Tag Archives: Vision 2030

There is more beneath the sand

The Australian Financial Review has an interesting article that they released a little over 12 hours ago (at https://www.afr.com/world/middle-east/is-saudi-arabia-s-royal-family-ready-for-a-market-economy-20191112-p539sv), the title ‘Is Saudi Arabia’s royal family ready for a market economy?‘ is an interesting view on the issues that are coming around over the next decade. Stephen Cook gives us part of the goods, yet I wonder if he is cautiously holding back (an acceptable stance for any journalist) or is there more?

That is not an attack on the article; it is well written and shows a writer with a good grasp of grammar 😉 He also makes a few very nice observations. The issues that come from that are not always visible, but we should argue before we get there that any cautious journalist does not need to go there; a blogger like me on the other hand is (at times) all about the informed speculation. So when we see: “to pull off Vision 2030, Mohammed bin Salman needs some of the international goodwill he enjoyed until mid-2017“, that partially true, most of it can however be built with money and Saudi Arabia has plenty of that. At which point Mr Cook takes that frying pan and hits us with “There’s just one problem: the Aramco IPO is far riskier than the Saudis are letting on“. He gives it in the form of “The Saudis are offering stock in 2-5 per cent of the company. One of the sticking points has been valuation“, he is true, and we see that in the article that there is a margin of valuation (depending on the offerer) that is almost 50%, And that is not the only part, there is a view that Saudi Aramco will value at almost twice the price of Apple, that is a lot and there will be an actual benefit that Mr Cook does not offer. He does give us that the Saudi offering could end up netting between 24 billion and 115 billion. No matter how this turns, there will be plenty of Saudis all wanting a share or two, a population supporting its own national product, so there is interest, the benefit we do not see here is the corporatocracy that the EU has become, with value in the fire of shares, whatever Iran will think of next will bounce back, any attacks is no longer a mere Saudi Problem, Saudi Arabia has done something interesting. By offering 2.5% of a company its visibility will become global and that is the first nail in a coffin named Iran. And that is not the only one; there is another benefit to see when we take a harder look at Vision 2030.

You see Vision 2030 will be a clean systems sweep of 5G (and 4G lte) systems, the old 3G and other systems will be absent, the Saudi’s will get a much better view of what is needed in the 5G atmosphere without having old equipment holding it back, you might laugh, but do you have any idea on the amount of equipment out there switched on because there is some ‘twittle’ hardware connection, or the owners merely does not know that some equipment does not need to be turned on? It amounts to almost 7% of the electricity bill and the amount of technology and hardware involved shows a massive amount of additional loopholes requiring fixing. You might not think this is essential, yet when we realise that there is an amount that is between calculated and measured that is not addressed, we see a much larger issue, in at least two cases I have seen the ‘connections’ merely being ‘improperly’ addressed, I wonder what else was not done. Vision 2030 will allow us to look at hardware connected and we will see a whole range of equipment never connected. There will be an amount of niche markets that will evolve because of it and as we see that evolve, whoever is working in Neom City, will get an interesting benefit to this change.

Getting back to the IPO, there is every concern that the quote “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has every reason to keep the Saudis on the defensive and mess with Aramco’s IPO” has value, yet the first one who is part of the IPO will have the benefit of calling out Iran’s actions and now there will be nations with skin in the game, Iran is basically done for and it needs the nuclear benefit of playing the bully, yet it is running out of time no matter how blind the EU tends to be. When any Wall Street corporation has skin in the IPO, they will report it to any channel willing to expose Iran and that is what Iran really does not like, you see playing the bully only works when no one is looking at you and that option is about to end. They will now enter a stage where the writer claims ‘make investors nervous‘, yet when they go a little overboard and ‘make investors angry‘ their benefit is gone and that is why they need the nuclear pact to be in their favour. A bully merely knows no other way to look at matters, but now we see a much larger field and Iran is about to get exposed a lot more.

So now we get back to Neom City, the writer gives us “The plans (and promotional video) were impressive, but the effort failed miserably“, yet he gives no reason, I will, The amount of media willing to give Neom City the light of day could be counted with two hands, with the hundreds of accepted media in the Aether, they all shied away from Neom City and it was not Jamal Khashoggi. It was in part America and in part Europe that was scared. A city that is stated to be 22 times the size of New York is a building marvel, it would be no less than another world wonder and the powers that be have no intention of letting Saudi Arabia walk away with a world wonder, not in this age. Even as the bridge to Africa might never become a world wonder, the bridge itself will be a global accomplishment and it will give larger gains to Saudi Arabia. In addition it takes another premise, the city of Sharm-El-Sheikh (Sinai) would gain in several ways, whilst the bridge would open Saudi Arabia to Egypt in larger ways. It would also open up technology paths to Saudi Arabia. In addition we see: “Mohammed bin Salman has calculated that he has a greater chance of eliciting the loyalty of his subjects – and thus shoring up his power – by giving them movies, concerts, and WWE wrestling events; reining in the religious police; and granting women the right to drive“, yet it is missing a part, with the building needs growing for close to two decades, we will see a new class of people, A class to Egyptian Muslims working in Saudi Arabia growing the population and growing a larger stage of a new population drive, those needing a better life, we have seen this in America and Europe and it will drive a new need in these people finding a niche where they can settle their family in growth, that part will be new to Saudi Arabia and it will create new wealth group and a larger drive towards Saudi Arabia. I reckon that Saudi Arabia could grow to well over 20% this was and the size of Neom city would allow for a much larger growth giving new options to Saudi’s and those wanting to be Saudi.

As I see it Saudi Arabia could over time grow that IPO to be up to 9%, so basically it will get access to 3 times that maximum of 115 billion, with an offering that over time will be close to $400 billion, we see that Neom city has been paid for, at that point with the IPO in place, and Neom city ready to grow Iran will be shown to be the bully of the Middle East, and bullies can be dealt with in swift ways by any global population that is clearly aware, which now leaves us Hamas and Hezbollah, we actually need not look in those directions, Israel is looking there already, we merely have to wait what will happen next, with these two elements clearly in lace it will not take long for technology firms to seek their nesting grounds in Neom city, Huawei is actively looking, Google has set its premise, as have Apple, Microsoft and IBM (who added 197 jobs in the last month alone), so the need is being addressed, now it merely takes time for the entire stew to settle, once all the elements have been added, we only have to wait (which will be the hardest part), yet there is little to no doubt in my mind that when we see the elements of Neom City, we will see a much larger shift in the west, it will not only be to stay on par with Saudi Arabia, it will be to get all the residual hardware and all the non-effective hardware to be removed from hundreds of places, I reckon that the US will face a new technology need at that point.

You see, in the end, there is less to a decade to a ‘futuristic city’ and a technologically ‘apt city’, Saudi Arabia is about to show the world that part and all the other nations will need to show that they can keep up and with their debts sized the way they are that will be the hardest issues for them and the US knows it has a large problem keeping up, as does the EU, they never thought that they would require to meet wits with Saudi Arabia, they never thought it was ever going to happen, as such they were not ready. Iran is banking on it, in the end I wonder which of the two elements will be the strongest, I’ll let you figure out what I mean.

i believe that by 2035 the global technological will be redrawn, it will be a map that the EU and the US will not be happy about. The Wall Street Journal gave a nice presentation 4 days ago with ‘U.S. Government Is Tripping Over Itself in Race to Dominate 5G Technology‘ and ever as we see sources stating: “U.S. officials say the country is in position to reap those benefits”, we merely need to see SDXCentral giving us: “AT&T is tempering expectations for its forthcoming 5G network riding on sub-6 GHz spectrum. While AT&T says it was the first wireless operator to demonstrate 1 Gb/s and later 2 Gb/s speeds on a commercial 5G network running on millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, it’s not making any grand projections for a speed improvement on its forthcoming 5G network running on the lower spectrum bands” (at https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/att-down-on-low-band-5g-speed/2019/11/) to see that they are all running for the advertised word and there is a large hiatus between the ‘advertised word‘ and ‘achieved technology‘, that difference was seen at the end of October as Reuters gave us: ‘Trump says U.S. will cooperate with ‘like-minded’ nations on 5G networks‘, everybody on the US sided mind is trying to fix the backlog that they have against Huawei and some of them have a huge backlog, when we see “Trump has held numerous calls with foreign leaders, including British Prime Minister Johnson in August, to urge them not to let Huawei use 5G networks“, yet at by the time have we seen ANY EVIDENCE that there is a national interest failure on Huawei hardware? America hopes that it has taken the hardware drive and fixed its own economy (and the mere fact that we will not ask questions), yet Saudi Arabia already has ties to Huawei giving Saudi Arabia the option to pull ahead and make the monthly gap larger on a daily basis. The difference is that intense. There is more and more evidence to see that the EU is not going the way of the US and that will give them an advantage on the hardware range, yet they still have all the other old hardware to deal with. They could face two issues, let’s not forget that Riyadh faces that too, but if Neom City shows the benefit to a newly constructed fast internet city, what we saw in the UK 5G image, that path will be faster seen in Neom city, merely because the change is pushed from the beginning and not after the fact (as most technologies are).

The ‘what 5G is about‘ shows what 5G could do and in many nations we see part of this appear over time, yet in case of Neom city, with a 5G focus it will come all at once, it will give Arabian software Engineers a larger playing field and a playing field on rolling out some of those solutions anywhere else in the world. It is a path that we seemingly forgot about and we have seen this path a few times from Japan and the US, just the idea that Saudi Arabia will be able to focus on it was never in the sight of any of them and it is scaring them, Neom City has become that scary to both the US and the EU (well and Japan too). They have all been in the mind for well over 5 years that they see it first in Japan and later on it will be rolled out to the rest of the world. Now that setting changes those in charge are afraid, they have no ties to Saudi Arabia and no ways to make them.

Fear will be the key that the US and the EU will employ to set issues straight, and stopping Neom City to a much larger extent will be their focus, which gets us back to the quote we saw: “the effort failed miserably“, There was as I see it a much larger need to keep it out of the media, the people just never got to see all the elements that were clearly visible in 2018 when initial view of Neom City was given. I saw the first parts in May 2nd 2018 when I gave “the attached Burton presentation ‘Opportunities in Saudi Arabia – Vision 2030 and Beyond‘ spends two slides on it and the most important part shown is “Vision 2030 calls for 50 percent of military equipment purchases from domestic suppliers instead of imports“” a presentation by Edward Burton, President and CEO, U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council from June 2017. (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/05/02/are-there-versions-of-truth/) in the article ‘Are there versions of truth‘ I had not realised all the elements at that point (why should I?) yet I saw that Vision 2030 would be a bigger issue yet the larger impact would be visible beyond “90 executives from both countries to sign new trade and investment agreements worth $350 billion” the fact that in these 90 we would see “Lockheed Martin ● Honeywell ● JPMorgan Chase ● The Dow Chemical Company ● ExxonMobil ● Jacobs Engineering ● Baker Hughes ● McDermott International” was clear, the fact that Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (Steven J. Demetriou) was involved was a clear indicator of that. I believed that whatever think-tank Edward Burton responded to was seeing ‘roadmap for economic development‘ and Identifies general directions, policies‘ and optionally ‘CEDA established new operating models‘ and realised that this went way past the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (Saudi Arabia) there was an actual global impact. This setting has merely taken an accelerated view, especially in regards to Huawei, there is a much larger setting and we will soon see that the impact is global.

Darn! I was not the first to notice!

Even as we realise that the Council of Economic and Development Affairs was created in 2015, there is a larger stance where Saudi Arabia has found the flex point where they will become a global player, that is why Iran is scared, that is why other parties are about to play diminished roles and they are all afraid, their status quo is about to be removed.

 

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The biggest issue

The Guardian has given us several articles, by themselves there is nothing strange there (well there is), yet it is when we look at them together that an image starts to form. It is united that the larger problem becomes visible and the fact that a larger group is not catching up to this is a worry.

The first one is ‘Greta Thunberg hits back at Andrew Bolt for ‘deeply disturbing’ column‘, which happened less than 12 hours ago (at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/02/greta-thunberg-hits-back-at-andrew-bolt-for-deeply-disturbing-column), then we get ‘Revealed: Johnson ally’s firm secretly ran Facebook propaganda network‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/01/revealed-johnson-allys-firm-secretly-ran-facebook-propaganda-network), as well as ‘Brexit, cycle lanes and Saudi Arabia: CTF’s Facebook campaigns‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/01/brexit-cycle-lanes-and-saudi-arabia-ctfs-facebook-campaigns). Now let’s start up that on the whole nothing wrong was done by the Guardian. They reported and we can agree that reporting is what the Guardian does. Yet the larger issue is not what they do, it is what we are not getting that becomes the issue.

It starts with the Houthi attack on Dammam with missiles, a missile attack on a civilian target, Al Jazeera informs its audience, but the Guardian is not there. Bloomberg, the Guardian, basically the Western Media are all shunning it, yet they go to lengths to waste paper on the issues that “Women in Saudi Arabia will no longer need the permission of a male guardian to travel“, however the BBC did report on ‘Houthi missile attack on military parade kills 32‘, where we are told that “The parade in the southern port city of Aden was targeted by missiles and an armed drone, a Houthi-run TV channel says“, yet it seems that it was limited to the BBC, the near complete Western Media ignored that one too.

Now, I can accept that plenty of people are no fan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, yet to shun attacks that cost lives is new, they all group together to give accusations without evidence (that journalist no one cares about), yet actual events are shunned. It is a new level of discrimination, it is political discrimination, where unwelcome groups are given exposure when it can be tilted to the negative side of the seesaw and the more negative it gets, the larger the exposure.

Now, let’s get back to the first article, because that is seemingly not linked. With the Quote “The widely read Herald Sun columnist and Sky News commentator used his significant platform to take aim at the 16-year-old campaigner, dismissing her followers as members of a cult and disparaging her decision to sail across the Atlantic in a high-speed racing yacht to attend UN climate summits in the US and Chile“, as well as: “The highly personal character assassination published in Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids repeatedly referred to Greta’s mental health, saying she was “deeply disturbed”, “freakishly influential” and “strange”“, yet in all this, we see no exposure on how that information was acquired.

As I personally see it The editor of the Herald Sun, Damon Johnston, as well as his fucked up sidekick Andrew Bolt did something in addition, is it the small part “the evidence does not suggest that humanity faces doom“, all that to hide the smallest snippet to oppose the environment. It actually gets more interesting, that is when we consider the case that Justice Bromberg presided over. When we consider “Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt and his employer Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp clearly violated the Racial Discrimination Act“, we could argue that he could face court again in this case. When the case was judged and we get: ‘The lack of care and diligence is demonstrated by the inclusion in the newspaper articles of the untruthful facts and the distortion of the truth which I have identified, together with the derisive tone, the provocative and inflammatory language and the inclusion of gratuitous asides‘, we see the chance that history might repeat itself. The article (at https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/andrew-bolt-continues-on-about-adam-goodes,12947) gives a lot more, what is key here that the Guardian exposes it and that is good, I have no issues with it. Yet it also shows the lengths that Murdoch media goes through to set the stage in one place, whilst other parts are seemingly intentionally ignored. Perhaps some of you remember the mental health escalation at Martin Place in 2014. Rupert Murdoch acted personally and the responses like ‘Rupert Murdoch’s Response To The Martin Place Siege Is As Tasteless As You’d Expect‘, as we were given: “AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2.00 am. Congrats“, it seems to me that bloodshed are his bread and butter, it also is seemingly implied that as long as it is not Saudi Blood, Rupert Murdoch has no issues. Some gave us: “the hostage situation as the work of an IS “Death Cult CBD Attack”, something we labelled at the time – and will continue to do so – as one of “the most vile, deliberately inflammatory, fundamentally wrong and wholly speculative front covers in the sordid history of Australian print media“, all whilst from the beginning, within a few hours it should have been clear that not only were the journalists not doing their job, the issues that in the beginning, hostages were seen holding an Islamic black flag against the window of the café, featuring the shahadah creed. It was wrongly identified by the media and the part where Monis later demanded that an ISIL flag be brought to him should have been clear that this was not a terrorist, at the most a wannabe, and more viable a person with mental health issues, but as I personally see it, Murdoch and Channel 7 were all about milking the event as much as possible.

At what point is journalism about milking?

The fact that this was buried as fast as possible is another part where we see a mingling of political discrimination, racial discrimination and religious discrimination and no one is telling Murdoch in clear language that it needs to stop.

The other two

Ok, it becomes essential to get to the deeper side of the pool here. First of all, there is a larger setting that has not settled. The accusation is twofold. The first is actually the one that does not work for the campaign players. It is also reported by CNN through ‘Facebook announces first takedown of influence campaign with ties to Saudi government‘, even as we accept “covert campaigns on Facebook and Instagram in a bid to prop up support for the kingdom and attack its enemies“, CNN et al are not reporting on the media blackout that is pushed out towards Saudi Arabia either. So anything that makes Saudi Arabia look like an attacked victim is suppressed, whilst actions by Saudi Arabia are spun to its most negative path and spattered over all media and all social media. Yet as the article gives us: “Facebook has hired staff with backgrounds in areas including intelligence, law enforcement and journalism to be part of a team finding and closing down coordinated campaigns on the platform, including some spreading disinformation and linked to nation-states“, it is equally absent in the case of “bogus mainly far-right disinformation networks were not identified by Facebook — but had been reported to it by campaign group Avaaz — which says the fake pages had more Facebook followers and interactions than all the main EU far right and anti-EU parties combined“, so we get one group with a following of 13 million in the past three months, with a following larger than all the European main party pages of the far right combined. Yet in all that, Saudi Arabia was specifically mentioned (they also illuminated the false pages of Iran). It is shown in a larger degree with: “Avaaz reported more than 500 suspicious pages and groups to Facebook related to the three-month investigation of Facebook disinformation networks in Europe. Though Facebook only took down a subset of the far right muck-spreaders — around 15% of the suspicious pages reported to it“. The fact that Facebook only took down subsets that represents 15% of the reported pages shows that there is a larger degree of political discrimination in play and even as some are overly clear, that larger extent shows that Social Media is optionally promoting to some degree the survival of Racial Discrimination, Political Discrimination, Religious Discrimination and Age Discrimination.

It is the revelation of: “vote manipulators are able to pass off manipulative propaganda and hate speech as bona fide news and views as a consequence of Facebook publishing the fake stuff alongside genuine opinions and professional journalism. It does not have algorithms that can perfectly distinguish one from the other, and has suggested it never will“, it is at this point where the realisation grows, when we add the two elements and we add the fact that the media is filtering what we are ‘allowed’ to know, it is there where the larger failing becomes clear, it is the axial and the seesaw of illumination of the view that opposes clear news, the media is now part of the problem. And it is there where we see the wisdom of TechCrunch with: “loud Facebook publicity effort around “election security” looks like a cynical attempt to distract the rest of us from how broken its rules are. Or, in other words, a platform that accelerates propaganda is also seeking to manipulate and skew our views“, it is merely part of the issue, it is not merely Facebook, it is the Media to a larger degree, their alliance is towards the Shareholders, the Stake holders and the advertisers, in that the larger issue is seen, those who advertise are optionally the controllers of what we see is possible, and that is where the truth is pushed out of view. It is seen in one final swoop when we consider the key word “Neom City“, a project like that, a project initially designed to be well over 30 times the size of New York, a project that has well over half a trillion dollars, set to construction, engineering and IT, should be on the front page of EVERY Newspapers, yet when you seek, you get Bloomberg last January (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-16/saudi-arabia-to-begin-building-homes-in-futuristic-city-neom) and Business Insider in October 2018 (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabia-neom-megacity-2018-10?r=US&IR=T). The view that is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan is silenced to death and that started before the journalist no one cares about vanished. In addition a new bridge that will connect Saudi Arabia to Africa is kept silent. In this day and age how does that make sense? I am looking at billions in 5G revenue in Neom City alone, as well as the underlying infrastructure required, opening a much larger need for the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, all ready to be set to a much larger stage (when the first phase region is a fact), yet the media is more about the rumours of the PS5 which is well over a year away with 6,940,000 mentions, and that makes partly sense, it is about awareness and creating hype, so when we see in the Guardian “the latest revelations reveal that the company has pursued that approach more broadly, in the service of previously unreported corporate interests and foreign governments. And they expose a major flaw in Facebook’s political transparency tools, which make it possible for Crosby’s company – which boasts on its website that it deploys “the latest tools in digital engagement” – to use the social network to run professional-looking “news” pages reaching tens of millions of people on highly contentious topics“, so if it is about ‘provoking argument‘, we should see nothing wrong as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft rely on that part 24:7. If it is about ‘involving heated argument‘, we still see no issue as this is Sony versus Nintendo versus Microsoft, as this has been the media bread and butter for close to 7 years and more. When we look at the ‘likely to cause an argument‘, almost nothing changes. It is the part I did not mention “without apparently disclosing that they are being overseen by CTF Partners on behalf of paying clients“, where we need to question the use of ‘apparently‘, is it or is it not mentioned? The Guardian did or did not do their job becomes the issue and yes, we can see ‘on behalf of paying clients‘, and how does that differ from Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Nespresso and a whole league of others? They are all in it for the money, the awareness and the creation of viral messages, over-hyped and often way too short on facts. That part is not given to us either and it is there where we see the interactions of layers of discrimination and ‘misinformation’ that is usually brought as ‘missed information’, I would personally see it as an exercise in ‘miscommunication’ and it has been happening for a much longer time. So when we get from the Guardian: “employees always operate within the law”, and if they take to the bank the task of giving positive visibility to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is there an actual issue here?

The biggest issue is that we see the information that “It does not have algorithms that can perfectly distinguish fake news from the other, and has suggested it never will“, whilst the underlying issue is that what is not fake news is not that trustworthy either, it is limited to the filtering of shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers and Facebook has no clue what to do, they to relay on those three groups. The news for the longest time never gave us that part. As I see it people like Greta Thunberg will never get a fair deal here, not as long as people like Andrew Bolt keep on being regarded as Journalists. That part is seen when we see: “the evidence does not suggest that humanity faces doom” all whilst that statement is not scrutinised to the largest degree. The opposition to that claim can be seen in the simplest sentence by World Vision, their quote: “Globally, 844 million people lack access to clean drinking water” gives the goods, close to 10% of the population of this planet lacks access to clean drinking water. When we consider that a person can only survive a few days without water. How much danger is the population exposed to, does that qualify as doom facing? How many must die before the ‘humanity faces doom‘ is satisfied? It seems trivial, but it is not, that same media that ignores attacks on Saudi Arabia, that does not report on Houthi transgressions, acts of terror and other events also ignores Yemeni plight for water, food and medication to a much larger degree. So the question becomes a simple one, give us the list of parameters that must be placed on staging or dismounting the accusation that ‘humanity faces doom‘, when we realise that there is a larger collection of evidence, we merely have to set that stage to those elements. I am not stating that Greta Thunberg is right or wrong, yet we can look and accept that Andrew Bolt and his so called opinion piece on Greta Thunberg should be seen as triviality towards journalism and that does matter, because if that is allowed to continue, Facebook will never solve anything, as such the only way to solve it is to push media deliverers like Andrew Bolt into the ‘Fake News’ category so that we might find a solution. The fact that SBS called it an opinion piece and the Guardian did not is the larger failing, any opinion piece, especially those in newspapers, digital or not should be clearly labelled as such like [opinion piece] before the text begins, identifying those pieces will also change the way that they are perceived and we might get a better quality of journalism. When writers get $100 for an opinion piece and $200 for an actual journalistic piece (researched and all), the matter might resolve itself soon enough.

 

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Future through the sub line

That was the first thought I had when the Guardian treated us all to: ‘Folding tablet hybrid shows Asia, not US or Europe, is leading the way in innovation‘, I was already aware of this through the submitted patents well over a year ago, yet the Americans remained in denial on just how far behind they were falling, ego does that, iteration does that and denial does that. Now I see that the innovations would optionally give added value to my own outstanding patent on a ‘dumb smart device‘, and it goes on beyond that. Some of the innovations I had planned for are now on par with what Huawei will need soon enough.

Their foldable Mate X, which is allegedly 5G shows that not only is Huawei ahead of the game, I see that they might be more and more interested in my IP, giving me the retirement funds I really really desire. The Mate X billboard that was getting placed for the grand opening in 10 hours in Barcelona gives us the initial view, instead of hiding it in the middle like Samsung does, the outside fold might have additional powers and abilities that we have not considered yet and could optionally have the implementations that Android 10 will offer. Even as we expect the 5,000 mAh battery to be the power driver pushing Huawei all along towards to pole position, the device would have plenty of business needs for options like a potential Dark Mode, as well as DeX-like docking support for a new Desktop mode and a revamp of privacy options. Giving us that Apple is now falling behind and they are falling behind fast. In addition we see the escalations that are hitting Facebook will enable a much larger push towards the WeChat future that is now being considered more and more outside of China.

Barcelona has more, even as the SanDisk 400GB is truly expensive (as well as superfast) as its 128GB is 75% cheaper at present, but that is the reality of larger memory when it is initially released. More important, when I look at the implementation of my IP, I see that the market for SanDisk would grow close to exponential from previous terms and I am sure that SanDisk will not object at all. And the news is not done yet. One source gives us; ‘After Samsung unveils Galaxy Fold, Apple submits blueprint for foldable iPhone‘, implying that they are losing grounds and are getting left behind by both Samsung and Huawei. Even as we are almost conned with: “Apple has submitted a blueprint of a bendable smartphone at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), indicating Apple’s progressive development towards building a foldable device” we see the issue that if the patent is submitted now, Apple would be optionally 2 years behind Huawei, the loss has been that much for America. As we see the news from CNet and ZDNet and a few others, we see quotes like: “Samsung has gotten the jump on the competition; companies like Huawei and Xiaomi could have the last laugh. While the Galaxy Fold wowed audiences with its demo, Samsung opted not to let anyone get too close to it, and the phone was MIA when the demo area opened up. Another company could steal the spotlight by offering people a closer hands-on with their foldable devices” and none of the articles had given any notion towards Apple implying that with the absence of ‘leaked reports‘ Apple is a no show to the degree that it matters. It was only through Forbes that we see: “In a perfect demonstration of the macro/micro concept in practice, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Apple is shifting its leadership. The company is also changing priorities throughout its multiple divisions (retail, hardware, artificial intelligence and services).” All these group interview drives for their shops and now we see a massive division shift. It is not only that, they also confirm what I have been telling everyone for almost a year. With: “It’s like paying an even higher price for a bigger plate of the same food“, the part that the plate only seems bigger is left out (it is in the eye of the beholder) and when we consider the $2365 (Apple) versus $899 (Huawei), with a close contender (Huawei too) at $499 we see that there is a consumer group that is taking value into considerations making the technology of Apple slide even faster.

So whilst their marketing division is trying to make sense of the premise of ‘Apple under fire as it admits some iPads ship with a ‘bendy chassis’ – but says the flaw in the $799 product is ‘normal’‘, all whilst the consumers wonders how stupid their train of thought is, and as we were treated to “This 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won’t change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way“, whilst the images (at https://www.macrumors.com/guide/ipad-pro-2018-bending-issue/) shows a “Bendgate” issue that is a lot bigger than their statement. As we are treated to issues a lot more severe, we optionally see an issue where Apple did not merely drop the ball, they went about it wrongly to address the issue and it is not going away any day soon. When we push this forward, is the fear that people with an optional future folded iPhone greeting the ladies in social events with an folded iPhone shaped like a giant ‘V’ that they are not happy to see them, they merely have an iPhone bendy in their pocket, and lets be fair, are you really willing to pay $2900 for an iPad that can’t stay straight?

This part matters as Apple will try to take the 5G path growing its market share as we would expect Apple to do, yet at present Apple is losing speed and making less and less headway, it needs to realise that the Chinese path of innovation is taking steam out of the others and drowning whatever others consider to be innovation to the be a mere marketing exercise. Huawei started showing that clearly well over a year ago and now that 5G is here, the playing field is dominated by China to a much larger degree than anyone is comfortable with. In addition, what was laughed away by many a year ago when I showed that Saudi Arabia was making headway in 5G, is now given by the media as: ‘Huawei to help Saudi Arabia become world’s top 5G country‘, I was more conservative claiming that they would surpass the US in 5G, not that they would become number one, but the Global Times is more progressive here and with “his company will support Saudi Arabia in its drive, and Huawei is ready to invest $20 million per year in its three local research centers, cooperate closely with 140 local suppliers, procure $500 million worth of local equipment annually and add 10,000 local jobs in Saudi Arabia in the future.” The quote (at http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1139737.shtml) gives a few issues to debate, but behind all this is still the Vision 2030 drive and Neom City the drive that Saudi Arabia has had from the beginning and as I stated many months ago, their need for 5G would be well received, a city that will in the end be well over 20 times the size of New York, all 5G and all innovation driven. That was seemingly just the beginning, because Huawei sees what I saw, Saudi Arabia is important and in the end the biggest springboard towards places like Egypt and a consumer base 300% the size of Saudi Arabia. From there several more markets will open up in several ways. In the end I have been proven correct five times over on this issue alone. Barcelona and their MWC2019 (Mobile World Congress) will show me to be correct in a few more ways. At this point, I merely wonder how often Microsoft will drop the ball there. I am supposed to remain objective, but how can I when we have seen this world where Microsoft innovation is merely limited to their marketing. Whatever we get to see at the MWC2019 this year, it is clear that when it comes to innovation, it will be the Chinese companies that have the last laugh, especially as President Trump announced: “I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind“, and the fact that AT&T is hiding behind 5G Evolution (which is not even 5G) should be a clear indication how far the US is lagging behind, all the way to the White House. It is also the one moment where I clearly oppose Business Review who gives us: ‘Trump’s tweet won’t have much impact‘, you see, entertainment is priceless and that is what President Trump offers, 6G when they are still not grasping the options that 5G brings, and the ‘small’ fact that Saudi Arabia will soon pass them by in the 5G mobile field does not help the US either, there is no telling at present how far behind the US will be when 6G arrives in 5-10 years, but we can giggle on the sidelines whilst we watch it happen, can we not?

 

 

 

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Humble Pie

Merely a few hours ago, Bloomberg gave us ‘Iran Is Ready to Discuss Yemen Conflict with European Nations‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-28/iran-says-ready-to-discuss-yemen-conflict-with-european-nations). You might think that this is a good thing, but it is not. Iran is caught in a two side war, just like I predicted in the previous 3 weeks. Just like that, they are willing to talk. They have suddenly realised that time was up and now they are grasping at any side that will be willing to facilitate for them at a price. It is linked to a few escalations on more than one side. Even as we read here: “Iran will be holding a new round of talks with Europe on the Yemen conflict, negotiations that have taken on greater significance as the sides try to salvage a nuclear agreement“, the start gives the goods, Iran wants to protect the nuclear agreement at all cost. Their high farting like sounds of political boasting is coming to an end, there was never any option and now they must concede on several sides. Even as one side is taken from them, they are willing to concede on the Yemen side as it was never going to be a realistic option and as Hezbollah has failed again and again in their pursuit of successful strikes on Saudi Arabia, none happened and now they need to find the one war they might actually have a chance of winning, it is the Nuclear agreement and even that will backfire soon enough. So when we read: ““Iran, like the EU, is unlikely to want to mix fate of the nuclear deal with that of talks on other issues,” said Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. “At the same time, it is important for them to keep a channel of communication open with the EU, whatever happens on the nuclear deal, and the best dossier to do so is Yemen for them.”“, I tend not to be in agreement. You might think that it is all the same, but it is not. It is not about ‘whatever happens on the nuclear deal‘, it is about making sure that this agreement is salvaged, Iran overplayed its hand and now that there will be hell to pay, they need to find a way out, if only they can find the right greed and ego driven Europeans to make a quick deal, at that point the media can reflect on some victory, whilst there is no actual victory. You see, there is a second side that is part of this. Iran has figured out that the only interests that Russia has in Syria are Russian ones and in that picture there is no space for Iran, Israel has made that abundantly clear and as such Iran stands alone and with the hits that Israel has been making in Syria on Iranian troops and the strike last Thursday as well as the silence (or better stated lack of loud boasting) by the Syrian governments indicates that the absence of Iran is well liked, even though they are not willing to state it out loud. Syria wants to get the most out of the Russians and Iranians as it can get, which is perfectly fine, yet Iran is too much of an issue for Israel, after years of boasting and threatening, Israel decided to act; the political field was ripe for that. With both America and Saudi Arabia opposing Iran and Russia not really caring about Iran, Iran is in an unwinnable situation, the Iranian coffers drained by enabling Hezbollah as well as the actions in Syria have drained a large chunk of their reserves, Iran need to cut its losses and it is doing so with the gesture we see in the Bloomberg article, one of many to follow I reckon. That truth becomes a lot harsher when we see: “Chagai Tzuriel, director general of the Israeli ministry of intelligence, said he believed that Moscow realised that fighting between Iran and Israel could undermine gains made by Russia during the Syrian civil war“, we know that there is no hiding for Iran, they played the game as far as they could, now that option after option falls away, they are determined to hold on to the Nuclear agreement. This also opens the second stage for Israel; they can now more effectively take care of Hezbollah, now that there is an open season on Iran, Hezbollah can (hopefully permanently) be dealt with. In that regard there is no lack of either Israel or Saudi Arabia to hunt them down and without Iran that might well happen. For Russia it is not over, you see, the Jerusalem Post gives us “Lavrov’s comments are part of an understanding reached between Israel and Russia to keep Iranian and Hezbollah forces away from Syria’s border with Israel on the Golan Heights“, that sounds nice in theory, yet over the years Hezbollah has shown never to keep any agreement (when they were not out of ammunition), so there is a setting where it is very realistic that Hezbollah will do whatever it wants and puts Russia in a pickle, as such both sides agreeing to get rid of Hezbollah makes perfect sense as such Iran is really not willing to stay there as a piggy in the middle. In addition Russia stands to make a lot of plus points in the Saudi Arabia side of things, not just by pushing Iran away from where they are, but to push Hezbollah away from Syrian and Jordanian borders which gets them nice points at the Jordanian royal court as well. In all this there is actually not one part of Hezbollah that has any redeeming value at all, and the worst part is that Hezbollah knows this too (yet they do not care).

There is one additional side that Iran needs to worry about. As Saudi Arabia has given to Germany to be the aggrieved party in Germany’s support in favour of the nuclear deal for Iran is already costing Germany a lot, the German giants who were tenders on several projects for the Saudi government are seeing them being cut from consideration, with Neom and Vision 2030, both projects totaling in value at well over 800 billion, the German economy will take larger hits, other EU nations might find themselves in a setting where they have to choose to go for a really bad nuclear deal, whilst there is no evidence that it will result in a better position and good economic settings in the longer run (more then 3-5 years) whilst Saudi Arabia is growing a setting that is getting closer to a trillion dollars over 12 years, there is no way that Iran can rely on any level of serious support, not after all the stunts they played. Their actions made it impossible and their boasting made it close to intolerable. In addition with Iran cut in every way, Turkey will now need to realise that they played the game wrong in other ways as well. Even as some might cry over the Russians not getting the F-35 due to getting culled from the program, Russia sees a second option to not just sell Turkey missiles, they could optionally sell them the SU-57 as well, which will get Turkey a new loan agreement for a few billions and let’s face it America needs to test the F-35 anyway, whether they test their F-35 against a Sukhoi, does it matter whether a Russian or a Turk is flying it? (Howls of deriving laughter in the background)

You see, they are doing this whilst their currency is at an all-time low, some might think that it is a great time to buy, yet with their economy in shambles and there should be no chance of them ascending into the EU in the next few years, the setting of spending billions on a new Sukhoi squadron (perhaps even two) seems to be folly to me. Even as there is some good news (read: numbers) coming from Turkey, its unemployment rate is still a little over 10.5% and seems to be rising over the next quarter, surpassing Italy in unemployment statistics. It is there where we see another issue. This matters as there has been a link between Iran and Turkey, so as the pressure on several sides is on Turkey, the economic pressures might force Turkey to make any deal they can, even if they have to break connections to Iran, which would for the most isolate Iran at that point, an option that both Israel and Saudi Arabia would enjoy. Israel especially as Turkey was threatening Israel with all kinds of sanctions (source: Haaretz).

So as Turkey is imposing sanctions on those deciding to recognise the Armenian Holocaust, we see the active economic impact that Turkey faces by being in denial, not the worst day in many lives.

In this there is a reflection that must be noticed, In Al Arabiya, there was an article (at http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/05/25/Bitterness-confusion-among-Saudi-Arabia-s-foes.html), an opinion piece that matters. You see, the writer Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi (Twitter: @abdullahbjad) gives us “Enemies are upset and confused and the world is recalibrating its power equations so that each knows its place and capabilities. Also, so that each country can reflect on its policies and alliances through the power of politics, diplomacy, boycott and sanctions, as well as with the power of armies and weapons“, he is correct, President Donald Trump might have kicked it off with “America First“, it is a truth we have been forced to face for well over 5 years. It does not matter whether you are in the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Australia, Canada or New Zealand. As citizens and politicians we have a duty to protect our national interests and set that as a first essential need. When we look from that angle we get to reflect on how bad Iran is, we cannot fault Turkey for taking its national interests first, yet they did it by not honouring the allies they had for decades and that sets the sliding acceptance (towards rejection) of Turkey in all this when you consider the events from 2001 onwards.

In this his view: “Big European companies are fleeing Iran at a fast pace and everyone who has dealt with Iran, whether banks or companies, are looking for a safe way out of any ties they have with Iran, its parties, militias and ideology. Everyone now accepts the facts about Iran’s crimes such as its sponsoring of terrorism, drug dealing and money laundering in the region and the world” is not incorrect, yet the issue is that this sets the stage on greed influencing the national interest in the stage of big business versus government, a setting that Europe, the US and the Commonwealth have had for the longest time. In addition there is now a small opposition from my side. I agree with part of his statement “They have done so through the Palestinian cause which they have, from Iran, Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, managed to exploit to serve their interests and fulfil their ambitions“, there is a side I cannot completely agree with (actually there is more than one side here). Not because I think he is wrong, but because there is data missing, data I never had access to, or was given by a reputable media source to the degree that there is enough shown to see it as an actual issue.

This is seen in the parties Iran and Qatar. Now, we accept the puppet game that Iran has played, we do not deny that in any way, but in the end Iran was merely playing the hand it had to show Iranian interest. We can agree that it was done badly, yet they did do this for mere national interest (or so they say). In the second part there is Qatar. I agree that there are questions, yet overall, I have not seen the evidence, the allegations going back to 2014 have been loud, yet the media and others have not given a clear path of evidence that gives light to the wrongful opposition by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, we can agree that there are some terrorist financiers, that was never in question, yet Qatar seems to have tried all legal ways and did not get anywhere, in addition the US state document (at https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/258249.pdf) does not give the goods either, we are confronted with “Qatar is a partner in the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and has provided significant support in facilitating critical U.S. military operations in the region. Terrorist activity historically has been low in Qatar“, this does not make Qatar innocent; it merely shows that without better and more data, they remain ‘not guilty‘, which is not the same. The document is 3 years old, yet there is no new information that truly sets Qatar in a bad light (for now). In addition we see that Qatar State Security is aggressive when it comes to monitoring internal extremist or terrorism-related activities. Interestingly enough, the players from ‘team’ Qatar State Security seem to have a much better handle on internal extremism and terrorism-related activities than most European countries, so there is that to consider as well. The second issue I had with the statement by Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is the reference to ‘the Palestinian cause‘, which is not wrong to make, yet for many of us, especially those outside of Saudi Arabia, Palestine or the Middle East, we no longer know what ‘the Palestinian cause‘ actually is. You see in its origin it is directly linked to the 1948 Palestinian exodus, yet the entire Palestinian cause seemed to have been presented, projected and covered by the media in almost any setting that covered news in Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip. The entire definition has shown to have shifted over the decades and I still believe that it is shifting, even today. In addition the fact that western media over the years seemed to have made ‘the Palestinian cause‘ and ‘hatred of Jews and the State of Israel‘ close to interchangeable does not help matters either.

All these issues matter as they are connected. that connection is also part of the problem and reason why I am partially in opposition, now, I am fully aware that my opposition is wrong, or better stated incorrect, yet I am like most sensible people, I rely on data, and data is either reliable or not and I tend to regard shifted data as not that reliable, which is why I had the cause for opposition.

So as we see that Iran is facing humble pie on several fronts, we need to realise that our views and more important the views we get from information we accept as reliable is also filtering the view we have, it might be correct, or wrong. In the end we do not know and restoring our filters by attending our national interests first is not the worst place to start, as a citizen we need to do that, because when we look to our nation, our national needs and attend to that, we ground ourselves and perhaps as the economic settings have shifted, so will the national need and that is OK, as long as we do not tend towards corporate greed and consider the needs of our neighbours, we might get through the bad times in a much better way than we thought. In the end it is not about serving Iran Humble Pie, which would be the right thing to do, we need to consider when we are rightfully served Humble Pie, will we eat it when we realise that we were wrong?

That includes us all and it includes me, I have never shied away from optionally being wrong. I merely reacted to the verifiable data that I was served and I made the best of it and tried to remain true to the data based views offered and I reflected on those insights, it is the best we can do in this modern world.

 

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Holding pattern

It feels like the world is in a holding pattern, it is awaiting events and there is no news on a few fronts. The first is on gaming; a little over two weeks remain until the E3 starts, which is when the actual (official) news is given. Part of me is sad, because there have been so many leaks that I fear we already know what is coming to the larger extent. In this I got confronted with more issues surrounding the Xbox One, and even as they proclaim it is going good, I am of the mind that good just is not it, it will not even be close to it. If the Business Insider is to be believed, there will be a lot more bad news coming to the Xbox One owners, the article (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/playstation-4-vs-xbox-one-e3-2018-5) gives us “‘Crackdown 3’ is an exclusive Xbox One game, meaning it will work on the One X and One S“, implying that this is the first game that no longer supports the Xbox One. Pushing people into upgrading to new hardware? I see that as one more nail in the coffin called Xbox. The information (at https://www.xbox.com/en-AU/games/crackdown) is equally sketchy, yet that game cover does not have the HDR part, implying that there might be two editions, one for the Xbox One X and one for the normal Xbox, which would be very acceptable, implying that they are soft pushing people to upgrade their console which is a fair and acceptable business practice. I wanted to be certain and no misinform you, so far there is no real mention on it, yet there seems to be a version on HDR (implying Xbox One S and Xbox One X only), in addition one source had another box art, yet Amazon did not, neither did a few other shops, so this could become a very large issue close to Christmas as the latest (unconfirmed) issue is that release is planned for later this year.

The PlayStation has similar holding patters, we know the four larger titles and that is it on the exclusive front, implying that both will be a little more dependent on the makers like Bethesda, Ubisoft and EA to hold the candles for unexpected news. I am particularly interested in what Ubisoft brings. I think it was 2 years ago, when they truly hit a home run at the E3, in that time we all got overwhelmed by Ubisoft that had cleaned up its act. AC Origin exceeded everyone’s expectations (including mine) and playing on a much higher level the second time around had been fulfilling in a way I never expected. In addition, even as I kept a distance from Far Cry 5, it shows, that for those who wanted more of the same, it did satisfy, in addition its first actual setting towards open gameplay was a true evolution, so those who wanted ‘more of the same‘ got a lot more than they bargained for and that is a good thing. So we have no real idea what Ubisoft is bringing and that is good, knowing all the things that matter beforehand is not good, it takes away the WOW factor in announcements and I think the French know that. In that same setting we also look forward to Bethesda, who apart from last year tends to make homeruns, they focused on the VR setting last year and when you are not into that you tend to feel left out a little. So here’s hoping for this year. Most are hoping for a new Elder Scrolls (non-online) game announcement, which is a stretch and unlikely. I am still proud of having made an initial setting for Elder Scrolls VI: Restoration, but it seems that Bethesda had other ideas. Fair enough, it is their IP. Yet we recognise that Skyrim was 7 years ago from initial launch, we should give the cautious setting that it is time to WOW us with a new one, especially after 7 years. Fallout 4 is getting towards its 3rd anniversary, yet with the season pass giving us so much, we still feel decently satisfied for now. I personally feel that a Fallout 5 is at least 2 years away from a clear announcement and for those overwhelmed Fallout shelter can keep your blood flowing on mobile and a few other devices, the fact that it is free and no real purchase is needed just makes it an amazing extra. And that is all for the games section at present.

Rocket Men

There is a man, a Rocket Man, it is not the man in the song, not the quote from the movie; no, as we see (at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0392), we are given the US Treasury setting: “the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five Iranian individuals who have provided ballistic missile-related technical expertise to Yemen’s Huthis, and who have transferred weapons not seen in Yemen prior to the current conflict“, the issue I have voiced for a while, again I have been proven correct, and even as the media at large was all about calling Saudi Arabia names and just blindly staring at the victims (which is not entirely wrong), we are treated to “Treasury is targeting five Iranian officials who are associated with the IRGC-QF and Iran’s ballistic missile programs. Their actions have enabled the Huthis to launch missiles at Saudi cities and oil infrastructure. They have also disrupted humanitarian aid efforts in Yemen, and threatened freedom of navigation in key regional waterways“. I agree to some extent with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, I do not think that he is entirely correct. To give understanding to my statement, we need to look at the 5 names.

Mahmud Bagheri Kazemabad and Mohammad Agha Ja’fari who were acting for or on behalf of the IRGC Aerospace Forces Al- Ghadir Missile Command. Javad Bordbar Shir Amin and Mehdi Azarpisheh who are members of a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards responsible for their extraterritorial operations, they report directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei. In addition there is Sayyed Mohammad Ali Haddadnezhad Tehrani, who is allegedly providing, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the IRGC Research and Self-Sufficiency Jehad Organization. I use allegedly because without the clearance levels I cannot vet the final part of data there. I believe that Sayyed Mohammad Ali Haddadnezhad Tehrani has at least partially and most likely fully deployed Chinese walls to isolate him away from that, yet there are at least three names missing, these people are part of the training and deployment side of the missiles. It is my personal opinion that Javad Bordbar Shir Amin and Mehdi Azarpisheh could not have arranged that by themselves, they are without doubt involved, but on that level they had higher level help, not merely the smuggling of the missiles, the deployment, training and smuggling of the missiles is specific knowledge, it is very specialist knowledge and in that (at least) three names are missing. That mess is actually growing. It is seem in the first part in Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-23/doubts-emerge-at-eu-steps-to-counter-u-s-iran-sanctions-threat), in all this we see at the end “The commission is also looking at creating special purpose vehicles to allow transactions with Iran, the people said. The effectiveness may also depend on whether the U.S. treats them as a circumventing tool, one of the people said. “If in the end jobs will be lost in Germany, one has to ask whether this is the right thing to do,” German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a TV interview last week“, it is an issue! It is an issue, because mere open source intelligence and common sense gave me the inside view that have been proven correctly, the entire Iranian mess as we see now, whilst the people in the Bloomberg article are all about acting or is that not acting) because jobs are lost, whilst the entire missiles on the attacks on the Saudi civilian population is just ignored as well as the plight to the Yemeni civilian population because of the acting of Iran, the EU has a much bigger problem and it is time that the people start thinking this through. From my (an admitted optional flawed view) is that the Iranian mess started with Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini and never stopped being an issue, which amounts to January 1st 1980 being the setting for the mess we are in now. I am willing to admit that if the US and UK had left Iran alone in the actions of 1953, we might not be in this mess, but that is too much water under the bridge, what is the setting is that the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44230983) gives us Ayatollah Khamenei’s main conditions.

  • European powers should protect Iranian oil sales from the US sanctions and continue buying Iranian crude.
  • European banks should safeguard trade with Iran.
  • The UK, France and Germany should pledge not to seek negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional activities, both demanded by Washington.

The supreme leader said that if the three counties were unable to meet these demands, Iran would resume its enrichment of uranium. this translates to ‘do not interfere in Yemen‘, which is a regional activity, the fact that EU politics seems to be very willing to do that makes for more concern, in addition, when we look at the newspapers in the EU, we are left in the dark on several issues, which is also a concern. They are all focused on the Saudi attacks, the Yemen events, but not on the Iranian support setting for firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, that seems to be off limits and that is a massive issue as I personally see it.

So here to is the beginning of a holding pattern, an issue that is stretched over time, allowing for non-activity to rule the setting. Now, there is a twofold part, one is positive, because there is a partial setting where waiting the next move makes perfect sense, yet the numbers give us that thousands are getting exposed to Cholera and famine, not a combination you want to see, because at that stage, even with medical hep, the chances for surviving are not that great to begin with. Even as the people on Facebook are hiding behind “Stop the Saudi-led war on Yemen that kills civilians and destroys the country infrastructure“, the bulk of everyone remains in denial of Iran’s part in all this and the fact that Yemen is used as a stage to attack Saudi Arabia whilst Iran relies on ‘I know nothing‘ is a setting that is much worse because those are the people who the EU are trying to keep their business alive within a nuclear setting, whilst there have been clear indication that Uranium enrichment is an event that will be happening in Iran. Yes, that makes all the sense in the world (implies sarcasm).

The holding patterns cannot be fought, because acting is not always the best thing to do, yet the entire Yemeni situation started in March 2015, well over three years ago, so I think it is time for the EU to actually actively respond to the actions of Iran, they have had enough time and intelligence to act. Their non-actions at present should be regarded as beyond cowardice, cowardice to facilitate to those who need a deal, who need financial blessing (read: greed). To illustrate this, WikiLeaks gave us in 2007,

In any case, France is prepared to “go beyond” multilateral Iran sanctions. A/S O’Brien suggested that the GOF make public statements about the risks of doing business with Iran and the recent decisions of major European financial institutions to cut off Iranian business. France is currently developing new legislation to criminalize arms proliferation and proliferation finance, above and beyond its criminal penalties for violations of UNSCR 1737 and 1747. O’Brien passed GOF officials two Treasury non-papers on Iranian state-owned Bank Melli’s proliferation-related activities and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and IRGC-Qods Force’s extensive use of the Iranian state-owned banking network. Regarding private sector outreach, A/S O’Brien met with senior officials at Paris-based Banque Natixis to discuss the risks of doing business with Iran“, for the forgetful, that was when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in office, so there had been a massive drive to get more ‘revenue’ for the Natixis board of directors. I guarantee you that it goes downhill from there, the settings we see are not great, it never was, yet the need for the EU to do something and not as a 27 nation block keep on sitting on their ignoranus was not what the people were signing up for. That evidence is seen at the UN (at https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sc13225.doc.htm), in here we see “attacks against civilian targets in Saudi Arabia were unacceptable and raised concern over the Panel’s findings that Iran had provided short‑range missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, in breach of paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015).  Urging the Council to stand firm against such violations, he said that while the United Kingdom had sought to ensure a balanced and impartial text, it also had not shied away from calling out those who had violated international agreements“, in that, Russia hid behind “The Russian Federation’s representative, also speaking before the votes, said he could not support the United Kingdom‑sponsored draft, as he did not agree with its inclusion of unverified information. Assessing the Panel of Experts’ work in the manner mentioned in that draft was misguided“, so whenever a Russian firm approaches Saudi Arabia for a Neom or Vision 2030 project, we should make sure that the Saudi officials are reminded of the SC/13225 meeting on 26th February 2018. I should see if I can get an opportunity there too, my bank balance is really really low at present. So in the end we all act on economic needs, the only difference is that I am doing it upfront (making it no longer a reality), but if I can stay honest, why not the elected officials that make well over 3000% of what I end up with?

Is that not an interesting question too?

Have a great day!

 

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Go with a smile

OK, I will be honest, this morning, I saw news pass by and it made me giggle. It was the title, I swear, the title was enough, because below the surface it is actually a serious matter, yet the writer/editor of Arab News gives us “‘Spy cell’ in Saudi Arabia sought foreign financing“. In my mind, I saw the image of two freshman at Berkeley University in California, walk into a wealth managing corporation like Rothschild’s and tell the CEO, that they found a way to overthrow the government and if they could please get some funding (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1306306/saudi-arabia).

I know, you are giggling now too, but that is what they title left me with, yet it is actually a lot more serious. You see, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a monarchy. Like all monarchies there are set rules and regulations on what to do and more important what not to do. Anyone with a primary school education knows this, no rocket science involved.

Yet, below the title, under the image we see a caption that is very much a serious matter. With: “Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of the State Security arrested seven people for suspicious communication with foreign entities and actions against the state“, you see there are two elements in this the first is ‘suspicious communications‘, which is optionally an element, yet ‘actions against the state‘ is actually quite clear. The question is how it all fits together, and make no mistake, there is a clear setting that it applies to a hell of a lot more people than merely those in the KSA, so you better wake up fast.

The elements of worry are seen in the first paragraph. Here we see “sought to “incite strife by communicating with foreign entities hostile to the Kingdom and to establish a false legal organization, according to information received by Asharq Al-Awsat from informed sources“, it could impact a lot more people than you think. In light of the escalations of Vision 2030 as well as the setting in Neom, we are bound to get a few cowboys trying to strike it rich (I am definitely one of them), in a setting of a total amount of close to $800 billion, or $800,000,000,000, I too will happily try to pick up a few coins, I will as the non-greedy person that I am happily settle for 0.001% or $8,000,000. I have a weapon system, an idea to make an Iranian nuclear reactor do the runaway on its own operators (by using the principle of a snow globe), which is my way of telling Steven Walker from DARPA that his behavioural sciences degree is not that useful in a nuclear physicist setting (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk), no negativity on Steven Walker though, he is slightly smarter than most smart cookies, and in addition to the earlier two ‘solutions’, I also considered a solution that I thought up to solve the UK NHS issue, which actually has a lot more applications under 5G.

I am not digressing, you see, these idea’s all need funding, now there are a few players with ideas that are all good and proper and in the 11th hour one of the backers walks away (reason is irrelevant), so now this (young) upstart needs to fix things fast to get its fingers in the Saudi Arabian treasury till of Vision 2030/Neom. In this he reaches out and he finds an interesting backer and meets with an entrepreneur in Qatar, now we have close to the same setting as we just read. Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not really on good terms. Now add a few emails that skates around the funding and we have a setting that might be seen by Saudi Arabia as a worry, when we consider that Qatar has its own ‘Smart Digital plan‘ for 2030 we get a setting that some people might consider selling their idea twice. It is not far-fetched and it is definitely on the minds of close to a dozen growth driven people in Silicon Valley. Now we have a very different ballgame and that is not even considering those people who have been working as 3rd party developers for places like Palantir; anyone of those developers when they approach both Saudi Arabia and Qatar might be seen as just such a transgressor.

We forget that each nation has its own set of rules and even as some think that they are ‘shielded’ as they are American or perhaps Commonwealth citizen, they better wake up fast and realise that in national interests, it is the nation where you are where you need to adhere to settings. This works in both directions. We see this with “Dr. Ibrahim Al-Nahas, member of Shoura Committee Council on Foreign Affairs, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that the Kingdom is capable of overcoming many security challenges due to the vigilance of its security apparatus“, I do not for one moment disagree with Dr. Ibrahim Al-Nahas, for the most merely due to a lack of data, yet what he optionally forgets is that this system is going to get tested more and more over the next 5 years from all the parties who are trying to get an option to what we should consider is the largest technological jackpot in the last 25 years. We have not seen the option to such opportunities since the beginning of Windows 95, so there will be a massive flock of cowboys trying to land a deal with numbers optionally up to 9 zeroes behind a number, so you better believe that thousands of ‘innovators’ will come with their idea of a lifetime, which could potentially swamp the security apparatus.

In case of the article, it is about seven people who have been active to facilitate by acts that are considered “hostile to Saudi Arabia, to receive financial support in exchange for continuing to incite trouble”, which seems to be a decently clear setting. Yet it will not always be that clear when we see “It said authorities detected coordinated activities by a group of people, who carried out organized work to violate the religious and national principles of the Kingdom“, in the setting as quoted, there are a number of issues, religious principles being the first one that carries weight, because most cowboys seem to forget that Saudi Arabia is a Muslim state, as such it acts on religious settings. That is also the case in America where they have the pledge of allegiance, which gives us “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God“, this is important, because many nations have something similar. So when someone noticed that McDonalds in Saudi Arabia advertised “We renew our allegiance and obedience for his royal highness, the servant of the two holy mosques, King Salman the son of Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and we support Amir Mohammed bin Salman, his son, to become Minister of Defence and Prime Minister and to be nominated as successor.  God give him wisdom and equip him to rule his kingdom. With peace and prosperity, McDonald’s“, in this the response by someone who appears to be a Canadian, we see “Ads in Saudi Arabia placed by @McDonalds pledging allegiance to the new crown prince….am I the only one that finds this totally bizarre?“, I think that he did nothing wrong, even as he thinks it is weird, but when you are so far removed from a true monarchy setting, you forget small things. I too when I was in my military time had to make the pledge of allegiance, which in my case was to pledge allegiance to the monarch, obedience to the law and subject to martial law  with: “Ik zweer trouw aan de Koningin, gehoorzaamheid aan de wetten en onderwerping aan de krijgstucht. Zo waarlijk helpe mij God Almachtig“. Even as martial law no longer applies to me, I still feel that my oath obliges me to come to the aid and protection of the Dutch royal family until my dying day. It is something we accept, it matters to us, to any monarchist. So it is the same in Saudi Arabia and you better believe that (roughly) 99.99992% of these citizens will comply and enforce that oath on all those (citizens) who think they need not do that.

I feel that global businesses forget about such settings and they are optionally shooting themselves in the foot by not educating their staff members when having to go to such places. It matters because we all make mistakes and there are transgressions which are usually forgiven (unless you make an error under paragraph 322(5) under UK immigration law, then you are truly screwed), yet when you make mistake after mistake, even unintentional, merely because you come from a very different environment, you could end up burning the brand you represent permanently in that nation, which might be a nice little challenge for Apple, Google and IBM to survive. Although IBM is more business strict, but the Apple and Google mindset might find it increasingly hard to adjust and that is where losses are made, really large losses I might add.

So even if you are laughing now on the ridiculous setting I am offering, you better realise that the law in not a funny matter in Saudi Arabia. It is set to be written as “Saudi Arabia is a state built on the foundations of justice and it enshrines the principal of equality for all before the law”, you better realise that within many nations there is a consideration on what defines ‘foundations of justice‘. According to some sources Saudi law in theory allows that the ruling of a death sentence is a real setting, now we can understand that we know not to commit murder, yet in that same setting Espionage and Treason also gets your head separated from your body just like in: ‘off with their heads!‘ (Quoting the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland), now in the technological setting that is happening at present in the beginning of the article, the involvement of Qatar (fictive example), treason and espionage are actual options now coming to the surface? Now we all know that being well prepared stops such things from happening, yet who knew that Adultery and Waging war on God are equally punishable? So when you think that you have a nice option for Saturday night in your hotel room, did you realise that if you live by ‘it doesn’t count in you are in another country‘, your future might end up a little more grim than when you got out of bed that morning? And that is even before we get to Waging war on God, which is an issue on several levels. You see unless you have a clerical mind, the dangers of waging war on God is an open field, you can be transgressing this unknowingly if you are a Christian and that is something one must be prepared for so that it can be avoided.

If I understood it correctly the ḥirabah is seen as ‘enemy of God‘. The reference is seen in verse 33 of Surah al-Ma’ida of the Qur’an. It sets punishment for “those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land“, yet ‘disorder in the land‘ is a much wider concept nowadays then when what it was in those ancient days. We see that wisdom when we look back to those days as ‘banditry in open country: a uniquely destabilizing threat to civil order in a pre-modern society’. You might think of it as folly, yet in those days when towns relied on commerce and traders, banditry could have far-fetching consequences for the entire town, perhaps even the region. You only have to look at the movie ‘Kingdom of Heaven‘ a Ridley Scott masterpiece to see what a massive destabilising factor the Christian knights and people tended to be in those days. They were basically whoring and pillaging whenever possible (basically every waking hour), and no one considers the impact that left the Muslim Arabic nations?

This all matters because when you are trying to tap into the wealth that Arabia as a whole is offering, you better know what you are in for, you better be prepared and you also better leave some of your values (or lack thereof) at home. The setting of this stage seems all too appealing, yet many nations have a clear legal directive and as I have been hearing some of the conversations around me, it seems to me that some have not considered the impact they are setting their perception, what they think is happening and what is perceived. So when I heard someone say “go there, smile a lot and make a fortune. It works in japan“. Now, I am not certain whether that would work in Japan to that degree, I am decently certain that they will lose a lot more than they bargained for when they are totally unprepared going to Saudi Arabia thinking that they strike gold with a mere presentation and a smile. Because the wrong presentation can easily be perceived and what you thought was a nice idea in the end brought chaos in the land, good luck setting up your defence at that point.

I believe that good business is always available in every nation; the wisdom is to comprehend the rules of that game in that nation and abide by them, not as best as you can, but completely. In the age of compromise I think the current generation is oblivious to that danger, they have been so used to go by ‘let’s compromise’, not everyone is willing to do that. In this considering John Braithwaite’s excellent work ‘Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry‘, it is not about the pharmaceutical part, the issue is the setting of corporations. By the time that you have gotten to chapter 4 (fraud in the safety testing of drugs) or chapter 5 (criminal negligence in unsafe manufacturing of drugs), by that setting you will have seen close to a dozen issues that could perceive you as the party responsible for creating ‘disorder in the land‘. This is merely a academic setting, I am not an Saudi Attorney, I have no experience in practicing Muslim Law, but these were the questions that formed in my mind and In all this I see a clear element missing in all the presentations that passed my eyes, seeing them scrutinised in a setting of Islamic Law seems to be important, because the law in Saudi Arabia is not set in the Crimes Act, the Data Protection Act, the Human Rights Act or the Mental Capacity Act. It is set through the Quran and that is a very important distinction.

For the most, when people are going for the jackpot, they tend to be as prepared as possible, yet in all this, more than just a few have forgotten that it is not merely a presentation, they better be aware of the legal lay of the land, as well as the social and personal norms that are required in Saudi Arabia (as with every nation you want to do business), we seem to look at the EU where almost anything is valid and not illegal, as such they forget that there are places where that approach will not work.

Did I get all this from a mere reference to a Spy Cell in the Arab News? Well, not exactly! I had been looking at parts of this for a little while, merely because some settings require investigation on any level, and the more I had to dig into certain messages the more I was confronted with people quoting the Quran, which came to a focal point when I was confronted with ‘French Proposal to Change the Quran’, which was from early may this year in the Atlantic. Apart from the blasphemy that it represents, which passages from the Bible regarding slavery or women as servants of their husbands have been removed in the last 50 years?

Opposition of such views was given by Tareq Oubrou, the prominent French imam who oversees the Grand Mosque of Bordeaux. Here we see “the notion that anti-Semitism is built into Islam is “theologically false,” he added. As monotheistic “People of the Book,” Jews and Christians enjoy a special status in Islamic law. Historically, they were considered protected dhimmi communities, which meant they were allowed to practice their own religions, although they were subject to a tax and various indignities that symbolized their subordination to Muslims”, by the way, this was an act that Christians did to the Saracens in Italy (also seen in ‘Kingdom of Heaven’), so let’s not throw mud when we know that we have done the same thing.

In the end, wherever you go, feel free to go with a smile and be prepared for what you face, knowing the legal and religious lay of the land is a rather important step that most seem to ignore, it might not matter in all places, but not preparing in places where issues like that do matter is merely the greater folly.

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Tubing it along

There is news, news that has been about a few weeks and I have kept an iLook on it. In one part it is as techofreak as it gets, so I should be on board the moment it launches, it is so versatile that it has no other option than to change lives on a global scale, yet there is the issue that it is so new that it is a little scary. That is the reality of all new technology; consider the first 10,000 Facebook accounts, the first 100,000 internet users. It all starts in a small geeky way and this will be no difference. It had more presence in the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, so that is why I took another look. You see, the entire matter is not merely where it is, but it is how the technology is adapted, that is the first part in all this. To set this in the proper light, we need to take a step back. In the UK they have the HS2. So when we see the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16473296), we see “The initial plan is for a new railway line between London and the West Midlands carrying 400m-long (1,300ft) trains with as many as 1,100 seats per train. They would operate at speeds of up to 250mph – faster than any current operating speed in Europe – and would run as often as 14 times per hour in each direction“, so when we consider London – Birmingham we see ‘1 h 25 min’, as their fast option at present, which at 117 miles, makes the HS2 a 45 minute saving, so how many billions is that going to cost? Now consider that each one technical glitch will cut the 45 minutes. Now, I am all for progress, now when we go by two numbers we see “a projected cost of £56 billion, up from the initial cost of £32.7 billion in 2010“, we see that 8 years ago, they had it wrong by close to 100%, so we see a waste of £56 billion plain and simple. The UK could fix its schools for that amount of money and overall, there is absolutely no reason to go that distance, it is just too short. Now we get to the next stage of travel.

Welcome to Hyperloop!

Now as we see this in the Saudi Arabian setting it changes, you see when we look (at https://www.tahawultech.com/news/virgin-hyperloop-one-unveils-vision-2030-pod/) we see ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would take 76 minutes (currently over 10 hours) utilising the land bridge for both passenger and freight movement, positioning KSA as the gateway to 3 continents‘ as well as ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi would take 48 minutes (currently over 8.5 hours)‘, so here we see a clear forward momentum. Not merely 45 minutes gain, but gains that take away 90% of the travel time, now we are talking improvements! I never quite understood the HS movement, not in the UK (where there is some benefit) and even less in the Netherlands where the improvements are as shallow as it gets, all this ‘good for the economy‘ whilst I think it greased the careers of certain people, and in the end nothing for the citizens, and the less stated on the Dutch government joke called Fyra at a mere €11 billion loss, it is not a lot if you say the amount fast!

So even as we are burning ourselves all over Europe on high speed trains Hyperloop technology is different, you go by tube (as literally as it gets) and within that tube you have the option to truly accelerate, the nice setting that this will reflect on cargo and passengers alike, so it is also versatile. So when we read “The hyperloop-enabled transportation sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will stimulate economic growth and diversification of Saudi industries, according to Virgin Hyperloop One. It will also nurture the manufacturing and innovation sectors, and spur job growth in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom“, we are not seeing the whole picture. You see it is almost a lot bigger than that. The currently planned £380 billion mega city Neom would be an optional first as well, so Riyadh would be linked to Neom, which now is set to connect Egypt and Jordan, it also opens the doors almost directly to Sharm-El-Sheik as well as the Israeli city of Eilat, all golden opportunities which allows Saudi Arabia to grow the economy in Riyadh on a much larger foundation than ever before. In all this Cargo and passengers are set to near exponential growth, especially in the short term. So we have near direct connections between Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the centre of all this. It will not take long for these nations to grow all kinds of alliances and commerce will flourish like nothing we have seen before and Virgin, with its Hyperloop One is in the centre of this growth. Even as Europe is trying to get something similar rolling, we see that France is alas out of cash for such an endeavour (at present) ‘Hyperloop gives cash-strapped French cities hope‘ (at https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/hyperloop-gives-cash-strapped-french-cities-hope-1.726967), it is a stretch, but it makes a lot of sense for France to get involved in all this, in their setting Hyperloop makes sense, especially regarding cargo (cheese and wine settings anyone). So when I see “TransPod’s technology is based on magnetic propulsion and electrified tracks, moving pods through a vacuum tunnel designed to reduce friction. As with most Hyperloop projects, the bulk of the estimated costs are for deploying infrastructure. Co-founder Sebastien Gendron estimates his company needs €20 million (Dh88.1m) in financing to complete the Limoges project at the current stage, and says he’ll raise half of that from private investors“, in all this, I am surprised that no one there called Ubisoft (more specifically Christian Guillemot, Claude Guillemot, Gérard Guillemot, Michel Guillemot or Yves Guillemot), they have the cash and more important, to be the founders of something this futuristic that will be moving through France with the Ubisoft symbol would be worth its weight of a train in gold I’d imagine.

So back to Saudi Arabia, the one part I do disagree with is ‘in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom‘, you see, once the line is in place, it will spur the economy in more ways, beyond tourism and beyond cargo, for close to double that prediction. A system that far ahead will also spur infrastructures growth as the rest of the world will be lagging behind, especially where engineering is concerned. They all claim they have ‘the technology‘ yet at present there is a lot more reliability that under these settings it will only be running in the KSA in a more serious setting in the foreseeable future and that is where the advantage grows, in addition, when the travel times are shifted to those degrees, emergency surgeries, medical disasters when Hyperloop technologies transfers and adjusts in more than one perk, we will see both the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centres in Riyadh and Jeddah grow abilities to attain options because they are now less than 2 hours apart. That transfers to all manner of services, when they are no longer separated by time to that degree, it will drive a lot more than the ones we see at present. and let’s not forget, this is merely the first degree of Hyperloop, as the engineers figure out a lot more than is currently possible, the growth will blossom further, and as we see forward momentum on this scale, we understand that there are risks, you when the gain is not 45 minutes, but 90% travel time is reduced the picture shifts a lot further on a larger scale. Even as we were introduced to ‘tube’ transport in Logan’s Run in 1976, we never imagined that it would be an actual solution, not until now do we see that there are places where it is more than a solution, it is the drive to move forward on nearly every field.

So even as I accept that we are not there yet and there are all kinds of issues down the line, movement is now a given, and even a some used the London underground map and added some Hyperloop fun to it, the setting is not that impossible on some part of those tracks. It is a part where all technology can move forward, we merely have to adapt parts of it. Consider that change as new venues of technology open will up, and there is serious cash to be made for all the players in this field, you merely have to find the niche where your solution fits.

That is where Vision 2030 is now becoming a driving force, not merely because there is $500 billion to be found, but because those who do get their working solution in place, for those there is a lot more to be made over time, Saudi Arabia is merely the pilot, it is the global setting where profit becomes a very serious opportunity, it will drive the now nearly born new Nouveau Riche generation to a very new level with amounts the previous generation never ever dreamed of.

When you sit down and consider the map, we do not merely see Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, we see that Saudi Arabia has the opportunity become the axial for those three continents, an option we never would considered as realistic when Vision 2030 launched 10 years ago, now that picture is shifting and with the growing technologies as Saudi Arabia is embracing these new opportunities we see a shifting picture, even as oil might be funding this, the reliance on it is fading a lot faster than we thought possible, not merely through Hyperloop, but through the changes all the technologies enable one another with and that also gives new directions, because it is no longer about volatility  (as Saudi Arabia was accused of by others in a previous blog), it is about stability and the enabled stability that these solutions bring.

For in the end making money will always win over waging war, that has been proven for the longest of times.

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