Tag Archives: the Verge

The same gramophone

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Military, Politics, Science

Retry or retrial?

It is time to revisit a few issues, actually one issue and a whole lot connected to it. To start, I decided to go with The Verge, it has its ducks decently in a row, the article ‘NSO’s Pegasus spyware: here’s what we know’ is the best of them all, they also make reference to a lot of articles, and they have a decent line. The article (at https://www.theverge.com/22589942/nso-group-pegasus-project-amnesty-investigation-journalists-activists-targeted) is best if you read it yourself. Mitchell Clark did a good job, and as you have read the article, I can make a few jumps. The important jump gets us to the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2021/nso-spyware-pegasus-cellphones/). This came from the link in “However, much of the reporting centers around a list containing 50,000 phone numbers” and when we seek the Washington Post article, we get “reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents: several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists, and more than 600 politicians and government officials — including cabinet ministers, diplomats, and military and security officers. The numbers of several heads of state and prime ministers also appeared on the list”, no evidence mind you, merely statement and boasting. I call it boast, because we see there that the Amnesty’s Security Lab examined 67 smartphones all whilst close to 50% had an inconclusive test. If this is 67, what about the other 49,933? So when we get to “NSO chief executive Shalev Hulio expressed concern in a phone interview with The Post about some of the details he had read in Pegasus Project stories Sunday, while continuing to dispute that the list of more than 50,000 phone numbers had anything to do with NSO or Pegasus”, my support goes to Shalev Hulio. The Washington Post has a declining amount of credibility and this does not help. From my point of view, I would have made a dashboard based on the 50,000 numbers with a clear separation, In the top layer the continents, then the countries, where we see number of mobiles, versus number of landlines. This basic setting was never done, how stupid is that? A second dashboard could be the identifying class (journalist, government, lawyer, NGO) just to coin a phrase, the Washington Post was all about emotion, not about fact. I see this as a prime time hack job, with the alleged journo’s being the hacks, we also do not get any level of trustworthy setting on how the leak got to the Washington Post. Question upon question and in the mean time we get to see “In Hungary, numbers associated with at least two media magnates were among hundreds on the list, and the phones of two working journalists were targeted and infected, forensic analysis showed” 4 people and 50,000 numbers, could the article be any less relevant? And the stupidity of the Washington Post does not end, no it goes further with “Amnesty’s forensics found evidence that Pegasus was targeted at the two women closest to Saudi columnist Khashoggi, who wrote for The Post’s Opinions section. The phone of his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, was successfully infected during the days after his murder in Turkey on Oct. 2, 2018, according to a forensic analysis by Amnesty’s Security Lab”, we see ‘two women closest to Saudi columnist Khashoggi’, so how did they get there? Because the numbers were on the list? And when we see ‘The phone of his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, was successfully infected’, so how was that evidence obtained? From my point of view the text “according to a forensic analysis by Amnesty’s Security Lab” just does not cover it. It even gets worse with “Also on the list were the numbers of two Turkish officials involved in investigating his dismemberment by a Saudi hit team”, I see it as a weak approach to mention “investigating his dismemberment” which was NEVER proven, the proof requires a body, they never got that, at best the man is theoretically still merely missing. And from there we get to “Khashoggi also had a wife, Hanan Elatr, whose phone was targeted by someone using Pegasus in the months before his killing. Amnesty was unable to determine whether the hack was successful”, consider the text “Amnesty was unable to determine whether the hack was successful”, if that is true, how come we get “targeted by someone using Pegasus in the months before his killing”, how was that timeline proven? It is a simple question, the article is a bad approach to give more visibility to a journalist no one gives a fuck about. I like the quote ““This is nasty software — like eloquently nasty,” said Timothy Summers, a former cybersecurity engineer at a U.S. intelligence agency and now director of IT at Arizona State University”, is it eloquent because the NSA never made it, or because an Israeli company has the lead on this? I wonder what Timothy would have said if this was an NSA application? 

And the Verge is on my side, they give us “WAIT, WHO MADE THIS LIST?”, as well as “At this point, that’s clear as mud. NSO says the list has nothing to do with its business, and claims it’s from a simple database of cellular numbers that’s a feature of the global cellular network”, which is supported by “A statement from an Amnesty International spokesperson, posted to Twitter by cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter, says that the list indicates numbers that were marked as “of interest” to NSO’s various clients. The Washington Post says that the list is from 2016” and when we consider these quotes and we read the Washington Post article for the shite it seems to be, I wonder who is waking up to the fact that the media, all the other media is merely re-quoting what the Washington Post stated and it is absent of all kinds of facts, or they merely didn’t bother putting the facts there. 

The entire Pegasus setting seems like a Wag the Dog approach to whatever these papers want to create and it is optionally a setting (a speculative one) that this is the push from stakeholders who have an issue with the NSO group, all whilst no credible evidence is given to us that there is an actual issue. And in all this the money trail was ignored, I ignored it too, mainly because I was unaware, yet the Verge was aware and they give us “At the time, the costs were reportedly $650,000 to hack 10 iPhone or Android users, or $500,000 to infiltrate five BlackBerry users. Clients could then pay more to target additional users, saving as they spy with bulk discounts: $800,000 for an additional 100 phones, $500,000 for an extra 50 phones” this implies that the cheapest option would be 500 times $800,000, which gives us $400,000,000 that is a whole lot of cash for a lot of people no one cares about. Yes, there are a few alleged targets that makes the pricing worth it, but with the setting I have, there is no way that the 50,000 numbers make sense, oh and before I forget, if this is a list for multiple sources, how many of the numbers doubled up? Too many questions and the media stupidly reprinting what the Washington Post is giving us makes no sense at all, unless you are a stakeholder with anti-Israel sentiments. 

In this Shalev Hulio is right that he is “continuing to dispute that the list of more than 50,000 phone numbers had anything to do with NSO or Pegasus”, I would too and I found a lot of the disputable issues within an hour, I wonder how shortsighted the media was when they decided to reprint what the Washington Post gave them. So whilst the Guardian gives us ‘the global impact of the Pegasus project’, I merely see a storm in a teacup, because the issues in the Washington Post were never decently vetted on a few levels and that is likely the biggest failing of the media at present. It is merely my point of view and I am happy to state that I could be wrong, but the lack of credible evidence, all whilst the media has a declining level of credibility makes my view the most likely correct one, most likely, because I have not seen the evidence, but as you read the articles, that are all about details, lacking generic evidence, how would you see it?

1 Comment

Filed under IT, Media, Military, Politics, Science

Thought for imagination

Consider the next setting, I am in the Harrods foodcourt, I feel the meat-pie as my right hand caresses the side pf the pie, I see two small basins of ketchup, I grab the knife in my left hand as I slowly use the sharp knife to cut a part of the left side of the pie. I cut through the pastry and the what I think is minced meat. It looks a little dry, but the overwhelming scent of fresh and warm meat enters my nostrils. I add a small bit of ketchup to the pie. The slice is cut in half and I slowly eat the part on my fork. My senses overwhelm with the spices in the meat, the pastry and it does not taste dry, it is an amazing experience and this is merely the first bite.

All what you saw before is true, all came from my imagination. You see I have had meat pie in the past and I envision what might be the perfect meat pie. I have been to harrods twice, but I never set foot in the food courts. Not for any particulate reason, I just never got around to it. I hope to do so in the future, but that will be part of the future that I see, or it might never happen. This is life. So what was this about?

The train of thoughts started a little while ago and that train entered the station again when I stumbled upon same article today ‘Netflix reportedly plans push into video games market’ by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jun/02/netflix-reportedly-plans-push-video-games-market). The thing that got to me was “Streaming company said to have approached game industry executives with project at early stage”, one could argue that they kill their own project by approaching Ubisoft, Ubisoft has another setting of needs and their product is what I personally would call ‘faulty at best’. Yet it is not all bad news “Netflix has been approaching senior game industry executives about joining it to lead the creation of a subscription games service, according to reports from the tech news site the Information and Reuters”, is the right sentiment, but as I see it, the safest route is to take the route Apple is seemingly taking. Games absent of in app purchases and absent of advertisements. These two elements will spell a much larger stage of doom on the industry than you know. Places like Android and iOS are now filled with phrases like “These ads are driving me insane, every level again”, and it will not be long until people have had enough. Then there is the stage of deceptive conduct in advertisements, a decently new approach to getting people to install your software. But these two elements will have a disastrous impact on gaming soon enough, and it will hit Apple as much as it will hit Google. Then there is the competition, Amazon did a lot better than I expected it would. I (personally minded) thought that it would be an easy win for Google, a tech maker if ever these was one. And it is ahead of Amazon, but I never expected Amazon to be this close to Google in the first place, as such the Amazon Luna remains in the race and there is an element that might not make Google the winner in the end. Google’s approach to exclusive games is not that impressive (as far as I can tell, they have none), Amazon Luna has acquired the knowledge it needs to make that difference. And the article repeats my thoughts towards gaming, with “However, the new offering is at a very early stage, with executives focusing on Apple Arcade as the potential competition. Users of that service, exclusive to Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and AppleTV, pay a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for access to a library of downloadable games, spanning genres and target audiences. Apple sets strict rules on developers, banning them from monetising their games through in-app purchases or advertising, in order to try to keep Arcade a premium service” is the right move, but they made one mistake, a big one, there is no mention of the Amazon Luna and the Luna is in a primed spot to become the number three system behind Sony and Nintendo (yes, I have written off Microsoft to remain a competitor), so even as Netflix has the advantage of a subscription group that makes the head spin of all streaming gaming solutions, good games is where it is at, innovators and makers of original creators that is the winning combo and Netflix (might or might not) move into a field where it is not certain it will become the third position player, or what they classify in the Tour de France, the polka dot player. On the plus side (from my point of view) it will soon thereafter reduce Microsoft to the 6th position, behind Sony, Nintendo, Amazon, Netflix and Google. So as I see it, their investment $7,500,000,000 investment in Bethesda goes tits up and Bethesda is not to blame, the board of directors at Microsoft is. 

I remain a Sony person, hence my Playstation remains on its pedestal, I would say right next of the shrine of Panigale, a Ducati shrine where the executives of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati come to pray for inspiration, OK, there is no Panigale there, because I could never afford one and I am not a racer, but engineering perfection can be recognised by plenty of people, so there! Yet the stage is given, inspiration comes from excellence in creativity and that is what a good gaming provider offers. I wonder if Netflix is considering what they need to do to get there. Microsoft merely bought the IP out there hoping it would thrust them there, but they had too much against them, like the most powerful console in the world that has nothing to offer (at present). They might in the future, but with all the bad decisions haunting them, all whilst Amazon is already on the run towards an upcoming third position, they might not be in time to make a real difference anymore. All this whilst they are trying to bash xCloud streaming everywhere. They become their own worst enemy and when it happens, the people will not trust Microsoft, I see elements of that everywhere and they, what I personal regard as a push towards whatever influencer they can muster is more than a bad call. 

Microsoft (as I personally see it) forgot that good games come from the mix of imagination and creation, they used to know that, yet it seems that they forgot, I have no idea why, the wrong board member, the sentiment of revenue over substance, it could be a boatload of things, but there you have it. And Netflix? 

Well the article gives us the important stage “One key decision that has not yet been finalised is whether a game subscription service would also require Netflix to develop games itself. Apple Arcade is filled entirely by third-party developers, but other gaming subscriptions rely on first-party exclusives to drive signups.” They are hitting the nail on the head, it is the exclusives, Microsoft forgot, Google never embraced and that is the stage why Amazon Luna is in a good place, Netflix could be too. One of these two needs to get these 2-3 exclusives that no one thought about that they are locked into third position and in an industry that is about to have a relevance of 90.7 billion, with a stage that has an annual increase of 24%, it matters, the difference between third and fourth position implies the stage representing several billions, when you consider that good AAA games cost (according to some) $500,000,000 to make, but that result in a God of War with a 97% rating, it is the price of an original masterpiece and it sold over 10,000,000 copies, implying that the game close to a billion. In streaming land, that setting will be a nail driver, 2-3 games like that and people will jump on that bandwagon a lot faster than you think. So as Microsoft gave us (via sources) that they will build native games for the cloud, why would anyone buy one of those overly stated powerful Xbox’s? And in that stage, would you trust a provider who dropped the ball three times in a row to provide you with original games, all whilst they bought the talents and are trying to grow through that premise? So far Netflix might make it, but as far as I can tell, Amazon Luna is most likely primed to get there at present.

And that too will set the indie developers off into a direction, where they end up I cannot tell (it will be their choice), but there are a few indicators that it will not be in a direction Microsoft will like. As I see it, outsourcing gets you a labour force, hiring creation and imagination grants you a universe of opportunity. I will let you work out the rest.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT

Consider the question

We always have questions, we all do. Some are based upon curiosity, some are based on acquisition and some on compilation. The people tend to have questions in the range of one and three, businesses on two and three, with an optional need for the first group to see if a creation towards awareness is required. And in this we need to see ‘Facebook v Apple: The ad tracking row heats up’, the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56831241) gives us “The IDFA can also be paired with other tech, such as Facebook’s tracking pixels or tracking cookies, which follow users around the web, to learn even more about you”, yet the question no one seems to be asking is how much is an advertiser entitled to get? I have no issue that Facebook, within Facebook measures and ‘collects’ it is the price of a free service, but did we sign up for a larger stake (or is that steak) at the expense of the consumer? Even as we tend to agree and accept “Apple co-founder Steve Jobs acknowledged that some people didn’t care about how much data they shared, but said they should always be informed of how it was being used”, in this the question takes a few steps and has a few exits in where to go next and we tend to remain in the dark about our needs, and what we are comfortable with. This is not new, but digital marketing is new, we have never faced it before. Even as we accept the quote by Tim Cook, the setting given with “If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform”, we forget that this is not merely misusing, it is a much larger stake. I some time ago refused to play a game because it collected my religion. Since when is a game’s requirement the religion I have? So (its Catholic by the way), even as we decide to not use an application, consider the price we pay and it goes further as app’s and their advertisements strategy on nearly EVERY device is set to showing us advertisements (to further the financial setting of the maker), in this I have no real problem, but what information is collected by the advertiser? And we all like the steps Apple seems to be making and as we ‘revere’ “Apple is baking privacy into its systems. Its browser Safari already blocks third-party cookies by default, and last year Apple forced app providers in iOS to spell out in the App Store listings what data they collect” we are forgetting what all advertisers are collecting and no less the issue becomes what happens when 5-7 games collectively are collecting and for the most we have no idea where this will end and it is important to take that in mind. It is there where Facebook is getting the largest negative wave. With “And it argues that sharing data with advertisers is key to giving users “better experiences””, precisely what is that ‘better experience’? And in what setting should ANY data be shared with an advertiser? We get that the advertiser wants to segment WHO gets to see their advertisement, we get that and I reckon no one will object. Yet why share our details? How is that priced and why are we not informed? OK, we are not told that Facebook is getting money of us, it is after-all a free service and as Mark Zuckerberg told the senate in a hearing “We sell ad’s”, yet he did not say “We sell ad’s and user data”, you all do understand that there is a fundamental difference between the two, you do get that, do you? And we see that given in the BBC article when we are given “Facebook appeared to accept the changes and promised “new advertiser experiences and measurement protocols”. It admitted that the ways digital advertisers collect and use information needed to “evolve” to one that will rely on “less data””, but that now gives us a much larger problem (optionally), when we see ‘new advertiser experiences’ we should be concerned on what it will cost, in pricing, in experience and in data segments. It does not make Facebook evil or bad, but when we are given “Technology consultant Max Kalmykov wrote in Medium that advertisers had to “prepare for the next, privacy-focused era of digital advertising””we accept change, we accept evolution, but in the stage of digital marketing most can be achieved WITHOUT sharing data of any individual level with the advertiser, the setting we see come might be good, yet I am concerned with their view of ‘new advertiser experiences and measurement protocols’, a setting for sales, not the consumers and optional victims, because to some degree that matters. Do I care when I see another advertisement by MWAVE.com.au? No, I do not, and for the most I do not care about that part, it is basically the cost of a free service, but no one accepted sharing data and that I what Apple is bringing to the surface even more than Cambridge Analytica brought. 

There is a larger setting in all this and we optionally see that with “Device fingerprinting combines certain attributes of a device – such as the operating system it uses, the type and version of web browser and the device’s IP address to identify it uniquely. It is an imperfect art, but one that is gaining traction in the advertising world”. You see I made the personal choice not to link devices, not to link services of any kind, it will not stop aggregation, it will merely slow it down, yet most of the people did not have the foresight I had a decade ago, as such the apps that have a identifier of hardware, they will get a lot more information on non-Apple devices in the near future. When the people realise that all others will take a backstage, it is a powerful advantage that Apple is creating, I wonder what Google will do next, because their market is in the middle of Apple and Facebook, they need to side one way or the other and it will have deeper repercussions in the long game. As such we see that Apple made its choice, it is one the consumers will embrace, some will accept the scenario that Facebook offers, and laughingly they oppose the data governments have and give it to whomever else wants it. In this Google has an opportunity (or a burden), but only if they change the game they are playing. When the consumers see this, they will wonder where to go next and they are all about flames and biased options through the media. 

It started last year and got to be serious in December 2020 when we were given (at https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/17/22180102/facebook-new-newspaper-ad-apple-ios-14-privacy-prompt) ‘Facebook hits back at Apple with second critical newspaper ad’, in one form we are given “Forty-four percent of small to medium businesses started or increased their usage of personalised ads on social media during the pandemic, according to a new Deloitte study. Without personalised ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend”, is that true? When you pick up the newspaper, how much is personalised? There will remain a level of personalised ads within Facebook, but the following outside of Facebook (within Apple products) stops and that might be a relief to a lot of consumers. As such I have a much larger issue with “the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend”, I would be interested to investigate the data that brought the statement, and I have some reservations on the application of the data used. We could optionally say that the digital marketing that relies on such a 100% application is also to some degree unfair on printed media, but that is a very different conversation. 

And in all this the question will soon become “What should you (be allowed to) collect from me?” And now with the upgrades Apple has created a massive advantage, Google will need time to define an answer and direction, because Google will need to make a choice, and this is not a simple one, their business profile will alter accordingly and as Facebook is setting its premise, we see a larger stage, one with the option where Google Plus might be re-introduced in a much larger application of personal and non personal data, you see they are all about the personal data all whilst the hardware fingerprints in 5G will be a much larger setting then it ever was and there a much larger gain could be made by the proper makers in all this.

Did you see the new world where your mobile, tablets, laptop and domotics are linked? I can see it and the application of one of my mobile devices, yet the stage that it offers (or not) is still open to a lot of the players, so as I see it the next year will see a rapid evolution of digital marketing. Those who adjust will see 2023, those who do not ‘Goodbye!

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Science

Warrior Women Librarians

Yup, it is about the Amazon tribe, the one that is managed by no one less than Jeff Bezos. They caught my eyes twice today (well once was at 01:34 roughly), so I decided to take another look. First the second story, it was an opinion piece in the New York Times called ‘Don’t Let Amazon Get Any Bigger’. The article (at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/opinion/amazon-antitrust.html) gives us “the evidence presented this week in a long report by the House Judiciary Committee, following a bipartisan investigation of the tech giants, tells a very different story. Amazon’s website forms a choke point through which other companies must pass to reach the market. It has exploited this commanding position to strong-arm other companies, control their means of distribution and drive them out of business”, I am on the fence here. In the first no one was interested in Amazon, now that they have traction everyone is crying foul. It’s like watching gangs cry like little bitches because they aren’t getting scraps, all whilst they forgot that in a library a 9mm is not of much use, a book on the Dewey Decimal Classification is. If I have a firm, I do not give wannabe’s access to my IP, if they do not have their own, they miss out, it is that simple, no matter what size I have. And for the longest time, we see certain firms getting called out, all whilst the grandfathers of this approach (Microsoft and IBM) are given leeways and passes on a non-stop foundation, or perhaps the whinging members of the House Judiciary Committee would like to have a deep conversation in the IBM dealing with NATO, its members and their system 36 (or was that their system 38) approach on ‘distribution’ in 1978-1980, I feel certain that former members of the Digital Equipment Corporation, as well as those of Hewlett Packard would like their day in Congress asking direct questions on certain non-outspoken choices. 

A small sidestep that has little (not nothing) bearing on Amazon. Amazon has grown, it has grown dramatically, but it was founded on the stage of an online bookshop. A dream the became a behemoth and Jeff Bezos does have some reason of pride. To be honest, I am not much of an Amazon fan, I have nothing against them and I see that there are places that benefit greatly of their presence, yet just like I prefer my local hooker, I am determined to support my local bookshop and local retail outlets, that is how I roll. It is the first article that I saved for last that has the larger frame of becoming an issue.

It is not the article I initially saw, yet ‘Yes, Amazon Luna dodges Apple’s cloud gaming rules — when will Nvidia and Google?’ (At https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/25/21455343/amazon-luna-apple-app-store-rules-cloud-gaming-streaming-google-nvidia) that is the larger issue. You see, it is not bout being naughty or about going rule dodging. It is seen in “Amazon Luna on iOS is not a traditional app. It’ll never appear in the App Store, and it doesn’t need to”, did you catch on yet? No? OK, let add “it’s a progressive web app (PWA), which is mostly a fancy name for a website that you can launch and run separately from the rest of your web browser. Engadget says it can even appear as an icon on your home screen, making it look like a normal app before you tap it”, I get it if you are still in the dark, so let continue the tory, The verge also had something I did not know before, they give us “Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store”, so even as the Verge is wondering when Google and Microsoft will catch on, the larger danger remains. 

This for organised crime is a dream come true, and anyone denying or countering it is a blatant fool. A system the can reside in RAM and sets a stage of multiple systems is the holy grail. For the most as it was all system based, there was no real issue, if things did get wrong, one player is held accountable and it tends to end there, now there is a new stage where one system could open a gateway to basically rob you. Now, you are unlikely to lose a lot $1 at the most, so you might not wake up, but when this happens to well over a million players the amount tends to add up and organised crime (as well as entrepreneurial criminals) love that part, becoming wealthy as they sleep and when the system resets, the evidence is gone. No indications of long doing and the justice systems tend to not engage when the stolen amount is less than $5, so there is that, the interested parties could double their income overnight. But in the long term a person could lose $12-$50 over a year and they might not care or even realise this, but when this is done to 20-50 million people it all ends up being a serious amount of money.

A stage where we all watch things happen all whilst nothing will be done, the ego driven will Tate that it is under investigation, and deny wrongdoings, the secondary stage where some careful phrased denial in the some shape that gives us “We have seen no wrong by we are adding safeties just in case” and the jurisprudential parts that give us, it seemingly is a small crime and involved events of less than $5 the we do not investigate and the clever entrepreneur will walk away with millions upon millions of dollars, the is the stage and greed driven technologists thought they were allegedly clever by allowing a stage where a speculated stage of mis acquisition was an optional reality.

A stage the is increasingly dangerous because it is not merely Google, it I a sage where Epic Games, as well as any other set the stage of avoiding fees from whatever source they owe it to, only to set a much more dangerous stage, one the the cyber crime finals love and one the will all cost us, seemingly not a lot, but enough to make others wealthy beyond their dreams.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Law, Science

The enemy is us

It is not a new setting, yet thee setting is more complete. We are being duped and misinformed by a player who has no evidence, it merely is in a stage where it has become Oliver Twist stating ‘Please Sir, can I have some more’ (as I made mention to yesterday. Yet so far they have never produced ANY evidence that their statements hold any value, any facts or any truths. The best we can get are speculations and even as we will not dismiss speculations, the evidence is not on their side, their side is a collapse of economic prowess and a complete shutdown of the dollar, their greed got them that way. So when we we see the BBC give us ‘Ministers signal switch in policy over 5G policy’ we see nothing immediately wrong until we see: “He added he wanted Samsung and NEC to become 5G network kit providers”. So Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden, a person that has now firmly set his personal intent towards American confirmations by giving the handle to two providers, one with close to zero 5G IP powers? 

Lets look at the state of things, in the first, I am a capitalist, there is nothing wrong with being a capitalist, yet I have never stepped away from accountability, and I will demand that we all demand complete accountability for those making these steps, including the warrants for treason against people like Oliver Dowden for betraying the economic station of the commonwealth. The UK and other nations needed the Huawei goods for that, but the corrupt republic of the United States is stopping this because it would end their greed driven needs that will not be stopped until we are all under the foot of Wall Street and no one is waking up.

Now, if the US (that place with stupid people) has actually presented factual and direct evidence of Huawei equipment being and actual danger, the situations would be different, but that has not happened has it? To see this we can point to the Verge (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/17/18264283/huawei-security-threat-experts-china-spying-5g) and a few other sources. They give us “Is Huawei a security threat? There is no hard evidence to support this notion, and some of the reasons put forward for this notion are weak. For example, the background of the chairmen of Huawei. Huawei founder Mr. Ren Zhengfei once served in the People’s Liberation Army. As we know, serving in the army was one way of getting out of poverty for people in the countryside, which is where Mr. Ren is from. His time in the army was a short one and he was not in any important position.” There was no hiding these facts and as far as I can tell, they never did, yet the US has hidden the flaws of Cisco equipment for well over a year, even as these devices gave criminals access to global networks, so who is at fault? Then there is the point of view of Senator Warner (Democrat from Virginia) “There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party — and Huawei, which China’s government and military tout as a “national champion,” is no exception. Allowing Huawei’s inclusion in our 5G infrastructure could seriously jeopardize our national security and put critical supply chains at risk. It could also undermine U.S. competitiveness at a time when China is already attempting to surpass the U.S. technologically and economically through the use of state-directed and state-supported technology transfers.” This is quite. Clearly a point of view and he is allowed to have it, more importantly he should be allowed to have it to influence AMERICAN positions, no one denies this, yet take consideration of ‘at a time when China is already attempting to surpass the U.S. technologically and economically’, which is an issue for them, especially when you realise that Huawei is 3-5 years ahead of America, the patents are pretty precise about that, Huawei focused on 5G when almost no one else did and now that 5G is here, the US is blatantly backwards to that side of the equation, hiding behind marketing like 5G evolution, which is at best 4G with a different label, the press gave light to that small part. We can go on about this, but I feel it is important to give light to Francis Dinha, CEO OF OpenVPN. He gives us “The US is right to treat Huawei as a security threat, but I don’t believe any ban on any equipment is the right solution. No matter what equipment we use for 5G, there will be security risks. With such an exponentially higher amount of data, there will inherently be an exponentially higher risk. But taking a competitor out of the market could lead other companies to get complacent, which would mean US innovation and development could be slowed — which presents an even more severe security risk overall. Rather than relying on our network to be secure, we ought to seriously consider building an overlay secure virtual network across the 5G infrastructure that could provide end-to-end security, controlled and managed by the 5G network operators. We need guidelines to improve network security, and we need to push to make software for this equipment open-source. Open-source means transparency and security, which is exactly what we need as we move to 5G. Huawei is a risk, certainly — but there are other ways besides a ban to mitigate that risk. No matter who is making our 5G equipment, we need to be proactive about cybersecurity.” I do not completely agree with him, yet he states that the US should be allowed to see Huawei, a Chinese producer as a threat, I cannot deny them that right. What is important is ‘could lead other companies to get complacent’ I believe that he intentionally omitted the word ‘American’ from that part and this is exactly how Huawei got to get ahead in the game in the first place, so let’s call that a checked item, shall we? And then he gives the diamond in the rough, with ‘Open-source means transparency and security, which is exactly what we need as we move to 5G.’ We see the larger frame, Huawei offered 1-2 months ago, to sell their technology allowing others to catch up, but it was basically rejected out of hand, why? I personally see it as the fact that Huawei would still have ended up with a massive chunk of cash (off course) and that is where the so called American bankrupt state is in danger, it needs all the cash it can get and it needs to set the stage where Chinese corporations ends with close to none, their stage of equilibrium is what Wall Street dictates and the 25 trillion market its only viable when the US gets 75%, not 25% and China with 75%, that is the larger issue and the US (Europe too) are too far behind Huawei at present, if the 5G war is decided between 2022-2024, Huawei has basically won and the US has nothing, that is the stage we are aligning to. So as the BBC gave us “Ministers approved Huawei’s involvement in January, but some senior Tories want to prevent that because of concerns over security” we would love to know which senior politicians and what EVIDENCE they have,. But we will not get an answer to either part there will we? And as we are given “In principle, controlling the tech at the heart of these networks could give Huawei the capacity to spy or disrupt communications during any future dispute. This is important, as more things – from self-driving cars to fridges, baby monitors and fire alarms become connected to the internet.” There is the issue of evidence and the fact that America has that same ability, and let’s not deny the fact that we have seen that America will lie to everyone else when it serves THEIR purpose, so how is this any different? The maker of the BBC text did go all out to mention ‘baby monitors’, so far there is a much larger concern when they are connected to the internet, the fact that the CISCO equipment there is making it already an option, so we do not need to wait for either China or Huawei, and the BBC article does not bear that out, does it? 

At what point did we disregard the need for evidence? I meed it because I am not writing some pro China article, if there is ACTUAL evidence it needs to be out in the open so that we can make an informed decision, the decision makers seemingly do not want that to happen as there is no evidence, there is only the emotional stage, or as Mark Rubio Republican for Florida voiced it “Huawei is a Chinese state-directed telecom company with a singular goal: undermine foreign competition by stealing trade secrets and intellectual property, and through artificially low prices backed by the Chinese government”, which is interesting as there is all kind of evidence that opposes ‘a Chinese state-directed telecom company’, as well as ‘stealing trade secrets and intellectual property’, the second one is interesting as that is not the function of Huawei and moreover, Huawei is 5 years ahead of any American competition and well over 3 years ahead of the mainstream competition, so why steal the IP of someone who is intellectually backwards? I fail to see the point, do you?

By adhering to greed driven agenda’s we have become our own worst enemy and I will be around to see this explode in our faces and for the most, I will get to ridicule the media for adhering to the need for misinformation and to let those who championed false information get away with a fat wallet whilst destroying the Commonwealth economy, because that is still up for debate, there is no alternative, these people can emigrate to America and never be allowed back into the Commonwealth until they are prosecuted in open court with no allowance to hide behind ‘national security interests’, I reckon it would be their greatest fear, to be held to account for their actions, it usually is.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics, Science

Evidence? Why?

I ignored the news initially, as I saw it, it was nothing more than some bash piece on Saudi Arabia. Yet something hot me, it was just a thought and it was: ‘What if I illuminate parts and let common sense people decide‘ (which takes out many journalists and mostly all politicians). As for me? The issue is that the media is all about bashing any royal part of Saudi Arabia, all whilst ignoring evidence (and debatable evidence to a much greater degree, their pursuit of circulation and agreeing to the beat of shareholders and stakeholders has gone to the heads of too many editors and I get a real rush to illuminate this part.

I have never ignored evidence, yet just like with Huawei, it is seemingly all about the big bully shouting, whilst the deciding world for the most ignores evidence and I think that it is a weird situation. Not merely in this blog, but on a few matters, we will get to hold them to account in a few years, at that point these people will make hastily formulated excuses whilst running to their mummies to get breastfeeding (I reckon).

So, lets begin. In the first we have ‘How the UN unearthed a possible Saudi Arabian link to Jeff Bezos hack‘ (the Guardian at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/22/how-the-un-unearthed-a-possible-saudi-arabian-link-to-jeff-bezos-hack) as well as ‘Did Saudi Arabia’s crown prince hack the Amazon king?’ (the Economist at https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2020/01/25/did-saudi-arabias-crown-prince-hack-the-amazon-king), a nice side effect is that the Economist, is viewed and acted on on the 24th of January, whilst the article states that it is the Jan 25th 2020 edition, but enough about that. Let’s start with the Guardian who tells us “The UN’s demand for law enforcement authorities to conduct a proper investigation into the alleged hacking of Jeff Bezos’s mobile phone came after it reviewed the findings of a cybersecurity firm, FTI“, we might not see anything here, yet the UN, who is underfunded and strained has time for this? Is this another US Essay like the one by some French girl on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi? And what about ‘after it reviewed the findings of a cybersecurity firm, FTI‘? This implies that the United Nations called for the inspection, notified a cyber security firm (FTI) and investigated the phone of some so called billionaire (postage and shipping required). So why exactly is this not with the police or an official investigative body like the FBI Cyber division?

Following this we get the real beef with “concluded with “medium to high confidence” that it had been compromised because of actions attributable to a WhatsApp account used by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman“, first of all, if I want to investigate the corruption at an army base, I will not go in as the lawlordtobe, I would enter the situation as some poor schmuck who is from the city of Noonecares. It is almost like an assasination and the official in question uses his own service revolver instead of someone else’s. And what goes with ‘medium to high confidence‘, what evidence was uncovered? Then we get the part where is all falls to shambles. With “The UN was careful not to be definitive. Instead of pointing the finger, its statement said the apparent hack had been achieved using software “such as NSO Group’s Pegasus or, less likely, Hacking Team’s Galileo, that can hook into legitimate applications to bypass detection and obfuscate activity”“, just like the Khashoggi essay fiasco, the UN is all about being not definitive, as such we want to know how accusations can be made when you are not definitive. As such I would like to point the UN troll to a kids game called Clue, there in that games (for ages 8+) we are introduced to the concept of evidence, where you need to collect facts and state “I am accusing Colonel Mustard who killed Dr. Black (aka Mr. Boddy) in the Kitchen using the lead pipe” and then we look at the evidence and see if the claimant had his or her facts straight. None of that CIA BS where we see ‘medium to high confidence‘, I would offer that if the confidence is already medium, what was not looked at and what was discarded. The statement comes directly before “The NSO Group, an Israeli cyber-surveillance firm, strongly denied that its surveillance tools were responsible“, as such we are left with ‘less likely, Hacking Team’s Galileo‘. so there is a mountain of doubt on an article that throws the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in a bad light and there is seemingly an increasing lack of evidence. As we go on, we see the NSO giving the statement that offers direct opposition to some firm called FTI with “These types of abuses of surveillance systems blacken the eye of the cyber-intelligence community and put a strain on the ability to use legitimate tools to fight serious crime and terror. We expect that all actors in this arena put in place stringent procedures and technological controls, such as those that we have put in place, to assure that their systems are not used in an abusive manner“, as such there are larger questions not merely on the UN for setting the stage of something that is not on their plate, they apparently went to another small operation (who knows) and let them set up the stage of doubtful and debatable documentation, doubtful as we get one of the implied companies go directly into denial and setting a document based on evidence that is regarded as ‘medium to high confidence‘.

And then something beautiful happens. We see “The FTI report cited by the UN special rapporteurs, Agnes Callamard and David Kaye, noted that both NSO and Hacking Team, an Italian company, offered tools that could theoretically have performed the attack” where we are (again) introduced to that UN essay writer, the one that had given us the joke called some Khashoggi report (Agnes Callamard), as well hiding behind ‘tools that could theoretically have performed the attack‘, the idea that this joke from a building based at 760 United Nations Plaza, Manhattan, New York City, New York 10017 and hide behind the word ‘theoretically‘, as such pardon my French (oh, that was funny!) but how the fuck does she still have a job?

For several reasons I will not use the Economist (as I am not a subscriber), but the quotes in their magazine “which was soon used to steal large amounts of data—though the un did not say exactly what, or how it was used” as well as “It called for an “immediate investigation”. The Saudi embassy in Washington, dc, said the accusations were “absurd”.

As I see it, the UN is nothing more than an advertising paper tiger, adhering to the commands of some stakeholder (identity unknown), if this was a direct action by the UN, those people need to be investigated immediately, I feel decently certain I will get both China and Russia to sign off on this, as this has the distinct smell that comes from neither region, so they would score a win, in addition to that, the UN would have to submit data as to what exactly was taken and how it could be identified, which is also an issue that is unclear and optionally unclear to the UN people involved. 

The Verge had a lot more, they had (at https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/23/21078828/report-saudi-arabia-hack-jeff-bezos-phone-fti-consulting) the actual report, and there we see on page one we see the person we need to hackle for information, it is Anthony J. Ferrante who needs to give us the names of who this so called ‘Confidential Report’ was given to, because it seems that it was leaked. And there we see the originator (vice.com) giving us “The report, obtained by Motherboard, indicates that investigators set up a secure lab to examine the phone and its artifacts and spent two days poring over the device but were unable to find any malware on it. Instead, they only found a suspicious video file sent to Bezos on May 1, 2018 that “appears to be an Arabic language promotional film about telecommunications.”“, however, this is not the end. They also give us “Investigators determined the video or downloader were suspicious only because Bezos’ phone subsequently began transmitting large amounts of data. “[W]ithin hours of the encrypted downloader being received, a massive and unauthorized exfiltration of data from Bezos’ phone began, continuing and escalating for months thereafter,” the report states“. In this I state OK, let’s take an actual look.

And they do give us more, quotes like “The digital forensic results, combined with a larger investigation, interviews, research, and expert intelligence information, led the investigators “to assess Bezos’ phone was compromised via tools procured by Saud al Qahtani,” the report states“, as well as “A mobile forensic expert told Motherboard that the investigation as depicted in the report is significantly incomplete and would only have provided the investigators with about 50 percent of what they needed, especially if this is a nation-state attack“, ““They would need to use a tool like Graykey or Cellebrite Premium or do a jailbreak to get a look at the full file system. That’s where that state-sponsored malware is going to be found. Good state-sponsored malware should never show up in a backup,” said Sarah Edwards, an author and teacher of mobile forensics for the SANS Institute“, and “The investigators do note on the last page of their report that they need to jailbreak Bezos’s phone to examine the root file system. Edwards said this would indeed get them everything they would need to search for persistent spyware like the kind created and sold by the NSO Group. But the report doesn’t indicate if that did get done.“, which is as I personally see it the shallow political BS that some people go for. As such we see in the report “The following investigative steps are currently pending“, and more profound, on page 4 we see: “On May 1st, 2018, Bezos received a text from the WhatsApp account used by MBS“, my issue here is that this might have been the infected one, yet if I did that, I would use an originator that was real. And there we have it, the Dailymail gave us ‘New bug allows hackers to send fake messages pretending to be you – and there’s nothing you can do to stop them‘ (at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6039533/WhatsApp-users-beware-Hackers-send-fake-messages-pretending-you.html) with the additional text: “First discovered by Israeli cybersecurity group CheckPoint Research, the flaw is incredibly complex and involves a gap within the app’s encryption algorithms. Writing on their website, the team said the vulnerability could make it possible for a hacker ‘to intercept and manipulate messages sent by those in a group or private conversation’ as well as ‘create and spread misinformation’. Hackers could use the bug to alter the text sent in someone else’s reply to a group chat, essentially ‘putting words in their mouth’, the group said.

It took me 5 minutes and Google search to find this. I am not stating that this is true and that the Daily Mail is the source to use (they often are not), yet this is a larger failing, I expected this from the very beginning, the origins of the setting was not properly investigated. Then Vice.com gave us “the report is significantly incomplete and would only have provided the investigators with about 50 percent of what they needed“, which is what I expected before I read one word of the accusation, and with US Essay writer Callamard involved (yes again it is her) we see what this is, another mindless attack on a nation and one person. They did not even bother getting him properly smeared, and no one is asking questions, I reckon that the involved stakeholders are likely to go for the, if we create enough barbeques, someone will shout fire: ‘I ran’ for office! Anyone?

what is the most irritating part is that the UN is again used as the cheap tool that they are. In this there is also the involvement of the FTI and more interesting that a Cyber Security firm did not look past the simplest trappings, as as we consider the optional involvement of Anthony J. Ferrante we need to consider sending quota to all 49 of the Global 100 companies that are FTI clients. Even if it was merely to make a few people sweat. When a non Cyber adapt like me can see through this part they have a clear problem and whether Anony Mouse Bezos was part of this or not will not matter. There is one other part in the report that should be considered. On page 2 we see “More significantly. al Qahtani is known to have played a key and senior role in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.” In the first, he was acquitted (in a Saudi trial) and there has been no other trials, as such the statement should be read as false, no clear evidence was ever presented. In the second, as this is part of the executive summary, it seems that this was a way to blatantly strike out against one individual and the evidence is not corroborating any of this, too many questions are left unanswered and the media is not asking them either, as such I wonder what is to be believed, especially in light of the Daily Mail ‘revelation’ last August, which implies long in advance of this report. The fact that this (optional) fact is ignored gives out a much larger issue, the work in incomplete, debatable and political, not factual, as such sending serious cyber letters to the 49 of the Global 100 companies that are FTI clients, as I personally see it, these players are all about facts and when their provider and be painted as open for considerations, we should entertain all kinds of questions. 

I would also look at the footnotes and take a larger look at that descriptive part, I wonder what is left once I have had the chance to take a red pencil through this report. Now, I am not stating that Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud is innocent, I am merely considering that his evidence is so shallow, that I would never accuse him of anything, not before a lot more work was done (and a lot more footnotes were properly weighed), in this consider on page 3 footnote 8. When we go there, we see that the article is Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai a member of Motherboard (so why is there no Motherboard article that is the source), we see “An investor from Saudi  Arabia is apparently behind a company that bought a stake in the controversial spyware vendor” where ‘apparently‘ is the operative word. It is also where we see: “Hacking Team was thoroughly owned, with its once-secret list of customers, internal emails, and spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see“, were all these customers on a secret list investigated? There is also ‘spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see‘, a small fact that is apparently not investigated, additional players all optionally ready to give someone called Bezos the time of his on-line life. Then we get “this apparent recovery is in part thanks to the new investor, who appears to be from Saudi Arabia“, a line ruled by, you guessed it ‘apparent‘ and ‘who appears‘, so much filtering and doubt, and in this FTI used that as a footnote source? A program co-owned for 80% by none other then David Vincenzetti. That does NOT make HIM a guilty party and neither is there any convincing evidence of any kind towards the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud.

When I see all this I wonder if the UN (or FTI) has any clue how much we should regard them as tools. I cannot tell at present what kind of tools they are, but my personal view is that if this is the debatable level of evidence that some employ, we all are in so much more trouble then we ever thought.

 

1 Comment

Filed under IT, Law, Media, Military, Politics, Science

The time is now

Yesterday, an article in the BBC made me aware of a few items. Now, I was aware to a larger degree of most items, yet I kept it in the second drawer of the third desk of my brain, it was something I took for accepted and then shrug it off, so what changed? Nothing actually changed, but the article seems good enough to take a few items on view.

The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51115315) gives us “Google has announced a timeline for implementing new privacy standards that will limit third-party use of a digital tool known as cookies“, now this is nothing new, it was always going to happen, yet we also see: “analysts say the move gives Google more control over the digital ad market where it is already a major player.  To make advertising more personal web browsers collect small bits of information that allow them to create a profile of the users likes and online habits“, the question becomes, is that actually true? And when we see “This presents a core problem from a competition perspective. It is yet another example of Google diminishing ad rivals’ access to data for the stated purpose of protecting users’ privacy“, a quote from Dina Srinivasan, a lawyer focused on competition issues is not really that truthful, is it? Apple made a similar move in 2017 and when we go back in time, we see Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. Most will have forgotten Netscape who became defunct in 2003, and basically stopped making a blip 2 years before that. We seemingly forgot about the exploitative market that Microsoft had in those days with Internet Explorer and all the crap it added to our HTML files (as did Word when we saved as an HTML file), in those days data in files was still an issue because there was a limit to what we could safe when we were not rich. Chrome was the first to keep our files clean, or at least lacking a lot of rubbish. Netscape was however on a different route, an employee of Netscape Communications, which was developing an e-commerce application for MCI. MCI did not want its servers to have to retain partial transaction states which was a killer for storage, as such they asked the people at Netscape to find a way to store partial options and methods of transactions where it mattered the most, at the side of the buyer, Cookies provided a solution to the problem of reliably implementing a virtual shopping cart, Google found a new way of using that idea and used cookies in the far reaching solution it currently has, they innovated, others merely took on board someone else’s solution and not they are all crying foul. Perhaps when these people had taken the time to innovate, they would have the choice, and the option of two years seems decent, so when I read “advertisers had hoped to have more time before it was implemented” is as I personally see a larger BS issue on timeframes and exploitation, if advertisers are in the now, they would be all about advanced implementation, yet they like their bonus and they seemingly do not like to spend money on investments to counter the timeline (an assumption from my side). 

Google’s director of Chrome engineering, Justin Schuh gives us “Users are demanding greater privacy – including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used – and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands“, which seems slightly too political to my liking, but there we have it. Business Day gives us “But GDPR also made life harder for a cohort of second-tier adtech players trying to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. The regulation’s provision to prevent data being shared wantonly with third parties seemed to give the tech giants an opportunity to tighten their control over user data” where we see that this was one of the foundations that led to the end of SizMek, some state that it was DSP Rocket Fuel that ended the heartbeat of SizMek, yet everyone ignores a simple truth, ‘an overcrowded ad tech market with independent vendors with an inability to face serious cost pressures to their pricing structures‘, they all arrogantly believed that THEIR solution was the real one and they all basically read cookies like the ones Google had distributed. You can all claim to have the magic potion that Asterix drinks, but when the truth comes out that he drinks Darjeeling tea from India, the playing field gets overcrowded and when the customer figures out what they get priced for the end is pretty much around the corner of the next door you face.

So as we are told “third-party ad sellers will need to go through Google to get information about internet users. But critics say that is an advantage that makes the market less fair and safe“, in my view my question becomes: ‘Which critics, names please!‘, the problem is that third party ad sellers have no rights, none at all, the rights should be with the owner of the computer, Google (Apple also) are setting (not by their own accord) that stage, Microsoft is using their Azure Cloud to counter the Cookie option on PC and Microsoft Console, but the hard sight is already there, the people who are unable, unwilling and cannot afford to set the stage still want their freebee and they are now starting to complain as they are made aware that their time has ended, even though this was the direction we saw in US politics and EU politics well over three years ago. The EU had their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and everyone shrugged their shoulders stating that it would not happen that fast, yet that was three years ago and now the time has been set back to merely two years to go and the ad sellers are feeling the pinch of the cost they will actually face. Moreover, they are seeing the red lights of career ends. The Verge gave us “an industry that’s used to collecting and sharing data with little to no restriction, that means rewriting the rules of how ads are targeted online“, they gave us that on May 25th 2018, so 1.5 years ago, why is this now a problem? The people wanted this, ad soon it will be here, Google has not been sitting still updating their systems accordingly, and as such we see that the flaccid and non-concerned rest is now looking at a deadline a mere two years away. When we look to the larger field we see Criteo, LiveRamp, Trade Desk, Rubicon, and Telaria, all losing value as ad-tech providers, yet the opposite could also be true when they offer to the customer a value, a value where most ad-tech companies never bothered going. Yet the power of any ad-tech was never the cookie, that was for the most merely the revenue. They had 5 years to consider the power of ad-tech and they didn’t. The power of this is basically engagement. Facebook showed this year after year and now it is out on the larger field, those who engage will survive, the rest will end up on a dog eat dog football field and a few will survive but only as long as they push to the next hurdle and make it, if not they will end up on the obituary page (just like Netscape, however Netscape ended there for other reasons). 

I wonder if that is why Google is so adamant about its stadia? It would get a massive tier of small time developers creating engagement content to be released on mobiles. That i me merely speculating. 

Still the words of Dina Srinivasan are not entirely without merit, she gives the Facebook issue (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/yale-law-grads-hipster-antitrust-argument-against-facebook-findsmainstream-support-11575987274), and she makes a good case, yet the history of certain players need to be taken into account. Even as she was her own misgivings about the evolution of the digital advertising market, history had been clear, some of them basically did not bother, they wanted it handed to them for free and in the beginning they got away with it. And she made a point with “How could a company with Facebook Inc.’s checkered privacy record have obtained so much of its users’ personal data?“, yet equally we need to weigh this with the words of U.S. Attorney General William Barr. He gives us “he is “open to that argument” that consumer harm can exist through the use of personal data, even if a service is free. “I am inclined to think there is no free lunch. Something that is free is actually getting paid for one way or the other”“, which is what I have been saying on my blog for around 4 years, so happy to see people wake up in January 2020. So when I see “Ms. Srinivasan would prefer that Facebook be forced to change certain business practices, including how it tracks users when they are off the company’s platforms“, I wonder when they give account to the small truth that Facebook is a free service for a reason and they are no longer alone in this, you are going after the large players when they are in the largest danger by losing slices of that revenue pie to contenders elsewhere in the world (EU and China). 

Whatever you want to do is fine, but realise that it will put a large group of people in the streets without a job, I am not against them losing their job, but that revenue and that data will also flow in other directions and that is the one part that all players (with political support) are trying to counter as much as possible. I wonder if they will succeed. The weird part is that if this group had been properly taxed 3 out of the 5 major issues would also fall away and in that view a workable solution could be pivoted to.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics

Twenty twenty is visual

Yes, we are in the new year, yet this year (according to Forbes at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/12/29/us-and-china-technology-conflict-heres-why-2020-is-so-critical/amp/) will be a lot more critical than anyone thinks. Yes it is about Huawei, however not in the same lame way that the US administration brings it. Here we see: “Huawei has 42% of the huge Chinese market and more than 25% of the Russian market to get it started. Then on December 28, China’s state media announced that its “Beidou” alternative to America’s GPS satellite navigation system will be completed“, now this is a different kettle of fish. It is not about government intel (in a way it is), it is about who gets the data and the lies that seemingly originated at the oval office are now no longer about ‘the chinese government connections’ it is more about how the US government is not getting the free data that they have had for so long, moreover as we take notice of “But Beidou—“Big Dipper” in Chinese—will not stop at China. It will focus on converting markets in South East Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, price- and investment-sensitive markets” we see a much larger concern for the yanks, they are at risk of gaining access to a little over 50% of all given data by the end of 2020, that is something to notice, and in my view they had it coming. They make one accusation after another and never show any data to support it. Even now (yesterday) as we see the number of links of TikTok and data, I was able to find well over a dozen US sites where the advertisement of the TikTok app continues, one is called seemingly hypocritical national security (I actually do not know the Tik Tok situation), the other is money and money trumps Trump.

I am baffled why the US would think that this free reaping would continue, I am actually amazed that Russia did not have its own version of software ready. We even see “Russian President Putin described the U.S. campaign against Chinese technology as “the first technological war of the coming digital era.” His point was that this is the start of something much greater and more significant“, he is right in more than one way. Do you think that I would offer my IP to the US when I know that I am getting lied to? I wonder how large the failing list is actually hitting Google and Facebook, the fact that people are intentionally getting misinformed should show up in their numbers as well. For those who have no real affiliation to Social media, China is becoming more and more interesting, the moment that it has a real Facebook equivalent, we will see a much larger jump. For Google the mess is not that big, YouTube is an engine that people cannot live without (pretty much the medical condition is ‘acute VideoitisfromYoutube failure‘) so as we cannot get treated on that, we will continue in the YouTube realm. I personally believe that if the news was a year ago that China was launching its own services the news would have been accepted differently, the entire ‘China is all about spying through Huawei‘ got us on the wrong foot, just like Iraq, just like two other events afterwards the US have been handling billions of free voices and the free voices are through with a lying party like America.

So whilst we take notice of “For China, it will increase its independence and influence. For the U.S., its grip on key standards will loosen and for some of its key players there are risks they could loose material market share“, that is the ballgame, the ‘loose material market share‘, until the beginning of the internet, the US has never had an equal in this fight and in the economic place they are now they are scared. Consider the interest on $23,000,000,000,000 all whilst they are facing a technology user setback of 10%-25% in the first year, and as Asia, Russia and Europe start folding away from the US solutions the interest is impacted and can no longer be paid, for example try the Apple solution for $1749 (down from $2365) and as things ‘suddenly’ become affordable for the people, think of how the population reacts to the coin grab of 2010-2019 when they were trying to make ends meet. This technology wave will follow an anger wave that the US is unable to stop, and beyond that, Huawei has a much larger base soon enough. In Saudi Arabia Huawei was able to set the stage of a strategic memorandum of understanding, healthcare is only the first step and as it shows the progress it will entice Egypt and India, at that point Huawei will achieve two paths that the US only hinted at and sneered (their version of enticement) for well over 10 years whilst never delivering. The people who decide things saw no eager listing to pursue, now that the numbers are getting called in 2020 and 2021 the game changes and there have been too many lies (oops, I meant ‘intentional misrepresentation’) coming from the US players.

And as the EU gives us: ‘European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen voiced skepticism Friday over involving Chinese tech giant Huawei in the rollout of Europe’s 5G networks amid concerns its equipment could be used for spying by Beijing‘, we see that optionally the career of Ursula von der Leyen will be cut short too. She might be the President of the European Commission for a month now, but I am certain that her history lessons included the time when we hung those who hid behind ‘befehl ist befehl‘ and even now, as we traverse that time, the US will not have any dimes to sit on, those spreading the US message without evidence could be demanded to be called on, even now as Germany (and India) are moving against the warnings of the US, warning that have never seen any real evidence since the beginning, will now have a coin marker, people like Ursula von der Leyen will see that as other European nations demand evidence, their place in the hierarchie will seem unholdable, held together by US promises that they will fall back on and fold on when the moment is nigh. That is the ball game for the US and the Europeans will not have alternatives, especially as Nokia is showing several cracks in their veneer, as their 5G outlook changes and as the backlash of bribery scandals, the US will find themself in a stage that is not holdable, and they are not alone, Ericsson is right there next to Nokia when it comes to scandals and the US was not ready for that. The impact will be larger than they expect and that part will bite too. When the EC members will look towards alternatives and there is only Huawei, they will shift gears and give the boot to whomever supported the US and stopped them to get their bonus, people are easy to anticipate in that regard.

If only there was direct evidence of the US claims. There was a reason why I used the Colin Powell and silver briefcase example in the past, there was no way around it, the game that was being played was short for whomever was counting the cards and too many were out in the open, the US had two plays left and they chose the wrong one. That becomes more and more clear when we look at the actions of Sony last October, that setting changed the anger levels of Third Point to some degree, and as I cannot tell who was right, the fact that Daniel Loeb lost out against the Sony view ”no concrete proposals to improve the business“, who is eagerly spending a billion to get on the market is a larger issue than you can imagine, the Japanese government has a larger stake in all this then even I can surmise. Japan will have to take on a few players and they are behind (really behind), yet they are all in it to win it and their ego’s will collide, the US will have to find new areas to push against and as we see that this is being fought, we also see the American dream is under pressure of failing and that is one concrete version why the american corporate views are not what they are surmised to be, it will be a stronger difference as the year progresses, but I reckon that half way, when that American super villain Taxman has to give documentation as to the values it holds dear (numbers on a spreadsheet) we will see additional cracks, there is only so much that people will live for and the US has no reserves, it lost those a little over three years ago as the debt kept rising. In this as we saw one month ago that “Dan Loeb sharply boosted its net long position in equities,’‘ we will see managed bad news over the next 6 months that will reduce that position (as I personally see and anticipate), that will be the first (of many) cracks in all this and China is not merely a crack in their armor, it is a flaming hole the size of the Grand Canyon. And still my IP is outlasting theirs as they have no idea what they should have been looking at, it is becoming more than a spreadsheet user versus a visionary, the US status is becoming a spreadsheet user to someone who does not comprehend a cross tabulation, and that is not a situation that the US can hold up. 

In this all these solutions give China an advantage, because as we see more and more dubious statements from people who caress the limelight, we also see that the chinks in their armour are lighting up and that is where Russia and China only have to ask: ‘what is that?‘ (pointing at the chinks) and those people will not have the setting to answer. 

It is a stage we have not seen before and will not see again any day soon, but in 2020 it will matter, it will drive the global population away from any American solution. They will only have themselves to blame soon enough, they vied for it but will do anything to make anyone else pay and the people are taking notice, they are no longer willing to take the idiocy and the current American administration made it happen, at least that part has no push towards previous administrations. When that happens, the loss of revenue will increase faster and faster and all others are ready to step in wherever they can, I am happy I have no stake in any of the American hedges, their national product is about to lose value and a lot, I merely wonder how long it will take, as we saw in several situations in 2008, the $1.1B bill to Moody’s was paid without hesitation, I wonder what and who will delay the news this time around and those who got out late, will they have any recourse? I reckon not, at some point we will see certain academics make a statement that the technology sector was too complex and too covariant to clearly see any pattern emerge, at that point whatever rating existed will be thrown out and as we see that, the people will run to any technology that has proven themselves and at present that is Huawei (and Huawei only), that is the part the US is unwilling to see, even as we see the Verge (only three weeks ago) give us both “T-Mobile has been saying it’s got a smarter, sounder 5G strategy than both Verizon and AT&T” and “They also won’t support 5G on other networks, so if you switch carriers, you’re hosed” implying that there is no real 5G standard in the US and they are all merely marketing 5G whilst not having any real 5G (my personal view) and the Verge supports that view I have (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/16/20997594/tmobile-5g-600mhz-low-band-speed-tests-oneplus-samsung) when we see “you’ll never get the speed thrill of downloading an entire movie from Netflix or Prime Video in seconds“, all whilst the 5G advertisement is about that part alone, we see the hose job in the making and in 2020 that will not be tolerated by the people, in the US there is no alternative, yet Europe, Africa and Asia have other options which enables Huawei and that is the short play that the US is not ready for and the EU people are about to get a dose of reality soon enough, when the MoU that Huawei has signed show actual progress, Europe will run towards whatever shelter they can whilst ignoring the pleas from the USA, it will be that simple, people like Ursula von der Leyen will run towards what pays them and what keeps them safe, warm and dry, they will soon see that ‘befehl ist befehl‘ fell short the second time around too and at that point they will enable whomever has the technology and America is about three years late.  

It is the biting reality that 2020 brings, whilst the vision of twenty twenty is negated at every turn whenever possible and it is the ‘whenever possible’ part that will fall short soon enough (sooner rather than later).

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Military, Politics

Lying through Hypes

I was thinking on a Huawei claim that I saw (in the image), the headline ‘AI’s growing influence on the economy’ sounds nice, yet AI does not exist at present,not True AI, or perhaps better stated Real AI. At the very least two elements of AI are missing so that whatever it is, it is not AI. is that an indication on just how bad the economy is? Well, that is up for debate, but what is more adamant is what the industry is proclaiming is AI and cashing in on something that is not AI at all.

Yet when we look at the media, we are almost literally thrown to death with AI statements. So what is going on? Am I wrong?

No! 

Or at least that is my take on the matter, I believe that we are getting close to near AI, but what the hype and what marketing proclaim is AI, is not AI. You see, if there was real AI we would not see articles like ‘This AI is a perpetual loser at Othello, and players love it‘, we are handed “The free game, aptly called “The weakest AI Othello,” was released four months ago and has faced off against more than 400,000 humans, racking up a paltry 4,000 wins and staggering 1.29 million losses as of late November” this is weird, as we look at SAS (a data firm) we see: “Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks“, which is an actual part of an actual AI, so why do we see the earlier mentioned 400,000 players with 1.29 million wins whilst the system merely won 4,000 times shows that it is not learning, as such is cannot be an AI. A slightly altered SAS statement would be “Most AI examples rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, computers can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data” The SAS page (at https://www.sas.com/en_au/insights/analytics/what-is-artificial-intelligence.html) also gives us the image where they state that today AI is seen as ‘Deep Learning’, which is not the same.

It is fraught with a dangerous situation, the so called AI is depending on human programming and cannot really learn, merely adapt to programming. SAS itself actually acknowledges this with the statement “Quick, watch this video to understand the relationship between AI and machine learning. You’ll see how these two technologies work, with examples” they are optionally two sides of a coin, but not the same coin, if that makes sense, so in that view the statement of Huawei makes no sense at all, how can an option influence an economy when it does not exist? Well, we could hide behind the lack of growth because it does not exist. Yet that is also the stage that planes are finding themselves in as they are not equipped with advanced fusion drives, it comes down to the same problem (one element is most likely on Jupiter and the other one is not in our solar system). When we realise that we can seek advanced fusion as much as we want, but the elements requiring that are not in our grasp, just like AI, it is shy a few elements so whatever we call AI is merely something that is not really AI. It is cheap marketing for a generation that did not look beyond the term. 

The Verge (a https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/28/18197520/ai-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning-computational-science) had a nice summary, I particularly liked (slightly altered) “the Oral-B’s Genius X toothbrush that touted supposed “AI” abilities. But dig past the top line of the press release, and all this means is that it gives pretty simple feedback about whether you’re brushing your teeth for the right amount of time and in the right places. There are some clever sensors involved to work out where in your mouth the brush is, but calling it artificial intelligence is gibberish, nothing more“, we can see this as the misuse of the term AI, and we are handed thousands of terms every day that misuse AI, most of it via short messages on Social Media. and a few lines later we see the Verge giving us “It’s better, then, to talk about “machine learning” rather than AI” and it is followed by perhaps one of the most brilliant statements “Machine learning systems can’t explain their thinking“, it is perhaps the clearest night versus day issue that any AI system would face and all these AI systems that are dependable growing any economy aren’t and the world (more likely the greed driven entities) cannot grow any direction in this. they are all hindered what marketing states it needs to be whilst marketing is clueless on what they face, or perhaps they are hoping that the people remain clueless on what they present.

So as the verge ends with “In the here and now, artificial intelligence — machine learning — is still something new that often goes unexplained or under-examined” we see the nucleus of the matter, we are not asking questions and we are all accepting what the media and its connected marketing outlets are giving us, and when we make the noticeable jump that there is no AI and it is merely Machine learning and deeper learning, whilst we entertain the Verge examples “How clever is a book?” and “What expertise is encoded in a frying pan?

We need to think things through (the current proclaimed AI systems certainly won’t). We are back in the 90’s where concept sellers are trying to fill their pockets all whilst we all perfectly well know (through applied common sense) that what they are selling is a concept and no concept will fuel an economy that is a truth that came and stood up when a certain Barnum had its circus and hid behind well chosen marketing. So whenever you get some implementation of AI on LinkedIn of Facebook you are being lied to (basically you are marketed) or pushed into some direction that such articles attempt to push you in. 

That is merely my view on the matter and you are very welcome to get your own view on the matter as well, I merely hope that you will look at the right academic papers to show you what is real and what is the figment of someone’s imagination. 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Science