Tag Archives: Tesco

In the back of my mind

Today is not the same as yesterday. Yes, the same issues are playing still. They will remain an issue for some time to come. Whether we look at Yemen, Iran, Grenfell or the Saudi Consulate at Istanbul, the media has decided to make this a long term event. Some events cannot be resolved easy or quickly, that is merely the stage we find ourselves in and as such I accept that. It was this mindset that was awakened rudely by a thought that I have had for the longest of times. Now, this is pure speculation and perhaps it is all utter BS. I accept that, yet it remains in the back of my mind, it will not delete itself from my thoughts and this morning it woke up again as I read the headline ‘Yes, I ‘cheat’ at video games – it’s half the fun‘.

I respectfully disagree, it just ain’t cricket!

Yet the thought has been there for a while. You see, the latest adult generation is different. It partially grew up with that thought. So as we read the article by Stephanie Munro (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/19/cheat-video-games-gaming-performance), we get a little more than we bargained for.

The cornerstone here is: ‘some games are worth a bit of cheating‘, we can agree that this is a thought every gamer has had, but I believe it transcends gaming. I believe that game makers have created the shits that audited Tesco (and devaluated it by billions). The people willing to quickly skate around the edges of Market Research to create a story that fits the bill, yet when we dig into the data, when we consider the weighting used, we see another issue. Some of these stories are more often than not, not worth the paper they were printed on. More importantly, the people mentoring these ‘younglings’ making (as a mere example) are achieving linear correlation by plotting two points. Even as they know that straight-line relationships between two variables can be achieved, they sometimes forget to tell them (implying that the newbie should have known) that it takes more than two observations. Yet a mentoring position is not about assumption. Even as reality is not this far-fetched, we see that there is a stage that counts. TU in Norway is one source giving us the most common example of unethical behaviour. It is: ‘Taking shortcuts / shoddy work‘ and it scored 72%, which is huge! I believe that there is a growing group of people relying on making deadlines and the entire issue is found there. It will almost always be on the new kid, getting advice left right and centre and not getting proper mentoring. Even when we see some parts not being violated, in some cases we see extreme examples of weighing data where weight values of well over 25 are achieved, an issue to be sure (when the population was increasingly small and unbalanced).

And here is where the shoe becomes too tight for comfort. You see behind this is the ‘golden rule’: ‘It’s important to realize that what is unethical may not always be illegal‘, it is a dangerous truth as it can at times be both.

Now this reflects back to the gaming article.

The quote: “I wonder whether cheating at video games is really anything to feel bad about. While downloading unverified cheat programs and exposing yourself to malware is not something to encourage, there are wider and greyer areas of game manipulation that deserve consideration“. There it is! The intentional push to consider cheating! We have all taken shortcuts; some are glitches within the game. Some are merely flaws in game design, the other part is exploiting a gaming bug and then there is God mode. God mode goes back to the beginning of gaming. A code that will set damage received to zero, or perhaps usage is now staged to a decrease of nil and the final part where build time and cost are set to zero. These are all stages that give you an immediate upper hand in the game. The codes tend to be there for testing purposes and were in the older days never removed, in some cases they still are not. Yet when we see the application done in Business Intelligence it becomes a different issue altogether, it has impact and it is too dangerous at present.

When we go back to Tesco in 2014, the Guardian gave us two parts. The first was: “what has already come out raises profound questions about how one of Britain’s biggest companies allowed itself to be run questionably – and about the role of its auditor. The making up of the profits figures was not in a report signed off by PwC. That happened in August – three months after PwC had given the supermarket chain’s figures a clean bill of health. Even then, it noted that there was something potentially funny with the numbers, and expressly warned about “the risk of manipulation” – but allowed them to pass anyway“, and the second one was “The audit is a key part of the scaffolding of shareholder capitalism. It is one of the primary ways in which investors, business partners and regulators can tell the true state of the company they are dealing with. If you can’t trust the audited accounts, you can’t really trust anything. This is why the vast bulk of public limited companies – and hospitals and charities – are legally obliged to submit audited accounts. And the vast bulk of those are done by PwC or one of the other Big Four auditing firms“. Now we get back to the gamer side. The bulk of people now becoming CPA have a gaming life. Whether they stay in the console closet is up to them, yet in a healthy life gaming will be part of it. It is a social interaction or perhaps a challenge to be among peers and see if you can Fortnite the hell out of your buddy and Overwatch him/her to death at the same time, nothing wrong with that. Yet we see more and more that the stage of normal gaming no longer suffices and we start relying on glitches and weaknesses, which is not altogether wrong, but when we knowingly have codes that give us 10% more, what then?

Gamers are actually getting pushed into that frame of mind and the industry as a whole loves it as the person willing to take every legal shortcut is a revenue asset, yet is it a long term solution and what happens when the border of legality was a grey area altogether? Consider the impact of Tesco, the most visible case in the last decade. And that is when we get to the 2017 New York Times (3 years after the event). Here we see: “The regulator said that finding did not suggest that any of Tesco’s directors “knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, that the information in the August trading statement was false or misleading.” It did note, however, that there was knowledge at a sufficiently high level below the board as to the false and misleading nature of the trading statement to constitute market abuse under British law.” That is now the ball game. The two points ‘could reasonably be expected to have known‘, in opposition of ‘there was knowledge at a sufficiently high level below the board as to the false and misleading nature‘. So someone got a massive raise, someone got an overwhelming promotion and no one went to prison. This is what I would call an orchestrated cheat. When we look at PwC and we see: Tyco, Tesco, Taylor Bean & Whitaker, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and MF Global. All stages that are massive and all stages where in the end it is merely about the fine, the pressure for using ‘cheats’ is increasing and it seems that the gaming industry is banking on this. What is more appealing when an almost impossible task is achieved by someone who should not have been able to make it to level 2?

This is where Stephanie gives us the gem: “In the world of competitive sport, the line between a so-called clean win and one in which the performance of an athlete has been chemically enhanced is blurred – but we leave it up to governing bodies to decide what’s acceptable and what’s not. This leads us into the moral quandary of whether something being legal makes it acceptable“.

It is the moral quandary that is the switch, which is no longer an on and off switch, but a level that goes from 100 to zero. A lever that is pushed again and again a staged setting with online and single player achievements where we learn to do what it takes to get all the achievements, yet to keep a much more high profile stage to make us seemingly clean players.

So when we see a Battlefield example: “John is on the extreme end of a spectrum, because his tactics are so lethal, so outside of what the game’s creators intended, so far beyond what rival players can defend against and, oh yeah, he paid some hackers to have them. John pays to be able to kill your character instantly in Battlefield. He’s surely crossed some line, though it’s anyone’s guess just where that line must be” (source: Kotaku), we see the issue that is the stage on all this. This now directly reflects Apple and their mobile battery game. a conviction with a 10 million euro fine, whilst the payout makes crime a joke. The article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/10/25/crime-as-a-business-model/) where in ‘Crime as a business model‘ we see: “Apple required the sale of 16,000 phones just to break even on that fine“, against “the means to sell 123 million iPhones through what the court is seen as deceptive conduct gets a fine that amounts to 16,000 units. A fine received that represents a mere 0.013% of their cost of doing business” and we see not only the progression of what should be regarded as unethical conduct, governments are actually encouraging it by giving fines that were a joke on a scale that is a mere 1% of what was done here.

So whilst we see: “For some of us, the idea of using a walkthrough is anathema, to others it is a means of bringing us back to a point where we can have fun. I’ll admit that I never completed the Ocarina of Time. It was too hard and I got bored. I’m sorry, Princess Zelda, I abandoned you“, we ignore that Ocarina of time is one of the best designed and most overwhelming puzzle journeys ever seen (I never got to 100%), the exclusivity of getting there is merely brushed on and the cheaters are given a pass. That is actually beyond the point where those with a gaming guide are not really cheaters, they merely walk the journey to get to the 100%. Apart from Ocarina of Time, there is Metroid Prime. A game I worshipped almost forever, I ended up only getting 98%, which is an achievement I was proud of (I never found all the missiles). And I played it a few times, loving that journey again and again. Yet the BI industry is merely hiring those with a 100% score and they had no interest how the player got there and that is actually the sad and worrying part in all this. Wall Street does not care how the revenue was achieved as long as it is and that is a much more dangerous setting in the upcoming future. To get the required numbers some analyst proclaimed no matter what. And when it is revealed in some scandal and the media is all over it, it is the mere ‘could reasonably not have been expected to have known‘ is what keeps the board members out of their well-deserved Rikers Island excursion (3-5 years). This sad evolution is not merely the creation of another Star Chamber, an old reference to a tribunal abolished in 1641, where we saw the king in council exercising criminal jurisdiction. It was inquisitorial, and torture is believed to have been used, with no accountability in any way shape or form. It is an upgraded system, evolved from those settings that allows corporations to do whatever they need to appease Wall Street and other financial centers, to exceed analyst expectations, whilst we see that these findings are increasingly becoming more and more unrealistic because that is what the market needs.

In all this holding these analysts and their formula’s up to scrutiny and accountability in the long run will not happen, making the need for these players to find the people who are willing, not to bend the rules, but to cheat their way across, increasingly more and more important to corporations and as such, the danger is that we get into a world where cheating is not half the fun, it is merely the only way to keep ahead of the curve and avoid being classified as no longer relevant.

When did we sign up for those values in our lives?



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Could I be wrong?

That is a question I always ask myself. You see, I never proclaim to know the facts (unless I was a direct witness). I have tried to use the better journalistic sources as often as possible and whenever I look at issues I try to look into different directions, and from different directions to get the better view. It is not a perfect solution, and I have never claimed that my version is the only option. So as I have written in regards to certain steps in the entire Novichok matter, the pushed actions by Natixis as well as settings into Tesco, The Geert Wilders case, the Yemeni conflict and other matters, I believe that I did a decent job, and one that was a lot better than any of the Rupert Murdoch gossip hounds could have ever hoped for.

So when I am confronted with: ‘Novichok poisonings: what is the GRU and how does it operate?‘, as well as: ‘PM points to Putin as Russian pair accused of Novichok poisonings‘ I wonder what is going on, because certain matters do not make sense.

This is the initial setting we need to contemplate when we look into the entire Novichok case. When I see the mere 4 hours old article with “In a special statement to a packed House of Commons, the prime minister, Theresa May, revealed the two suspects who flew into Britain to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March with the military grade nerve agent were officers in the GRU, Russian military intelligence“, I wonder what drives this train wreck.

Consider that this is true; now consider that in the entire Skripal matter, no evidence was ever revealed on HOW they got infected. Then we get the setting that they SURVIVED that part matters when we consider the part ‘military grade nerve agent‘, all whilst the operation was a failure. Was it intended to fail? Were they ever on any CCTV in the surroundings of the Skripals? Then we get the mention “Photograph issued by the Metropolitan police of the Novichok poisoning suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov“. So tell me, where was this picture taken and WHICH metropolitan police had issues it? And when we get “The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command“, which is true, and no one opposes that, yet they could have been merely there as tourists (if it was actually them), that is wherever that shot was taken. You see, from the facts given, we can in equal measure consider the arrest and extradition of Major-general Charles Stickland for the alleged killing of a US Navy Seal in Djibouti. Let’s face it, when it comes to the training and ability to even wound a US Navy Seal, he might be one of the few persons with the skills to do that. How ridiculous does that sound? Well, in that same light, we need to see a lot more when it comes to the Novichok. I get it! We are not privy to national security investigations, that part is not in doubt. Yet the entire matter, the lack of evidence presented and the Media merely boastful setting the stage of events, whilst evidence is lacking is a much larger issue, it literally serves absolutely no one.

So when we are confronted with ‘The Salisbury attack has all the hallmarks of the audacious actions of Russia’s most secretive intelligence agency‘, my initial personal response towards the writer Shaun Walker would be ‘What a fucking idiot!‘ You see when you look at the two parts ‘all the hallmarks of the audacious actions‘ and ‘most secretive intelligence agency‘, we see hem cancel each other out. Audacious actions is in the light, most secretive is not. Oh, and before I forget, how successful was the operation? They are both still alive and let’s not forget that a 7.62mm bullet from a silenced Tokarev has no risks of biological agents and would NOT have failed. The article gives us historical anecdotes that are useless, especially as the first one was from BEFORE the Spetsnaz GRU was even created.

Then we get to the second part in this. With: “The GRU has been identified as the main culprit in hacking ahead of the 2016 US election. A recent indictment from the team of special investigator Robert Mueller named 12 apparent GRU officers over the alleged hacking and leaking of Democratic Party emails. Like the US operation, the Novichok poisoning fits an apparent pattern of GRU operations: ingenious and audacious, yet uncovered and publicised by the target countries“. Here again we see the issue of evidence. How was the GRU identified? I am not stating that the Russians were not part of it, but between political hacks (or is that hackers), optional Russian Cyber units and the GRU is quite the leap and what evidence has given that part? When we see ‘Robert Mueller named 12 apparent GRU officers‘, how did the identity of the members of ‘Russia’s most secretive intelligence agency’ even make it out to the open? Is that not a weird thing either? In that we get to the final art of the first article, and it is again given with “the Novichok poisoning fits an apparent pattern of GRU operations“, so is the GRU about failures? In that, how does the second attack fit, and there we get the different news articles where the victim is dying in one and to be released in the other (see Yesterday’s blog at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/09/05/the-target-is-killing-me/).

The Article Two fiasco

The second one was from Marc Bennetts in Moscow. This gives us “Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree making information about freelance agents working for Russia’s foreign intelligence agencies a state secret, two days before Theresa May accused Russian secret service officers of carrying out the Skripal attack in Salisbury“, this gives us merely two elements, it is implied to be connected, yet through what evidence? Basically we see the non-denied truth that ‘information about freelance agents working for Russia’s foreign intelligence agencies a state secret‘. That might be the case and that is fine, but is it related to any of this?

Now we get to the beef of the matter. It is seen with “The Fotanka News Agency appeared to confirm claims by the Metropolitan police that the men had used their Russian passports before. The force said the pair travelled regularly to Europe between September 2016 and March 2018, with trips to Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan and, repeatedly, Paris. Petrov visited London between February 28 and March 5 2017, the news agency said, citing its own unnamed sources“, now add to this “They purchased return tickets from London to Moscow for both Sunday 4 March – the day Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned in Salisbury“. So these two experts fly into Salisbury with no preparations time, no options to set anything up, infect them with a Novichok and get out (all in 48 hours)? This would essentially need a second team prepping it all (if it were them), this implies a team of at least 5 people in total. I admit that when I see ‘for both Sunday 4 March‘, there is something we need to contemplate, yet from my point of view they could have been used for a mere embassy courier drop, or any dead drop. However using that for the Novichok is ludicrous, so much could go wrong that failure was almost a given. A flight with zero leeway, that is not the acts of a secretive agency that is merely an advertisement of something else, what else? I have no way to know that. Oh, and for all the travels. That might be perfectly valid and true, but do we have any intelligence on where they went (exactly that is), where they stayed and which CCTV’s showed them? London and Amsterdam have a sizable CCTV system, also where did they go in Geneva? When we combine it all, there is a chance that they were optionally state security, no one denies that it is a possibility, yet the other side is that they might be the couriers or the personal assistant of one of these Russian billionaires, and if that is anyone related to organised crime we see my initial setting where I never stated that it was not Russian, merely that it was not Russian state and that does fit the bill. When you want your essential secrets to be transported, will you turn to the Randstad employment agency, or to Russian State Security offering people like that, offering a cushy job with a nice income that guarantees a lovely golden pension parachute, who would ever resist that?

Let’s not forget, we still have no actual evidence that these two (Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov) were GRU. They might be FSB, SVR, or perhaps merely intelligent and optionally well trained Russian citizens, where is the evidence? In finality Marc Bennets adds the anecdote of Dmitry Gudkov, for whatever value that has.

So far all articles that merely set optional allegations lacking evidence, so far when it comes to the Novichok, there has been a lack of evidence and even less cohesive evidence. The small parts that might have been an optional were overturned with the easiest of searches by me; all lacking the proper setting. Now I want to get back to the initial part, because I was not ignoring “assistant commissioner Neil Basu, laid out a compelling trail showing how the suspects travelled from Moscow to London and then on to Salisbury“. You see, when we see compelling as ‘not able to be refuted‘, it does matter, yet why not a mere CCTV pic of the Train platform or Bus platform to Salisbury? That is the part that is so weird, when a picture gives 1000 words and you rely on the one that gives merely 50 words, questions need to be asked and in that part the entire Novichok case (both attacks) is all about questions and no actual answers, mere allegations and accusations. So now we get to the quote “Police produced CCTV footage of the Russian assassination team during their 50-hour visit to Britain, entering at Gatwick airport at 3pm on Friday 2 March, and smuggling in the Novichok“, so where was the Novichok? It is another accusation that is lacking evidence. Apart from the fact that a biological agent got past Gatwick Airport which gives us a whole range of other questions too, but that is for another day.

I will also get us to the setting of the CCTV images. There were a few and I never ignored them. So let’s take a look at the setting (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/05/novichok-poisoning-what-we-know-so-far)

Arrival Friday March 3rd 15:00

There is no mention what was done between arrival and the first image, that part is actually important too. You see, that part might have supported or even denied the defence of mere tourists.

Saturday, March 3rd 16:00 Image one

Sunday March 4th 11:58 Image two, different outfit from image one, different shoes too, different hats. So are these the same people? (I wonder), the walk implies that the legs are slimmer too (what diet is that, please gimme some of that.)

Sunday March 4th 13:05 Image three seems to be the same as image two, yet now one of them has a backpack. Jeans of one of them looks different, could merely be the contrast of the two cameras.

Sunday March 4th 13:08 seems to fit image three, yet from behind, we can agree that it is most likely the people from image three, yet how certain are we that these are indeed the ‘culprits’? You see, from my (optionally wrong) point of view. We might have clothes to travel within 48 hours, yet two coats and two pairs of shoes? Also, in the end the mention of: ‘CCTV footage of the Russian assassination team’? Is there clear evidence that they were an assassination team? Yet the article gives one part that is the heart of it. That was given with: ‘For six months since the incident in Salisbury, the government has faced criticism over the apparent lack of evidence linking the crime to Russia‘, which was my case all along. I would love to get my fingers on that presentation and go over it with a really fine comb. I wonder what else I can find when I get access to all the raw data and raw footage, and let’s remain fair here, if there was a clear case of guilty in that mix, I would be able to find that too.

I am still willing to consider that I have been wrong, but the lack of evidence gives me the edge and some of the evidence seen is a little off, giving me the edge of my conviction even more. Oh, and in all this, the second ‘attack’ is still an issue and the fact that the second attack was a lot more lethal than the first one, in the light of humidity being a factor in making the Novichok less efficient remains a factor too, especially when we consider the time passed and the Charity bin part is just too vague on a few sides, as well as the setting that no one else got caught with any issues, too many parts are off there too (but that could be my lack of knowledge on how the entire charity bin path goes).

If I had to speculate on this, I would give the comparison of a factory making Jigsaw puzzles. Two different puzzles of the same size gives us two different puzzles with the same cut of pieces and someone mixed parts up so that we get a partial part of puzzle one in puzzle two and vice versa, that does not give us two puzzles, but basically 4 puzzles with an incomplete and incorrect view. In data we get the comical setting that: ‘to get any linear correlation, merely plot two observations’, yes it is 100% linear, as well as 100% unreliable mind you. I personally feel that the issues are pushed in one direction not because the evidence is there, but because the presentation was orchestrated, optionally by a third party, so who was this 3rd party?

I never stated that I was not wrong, I could still be wrong, but the evidence looks too tainted to be accepted as such we are all (including me) set on the wrong foot, you merely have to Google ‘Charlie Rowley’ and look for the news in the last week to see that (also mentioned in my blog Yesterday, as in the link given earlier). In the end, we must not forget the official government news (at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-statement-on-the-opcw-report-into-amesbury), where we are given “The police continue their investigation into the poisonings in Amesbury and Salisbury and we await their further conclusions”, when we read that on 4 September 2018, whilst we were given “Two Russian nationals named and charged over the novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury have been identified as officers from Russia’s military intelligence, Theresa May has said, saying the attack was clearly authorised by Moscow” the day after in the Guardian. So what evidence was added in those 24 hours?

The issue given in the government statement with: “The recklessness of the Russian state in bringing a nerve agent in to the UK, and total disregard for the safety of the public, is appalling and irresponsible. Our thoughts are with the family of Dawn Sturgess and with Charlie Rowley” is the one in question. You see, no one ever denied the fact that Novichok is of Russian origin, yet there have been several sources in the past that showed that somehow Novichok got to be out in the open and that gives us the part where: ‘The recklessness of the Russian state in bringing a nerve agent in to the UK’ is the debatable part, merely ‘the Russian state’ as the setting whilst there is more than one alternative part in that trajectory. The push of that path is giving so much doubt and so much consideration towards a botched investigation on several levels. Even if we accept the optional two names to be Intelligence officers’ aliases, and if I was the Russian Mafia, I would definitely use names that at the mere sight of them would be intentionally ignored by border officers at Moscow airport. The fact that this path was ignored FROM DAY ONE is just too big an issue, add to that the failures of the events and we get something quite debatable.

I am always happy to be wrong, yet the presentations we have seen so far makes it more likely then not that this is actually not the case in the end.

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Merely a starting point

There is an interesting article at the Guardian, which we were treated to mere 6 hours ago. The article ‘Virgin awarded almost £2bn of NHS contracts in the past five years‘ seems to be rubbing people the wrong way. We see (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/05/virgin-awarded-almost-2bn-of-nhs-contracts-in-the-past-five-years), the setting where in “one year alone, the company’s health arm, Virgin Care, won deals potentially worth £1bn to provide services around England, making it the biggest winner among private companies bidding for NHS work over the period“. In the end, the NHS either privatises to a much larger extent, or the service stops. It is basically that simple and it is only the beginning. Even when we give the right amount of empathy to Sara Gorton, the head of health at the trade union Unison, as she states: “The company has been so keen to get a foothold in healthcare, it’s even been prepared to go to court to win contracts, moves that have cost the NHS dearly. While the NHS remains dangerously short of funds, taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be wasted on these dangerous experiments in privatisation“, is that really the case? The fact that Virgin got the contract was mainly because it could be done cheaper. I warned for certain settings as early as 2014, that certain steps cannot continue that way, changes are essential. In addition, as late as January 2017, I mentioned (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/01/15/the-views-we-question/), in the article ‘The views we question‘, issues like: “the document, released in December, aims to address the need to bridge the local NHS funding gap of £267 million which will exist by 2020 if services stay the same in the region” gives rise to even more worry. Not only is the NHS a quarter of a billion short in roughly 1080 days in Coventry and Warwickshire, to survive they have to move? How will that aid the people in Coventry and Warwickshire? Will they end up with any health care at all, or will the local Romani Gypsies with oils and herbals need to be relied on? You think that I am exaggerating? If so, please feel free to inform me on how those two places Coventry and Warwickshire, with 340,000 and 550,000 people end up coming up short by £267,000,000 in three years? Well if advice comes at £343,000 on private consultants, that shortage might be reached rather quickly, but that is not the story is it? The story is how funding has failed and how much more it will fail over the next three years. So, as such, is my view as I personally see it of an essential judicial public inquiry that far-fetched?“, it refers to an article in the Coventry Telegraph, so with the question on how we can save money, which was billed at £343,000 , starting with common sense might have been a first solution. In addition (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/02/17/behind-the-smiling-numbers/), in ‘Behind the scenes‘, we get a few truths that really hurt and that was February 2016. The Guardian then gave us: ‘Income tax must rise 3p to stop NHS ‘staggering from year to year’‘, so, how much more taxation was captured for the NHS? Remember that was 2 years ago. In addition, I had issues (to some extent) on the path that Lord Kerslake took with his papers. And all these papers and consultancies (none of them free), the proper setting for mental health care was not properly set in the dimensions of cost and forecast, now add to that the setting of taxation delays and we see that the NHS is collapsing on itself, a collapse that is increasing in speed and that is merely the last two years. So in all this, someone at Virgin woke up and called Uncle Richard and asked if he was interested in making a few billion more. The setting was always falling in this direction, and most of it was not due to the tenacity of Richard Branson, but due to the political inaction and to an even larger extent the political follies seen (NHS-IT being the main one). Consider that it took me 8 hours to figure out a technological solution that could change the entire infrastructure of data, merely because I was willing to look at the larger picture and rearrange a few settings, the solution was printed in the History of Scotland, it was THAT simple. Yet none of those IT experts had a clue, or they did but the political engine would not consider adherence to change making it a bigger folly.

Now we see: “Precise details of all the contracts are difficult to establish because neither the Department of Health and Social Care or NHS England keep a centralised record. Virgin’s when it announced plans for six branded clinics offering a range of services. However, it was only in 2010 when it bought a stake in an existing provider, Assura, that it began to show greater ambition in the market“, which shows both the data folly as well of a massive lack of transparency on the health care part (optionally parts of the NHS as well), that shortcoming is the first setting into cost cutting and it is also a direct link to where services could be bettered. The second part was seen in January 2017 with ‘Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons health select committee, criticised the government for blaming GPs for the crisis” as well as “She said in a tweet: “Pretty dismal stuff for govt to scapegoat GPs for very serious NHS pressures. Failure to understand the complexity or own responsibility.‘, the central setting was ‘Failure to understand the complexity‘, a part that was shown to a larger extent going back to 2016, even in 2015 and 2014, there were clear signs of non-comprehension in all this and the IT folly, which the Labour government was able to grow to £11.2 billion merely added to the pressures, whilst in addition to all that is also minimised options left for the NHS. all that squandering came at a price and it seems to me that both Sara Gorton and Paul Evans seem to steer in their lanes, but are equally ignoring the setting that the opportunity for Virgin grew due to a lack of flexibility in the organisations (slightly speculative) and the political branch merely added fuel to the squandering fires. Then finally the Lord Kerslake paper, which I opposed to some extent with the equations that they had in regards to the 20 OECD countries. Here I mentioned ‘Perhaps his Lordship could give a slightly more detailed explanation for the remark “Health spending needs to rise at least in line with GDP. Arguably, we may need to go faster if we want to match European funding“. Considering that the Netherlands and Belgium are next to one another and their budgets per person are apart by a mere 49.404%‘, I believe that it is not merely the stretch of the ‘holier than thou‘ GDP, I believe that there are additional elements making the comparison for the UK not merely dangerous, I believe them partially to be unusable (well a bit more than just partially). In all these settings there has been delay on delay and in the end Virgin had to step in. The funny part is that this also opens up data and reporting centres where Virgin has a much larger trove to work with. It would end up that a new VirginAnalytics could be what Dunnhummby was for Tesco, although with a data growth close to 500% of what Tesco allowed for, there is a decent setting where Virgin creates new levels of data cohesion giving the NHS an actual first time where there is a better level of reporting transparency as well as a better quality of Dashboard presentations, which will grow Virgin even more and also allows Virgin to skim the cream of the NHS sections that will be more profitable in the mid-term range of investments, opportunities grown from political complacency as well as political indecision.

So whilst people are going emotional with slogans like: ‘Not His to Seize‘, they all forget that the NHS and its political branch did this to themselves, Uncle Richard merely picked up the pieces and made it all work. This is getting even more traction when we consider the Lancashire Post where we saw almost a month ago “Opposition politicians have demanded an urgent inquiry into the way the authority awarded a £105m child health contract to Virgin Care, only for the decision to be blocked in the High Court. County Hall is continuing to consider its options after the ruling two weeks ago, one of which could be to re-run a part of the procurement process which the judge ruled fell short of the standards required

The article (at https://www.lep.co.uk/news/inquiry-call-over-lancashire-county-council-105m-virgin-care-health-contract-1-9241205) gives rise to questions not only on the awarding of contracts, but on the entire setting on investigating the amount and not to mention the fact that the contract was awarded whilst there were two NHS trusts on it, it shows that it not merely transparency. With ““We are in a real mess and the Government needs to intervene,” said Labour leader Coun Azhar Ali“, it implies that the NHS (as well as the local government) is to some degree riddled with incompetence. I cannot come to any other conclusion. The setting we see with “Coun Fillis added: “The Conservatives in Lancashire have been stopped once again from privatising public services, in this case our children’s health services“, is on Labour, not the Conservatives. The governing party decided to push for public health privatisation, and opposing it might be valid, but that legal invoice is still due, so crying over it with ‘tide of mounting legal costs, which the people of Lancashire will have to pay for‘, especially when you consider that “in view of the ridiculous comments from LCC’s Labour group, it should be borne in mind that the decision to seek tender for the provision of health services for Lancashire’s children and young people was actually taken by cabinet in February 2017, and both Couns Ali and Fillis were members of that cabinet“, so basically it was a decision that has suddenly hijacked by a minority and they are crying for the setting of cost? Go cry me a river, please!

It is in that setting, where politicians (especially labour) was lax with spending, squandered billions upon billions and they thought the Virgin train would pass them by. Now as this is not the case, not only do we see larger changes, there is the valid concern that mere niches are saved and a much larger setting still goes into the drink. If there is one setting that might change it is by taxing every person an additional £1 per payslip to save the NHS. It seems like a little, but with currently 32.2 million people working, that could add up to £65 million per fortnight. It might not be a lot, but it is a start and with that start you can begin to create momentum for the NHS that is by the way separate from all other funding due to the NHS. The question will people accept it? I reckon that when the NHS actually starts getting healthier, they will live with the loss of £1 each person, each payslip. It might have been pennies, initially, but that was 2 years ago, now we either act or lose a lot more and this is with VirginCare in place. Without it, and with the lack of restructuring the losses will be close to monumental, the simple impact of inaction, we can argue that the Conservative government is taking the easy way out, but is there any alternative? You merely need to look at what we can call a hijack by both Couns Ali and Fillis to realise that there are two in a setting that is much larger and those loses and those legal ramifications as well as the actions that followed is more than a sign of the times, it is a sign of high cost and zero impact desperation, that whilst actual working actions to get the NHS in a better place was ignored to one side and mismanaged on the other side by Labour in the 1997–2007 frame.

At present for Virgin, VirginCare is merely a starting point that can go a much larger route within the next 4 years, in the end, without an NHS, what will people do? I wonder how many remain in denial of that setting, yet it has been a more and more realistic setting. The simple setting is that almost two trillion in debt means that annually at present £68 billion is required for interest alone. Even as Net borrowing is down to almost 28% of what is was in 2010, the setting is that there is a massive debt and it is impacting everything (and the NHS not in the smallest setting). Only be diminishing that part can the UK move forward, which is a lot better than the EU is seeing at present, their debt will make them slaves to the banks for decades. You see, linked to all this is not merely what the government has, but the fact that “The 28 member states of the European Union (EU) have a total debt burden of €12.5 trillion, which could be even bigger, according to the latest figures from the EU statistics office, Eurostat“, in light of the UK being one of the big four, it implies that the rest of the EU will have to deal with the €10.7 trillion debt. How quick do you think they will be able to deal with that? That is why Brexit mattered, in light of the NHS being cut to a bare minimum, it is more and more a setting that Europe could more likely than not end up with not having any healthcare at all, so where would you prefer to be? In light of all that, Virgin might end up with a large gain, but at least there will be some healthcare, a part that too many are ignoring. Would it have been better to keep it all in the NHS? No doubt, but if you want to eat at the Ritz, you better have a fat wallet and the governments from 1997 onwards have all been part of blunders that ended the UK at minus 2 trillion, did you think that was going to go away because the news did not make mention of it? Consider Forbes who gave us not only that French and Italian health care is really good under normal conditions, in Italy (regarding the article), “I have never heard of a child waiting for surgery on his arm.  He would have been placed on the operating room list and he would have been fixed as soon as feasible. There are plenty of more serious surgeries, like cancer cases or even cardiac care, that are put on hold for months in these types of healthcare systems“, the article (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjamindavies/2018/08/05/a-broken-arm-in-italy-waiting-for-surgery/#20de8a1f29b6) shows the setting in Italy, in addition, in France we have a similar setting and all over Europe there are similar pressures.

Getting back to the corporation in question, is VirginCare a force for good, or the opposite? I believe that it can be a force for good, but we need to realise that the people can only be treated when we consider that flexibility is required. The lack of resources that is already in play is one part, the political games that we see, whilst relying on the emotion of others is the second part and when the people realise that they have been had by the likes of ‘both Couns Ali and Fillis‘, and many others like them, when it comes out on the waste of resources that they enabled for, will these angry people picket at the front doors of these politicians, or is that not sexy enough?

So when we see the Virgin setting with: “We welcomed inspectors back on 4 July and they were very positive at the further progress we’d made since January in implementing our improvement plan, and gave us positive feedback about the improvements to the practice. We are awaiting the publication of an updated report in the coming months which will reflect this most recent visit“, we see that there is positive change, that there is progress. It will take time, because those expecting this change to be overnight, they are truly looney tunes. If you wanted immediate change, you should have gone after certain politicians as early as 2013, so don’t cry now, not when the choice is now limited between a crewcut and decapitation. The NHS setting is close to that extreme, and has been for some time.


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Overthinking the issue

There is a group of people that have had enough; they are ready to end their lives. Every culture has it and the amount of people contemplating it is a lot larger then you might think. Some statistics give us that 7 people per 100,000 have committed suicide. This implies to some extent that over 200 have contemplated it. If those who do compared to those who considered it is 1:30, then we have a much larger issue than we think.

So when I saw ‘Nitschke’s ‘suicide machine’ draws crowds at Amsterdam funeral fair‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/15/nitschke-suicide-machine-amsterdam-euthanasia-funeral-fair), I wondered what the entire visibility setting was about. The impact is a lot larger than most considered. The machine given here is all about a ‘3d print solution‘, yet the machine that has a full body solution looks like a car for people who cannot drive (preventing suicide in traffic in the process). In the article we see “A controversial suicide pod that enables its occupant to kill themselves at the press of a button went on display at an Amsterdam funeral show on Saturday“, so how controversial is it? Even as we see: “the design will be put online as an open-source document for people to download. “That means that anybody who wants to build the machine can download the plans and 3D-print their own device,” Nitschke said“. My issue is not with the idea, the design or the option. It is the mere contemplation of the facts that in the first, a 3d printer is anywhere between $1500 and $6500.

After that we get the source materials to print the elements of that wheel less car (also costing you an additional fortune, that we get form “Regular PLA and ABS filament for 3D printing costs around $25 per kilogram on average. Specialty filaments can cost as much as four times this amount. Not all 3D printing materials are equal“, which now gets us close to an additional $5000 – $15000. So how is that not exploitation? Did anyone consider a $99 alternative?

So you would need three elements. The first is Temazepam (Restoril), a sleeping drug. Now I must tell you that it has addictive properties, yet in this light you might not need more than one usage and as such addiction is not really an issue. In addition you need a trash bag, a high quality one, which sets you back $4 for 10 of them and in addition you will need elastic band, which is $5. This makes the Temazepam (at $107/30) the most expensive part. What you do is to prepare the elastic band to fit your neck, but not tight. In this path, you basically lay back; fit the trash bag over your head and the plastic bag to hold it together. So after you take a large dose of Temazepam, you lie down and after 30 seconds you tighten the bag loosely around your neck with the elastic band. It need not be tight; you fall asleep and never wake up. The bag makes sure that you lose conscience as your brain is deprived of oxygen. The final sleep! Now, I am not in favour of any if this, yet I understand that some people are forced into this situation. When we see that come diseases are just too harsh on the body I get it. I might not like it or agree to it, but it is a place I understand. In all this, I do have an issue with someone like Philip Nitschke and Alexander Bannink making a ‘3d extravaganza’ that looks nice, but it could be seen by some as a Ponzi based IT exploitation. You see if these people do not buy the printer and the resources, they need someone else to do it and that person would have a legal issue on their trail, that whilst 2 out of three elements I mentioned are available in EVERY supermarket, leaving you with the need to get a fix of Temazepam (Restoril). Yet thanks to David McKinley (R), US reperesentative in West Virginia, we have been made aware that you can get that stuff on Canadian online pharmacies whilst he was trying to blame Facebook for it all. Oh, actually, that is not needed either. If can be found at http://drugs-order.net/Buy-Restoril-Online (thank you Mr Google), and only at $87, so that is still $20 cheaper than initially stated.

?? So why am I going here. Why mention David McKinley?

Actually, I am not. It must be said that overall McKinley is very much a republican, which includes pro-life. So even as we read that as an anti-abortion, I come to the larger personal conclusion that he is also against suicide or for the legal mind the ‘self-assisted death‘. Even as we see my last part as speculation, there is contributing evidence when in 2016 we see ‘House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Fix Mental Health System‘, the quote gives us “Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) voted to help Americans who struggle with a mental health illness by increasing access to medical professionals and making existing programs more effective“, as well as ““People who suffer from a mental health illness deserve access to the highest quality care available and this legislation is a step towards achieving that goal,” McKinley said” this gives us a path, because in many cases the issues of suicide, no matter how triggered are still to some degree an issue of Mental Health. His setting opposes suicide as I see it. I have not found a clear stance where he gave a clear view on his position towards suicide, yet there are clear sights that most republicans with a strong pro-life view tend to be strongly opposing suicide.

The issue is not merely what his view was or the fact that he wrongfully blamed Facebook for an issue that was not the deciding part in a larger frame of illegal opioid sale. It was the issue that the overall availability reaches far beyond Facebook and many places deliver it with additional ‘customer support‘, so there is that issue. It reflects back to the entire Saturday article on losing one’s life as we see “Nitschke said: “In many countries suicide is not against the law, only assisting a person to commit suicide is. This is a situation where one person chooses to press a button … rather than for instance standing in front of a train”“, which might be true, but the entire setting of printing ones coffin to assisted loss of life whilst the entire contraption looks like a comfortable version of a Suzuki Swift is a bit over the top, especially as my setting for the $99 solution that requires no 3d printer or all the other parts that are required to operate the 3d printer in the first place.

I liked the final quote at the very end the best. With “Rob Bruntink, 52, said: “Well, I think it’s quite silly. It’s stupid. I don’t get it. I’m not interested in a real ‘Sarco’. No.”” we hear all the issues in this that matter.

I am in part on the fence, you see, I saw my mother as she went through the final stages of lung cancer, in the end she was offered more morphine than the average dealer can illegally import in a 20’ft container, so there is that need, when people are confronted with that part, we can offer all kinds of solutions to end their suffering. We can tell them to have faith, take one sleeping pill and fall asleep in the sun, you merely need to find the one person willing to treat that person to the .338 round from a 400-800 metres distance at the mere cost of $3.61 and that person will not wake up (there will be an issue of evidence as well as the legislated criminal local laws to avoid) however on the plus there is the entire 3d printing of the suicide machine gets to be avoided as well and that might be the bigger gain here.

This is not me making fun of the suicide issue, not at all. It is the setting on how willing someone would be to be privy to assisted suicide. Perhaps the machine was not at all about any suicide. Perhaps it was merely to get the conversation on suicide started in a more serious setting.

I remain on the fence. I am not in the mind of people being ‘unique snowflakes‘. Nearly every person on the planet is expendable. When we consider that there were 7.6 billion people in April this year (uncorrected of Syrian and Yemeni deaths at present), I feel certain that most of us all (me included) might be regarded as expandable. So in all this, the entire setting of suicide and assisted suicide is vastly over the top. Now, I understand that the pro-life population (like Congressman David McKinley) will forever be against that and that is fine. No matter what their reasoning is, it is their right to oppose it, yet should they be allowed to prevent others? Should the law be allowed to oppose death and ensure intentional extended suffering? That is perhaps the larger issue in play and as the population grows and resources become increasingly scarce is that in any way a position that we can maintain?

This now gets us to the NY Times, where we saw in 2016 ‘34 Countries Need Food Aid, Report Says‘. So here we see “Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal and North Korea” having food shortages. Now there is the one case that North Korea vastly did this to themselves, but the other players how did they get into that mess? It is important to recognise that even as there is a clear difference in issues, there is absolutely no guarantee that the absence of war and strife would fix any of it. This now links to an article called ‘Good News, You Will Soon Be Able to Disrupt Eating Actual Food By Buying Soylent At Walmart‘ (at https://gizmodo.com/good-news-you-will-soon-be-able-to-disrupt-eating-actu-1825195058). For those who passed their teenage years by a few decades might remember ‘Soylent Green‘ a gem of a movie with Charleston Heston. It is based on the 1966 book ‘Make Room! Make Room!‘ In the end we learn that Soylent Green is people, to feed the massively overpopulated planet we had to resort to use the dead as a food replacement.

This now all circles back, you see there has forever been a clear link between suicide and food. Some state: “Let’s start a conversation to reduce depression and consequently, suicide. Food and drink choices can lead to suicide, remember it’s the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. Eat better, feel better, live happier.” These were the words of April Chandler. When we accept that suicide was the 10th leading cause of death worldwide a mere 5 years ago, you might start to see the connection. Even as I was on the fence for the larger extent as some have a genuine issue, we need to remember that the bulk of those people do not and at that point it becomes a mental health issue that cannot be solved with a 3d printer. I think that we are getting closer to the verge of a massive breakthrough. A heralded writer and fellow university Student who treated Australia and the world to ‘The Wellness Doctrines for Law Students and Young Lawyers‘ in 2015 and this year to ‘The Wellness Doctrines for high school students‘ is on the ball, I think that the matter is well beyond those boundaries and the setting that good food (an option not always there) for students in the first place is playing a much larger role in all this. If we accept that having certain foods reduced anxiety, can we agree that a good meal is central in mental health as well? If that can be proven is the need of a decent meal not the focal point is setting the right pace for dealing with mental health? If we oppose the entire ‘sarco’ issue, the issue of a suicide machine in a funeral fair, is the need to properly set the dimension of those who have a genuine suicide claim (terminal patients with only pain as a prospect) against those who are considered to have been exhausted to the degree that they are no longer willing to live, if that is a 1% versus 99% sitting, how can we give any kind of value to the wheelless Suzuki Swift with a red nitrogen button, whilst we see that other news gives us “Soylent may have been a polarizing powdered drink when it first went on sale four years ago, but it’s clearly developed a following outside of the startup world as a drink that’s said to be a substitute for a meal. And it may have truly hit the mainstream market now that it’s available at Walmart” (source: the Verge), whilst the linked article gave us: “Rosa Foods announced on Wednesday that it is bringing the signature brand of packaged, flavored sludge—which takes its name from the disheartening 1973 dystopian film Soylent Green, where it’s eventually revealed the product’s key ingredient is uh, “long pig”—to 450 Walmart stores across the country. Soylent CEO Bryan Crowley added in a statement that the move is “a significant step in providing more ways for consumers to get access to our brand,” expanding beyond its current placement in 7-Eleven stores“, if there is clear evidence that gives April Chandler her view and I have personally seen the validity of the views of Jerome Doraisamy. United they give us the missed setting where governments and other places have failed us. The additional ‘evidence’ is seen in the Mercury News, there we see “Palo Alto and Morgan Hill have the highest suicide rates in Santa Clara County among youths 10 to 24 years old“, so what happens when the evidence gives a much larger support to food being the contributing factor in all this? There has been evidence on a global scale from various sources, some better than others, but when we see that the poorly chosen name ‘Soylent‘ is now an actual optional factor, should we consider other issues as well? I am not stating that Soylent is dangerous or toxic or anything bad, but that as a food, or even food replacement stops (read: prevents) people form eating what they actually need for a healthy life, the entire push changes what we should find acceptable. The question becomes how to prove this. We could combine the dream team Jerome Doraisamy, April Chandler and Jamie Oliver as a team to see if there is a clear case and how to raise the health bar through food for students that they can afford whilst not unintentionally endangering their lives is going to be a much larger issue than anyone ever predicted. Part of the ‘sarco’ issue in the Guardian is also seen in the linked article by Polly Toynbee in ‘The ban on assisted death ignores the reality of illnesses like dementia‘. So when I read “Attempts to change the law at Westminster have been thwarted despite overwhelming public support, 82% in the latest poll. But religious objectors have blocked it time and again, with both Houses curiously packed with a disproportionate number of believers in this mostly atheistic country“, I see the flicker of elected dementia, yet in support of their view when we consider that food could be a contributing factor to a decreased mental health, there is the danger that whichever equine burger we got at Tesco, the danger of bad food is actually a lot larger in lowering the health of people in a global setting and that ignored part can no longer be ignored.

So as I tried to lighten the air with a reference to Soylent Green the Medical Daily (not the greatest source of reliable information) gives us “Eating human meat becomes risky due to the presence of prions — versions of normal protein that had their shape altered, losing their function, and becoming infectious. These distorted proteins can influence other similar healthy proteins, and change them, causing a chain reaction, and creating disease. Specifically, prion disease creates holes in the brain, giving it a spongiform appearance, and ultimately causes death. Unlike viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasitic infections, which contain DNA or RNA, prions don’t, which means they can’t be eradicated with radiation or heat. They could be present in any nervous tissue, including our organs and muscles. However, they are most common in the brain and spinal nerve tissues“, this brought me back to the episode of ‘Our Town‘ from season 2 of the X-Files, where we hear “Scully, I think the good people of Dudley have been eating more than just chicken“, and that is an actual issue. There is an abundance of foods available in nearly every store where we get to eat a lot more elements than we bargained for and not all are healthy. That evidence remains absent as certain foods take a very long time to take a hold on us. This is seen (at https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20170505/diet-soda-health-risks) in “Numerous studies over the past several years have reported links between diet soda and weight gain, diabetes, heart problems, and other health issues. Most recently, headlines sounded alarms about a higher chance of dementia and stroke among diet soda drinkers” the fact that diet soda drinks are largely available in nearly every store on the planet makes it a much larger issue than most could conceive. Yet in many of these studies it is limited to physical side effects, yet I personally believe that it is impossible for these elements not to have a non-adverse effect to the mental health of a person, the problem is how to show it.

I think that this is the pro-life wet dream, yet no matter how we feel about it, we need to be very careful of the ramification and the acceptance of any reduction of protection to anyone’s life when there is a proven mental health element. The absence of this part and the visibility of both Philip Nitschke and Alexander Bannink, no matter how ideological their view is, especially when the implied evidence all show that there is a mental health issue in place and as such there is now an almost direct link between vulnerable people and the sale of 3d printing goods and resources. I personally believe that the Funeral Fair might have done this as the setting of additional visibility whilst all the players involved forgot or were unaware that what they actually end up doing was to place a minefield around them. A much less humane way to ends one’s life.

So even as I knowingly set the entire Soylent Green matter in different light, the product ‘Soylent’ is a much larger issue to look at. You see I do not think that the food is dangerous; it is what happens when you rely on it to a much larger extent is when we need to look at the impact. Chocolate is not dangerous either, but what happens when you rely on it 5 times a day to still your hunger? How healthy a solution should it be seen as?

Perhaps I am overthinking the entire matter, but the fact that others have been overly avoiding to think of the connected issues to this might be a much larger failure, so I am happy to try and compensate for their avoidance in all this.


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Lawyers on a weakly basis

It is the Lawyers Weekly that gets the attention at present. The article (at https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/22159-lawyers-don-t-need-to-become-accomplices-to-white-collar-crime) gives us the nice title with ‘Lawyers ‘don’t need to become accomplices’ to white-collar crime‘, yet is that statement anywhere near the truth or the applicable situation that many face in today’s industry? Monty Raphael QC talks the talk and does so very nicely as the experienced QC he is, yet there were a few points in all this that are an issue to me and it should be an issue to a much larger community. For me it starts with the quote ““Cyber space has not created any new crimes, as such, really, of any significance,” Mr Raphael said.” This is of course a correct statement, because until the laws are adjusted, plenty of issues are not covered as crimes. We merely need to look at the defence cloak that ‘facilitation’ gives to see that plenty is not covered. The case D Tamiz v Google Inc is merely one example and as technology renews and evolves, more and newer issues will rise, not merely in cases of defamation breaking on the defence of mere facilitation.

Yet for this matter, what is more a visible situation is the case of Tesco a how PwC seems to not be under the scrutiny it should be, it should have been so from day 1. So when we read: “Mr Raphael insisted that lawyers have an ethical obligation to ensure they do not support or enable white-collar crime” we are introduced to a statement that is for the most seemingly empty. I state it in this way, because the options of scaling the legal walls while not breaking any of the laws that were bended to the will of the needy is an increasingly more challenging task. If the legal walls were better than PwC would clearly be in the dock 2 years ago, or would they? In addition, they are not alone, merely slightly (read: loads) more visible as the profit before tax for Tesco ended up being minus 6.3 billion in 2015.

Monty makes a good case, yet the underlying issue is not the lawyer, it for the most never was. It is the law itself. This is why I object to the title, it is nice but is it true? PwC shows that even as we oppose their actions, the fact that they are not in the dock is because when we see Reuters (at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-tesco-fraud/former-tesco-executives-pressured-staff-to-cook-books-court-told-idUKKCN1C41TK) we see “Tesco’s auditors PwC were “misled and lied to,” Wass added“. Is this true? Let’s consider the evidence, can it be shown and proven that they were lied to?

It might never be proven because the people in the dock have had years to get their story right (read: synchronised). What I stated at the very beginning of the events of Tesco remains true and it remains the issue. The fact is that PwC made that year £13 million from this one customer. Much of it in a project and auditors for the rest and they did not spot the fact that the books were ‘cooked’, will remain an issue with me for some time to come. It is the Tesco case that also underlies the issue here. It is about the weak lawyer, not because he is weak, but the lack of proper laws protecting all victims of white collar entrepreneurs is stopping them from aiding potential victims. In addition as the law is struggling to merely remain four passes behind it all, it becomes less and less useful, not to mention a lot less effective. As the next generation of economic tools are being rolled out (block chain being a first), we will see new iteration of issues for the law, for both the CPS and DPP as it cannot progress forward in light of the legal parties not comprehending the technology in front of them, so showing wrongdoing will become an increasingly hard task for lawyer to work with. The biggest issue is that as it is all virtual, the issue of non-repudiation goes out of the window. Not only will it become close to impossible to work with the premise of ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, there is the fact that ‘proof on a balance of probabilities‘ is becoming equally a stretch. The fact of non-repudiation is only one of several factors. So as we have seen that successful criminals tend to hide on the edge of technology, the chance to stop them is becoming increasingly less likely.

This now gets us to the statement “In the wake of the Panama Papers revelation from law firm Mossack Fonseca, Mr Raphael cautioned that clients’ criminal activities can come back to haunt their law firms“, the fact that both former prime ministers involved in the Panama paper scandals, Bjarni Benediktsson and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, have been re-elected to the Icelandic parliament (Source: IceNews), so it seems that the Panama papers are a little less of a haunt. In addition there will be a long debate of what constitutes the difference between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion, because only one of those two is illegal. In addition certain questions on how 2.6TB was leaked and no alarms went off is also an issue, because the time required to get a hold of such a large amount of documents would take a monumental amount of time and with every option to shorten the path, alarms should have been ringing. When we consider the basic IT issues, we get partial answers but not the answers that clearly address the issues, as they did not. The time it had required to do all this should have placed it on the IT radar and that never happened. So as we see on how patches and security risks are now being pushed for as a reason, we need to wonder if Mossack Fonseca could have been the wealthy party it claimed to have been. When we consider the expression ‘a fool and his money are soon parted‘ the lowest level of IT transgressions that have been seemingly overlooked gives rise to a total lack of Common Cyber Sense, staff that should have been regarded as incompetent and an infrastructure that was lacking to a much larger degree. You see, even before we get to the topic of  ‘illegally obtained data‘ which was used for investigations that have convicted people of crimes, the larger issue that could be in play  on the foundation of that data alone, a few prison sentences could be regarded as invalid, or might get overturned soon enough. There were cases where the story gives clear indications of what was done and here we see the consideration of what is admissible evidence. In this, the one step back is the IT part. The hardware would have regarded as little as $100K to upgrade to better security standards and hiring a better level of University Student in his or her final year might have given a much safer IT environment, perhaps even at half the current cost.

All issues worthy of debate, yet none of it hitting the lawyers; it more hits the infrastructure of it all. Yet these two issues that might now be seen as real hindrances for lawyers, in a place of laws that are now seemingly too weak, the law, not the lawyer. So as we recollect the Toronto Star in January 2017 where we see “Canada is a good place to create tax planning structures to minimize taxes like interest, dividends, capital gains, retirement income and rental income,” when we see the added “the Canadian government has made it easier than ever for criminals and tax cheats to move money in and out by signing tax agreements with 115 countries” we see growing evidence that the law is getting hindered by eager politicians making their mark for large corporations through the signing of tax agreements, and what they think would be long term benefits for their economy, whilst in actuality the opposite becomes the case. So every clever Tom, Dick and Mossack Fonseca can set up valid and legal shapes of international corporations all paying slightly less than a farthing for all their taxations. Legal paths, enabled by politicians and as the laws are not adjusted we can all idly stand by how nothing illegal is going on. So as we admire the weakly lawyers, we get to realise that the law and the politicians adjusting it weakened their impact.

In all this at no point would the Lawyer have been an accomplice. The data lies with IT, the setting of these off shore accounts were largely valid and legally sound and in that, there could always be a bad apple, yet that does not make the Lawyer an accomplice. That brings us to the final part which we see with “Money laundering has been in the spotlight recently, with the Commonwealth Bank facing punishment for failing to report suspicious deposits in its ATMs“. It needs to be seen against “Mr Raphael insisted that lawyers have an ethical obligation to ensure they do not support or enable white-collar crime” in this the banks are already faltering. We seek the dark light events of PwC and Mossack Fonseca, yet the basics are already getting ignored. I believe that the article is missing a part, I feel certain that it has at least been on the mind of my jurisprudential peer. You see, the legal councils will need to evolve. Not only will they need to do what they are already doing, the path where they (or more likely their interns) start to teach IT and other divisions a legal introduction on what is white collar crimes. The fact on how ‘suspicious deposits‘ could be a white collar crime is becoming more and more visible. I see that the education of IP legality in IT is now growing and growing. The intertwining can no longer be avoided. Now, we can agree that an IT person does not need a law degree, but the essential need to comprehend certain parts, in the growing mountains of data is more and more a given.

In all this there is one clear part that I oppose with Mr Raphael, it is the statement ‘There’s nothing cultural about greed‘, you see, as I personally see it that is no longer true, the corporate culture that is globally embraced made it so!


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Retaining stupidity

This is the very first thought I had when I saw “Artificial intelligence commission needed to predict impact says CBI“. Within half a second my mind went into time travel mode. Back to the late 70’s where all the unions were up in arms on computers. The computers would end labour, all those jobs lost. This is not a new subject as the magazine Elsevier showed un in 2015 with “Angst voor nieuwe technologie is zo oud als de industriële revolutie zelf. Diverse commentatoren refereerden de afgelopen tijd aan de luddieten, genoemd naar een Engelse wever die eind achttiende eeuw machines zou hebben gesaboteerd omdat die banen vernietigden“. “Fear for new technology is as old as the industrial revolution itself. Several commentaries referred to the luddites, named after an English weaver who allegedly sabotaged machines at the end of the 18th century because it destroyed jobs“. There is a partial truth here, you see, it is not about the loss of jobs. It is the mere fact that some of these Business group will soon truly show to be obsolete. In this they rely on a firm whose largest achievement is (as I personally see it) to remain silent on overstated profits whilst not having to go to court, or to jail for that matter (read: PriceWaterhouse Coopers). So by engaging this party they have already lost their case as I personally see it. So when we see “Accountancy firm PwC warned in March that more than 10 million workers may be at risk of being replaced by automation“, with the offset we needed in the past (read: Tesco) the damage might merely be a few hundred people. So I do not deny that some jobs will go, yet like the automation sequence that computers brought from the 80’s onwards. That same industry would give jobs and infrastructure to thousands, livening up an industry we could not consider at that time. The same happened in the 18th century when the looms and weavers grew, the blossoming of a textile industry on a global setting. So when you see “The business lobby group said almost half of firms were planning to devote resources to AI, while one in five had already invested in the technology in the past year“, you are looking at what I would call a flim flam statement. You see, perhaps the more accurate statements might be: “The business lobby group stated that 50% of the firms are moving away from the facilitation that the business groups provides for“, so these firms are pushing in another direction, why give credence to their flawed way of thinking? You see, this is the consequence of the greed driven executives who rely on status quo, they ran out of time and they need extra time to get their upgraded pensions in play. Why should we allow for them to continue at all?

I am willing to give the TUC a small consideration because of their heritage. Yet, when we see in the Financial Times (September 11th) “Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said the government was hurtling towards a “kamikaze Brexit” and should keep open the option of remaining in the single market” (at https://www.ft.com/content/c5f7afb8-9641-11e7-b83c-9588e51488a0), yet there is overwhelming presented evidence from all sides both positive and negative mind you that the single market only benefits the large corporations, the small companies are merely disadvantaged by the single market as such we must wonder where the loyalty lies of the TUC, by that notion if the TUC is there for large corporations, or to serve them first, we see another piece of evidence that shows the TUC to be redundant, and as they merely vie for the large corporations as their main priority, the fear of those companies would become the fear of the TUC and as such, they are becoming equally obsolete. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is a national trade union centre should show clear cause with all the data, not merely the aggregated data results of a data scientist at PwC. So when I see “the CBI is urging Theresa May to launch the commission from early 2018. It said companies and trade unions should be involved and the commission should help to set out ways to increase productivity and economic growth as well looking into the impact of AI.” Who is going to pay for all that? I submit that the Trade Unions pay their own way and ask their members for the needed funds. What are the chances of that? The poisoners part is seen in ‘set out ways to increase productivity and economic growth‘. You see, AI will do that to some extent on several paths, yet it is not up to the government to figure that out or to set debilitating fences there. It is up to the business sector to figure out where that profit is. That is why they are in business! You see, as I see it, the drive to remain in some level of Status Quo was nice until it ended, these companies have driven away the people who wanted to innovate and now they are in start-ups, or in companies that embraced innovation, the older larger players are now without skills to a larger extent, without drive through misdirected use of funds and lacking ambition, so they are going to get hit in all three ways when the driver comes. 5G will be a first and when it does happen AI (it is still years away from being anything truly practical), these two paths will drive new methods of automation and data gathering. But the larger players wanted to milk their 4G base as much as possible, setting up side channels with smaller players like Orange, DODO, TPG, Tesco and giffgaff. Now that they are learning that 5G will be a larger wave then some academics presented (likely at the expense of some placement), now we see the panic wave that follows. Now we see the need for commissions to slow things down so that the milkers can catch up. In my view there are clear reasons that such paths should be allowed to exist.

That is my supported view, it has been supported by other articles and I have written about these events for close to two years now. Now that the party is over, we see players trying to change the game so that they can continue just a little longer. We allowed for these matters in 2004 and 2008, it is time for the governments to give a clear signal that change will come and stopping it should not be allowed, not until they alter the tax laws, the laws on accountability and the powers of prosecution to have a better grasp at these players, a change that must happen before we allow any level of catering to their needs.

By the way, when we consider ‘PwC placed under investigation following BT accountancy scandal‘ (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/pwc-investigation-bt-accountancy-scandal-italian-operations-pricewaterhousecoopers-a7813726.html), as well as the Fortune.com issue (at http://fortune.com/2017/02/28/pricewaterhousecoopers-pwc-scandals-oscars/), where we see the five larger issues at PwC, which includes the previous mentioned Tesco, but now has an added Tyco, Taylor Bean & Whitaker, Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi and MF Global. So as I have been on the prosecuting tank, ready to roll it over the board of directors of PwC regarding Tesco, having any faith in whatever they want to report on now, unless it comes with all the data for the public at large to scrutinise, they should not get close to any commission and even less be part of the reporting. Now we can irresponsibly use 5 bad apples to identify someone who ships containers of fruit and that would be a valid response and defence. Yet overall the players asking for the commission seem to have their own needs first in all this. There would have been a consideration if there was any given that Google or the Alphabet group to be part in all this, yet that mention is missing and therefor the setting is void. Now, there are more players in the AI field, but it seems that the Google headway is the strongest, the largest and at present the fastest. And with a sense of humour I will add that you merely have to ‘Bing‘ the search ‘AI Commission‘ to see that Microsoft is in no danger of getting anywhere near an AI this upcoming decade. Perhaps the mention of ‘Australian Securities and Investments Commission – Official Site‘ on position 2 and ‘Fair Work Commission | Australia’s national workplace …‘ in position 5 to realise that their AI could be sunk in 13 keystrokes. The power of assumption will kill anything, including ones sense of humour and that same persons appetite.

Yet is there more?

Yes, there most certainly is. You see with “Investment in technology could help bolster Britain’s sputtering record on labour productivity, which is among the worst in the G7 and is failing to improve in line with expectations since the financial crisis” we see part of the fear being spread. The ‘milkers’ as I prefer to call some of them are realising that having space and capital for growth was essential to remain in the game. Some of the milkers are ending up being too visible and plenty of consumers are moving to a place where they can get a better deal. That was seen in Australia in June as ABC news gave the bad news that Telstra had to shed 1400 jobs. We see all kinds of excuses, yet the reality was that for well over 5 years they were too expensive, not by a margin, but by being up to 300% more expensive than a decent alternative. I have had personal experience whilst in a Telstra Shop because I was not an optional business account he had no time for me. Do you think that a company like that can remain in existence? Over the last 3 years, the shares dropped from $6.61 to $3.52, that is pain that a company feels and they remains ignorant and blind to the consequences. That view is enhanced even further by the statements given in the Sydney Morning Herald. With “Our approach [to 5G] is to get in earlier and try to have it modified so it’s more suitable to Australia when it arrives, rather than us have to try to modify it when it gets here,” Mr Wright told BusinessDay.“, so basically there is every chance that Australian 5G will be undercut by some level of standard that is not as given in the 5G handbook. As I personally see it is Telstra’s approach to setting a standard that is no standard at all. A ‘get in first so that we can tell others what the standard is‘, or better stated, what the standard is that you are not adhering to; 3.5G for your mobile anyone?

This Australian view translates to the UK as well. With “Despite the potential for technology to increase productivity, firms are cautious about investing owing to uncertainty over Brexit. Growth in business investment was flat in the three months to June, the latest official figures show“, so these business types are not willing to invest, they merely want the one market side to go on and in light of the delays needed, they want a commission, so that they can force government investment and delays. So they can get the best out of both worlds. The (as I personally see it) exploitative model is continued in every venue we see come and as I see it, it will be much better for us if those business models and business players go, they should go now before they become the detrimental force on UK industries. 5G will be a new beacon of industry and progress, it will open up additional venues for many telecom players and as such we are all better to get on board now and think of that one idea we had that could work for us all. It equally holds the solutions the NHS desperately needs and the fact that 3 larger players still haven’t seen that light is a larger worry than anything else. It merely shows them to be obsolete, dinosaurs in a modern age. As one person told me, the reason the T-Rex is such an angry creature is because its arms are too short to take a selfie. That does make sense, especially when you consider what some of these players think when they think 5G, they merely look at speed, whilst 5G opens up so much more than merely a quick download of a movie, in all this AI could be breaking the moulds and give us something that even I cannot envision, which is actually a really good thing. You see, the new waves will come from people that are different from me; they are the dreamers like the game designers in the early 80’s. They will show vision and give us something we never considered before. That is true progress and the people who bring us weighted predictions and tell us of fear of 20% of all jobs lost need to do what they were meant to do, die and become extinct just like the dinosaurs before them and soon thereafter I will become extinct too. That is the nature of future evolution. Just like my grandfather who could not comprehend the electronic calculator. I am clever enough to comprehend quantum computing, yet I hope I cannot comprehend what comes after, because if I can remain on board at that point we have all become technologically stagnant and we merely move backwards, that too is a personal view I have.


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How weird are these two?

I got confronted with the weirdest article in the Independent today, the article was 4 days old, but then, I do not frequent that paper so often, hence, I initially missed it. The article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/gaming/playstation-plus-price-date-details-sony-online-play-latest-expensive-cost-rise-hike-a7864351.html) gives us: “It’s about to get a lot more expensive to play PlayStation online“, which is an exaggeration to say the least. Now, for the longest time, the PlayStation plus has remained the same (as far as I remember), yet now we see a rate rise. The amount it rises with is £10 per year of £1 per month. It equates to 16% monthly, or 25% annually, yet the percentage increase is wrong, because it is £6.99 per month (new price), which comes to £83.88 per year, yet the full annual is a mere £49.99, which is only 59% of the monthly price on 12 months, so overall it remains a really good deal. So, as he whines on that event and how you can cancel the subscription. He also forgot to mention the fact that those with PlayStation Plus get 7 free games a month to play with, 3 PS4 games, 2 PS3 games and 2 Vita games, and the one subscription covers ALL three devices. Is it not interesting how that part got overlooked? The additional fact worth mentioning is that the list from June 2010 onwards has offered in total 493 games, 25 games had 90%+ ratings, which included games like Mass Effect (2+3), Bioshock Infinite, Batman Arkham City, Journey, Far Cry 3, God of War and a few others, So as we see the list offered, the £1 a month, or £10 a year does not add up to too much, when it amounts to 84 free games a year, which gets us an ‘enormous’ £0.11 increase per game (which makes it £0.59 per game in total) and in addition the access to multiplayer gaming, which we set at £0 for this exercise. So when Andrew Griffin writes that it is all about to get ‘a lot more expensive‘, I wonder if he has any clue on the gaming industry at all. Now, we know that there is hardship all over and that people can afford less and less, yet the option to get games at £0.59 per game remains a really good deal. In addition, you get them for the three devices without needing separate subscriptions. So I feel that Sony has always offered a really good deal for the gamers. Now, we might not always get the greatest games, yet 100+ titles had a higher than 80% rating and 25 games in addition had 90% or higher rating, so the people are getting really good games and they get a lot more than Microsoft offers and much better titles. The one part that the article does offer the reader is that if you try to renew the subscription now, you can get it for the ‘old’ price which is a pretty sweet deal, so you can delay the price increase for a year. In light of all this, not only is the description ‘a lot more expensive‘ a joke to say the least, the fact that the increase will not start until August 31st is also a clean option to quickly get the renewal now whilst the games are a mere £0.47 per game.

So when I see the title part ‘As Sony makes it more expensive to play online‘ I do wonder where he got his insights. Factual he might be right, yet in the day and age where the price of a PlayStation Plus videogame is set at less than a 1 pint bottle of Tesco Organic British Whole Milk, the entire setting of ‘a lot more expensive‘ should keep you on the floor laughing for some time to come.

From my point of view my response to the Independent is ‘Bad form, Independent, bad form!’

Second place issue

The second issue shown is one that was given to us in both the World Finance site as well as the Wall Street Journal. The issue given is “America’s young men are increasingly giving up on work in order to slay virtual aliens and fight videogame wars, new research suggests”, which is more than merely a laughable joke. The original source US National Bureau of Economic Research, the part that calls out might be “Academics from Princeton University, the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester say there’s ample evidence that since 2000, men who would otherwise be working are instead being drawn into immersive virtual worlds….”, yet what is this based on? You see, the data past 2008, a date many will remember, saw the Youth unemployment rate rise from 10% to 19%, after the beginning of 2011 those numbers have been declining steadily down to 9%, so the unemployment rate for the youth is now close on par with 1968, when it was the lowest in US History and only slightly better than 2003 which was the lowest at that point for close to 30 years. So when we consider those facts, it seems that the makers are giving us what some would regard a hatchet job. My title for that might be slightly too crass; yet when we see “Since 2004, time-use data show that younger men distinctly shifted their leisure to video gaming and other recreational computer activities. We propose a framework to answer whether improved leisure technology played a role in reducing younger men’s labor supply”, so how idiotic is such a notion when we consider the 2004 and 2008 meltdowns that thrashed the economy in several ways, in that same timeline, US unemployment (all) was set to 10% in 2008, with a steady decline that follows roughly the same downward trend to a little over 4% at present, now we might agree, that whilst unemployed those youthful individuals would divert towards videogames it is a path that is still better than heading towards the streets trying to be gainfully and criminally active.

In this the quote used by world finance “While eight percent of younger men were not in work in 2000, this number rose to 15 percent in 2016”, is more than inaccurate, according to worldfinance.com it is an outright lie. Governing.com gives us some extra information that is actually useful. Their quote (at http://www.governing.com/gov-data/economy-finance/youth-employment-unemployment-rate-data-by-state.html) is “The employment-to-population ratio for younger workers had only recovered about halfway for its recession-era decline as of early 2017. Youth employment rates have returned to pre-recession averages in just four states”, which seems to fit the other sources. This is what could be regarded as something that pisses me off. With ‘Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men’ by Mark Aguiar, Mark Bils, Kerwin Kofi Charles and Erik Hurst, I have a hard time just giving it too much consideration. The paper has additional flaws, the consideration that we see on page 4 with “We further exclude full-time students who are less than age 25” which is a chunk of undergrads and post grads that work at least part time to be able to afford food and other small issues like books. So the numbers are already skewed, in addition some sources give us that 80% of the full time students work part time, which marketwatch.com gives us, which was part of a Citigroup study. The UK has numbers on 1 out of 7 students work and study full time, this might not be reflective of US students, yet it should be to some extent reflective of students in some of the US metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco where the cost of living remains a rising burden. It is in section 6 on page 31 when my laughter explodes. The issue given “we can use time allocation data to infer the rate of technological progress for gaming and computer leisure since the early 2000s”, this a given? With two recessions and the non-working youth being a historic high in 2010, surpassing the recession of the early 80’s is more than just an issue, with numbers showing a steady decrease since then, the job market starting to open, whilst outliers have a stronger impact. In 2017 retail shed 60,000 jobs in the US, whilst Wal-Mart and Amazon seem to be in a strategic battle of realigning jobs towards online presence, all elements that impact the job market. So as jobs get realigned through strategy, where do the jobs end up? What will those people do when they are not working? The information Forbes gives us on this is even scarier when it reflects the need for consumer appeal via transferred initiatives. In all this, the paper does give some interesting premises, yet relies on certain parts, which are I light of the two recessions a little too much of a stretch, yet the fact on how the formulas were used is actually quite interesting. Another flaw is seen on page 32, now this is the flaw as I personally see it regarding the data as showed, yet without the actual questionnaire on view, there is a flaw in both the results and the way that I see it might be, so we need to be aware of that.

With “We stratify by three groups: younger men who spent zero time on computer leisure the prior day, those who spent 2 hours or less, and those who spent more than 2 hours”, the flaw is the ‘when’, I would spend well over 2 hours playing after a full day work, so when we consider the working population with or without full time study, we see that the graph is flawed. Even the other way round, part time students with a full time job, they could fall into the 2 hour plus gaming bracket. It is that flaw that calls even more doubt into question regarding this paper. A final ‘consideration’ needs to be given when I take a look at the ‘Leisure Engel Curve’. Here I also must admit that I will give doubt to my own thought as I might not have comprehended that part completely (apart from the formula), you see, they do state “With the leisure Engel curves, we can link shifts in time spent across activities to an implied change in the marginal utility of total leisure”, yet does this part correct for any hype (read: diversion through peer and social group pressure)? I doubt that very much, as evidence I call for the Pokémon Go wave that started in July 2016, which is clearly computer leisure (read: mobile gaming leisure), yet the paper has not taken mobile gaming in any of it and sets gaming as a static given, yet this wave suddenly pushed 60 million people to a hyped community in the same group as other gamers, whilst mobile gamers can be set into any part of an idle time setting (like travel time), this disjoints the entire exercise as I see it and gives a larger (read accelerated) gaming community in a shifted setting according to the settings as given, yet not corrected for any version of the definition of what constitutes a gamer.

Even as we can admire the formulated exercise, we need to concern that the raw data is not reliable as such and that there are additional issues that the data model and the questionnaires and requested data cannot correct for. In addition when we see the models, there seems to be no consideration for idle time and/or transit time and the consideration of handheld devices or smartphones which calls for even more questions on the gaming environment.

No matter how clever some will think the paper looks like, from the stage as I see it, there are too many unknowns or unanswered question marks and in reflection the conclusion and some of the media statements are not in line of the reality of the recessions the people lived through.

That is merely my setting where $0.02=C(1+r)^t


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