Tag Archives: the Verge

It is done!

There are a few issues today and the first one is not really an issue, unless you are a movie producer and you are up against Infinity war. I just learned that it smashed the Chinese box office on Friday with an additional $76 million, which makes it surpass both Black Panther and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 2. It is now the 8th most successful movie on the planet in the All Time Box Office and that is before the global Saturday revenues are known. I expect it to crush the first Avengers Movie and settle (during the week) on the 5th position. It is the fastest ascension of any movie ever. That is big news, so as per ‘today’ 40% of the top 10 movies ever worldwide are Marvel Productions. I think that the Legacy of Stan Lee is very safe for all time; in addition, I reckon that the Russo brothers will be walking around with that feeling of pride and accomplishment for some time to come. This will not be some DC Marvel comparing; this is a comic book victory that spans 3 generations, and perhaps the setting of an old truth that a dreamer with only $0.25 can conquer the world (small reference to Walt Disney there).

We watched for all kinds of reasons and none of us were disappointed, not even those who went to see it with the silent promise that they could see that Chris Hemsworth is merely slightly less than half the size of Peter Dinklage. We are not even at the halfway point yet! The pressure on part 2 will be overwhelming with every weekend we get towards that point of release, especially those who recognised the message in the teaser at the very end.

But our worlds do not merely revolve on Marvel Production (some need chocolates too), and if it was only so good, it is not, The independent gives us mere hours ago (updated) that in Iran the Clerics are shown to be as simple as one could expect. With the quote “Iranian senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said during Friday prayers that Western pressure will backfire, threatening that Israel will pay the price.” The holy system of Islamic Republic will step up its missile capabilities day by day so that Israel, this occupying regime, will become sleepless and the nightmare will constantly haunt it that if it does anything foolish, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” the hard-line cleric said. The warshippers chanted: “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel“.”, it is their invitation to War, they thought they were clever with their ‘Syrian‘ missile attack, but they now have the impeding wrath of the State of Israel, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who has had their fill of the Yemeni Issues, as well as Iran’s commitment to terrorism and Hezbollah and now that both parties know that the rest of the world is willing to united behind Saudi Arabia and Israel, now they need to cry and scream like little children. It is in that setting that I see the mention of “Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, asked for the halt to avoid “a new conflagration” in the region following the most extensive military exchange between Israel and Iran“, Iran did not listen for the longest of times, during the entire Syrian slaughter the UN was merely a lame duck, an expensive voice that was not listened to at all. So why should anyone listen now? So when we see “we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” the hard-line cleric said. The worshippers chanted: “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel”“, we see a part that they are still in denial of the Houthi situation. Yet now, after the years of their chants, many are sick of the Iranian debacle, option upon option were given, but the two players in charge of Iran, the clerics and the military are soon to be called to put their money where their mouths are and now, the game changes for them, because as far as I see it, they cannot deliver. The fact that I saw the flaw that ends their navy, they will be on an unbalanced setting, they still have plenty of air force and army, but that too falls against the naval settings of what non-Iranians remains in the Persian Gulf and in that setting they have a much larger disadvantage. Iran must rely on the puppets and tools they had and these players are no longer sure of Iran at all. Iran overplayed their hand!

Sinem Cengiz the Turkish political analyst in Arab News gives us: “Turkey will not be taking sides in the crisis as it is already dealing with the effects of the turbulence affecting its other neighbors, Syria and Iraq. So a third neighbor under sanctions will not serve Turkish interests in the region. A nuclear-armed Iran is not in the interest of Turkey either as it would challenge Ankara’s own regional-power position in the Middle East“, she is not wrong, but I personally do not completely agree. You see, Turkey moved itself into a much higher echelon for its own reasons on Kurds and Kurdistan and the setting in Syria remains provocative. Russia wants the middle mediation spot and Iran thinks that they could still push some for certain agreements. Turkey’s actions could push itself into either directly opposing Iran as it wants to soften the setting with European players, or try approach, which was to make Europe more lenient. I do not think either will work, yet with the US in play, they could be pushed into denying certain settings with Iran. Turkey might not want to take sides and for the short term (4-8 weeks) that could be possible, yet both US and the EU want commitments from the Turkish government, but one that is set against Iran (or at least withdraw completely form that setting), it might be one of the few paths remaining to avoid a direct war and in all that, the others want commitments. The path could be delayed when open hostilities against Hezbollah are chosen, because at this point, such actions need to go without any Iranian support, and in that Turkey would be willing to sacrifice Hezbollah for their own needs. Iran will at some point use them as martyrs, which is fine for some as martyrs can no longer hold guns that is the reality of war!

In this we see support from the Courier Mail, who makes mention of ‘Russia reeling in Iran’, which might prevent worse, which is partially true. The issue is not any of the outside players; the issue is that the Iranian clergy and military have been prepping for the longest time. Now they want to move in and look good, yet the starting signal was not given at the right time, so now their entire strategy is falling upon the floor with no one wanting the visibility of picking that trash up. In this CNBC has its own view (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/09/trump-iran-sanctions-give-saudi-arabia-and-russia-more-clout.html). With “Saudi Arabia said it will help meet world oil demand if President Donald Trump’s Iran sanctions create shortfalls, but analysts say it will do so only in conjunction with Russia, and the world may have to get used to higher prices as a result” they are correct, that is indeed the midterm play that we all face, increasing oil prices and the energy companies will try to cash in on this as soon as possible, even as they have been enjoying cheap oil for years. This strategy works for both Saudi Arabia and Russia on several fronts, there will be no opposing party ready or able to pick up that slack. Their only way to prevent worse is the action offered by Israel, If the Syrian president tells Iran to go home, it would relieve tensions. The question becomes if Syria willing to do just that? There are still scores of Russians there and perhaps Turkey has an option to show willingness to increase troops, which works for them on all but one front, Iran will see this as an act of desertion against the Iranian settings. Iran’s actions or responses cannot be predicted as present. Even a Syria has had issues with the Turkish ties towards the Muslim Brotherhood and as such, it might be the best option, but not one President Assad is willing to consider (personal speculation). It is a Gordian knot of complications at best, cutting it might be the best, but that too might not be seen as a solution for any of those players.

So where is the option to remove the pressures? I am not certain if there are any left, the issue is the pressures are coming from Iran and they are not willing to change for the time being.

For desert

The end of this should be something light and frothy, there is nothing lighter and frothy than a good game and in light of the upcoming war, is that such a bad deal? We have seen all kinds of allegations and leaks. Now that we see a few announcements, and now that we have seen a few things that Sony will be bringing, I am now at a loss how Microsoft will get anywhere with the uphill battle they face this year. It seems to me that the upcoming Book of the dead is doing to PS4 what the initial the Last of Us did to the PS3. It was overwhelming. In addition when we see the Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Spiderman, Death Stranding and Book of the dead, realising that at least three of these titles will be released in 2018, one is extremely unlikely to come before 2019 (Death Stranding) and one remains an unknown at present, and that is merely the exclusives. Sony has remastered the Spyro trilogy which will entice a new generation and satisfy the ones who played it on the original PlayStation. There are loads more coming, but this is at present what Nintendo and Microsoft are up against, which in light of the results of God of War is not a good thing to be up against. Now that the Sony gamers have heard that the release of Subnautica on PS4 is more and more imminent; an unknown title (to many) that is merely one of the best survival adventures I ever played and original from beginning to end. So in that view, we see that the other brand has a diminishing level of unique games left and that was never a good thing for any console. In my personal view, there is now only one reason why I still have the Xbox One. It is the one game, the game that I revered ever since I got my fingers on the demo that was added to the PC Format disc, al little over 20 years ago. Take a look at the update of the remastered and remade System Shock (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKfnTnZuC5E) where you can see the game in progress and even as it is announced to come to PS4, it is for the time being a lot earlier on Xbox One and PC.

The advantage Microsoft once had is now pretty much gone.

Even as some are all about the gifting a game hype, from my personal experience most people have never given me anything correct when it comes to gaming. Now, in some cases it is indeed nice, but most people prefer to go to shop and get a physical copy of the game. We acknowledge that backward compatibility is a nice setting; there is no denying that, yet over the next year do you want to replay a few good games, or play amazing new games? Backward compatibility is nice to have and an asset, no one denies that, yet the setting of no amazing new games is not something you want to rely on. The Verge actually almost nails it with “The Xbox One is the best console if you don’t care about exclusive new games“, I do agree with the setting, but those exclusives that Sony has is just beyond amazing and Microsoft has nothing to counter that, that is the setting that does matter. Nintendo upped the setting even more with the leak of Pokémon Switch coming this year; this will get millions of 3DS players now update to Switch much faster than initially expected. It gets to be interesting when you consider that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon sold in excess of 7 million copies. With Pokken on Switch (originally a WiiU title) already out and now the new Pokémon’s coming (I expect at least two), we see that Nintendo is upping the score and the pressure on both Microsoft and Sony.

So even as Verge was almost correct, they missed it that the gamers love exclusive titles and the fact that the Sony players are getting the Switch on the side matters as well, apart from them not getting the XB1 on the side. With 26 titles announced by August 2018, the games list is also impacting the other two. Bethesda is giving Wolfenstein 2 a ‘switch’ over in 7 weeks, The Crash Bandicoot fans get to do it all over again on Switch as well and Capcom is breathing life to Streetfighter with a 30th anniversary edition this month on Switch, yes, my prediction that I made a mere two weeks ago is coming to pass, the worst nightmare for Microsoft is coming, Nintendo and Sony have upped their game and as it is less likely that Microsoft can equal that during the E3; by no more than late August will we see the setting whether the total Nintendo Switch sales will surpass Xbox One total sales by Christmas 2018, it is now becoming increasingly likely that Microsoft Xbox One will grace third position in the console race before December 31st 2018. Microsoft will have to produce a miracle by the end of the year and it better be a lot better than there marketing department hiding behind “All Xbox One games and Microsoft Store PC games are now eligible for digital gifting“, because when I look at AC Origin Gold (AU$145) and Shadow of War Gold (AU$158), I wonder if the people know that these games are around 40Gb to download and a 100% larger if you have 4K capabilities. So not only is it a massive download, the fact that these XB1 consoles have no more than 1TB is also a consideration. Nothing on any of this is a ‘pro’ gamer setting, merely a maximum exploitation setting from Microsoft. And that is even before you realise that a new Shadow of War Gold edition (with Steelbook) is a mere AU$99.95 at EB Games, so, do you still think I am kidding when it comes to Microsoft dropping the ball three times over? Are you kidding with downloading a game at a price that is 50% higher than a physical version in the shops?

Like Iran, Microsoft overplayed their hand way too soon and they are also in the venue of not being able to counter what comes. A setting that they should have avoided, in that light we can compare the Microsoft marketeers with the Iranian clerics, they shout from the highest peaks, but without the support of actual product you end up merely irritating people, which is how I personally see this all.

A desert that was a little less light on the bowels, but in all this we see that some games over the next month will be shown to be not up to the fight against reality and consumerism. Because both rely on smooth sailing and those who have never been hit by internet congestion have for the most never ever used the full setting of it. Until very recently, Sydney NBN users had 4 hours a week of congestion, now consider having to fetch your Sex in the city, the latest movie, download games, watch reality (kitchen) TV and focus on the big footy games. So how welcome was that digital download game to the internet welfare of the family in the end?

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Gaming, Media, Military, movies, Politics

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Politics, Religion, Science

The hungry Journalist games

Another day and another article on Sky News!

This all started a long time ago, but it seems that this article (at http://news.sky.com/story/1293651/internet-firms-take-legal-action-against-gchq), opens up new avenues to explore, aqs it already had taken the cake as one might say. There are issues for certain, they are on both sides, but what is this about?

The seven countries involved are the UK, the US, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zimbabwe. Let’s start by stating that this is an interesting group of nations to begin with. It was an article in Der Spiegel that set them off. Most sources seem to have copied and pasted the same message (Reuters Journalism as I tend to call it), one source also had this: “Their complaint follows in the wake of articles about mass surveillance published in the Guardian based on material released by Snowden“.

So again this could be a ‘Snowden’ story, but I want to take a look at another side and the quote by Eric King spokesperson (deputy director) of Privacy International who stated “It completely cripples our confidence in the internet economy and threatens the rights of all those who use it. These unlawful activities, run jointly by GCHQ and the NSA, must come to an end immediately

Is that the truth, or should the correct quote be “It completely undermines our support of optional criminal activities and threatens the opportunity of economic abuse for all who desire it. Their unlawful activities, run jointly by GCHQ and the NSA, must come to an end immediately, so that we may again focus on possibly deniable illicit profit

That is quite the change, isn’t it? Consider the following two issues. First the prices, for example ‘Greenhost’ offers the following:

Webhosting 120 GB storage and 1.2 TB data traffic for 132.75 euro’s a month and virtual data servers containing 50 GB storage and 1 TB bandwidth a month for 215 euro’s a month. Basically, just one account would fit the web space for most the ENTIRE Forbes top 50, not just one or two.

So, in light of recent events, I thought I had something here, the Dutch provider fits the bill, but then I got to Riseup, which no longer seemed to be active and the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) which seemed highly ideologically to me. More important, it did not fit the bill either. So am I barking up the wrong tree? (I have been wrong before you know!)

I still believe that the ISP’s are all about not complying as it is not about freedom, but about bandwidth (which directly translates into revenue), which seemed to fit the first part, but the others are not about that, which makes me wonder what is in play. Do you actually think that the NSA and GCHQ are about wasting time? So, is the Chaos Computer Club a waste of time? No, as far as I can tell, they are not. Are they a threat? Well, that remains the issue. They are hackers after all. Is it that farfetched that some people would want to keep track of some of these members? Let’s not forget that someone is feeding organised crime the knowledge that they need to avoid prosecution, when considering the power that both the Triades and the Russian Mafia have in the digital age area, looking into the CCC to some extent seems to be a given. However, knowing their skills, doing it in the way it is implied to have been done seems a little over the top as most of these hackers are pretty proud of themselves and they are for the most not in hiding. Let us not forget, they voice themselves to be about the freedom of the German people and the utter privilege of their data remaining private.

The fact is that this is an implied mess involving 7 countries, the next valid question becomes: ‘are they linked (beyond the accusation), or are they just a collection of elements?’

That question bares scrutiny, but should also indicate the view I have had of Snowden from the very beginning. I believe him to be a joke (and a bad one at that). Now, most of you will not believe this, but let us take a look at the EVIDENCE. I am not talking about some claim, but actual evidence partially on the common sense you and me hopefully tend to have.

1. The claims that he has made involves massive levels of access. Not the access a hacker will ever have, but the information from top level sources in the CIA, NSA and GCHQ. So were talking hacking into over dozens of top level secured servers, servers which are monitored 24/7. He, some hacker no one had ever heard from, did all that. These people behind the screens do NOT EVER give out passwords, do not give access, yet he had all the information and walked out of one of the most secure buildings in the world with all THAT data? This is a quote found in sources like ‘the Verge’ and ‘Wired’. I think we can agree that wired is a reputable source in regards to technology (at http://www.wired.com/2013/06/snowden-thumb-drive/) “‘There are people who need to use a thumb drive and they have special permission,’ an unnamed, ex-NSA official told the LA Times. ‘But when you use one, people always look at you funny.’” This is not unlike the view I have had for a year now. Let’s not forget, the NSA is the place where SELinux was developed, it was designed to keep close tabs on access control, specifically, who, where, how and with what. So ‘some’ technician, with the USB drive in the most secure server space on the planet is just not going to fly. The question I had from the very beginning is not how he did it, but what was actually at play here? The next part is assumption! Was it to give Booz Allan Hamilton more profit? That was my alleged first thought. If data was going to get ported to non-government institutions, this small caper could give BAH and whoever was getting oversight an easy and clean billion a year in revenue. That tactic, still ethically wrong, would have made perfect sense to me.

Here is how I see it and this is PURE assumption (I will get back to evidence in a minute for my next issue), consider the Microsoft disappointment with data collection plans for the Xbox One. We see some of the changes (at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/23/us/politics/house-votes-to-limit-nsas-collection-of-phone-data.html). The following quotes are essential here. The first one was from Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, “The N.S.A. might still be watching us, he added, but now we can be watching them“. It is a bold statement, but is it true; moreover, should they be watched? Yes, any intelligence operation needs oversight, which is fair enough in a democratic way of life, but how many should overlook this? Are the people in oversight not granted well above average powers and is it fair to any opposition party that they should have it?

2. What lies beneath this access is the amount of involvement. Prism is one of the named projects with supported links to Australia, the UK and the Netherlands, with Microsoft as a commercial partner. Really? One nation, known for clogs, cheeses, Hans Brinker and soccer is placed next to the NSA and the Commonwealth? It is a technological hub, no doubt about that, but it is the size of Maryland. So, this is just the first of several projects, involving secrecies that would be limited to the very top, most of it would not be written down and Snowden had it (as in having in past tense, details follow). The mention of projects like XKeyscore, Tempora, Project 6, Stateroom, Lustre and Muscular. They are not only different projects, but they are a scope of projects that would not ever be in one location to begin with. So, what is implied as ‘the top’ of data gathering and one IT person has it all? Is no one asking the questions the PRESS should have asked and openly doubted from the very beginning to begin with (a part that is not voiced in any way).

The funny part is that stateroom seems to be no more than the legal collection of information as EVERY government tends to collect diplomatic data and in his claim he made them ALL bitches to the NSA, they just do not know it. There is also a reference to Echelon, there are several references, but the one that matters is not named. A covert niche within the NSA and the name of the source is: Tom Clancy!

Is anyone starting to wake up now?

This is not about anything but the warped imagination that is not even close to a reality. Consider that every government has embassies and consulates, the Dutch have them, the Australians have them, so do the Brits and the Germans, not to mention the French and they have them too. Consulates and Embassies represent their governments. Consulates tend to be specific for people and companies, so that they have backups. Like getting home when your passport is stolen, or to help a company with a list of people they should talk to for starting to do business. Trade will always remain important anywhere. Embassies are more about ‘governing’ opportunities as I see them. The Dutch want to get first dibs on building a reliable bridge, so their ambassador talks the great talk. People skills is what it is all about and talking to the right people. There are other sides too, they try to resolve issues, like a Dutchman committing a crime in Melbourne (for example) and the Embassy tries to ‘help’ the Dutch person to get home again, or to assist local government with their investigation if need be. These people do work that they sometimes like and sometimes hate, it is a job that needs to be done. To get the best results some things need to remain confidential and secret and as such whether through encrypted ways or through other ways messages go back and front between a government and its local representatives and that needs a little more security. Some is as simple as a message of a first insight as to build a bridge; to keep the advantage this goes encrypted. It is the cost of business, plain and simple. There is no hidden agenda (other than national pride in trying to score the job). So, they do they do their job and they are not the NSA bitch in the process.

It is simple approach and the lie hidden within a truth was stated as “They are covert, and their true mission is not known by the majority of the diplomatic staff at the facility where they are assigned” Part of the truth is that the encryption specialist is usually not known, it is not a secret either, he used to be the person, who had one extra book with cyphers, he opened each page and set the encryption box and transmitted the information, often a NCO of communication (often has NATO duty reference A00x0). That person had two extra tasks and most in the diplomatic staff might not know, or better stated, they absolutely do not care.

When we saw the statements by certain key people in Australia or the UK they spoke the absolute truth. The small explanation I gave is done by all, the DSD (AUS), GCHQ (UK) and as I said it the Dutch have it too. It is a simple legally valid and required job that needs to be done, nothing secret about it, it is the cost of doing business and sometimes, to keep a lead profitable it sometimes gets handed over more secured, just like they do it at Microsoft (they just get heaps better equipment).

Another issue is the XKeyscore reference. Does such a thing exist, most likely! Now consider the implications of the following, there are mentions of 700 servers in 150 locations. The fact that it needs to intercept without visibility and analyse at the same time as a person does many things at the same time. Even if the best of the best was used (which likely is the case), then we are looking at a very select group trying to get a handle on perhaps no more than the most dangerous 2000 people on the planet. Does anyone believe that a system like this remains a secret if 4 Australian bases are involved? The next part can also be taken as a fact. Can anyone even guess the amount of bandwidth this takes? Most routers nearby the monitored person will truly get a beating, so whatever this is, it will show up. It is the scope that is claimed that makes no sense. Some in the NSA might find it nice if it was true, but the weak link in all this is the actual internet.

The last part of this is the kicker in this joke. If his life depends on it all, do you actually think he would ever part with the information? This came from the NY Times from October 2013 (at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/world/snowden-says-he-took-no-secret-files-to-russia.html) “Mr Snowden said he gave all of the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, before flying to Moscow, and did not keep any copies for himself“, so his life depends on a journalist, who now has the thousands of documents?

Perhaps we should look at a much more likely explanation, the man has no value, the press is stretching the value of events, as they would and Snowden has played his part, I still think that the Chinese saw in him what I saw from the very beginning, a simple joke! They walked away and he had to flee to Russia who is keeping him around for entertainment and to piss of the Yanks (which they also regard as good entertainment). My issue is not him, but the fact that I see more wasted time and energy on laughable cases that keep us all away from actually moving forward. In this economy, as we are so stretched thin, rebuilding an economy is a first need, not waste time on some feigned attack on the ‘confidence in the internet economy‘ as Eric King puts it.

And for the love of whomever, let’s not compare Snowden and Assange, I completely oppose Assange and his view, but at least he seemed to believe in that what he did was a just cause and acted accordingly.

In the end this is just my view, but no one seems to be asking the questions the press are supposed to be asking. The Guardian and Der Spiegel seem to get a ‘free’ hand in boasting tons of data and a simple stamp ‘Snowden said it was so’ seems enough for people to just accept it.

4 Comments

Filed under IT, Law, Military, Politics