdo-cartoonists-paris-killers-fascist-death-cult) gives us a few views. The quote: “They hated the cartoons, we say. Free speech was the target, we declare. They wanted to silence satire and gag dissent“, this was not unlike my view. I find satire enjoyable, but when you touch religion (any religion), some people tend to get a little off the balanced sane side. Some get abusive, some get a little violent, yet as far as I know, none will act to this degree (although opposites in the India – Pakistan debates might not agree with me). No matter what I think or believe, Charlie Hebdo was in a place with free speech and he was entitled to it. The best comparison I heard was from an American Journalist describing Charlie Hebdo as the French version of ‘the Onion’.

When we see the following two quotes we get to the real stuff: “Then on Friday, a siege at a kosher supermarket, four hostages confirmed dead, the murderers apparently linked to those behind Wednesday’s carnage” and “Perhaps the murderers are bent on killing people not only for what they do, but for who they are“, this is at the centre of a lot of issues behind the objections against allowing Palestine into the UN and other places. I and many others have no hatred for Palestinians however, we will not accept Hamas to be allowed at any table for the terrorist organisation that they are. And so long as Palestine will not disavow Hamas and as long as Hamas calls the shots, there is no future for Palestine as I see it. This is at the heart of the matter, so when you think of these poor poor Palestinians, watch the uncensored shooting in Paris and now realise that this is what Israel faced for many years now, with added rockets and nail bombs!

The next part is actually at the centre to what we tend to feel and also how our civilised minds should be feeling. “For Muslims, that has meant spelling out that these killers speak only for themselves. Note the speed with which a delegation of 20 imams visited the Charlie Hebdo offices, branding the gunmen “criminals, barbarians, satans” and, crucially, “not Muslims”“, this makes sense in regards to the next part “Of course they should not have to do it. The finger-wagging demand that Muslims condemn acts of terror committed by jihadist cultists is odious: it tacitly assumes that Muslims support such horror unless they explicitly say otherwise“, this makes sense. Perhaps we all remember the atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and white power groups against African Americans. We distance ourselves as Christians, because their acts are not those of Christians at all. They are at the centre of some agenda of hate that the boggles the usual civilised mind. Some cannot grasp the small mindedness of it. Yes, we all hate at times and we hate enough to kill, maim or harm, but that comes in defence of a rational against us, or our family when it is harmed. To blatantly hate is not within our power (it should not be), I will go one further, children when they are born do not have the capacity to hate; it is the one dark side that gets taught to us, which makes it so inexplicable to some.

Now we get to the parts that I do not completely agree with (even though what is stated is not wrong) “Wednesday’s deaths brought a loud chorus insisting that Charlie Hebdo was vulnerable because it had been left out on a limb. That was down, they said, to the cowardice of the rest of the press, lacking the guts to do what the French magazine had done“. The press has been many things (cowardly to some extent as well), when the press (globally generically speaking) started to cater to advertisers and circulation, many papers started to cater to the emotional reader “Flight MH370 ‘suicide mission’” (The Daily Telegraph, March 2014) and “Death Cult CBD Attack” (The Daily Telegraph, December 2014). It is only one of several papers, the public gets misinformed too often, too much innuendo. “Andrew and the under-age ‘sex slave’” from The Daily Mail, implying the Duke of York is just the most recent of revenue claiming headlines. When you rely on income in this way, we see the newspapers as they no longer are, they are no longer informing the people, hopefully setting their minds to a more informed stable position, we are left with groups of people getting angry on implied innuendo. It makes for revenue (but becomes non-informative). So how about we make it a little more clear? How about tax offices change that glossy magazines are not tax deductible as they do not qualify as ‘researchable materials’? The ATO states “Newspapers and magazines, you can claim a deduction for that part of the cost of newspapers and magazines that relates to your using them in researching a topic as an employee journalist“. When we remove glossy magazines and add the Daily Telegraph and sort minded groups on that list, perhaps they will clean up their act?

So as non-violent Muslims fear repercussions for emotional responses, we in general have a duty to shield them, but in my mind we have an equal need to hunt down these extremists. We need to become a lot less tolerant of hate crimes like we are seeing in Paris this week, but they must be held against the real threat, not the threat that some papers perceive to instil. So this is where my view slightly differed from Jonathan Freedland. The French issue should wake us up in other ways too. Not only should we regard the hate attacks Israel has been under for a long time, we need to notice that walk softly and ‘try to reason’ will not work. The policeman had little option but to talk the man into not shooting him, it did not work! I feel for his family, and for the family of other victims, but you all need to wake up now, terrorists are real, they are not some deranged Sheik with delusions of grandeur wanting a ‘Shadada’ flag in a chocolate shop. They are people with guns, with a tactical mind that tells them to kill that what they hate without hesitation or remorse, so as you keep on crying on ‘your’ privacy, whilst posting your ‘nightly’ achievements on Facebook, remember that limiting those who hunt these extremists, might get you or someone you know killed at some point.

Yet Jonathan’s gem is at the very end “Theirs is a dirty little war, a handful of wicked fanatics against the rest of us. And they must lose“, I could not have said it better myself, but with that comprehension comes a change to all our minds, not to our hearts! Our hearts must never embrace the acts and the violence needed; our minds must however accept that some need to do what they do to stop these people, preferably before innocent lives are lost. It must happen everywhere and it needed to start yesterday. So, as you ponder these ‘lost souls’ as they go Jihad in Syria, then also quickly realise that these people come back with the skill, the intent and the reasoning of the extremists that you saw in the YouTube video, so if you are a parent and you wave your hand to your little boy or girl as they go to school, you should realise that they might leave the house the last time that day. What are you willing to do to keep them safe?

I am not trying to quell you into emotion like the press so often does; I need you to comprehend what must be done by professionals to keep you and your family safe. Think it through and cast your vote! You need not act, you are not trained and not qualified to suddenly emotionally react to these extremists. Only the calm mind will know what to do and they must be given the option to win and to make sure that extremists lose, or we lose it all!

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If it is your child?

This is the thought that is foremost on my mind as I was reading the article ‘EU court says Hamas should be removed from terror list’ (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/17/us-eu-hamas-courts-idUSKBN0JV0S020141217), when we read the quote “The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should be removed from the European Union’s terrorist list, an EU court ruled on Wednesday“. I wonder if Israel would be willing to give housing to the children of these court officials, preferably in an area between Nir Oz and Ein Habsor, you see, these children would have an additional 32% chance of getting killed by Hamas rocket fire. I feel certain that the European court judges are truly dedicated to prove that during the coming year that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation and they should be willing to sacrifice their own children in the process, seems fair doesn’t it (especially as at present the second generation of children are now under daily threat of fire)?

If there is an unfortunate accident, we can send flowers stating that it was a mere industrial accident and we will be so sorry for their loss!

But that is not the reality, it seems that the thousands of missiles shot at Israeli citizens is just a simple show of… affection? So, when people try this in places like Strasbourg, will the 275,000 people consider it a sign of affection, or will they call it an act of terror? If we see the fallout in Martin Place, Sydney, where we watched a mere crazy person with a gun take hostages, where fatalities were found, the un-relentless reaction to innocent Muslims have not been in small numbers, how will the reaction be when we use the Hamas numbers? Some sources (unconfirmed) states that over 160 rockets were fired into Israel in August towards the Eshkol region (a decent reason to house the children of these judges there for a while), how would the people of Strasbourg or Sydney react at that point?

Israel has been faced with these attacks for years, the people in the EU court know that too, so how is it possible to use legislation to scrap Hamas from the terror list. Can we remove the Taliban or Al-Qaeda from that list too? I mean Al Qaeda only hurt two buildings and what are two buildings between two potential economic alliances? A building can be rebuilt, can’t it?

If this level of sarcasm upsets you (which it should), then consider how Israel feels as a terrorist organisation is removed from the terror list, For if Hamas does not need to be on that list, then neither should the Taliban (just ask the Pakistani parents who lost 132 children) and Al Qaeda (numerous family victims).

So, why was this step taken in the first place?

Is that not at the heart of the matter? These rulings happened in a time whilst Hamas is firing rockets into Israel. The question becomes now why this step was taking in the first place?

The reasoning is unclear, yet when we consider the text “The text was a compromise, representing divisions within the EU over how far to blame Israel for failing to agree peace terms“, it is questionable what the reasoning is. When we consider the cease fires in the past, they have always been broken by Hamas again and again.

When we consider the following text “Hamas says it is a legitimate resistance movement and contested the European Union’s decision in 2001 to include it on the terrorist list“, we must also consider the following:

  1. Hamas has intentionally been shooting hundreds of rockets aimed at a civilian population.
  2. Hamas has broken nearly every cease fire.
  3. Hamas has fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel in 2014 alone.

So, as Hamas is pleading for all kinds of aid, we must question how they are running out of materials for food and medication, whilst having enough money to buy explosives and materials for purchasing/building rockets. This has been going on for a long time, yet the European commission has stated now that Hamas is no longer a terrorist organisation. It gets to be a lot more fun (read hilarious), when we consider the following article from August 2014 ‘UN: Israel’s Refusal to Share Iron Dome with Hamas a War Crime‘ (at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/19462/un-israels-refusal-share-iron-dome-hamas-war-crime/#4wYsjW25C8K9ZtWq.97), so not only is Hamas not a terrorist group, we should ‘share’ top tier technology with them so that their enemies can find a way around it? How is this even a sane idea? Remember, this is a group of people, hiding in schools and other locations that they share with civilians and they are firing missiles from public locations. Her quote “Pillay said that Israel’s actions in Gaza do not “absolve” Israel from what she deems legal violations“. When exactly would we, in general supposed to share technologies with those who attack us. I clearly remember Germany not sharing Enigma and the allies not sharing their radar technologies, perhaps that was a crime too? In that statement we also see “As of 2012, Iron Dome has a 90 percent success rate“, which implies that up to 400 rockets would not have been stopped, which had an impact on civilian casualties, would that not be a terrorist action?

But back to the European court, because the actual issue is still not dealt with. You see, they are bickering on ‘terrorist’ and ‘resistance’. In my personal view, Hamas might have been a resistance movement if they had attacked military objects, but I have some questions regarding these ‘European decision makers’. Perhaps they had forgotten, or people had hastily overlooked the events of Thursday August 9th 2001. Someone from Hamas went into Sbarro with a nail bomb and blew itself with 15 others up, 130 got injured, in addition public transportation was targeted (busses) and they were bombed in similar ways. The list goes on and on for a long time. So how are they not a terrorist group?

Perhaps it is about this part “It said if an appeal was brought before the EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice, the freeze of Hamas funds should continue until the legal process was complete“, yes, perhaps it is about the Hamas funds that are frozen, how much is that in total? It does go deep into the millions, yet how many millions does not seem to be openly registered anywhere (in any reliable way). In my view, this escalation can only go into one direction, Hamas will act out, sooner rather than later, if it brings enough Israeli casualties, it will shift a massive demand for the unjust extermination of Palestine’s on a near global base, whatever excuse used, the option “a legal ruling of the court based on procedural grounds”, will be cast aside by many nations, not just Israel. What follows could have been prevented; one must wonder how this came about in the first place.

It is my direct personal fear that these events are not about ‘procedures’ but on the need of ‘wooing’ whomever is speaking on behalf of Hamas and in regard to what they are offering to certain parties out of sight. This is all pure conjecture from my side, there are no hidden files and there is no one whispering secrets in my ears. With ISIS/ISIL in the mix within Gaza, the waters are about to become a lot more murky, in that regard is it not interesting that this procedural verdict had been passed too?

For the benefit of whom becomes the question? I wonder if we get the answer when it is too late.

 

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When movies fall short

There is nothing as intensely satisfying as when we are confronted with a reality that is a lot more entertaining than a movie would be. Those are moments you live for, that is unless you are a part of Sony and it is your system getting hacked. Life tends to suck just a little at that point.

This is not the latest story to look at, but in light of the elements that have been visibly resolved, it is the best one around. Some will state that the Hostage story in Martin’s Place, Sydney is the big issue, but that is an event that is getting milked for every second possible by the media, I checked! The price of chocolate remains unaffected, so let’s move on to Sony!

The first part is seen in the article ‘Sony hack would have challenged government defences – FBI’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/12/sony-hack-government-defences-fbi), those who think it is new news seem to have forgotten the issues people had in May 2011 (at http://uk.playstation.com/psn/news/articles/detail/item369506/PSN-Qriocity-Service-Update/). “As the result of a criminal cyber-attack on the company’s data centre located in San Diego, California, USA, SNEI shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services on 20 April 2011, in order for the company to undergo an investigation and make enhancements to the overall security of the network infrastructure” 77 million accounts were compromised and the perpetrators got away with a truckload of data.

So when we see the quote “The cyber-attack that crippled Sony Pictures, led to theft of confidential data and leak of movies on the internet would have challenged almost any cyber security measures, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said“, we should consider the expression once bitten twice shy and not, when bitten use antiseptic, go into denial and let it be done to your network again.

The fact that this revolves around another branch of Sony is just ludicrous, it’s like listening to a prostitute stating that the sick man used the other entrance this time, so we need not worry! If you think that this is an over the top graphical expression, consider that twice in a row that the personal details of millions in the form of data ‘leaked’ to somewhere.

The second quote will not make you feel any safer ““In speaking with Sony and separately, the Mandiant security provider, the malware that was used would have slipped or probably got past 90% of internet defences that are out there today in private industry and [would have] challenged even state government,” Joseph Demarest, assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division told a US Senate hearing“, as we know that governments tend to be sloppy with their technology as they do not have the budgets the bulk of commercial enterprises get, we can look at the quote and regard the statement to be a less serious expression of ‘do we care’, which is nothing compared to the ignored need to keep personal data safe.

You see, commercial enterprises have gotten sloppy. getting newly graduates to look into a system where you need seasoned veterans and you need a knowledge base and a good setup, all factors that seem to be in ‘denial’ with a truckload of companies the size of Sony, as they are all cutting corners so that they can project revenue and contributions in line with the ‘market expectations’.

The quote that becomes interesting is “A link between Gop and North Korea has been muted over Pyongyang’s reaction to the Sony Pictures film The Interview, which depicts an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un“, so is this group calling itself Guardians of Peace (Gop), the ‘simpleton’ group they are trivialised to be, or is there more. You see, we see a growing abundance of data collections that seem to go nowhere, but is this truly the case? You see, data is money, it is a currency that can be re-used several times, the question becomes, finding someone willing to buy it. If we regard the 2 billion Microsoft paid for Minecraft to be more than just the IP of the sandbox game, then what is it? Which part of that 2 billion is seen as value for the 120 million registered users on PC? Do you now see the currency we are confronted with?

In my book the Sony exercise is a display of the expression ‘a fool and his money are soon parted‘. In light of the 2011 issue, the fact that security was increased to the extent that it could be done again makes for entertainment on a new level, in addition, like a bad infomercial it does not stop here, no! For $9.95 you get so much more then you see now. That we see in the article that was published two days before that (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/10/fbi-doubts-north-korea-link-sony-pictures-hack). The part that should make you howl like a hyena is seen here “The security firm hired by Sony to investigate the attack, FireEye, described the attack as an “unparalleled and well-planned crime, carried out by an organised group, for which neither SPE nor other companies could have been fully prepared” in a leaked report“, So did you notice ‘unparalleled and well-planned crime‘ and ‘leaked report‘, oh sarcasm, thy name be Miss Snigger Cackle!

The leaked report, which was from the 7th of December (at http://recode.net/2014/12/07/sony-describes-hack-attack-as-unprecedented/) gives us “demanding that organizations which have obtained the leaked information avoid publishing any more material from the hackers, and destroy existing copies. Boies called it “stolen information.”“, you see, the issue here is that if we consider the quote “This attack is unprecedented in nature. The malware was undetectable by industry standard antivirus software and was damaging and unique enough to cause the FBI to release a flash alert to warn other organizations of this critical threat“, so even after the malware, info was still going past the firewall, or was this just ‘leaked’ by an internal source? It takes a little twist when we look at the quote in the December 10th article “The malware had been signed and authorised by Sony Pictures, allowing it to bypass certain security checks“, in my mind this reads as follows: ‘Some idiot gave a pass to malware to roam free on the system‘, so is it that, or was this an internal operation all along? If the second part is true, then who was the beneficiary of all that private data? Who is it means for? You see, many forget that our information is not always for stealing from our credit cards, sometimes it is used to profile us, as a customer, as marketing or as leverage. Why the word leverage? Consider healthcare, consider usage, what happens when an insurance company gets to profile 20 million couch potatoes, what if your healthcare premium suddenly goes up by 15%, do you have any idea how much money that is? So as insurance companies keep the leveraged margins of charge, whilst overcharging risks in addition, we see a growing margin of profit for these insurance companies, whilst getting them to pay for what you are insured for has not gotten any easier has it?

So is this simply a cinematography from Sony Pictures film, called The Interview, which depicts an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un, or was that the smoke screen? The FBI seems to have ruled out North Korea, as far as I have been able to tell, the only fans of North Korea are the North Koreans and Dennis Rodman (who has no fame in any IT endeavour), so is there enough doubt regarding the reality of what happened and why it happened? Yes, as I see it there is, the question becomes, when there is this much smoke, where are we not looking? That part is to some extent seen in another Guardian Article (at http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/dec/12/hackers-attack-film-studios-sony-pictures-leak-cybersecurity-warning). We see this quote “Sean Sullivan, senior adviser and researcher at the security company F-Secure, said that he believes the purpose of the Sony hack was extortion. “If it was just hacktivists, they’d have released everything all at once,” he said. “But these releases, it’s like they’re shooting hostages. One thing one day, another the next. This is a really different tactic from what we usually see.”“, this is certainly plausible, but is that it? Why ransom of data and sell it back with the FBI and others on your tail, when you can sell it in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Riyadh and a host of other locations. A simple transaction for an external encrypted drive, a deal you can offer to ALL parties for amount X, the more you offer, the higher X is.

Whilst our data is sold on and on, we run additional risks of getting invoiced for our lives choices and extorted by other financial firms because our privacy is no longer a given in the age of data and it is directly linked to corporations that cannot clean up their act. In the mean time we see leaked report on impossible hack successes, whilst it took only one executive to ‘accidently’ sign and authorise a mere trinket of malware.

So yes, the movies are falling short; reality can be scary and entertaining all at the same time. The question becomes, will there be a change to our invoice of life because of corporate considerations, or lack there off?

 

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The reality for poor London

It is not a new concept, people who are getting drowned through greed, yet as the Guardian in a video shows us: (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2014/nov/21/new-era-residents-fight-us-owners-westbrook-london-estate-video), the dangers where greed will not turn people homeless. In addition, the people behind it, Westbrook partners are hiding behind walls and the law. Here is the first part I object to. The law is a shield of protection for victims, not a cloak of unaccountability for the greed driven. However, part of the article that is not shown is the fact that the UK government might have fumbled the ball in a massive way here. I reckon that David Cameron has to attack these issues immediately, because if left untouched, the move from all parties INTO UKIP might be one we have never ever seen before in the history of politics.

So what is actually the case?

Westbrook Partners has been buying real estate on a massive scale; London, New York and Tokyo have been met with a spending spree on acquiring real estate. Buildings have changed ownership, but this change has a difference. This is done for investors of American workers Pension funds (to name but one). They bought property as mentioned in Hackney (inner east London), the residents were told that the rents will now go to market value, this is stated to mean that rents will triple almost overnight, how is that even close to acceptable, moreover, how many will be left to afford such a rent? Consider a rent of 2,500 pounds a month, this comes down to $4,500, I have had decently good paid jobs in IT, but I cannot afford those levels of rent, not in the best of days. Hackney council is currently expecting Westbrook to issue eviction notices. This is worse than just a bad nightmare; dozens of homes will be uprooted for what? Replacement by high rise new building, offering a massive boost to Westbrook Partners, which by the way is a US firm with offices in the UK.

It is not just the immorality of it all, consider that investment firms are now focussing on lower yield options, lower yield locations. Is this because the American wells have dried up? Now, I know that for the most, these things are not an option (or were not an option) in Amsterdam. When Amsterdam saw the 70’s boom in London, they made sure that these dangerous times could not happen there, but it is not a given for all buildings in Amsterdam (outside of the inner city). Consider other places where governments have been lacks with affordable housing. With this I mean Melbourne, Sydney AND Brisbane in Australia, Rotterdam, Delft and Leiden in the Netherlands, Several places in Germany and a few other places. When Westbrook and companies like them start changing the game to this extent, what will happen to the population at large? San Francisco had some events in this direction as Google expanded its views, but this is only the tip of the iceberg, now it is not just housing for a large company, now it is about returns for investors, how long until that part collapses leaving people not just in a state of destitution, but homeless as well?

When we see the article, we see the American Workers Pension Funds, with an image of fire fighters, did these fire fighters know that they are not just saving people, but for their retirement, they are making them homeless too? So is there an issue? Well, Yes!

The issue is at present that what is being done in not illegal, but highly immoral. To force a population out of an area, because of income is like stating that the poor are not allowed in London in any way, how is that not discrimination?

More interesting is how Westbrook was unreachable by the Guardian, their website views like a two page joke giving no information at all. When has an investment firm hiding behind wall of unreachability ever been a good thing? Goldman Sachs has been bad news on a global scale, yet they at least remained reachable. This new era of Westbrook is something entirely different. To see just how dangerous this rent rise is, take a look at the image on this link http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/19/new-era-estate-scandal-london-families-international-speculators, even more interesting is how the New Era estates included a minority share by Conservative MP Richard Benyon, who is pulling out this month, when confronted with these levels of changes. We might think of blaming it all on London’s Westbrook Principle Mark Donnor, but is that fair? Consider that this mess is the continuation of a mess which I witnessed for well over 22 years! Prices in London have always been outrageous and now that the wells are drying up, rental spaces are one of the few low return yielding options. Both political parties should have harshly intervened long before 1995, but they decided not to, now we see a new iteration which could break the London infrastructure. If you wonder why, then let me explain.

London needs workers, they always needed them and most of them live a long way from London, yet now we see a new group, those on a ‘higher’ lower income like Nurses and some tradies who lived in places like Hackney, as they are evicted, they will move further away and they will try to seek work in a place that is not London, as London faces a rental crash, it will also face a workers crash as people are less willing to live 2-3 hours away from work, we see the need to find other avenues to contain their work-life balance, that means working somewhere else. You might think that this is exaggeration in regards to 92 households in Hackney, but do you think it ends here?

If we consider the quote “The letter said they had secured an agreement not to increase rents again until 2016. However, it added: “Since this week’s departure of the Benyon Estate we understand the council have now been informed that Westbrook no longer plan to honour that plan, and have been told that their plan is to refurbish the current estate in its entirety and then rent all the properties without secure tenancies at market rent levels, with no affordable housing”“, we get another view, we get the view of several investment firms seeing what could be acquired in London for refurbishment and upgrades to market value housing. Consider areas like Paddington and Kilburn, what happens when they get refurbished into market value? In addition, when we see “Councils are acquiring properties in Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Sussex and further afield to cope with an expected surge in numbers of vulnerable families presenting as homeless as a result of welfare cuts from next April” (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/nov/04/london-boroughs-housing-families-outside-capital), is this perhaps just the beginning? What happens when the situation goes from 92 households, to 992 households? What will happen to the smaller businesses as these places are all upgraded? The London economy is an interaction of classes and groups, when the city changes the dynamic that has worked for decades, we see a change in culture and options for all workers involved, moreover, what can we expect to see when these locations start to lose the reliability it has had for so long towards an entire iteration of workers and traders. Once that is changed, other elements will become in play as well, then what will happen?

In my view, David Cameron will need to make large strides in changing a current approach, to allow for long term sustainability. If not, we will see entire areas no longer in a state of survivability. These events that Westbrook has started will also make a change to the policies that London Lord-Mayor Boris Johnson is trying to introduce. No matter how strong the need for a living wage is, as Westbrook is pushing for market values, we will see a living wage that needs to go from £8.55 to £18.55, which is something that is not just unrealistic, it will be totally unmaintainable. The fallout will be long term.

In the end the UK government did this by not acting and others might be in the same predicament soon enough. I will be honest and state right here that no one anticipated the fact that rent would ever become the preferred return on investment for investment companies, which is an entirely different conversation I will have with my readers at a later stage. A change none saw coming, but now that it is here, it will prove to be additional hardship on the Conservative party, whilst giving even more options to UKIP.

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