Tag Archives: Titanic

It’s about time, slappers only

Even as we look at games, play games and even improve games, we all tend to have our own idea on how things should be. So I decided to take a look in another direction, I decided to look at the Unreal Engine (Unity too), on how to make a game. To be honest, I have no plans to create a game, even though I have a few ideas on at least one original IP, I feel out of my depth on creating the game myself.

So why look at these engines?

I noticed whilst I was observing someone else making a ‘game’ and introducing people on how to make a game, I noticed that my mind wandered into how that applied into my own IP. It also gave me the additional ideas on how to evolve gaming (my IP) and give the player something new, something they have not played before; more important, a version of view that has not been done before, which in light of all the games out there is quite the statement to make. Even as some effects seem familiar as we have seen different visions in games like Splinter Cell (night vision, thermal vision), what can you do to gaming when you do not get to have a choice? What if your evolution also brings with it changes in how you see things? It was an interesting view that we saw (read: read about), in Infocom’s Suspended. It was my first Infocom game (CBM64) and also the only one where I actually had to buy the hint guide for (came with a marker to make invisible statements visible. So as we took control of Iris, Whiz, Waldo, Auda, Poet and Sensa, we saw something different as all of them looked at the same thing. That idea was pretty interesting to read about, yet what happens when we ‘see’ the difference? That was the first foundation of a new title. The second part came from a memory of a game called Mercenary (Novagen). There were the Palyar and the Mechanoids, now what if they were one and the same (a Dark Chrystal reference), what if we have a game where the environment forces us (not allows) for evolution from one to the other, yet also with the setbacks that one or the other has. A game where you can choose to go one way, go the other way, yet gives us the puzzles and challenges that does not merely make it a fun game to play; it would in addition also give us a challenge that makes the fun of replay much higher. As an RPG fan, the option to replay a game is important to me for the mere reason that if I am able to buy a game at $100, I would like to be able to play it several times, or as they say in Fintech, if you can squeeze a $10 bill and you get 11 $1 coins, only then have you maximised your currency. I can do that to games, so hence the stage to create something that is a great return on investment.

So as I am looking at these Unreal Engine presentations, I am seeing all kinds of changes that could make the game even better, more challenging and more fun to play. I am now also seeing a few things that I had not actively considered to the degree that I needed to consider it. After merely seeing 3 hours of presentations, I saw half a dozen items that added to the thoughts of the new IP I am ‘creating’. So what happens when you are in one stage? You want to be in a stage where you can have two challenges without repeating the methods. It is almost an Alien versus Space Marine part, but not the same, the difference is still there, yet in another way. The best example is seen in the original Daredevil with Ben Affleck. So what if our view is based on some version of: ‘sonic plus’? This was merely one of several iterations my mind was going through to set the stage of the game. And just watching the run through gave me additional idea after idea and as such, my version of this non existing game kept on evolving.

Why do we care?

Well, you might not, yet consider the elements I came up with, it seems that it is not entirely unique, yet the version I have has to the best of the knowledge never be seen and if I can come up with this, why de several development houses work with a new version of that same Franchise again and again and we see a total lack of actual original new games. What makes for a game to be squeezed in repetition with a larger lack of new IP? It seems to me that certain houses have been lacking in true new IP and that seems like such a shame. If a gamer is depending on something new, not something relaunched, we see the flaw that is out there, and in that same light we see the growing desire of golden greats like System Shock. Do not get me wrong, I loved that game and I hope to play the remastered edition when it is done. More importantly, it also gave me other ideas on how to resolve play value. You see, in System Shock, what was working had to be destroyed (camera’s) systems had to be switched (VR Cyberspace level parts). Yet what happens when you have to get it fixed. Not some blatant ‘repair tool’ that shines on the object. No, what happens when you have to scrounge systems to find parts to rebuild a server, strip tools, strip consoles to get the keyboard, the display and the processor system? Get to the router and then get to the server? We seem to think of such elements too easy. So what value do you get when you play the game in hard core mode and you have to set the stage to repair network access systems? You might only have to do it once, but there we get the additional choice of fixing a system, versus stripping systems to create a mobile version. Now what additional solutions will we see when it goes beyond merely network. In System Shock it is on a space station, so water, environment and other elements would optionally be broken and that is how I saw my new IP, not merely fixing and scrounging, but the fact that in any biological disaster we see the impact and limitations of a dangerous zone. Now, what if that is not set straight, but could alter from game to game? New routes, now solutions and other options would need to be found to get to a certain stage, in addition, as we change those parameters, the steps to do certain things will also alter as to where and when we choose to make changes and that too adds to the challenge.

A next stage

So what happens when we take that to a new level? What if we consider Watch Dogs 4 (three is being made now)? What if the setting of the stage is completely out of our comfort zone? What if we impose limits on ourselves? How willing are you to go into true survival RPG when it is not some irradiated mess (Fallout series) or Post-apocalyptic (Horizon Zero Dawn). How ready are you to be a real gamer and in the game you ended up in Korea or Japan and that game is all Korean or Japanese? Will you fold or rise to the occasion? In my view in Watchdogs 4, you and your sister/brother escape from people smugglers and you swim ashore to end up being in either country. Having no knowledge of the language, in Seoul or Tokyo and the introduction leaves you with a clean smartphone and Google glasses. Now you have to get the software, use the glasses to translate signs on the go, you need to learn language and you need to figure out how to get another party free (who is still captive somewhere). You get to choose on a criminal or non-criminal lifestyle all with its own challenges of work, odd jobs, a place, food and other elements. Can you complete both sides whilst also freeing your parents and not set of the alarms that running to the police will get your parents killed? Now consider doing that in a completely set city (a 900% version of the Watchdogs 2 map), also consider the elements that can be added, additional challenges and a true evolved NPC stage of interactions. I got part of the idea when watching the YouTube channel Only in Japan * Go (at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDsvL48jluG3tvlyurB4K3g), what if the interactive part is truly AI driven and it has a lot more responses than we have now (like 5,000% more). A stage where time is more important, not merely a day rotation where 30 minutes represents 24 hours, but where time is closer to actual and the game will have constraints in time management. We have seen elements of what I described here and there, yet for the most we have never seen them all united and when you are in a game that should last you 100-150 hours of gaming to complete. Taking the stage forwards by adding long term playing challenges, with the essential need to avoid grinding we see a new stage in gaming, a new stage in RPG, even as we see the truck load of people being anti-Bethesda for now. They did make a huge change and even as there is an essential need to patch the 34,554 bugs and glitches (a mere speculated rough estimate), we are looking at a game that is more about survival than the series have ever added before. We see the option to push a similar evolution into the Watchdogs series, where survival becomes an issue when we are no longer in our element; also we are no longer in a place where we can just walk around. The option to show new technologies and add technologies in a new light, where a device like Nudle Glass, could translate any sign we see in the game by adding a text balloon with the translation. where the phone will do voice translation and we add mobile technologies where we start getting the ability to hack, the ability to interact and the ability to emboss the storyline and challenges. A place where you need to get the odd job (on a food market, a market or just some courier job) where you get the cash to get by for the daily cycle whilst still having to find a way to safe your parents. More importantly, a stage where you have to get it done within a certain time (250 days for example) before their health gives out, these are all stages that we have seen before, yet never all at the same time and not to this extent. We need food and water (the one real fault in Subnautica), yet when we are given hours to get things done, we see options to stretch a game in more meaningful ways. the need to get transportation and to get on public transport as we cannot run from one end to the other (like in Watchdogs), as we have to get from one place to the other in Tokyo (or Seoul), yet when we have to get by 13Km to do that, time becomes a factor and that is the part game makers ignored because they lived by the act that all of it had to be fast and dynamic, yet the longer RPG game could benefit from the additional challenge of getting transport and learning to find your way by public transport (time skipping). It is not merely for the challenges and the storyline. You get to be part of the environment; you will need to clearly think on your feet. We might have been able to forego sleep in Fallout 3 for 200 days, yet the need for sleep will be here (even if we skip it in a few seconds wait time), we impact the other elements and when time becomes a deciding factor in the game we get a more true survival game. In opposition of Elder Scrolls (Oblivion or Skyrim) where we loaded up al every mission we could, making time a factor means that we need to focus on a mission. Even as we need not consider time for everything, we get to have a time driven to do list, affecting the way our NPC’s regard us, as we miss the deadline for jobs.

We also get to consider how we survive, not only is making the wrong enemies a much larger concern, adhering the game to, for example, Japanese law where they have ‘No one shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords’ gives new needs for being creative. The Thunder ball in WD2 was extremely innovative, in WD4, we might resolve to set the stage for a walking cane, or perhaps a belt (strangling). By adding the locations realism in practise, we also create new solutions towards game play. We can still use the WD hacking weapons, yet now we add new elements to the challenge. We might think it is not cool to be unarmed, however when we consider the reality of ‘Japan has some of the world’s strictest gun control laws with punishments that even scare gangsters‘, when we see that, the need for creativity makes the entire enterprise more rewarding too. I hope we can all agree that opening vents via remote in WD2 was as lame as it could get, the challenge can still be met in other ways. So when it is no longer about the killing, but now it is about creativity (like collecting data) we create a new kind of survival game, an entirely new challenge and is that not what gaming is about? When it is not about dropping bodies; when the stage becomes about paths that are about industrial espionage, true surveillance and getting the wealth that could purchase freedom, or perhaps the paths that will expose the people holding your parents, we see applied creativity in another way. We open the door for people to find another way to get to the end and that journey is open for anyone, yet by making time a new constraint and a more truthful constraint we see that people will try to adopt ‘glitches’ when that fails (and it should), we end up getting a real gamer and the game that does that changes the dimensional view of anyone playing a game. When the silenced scope is not available, when the knife gets you years in jail (parents dead, end game!) we can start looking at what we can do to give the challenge of a watchdog. You see, a watchdog is a person who ‘warns members of the community when potential or actual problems arise‘, we saw that to some degree in WD2, running all over San Francisco, yet we can take it to a much larger scale. When the game allows for the criminal side by data invasion, corrupt journalist devices and hack police terminals, or do the opposite by resolving hacks, by deleting criminal data bases and transmitting video of criminal activities in the game, we can become rich, famous and well known or have both worlds by getting a second identity and do both. If we can set the stage of double dipping and we can also create the stage where we can be found out playing both fields and as such impede progress, angering both sides of the social isle; we get a much larger scale to play with and a much bigger challenge. It makes the game more rewarding when we replay the game.

Is this a good idea?

Most likely in this shape not. It needs work and we now have the resources to take it to this level, yet most software houses have not shown the willingness to take it this far (exception Ubisoft- Far Cry 5 and Bethesda- Elder Scrolls), and a lot more is possible. You merely have to look at Horizon Zero Dawn and how much further it could go is a clear indication of what might be reached. Having the map online is one solution (Fallout 76), yet when we realise that in Horizon Zero Dawn is in a scale of 107.5:1 (in miles) compared to real life. What if we see a game where it is less than 10:1 (1:1 being the optimal solution), what other parts will you open? Not merely a place like Tamriel with suddenly the space for 24,999 additional locations, but the stage where we actually need to keep mind on mapping to find the location of Telepe, we see a new challenge added to it all. The nice part is that we can still scale according to level of gameplay, having from easy (90:1) towards hard-core (1:1) we get a game that is not merely more challenging, we get a game that no one has seen before, it needs a true new approach to skills, levelling, completing and time that changes the game. The nice part we saw in Fallout, is where we in Survival (hard-core mode) we see the one life part as well as the absence of fast travel. We see them all as interesting challenges to try, yet when we add them all together we create an entirely new level of gaming. The PC has been there for some time, and with their drives installing it all to the drive is a breeze nowadays (one Blu-ray for the map, and one for the game) For consoles it is a different matter and one that needs work, optionally requiring an online connection for single play, where all the other players will work from an ‘image’ of the same map. No matter how we slice it, the players and gamers are all ready for a new level of gaming.

The downside?

Well, there is no real downside; there is an additional challenge of avoid the mistakes we see in AC Odyssey. Several sources give us: ‘Lots of level grinding‘, ‘Repetitive missions‘ and ‘Long load times and stuttering‘. The last one is a technology issue and should be resolved; grinding needs to be avoided at all times, yet at times will be there. If your daily routine requires income, we get grinding to some extent and food and rent, yet when you pay rent every month, we need to find the week to get through, whilst getting paid in the process. The challenge is to keep grinding to a low. when we see the comment ‘Simplistic combat’, we accept that in some cases, yet when we are in a game where combat is to be avoided and reduced to slappers only (pugilism), we still get a decent challenge if the AI is good enough. In addition, as I see it I want the gender to set the stage for entirely different play throughs, As the girl you have retail options, and also a stage where invitations to the right party places could offer all kinds of opportunities, yet on the criminal side of the game, it might not be so rewarding. To overcome (in a creative way mind you) on how we can add no less than 5 dozen ways to get income (two dozen of one and 36 of the other), we have the setting for not merely an achievement, depending on where it is, we might set a financial stage, as well as a social stage that opens up location (housing opportunities) to shift the range of time requiring to be spend doing one or the other.

When we approach that part, the game becomes bigger, not more tedious. Some might say that if there is no kill score, there is no game and perhaps those people would feel better moving to Detroit, yet in light of any RPG, is violence required? I never did it myself, yet some have played and finished the game in pacifist mode. I admire that as I never considered that in the first few play throughs. Those are defining moments in gaming, when you go out and try that one option you never tried. When you are merely left with the MacGyver placement to get the dough you need for next month, how can you apply it in enough ways to avoid getting the ‘grinder’ label?

In light of the AC Odyssey reviews that might be the larger challenge, especially when you want to equal or even surpass the 150 hour game challenge. I particularly like the Watchdog setting as we get to explore new ways where technology is pushing the envelope of gaming, not the hardware, but the devices in the game. When we need to evolve the software in the smartphone used to get better at hacking, get more in receiving and skim more from people, how can we do this in creative ways? As the locations change and we see that in ‘richer’ places we see more NPC’s with RFID protection, how can the player still get by? In WD2 we merely got the apps and that was it, it was an opportunity missed. Several apps had the potential to be upgraded to a ‘better’ version. When we see that in action, we can contemplate what foreign refugee life in that new place could be. Push beyond the apps and elements like health tags, domotics, smart monitoring, entertainment hacking for students (extra income in game), so many options to add to the game. At some point the question becomes, will that much data break the game?

The other way round

The largest issue we see in many RPG games is that linearity is an issue; Infamous Second Son is the best example. It starts truly great, yet when you get to Seattle it becomes as linear as a ruler and even in hard mode it is not a real challenge (apart from the third boss). To avoid that we can do what they avoided in Horizon Zero Dawn. There (in my personal view) the Tallneck had too much information; it is an equal flaw in the AC series. What if we change it so that some sets have some types of information (not unlike the server hacks in WD1), yet other information like food, shops, are found in other places. What happens, when we need some version of Yelp for one and a WD version of Lifull (Japanese rental app) for another part? Why did they not use a much larger App Shop tool, where apps had advantages and disadvantages and you can only use one, giving a new challenge in the game. You see we can use it as a benefit and a limitation. We get the benefit of one, whilst losing out on the other (luck becomes a factor) and if every game tweaks these elements (like rental prices, income per hour) we take a risk in using the same solution, diversifying the choices we make, enhancing the replay option.

Every time the ship sinks

It is an old joke, yet did you imagine in 1997, that watching Titanic (preferably in IMAX) had a different outcome when you watched it the second time? It might not work in the movies, in gaming it will. When we are confronted with a new challenge and we can reset the parameters, we can add a chance that some actions happen, making the rush towards a goal more urgent and by moving from easy to normal or even survival some chances increase. It gives two parts, the benefit that you are truly challenged and the stage where there was no chance to win (like in Shanghai, when you end up having two identical stones on one another), we can try to avoid the chance, yet should the chance be zero?

RPG & Realism

I added the no guns part earlier not because I like it that way, but because I admire the option of the pacifist path, it adds to a game, so we can still have weapons, we can still use them in the equation, making the penalty and danger a lot larger if caught. Yet having a weapon and especially in the far east where we all think that life is incomplete without Katana or Geom, we see all kinds of options to enhance the game and gameplay. Yet in my mind WD4 should be much stronger on technology, hacking and devices, maximising what we can do with them. It was pathetic in WD1, yet in WD2 we saw a really nice boost, we can however do a lot more than it had and we should push for that. At present there are a whole host of actual hacking apps. iRet, netKillUIbeta, iWep Pro, Myriam iOS Security App, iSpy, Hopper App, Cycript, Frida, Firecat, Highster Mobile, et al. What if there is a Watchdog version of some (or all) where we have to rely on other means to get information to get further in the game? We can have one to three apps that have these abilities and as we get access to another app, we can evolve one of those three to give us more hack power. In addition, the merging of app and stealth gives us more time to get what we need before we are blocked (an income limitation). So as we go forward we get challenged more. We could just go Fred Flintstone, bash the person hack the phone an walk away. Getting more initially, yet also getting loads of infamy from the boys and girls in law enforcement blue.

All options that would have been available, yet the present RPG lines never truly pushed the envelope, it seems a little bizarre. There is no way of telling how popular any RPG game gets, yet when we see that the greatest foes are ‘repetition’ and ‘grinding’, it seems odd that some of my ideas were not there in WD2, as it was something we could have seen coming a mile away.

This might not have been interesting to anyone but gamers, yet when we see how the US is seemingly angering Iran and Saudi Arabia to an equal degree, do you really want to wake up and drink coffee, or play a video game and hope that after 4 hours it was all merely a bad dream? When we consider the dozens of additions that took less than a few hours to add, against the fact that some of these games have been out since 2014 and sequels in 2016. Is it not interesting that so much of the same is shown to gamers? Not merely Watchdogs (Ubisoft), Fallout (Bethesda) could have made additional usage of terminals, writeable holotapes and other bits as well, between 2008 and 2018, we saw 3 products and we see forward momentum to a decent degree, no one is debating that, yet how much more could we have seen? When we see in regards to Far Cry 5 ‘it’s very much More of the Same‘, should we fear the beginning of iterative gaming? I can tell you now that this would be a really really bad thing. We went from Forbidden Forest (1983) to Tekken 3 (1997), which shows a 1000% improvement in all directions, yet when we consider Tekken 6 (2007) and Tekken 7 (2015) we are for the most merely confronted with better graphics and the list of games with a similar issue is growing rapidly. A truckload of gaming leaps all ignored for a few reasons I gather, so in my view there is too much wrong and the fact that we are confronted with Forbes asking “is it fresh enough, or is this just another Ubisoft open-world game checking off all the boxes?” and the fact that Metacritic gives us 78% rating for the game. When you consider that the game had a budget between $80 and $130 million, and a 78% score, we need to worry. Ubisoft might not care as some claim that it made over $310 million in the first week. Yet, if we consider that it could have been a 90% game, is this a stage where Ubisoft missed out of an additional $150-$200 million? There is no way to tell and it is highly speculative from my side. In this I am not hammering Far Cry 5, merely using the most visible example. Is one a sign of the other and as such is it also a sign of iterative game development? It is an important fact and one that needs investigation as the game in gaming is set for more and higher budgets. As gaming was set to a $108.9 billion stage in 2017, and as the predictions given to us, that in 2020 $20 billion more will be made, is it not important to maximise that as much as possible? Especially now in a stage where too many are on a tight budget, relying on Black Friday and Week 12 discounts, getting it right as much as possible will be adamant in getting the larger chunk of that $120 billion pie.

When we (speculatively) see that ‘more of the same’ is part of the 78% rating, a diversified game is becoming more and more important. Some might not care, others might oppose, yet when we see that GTA5, a game (not my style of game mind you) that some regard as perfect as a game can get, that game made $6 billion, my case is, as I personally see it made.

If some are to be believed, there is the idea that 2020 would be the year of GTA6, with the view as is, there is every chance that every owned of GTA5, will get GTA6, implying that all the other game makers will vie for the additional budget left for gaming. In that stage, as I personally see it, they will not spend it on a game that is more of the same, so the other game makers will have to consider upping their development ante by a lot.

Whatever comes out then will also require extremely serious testing, as the people are getting mighty annoyed with the amount of huge day one downloads they face.

 

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What is Hiding Underwater

What is the reality of surface life? That is the first question that comes to mind when I look at the fallout that Brexit is creating. You see, to comprehend this part I need to take you back to the 15th April 1912, in that year New Mexico and Arizona become part of the Union that is now regarded as the United States of America and the first Balkan War has not yet started, no at this time the titanic sinks. The world gets introduced to the dangers of an Iceberg, the danger s that 90% of an iceberg remains below the surface. A lesson that will reverberate in many ways. This one event changes the rules of safety regulations for ships at sea forever (for the better I might add). The part that has been dramatized again and again is about a ship going down. It would not be until 1997 until someone truly turned this event into a money maker (James Cameron), it would fetch a little over 2 billion dollars, not a bad result for a movie. The reality is, that for most, the unknown fact was that the Titanic was the direct cause of something else. It would be the reason for something that was created in 1914, it was the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Let me add a little spice here. If the Titanic had not met up with that proverbial ice cube, there is a decent chance that the amount of fatalities from WW1 and WW2 would have been a lot higher.

You see, what lies beneath the surface is an issue, especially when we do not know what is there. We can only arm ourselves with the lessons we are taught and the common sense implementation that our logic allows for. So when I saw two articles today, my mind went into wander mode. The simplest of reasons is that certain events do not make sense. I feel that we are being played. This is a feeling I have and I could be massively wrong at this point. I accept that, but let me tell you about these articles and these facts and it will be up to you to decide.

  1. Construction becomes first casualty of Brexit as housebuilders get jitters‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/04/construction-first-casualty-brexit-housebuilders-jitters-eu-referendum).

So there has been a referendum and a vote has been cast. We now read “their stockpiles will reach to the moon and back. That’s the message from private sector house builders, which have looked into the industry’s crystal ball and concluded that there is no reason to expand supply for the next six months“, in addition we get “As the former head of the civil service Lord Turnbull said last week, the industry is extremely sensitive to economic sentiment and will not build a single house more than it believes can be sold” as well as “the industry is unable to build the homes that the nation needs, where it needs them and at a reasonable price“. You see, when we see messages on house shortages, on the fact that houses are absolutely unaffordable, is it not weird that one referendum, a referendum that will take time to sort out suddenly has this effect? As I see it, the prices have been pushed up and up in a bubble and the people have been victims. This is partially sown/proven when we consider “Tony Pidgley, the chairman of Berkeley Group, who pocketed a 42% rise in his take home pay to £23m last year, could not close the supply gap even if he wanted to“, as well as “He needs to make a profit for his hungry shareholders, who have set him a target of generating £2bn in pretax profit over three years from 2015“. So we now see that we have been the play toy of ‘hungry’ (read: greedy) shareholders. Exploitation of an unacceptable level and I wonder why the people at large accept this. Pardon my ‘off grammar’ English when I state “Can we get rid of these bloody shareholders, preferably with extreme prejudice?

You see, when we reread the article in another light we get:

  1. Pity the poor brick makers; Why? Bricks are needed, they have a certain cost and they are always needed.
  2. There is no reason to expand supply for the next six months; why? There is still a housing shortage.
  3. Will not build a single house more than it believes can be sold. Wrong? This is perception of when it will be sold. There is no need to not build, mainly because there is a housing shortage. People need houses.
  4. The industry is unable to build the homes that the nation needs, where it needs them and at a reasonable price. This is now proven to be untrue. This industry has become a vulture driving up prices artificially by reselling a house at times more than once, even before the house is build.

It seems to me that the law can be adjusted, so that a house cannot be sold until 2 years after the house/building has been completed. That takes out the speculative vultures and it would drop house prices to a level where a population at least 15% larger than initial would be able to afford a house. So when I read about Tony Pidgley and his shareholders, I would suggest that if Mr Pidgley desperately needs that 2 billion in profit, he should consider explaining to these shareholders how to make £20 per half hour selling services in areas like Soho? It sounds a bit over the top, but when we see profits that run into billions, we have truly overstated levels of acceptability. Perhaps moving away from the EU forcing another path where 64 million Brits could regain a life that is affordable is truly the best thing to do. Let’s not forget that an affordable mortgage, means that families will spend on quality of life, this implies that commerce will grow and no stimulus (in the way Mario Draghi is applying it) would be required.

The second article is actually a very different channel. The article ‘Standard Life shuts property fund amid rush of Brexit withdrawals‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/04/standard-life-shuts-property-fund-post-brexit-withdrawals). The quote here is “The £2.9bn fund, which invests in commercial properties including shopping centres, warehouses and offices, is thought to be the first UK property fund to suspend trading since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when some of the biggest names in investment management stopped withdrawals because they did not have the money to repay investors” and it makes me wonder what game is on here. The article links to ‘New Star halts property fund withdrawals‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/money/2008/nov/26/new-star-suspends-investor-withdrawals), which was the 2008 meltdown. So now, when we see Standard Life’s property funds referring to “Investors in Standard Life’s property funds have been told that they cannot withdraw their money, after the firm acted to stop a rush of withdrawals following the UK’s decision to leave the EU“, I wonder how many investors, where they are from and the reasoning is behind the withdrawal.

You see, there are two options. The first one, the straight path is the one where we see the links to ‘shopping centres, warehouses and offices‘, these places are still needed, commerce will go on, even if the downturn is stronger, people need food, people need their goods. This will not change. The part that will change is the one we just dealt with. Unacceptable ‘profit margins’, which implies at present that these ‘investors’ are little more than vultures, do we need more of those?

It is the next quote that implies that there is a secondary path: “The selling process for real estate can be lengthy as the fund manager needs to offer assets for sale, find prospective buyers, secure the best price and complete the legal transaction. Unless this selling process is controlled, there is a risk that the fund manager will not achieve the best deal for investors in the fund, including those who intend to remain invested over the medium to long term”, here I wonder if the fund manager has been ‘juicing’ expectations, which could only continue in a ‘Bremain’ world. The fact that the news cycles go wider as the mere intent that the reality of Brexit made the Dow buckle is equally weird (initially).

When we consider the words from Mark Carney, who stated “U.K. banks can be part of the solution, not part of the problem“, in that mindset I can offer a first option. If we get rid of Tony Pidgley and his shareholders, the UK gets to not see these 2 Billion go elsewhere. Now, let’s be fair, the UK would never make that much on it, so if the coffers can accept a mere £200 million as a profit margin, an amount that is most likely more than taxation of the 2 billion, the UK coffers still win and life becomes a little more affordable in the UK for all who buy a house.

I will be the first one to admit that my view is not realistic and too optimistic, yet am I wrong? The housing bubble is only one event that needs to be fought. Taxation loopholes have to be dealt with, dealing with the s a decade overdue and it is one of several reasons that the UK economy is in such a bad slump. Now we get additional news that the EU is in an even worse state than we have been kept informed about. The Australian gives us “Italy’s banking system is in trouble, with about $540 billion of non-performing loans and a desperate need for new capital. Given the dearth of willing alternative capital-providers, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi wants to inject the equivalent of about $60bn of public funding into the system to try to stabilise it. The problem for Renzi and Italy — and the EU — is that the rules of the European Banking Union forbid taxpayer bailouts as the first resort for troubled banks” (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/stephen-bartholomeusz/italys-banking-crisis-a-bigger-problem-than-brexit/news-story/d4e0c5007fb133db959cc569f9678804), the Italian issue has been known and I have reported on it in the past, yet the fact that banks are still the biggest issue in the EU and they still have not been muzzled to the extent that they need to be remains an issue. An issue that shows on another level that Brexit was not the worst idea. So when we see Reuters stating ‘Draghi could have done more to help Italian banks in 90’s, says PM Renzi‘ whilst this issue has been known for well over a year and for the fact that Italy’s antiquated bankruptcy laws have never been properly dealt with, especially in light of the 2004 and 2008 events makes me wonder where Matteo Renzi got the idea to blame other places, when his office should have made clear priority in these matters and he should have made equal mention that people like Enrico Letta, Mario Monti and Silvio Berlusconi who had been Prime Minister in batches going back to 1994 forgot to deal with that situation, and now we see that the EU is in a state much less healthy than most predicted. I knew about several issues, but not all, it seems that all news on the stat of the EU have been overstated by way too many players in this game and it makes me wonder in equal measure how it was possible for Mario Draghi to spend over a trillion that he is still ready to spend even more.

So in light of all this, how could the UK return to a place that is killing itself, that is allowing for inaction that is not prosecuted in any way. So when you watch Rose Dawson push Leonardo DiCaprio to his icy grave, consider that the EU debt is like that Iceberg, it can sink anything and 90% is kept below the surface, sustaining the tropical life of less than 1,000 banking executives. The people in the UK need their own Safety of Life against Greed (SOLAG). If these players were decently less greedy, none of this would have happened. Perhaps one day we will see a modern European Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and we will accept his book ‘The SOLAG archipelago’ and the wave it brings as a given wisdom.

Time will tell!

 

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How to blame an inanimate object.

Something happened in Oregon. For many it will be horrific, to some it has no impact, to others it has an emotional impact. The news at CNN (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrYkblNgs_U) is all about the breaking news. For Umpqua Community College it will be a dark page in their history. The news is giving all levels of speculation, they are not doing it in an irresponsible way, because they are factors to be considered, but the news diverts on several occasions towards ‘other speculated’ events and dangers. It stopped being news after 20 seconds. It was all about (as I see it) on prolonging the event. Moving from breaking news snippet to breaking news snippet. We can argue on the value here, but there is no issue with that approach, it is a choice. In the case of John F. Kennedy Jr, when on July 16, 1999 his plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts the issue was different. For 45 minutes we saw a sailor on the back of a deck. Nearly every newscast (CNN, Fox, CNBC et al) were all zooming in on that same sailor whilst I was at Dulles Airport waiting for my flight. Now that constitutes the pinnacle of bad newscasts, this is not, but there is an issue. You see, as emotions rise in that instance, we all were confronted with 10 dead, 20 wounded and the initial shooter has been apprehended. Something I could have stated in under a minute. Yet, it is not about this newscast, what happened afterwards becomes the issue. An interesting side is shown at EpicTimes.com by Jon Justice (at http://www.epictimes.com/jonjustice/2015/10/ucc-mass-shooting-blaming-the-gun-has-begun/).

This is not the first event and it will not be the last event either. The quote ‘Jon was frustrated to see so many people on social networks blame the NRA and call for more gun control‘ starts it of nicely. You see, guns do not kill people. People kill people. In addition we see the quote: “We need to get over this idea that you can put up a “Gun Free Zone” sign and it will stop the violence”, which is more than just bringing it to a point.

His podcast (also in the webpage) is emotional and seems to strike out to people trying to score political points towards gun at the expense of 13 cadavers. Yes, this sounds extremely crude, which it is. People ignore again and again that the gun culture is not the killing factor, the killing comes from criminals and monsters who seem to score names by going after children. Changes are needed and gun control has never and will never be the solution. You see, when guns fall away, we get blunt objects, knives and other devices that can end lives. Jon Justice starts to blame social media and 20 hours news a day. Jon Justice brings up a very interesting side. Social media and the option of notoriety is a growing concern, in all this guns are not even close to the largest dangers. Should we globally ban Facebook? In 2013 32,719 people died in a car accident. So, why is there no car control, you see nearly all the involved players had a driver’s license? Why are people not banned from cars FOR LIFE? In addition Jon brings up the discipline required for guns. Weirdly enough is that those who legally obtained a gun, some of these what people tend to call Gun Nuts, they tend to revere their gun. They take as many precautions towards gun safety and their weapon as a mother would towards their child. His speech takes a turn that people should observe. His consideration regarding 14 kills in Chicago, which has one of the strongest control laws. How many people spoke out in that regard? Those people taking a chance on political points thanks to the deceased from Umpqua Community College is appalling. Jon Justice clearly has a point.

Yet I started with the amendments. There was reasoning here. You see, the US constitution starts with the three amendments that safeguard liberties. To appease the anti-federalists personal freedoms were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, whilst in addition limiting the government’s power. Yet, people forget that changing one is lowering the defence of all. I will go one step further, if the people lose the rights to bear arms, we should also change the first amendment where we state that the freedom of speech exists, yet after the editing the people can hold anyone liable for that what they print or speak. This should be great for Hollywood and their residents. Many people will rejoice that glamour press could be held accountable for their innuendo. They are connect because the first three rights were about the people. The first is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

You see, people seem to attack the second amendment, which was one of three set towards the safeguards of liberty.

The American second Amendment states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed“. This links to the Heritage guide to the Constitution (at http://www.heritage.org/constitution#!/amendments/1/essays/140/freedom-of-speech-and-of-the-press). The interesting quote is “The debates in the First Congress, which proposed the Bill of Rights, are brief and unilluminating. Early state constitutions generally included similar provisions, but there is no record of detailed debate about what those state provisions meant“, is that not interesting? Is the meaning and the debate regarding not one of the highest importance? The 1st Continental Congress in 1774 showed the following: “The last right we shall mention regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honourable and just modes of conducting affairs” In this light, why do we not hold the press accountable? ‘The advancement of morality‘, is that not part that must be addressed? When we consider the Hacking scandal in the UK that involved the Murdoch Business, on June 3rd 2015 (at http://www.theage.com.au/comment/hacking-scandal-has-not-changed-murdoch-20150601-ghekss.html), we see the following two quotes: “New evidence … has led the Metropolitan Police to believe that this was unlikely to have been correct … the newspaper is unlikely to have been responsible for the deletion of a set of voicemails from the phone that caused her parents to have false hopes that she was alive“, which was regarding the deleted messages from Milly Dowler, which gave the parents the false hope that she was still alive. The next one was “I was taken aback when Davies told me, in a roomful of students and media buffs, that the premise of my question was wrong (and by implication, therefore, his story wasn’t). The Metropolitan Police, he said, had provided Lord Justice Leveson with a detailed report shortly after The Guardian’s correction was published. It showed there was a great deal of uncertainty about who had deleted what, and when. Naturally, Davies added, no one had reported this“, yet this remains linked to the issue that the press had been ignoring personal freedoms and blatantly hack the device of a person without consent. Yet in the end, the press did a double take on false ‘humility’ by promising to do better, an approach that was never met and blatant false allegations returned to be the norm less than 4 weeks after the end of the Leveson report considerations. So in all this, if people want control of something that is not to blame, in equal measure to ‘nurture’ a communion that seems to live on the needed premise of ‘Flight MH370 was crashed into the Indian Ocean in an apparent suicide mission‘, a statement that had no bearing as no evidence existed not at that point and no evidence existed a long time after that, even today 18 months later there still is no evidence of any kind that this was a suicide mission.

Marlin1881Now the second amendment: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed“, this is the kicker! The fact that it is not infringed is nothing more than the ability to bear arms. Considered the image to the left.

 

Do you think that this is the weapon made by or owned by anyone who is about killing people? This is a work of art, plain and simple. The issue in Umpqua Community College is not plain and simple. The news gives us that the shooter was targeting Christians.

 

 

So is this person Chris Harper Mercer a mental health case or an anti-Christian extremist. You see, the speech from President Obama seems wrong on two counts. He stated ‘we do not have sufficient common sense gun safety laws‘, how wrong was he? You see, in the first case we can claim his speech should have been ‘Obamacare failed this young man, this young man who did not get the proper care and as a result people at Umpqua Community College paid for this failing with their life‘. In the other case the speech should have been ‘America is under attack, an extremist, under the guise of religious terminal segregation decided to attack Americans and the American way of life by killing future moulders of this great nation where freedom reigns‘. No, another speech was made and the gun, ‘the inanimate object’ got blamed.

The third one has no bearing on these events, yet this one is the last one that safeguards liberties in the US. The text: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law“, which basically gives a new view to the British expression ‘my home is my castle‘ in the US. The first is over protected, the second is shunned and prosecuted, and the third gets ignored. All facts that brought forth what was once the greatest nation on earth as well as the champion of freedom. That last part America seems to think it still is, yet when we consider the victims of Umpqua Community College. Was freedom of speech guaranteed so that one person could kill many (an act that was done not through voicing a thought or opinion) or has the right to free speech been taken away from the victims, who had a Christian and legal right to speak out regarding what they thought would be right in their lives and in their community? We will never know, because the dead do not talk.

How can we get past this?

First of all, the following part comes from the Seattle Times, which has an interesting side (at http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/roseburg-attack-latest-in-growing-list-of-horrific-killings/), it states: “Oregon is one of seven states, either from state legislation or court rulings, with provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public post-secondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The other states are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Utah and Wisconsin.” So, there is a small side which does score points for President Obama, ‘common sense gun safety laws‘ is the issue in my view. You see, as I see it (oversimplifying issues as per usual), concealed weapons should not be allowed to anyone that is not part of the police, the military, governmental officials (members of the alphabet group) and cleared private security. It would not have made any difference today. But this fact should still be stated.

There is every option to stop the military from dropping the people who stood by them and let those getting close to retirement to become part of an education location security team, a group of people that is armed and is there to keep the students safe. They remain semi-military staff and are as such accountable for events, but I feel certain that whatever person, for whatever reason thinks that he will become famous, that person is a lot more likely to be the diminished towards a mere by-line ‘today an individual entered a campus armed with concealed weapons. Military protection was on site and none of the students became victim of this attack. The carcass of the transgressor will be disposed of shortly; his identity no longer matters‘. How long until these people regard a school not to be a target? How long until we acknowledge that anyone with a mental condition should not be allowed a firearm license? Will that stop the transgressor? No, that is extremely unlikely, but the presence of trained personnel on educational grounds will make it extremely certain that the loss of innocent victims will remain as low as possible. Consider the Columbine Massacre. April 20, 1999 from 11:19 a.m. until 12:08 p.m. An event where for almost an hour two people had access to a ‘shooting gallery’ causing the death of 12 people and wounding 21. Now consider another event. On 15 April 1912 a British Dinghy was lost at sea. It was called the Titanic (you may have heard of it). In 1914 the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) became in effect, a convention that is still in effect today. So, if sailors can get something this lasting done, how come that proper security in US schools is still not achieved 186 months after Columbine? The combined wars of the American Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War took less time to settle. The two costed the lives of 8044 in battle, since 1980 it is rumoured that only 297 people were killed, so perhaps if we get a few more casualties (like 8044 minus 297) things will actually change, as long as those pushing for change realise that blaming guns and trying to force gun control will never ever be a solution. The Titanic lost 1500 lives a number that outside a war would never have been fathomable in those days, so perhaps more deaths will push the American administration into action. I am however reluctant to consider that they show any wisdom in that regard. Guns and politicians react like a bull and a bright coloured blanket, with no option for any amount of fence. What people might forget is that the US military is cutting 40,000 troops (not of their own accord I imagine). Many of those now need to find jobs, which means that new pressures are about to hit the US job market, did no one consider the fact that many of these are exquisitely trained in keeping people safe? Is it such a jump to enlist these people within the Justice department as educational security (to avoid issues with the 1978 Posse Comitatus Act)?

In the end there is a case to be made that 40,000 departures are arranged because the US is so broke that it has exhausted all options and hiring these people in other capacities is no longer an option. Which is the consideration one gets at minus 18 trillion, so how has this administration as well as the previous Republican one done anything to keep places of education truly safe?

I’ll let you ponder these facts, but when you do, consider the words of Bill O’Reilly (at http://video.foxnews.com/v/4524976308001/the-mass-murder-in-oregon-/?intcmp=hpvid1#sp=show-clips), the fact that again there is a link to social media and the fact that the ‘claim’ was placed before the event took place. In my personal view an anti-Christian extremist would not have given ‘warning’, making this a ‘some form of mental health case’. There are unknowns and there are speculations. The statement that people were killed based on religion was made by someone who was in the classroom where it happened seems to be acceptable enough as quality reporters have gone with that fact.

So where is any solution to be found? Gun control will not lead to any solution (in the US) and amending the laws and regulations are equally pointless against transgressors like this.

 

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The insanity of Trolls

I have had my issues with many things, in some cases I was on one side where I lashed out at Yves Guillemot to some extent, not because he did something ‘wrong’ but as CEO, he is the main in charge, the buck stops at HIS desk! The fact remained (as I saw it) that an amazing concept like Assassins Creed got squandered in several ways. My criticism was always with a level of decency and it was always supported with evidence, evidence as I saw it. There were never any death threats, or threats against the person, because in the end, it is just a video game and I reckon Ubisoft broke its own glasses of profit, which is the jest of it.

Today I viewed the article ‘Joss Whedon Quits Twitter; James Gunn Responds‘ (at http://geeknation.com/joss-whedon-quits-twitter-james-gunn-responds/). I am slightly beyond outrage at this point. To illustrate this, we need to look at some of the achievements of Joss Whedon.

Buffy, seven seasons of amazing excellence, vampire movies were taken to a new level and Sarah Michelle ‘the Slayer’ Gellar would become the idol of many men and even more women. The series is still rerunning on many channels on a global scale and every now and then forums bump back alive the desire for a high resolution remastered Blu-ray edition.

Angel would become a first spinoff, not as successful, but still respected in the fantasy world. Whedon puts together a cast that rocks solid and it would herald the continuation of a lifelong career of David Boreanaz beyond Angel who is still going strong after almost 20 years.

Firefly is the result of creativity from creator Joss Whedon and the cast that would reunite in his projects again and again. Scrapped before its time, studios are still learning today what a stupid mistake they made, like Buffy re-runs of this series are ongoing and the fans remain loyal beyond measure. Nathan Filion and the Firefly caste are still the highly sought events in every Comic-Con, even now 12 years later.

Serenity is the movie that tied a lot together and should be regarded as an amazing gesture towards the Firefly fans (it was no box office hit)

Dollhouse is perhaps the least understood diamond in the crown of Joss Whedon. It was dropped by executives who seemed to have a limited brain capacity and no comprehension beyond mind controlled ‘sex-dolls’. Whedon shows here how technology unleashed could be the end of us and end many ways of life. What was likely to have been a 4 season gemstone showed a second season trying to fit it all so the fans had a decently complete picture. Amy Acker, Eliza Dushku, Dichen Lachman and Olivia Williams are the female titans each with a role to play, the male side with Harry Lennix, Tahmoh Penikett, Fran Kranz and later Alan Tudyk show us a story that is almost unparalleled in depth. It is a story with a ‘neuromancer ‘ difference, one that sounds almost plausible enough to be scary.

Joss Whedon was able to add ethical undertones to the story that makes this gem an absolute must.

Now we get to the first Avengers movie. It is the second true superhero comic (with multiple hero’s) that comes to life in many ways (after the X-men). The story was amazingly good (for a comic book) and the interaction was like seeing comic books actually coming to life, I saw it in the cinema and after that a dozen times on Blu-ray. Like in the comic books we see ego and strife taking part in the story on the big screen too. Like the comic books, we see events that are just too good to ever forget. Many people will forever see Loki who is playing Tom Hiddleston with virtual Mark Ruffalo, played by the Hulk who picks up Hiddleston and makes him ‘one’ with the concrete floor, the ‘puny human’ quote gave way to loud laughs in the cinema. It will remain a priceless gem forever! The Avengers showed to me and too many others that comic books can come to life (through special effects). We all agree that the cast (all of them) did an amazing job, but we all know that without the visionary view of Joss Whedon, this movie would never have been the success it became. It ended up being the third most successful movie ever (source: Box office Mojo), with only Titanic and Avatar surpassing the financial Avengers results.

Now we have Age of Ultron. Here we see the team growing through the same actors, the same visionary director, whilst adding the three Avengers we missed the first time around. The Maximoff’s (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), both excellently played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elisabeth Olsen. It is hard to compare to the comic books, because the Avengers have been around so long. Missing is Ant-man (but he is coming in his own movie first), Wasp, Black Panther (another upcoming person in his own movie first) and Black Knight. There are so many more members as the team evolved from the 60’s onwards. The movie is an excellent piece of work, there are many sides and even though these movies survive by special effects, we are never visibly drowned in those special effects forsaking acting quality.

It is hard to judge whether two is better than one, important is that there is an evolving storyline as we see in the comics. Joss Whedon delivered!

So when I saw that Joss Whedon got hate mail and death threats, I could not believe my ears (or my eyes for that matter). You have to read the story for yourself, but overall, I massively disagree with James Gunn, not because of what he did, but because of the premise that he had to (which in itself is a good thing).

Joss Whedon is a visionary. He brought to life something millions of fans dreamed of seeing in their life time and my generation as such would be alive long enough to see it truly happen on the big screen. He did it with Avengers and does it again with Age of Ultron. I am 100% convinced that he would be able to surpass his previous work if he would be making the two Infinity Gauntlet movies, but that is not to be, it seems (according to IMDB) that this falls to Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, the people behind Captain America, the winter soldier. Or as we can voice it, that movie where Captain America gets slapped around by his former best friend. The movie is an excellent achievement and the subterfuge of Hydra is well portrayed by former Mr Brubaker (a Robert Redford reference). In all these movies, as well as her introduction when Iron Man is a little over his head dealing with Mickey Rourke is Scarlett Johansson who sets down a mean Black Widow. As I see it, she was, is and remains a very strong character. I do not get the hatred over any of this and as such, I very much opposed the words of James Gunn when he writes: “Anger makes us feel “right”. And powerful. But it also usually exacerbates whatever the underlying, more uncomfortable feeling is”.

I would to some degree accept these words, but I saw some of the tweets Joss Whedon received. (a few at https://storify.com/Astojap/wehdon-twitter-hate). The message “@josswhedon ALSO WHY THE FUCK DID YOU JUST PUSH ASIDE NATASHA? YOU COULD HAVE USED HER IN SO MANY GOOD WAYS AND INSTEAD YOU USED STARK“. As well as “@josswhedon I bet you like homestuck you fucking garbage asshole” and these are not even the worst tweets!

They seem to be written by people who are clueless in many ways, some perhaps frustrated and angry for other reasons. I do not care as to the why, I just think that no one needs to accept the abuse Joss Whedon was subjected to.

When I see the accusation of ‘Misogynistic’ and we see Buffy with Buffy and Faith, Dollhouse with Echo, Sierra and November, Firefly with Zoe, Inara and Kaylee. In serenity, we see River getting ‘enthusiastic’ which leads to the quote “Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl ’cause… I don’t think that’s ever getting old“. I am clueless how Joss is voiced as Misogynistic.

The hatred for Joss Whedon is not just unfounded, it is wrong in many ways. Joss has always given us strong women (not all evenly sane, like Faith in season 3 of Buffy, but that is not the issue). In Age of Ultron we see ‘Black Widow’ Johansson having a soft spot for Bruce Banner and why not (apart from the fact that I am a better dancer then Mark Ruffalo)? And as for soft love interest, when the action starts, she states ‘I love you, but I need the other guy’ and shoves her love interest over the edge of a cliff, and out comes the Hulk, an excellent moment to giggle over!

We should not ignore Elisabeth Olsen either, especially as all but one member of the Avengers get introduced to her ability to boggle their minds, which gets crushed when at the end, when we see the ‘real life’ (the non-Comic book version) view of what Scarlet Witch is able to do.

So, I do not see any valid opposition to the visionary work of Joss Whedon, I also oppose James Gunn, not because what he said and how well he said it (one of the more eloquent writings this year), but the fact that he had to do it. These trolls and hate mail senders are not using their right to free speech. These people are guilty of Psychic Assault (in Common law Australia, New Zealand, UK and Canada). In the US we see a similar situation, where California has California Penal Code 422 PC, where we see how it defines the crime of “criminal threats” (formerly known as terrorist threats).

A “criminal threat” is when you threaten to kill or physically harm someone and
that person is thereby placed in a state of reasonably sustained fear for his/her safety or for the safety of his/her immediate family, the threat is specific and unequivocal and
you communicate the threat verbally, in writing, or via an electronically transmitted device.

Criminal threats can be charged whether or not you have the ability to carry out the threat…and even if you don’t actually intend to execute the threat.

I think it is only fair that the FBI, arrests no less than 50-100 of these people and convict them accordingly. You see, what those ‘voicers’ seem to forget is that these movies are a massive slice of the tax collected, when people like Joss Whedon have had enough and they go somewhere else, then these people thinking in their own small minded self that they executed their ‘right” to free speech is costing the government millions. It seems only fair that they are taking to the district courts and are allowed to experience the consequences of their criminal behaviour.

In my view trolling has been going on for way too long, Anita Sarkeesian, Sara Payne, Claire Cohen, Nicki Minaj, Helen Skelton and now Joss Whedon joins the ranks of trolled people (mostly women mind you). In this list I must take time emphasize two names. The first one is Sara Payne, the mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne. Can you imagine this? A mother dealing with the murder and the funeral of her own daughter getting trolled! How sick can people get? In the second there is Helen Skelton she used to present the BBC children show Blue Peter. Yes, it seems that those relying on ‘free speech’ have done this for an unacceptable amount of time and it is now becoming more and more essential that trolls get introduced to the criminal courts in a very non-virtual way.

I reckon that true fans, now losing out on their idol speaking on Twitter will be an additional source of inspiration in finding out who those trolls really are.

 

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About them copyrights

It’s all good and fine to get through the day, to read on how it is all ‘sooo’ virtual, so available. Yet, in the end, is this ‘the truth’? Consider when we see the article, again the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/15/taylor-swift-uk-itunes-out-of-the-woods), so we could say how it sucks to be Taylor Swift at this point. You see, when you use the ‘excuse’ “due to a new strategy my record label is working on in the UK“, we can safely assume that this is about something else. Likely commission, possibly ‘better’ kickbacks, or better margins, yet overall the fans will suffer and they are now looking at other means like uploaded records to get their music.

I wrote about such events in ‘The real issue here!‘ where I stated “So, almost 20% end up buying the discs (implying 80% will not)“, I had written about such issues in gaming, in movies and as Taylor Swift will soon learn in music too.

By playing for tougher deals, you end up losing a lot. And in this case, as I see it Team Swift only have themselves to blame. Just like the gamers of day old were ignored by the US at large, music fans will not tolerate delays on such events. That is the drawback of the digital age. When you offer it NOW, you better offer it to all. So when we see the quote “Out of the Woods is likely to be available for at least some of Swift’s fans in the UK soon, then. But many will have turned to other means to hear the track: for example, there are already a number of uploads of its audio to YouTube“, you better believe that fans will find another avenue. In the end, her real fans will buy it one way or the other, yet Taylor lost out on a vibe that could have gotten her a few hundred thousand, perhaps even a million additional downloads. She will miss out on that one this time.

So is this fair to Taylor? Does that matter? When you decide on a strategy that leaves one out, that one will either find an alternative or will move on to something else. Such is life. In gaming, when this happened in the 80’s, people had no choice but to copy or wait for outrageous prices. So, those with copied games got to play it, those who had no contacts ended up waiting in excess of one year. The digital age now has given us the option to get it ANYWHERE fast, usually at a base price and often as fast as day one. In the age where product outstrips demand by a lot, the digital age becomes a different field. An opportunity missed is a chance lost, not delayed. Music is exactly that to a massive group (the Taylor Swift fans will always buy), but that leaves a large group missed and it loses out to potential new fans, but is that a given?

No it is not, yet we see that the digital wave tends to attract the curious, those who get one song and then learn that the music is interesting to seek out more. Through Audio Galaxy in 2000-2001, I got to know the Corrs, Bond, and a few others. Now, I have almost all their albums, which I bought in the record store, it started with one simple song. That market relies on the new waves of songs, not anticipated waiting.

So, is this me changing my view on copyright? Not entirely, when a movie comes out, one should buy it. I have no issues with buying a movie or watching it in the cinema, so when I decide to buy a game, movie or album, when it is released, I expect it to be released. When we get an alleged form of discrimination where the consumer is discriminated against, should such injustice not be fought? I am not talking about a simple delay like we tend to see it in games, where movies tend to be out in the US one moment, and a few weeks later the rest sees it. That part I have no real issue with. Yet, in the case of Star Wars Episode 1, where the movie was released in May in many places, it would take 5 months until it was released in the Netherlands, for a movie like that, such a delay was just unheard of and as such an illegal download of the movie was circulating within a few days. Many would still see it on the big screen, but not all. Evidence of such events have been seen for decades, so why would the team of Taylor Swift be this ‘uninformed’ (ignorant might be a better word) in thinking that the fans would accept it, and beyond that the rest would just ‘wait’ for a girl named Taylor Swift?

Some might, most will not.

And if you want to consider alternatives, then think of the time, the line and the timeline. Our world is changing, it is less about the product that is convenient for us, it is more and more when it becomes convenient for them, not us (cinema and TV marketing has been all about that for far too long). We could read it as a form of maximised profit, yet overall it is about marketable momentum. That is seen as we see at present that ‘analysts’ already are stating that they predict ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ will make $1.2 Billion at the Global Box Office. The movie is nowhere near release and these predictions are already made. As we see that this movie is coming out in 2015 as a summer release, so much can go wrong! And we are already been ‘tailored’ to fit a 6 week gap.

People are still in a financial depressed era. Even though it is now starting to pick up, the longevity of our economy is currently not a given, with the Tesco issues still  in play in a hardy way, there is a real issue in the UK, even though there unemployment is now down to 6%, yet overall the cost of living is still rising faster than most of the incomes correct for, so as such, income is still not in the level that we see where people en mass (especially those with family) can just go to the cinema. The last movie to really make it was Avatar in 2009; it was a unique wave not unlike Titanic, they are still the first two movies in the all-time box office records. So, at present SW7 is already ‘anticipated’ as one of the top 6 movies of all time. That, whilst the first Avengers movie, making 1.5 billion, took the cake in 2012 and the anticipation of the second movie is extremely high on many minds. Beyond that there will be Fantastic Four, Pan (with Hugh Jackman) and at least three additional movies are on the list for the summer of 2015. Now consider that until the economy is truly repaired families might have the option to see two of these movies. What are the chances that they choose Star Wars? There is no denying that Star Wars will be very high on the list of many, but then so are the Avengers. That is if nothing else happens, like new games, new records and shifting time lines.

So as we see the escalations of ‘needs’ and ‘options’, we will see a change on how people perceive copyright and translate this into the ‘right to copy’, welcome to the new economy of those who cannot afford it!

So as we see what team Swift thought would be and what Team analyst expects it to be. I would state that the truth is nowhere in the middle, and that the truth is revolving around two points of flexible perception, whilst a placement of either is not a given either positive or negative, but what will be, is not linearly in the middle of what would be and that what is expected to be, that what is, is not a given ever in marketable approaches!

But what ‘might be’, requires us to take another look at what we see that is currently done to us. As we are all reduced to ‘product to purchase’ and no longer regarded as ‘consumers to buy’, we see a changing market of expected anticipation.

Is this a negative evolution of marketable industries?

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