Tag Archives: US Congress

You’re useless and you know it

Yup, quite the opening headline and  would like to tell the reader the it is about him or her, but no such luck, the headline (as is) can only be given to the most useless of useless, the US Senate. Yup, as some voices stated in the past, the US has fruits (US Congress) and nuts (US Senate) and there we sit in the middle of the tutti frutti of the dance floor, one might almost invite Madonna to come over and add a little spice to the mixture.

Yet Reuters who gives us (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-tech/senate-panel-approves-sending-subpoenas-to-ceos-of-twitter-facebook-google-idUSKBN26M6FA) the headline ‘Senate panel approves sending subpoenas to CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, Google’, with the quote “The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday unanimously voted to approve a plan to subpoena chief executives of Twitter, Alphabet’s Google and Facebook for a hearing likely to be held before the election on a prized legal immunity enjoyed by internet companies”, We can go in every direction possible, but lets start with “passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 (a common name for Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996), formally codified as Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 at 47 U.S.C. § 230. Section 230 generally provides immunity for website publishers from third-party content”, In this we see two elements, the first being that in 1996 there was no Google, no Twitter and no Facebook, in the second on larger beneficiary was the online presence of FoxNews, Yahoo and lets face it as I personally see it, Microsoft who started part of the mess we have now. 

To invoke what I did (the useless part), it is important to see “After passage of the Telecommunications Act, the CDA was challenged in courts and ruled by the Supreme Court in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1997) to be partially unconstitutional, leaving the Section 230 provisions in place. Since then, several legal challenges have validated the constitutionality of Section 230”, in this Justice John Paul Stevens (Supreme Court) wrote in June 1997: “We are persuaded that the CDA lacks the precision that the First Amendment requires when a statute regulates the content of speech. In order to deny minors access to potentially harmful speech, the CDA effectively suppresses a large amount of speech that adults have a constitutional right to receive and to address to one another. That burden on adult speech is unacceptable if less restrictive alternatives would be at least as effective in achieving the legitimate purpose that the statute was enacted to serve. … It is true that we have repeatedly recognized the governmental interest in protecting children from harmful materials. But that interest does not justify an unnecessarily broad suppression of speech addressed to adults. As we have explained, the Government may not “reduc[e] the adult population … to … only what is fit for children.””, as such how stupid does a US Senator tend to be? It passed the Supreme court, it passed a few stations over the term of 20 years and optional alleged beneficiaries (Google, Facebook, Twitter) are called into a Senate hearing? Some sources even state ‘Letting Platforms Decide What Content To Facilitate Is What Makes Section 230 Work’, the latter one is up for debate, but the setting of section 230 is not, it is a legal thing, so why would someone set the stage for a hearing the is basically pointless set the stage? To get a few free dinners and perhaps tax deductibility? I do not know, I merely ask.

The setting of a stage 40 days before election, is the current view and when we see “top Democrat Maria Cantwell, who opposed the move last week, saying she was against using “the committee’s serious subpoena power for a partisan effort 40 days before an election,” changed her mind and voted to approve the move” I wonder what this really is, because as I see it, it has nothing to do with big tech, and optionally section 230 is also not in play, but what is? There is the optional quote given “Republican President Donald Trump has made holding tech companies accountable for allegedly stifling conservative voices a theme of his administration. As a result, calls for a reform of Section 230 have been intensifying ahead of the elections, but there is little chance of approval by Congress this year”, yet optional settings of “stifling conservative voice” would not change that, this is about intentional hurting facilitation, changing the premise of free expression, the moment big tech is held responsible, no opinion is heard and the anti-Trump (those who highlight stupidity) is seen nearly everywhere, as such, President Trump needs every amount he can get. I do not think that this is the right path and more important changing law on this scale to bake (not make) awareness of something set almost in stone for 20 years does not help. 

In this I want to extend my friendliness to give a shout to the largest part of the problem, mainly Republican Senator Roger Wicker, even s he gives us “After extending an invite to these executives, I regret that they have again declined to participate and answer questions about issues that are so visible and urgent to the American people”, I merely wonder if he has any clue who the American people are. This train of thought is seen as Politico gives us “under the newly unveiled Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act, the legal shield would protect the companies only when they take down specific types of content, including material “promoting terrorism” or which promotes “self-harm” or is otherwise illegal”, as such, when was there an upside when we consider ‘specific types on content’, as I see it it the setting towards a biased filter of what constitutes free speech and freedom of expression. As such the simple question becomes: ‘Who has seen S.4534 – Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act? Deputy Counsel Elizabeth Banker did and gives us “Section 230’s otherwise objectionable clause underpins crucial content moderation efforts that make their platforms safer for everyone. Eliminating that clause will make it harder, not easier, for online services to remove content like misinformation, platform manipulation, or bullying that’s neither illegal nor in the bill’s new description of allowable moderation. This bill would also hamper platforms from adapting to future moderation challenges.“We also have serious First Amendment concerns with this bill. This bill would limit the ability of private online platforms and services, including small forums for schools, churches, and local sports leagues, to set and enforce rules for their communities.””, a direct powerful view given on September 8th (at https://internetassociation.org/news/statement-in-response-to-the-introduction-of-the-online-freedom-and-viewpoint-diversity-act/), as such we takeaway “Eliminating that clause will make it harder, not easier, for online services to remove content like misinformation, platform manipulation, or bullying” does this constitute the idea that the speculated biggest bully in America wants a free pass? And there are also “serious First Amendment concerns” which cannot be ignored. 

When we see this level of issues from the very beginning, how stupid is any senator participating in this, and when we demand under freedom of information their names and tell people that this lit constitutes a list of people attacking free speech, how happy will they be? There is of course the issue of the elected Democrat from the state of Washington Maria Cantwell, I wonder what she has to say for herself, especially it he hearing happens before the elections, I reckon that President Elect Biden will not have too much need for her, but that is merely my speculation.

 

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View of a different nature

We all have a view, we all have a way of looking at things. I am no exception, that is the sight we have. Yet some people (and I personally count myself among them) have a much stronger ability to adjust the views we have. Some (like myself) have the ability to adjust when needed. In this age of being told a story, it is important to be able to look at the data.

My adjustment started in early 2018 when I was made aware of Neom City. The new city that was to be build by Saudi Arabia. Its foundation was so overwhelming that it was enticing to applaud it. Never in the history of mankind was something like this ever conceived. A city around 20 times the size of New York was to be build. That setting was inspiring and it drove me to create some of the IP I ended up having. The setting of a new all tech city was overwhelming, yet that was only the beginning, it was then that we got to see an increasingly amount of anti-Saudi events and articles. So when the Guardian gave us ‘Revealed: Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium ore to produce nuclear fuel’, I decided to dig. The first thing I noticed was the presence of Stephanie Kirchgaessner. I saw her name on ‘Jeff Bezos hack: Amazon boss’s phone ‘hacked by Saudi crown prince’ in January this year. There we are introduced to “that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian”, I had an issue with the hatchet approach, no matter what Kirchgaessner calls herself. I basically debunked the hacking issue, as well as security forensics firm FTI Consulting in less than an hour, the Guardian was that thorough before publishing what they would call at best ‘highly probable’, yes that is what we need from those so called investigators and the fact that I was able to pump holes in the setting within an hour, in addition to actual electronic forensic experts giving even more evidence that led to believe that the accusations were debatable at best, completely ejectable at worst, that is not a good setting to be in and now that same name comes back to the Guardian article. Now we see “The disclosure will intensify concerns about Riyadh’s interest in an atomic weapons programme”, yet the monarchy of Saudi Arabia have always stated the they would not go near an nuclear arsenal until Iran does and it seems that the pussies of this world (politicians and journalists all over the world) have not been able to do anything ab out Iran, so they have another go at Saudi Arabia. In all this the entire setting that the quote: “Confidential Chinese report seen by the Guardian intensifies concerns about possible weapons programme” is driving this all. Let’s be clear, the two places where journalists have no access, the Guardian gets a report? And the evidence is debatable, it is all linked to “These are “inferred deposits”, estimated from initial surveys”, so it is based on estimations, a debatable source. Now we can accept that it is possible the there is Uranium in Saudi Arabia, and it was never a secret, there has been plans that go back to 2016 that Saudi Arabia has had plans to extract uranium for the domestic production of nuclear fuel. The UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was also assisting Saudi’s nuclear ambition (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-15/saudi-arabia-s-atomic-ambition-is-being-fueled-by-a-un-watchdog)

Yet the Guardian gives us “The greatest international concern is over the kingdom’s lack of transparency. Under a 2005 agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Saudi Arabia avoided inspections through a small quantities protocol (SQP), which waives IAEA monitoring up to the point where fissile fuel is introduced into a reactor. The nuclear watchdog has been trying to convince the Saudi monarchy to now accept a full monitoring programme, but the Saudis have so far fended off that request”, And in this Reuters gave us 3 weeks ago “IAEA providing support for Saudi Arabia as it plans to adopt nuclear energy”, it seems that the Guardian is giving us an adjusted negative view, with a lacking support on several fronts and I wonder why that is happening. In all this the Guardian also evades the entire enrichment issues the are required for nuclear warheads in opposition to enrichment for fuel, why is that part missing? All this, whilst the escalating party (Iran) is given leeway after leeway. You see, in this the one party is fuelling the other and Saudi Arabia has been up front about the from the beginning.

The Guardian gives us that with “The kingdom’s nuclear ambitions have become a source of heightened concern in the US Congress and among allies, particularly since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declared in 2018 that if regional rival Iran develops a nuclear bomb, “we will follow suit as soon as possible”” Yet part from the Iran drive, the Saudi drive was for fuel only and that part is missing, there is a lot missing and when we consider the quote “who have been scrambling to help Riyadh map its uranium reserves at breakneck speed as part of their nuclear energy cooperation agreement” whilst this started in 2017, I merely wonder if the writers at the Guardian have any clue of the concept ‘at breakneck speed’, as I see it, in 3 years mapping is not breakneck speed, especially when we add the ““inferred deposits”, estimated from initial surveys” it smells like something it is not and yes, we should keep our eyes open (both Saudi Arabia and Iran), yet IAEA part is merely a small paragraph, and part of that is inferred, not the way I would go, but the is me. I think that the Guardian went wrong here, I would have made the entire IAEA a lot more important, and as the headline gives us ‘may have enough uranium ore to produce nuclear fuel’, my question becomes, why is there a ‘may’ in the headline? I would consider the setting that if there is a ‘may’ after the entire setting had been going on for 3 years, we have a larger issue and the stage of ‘confidential documents seen by the Guardian’ becomes a lot more debatable when there is a massive absence of ‘enrichment’ in the entire article. Did anyone notice that? So where is the fuel getting enriched? So whilst the article goes on with “for either an energy or weapons programme” we need to consider that enrichment is essential for weapons, so where does Bruce Riedel (the expert from the Brookings Institution) get his information? Why is the article skipping enrichment, the most essential element towards weapons? We are happy to see “The Guardian could not independently verify the authenticity of the report”, yet that merely makes the article more debatable, not less so.

 

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The shores I see from here

OK, I am not beating around the bush, I have given my point of view on several matters and I have always stated that I have always been driven by evidence. As such I have opposed the views of Agnes Calamard, not for Saudi Arabia, but because of the debatability of the evidence, so as we now see ‘Trump boasted he protected MBS after Khashoggi hit: Report’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/trump-boasted-protected-mbs-khashoggi-hit-report-200910195007682.html), all whilst there is no actual evidence of the hit. Now, I get it, I understand that you would doubt me, I would doubt me as well, but perhaps the following will convince you. When we see the quote “Trump bragged that he protected the Saudi crown prince from consequences in the United States after the assassination of Khashoggi in October 2018, the news outlet Business Insider reported on Thursday. “I saved his a**,” President Trump said about the US outcry about Khashoggi’s killing, according to Business Insider, quoting from a copy  of Woodward’s book. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to  stop,” Trump said.” What do we see? Basically, the only action we see is ‘I was able to get Congress to leave him alone’, my question becomes, what evidence is there for congress to rattle Saudi Arabia with? When we re-open the report I spoke about yesterday we see at [6] “the Special Rapporteur was not provided with any information regarding the evidence they may have collected during this period.” Which is funny when we see at [8] “The Special Rapporteur found credible evidence pointing to the crime scenes having been thoroughly, even forensically, cleaned”, here we get the issue, they claim guilt on the setting that the room was clean, it is like you getting found guilty of killing your mom and dad because the house does not contain evidence of their death. OK, a small exaggeration, I get that, but the finding of guilt due to no evidence is the setting and she was kind enough to create doubt by ‘found credible evidence pointing to’, so the stage of ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ is avoided, added to the facts that there was no credible evidence that any order was ever given to kill Khashoggi and the Crown prince was roughly 12,756,587 meters away from the crime scene. Yup, that evidence is so overwhelming isn’t it? So how come this US president is that stupid to alienate his allies? And that is merely the beginning. As we are given “US and other foreign intelligence services have reportedly concluded that MBS directed the killing” we are drawn to the report that gives us at [39] “At some point, there comes a time when an intelligence service or operative simply has to make a stab at assimilating what all this means. There is rarely space for scrutiny from anyone outside the intelligence system”, which is interesting against the ‘concluded’ part earlier when it is about “make a stab at assimilating what all this means”, which is not evidence and is nowhere near ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’, did anyone consider this? The report has plenty of issues that could be speculative gems of fingering any party as guilty, but is that what a murder investigation is supposed to be about? And in this mess we see ‘Trump boasted he protected’? What is this, an episode of Comedy Capers? And the article goes on giving us “Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a team of Saudi agents while his fiancee waited for him outside the consulate building”, all whilst there was no evidence retrieved in any way that there was a killing and there was no evidence on dismembering, it is all speculation.

You see the claim of dismemberment implies that there is a body, there is forensic evidence and that is disputed in the report starting at [8], it is not about what might have happened, it is about what can be proven and there is no evidence, there is merely speculation through the expensive words like ‘credible evidence’ and ‘may have been collected’, the lack of ‘evidence that can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt’ and ‘collected evidence’ is missing making the issue moot and it makes the statement by President Trump one of the least intelligent boasts that any US president has ever made. But there is an upside, I needed EU 324,000,000 for a project, so I am willing and willing to offer myself as an in-between to other arms dealers to set up office with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as such I would be willing to find another party to offer the “$8bn in precision-guided missiles and other high-tech weapons”, let’s face it, fair is fair, right? Boasts on one side (especially those linked to a lack of evidence) should be countered by economic deals to other parties on the other side. That is what Wall Street taught us all and we are all willing to learn (especially when we earn a few coins), so that is that state of matters and I will be taking calls from the BAE as per direct. Raytheon eat your heart out!

Suddenly the shores I see from here don’t look so bad, what should I do, play hard to get? I think not!

 

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One sided coin

When is a one-sided coin like a watchdog? That is the underlying question, and the answer is seen in this article ‘When they are shallow’. We all have needs, we all have centred targets, but what happens when that setting makes you miss the larger picture? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against watchdogs, I have nothing against the media, or politicians, but when they give a one sided brief just to please themselves, how shallow will they be? It is not the first time, but in this case it starts with ‘US watchdog report cites civilian casualties in Saudi arms deal’, now this might be correct, might being the operative word and not towards optionally pointing fingers and not towards the setting. We see “The Saudi-UAE air raids hit farms, schools, water supplies, and energy sources, triggering what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” now, I am not making a statement that they did not do that, but in all that, was it truly some civilian hit target or were there Houthi and/or Hezbollah fighters there? So whilst some focus on ‘precision-guided-munition components’, no one is looking what they were clearly firing on, because that too is an unknown. So whilst some focus on one side of “Tens of thousands of Yemenis, many of them civilians, have been killed by the Saudi-UAE air strikes – often with American-made weapons, targeting information and aerial refuelling support”, in a stage where should consider on ‘how many were civilians (and how many were not)’ in the sentence “Tens of thousands of Yemenis, many of them civilians”, yes we can hide behind ‘many of them’, but precision is essential, even if the weapons are not. In addition Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee gives us ““This obvious pre-spin of the findings reeks of an attempt to distract and mislead,” Engel said, adding that he feared the classified annex to the report would be “used to bury important or possibly incriminating information””, and I am not debating that, yet in all this, the stage where Eliot Engel is optionally helping our the Iranians, that is still up for debate, is it not? So when we check NPR and we see the question “Congress had concerns about $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and those concerns included how the arms might be used in the war in Yemen” and the only thing that Eliot Engel gives us is “Yeah”? By the way the interview (at https://www.npr.org/2020/08/11/901431799/engel-discusses-ig-report-on-u-s-selling-8-billion-worth-of-arms-in-middle-east) gives us nothing on ‘Iran’, ‘Houthi’ and ‘Hezbollah’, three tags that are essential in the Yemeni war, as well as the current Saudi Arabian state of affairs, so why are they missing? So whilst Engel gives us “Meaning that all the excuses that they give us, all the reasons they give us for doing what they have to do are phony and are made up. It’s just that they don’t – they want to have freedom to operate, not have the public know anything, certainly not have Congress know anything. And this is the way they’ve operated from day one. And it’s not really, you know – on the Foreign Affairs Committee, this is our jurisdiction. We’re supposed to be investigating these things, and they look at us as somehow intruding on their private purview”, a view that is his and might be valid, but the Yemeni war is larger and the three elements (Houthi, Hezbollah and Iran) are left out of it giving us an unbalanced and one sided story. Now, there is a side that accept, the US can decide on how it does business and who it does business with, and consider the hilarity we see when that $8,000,000,000 dollars goes to the Chinese or Russian treasury coffers? The US has been alienating its middle eastern partners to such an extent (all whilst ignoring to a larger degree the activities by Iran), we need to see the way that ball rolls down the hill and away from the congressional weapons sales teams. So whilst some might applaud the activity of watchdogs, the absence of the whole picture is actually rather disturbing. Not merely to the stage, but the fallout is other large. This does not reflect on Eliot Engel, but his congressional party is seemingly ignoring a much larger stage and this stage includes both Hezbollah and Iran, so why is Eliot Engel and his band of naughty congressionals ignoring that? Consider that the people for a week have been aware of ‘Saudi Arabia’s project clears 177,637 Houthi mines in Yemen’, now, we accept that some would have originated in Yemen, but not all and when we see these elements in the equation (and that is merely the beginning of that mess), we need to wonder why the US watchdog is so one sided. An investigation into the forces active in Yemen, as well as the weapons used and one side is left off the table completely. So how does your humanitarian side react to that? Oh and for desert I offer ’84.000 children in Yemen are dead, who is holding the Houthi and their methods to account?

 

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The Aftermath

Of course, I did one just before and now one more, 4 tech giants and US congress? It was too good to pass up, if I was in Washington DC, I would have opened a popcorn cart at the entrance (if that is allowed), so as I looked via the BBC before, I will do so again.

It starts with democrat Congressman David Cicilline who gives us “a year-long investigation by lawmakers had revealed patterns of abuse by the online platforms” my question becomes ‘Where is that report, can we see it?’ It might have been made public, it might not, I do not know, but I was not directly able to find it, yet the Boston Glob had the headline ‘Today is the biggest day of David Cicilline’s political career’ as such this man seeks the limelight, so why is that report not all over the media? So far in well over half a dozen newspaper sites, none of them had the link to that report, as such h I have questions and I fear that when I read it a lot of questions will pop to the surface. And when we see “The dominant platforms have wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways in order to expand” the question I had in the previous article rises again, why is Microsoft not there? Show clear evidence of ‘wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways’, and when showing that evidence also give rise to what laws were broken please? IBM and Microsoft have wielded power in harmful ways for decades, yet they did nothing illegal. As such proof of illegality would be ni

Next is Google, there we see: “lawmakers accused Google of having stolen content created by smaller firms, like Yelp, in order to keep users on their own web pages” did Google steal it, or did some duplicate their opinion in both to double THEIR visibility? I am not stating that Google is innocent, I do not have the evidence, yet ‘stolen content’ gives rise to a crime, presented evidence would be nice. So whilst we see accusations, we also got “some Republicans signalled they were not prepared to split up the firms or significantly overhaul US competition laws, with one committee member saying “big is not inherently bad”” the problem again is were there any illegalities made? When some go for “significantly overhaul US competition laws” we see the implied non-illegal stuff and that is where the problems lie, the US government, both the senate and congress should have overhauled Tax and competition laws well over a decade ago, their fault not the four tech bosses and I have stated this failing for years, so why go after the four and leave Microsoft (who is also running advertisements) out of the mix, I have some questions on how David Cicilline is seeking the limelight if you don’t mind!

Then we get the US president “a long-time critic of Amazon and threatened his own action on Twitter, writing: “If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders.”” It sounds nice, but pointless, there is a lack in legal sides in both competition law and tax laws and a nation of laws cannot reside in a discriminatory state living of executive orders, whilst they can be legally countered. As I see it, the entire charade was a cowboy approach to something that has no bearing, will pay lawyers for a decade and will amount to nothing, all whilst overhauling two sides of the law is ignored again and again.

In this I have to take the sides of the tech boys. With the added side that if David Cicilline does not spread these legal documents of ‘wrongdoing’ these hearings are merely the end of his political career, and in light of the fact that I have never heard of him not a good thing I reckon (OK, that was my egocentrically side). The more articles I read from more newspapers, the more that the feeling of a cowboy and Indian approach by this congress is the stage we face, in light of the non committing towards overhauling Tax laws and competition laws merely strengthens my feelings on the matter.

 

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When Congress becomes something more

So as I stated in ‘The Fantastic Four and the Bully’, the four getting grilled are not the bad guys. Well, there is some debate, but the foundation is that these four tech entrepreneurs are getting grilled by people who are clueless on tech matters. So as some read the BBC part “At issue is the fact that Apple doesn’t allow apps to be installed onto iOS devices from alternative marketplaces, and that it enforces tough rules over the way subscriptions and other digital items can be sold.” The issue soon becomes, will congress be responsible for any bad app and data gathering app that Congress would want to allow for? Even as an android user, I see that there are very few bad apples around, as such most apps are safe. There are a lot more dangerous apps on Android. This is not the fault of Google, there are several ways that a personal device gets to be the victim, there are a lot less issues on Apple, as such and as Congress might demand third party options, will they not be responsible for the damage that they put on Apple and its users? There is another side, a these tech giants come under fire, the chances of Chinese hardware makers making it bigger only increases by 35%-55%, how is that of use to congress? We might see Fitbit mentions and other mentions, but these products are closely followed by Asian alternatives, the entire setting does not add up. Then we get the advertisements, until Google Ads was here, we had DoubleClick, there were versions that equal Epom, with price tags that started at $250 a month, then $1000 a month, $2500 a month and higher. So, can the US Congress give us a list of all the small business and small startups that had that kind of cash? Google Ads was one of the first AFFORDABLE solutions for small business units, the fact that the bulk all switched should be a larger consideration, in addition, Google Ads was one of the first to truly die a larger rise to localisation and languages. Usually one or the other was missing, as such, is the growth of Goole Ads to be blamed on Google, or on all the others who could not be bothered? Not everything is perfect at Google, we all know that, but we also know that the ignorance in congress is a little too large to wonder who they are serving, they claim the people, but in reality? I am actually wondering who they are setting the stage for, I see it as a different stage that the one they tell us we are on.

And even as we accept Sundar’s optional defence of “Today’s competitive landscape looks nothing like it did five years ago, let alone 21 years ago, when Google launched its first product, Google Search”, we need to see that this landscape is largely influenced on the upcoming 5G and as it is now, especially as well over 50% of all searches are done via mobile, the only thing I see coming is that China gets a much larger share of it all and Congress intervening on matters that they do not comprehend is a much larger danger to that happening. I have always been favour of Huawei technology, that does not mean that I want China to have the bulk of all the business. The White House wants us to think it is the same, but it is not. They have set the stage that unites Huawei in a political tool for China to set a much larger field, they were pushed by US stupidity, not Huawei needs. The US took it away and now we see a very different stage, one where Huawei is still independent, but taking the customers that China is pointing at. The stage is changing and Congress is adding fuel to that fire by chastising the big four tech makers, each entrepreneurs. Each understanding the digital landscape. I had no clue in the early 90’s when Amazon started, I thought it was mad to continue when the losses were so great, now the owner has is worth in excess of $35,000,000,000, a personal value that exceeds a lot of nations. I am not saying that all is kind and kosher with each of the four, I am stating that when we are getting told changes, we are properly getting told by people who understand that business and in Congress, I doubt that they can rub together 2 one dollar coins on the subject on digital advertising. The more ‘diplomatic’ answer comes from Facebook’s own Zuckerberg. With “Our story would not have been possible without US laws that encourage competition and innovation. I believe that strong and consistent competition policy is vital because it ensures that the playing field is level for all. At Facebook, we compete hard, because we’re up against other smart and innovative companies that are determined to win” and some of them are Chinese. Some are Russian and others are all over the place, yet Facebook has other problems too, privacy and marketing do not go hand in hand, not in their granular market and that is where part of the problem lies. We could decide that from the four, they are the bad apple in this, but that would be wrong. I worked for people who had no idea how to dress a Facebook market when it was offered to them, their bullet point presentations could not deal with that unknown side of business, that was the strength for growth for Facebook, it was so new, there were no defining borders and there is where we see part of that problem, a lot never caught on, not to the degree that Facebook represents and there I see the dangers of the US Congress, they are not that clued in (as I personally see it). So as we get to one of the topics ‘One of the matters concerning the committee is the degree to which three of the tech companies now control the market for online adverts’ we need to recognise that these players made it affordable for a lot of businesses, the old way was dictatorial and something only rich companies could afford, they refused to give way and when Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon gobbled up the small fry, the large fry moved positions because their provider was no longer the bee’s knees. Three never ruled it, the grew it changing the rulers and the old stage should never return. And finally, according to numbers one in three uses Bing and Microsoft search and are therefor exposed to Bing Ads, so why is Microsoft not in that stage? There are 4 players and one has well over 20%, so why is Microsoft not in the meeting? Is that asking for too much?

Those who have read my articles over the year have seen that I have chastised each and every one of these four (5 if you include Microsoft), but here I see no blame, not from any of the 5, the stage was set, the rules were followed and when the opportunity was there 20 years ago, most would not wonder there, I was a personal witness when some stated that there was no future for a business form of Facebook in 1997, as such what is the US Congress bitching about? And as we look at the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-us-canada-53582909) we see the graph by eMarketer, yet Microsoft and their Bing is absent, why is that? So whilst they claim it is merely about the smaller rivals, it is about something more and something different, I wonder if we will ever be told the truth. As I personally see it, the members of congress have a different set of needs and I wonder what they are.

 

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Double Standards

You might have heard of this new tech company in China, it makes all kinds of telecom stuff and they are known as Huawei. What is interesting is that we got a lecture by Alex Younger (fearless leader MI-6), he was all about the fact that at no time a national infrastructure should be done by a foreign nation, now as reasons go, this is a decent one, there is no need for evidence, it is about national interest. I was not in favour, but I do not set British policy (apparently) and as such I believe that it is an acceptable view.

In that light I have a hard time looking (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50879809), where we are treated to ‘Cobham takeover: Boris Johnson defends £4bn sale to US equity firm‘, so we see a stage where British national security concerns are now going through an equity firm putting Wall Street in charge of a large chunk of British Defense. Can anyone explain that to me?

The US has one directive, serve the needs for the US and the US only, then we get Wall Street where profit is the run of the coast, so at what point was selling Cobham to any other nation a good idea?

Even as we see the statement from Boris Johnson “A lot of checks have been gone through to make sure that in that particular case all the security issues that might be raised can be satisfied and the UK will continue to be a very, very creative and dynamic contributor to that section of industry and all others“, I wonder if proper checks have been made from situations that are in opposition, the entire Yemeni war and the position of the US Congress is an apt description. Admiral Lord West was concerned and not without reason.

Issues like:

The risk of “unauthorised persons” obtaining information about the MoD’s capabilities and activity is a big one, keeping secrets in the US and on Wall Street is a challenge at the best of times and this will bite the UK before 2030, optionally before 2022. 

The threat to existing MoD programmes (due to funding cuts or moving capabilities “off-shore”), more important, whatever is done to keep the invoices low will be an affront to Wall Street an equity managers, so they will oppose whatever options the MoD finds to lower invoices. Then there is the other issue, do you think that ANY equity firm will pay £4,000,000,000 unless they can get at least double out of it? So where is that marging coming from? There is no way that this was merely for the nicety, it is an equity firm and I get that, yet what business are we in when governments hand over control of defense contractors and the power that they have within the MoD to a foreign nation? It does not rhyme and we see an absence from MI-6 setting that stage correctly (and optionally openly). 

I also believe that the moment things do go South, the people in the UK will dress up like angry villagers and quarrel their settlement with pikes and pitchforks with Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom who was kind enough to validate “she was satisfied the risks that had been identified had been mitigated “to an acceptable level”” you see an acceptable level is a subjective term and of course it will bite and probably whilst she is still in office. I am also interested in the fact that a Business Secretary sets the stage for national defence, was that her job? And I am completely with Admiral Lord West on this one, which issues had been mitigated? How were they mitigated and why was mitigation a point of discussion in the first place. 

There is another side, the side of the equity firm (advent) and in this case Shonnel Malani who states “We are confident the transaction and undertakings being given on national security, jobs and future investment, provide important long-term assurances for both Cobham’s employees and customers, particularly in the UK and also globally“, these words when you look deeper take no consideration of stock and change of stock, this is a statement of people, data and hardware are not considered in this, and perhaps the government looked at it, but I wonder to what degree. Consider the complete data branch of Cobham Airborne Surveillance not having one storage location, but now also is handed to the US data farms for intel grinding. That would be worth a pretty penny, would it not? And lets not forget, Cobham is a global player, so advent will get doors open all over the alphabet group (as well as alphabet). There is a lot of intelligence in Cobham and the deciding factor of where it goes is now in the hands of a Wall Street pleaser. 

I checked (at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-update-on-the-proposed-acquisition-of-cobham-plc-by-advent-international) and I was right, again we see “After meetings with the parties, advice from the Defence Secretary and carefully considering the consultation responses, Ms Leadsom has made the decision that the undertakings offered by the parties mitigate the national security risks identified to an acceptable level. She has therefore accepted the undertakings that were consulted on“, yet there is no protection of data as far as I can tell, the owners can get access to it to the largest degree. Even after Brexit, Advent can sell it to Strasbourg, leaving the UK with less options in the long run, a shortsighted response and I do personally hope that  Andrea Leadsom gets to personally deal with the cloud of angry villagers when failures come out (she is likely to be on the next plane to the US for granting this merger).

I also liked the idea that Mrs Leadsom had added “meticulously thought over” in several places. The consideration of it tends to lead towards parts no one thought off. You see, the fact that an equity firm agrees to a £4,000,000,000 caper indicates that there is a 20%-30% to be gained annually, which in the end in the long lasting set would not have made sense so sell at all, so we go towards other venues that Cobham allows for, data is one (yet not the only one), available stock is the other one. It is called vulturing, yet when we realise that there could be up to £ 6,000,000,000 in valued hardware the 30% is easily reached and over three years Cobham would be in a worse state, that last one is speculation, yet is it far fetched? Consider WHO is buying and the government as well as the stockholders are OK with it does not sit well with me. There is a truckload of value that we underestimate in any firm. We might accept “provide important long-term assurances for both Cobham’s employees and customers, particularly in the UK and also globally“, it sounds nice, but what happens when their workload doubles because Cobham ends up doing service for another player who becomes part of Cobham? Selling off was checked, yet adding inferior players to cobham seemingly was not. I look at it because the buyer is an equity firm and I tend to not trust them, I merely trust their need for greed and when they decide, they have a larger play to make profits, yet in that game there is always a victim, it is close to a given, I merely want to make sure that British defense is not that victim. 

I believe that Cobham grew well beyond the vision of Sir Alan Cobham and that is fine, but I reckon that in this case the UK government did not really “meticulously thought over” several factors and it worries me, whenever greedy firms get into a defense branch defense, the defense group tends to lose and that is never good.

 

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The 11th hour of Chapter 11

It was around 01:00 this morning when a ‘recommended video’ made it to my stream. Now, I am known to have a sense of humour, a flaky one at best and to see the name Jon Stewart (yes the comedian) to be on that ‘recommended stream’ regarding a PBS News hour was something new to me, but I was a little curious and I took a look.

What I was confronted with did not merely blow my socks off; it gave the impression that America is currently in such a bad state that it makes me wonder why at present this issue does not grace the front page in EVERY NEWSPAPER on the planet.

I have seen my fill of political windbags, their past acts gave Chicago the name ‘the windy city’, it gave the impression that a cocaine dealer has seemingly a higher regard for ‘their word’ than most members of the US Congress. Still, there was no stopping Jon Stewart as he gave his view in congress.

The story (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5FTrIZN-E) shows that Jon Stewart is not merely a person with a sense of humour, the man talks up a storm, not a windy one, but a perfect storm. You need to hear it to believe what America and American politics is doing to the first line of defence of the city of New York, what has been done to those running into the area where the World Trade Centre, to give aid and to save as many people as possible. In a room that was filled with first responders, a room that is filled with the pain and agony of what they had gone through and the members of US Congress (the bulk of them) are not there, not there to stand protecting the first responders of America, not there to protect the first responders of America and not there for those putting their lives on the line for the annual amount that is less than 0.1% of what an average Wall Street banker takes home on an average month.

The headline pretty much states it with: ‘Congress ‘should be ashamed’ over inaction on helping 9/11 first responders‘, but that would be a disservice, US Congress failed on a much larger scale than that. The members of congress did not even have the respect and courtesy to show up. And during all this is the voice of Jon Stewart advocating for these people intentionally forgotten. Stated is that one member got there as he is up for a 69th round of chemo. I cannot even fathom anyone living past 2 dozen treatments, let alone an additional 45 treatments past that point. I personally have never felt such pride in being a witness to a person like Jon Stewart, what some would call merely a comedian standing up and advocating for a group that should have been protected by 320 million Americans calling and shouting at their senators, their congress representatives, their governors and their alderman to fix this immediately. Is America this broke, this bankrupt that denial of an essential and required need for first responders to be given at any given time? As Jon states, they were there in 5 seconds, the first responders were actively aiding and assisting the fallen and the wounded in 5 seconds. And it gets to be worse!

FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, EMS responded they all did and Congress is now holding the implied ‘were out to lunch’, ‘we are currently unavailable, have a nice day’ signs, in my view every American should stand shoulder to shoulder with Jon Stewart making their voices heard making sure that first responders get better service and better protection than any member of congress every could hope to get. We are after this exposed to details that I have (to the best of my knowledge not seen anywhere, not to the degree it should be exposed to). The never ending waves of denial from those who should have been a circle of protection is not merely baffling, it should be beyond shameful. Anyone on that track should be barred from public office. that is how it should be, but it is not. It merely shows that government is not in charge, Wall Street seemingly is and these people have become too expensive to the American way of life.

Consider this

Even in the wildest time when the US was merely known as part of the British Empire, these people had a better standing and better protection than they now have in American society. Can you imagine the shame where rescue services as a member of the British colonies, serving the British Empire and the King of England in 1760 would have been treated better than those of the United States of America in 2001-2019?

Can anyone imagine the shame of it all?

Then optionally making an attack on America a New York issue, I wonder how congress would have treated this if the jets had flown into Mount Rushmore, would that have been an unfortunate collision with a shaped hill? The fact that the ‘pile’ had such dire issues to the health of first responders is also a much larger concern. Evan as ABC news gave us (at https://abcnews.go.com/US/911-toll-growsl-16000-ground-responders-sick-found/story?id=57669657) “Twenty-three NYPD officers were killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. In the 17 years since, the department says another 156 have died of illnesses contracted from their time on what was then known as “the pile,” the mountain of toxic debris from the fallen towers.” the fact that there is every indication that the number of people dying of disease directly due to the toxic elements of the WTC debris is staggering, the fact that 23 NYPD members died on the day and 156 died of health related issues, directly related to the WTC toxicity events since is a much larger concern. How did all that toxicity be part of that building in the first place?

Last august to total tally was a mere 28 people difference, there is every indication that the total deaths since 9/11 will surpass the first responders casualties on the day it happened in early 2020 and they did not go direct, instantly and gently, they were hollowed to nothing by toxicity and left to their own devices. How can any nation stand by and let this happen?

And when Jon Stewart mentions the hundred, nay thousands of tweets by officials giving us ‘Never forget the heroes of 9/11‘ and we now see that they are shunned and ignored, we see the anger that every American should have, because who will you count on when this happens again? Do you think that under these conditions first responders have any actual responsibility when their government, their congress abandons them?

It is hard to not be hit by the directness of Jon Stewart, I is hard to ignore that what Jon Stewart brings, but for the most, the media was silent, but not anymore, only a few hours ago I learn that ‘House panel unanimously passes 9/11 victims fund bill after Jon Stewart bashing‘, this is great in some respect, but why was the international media silent for so many years, and why did it take so long for this bill to pass? I reckon that the success that Jon Stewart booked will be reason enough that the global media picks up on this story, but as I personally see it, that act is a decade late and for the world of me, I cannot fathom why the media stayed silent on the plight of first responders for to the degree it did for such a long time, can you?

The only remaining part is now, why was action absent for that long, is America truly broke? If so should catering towards large corporations not end, or better stated has facilitation to this degree and for this long not been one of the most shameful acts? Who is to blame for such levels of denial and facilitation? Just image the reality of what I say and what I just proved. In one month we got close to 70,000,000 articles filled with speculations (often absent of actual facts) on what happened to one reporter no one cares about (harsh but true), yet how much awareness and articles were created since 9/11 2001 on the plight and hardship of first responders? When we realise this, how big was the failure to American first responders from 9/11 2002 onwards?

 

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Iterative diversity never goes anywhere

Facebook has been on the minds of many people, so merely on how to procrastinate (a student thing), some on the value of the company and some are investigating on how data issues were reported. CNet reported merely a few hours ago ‘SEC asking if Facebook properly warned investors of data issue‘ (at https://www.cnet.com/news/sec-investigating-if-facebook-gave-investors-enough-warning-about-data-issue-wsj-says/), the origin is the Wall Street Journal. My issue is at the top when we consider the quote “The agency is looking into how much Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of data, says a report in The Wall Street Journal“, do you think that any evidence is still there to be found? Even if the brightest minds unite to finding anything, by the time all the proper access is granted, the decisionmakers will be facing a new government resetting priorities.

Now, I get it. That is the job of the SEC. With “The SEC has requested information from Facebook to learn how much the social-networking company knew about Cambridge Analytica’s data use, according to the Journal. In addition, the SEC reportedly wants to learn how Facebook analyzed its risk as developers shared data with others against Facebook’s policies“, we see that the SEC is merely doing its job and even if we believe the meida and some of the revelations that passed our screens, the SEC has a clear directive, merely set in factual evidence. Yet the can of goods is seen with “The SEC is also looking into whether the company should’ve told shareholders about Cambridge Analytica’s policy violation when Facebook found out about it, in 2015“, it is not the game, but it is a setting of the stage. In my view there is doubt that this was properly done. The issue is not whether it happened, it is the setting that we must speculate on what would have happened next, and that whilst there is no evidence that something was done. Not the acts of Cambridge Analytica their part is a foregone conclusion. The issue is as long as there is no evidence showing that the data was sold on to other parties. The value of the company would not have been impacted, which would have negatively impacted shareholders. That is the game the SEC is set with that is their duty and they are doing that just fine.

The question becomes on what stage is speculation of something that might have happened set in actionable consideration two years after the fact, that is the setting and that will be a dry bone as far as I can tell. Still the SEC has a duty to perform and they are doing that. Even as Endgadget goes with “the agency might disagree with Facebook’s perspective and find the company at fault for not properly informing shareholders“, the setting is not a given. You see, the impact of value was after the revelation and after the shareholders were spooked by the fear mongering media. As long as there is no evidence that a third party has all the raw data, the value impact is close to nil. The only impact that the SEC should be allowed to consider is the negative impact of value, if proven that data left control of Facebook and only when that evidence is proven to have impacted Facebook before Jan 2018, only at that point is there an optional issue and there is a second tier in all this. If any shareholder is in both companies, it becomes a little murky, because at that point the shareholders themselves will be up for investigation. Whether this is true cannot be said because the first part for the SEC is proving that the second player actually has the raw Facebook data, in all this aggregated data lacks value and interactions on aggregates data is just too shallow for consideration.

And this is just one of the settings. The second and main setting is the Diversity report that Facebook has presented. The Verge is all about the focus on ‘Change is coming slowly, if it comes at all‘, which is a given in most companies (Apple and Google are optionally the exception). The setting is however no longer just about optional diversity, it is about bankable value and the national patent value that these places have in that setting diversity be damned and Endgadget knows this the fact that they took a page to focus on ‘diversity’ whilst there are much larger fish swimming in the Facebook pond is to some a total mystery. The IP Watchdog gives us another side and a side that in this day and age are actually really important. There we see (as a small grasp):

  • U.S. Patent No. 8732802, titled: ‘Receiving Information About a User From a Third Party Application Based on Action Types’. Issued to Facebook in May 2014.
  • U.S. Patent No. 8938411, titled: ‘Inferring User Family Connections From Social Interactions’. Issued to Facebook in January 2015.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9740752, titled: ‘Determining User Personality Characteristics From Social Networking System Communications and Characteristics’. Issued to Facebook August 2017.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9798382, titled: ‘Systems and Methods of Eye Tracking Data Analysis’. Issued to Facebook October 2017.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9923981, titled: ‘Capturing Structured Data About Previous Events From Users of a Social Networking System’. Issued to Facebook March 2018.

These are only 5 out of a large basket of patents and the issue is not about diversity of staff, it is about the diversity of the population. The setting does not change that much, because changes might be small, but consider that in this case we have an additional 1 TB a day that can now be used very effectively. So even as the Verge reminds us with “Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) took some time out of a congressional hearing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to grill CEO Mark Zuckerberg about increasing diversity at the company, something that Zuckerberg said that Facebook was “focused on.”“, we can take diversity as stated with ‘increasing diversity at the company‘ as either staff diversity or data diversity, I guess that I am going with number two on that one. You see, even as I tipped on ‘diversity’ we all recollect places like Forbes and the Financial Times on how it leads to better profits. It is the reason it reflects on the shareholders on how that notion gives them an on the spot hard on, male and female shareholders alike. Yet, the much larger revenue boost is seen when we combine the setting of the patents, the data that Facebook has and now we get to yesterday’s story, In yesterday’s article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/07/12/seeking-security-whilst-growing-anarchy/), I left a few screws fall all over the place. With ‘Seeking security whilst growing anarchy‘, I gave a title that could be read in more than one way. The part I just skipped yesterday (as the story would have been too large) was seen with “So now we get the setting of ‘who is exactly waging war on who’, or is that whom?“, as well as “the defense ‘laws governing wars were devised with conflicts between states in mind‘ can no longer be upheld“. These were true settings, yet the setting of the data was partially set in “how many flags were raised by that one person, yet now not on 5 tests, but on dozens of tests, against people, places, actions and locations at specific times“, there we see the issue, but there is a complication, the bulk of the people actively sought all use burner phones, they tend to be nervous and do not call, yet they are closely grouped together and that is a first setting. Now consider that for the most burner phones are useless, now consider these people taking hours to keep busy and some will go for the silliest diversion. A diversion like a simple Candy Crush, now take another look at the 5 patents, consider that the burner phone is useless for intelligence, but now reconsider that value when these patents are used, not merely for tracking needs, but reconsider the ‘Eye Tracking Data Analysis‘ add the camera to take a silent image of the iris, it is almost as good as a fingerprint. Now add ‘Structured Data About Previous Events From Users‘. Two of the five added to the billions of users on Facebook and now we have a system that does a lot more, it is the 32% that Palantir inc. does not have, the patents that Facebook has allows not merely for a diversity growth factor, it will be one of the few times that any company had two massive niches in data, when Combined it allows the US to have a grasp of a system that allows near real time tracking of anyone they seek, this system can void well over 80% of the false flags making the data system well over 10 times as efficient than ever before. So yes, we can argue the truth of “Not to worry, says Facebook VP Allen Lo, head of intellectual property. “Most of the technology outlined in these patents has not been included in any of our products, and never will be,” he told the Times in an email” as a master of IP I do know the length that Facebook has been through with patents and he is telling the truth, the product of Facebook is Facebook, that system will not go there, but will be in all kinds of different technical solutions that allows for new methods of data gathering. Even as it is a burner phone, when they take it for a mere leap into betting solutions and gaming procrastination, they will hit some top 10 app of the month and that is when one element of data is connected to the ones that matter for those seeking these really welcome people for personal one on one interviews. And there we see the link between places like Palantir and Zuckerberg (not Facebook). Sen. Maria Cantwell was asking around the edges for a reason, the April interview had another reason, one that I was never aware off (or considered). It seems that she heard water cooler chats on settings of Palantir, this was about a larger issue and the Patents had clearly indicated options for Facebook, it was not about the setting (as she put it) ‘the talent and the will to solve this problem‘ it is given that Palantir knows that Facebook Inc. can become a contender and with the data that could be available, we see a setting where Palantir would be going up against a new player having 500% of the data that the Palantir customer has and more important, Facebook has the patents to partially solve the burner phone issues much better then Palantir ever had the option for and that is a real new path in this field. So as I personally read it, Sen. Maria Cantwell was asking whether Mark Zuckerberg was ready to become a player in this field.

So yes, even as we see that some steps are small (like diversity and torts law), Facebook has an optional setting to take a leap forward, not by a mere length, but by an entire class of data options, which is new and that is where those investigating Cambridge Analytica never looked at, or so we were meant to believe, Sen. Maria Cantwell might be the first through orders or insight to do just that.

That setting is now still under debate, not because of the tech, but because of a case of OIL STATES ENERGY SERVICES, LLC v. GREENE’S ENERGY GROUP, LLC, ET AL. No. 16–712 (decided April 24th, 2018), this case changes the game all over, because until overruled by the US Congress, we now have a setting where we see that the possibility that patents are no longer property rights is close to an absolute. Patents are not property rights and will not be property rights until Congress overrules the case, so in this the entire patents side is now a new setting that it is set as a government franchise, so in all this Facebook has the one play to set themselves apart from the rest of the data players, and some might state that the setting of the decision of the Supreme Court was a forgone conclusion close to two weeks earlier, so Sen. Maria Cantwell was either on the ball or asked the perfect questions two weeks in advance, I wonder who ended up with a boatload of speculated wealth, because someone definitely got rich in that process (happy speculation with a smile from the writer).

In all this it was not merely the setting of diversity and how to see it, but the fact that a place like Facebook might think iterative within its Facebook app, it has options and therefor opportunities in a much larger field than merely the Facebook app. So if Palantir is not worried on what comes next, they are more asleep at the wheel than you imagine; a small spoiler alert here: the people at Palantir are a lot of things, they have never ever been asleep so they know what is coming and as the path of Facebook is allegedly on now is regarded as government Franchise terrain, we need to wonder where this goes next as they are still all about finding those illusive extremists, all depending on burner smart phones.

I wonder when the rest realises what the patent holders have been able to achieve in mobile communications, now consider 350% of speed increase and 700% of data markers with the release of 5G, now revaluate the Patents that the Facebook corporation has and consider how much larger they could optionally become by 2021. Now reconsider the Forbes list of ‘The World’s Most Valuable Brands‘ and consider its position in 2021. I doubt that it will be #1 at that time, but it will be equal if not bigger then Google by then taking its #2 position away from them, and leaving Microsoft a distant #4. Although Microsoft is doing plenty to diminish its value all by themselves, they do not need to rely on Google and Facebook to reduce their position for them.

Iterative act never go anywhere, it is the setting of new stages where true fortunes are gathered.

Happy Friday 13th everyone! (Please don’t meet a guy named Jason today)

 

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Identity denied

There are moments when we resort to other ways of expressing ourselves; it is in our nature to find alternatives to the story, so that we can tell the story. Nearly every person does it. Sometimes we ask ‘would you take that extra pastry?‘ instead of telling someone that you really feel like having another pastry. So when it comes to social media, we see not ourselves, but the person we want to be. We want to own the Hall of Faces (Game of Thrones) where we can mask ourselves with the identity of a dead person, like Ethan Hawke in Mission Impossible, walk in, sound like the person we are not, because we do not like ourselves in that particular moment. So when we look at Facebook, are we thinking the Hall of faces? In light of all that was revealed, are we in a stage where we prefer to be someone else?

You see, the shit is on the walls as some would say. Mark the Zuckyman did the right thing, he stood up (after a few days of silence) and held himself responsible and we are all over this that he is the culprit, but is he truly guilty? We see all kinds of articles on Facebook, like ‘You’ve decided to delete Facebook but what will you replace it with?‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/31/youve-decided-to-delete-facebook-but-what-will-you-replace-it-with), even after a week this is still highly valid, because for millions of the multibillion users of Facebook, it has yet to sink in. Go to WhatsApp? Instagram? Both are owned by Facebook, so where does that leave you? So when we try to trivialise it with #DeleteFacebook, we need to realise that this is new territory. We now talk about the Social Media Landscape and it is not small. It is huge and most importantly, this is the first true generation of the Social media generation. We were not ready, and i have been trying to explain that to people for nearly 3 years. Now we see overreactions whilst sitting down contemplating it all was never an option. The law was missing it as it is more interested in facilitating for commerce, exploitation and profit (Sony and Microsoft are nice examples there), Human rights are failing, because the issue of Digital rights is only seen in the relation of commerce, not in the relation of privacy, in this the entire Google and the people’s rights to be forgotten is merely a reason to giggle, a Google giggle if you preferred.

The article has one funny part, with “For those determined to exit the Facebook ecosystem, the best approach is more likely to be a patchwork of sites and apps that mirror individual features. Messaging is the easiest: apps such as Telegram and Signal offer messaging and group chats, as well as voice calls, with encryption to keep your communications private. Telegram even has a thriving collection of chatbots, similar to Facebook Messenger“, you see, it is done on a smartphone (mostly), so you could consider dialing a person and have a conversation, your mum if she is still alive is not the worst idea to have. You see, the plain point is where you end up. So when we see “Part of Vero’s appeal to Facebook deleters is its determination to be ad-free. It is planning instead to start charging a small annual subscription at some point“, you see these people designed it for wealth (as one would) so where are they getting the money? The small annual subscription does make sense, but in light of that you better remember where all your data is and even as we see ‘emphasis on privacy‘ we need to realise that there are clear situations where the word Privacy is open to suggestion. What people forget is that ‘The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes‘, so are their settings of what is private the same as yours? Also, when they sell their company for a mere 2 billion, make no mistake, the word privacy is not open for debate, it will be whatever the new owner decides it to be. This is merely one side of data, as data is currency. That is what I have been trying to explain to nearly everyone (for 5 years now) and they all shrugged and stated, ‘it’ll be right‘, so is it right? Is it all right now? If you are considering becoming a member of the growing party of #DeleteFacebook it clearly was not.

So when we are treated to ‘News of Facebook’s secret tool to delete executive messages caps days of chaos‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/06/facebook-using-secret-tool-to-delete-messages-from-executives) we see another part of Facebook, we see new uproar. The question is whether this is justified. You see, when we see “the company has a two-tiered privacy standard (one for executives, one for everyone else) and over its use of facial recognition software“, in most cases this makes perfect sense. Corporate executives tend to be under scrutiny a lot, as it sometimes is valid; they still have a job to be done. I was amazed on how many people Mark Zuckerberg was connected to in the beginning of Facebook. It was awesome and cool, but I reckoned that it was not always constructive to productivity. I have been in places where the executives had their own server for a number of reasons, mostly for HR reasons and whether it is valid or not, it is a corporate decision, in that light I am not amazed, only when I was doing work for Google was I on a system where I could see everything and everyone all including what I thought was the board of directors. Here is where it gets interesting, because Google has a (what we refer to) a true open system for all who work there. It is invigorating to get access to so much information and my first night was me dreaming of combining things, what if we did ….. and ….. would we then be able to …..? It was exhilarating to feel that rush of creativity, in areas where I had no skill levels to boot. With a ‘closed’ system like Facebook, we need to consider that by setting the state of all is open that it is a legal trap when you give billions of people access to systems and situations. The mere legal differences between the UK, US and AUS, all common law nations would be the legal nightmare of decades. Shielding the executives from that is a first priority, because without them at the wheel it all falls to chaos.

That reality is seen with “Facebook says the change was made following the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, when a mass data breach at the movie studio resulted in embarrassing email histories being leaked for a number of executives, ultimately costing co-chair Amy Pascal her job“, some might remember the mail that George Clooney send in regards to the Monuments Man, it made pretty much all the papers. I love his work, I enjoy the artistic values he has, shares and embodies, but without certain levels of privacy and shielding his artistic side might take a large dump towards uncertainty, not a side I am hoping for, because even as he is merely 360 days older than me, he should be able to create another 30 years of movie excellence and I would like to see those movies, especially as we see that he is doing to Matt Damon in Suburbicon, what the Coen brothers were doing to him in Burn after reading and Hail, Caesar!, so plenty of fun times ahead for all us movie fans.

Even as we are all looking where we want to go next, the foundation of issues remain. There is an utter lack of Social media legislation; there is a mess of issues on where privacy is and what is to be regarded as privacy. The users gave it all away when they signed up for options, apps and ‘solutions’ again and again. Until that is settled, any move we make moves the issue and moves the problems, it will not solve anything, no matter what some of the app developers decide to state. In the third part “‘The third era of Zuck’: how the CEO went from hero to humiliation” (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/06/mark-zuckerberg-public-image-cambridge-analytica-facebook), I think he got kicked in the head real hard, but not humiliated, although he might think he was. So as we recall Dean Martin with Ain’t That a Kick in the Head? we need to realise that is what happens. That is what happens when Social media becomes a multi-billion user behemoth. Mark Zuckerberg made mistakes plain and simple. What do you do? You get up from the floor, fix it and restore the need for growth. And now still we see that mistakes are made. This is seen with “On Friday morning, the company apologized and pledged to stop deleting executives’ messages until they could make the same functionality available to everyone“, the largest mistake and it opens social media to all kinds of organised crime. Merely send the threat, tell the people to do …. or else and after an hour, after it is seen to have been read, the message is deleted, it becomes a miscommunication and no prosecution is possible.

That is the biggest mistake of all, to set a multi-billion user group open to the needs of organised crime even further then it likely is. How stupid is that? You see, as I interpret this, both Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg are in the musical chair setting, trying to do things on the fly and that will hurt them a lot more than anything else. We get it that mistakes were made, fix them, but not on the fly and not just quick jumps overnight. Someone has pushed them into defence play and they actually suck at that. It is time for them to put their foot down and go into offensive and attack mode (pun intended). When we consider what was before, we get it that Zuckerberg made mistakes and he will make more. We merely need to look at Microsoft and their actions over the last 3 decades to see that they screwed to pooch even more royally than Zuckerberg will be able to do, but the media is silent there as it relies on Microsoft advertiser funds. IBM and Apple have made their blunders in the past as well, yet they all had one large advantage, the impact was never towards billions of users, it potentially could have hit them all, but it mostly just a much smaller group of people, that was their small blessing. Apple directly hurt me and when I lost out on $5500, I merely got a ‘C’est la vie‘ from their technical centre, so screw that part!

There will be a large change sooner rather than later, the issue with Cambridge Analytica was too large to not make that happen. I merely hope that Zuckerberg has his ducks on a row when he makes the jump, in addition to that was Steve Bannon arrested? Especially when we consider Article 178, violating the Free decision of Voters. You see, it is not that simple, social media has never been used in that way, to such an extent, the law is unclear and proving that what Cambridge Analytica did would constitute a clear violation of the free decision of voters, that is what makes this a mess, legislation on a global scale has failed when it came to privacy and options regarding the people in social media. Steve Bannon can keep on smiling because of all the visibility he will get for years to come and after years when no conviction comes, he can go on the ‘I told you so!‘ horse and ride of wealthy into the sunset. That situation needs to be rectified and it needs to go way beyond Facebook, the law itself has faltered to a much larger degree.

The fact that politicians are all about terror cells and spilling inflammatory messages whilst having no resolution on any of this is merely showing what a bunch of apes they have proven themselves to be. So when we saw in January ‘Facebook, Google tell Congress they’re fighting extremist content‘, where were these congressmen? Where the fuck was Clint Watts, the Robert A. Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and National Security analyst as CNN now reports that optionally 78 million records have been pushed onto the Russian servers? (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/08/politics/cambridge-analytica-data-millions/index.html), now implying that Cambridge Analytica has undermined US safety and security in one operation to a much larger extent than any terrorist has been able to achieve since September 13th 2001. That is 17 years of figments, against one political setting on the freedom to choose. I wonder how Clint Watts can even validate his reasoning to attend the US Congress at all. And this goes way beyond the US; in this the European Commission could be regarded as an even larger failure in all this. But it is unlikely we ever get treated to that side of the entire show.

The media needs both players a lot more and bashing Facebook makes for good entertainment they reckon. Time will tell whether they were right, or that the people at large just never cared, we merely end up having no social media identity, it will have been denied for reasons that were never real in the first place.

 

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