Tag Archives: Yahoo

Mercy on stupid people?

In this age when we have 8,000,000,000 people walking around, should we show mercy on stupid people? I am not talking about people with some mental disorder, I am not talking about people with a speech impediment or people with a physical disorder. No, I am talking about people with a  greed disorder, a mental stage of everything is for free. Should we allow them to be alive? It is a serious question. You see, the BBC gives us ‘How hackers are using gamers to become crypto-rich’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57601631) and the BBC adds to the stupidity to put a picture of a nice girl there, although these transgressions are most likely done by well over 90% males. The list “Versions of Grand Theft Auto V, NBA 2K19, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 are being given away free in forums” implies that. You see NOTHING is for free, and nowadays, the sun might be (for now) the only thing that comes for free, but air is close to no longer free. In the last decades we wasted air quality to such a degree that more and more need oxygen and that stuff is not free and not cheap. So when I see “hidden inside the code of these games is a piece of crypto-mining malware called Crackonosh, which secretly generates digital money once the game has been downloaded. Criminals have made more than $2m (£1.4m) with the scam, researchers say.” I reckon that this goes far beyond the UK borders and as such the revenue will be a lot higher, in addition, the stupid person thinking that they are getting a free game are using electricity like there is no tomorrow. So any gamer having anything from a 750W Corsair to a 1200W Asus Thor will be donating $0.50 – $0.75 a day per PC to that criminal group. And that is the best news theory, if they leave the computer on and unattended the price could go up by 200%-400% a day, which means that this free game is costing you a lot more, optionally buying that game in the story will cost you $48 at Amazon, implying that you will pay for the game more than once after 15 days, if you are lucky after 20 days. So how free was that game? You might not pay for the electricity yourself but it will reflect in the bill and mom and dad will hold your PC up for ransom if you do not pay the electricity bill. 

So far two places out of a lot more gives us: 

United States: 11,856 victims
United Kingdom: 8,946 victims

As such the $2m is delusionally optimistic, the damage is more than likely a lot higher, especially when we see 

When Crackonosh is installed, it takes actions to protect itself including:

disabling Windows Updates
uninstalling all security software

And that was merely the better news, when you consider elements like

computer slowing down
wearing out components through overuse

You end up with the short end of the stick, and you better believe that it is a lot shorter than you hope it is. So should I feel mercy when a stupid act degrades a persons PC, sets the cost of living a lot higher per week, but that does not matter, does it? You got a free game out of it!

There is one side that bothers me, it is the quote “Tracking the hackers’ digital wallets has revealed the scam has yielded over $2m in the cryptocurrency Monero, Avast says”, it is the part ‘hackers’ digital wallets’, wallets is plural, as such there is every chance not everything has been found and there is even a much larger chance that they will find one group and have several groups walk away, because they were never spotted, and they were optionally a little more clever than the other players. The damage I a lot worse, yet when it comes to stupid people, I do not mind, more game time, more original game time for me. And this is merely the first setting, you see, I took notice because it flushes the one element out into the open. I touched on this with “I believe that it is a first step in the overly effective phishing attacks we face, Facebook might not be part to that, but I reckon the phishing industry got access to data that is not normally collected and I personally believe that Facebook is part of that problem, I also believe that this will turn from bad to worse with all the ‘via browser gaming apps’ we are currently being offered. I believe that these dedicated non console gaming ‘solutions’ will make things worse, it might be about money for players like Epic (Fortnite), but the data collected in this will cater to a much larger and optionally fairly darker player in this, I just haven’t found any direct evidence proving this, in my defence, I had no way of seeing the weakness that SolarWinds introduced. It does not surprise me, because there is always someone smarter and any firm that has a revenue and a cost issue will find a cheaper way, opening the door for all the nefarious characters surfing the life of IoT, there was never any doubt in this.” I wrote it in ‘Not for minors’ in December 2020 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/12/18/not-for-minors/) and anyone (read: Epic) with claims that they will stop this, would be lying to you. Criminals are massively intelligent and their opponents (police and FBI) are not equipped to deal with this, that is beside the manpower shortage they would face. So when you get to slide between stupid kids and greed driven short sighted IT solutions, the people are about to lose a bundle, for the tech criminals it will be Christmas for them 340 days a year (with 25 very well paid holidays).

And that was just the beginning, how long until these easy virtue characters offer games with even more powerful ways to mine? A version of some merge 3 game but now utilising 95% of your processor 100% of the time? It will not interfere with receiving calls, it will not interfere with laptop, tablet and other device, but you become the pawn in a need to mine and it will cost you a lot more than you think. How long until someone combines screensavers and locked screens with the old SETI program and let devices mine the truckloads out of massive data files and we all contribute for every downtime minute every day? That was the danger that greed driven Epic contributed to (as I personally see it), that is the danger that we all face, and it gets worse. You see Yahoo told us ‘Epic is deliberately keeping ‘Fortnite’ off Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Game service’, isn’t that interesting? The cloud is their competitor, so they want to open up all the markets for THEM, but they are not that eager to hand their game to a streamer where they cannot collect as much. As I personally see it, it is about their margins, it always was and as such I personally consider their case to be a bogus one, but they opened a door, a door criminals will be eager to use, so how long until they offer Fortnite cheats, Fortnite chests with weekly prices, hardware and skins? It will be the gateway to more systems and the law is not ready and the makers of games will find out too late that the floodgates had been opened. That is how these events usually go, but in the end it will not cost them anything, because they will cover all third party solutions and it will be up to the gamer (and their parents) to pay that price. 

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Non Chinese Harmony

Yes, we see and look at at harmony and we take turns into getting it and optionally capturing it, but harmony based on greed, on sales margins is not harmony, it is one sided lust. When we get that part we can get to the second part, it is a setting in a few parts. First there is ‘UK Huawei 5G ban hammers top line’ a week ago (at https://au.news.yahoo.com/huawei-profit-revenue-5-g-uk-rollout-151601892.html) there we see (yet again) “Dowden admitted the move would set back efforts to establish 5G in Britain by up to three years and cost the telecoms industry billions. However, he defended the move by citing national security concerns”, which is what I had already established in 2019 (the three year delay that is), in addition we see with: ‘Huawei’s HarmonyOS already has 134,000 apps, over 4 million developers have signed on’ (at https://www.gsmarena.com/huaweis_harmonyos_already_has_134000_apps_over_4_million_developers_have_signed_on-news-49552.php), which gets you to an earlier story I had on August 16th 2019 with ‘The slammer got slammed’ where I gave the reader (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/08/16/the-slammer-got-slammed/) “the message is not that there are 565 players, it is that they are all looking in a similar direction whilst the none excavated the gold mine that was right behind them, a first lesson that the classics can inspire towards a new direction. Now that I see their direction I found two other fields that had not been considered to the degree it needed. Saudi Arabia is giving us Neom City, but there is a lack in one direction and now that this can be exploited we see even more options. You only had to be willing to get your hands dirty in the most literal of ways. And all this is pushed even more through the impact of the European economy”, These sides all impact on what I wrote yesterday, as well as “Huawei announced that over 4 million developers have signed on to build on the Harmony platform and that there are already 134,000 apps using HMS Core. HMS Core itself keeps evolving and yesterday’s event saw the launch of version 6.0 with extended support for Huawei’s cloud services”, now we can set the elements together when you realise that (also shown yesterday) that Saudi Arabia has a 5G that is the fastest 5G, Saudi Arabis has a setting that will allow development of all kinds of apps, all kinds of 5G solutions that most places cannot equal with. This setting was seen 2 weeks ago with ‘Saudi Arabia witnesses expansion of 5G services’ in the Arab News (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1873006/saudi-arabia) where we see “5G services have been extended to 53 governorates of the Kingdom as compared to 51 in the fourth quarter of 2020” what the article doesn’t say or winks at is the fact that in the setting they have now, they have a speed and a 3 year advantage in creating a lot more software solutions that require 5G, in this Saudi Arabia is not alone, South Korea and they are both twice as fast as Canada and well over 60% faster than Australia (in third position). But that setting opens up a lot of options for two nations, all whilst the US is nowhere near ready, as are most of the EU nations. But the danger of the EU and US losing more ground to others is now a direct danger because of HarmonyOS. There is no way to proof this, yet consider “Developers from China, Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa can participate. The monetary prize pool is $1 million, but Huawei will offer practical awards too, including marketing support, cloud resources, incentives for using HMS Core’s payment system and more”, a setting that puts the US in a non contender field and when we consider the applications, and the fields where dozens of apps are reengineered, Huawei now has the ability to become a mobile power broker within two years, all whilst you now get to mull over “the move would set back efforts to establish 5G in Britain by up to three years”, all whilst someone will wake up realise that the rest of Europe is largely falling behind too. Even as I gave warnings 3 years ago, others laughed at me and told me I was insane, now we see that the moment has come  and I was a lot more correct that even I expected to be, I actually thought it would take longer, and to be honest Saudi Arabia was not part of the equation, but with the 5G they now have they are part of the power play that is most likely to hit us over the next 2 years, and before mot of Europe is ready for 5G. 

The second part is seen in ‘Zain KSA is the fastest in 5G and data performance in Riyadh’ (at http://www.tradearabia.com/news/IT_383015.html) where we see “Zain KSA was also recognised for having the fastest YouTube video start time and browsing websites, which supports customers with surfing the website, music (song downloads) and social media trends and photo uploads”, which implies that the KSA could become a large streaming hub for a lot of the Middle East and for Europe as well. Clouds and cloud solutions in a place where the network and internet is well over 700% faster than anything the US has and almost twice as fast for 3-5 years than Canada and Australia, so as we see the impact of the economic dangers that the US and the EU faces at present, do you really think that the political views on BigTech makes any sense? BigTech is required to lessen the lag that could end the economic situation that the US and the EU faces. And that lag is increasing with every new less intelligent (read: stupid) decision the current administrations are making. A setting of greed is about the strangle a lot of nations and we are all letting that happen, a setting of everyone wants a share, a slice of the action, all whilst they had no part in creating any of it. I set that tone yesterday and whilst we give court time to people lacking imagination and innovation, TikTok (at $250B) surpassed all others but YouTube, now HarmonyOS is about to become the direct competitor of Android giving a setting where one third of mobile OS solutions is no longer American, it will be Chinese. All because some people made decisions absent of evidence. To them Harmony is overrated, I wonder how they see that closer to December 2022. A setting that is nearing faster as 4 million developers are using HarmonyOS to create a new economic wave for themselves, a stage that benefits China and it benefits the US a lot less so. 

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You’re useless and you know it

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Google is fine, not fined

Yup, that’s me in denial. I know that there will be an appeal and it is time for the EU to actually get a grip on certain elements. In this matter I do speak with some expert authority as I have been part of the Google AdWords teams (not employed by Google though). The article ‘Google fined record €2.4bn by EU over search engine results‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/27/google-braces-for-record-breaking-1bn-fine-from-eu) is a clear article. Daniel Boffey gives us the facts of the case, which is what we were supposed to read and get. Yet there is another side to it all and I think the people forgot just how terribly bad the others are. So when I read: “By artificially and illegally promoting its own price comparison service in searches, Google denied both its consumers real choice and rival firms the ability to compete on a level playing field, European regulators said“, so let’s start with this one and compare it to the mother of all ….. (read: Bing). First of all, there is no ‘Shopping’ tab. So there is that! If I go into the accursed browser of them (read: Internet Explorer), I get loads of unwanted results. In light of the last few days I had to enter ‘Grenfell .co.uk‘ a few times and guess what, I get “Visit Grenfell, Heart of Weddin Shire” in my top results, a .org.au site. The place is in NSW. Did I ask for that? Google gives a perfectly fine result. Now, I am not including the top ads as the advertisers can bid for whatever solution they want to capture. So let’s have a look at Bing ads. First I can choose to be visible in Aussie or Kiwi land, I can be visible globally or I can look at specific locations. So how do you appeal to the Australian and Scandinavian markets? Oh, and when you see the Bing system, it is flawed, yet it uses all the Google AdWords terms and phrases, callout extensions, snippets. They didn’t even bother to give them ‘original’ Bing names. And I still can’t see a way to target nations. So when we see a copy to this extent, we see the first evidence that Google made a system that a small time grocery shop like Microsoft cannot replicate at present. We can argue that the user interface is a little friendlier for some, but it is lacking in several ways and soon, when they are forced to overhaul, you get a new system to learn. So when the racer (Micro$oft) is coming in an Edsel and is up against a Jaguar XJ220, is it dominance by manipulating the race, or should the crying contender considered coming in an actual car?

Next, when I read ‘rival firms the ability to compete on a level playing field’, should the EU regulator consider that the other player does not have a shopping tab, the other players has a lacking advertisement management system that require massive overbidding to get there? Then we get the change history. I cannot see specifics like ‘pausing a campaign‘, this seems like a really important item to show, for the most ALL changes are important and the user is not shown several of them.

In the end, each provider will have its own system; it is just massively unsettling on how this system ‘mimics’ Google AdWords. Yet this is only the beginning.

The quote “The commission’s decision, following a seven-year probe into Google’s dominance in searches and smartphones, suggests the company may need to fundamentally rethink the way it operates. It is also now liable to face civil actions for damages by any person or business affected by its anti-competitive behaviour” really got me started. So, if we go back to 2010, we see the BBC (at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8174763.stm) give us “Microsoft’s Bing search engine will power the Yahoo website and Yahoo will in turn become the advertising sales team for Microsoft’s online offering. Yahoo has been struggling to make profits in recent years. But last year it rebuffed several takeover bids from Microsoft in an attempt to go it alone” in addition there is “Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said the 10-year deal would provide Microsoft’s Bing search engine with the necessary scale to compete“. Now he might well be the 22nd richest person on the planet, yet I wonder how he got there. We have known that the Yahoo system has been flawed for a long time, I was for a long time a Yahoo fan, I kept my account for the longest of times and even when Google was winning the race, I remained a loyal Yahoo fan. It got me what I needed. Yet over time (2006-2009) Yahoo kept on lagging more and more and the Tim Weber, the Business editor of the BBC News website stated it the clearest: “Yahoo is bowing to the inevitable. It simply had neither the resources nor the focus to win the technological arms race for search supremacy“. There is no shame here, Yahoo was not number one. So as we now realise that the Bing Search engine is running on a flawed chassis, how will that impact the consumer? Having a generic chassis is fine, yet you lose against the chassis of a Bentley Continental. Why? Because the designer was more specific with the Bentley, it was specific! As Bentley states: “By bringing the Speed models 10mm closer to the ground, Bentley’s chassis engineering team laid the foundation for an even sportier driving experience. To do so they changed the springs, dampers, anti-roll bars and suspension bushes. The result is improved body control under hard cornering, together with greater agility“, one element influences the other, and the same applies to online shopping, which gets us back to Steve Ballmer. His quote to the BBC “Through this agreement with Yahoo, we will create more innovation in search, better value for advertisers, and real consumer choice in a market currently dominated by a single company“, is that so? You see, in 2009 we already knew that non-Google algorithms were flawed. It wasn’t bad, there was the clear indication that the Google algorithms were much better, these algorithms were studies at universities around the world (also at the one I attended), the PageRank as Stanford University developed it was almost a generation ahead of the rest and when the others realised that presentations and boasts didn’t get the consumer anywhere (I attended a few of those too), they lost the race. The other players were all about the corporations and getting them online, getting the ‘path build’ so that the people will buy. Yet Google did exactly the opposite they wondered what the consumer needed and tended to that part, which won them the race and it got transferred into the Advertisement dimension as such. Here too we see the failing and the BBC published it in 2009. So the second quote “Microsoft and Yahoo know there’s so much more that search could be. This agreement gives us the scale and resources to create the future of search“, well that sounds nice and all marketed, yet, the shown truth was that at this point, their formula was flawed, Yahoo was losing traction and market share on a daily basis and what future? The Bing system currently looks like a ripped of copy (a not so great one) of the Google AdWords system, so how is there any consideration of ‘the ability to compete on a level playing field‘? In my view the three large players all had their own system and the numbers two and three were not able to keep up. So is this the case (as the EU regulator calls it) of “by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors“, or is there a clear growing case that the EU regulator does not comprehend that the algorithm is everything and the others never quite comprehended the extend of the superiority of the Google ranks? Is Google demoting others, or are the others negating elements that impact the conclusion? In car terms, if the Google car is the only one using Nitro, whilst the use of Nitro is perfectly legal (in this case). In addition, we see in 2015 ‘Microsoft loses exclusivity in shaken up Yahoo search deal‘ as well as “Microsoft will continue to provide search results for Yahoo, but in a reduced capacity. The two have renegotiated the 2009 agreement that saw Redmond become the exclusive provider of search results for a company that was once known for its own search services. This came amid speculation that Yahoo would try to end the agreement entirely“, so not only are they on a flawed system, they cannot agree on how to proceed as friends. So why would anyone continue on a limited system that does not go everywhere? In addition in April 2015 we learn “The other major change is that Microsoft will now become the exclusive salesforce for ads delivered by Microsoft’s Bing Ads platform, while Yahoo will do the same for its Gemini ads platform“, So Yahoo is cutting its sales team whilst Microsoft has to grow a new one, meaning that the customers have to deal with two systems now. In addition, they are now dealing with companies having to cope with a brain drain. Still, how related are these factors?

I personally see them as linked. One will influence the other, whilst changing the car chassis to something much faster will impact suspension and wheels, we see a generalised article (at no fault to the Guardian or the writer), yet I want to see the evidence the EU regulator has, I have been searching for the case notes and so far no luck. Yet in my mind, as I see the issues that those involves on the EU regulator side d not really comprehend the technology. This can be gotten from “According to an analysis of around 1.7bn search queries, Google’s search algorithm systematically was consistently giving prominent placement to its own comparison shopping service to the detriment of rival services“, where is that evidence? Analyses are the results of the applied algorithm (when it is done correct) and in this the advertiser is still the element not begotten. I have seen clients willing to bid through the roof for one keyword, whilst today, I notice that some of the elements of the Bing Ads do not support certain parts, so that means that my results will be impacted for no less than 10%-20% on the same bidding, so is it ‘demoting results of competitors‘, or is the competitor system flawed and it requires bids that are 20% higher just to remain competitive? And if I can already state that there are dodgy findings based on the information shown, how valid is the EU regulation findings and more important, where else did they lack ‘wisdom’?

There are references to AdSense and more important the issue they have, yet when we consider that the EU is all about corporations, these places want facilitation and as they ignored AdSense, that solutions started to get traction via bloggers and information providers. So when we see: “In a second investigation into AdSense, a Google service that allows websites to run targeted ads, the commission is concerned that Google has reduced choice by preventing sites from sourcing search ads from competitors“. Is that so? The larger publishing houses like VNU (well over 50 magazines and their related sites), so in 2005, Google got new clients and as such grew a business. And that was just in the Netherlands. Now those just yanking in a corner, trying to present systems they did not have 4 years later, and they are now crying foul?

There are leagues of comparison sites. One quote I really liked was “Google is like the person that has it all together but is too conservative sometimes, and Bing is like the party friend who is open to anything but is a hot mess”. Another quote is from 2016: “With Bing Ads though, you can only show your ads on the Content Network if you’re targeting the entire US”. So an issue of targeting shown in 2016, an issue that Google AdWords did not have a year earlier. This is important because if you cannot target the right people, the right population, you cannot be competitive. This relates to the system and the EU-regulators, because a seven year ‘investigation’ shows that a year ago, the other players were still lagging against Google, in addition, when we read in the Guardian article: “the EU regulator is further investigating how else the company may have abused its position, specifically in its provision of maps, images and information on local services”, we need to realise that when we relate to cars, the other players are confined to technology of 1989 whilst Google has the Williams F1 FW40 – 2017. The difference is big and getting bigger. It is more than technology, whilst Microsoft is giving the people some PowerPoint driven speech on retention of staff, something that IBM might have given the year before, Google is boosting mental powers and pushing the envelope of technology. Whilst Bing maps exist, they merely show why we needed to look at the map in Google. This is the game, Microsoft is merely showing most people why we prefer to watch them on Google and it goes beyond maps, beyond shopping. As I personally see it, Microsoft is pushing whatever they can to boost Azure cloud. IBM is pushing in every direction to get traction on Watson. Google is pushing every solution on its own merit; that basic difference is why the others cannot keep up (that’s just a personal speculative view). I noticed a final piece of ‘evidence’ in a marketing style picture, which I am adding below. So consider the quote ’51 million unique searchers on the Yahoo! Bing Network do not use GOOGLE’, so consider the fact of those trying to address those 51 million, whilst they could be addressing 3.5 billion searchers.

The business sector wants results, not proclaimed concepts of things to come. Microsoft is still showing that flaw with their new Consoles and the upcoming Scorpio system (Xbox One X), users want storage, not streaming issues. They lost a gaming market that was almost on equal term with Sony (Xbox 360-PlayStation 3), to a situation where it now has a mere 16% market of the Sony market and that is about to drop further still as Nintendo is close to surpassing Microsoft too.

There is always a niche market (many people), who want to kick the biggest player in town, I get that. Yet at present the issues shown and as far as I get the technology, I feel that the EU regulators are failing in a bad way. I might be wrong here and If I get the entire commission papers and if issues are found, I will update this article as I am all about informing people as good and as correct as possible. Yet the one element that is most funny, is that when I open up Internet Explorer and I type in ‘Buy a Washing Machine‘ Bing gives me 8 options, 7 from David Jones and 1 from Snowys outdoors, which is a portable one and looks like a cement mixer. So when was the last time you went to David Jones to watch a washing machine? In Google Chrome I get 6 models on the right side, with 3 from Harvey Norman, 2 from the Good Guys and one from Betta, and that is before I press the shopping tab, so can we initially conclude that Micro$oft has a few issues running at present? Oh and the Google edition gives me models from $345 to $629, Bing prices were $70 for the portable one and the rest were $499-$1499.

This is not on how good one or the other is, this is how valid the EU regulator findings were and so far, I have several questions in that regard. Now, I will be the last one keeping governments from getting large corporations to pay taxation, yet that part is set in the tax laws, not in EU-antitrust. As mentioned the searchers before, I wonder whether the EU regulators are facilitating for players who seem more and more clueless in a field of technology that is passing them by on the left and the right side of the highway called, the ‘Internet Of Things’.

From my point of view Google is doing just fine!

The EU regulator? Well we have several questions for that EU department.

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Missed it by THAT much?

It started last night. Actually, it started a little earlier, yet I get information from so many sides, that I have to make a choice what I focus on (my final assignment for my master degree being the big number one). So when I initially heard about a missile issue I had no real interest. You see, the things PwC is up to with added narration of missed issues on Tesco, BHS and two others is a lot more interesting to me. Any missile issue tends to be a simple engineering problem. At times it is about other matters, but that is once properly tested a mere 9% of the time, with 91% being engineering or interfacing, which is basically another realm of interfacing. Oh, for the underlying entertainment. I am writing this whilst listening to The Tales of Hoffmann, which is applicable to all this on more than one level.

So back to the Lockheed Trident we go. Let’s start with the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38719346) with “Theresa May finds herself under pressure for refusing to answer whether she did, or did she not know that something had gone wrong with our nuclear weapons, when she asked MPs to vote to renew the costly Trident system?

So when I see “So the simple “who knew” question will keep being asked. And for as long as the opposition parties keep pushing for clearer responses, ministers will keep looking like they are awkwardly, even shiftily trying to evade a straight question“, I feel that asking the question is a loaded canon to say the least. In this day and age, regarding any issue on nuclear facilitation, do you really want the other players to openly know that UK defence does not work, so Russia and/or China only needs to work about each other and the USA? With pressures at present it is not the best idea to say the least.

My issue is with “A missile test involving Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent system ended in failure off the coast of Florida last year, a US defense official with direct knowledge of the incident told CNN on Monday“, so not only are US defense officials sanctimonious on the best of days. It seems that they have no problems revealing certain classified events when it concerns their allies.

OK, I can accept that, so how about I reserve a little space at the end and let the public at large know on the storage issues that PRISM is still bringing, not the observation part, but the fact that the storage as it had been one and how the list of people with access was a lot larger than anyone realises. With the New York Times bringing the people on June 6th 2013 ‘U.S. Confirms That It Gathers Online Data Overseas‘ (at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/us/nsa-verizon-calls.html), but that the quote by Josh Earnest “has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terror threats as it allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States.” is missing one important element, which is “it equally allows the better hackers to alert certain people of red flags they can scan for“, which is not something they wanted us to know. I’ll get back to that later.

Let’s focus on those Lockheed cigars named Trident. You see, there is a question why the US spokesperson opened his mouth in the first place. When we consider (at http://www.businessinsider.com/upgraded-trident-ii-missile-being-tested-from-us-nuclear-submarines-2016-9), the quote “This was the 161st successful Trident II launch since design completion in 1989“, now I have no idea how many test launches we have seen, but 161 good strikes sounds like a good deal, so why suddenly this ‘revelation‘? I am all for fair display of facts, including failures, but the air that this one flaw gives give in addition other considerations, so if this US spokesperson thinks that the UK is grateful for him opening his mouth, I think it is time we make sure his bosses make sure he never considers that ever again. This all gets us to the reasoning of that US spokesperson.

Brown University is/was housing a Nina Tannanwald, who had an interesting essay. Titled ‘Renewing a Regime of Nuclear Restraint‘, we get “the non-nuclear weapons states of the world are growing increasingly impatient with the failure of the nuclear weapons states to move toward what are seen as their moral and legal obligations to eliminate their nuclear stockpiles. The humanitarian consequences movement, a globally popular movement barely discussed in the United States, is one reflection of this frustration with the slow pace of nuclear disarmament. A similar tension plays out in the United States, as the Obama administration committed to move towards a world without nuclear weapons while concurrently authorizing a multi-decade, trillion-dollar modernization of American strategic nuclear forces“, there is a truth in this, there is also the realisation that even as most want to move into a non-nuclear era, with Iran and North Korea in the mix, that is a reality that will not come any day soon, if ever. Time has taught us that putting the genie back in the bottle is not an option. If that is not an indication, try to interview Pandora on what happened to hope. Good luck with the answer to that one in this day and age!

Yet when we consider Tannanwald, there is more and more the need to consider Robert McNamara’s presentation to NATO in Athens laying out flexible response doctrine. I think that Robert McNamara is one of those essential Americans that show the American spirit. Serving under both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, he has been confronted with the need to alter perspective and a dimensional scope that has been almost unheard of ever since. He is almost the founding father of policy analysis. In addition he is the person who consolidated functions that is amongst others now known as the Defense Intelligence Agency.

So you might think of him as a spooks Yoda, with a flair for pragmatism. Which gets us to the opposition in all this, namely Dr Julian Lewis, who in the Guardian stated yesterday (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/24/commons-watchdog-criticises-unnecessary-surreptitiousness-trident-missile-malfunction) “chairman of parliament’s defence watchdog has criticised the government’s “unnecessary surreptitiousness” over the Trident missile malfunction, as Michael Fallon declined an invitation to appear before his committee“, in this we congratulate Dr. Lewis for his ability to employ a 17 letter word, yet the issue in all this is twofold. the first is that as far as we can tell this is a 1 in 161 cases, making it an outlier that could have been addressed outside of the view of the public, second that the Government had already clarified a need much earlier (which I will point out a little further, with a link off course) that there was a certain need, that need is now directly undermined. Perhaps there is a political need to get something else started and scuttling one solution will open up a set of new problems onto which certain people with interests can throw a lot of money at, they would only need to get rid of 4 submarines. We know that a new HMS Dreadnought is coming, but what is possibly less known is that a refit of the Vanguard Class should start in 2019, which will impact the defense budget because an overhaul of this kind really requires a serious amount of coins. Now, the latter part is speculation, but is it far-fetched? It is 2017, these matters take time, there is no doubt about that, so there is a gap where certain actions have a lot of impact and the misfire is just a lucky break for some people. In all this I could be, and I am probably wrong in all this. Yet when you look at the facts as they are clear, as we know that our cold war opponent has satellites, so they know about the event, calling this into the open only serves another platform. I have no idea which one, but the visibility of these events call a lot into question, especially the actions of a blabbing yank. Now, for some this might actually be one of those democratic losers with no prospect considered ingratiating himself to optional future employers in the media as this person could be democratically replaced by the new party in charge if his function was high enough and the CNN quote “US defense official with direct knowledge of the incident told CNN on Monday” implies that he is higher up the ranks to some degree.

So how does this reflect back to Trident? Well, if we accept that regional tensions are made worse regarding nuclear policies by unstable regimes where the mental balance of the one in charge leaves a lot to be desired (examples: Kim Jong-un and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he was in office) , we should consider that the solution does not work, tension is not eased, it only invigorates that person to consider pressing the famous red button. This comes mainly from the premise of the thought ‘theirs might not work initially‘, which would only instigate a false sense of ego of that person pressing the button. I am going one step further stating that such a person could call in some simpleton cook, asking him ‘Can you press this button? My hand hurts!‘, so that unsavoury character now has the genuine option of remaining in denial.

Even as we consider that 2 out of 161 might not work, the stats are extremely unkind on the chances for the receiving party. Still the issue remains, what was that US spokesperson thinking off when he/she considered speaking on the matter at all was a good idea? Don’t get me wrong, I am not stating that we should be lied to, but there were clear security considerations in play and I wonder if that person was even high enough on the pay scale to make have this consideration, speaking out regarding an allied nation (read: the UK).

My view?

Well, personally, when I look into the error, I am considering that it was not a simple flaw, you see, when the missile is off by a degree, or even less. When it is that small it becomes an issue because that takes time. When the direction is off by a maximum dart score round (180), it tends to be a simple construction flaw, an interface that was not properly checked, basically, the kind of flaw that requires Lockheed (on average) to send the next missile at $0 (and they also have to pay for postage, packaging, gift wrapping and shipping too). Which would be another reason for some people not to speak, unless officially ordered to do so, as it would start an entirely different debate on the Trident Project. So in this light, as we see that 1 out of 161 went wrong, the dust cloud is very much disproportionate to the events as we see them. Even when we see the connected views on Jeremy Corbyn, who has been for the longest times in the light of ‘Jeremy Corbyn says he will put nuclear disarmament at the heart of his leadership re-election campaign‘. which  is what we saw in July 2016, in September 2016 we see: “to put to one side any attempt to reverse Labour’s support for renewing Trident in a bid to reduce tensions with unions and rebel MPs“, yet that ship has sailed, so he can ‘revive’ his lifelong view of being the soul that is anti-Trident. We might see that as a decent view, yet in all that we see evolve is it the correct one? I think that there is no clear answer and this is not on Jeremy, but it all now shows to be a valid political attack, which he cannot be faulted for. Yet how to proceed?

What makes a cigar a cigar?

So this Lockheed device has several elements. I will not some conceded jerk telling you what went wrong. We can speculate that the electronics were wrong, yet what if that is actually not the case? Consider the following sources. the first (at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmdfence/986/98605.htm) gives us at [40]: “‘De-targeting’ and ‘State of Readiness’: The SDR stated that the Trident missiles aboard the Vanguard-class submarines would not be targeted and would normally be at several days ‘notice to fire’. However, the SDR also noted that “we will… ensure that we can restore a higher state of alert should this become necessary at any time”. In the course of our inquiry, we were told that targeting the missiles does not take very long“, in that is it not interesting that an actual metric was not given?

In addition we get “Dr Rebecca Johnson, of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, argued that both de-targeting and the reduced state of readiness were essentially meaningless since they could be could be easily overridden“, which was in the same paragraph and it gave me the part that is soon to come. You see (at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-nuclear-deterrence-factsheet/uk-nuclear-deterrence-what-you-need-to-know) we see ‘A minimum and credible deterrent‘, with the quote “we require a fleet of 4 submarines to maintain 1 continuously on patrol and retaining this posture is essential to assure the invulnerability of the deterrent“.

So, this is me speculating, the triviality that we saw regarding the ‘we were told that targeting the missiles does not take very long‘. So what if the targeting could be messed with? In this day and age, is that such a leap? If that is true and if the targeting can be messed with, the issue now becomes that Her Majesty’s Navy now has 4 cigar boxes that could potentially be regarded as useless, making them extremely expensive non-deterrents. Let’s not forget, this is pure speculation, so it becomes only the smallest of options if the missile was not malfunctioning in a normal way.

So how does this reflect on me making some other case earlier and why mention it?

Well, let’s take you through the motions, it will take a few paragraphs. First there is “NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has denied he committed treason with his revelations that the US had been hacking Hong Kong and China since 2009. He said his revelations did not disclose military targets – a treasonable act – only civilian infrastructure“, try and focus on the red parts in all this. The next part is “Without asking for public permission, the NSA is running network operations that affect millions of innocent people. In a previous interview with the South China Morning Post, Snowden said he was releasing the information to demonstrate “the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries“, which gets us part of the first part. The source is the IB Times (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-479709) and they are only one of several sources.

From that same source we get “Internet companies – including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft – were reported to have given the NSA “direct access” to their servers under a data collection programme called Prism” as well as “US government agency had access to the raw databases of these companies. “They can enter and get results for anything they want [such as] phone numbers, email, user id, cell phone handset id,”” and “Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications. At GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only 5% of those performed.” now we need to consider that “He was employed by several outside contractors including his current employer, defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton“.

Now I make one step back to a statement I made some time ago. You see, there is a part that never rang true, especially as the amount of data he allegedly took with him, yet this data never saw the light of day. In addition, for one person to have this level of clearance and access is something I always questioned! On the 23rd June 2013 I wrote ‘Who are the real watchers?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/06/23/who-are-the-real-watchers/), in there I wrote “his account is broken down and thousands of dollars on internal communications, price agreements, customer’s details and many more details are now duplicated. It would be worth quite a few coins for the right competitor. As such the quiet student will have all his University debts paid off long before he gets his degree. So, what is this about?“, which I bring on January 18th 2014 in ‘Diary for a wimpy President‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/01/18/diary-for-a-wimpy-president/) with “The government will no longer store the phone call information of millions of Americans. But he did not say who should maintain the information, instead giving the intelligence community 60 days to come up with options” as well as former Presidents Obama quote “What I did not do is stop these programs wholesale, not only because I felt that they made us more secure, but also because nothing in that initial review, and nothing that I have learned since, indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens“, the point in all this is not just the traitor Edward Snowden, who decided to become the judge, what also happened is that several sides of this went to private contractors, some of them very much greed driven. It is my belief that one event is linked. It was given on October 5th 2016, I wrote about it, but I will not give the link. The Telegraph (at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/05/nsa-contractor-charged-over-alleged-theft-of-secret-us-governmen/) gives us the parts we need. “Harold Thomas Martin, 51, was secretly arrested by the FBI in August for allegedly stealing classified information. The US Department of Justice says it found Top Secret documents in Mr Martin’s home, vehicle, and two storage sheds on his property in Glenn Burnie, Maryland during a search on August 27th” as well as “Those documents were reportedly “source code” developed by the NSA to hack its adversaries. The codes would allow the NSA to covertly place malware in the computer systems of foreign governments and to monitor or even attack the networks“. Now, the part that comes next remains speculation!

I think that is exactly what has been happening. I think that whatever Harold Thomas Martin did get out before the NSA/FBI could lock down on it. I think that these contractors have been doing their job, but I also believe that someone has been getting access because part two gave access to part one and those people aren’t sworn in executives of agents of any government.  What if we consider when we combine the ‘claimed facts‘ as published, where other parties have been gathering information from selected mobiles, and where users have been interfered with. You see, we all got the messages as seen (at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/russia-hack-election-dnc.html), where we see “At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government“, so even if we question whether this is a Yay or a Nae, the issue is that the DNC is not the gemstone. Yes, most foreign governments want to see in what direction policies are likely to go. Which is why people like Marine Le Pen are getting monitored and not just by the French. You remember the earlier quote “giving the intelligence community 60 days to come up with options“? What if that has been rolled out, don’t you think that both the Russians and the Chinese are a lot more interested in access to those systems (read: that data)? Now we see the dangers that Harold Thomas Martin brought to America, the fact that these intrusion tools are in the open and possibly in Russian hands. We now see that tools can be used against their collection points. They only need to open one port and slowly siphon data away. How much damage do you think that this brings. In addition, and this last part is pure speculation, as those Tridents rely on ‘targeting the missiles does not take very long‘ yet if the specifications come from the outside, can these tools interfere with that? Do not forget that “would normally be at several days ‘notice to fire’” implies that there is a track that the targeting goes through and only the final step is the most secure one. Can we even know how secure those previous steps are? Which tools have been pushed to less controlled civilian hands due to the entire Snowden debacle? What dangers has he placed us all in? We now see via the Wall Street Journal and The Australian that what is now published in 2017, I already covered to some degree in 2013, I was correct to the largest degree all along. We see the quote “According to a unanimous report declassified on December 22 by the house permanent select committee on intelligence, the investigation showed Snowden had “removed” 1.5 million documents“, with added “based on, among other evidence, electronic logs that recorded the selection, copying and moving of files“, another issue I raised due to my knowledge of SE-UNIX. The fact that he had done this over a period of 6 weeks implies that there is a level of what should be regarded criminal negligence concerning Intelligence matters which is truly unsettling. The fact is that this stuff went into the open void, the question was who else got a hold on that stuff? The Wall Street Journal gives one part I never had (due to a lack of specific knowledge). That part is seen in the quote “Since the NSA was created in 1952, Russia and other adversary nations had been trying to penetrate its Level-3 secrets without great success“, he fact that they clearly have access to some degree, both Edward Snowden and Harold Thomas Martin have made that a near certainty.

This now reflects back to the Lockheed devices. Consider that the UK has a different methodology regarding its missiles. If a test was performed through the normal track and if we accept that the Russians have to some degree Level-3 documentation ‘access’, when we also accept that they have a clear understanding on the PRISM system now and we already know that both China and Russia can interfere with data packages (read: transmitted data) whilst in motion, is it really far-fetched that they intervened (read: corrupted) the data meant for the failed Trident test? Let me reiterate, I am not stating they retargeted that missile as there are too many components they do not control, the package just needed to be corrupt to the smallest degree, which would get the missile into a wrong destination and then self-destruct. Now, as stated, this is speculative, yet based on data which after 3 years is now proving to be utterly (read: mostly) correct. Is the speculation that far-fetched? And Russia has every reason to scuttle the UK Vanguard units now before the newer and totally unknown entity HMS Dreadnought comes into play, as stated by other academics in this field that it is  ‘essential to assure the invulnerability of the deterrent‘, when that invulnerability is gone, what remains?

I can tell you that I might not be entirely correct, but I can tell you that based on 3 years of data coming true that my aim is a lot better than the latest Lockheed Trident missile, which was allegedly off by almost 180 degrees.

 

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Rephrasing a Minder

Politics tends to be filled full of weird and crazy people, from my point of view those people tend to be members of the Labour party. That view got a new light in the article ‘Labour calls for closer scrutiny of tech firms and their algorithms‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/18/labour-calls-for-regulation-of-algorithms-used-by-tech-firms). Now, there are two sides to any equation, so let me give you the two that I have.

1. I believe that tech companies have been facilitators for too long, many will not accept any responsibility for way too much. On the other side, I do believe that the only working internet is a free one. So when I read the words from Shadow minister Chi Onwurah, I honestly did not regard her to be anything more than a person seeking the limelight. It is equally important to realise that she is using last week’s amazon debacle in Scotland, with questions how that relates to regulating algorithm, it’s a mere application of employment law, is it not?

From the quote: “The outcomes of algorithms are regulated – the companies which use them have to meet employment law and competition law. The question is, how do we make that regulation effective when we can’t see the algorithm?” I feel slightly cautious to call Chi Onwurah a joke, there is a chance that some of this was lost in translation, if not, she has a larger problem to deal with. That problem will be clearly visible when she decided to look into a mirror. So why to look at my point of view?

You see, there are no regulations on algorithms, they are basically formulas with a solution. In addition she states: “greater scrutiny of the mathematical formulas that now control everything from the tailored news served to Facebook members to the speed at which workers are required to move around an Amazon warehouse“. I think that we need to look a little closer at the last statement. You see, it is highly likely that any staff members would need to meet a certain amount of jobs for shipment and delivery. Yet how feasible is that requirement? I can’t tell from the description that was given a week ago, too many variables missing, that does not make the approach regulated. Yet like in any job, workers have ‘responsibilities’, yet more important, they have rights. These are clearly set in most countries of the Commonwealth, so how does that equate to apparent regulated algorithms.

2. The openness of any system will silently advocate the abuse of it. A not so good example was given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/04/google-democracy-truth-internet-search-facebook), where we see ‘Google, democracy and the truth about internet search‘. We get Carole Cadwalladr with the quote ‘and this was Google’s answer: Jews are evil. Because there, on my screen, was the proof: an entire page of results, nine out of 10 of which “confirm” this‘, which started with typing 7 letters ‘are Jews’, which is an issue from character one onward. She then tries to dilute the issues by setting the image of the search of ‘are women evil’, probably to ease the tension, but the damage is done, short-sighted (as I see it) she continues. So whilst she wastes two paragraphs on titles of the slightly anti-Semitic nature, which she then sets in an atmosphere as “I feel like I’ve fallen down a wormhole, entered some parallel universe where black is white, and good is bad. Though later, I think that perhaps what I’ve actually done is scraped the topsoil off the surface of 2016” and she ends with “This isn’t a secret Nazi cell lurking in the shadows. It’s hiding in plain sight“. As I personally see it, she is the person who has been standing behind an iron for most of her life and now she sees her first microwave, a cliché if I ever saw one.

You see, the article goes on for some time and there are really good parts in it too, although the spatial map is a bit of nerdy space we could have gone without, the issue I never see properly addressed is that the term ‘are women evil’ and on number one is a WordPress blog, literally with the link ‘sheddingoftheego.com/2015/06/25/are-women-evil/’ and the title ‘Are Women Evil?‘ literally a perfect match for what the person was seeking. Google worked perfectly. What is ignored and what influences many sights, especially on how Google Rankings are influenced. Now Google has a way to counter it, yet this is not immediately done and it is not perfect either. Places like Reddit are actively working on posting whatever they need to raise their ranking and the rankings of their customers. It is interesting that the Guardian, the Huffington Post and Forbes take absolutely ZERO time to explain the games that SEO’s are playing to influence ranking through scripts. because it is in the end what someone was seeking for, yet the fact that this is the direct value for SEO’s and terms like ‘Tips on how to improve your website’s ranking on Google’s search engine results’ were also ignored in these articles giving rise to the one sided and unbalanced view the press is giving, whilst those in the digital media all know that this is done and those who are doing it usually have a massive tag list ready to add to EVERY story they write.

So when we see the quote “Many search results are now reinforcing extreme views, with articles denying the holocaust or disparaging women increasingly appearing at the top of the rankings“, we need to wonder Chi Onwurah should even be allowed to be Shadow Minister of Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, or Just the elected MP for Sesame Street. By the way, what I did not know is that this department is also responsible in the area of Intellectual Property, so if Labour ever wins, we need to get scared fast.

So getting back to the MP in my sights, it is important for her to realise not just what a google search does and what it shows, but the elements that influence it and what happens under the real guise and the influenced guise of what people are looking for. By the way, her article acted for possible millions of additional clicks, because she raised the issue, whilst not raising the alert of how the numbers get influenced. So, as we go down the article, we do need to stop at a part that matters a lot. This is seen in the quote “Social media platforms are being blamed for allowing the spread of misinformation and online abuse, conditions which some argue are fuelling the resurgence of extreme politics in America and western Europe“, which is a fair point, yet as bullies and trolls can hide behind the freedom of speech without accountability, there is little chance of this changing, in addition, this isn’t a transgression from 68 million people in the UK, it is the search result and interaction of billions of internet users on the planet, so as there is no localised situation, misinformation and online abuse remains. In addition, as Chi Onwurah should clearly realise, when we see webpages with quotes like ‘Millions of People Are Cancelling Their Netflix Account Because Of This One Site‘, whilst the link looks like a cookie 2 miles long, all set to improve visibility. The media at large, including the UK make use of professional cookie, tags and ranking strategies and all kinds of advertisement counters, so when she is talking about regulations, setting anchors against the exploitative use of cookies might not be the worst idea. In addition to that thought, whilst labour was in office, they did zero to get the tax accountability rolling on corporations, so to see this quote “need to take responsibility for the unintended consequences of the algorithms and machine learning that drive their profits” in the reality of the law (the act of facilitation), she needs to realise that her statement is empty and hollow to say the least. So when we see “we need a tech-savvy government to minimise the downside by opening up algorithms to regulation as well as legislating for greater consumer ownership of data and control of the advertising revenue it generates“, she is not unreal, she is utterly unrealistic for even considering to open up that tar pit, because once we see that regulation come to ground, the economic algorithms are the first one we will have a go at and at that point, when that reality comes knocking, she will soon be the loneliest politician in the history of the UK. In addition, is it not interesting how Bing was not mentioned once in all of this? Why is that Chi Onwurah? Basically this is an act of discrimination, however let’s not nit-pick in an article that is already shoddy in several ways.

The software engineering reality (historically speaking) is that the Google search results and Google ranking was filed in 1998 with a priority in 1997. Lawrence Page realised that the content on the internet would be growing exponentially and as others were concentrating on corporations and corporate views the founders of Google looked at a much bigger picture, so finding anything would sooner rather than later become a massive issue.

In an age when the ‘great’ internet companies were about image and looking cool, Google started to get professional. In the days of Yahoo, Yahoo was the search engine of choice. Alta Vista, later Excite and a few others were garbage from week 1 whilst never catching up in any novel way. Yahoo started in 1994 and they were leaders for a while, and in the 90’s as Yahoo grew its value, they started to lag behind. Now the irony is that Yahoo got started at Stanford and the Google rank patent was designed and invented at Stanford too. By the time someone started to ask the right questions it was already too late and the Google patent for ranking gave them exclusivity which will last a little while longer, but others are now considering the consequence that Google Rank patent will still be in effect when G5 starts, as the issue of ranking is still growing near exponentially as more and more files are added and with G5 it will take on an additional dimension.

now we see the issues that are brought to the foreground in what I regard as a half-baked shadow ministers approach, asking ‘questions’ and implying regulations, all this whilst a below par informed level of knowledge is shown in the articles they set to press. One of the issues is actually shown in one paragraph in the Huffington Post “Finally—and this is the key point—even without human intervention, Google’s algorithm, while doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, routinely boosts one candidate higher in search rankings simply because of normal “organic” search activities“, which is the cornerstone. As we know, organic search (what you type in the google search bar) is used, yet what happened when this is done through scripting? What if a few of the 200 parameters gets influenced from outside though scripted actions, again and again? That part was never clearly mentioned, but it is the bread and butter of nearly every SEO, to get the position and ranking of their clients to the very top, in every possible way and method and the shadow minister does not give any visibility to it, the visibility it requires and deserves.

That is the flaw in all this and this is the need to rephrase a minder, a minder who as I saw it never understood the plot, or she did know and she was misinforming the readers to some extent, yet how much requires misinformation and was that not what she was accusing social media of? So as we await Labours industrial paper, we will have a few more options to have fun of labour especially as they define supervision whilst again not getting any results in proper corporate tax legislation, not even as suggested proper corporate tax legislation.

taxformulaSo should we see the taxation algorithm for large firms where x is the taxable amount, b is revenue and a is tax deductible options, you know that it is not just the regulations of algorithms she got wrong.

 

I’ll let you decide.

 

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The name of the sponsor

The article that was in the Guardian on Friday, gives us a few issues. You see, I have been looking at several issues in the tech world and I overlooked this one (there is only so much reading that can be done in a 24 hour range and it is a big planet). You see the article ‘Yahoo faces questions after hack of half a billion accounts’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/23/yahoo-questinos-hack-researchers) gives us the goods from the very beginning. The quote “Yahoo’s admission that the personal data of half a billion users has been stolen by “state-sponsored” hackers leaves pressing questions unanswered, according to security researchers“, is one I would go with ‘and the evidence?‘, which gives us all kinds of related connections. The quote “Jeremiah Grossman, head of security strategy at infosec firm SentinelOne, said: “While we know the information was stolen in late 2014, we don’t have any indication as to when Yahoo first learned about this breach. This is an important detail in the story.”” is only one of a few issues at the heart of the matter. You see, when we look at the issues that are the plague of these start-up firms (Yahoo and Sony), we should think that they are start-up firms or they are massively negligent. In both cases their routers allowed for the transfer of massive amounts of data. As they are the same size in start-up (sorry, sarcasm prevails), we need to wonder how a few hundred million packages fall between the cracks of vision of whatever security element their IT has. We could wait until someone states that there is no security on that level and the race is truly on then!

This whilst additional support as seen stated by Chris Hodson, EMEA chief information security officer at enterprise security firm Zscaler, when we read: ““With no technical details included in Yahoo’s report about how the data was exfiltrated, just that it was, it’s impossible to assess credibility of the ‘state sponsored’ claim“, a statement I agree, but in addition, I also wonder why we aren’t seeing any reference or initial response from the FBI that this was from North Korea. It fits the time frame doesn’t it? First a dry run on Yahoo and the actual heist was Sony. Or perhaps some players are figuring out that North Korea was never an element and that someone clever enough found a flaw and hit both Yahoo and Sony. The quote “both from the date of the hack, almost two years ago, and from the first appearance of the dumped data on the dark web almost two months ago where it was being sold by a user named “Peace of Mind””, the speculation comes to mind: ‘perhaps this person is the second owner and this person is reselling acquired data’, which would make sense in several capitalisic ways. The article also enlightens what I believe to be a callous approach to security: “The breach also highlights a strong problem with “security questions”, the common practice of letting users reset passwords by answering questions about their first house or mother’s maiden name. Yahoo did not encrypt all the security questions it stored, and so some are readable in plaintext. While it may be irritating to have to change a stolen password, it is somewhat worse to have to change a stolen mother’s maiden name.” The insensitive disregard is clear when the security question is not encrypted and mum’s maiden name is given in plain text, adding to the personal data the thieves borrowed (long-term). Now, we know that there are in these situations several questions, and not all are really about privacy sensitive based data (like a favourite pet), but consider the 2013 movie ‘Now You See Me‘ Consider the dialogue in the New Orleans Show scene:

Jack Wilder: How could we, Art? We don’t have your password.
Henley Reeves: We’d need access to information we could never get our hands on.
Daniel Atlas: Yes, security questions, for instance, like, I don’t know, your mother’s maiden name or the name of your first pet.
Merritt McKinney: Where would we get that information, Art? You certainly would never tell us.

A movie gives us the danger to our goods a year before this data is stolen and nobody presses the alarm bell? The only part that would be even funnier if this was a Sony movie, but no, it was Summit Entertainment who brought this gemstone! Now, we know that life is not a movie, yet the fact that this part is stored as plain text, perhaps not the best solution! In addition as IT developers tend to be lazy, how many other firms, especially those who are a lot smaller, how are they storing this data? Also in plain text?

You see, I have seen parts of this issue too often. Too many firms have no real grasp of non-repudiation and go through the motions so that they seem (read: present themselves) to be about security, yet not really security driven. Because if the client doesn’t want it (many are too lazy), they have opted for it and they are in the clear. Yet when we see that the security questions are in plain text, questions should be asked, very serious questions I might add!

There is one more side to all this, the Guardian raises it with: “what happens to the company’s multi-billion dollar merger with Verizon now? Kevin Cunningham, president and founder at identity company SailPoint, argues that the breach should already be priced in“, we then see the issues of thoroughness raised from Verizon, but in all this, the data theft does not makes sense. You see, if my speculation is true and “Peace of Mind” is the first sales iteration, was this ID the only customer? If so, how come that the sale took this long, the timeout between the event in 2014 and the optional sale a few months ago is weird, as accounts change so quickly, the power and value is in quick sales. To put it in perspective, selling the data to 10 people for a total of 5% of the value is safer then awaiting for one person getting 70% of the value 90 days later. This is a movers and shakers world, the 90 day person is a perhaps and these people are about the ‘cash now’. The market stall people! So in this an 800 day customer implies that there might have been ulterior reasons. Which one(s) I can only speculate on, and I prefer not to do that at present. Now, in that side, it is of course possible that this was ‘state-sponsored’ and it was sold on to keep the wolves at bay, but that too is speculation with absolutely no data to back the speculation up.

Verizon might have taken a calculated level of risk in acquiring Yahoo, yet if the data transgression was never divulged, would this be a case of fraud? The US has the “benefit of bargain” rule, so there could be a decent case of represented and actual value. In addition if we allow for Special damages from a legally recognizable injury to be held to be the cause of that injury, with the damage amounts to specificity. If the data theft would have been known, the value of the firm would have been a lot lower.

Unless this was clearly disclosed to Verizon (I actually do not know), Verizon might have a case, which would be disastrous for Yahoo.

If we consider the news from July at NBC (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/25/verizon-to-acquire-yahoo.html), the setting is not just “Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL lag far behind and have lost market share“, there is no guarantee that those hit by the hack will remain in their Yahoo setting. Google has made it far too easy for people to switch over. The effort made in the past to transfer towards Google could inspire those people to switch to Google, import their mails and start with little or no loss at all. Which means that it is not impossible that Verizon after the merger remains a one digit digital marketing group, something I feel certain Verizon never counted on.

So where is this going?

There are two sides to this, not only is this about cyber security, or the lack thereof. The fact that Verizon has no unlimited data and those with Yahoo accounts who had them will now see their prices go up by a lot (when is this not about money?). Verizon has a 100GB shared option at $450 a month, which is beyond ridiculous. In Australia, iiNet (an excellent provider) offers 250GB for $60 a month and in the UK British Telecom offers a similar plan for no more than £21 a month (which is about $35), considering that BT is not the cheapest on the block, I have to wonder how Verizon will continue, when people have to switch, because their music apps (radio and so on) drain their data account at 6-8GB per day (a harsh lesson a friend of mine learned). Meaning that Verizon is actually a disservice to open internet and free speech. As I see it, free speech is only free if the listener isn’t charged for listening, or better stated, when certain solutions are locked to be not via Wi-Fi, meaning charged via bandwidth. So the accounts were one side, the amount of data breeches that we are seeing now (on both the Verizon and Yahoo side) imply that not only are they too expensive, they aren’t as secure as they are supposed to be and in addition, cyber laws are blatantly failing its victims. Having your data in plain text at $450 a month seems a little too unacceptable, merely because the odds to keep your fortune in Las Vegas tend to be better than this.

So now consider the sponsor, the people behind the screens on both the corporate and hacking side. So let’s take a look

Corporate

Here the need for security is essential, yet there is clear indication that those aware of spreadsheets (read: Board of Directors) are in equal measure naive and blatantly unaware that data security is essential and not the $99 version in this case. The cost of secure data is ignored and in many cases blatantly disregarded. The Yahoo case is inferior to the Verizon data transgressions that have been reported in this year alone. It is so nice to read on how the health industry is hit by organised crime, yet the amount of theft from their own systems is a lot less reported on. I find most amusing the text that the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report shows: “Yes. Our vulnerability management solutions identify and fix architectural flaws in POS and other patientfacing systems“, “Yes. Our identity and access management solutions prevent the use of weak passwords, the main cause of data breaches in the healthcare industry” and “Yes. Our intrusion detection and threat-management solutions help detect and mitigate breaches more quickly, limiting the damage caused” (at http://www.verizonenterprise.com/resources/factsheet/fs_organized-crime-drives-data-theft-in-the-healthcare-industry_en_xg2.pdf), I reckon that a massive overhaul of their own systems has a slightly higher priority at present. In addition there is no information on how secure the Verizon Data Cloud is. It doesn’t matter who provides it (as I see it), and I reckon we see that iteration hit the news the moment we learn that the UK Ministry of Defence Cloud gets tweaked to another server that is not under their control. It is important to realise that I am NOT scaremongering, the issue is that too many players have kept the people and corporations in the dark regarding monitoring options, intrusion detection and countermeasures, with the cloud, any successful intrusion has the real danger that the data hack is more complete and a lot larger in data loss. Moreover, Microsoft and Microsoft employees have one priority, Microsoft! Consider that any Microsoft employee might not be as forthcoming with Cyber transgressions, no matter what agreed upon. After the agreement, any internal memo could sidestep a reportable transgression. It is a reality of corporate life. In this, until the proper military staff members get trained, the Ministry of Defence (read: as well as GCHQ to some extent) will be catching up through near inhumane levels of required training, which gets the Ministry burnout issues soon enough.

Hackers

No matter how small, these attacks (yes plural) required serious hardware and access to tools that are not readily available. So whomever involved, they are either organised crime, or people connected to people with serious cash. This all gets us a different picture. I am not stating that some hackers work for reasons other than ideological. The rent in mum’s basement and hardware needs to be paid for, if not that, than the electricity bill that will be in excess of $130 a month. It might be trivial to mention, yet these little things add up. Hardware, electricity, storage, it gives the rising need of a sponsor for these hackers. There is no way to tell whether this is ideological (to show it can be done), technological (selling the flaws back to the makers of the solution), or criminal (to sell the acquired data to a competitor or exploiter). We can assume or speculate, but in reality, without additional evidence it is merely a waste of words.

So even if we know the name of the sponsor, this hopefully shows that the need to divulging information on data transgression has been way too light. In the past there was a ‘clarity’ that it was onto the firm to give out, but as they seemingly see it as a hazard to their wealth, too many victims are kept in the dark and as such, the financial danger to those victims is rising in an unbalanced way. If you would doubt my words, consider the article at http://www.geek.com/games/sony-psn-hack-is-only-the-4th-largest-data-breach-of-all-time-1390855/, which was set in June 2009. Geek is not the news cycle you might desire, but the summary is fine and confirmable. The hack to the Heartland Payment Systems January 20th, 2009 might be one of the more serious ones, the 130 million records was more complete and could have a more devastating effect on the US population then most others. From my point of view, a massive shift to proactive data security should have been law no later than 2010, I think that we can safely say that this never happened to the extent required, which is another nice failure of the political parties at large and as such, this could get a lot uglier soon enough. The article also shows a massive Sony failing as there have been 6 large breaches in 2011 alone, so the Sony hack of 2012 shows to be a continuing story of a digital firm who cannot get their act together. That was never in question, in combination with the latest revelations, there is the added pressures that this cannot be allowed to continue and these firms need to start being held criminally negligible for transgressions on their systems. Just like in torts regarding trespass, it should be actionable perse. In addition, the hackers should be held in that same way, with the bounty changed to no less than double digit jail with no option for parole. The mere realisation that there is a high price for these transgressions might be the only way to stop this and in this age should not be a distinguishing factor, so any teenager hoping for an adventure with a nice pay package could end up not getting laid until they turn 30. The last part is unlikely to be a reality ever, but the fact that this is where we should have been going needs to be stated, for the mere reason that a shown failure of nearly a decade is no longer an option to ignore, not when the stakes are getting to be this high.

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Working Nine to Swine

 

Today’s blog comes due to an article on Yahoo. It is not the likeliest place, but with the FIFA & Greece (I wonder how the FIFA in Greece is doing), and a few other misalignment of human nature, the one in Yahoo caught my eye for a few reasons.

The article ‘Working 9-to-5 becoming a less popular way to make a living‘ (at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/working-9-5-becoming-less-125244387.html) should be regarded as a flawed article. It merely looks at the positive elements, like being your own boss and the implied thought of more money and I do state implied!

There is another article (at https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/top-5-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-being-a-freelancer) which is titled ‘Top 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Freelancer‘. They listed them in a nice order, I had seen them and even personally experienced them, so let’s take a look.

  1. You have to make more than your previous salary.

Even though you think you have more deductions, you also have a lot more costs. Health insurances will have to be added issues, because you need to get your own enhanced insurance to counter paid sick leave and also the insurance for when there is no work and no income at all. When you are the ‘wage slave’ those elements are all the risk your boss takes and when you are in a workers pool of 5-20 that engine keeps on running, but when you are by yourself, you are 100% risk and that risk translates into premiums that go up sharply.

Some nations have a much better arrangements for paid vacation leave through work, that must now all fall in your own pocket and costings, so you need to get at least 5%-10% more to remain even with paid vacations, in addition, the other insurances, retirement plans, and a few other insurances will add up to a lot. Did you consider that in your mental costing?

  1. You have to be a lot more versatile!

This is not just about you designing, or you doing the consultancy. You need to master acquisition (the next job around the corner) and that is just the obvious part, you become the office manager, the scheduler, the accountant’s abuser and bookkeeper and the legal ‘go between’ when billing goes southwards, this list goes on a lot further and each moment of versatility comes with its own mindset, you will need to have them all!

  1. You have to deal with inconsistent cash flow
  2. You are responsible for finding your own work

I already mentioned them, but issues 2, 3 and 4 are intertwined. The versatility of being the salesperson, the bookkeeper and the consultancy person are three jobs all rolled into one, when you miss out, cash flow becomes irregular, which is also dependent on you scoring new jobs. The proactive forecasted ‘sales pipeline’ is all you and you alone, there is no one to blame but you when it goes wrong! This is the first moment when you are confronted with the power of teamwork and a team of 1 is as old as the Romans (I).

  1. The coin stops with you!

Yes the blame game is no more (if you ever did it), you can blame the CFO, the scheduler, the consultant and distribution, but they are all at one and the same phone extension, which is you and you alone!

This list was done by Belle Wong in November 2014. She did a fine job. I skipped over the positive parts for a reason, which will be clear soon enough. You see, Freelance is not for everyone, many of those who do it are usually thrust in that position outside of their own volition. There are scores who do it, I cannot deny that, but many of them tend to be in a niche market where it is really fine dining as there is no equal competition. That part is seen in places where incomes spike, which is usually a good deal, but the downside is that if you are not an established person like Sir Kenneth Robinson you better remain top dog or your income will dwindle rather fast.

You see, this is why I have an issue with the Yahoo article. When we see quotes like “Henry W. Brown ditched his fledging advertising career 11 years ago, sick of spending 15 hours a day at work and having ‘no life’. Now he works 30 hours a week, juggling about four projects a year and earns a salary in the six figures designing websites and apps“. This quote is very surreal and I even doubt the correctness of it. 4 projects a year also implies 4 deadlines and 4 final deliveries. What happens when they overlap, what happens when in three months that next job does not come through, or complications with that current job? This might be a top dog, but in mobile apps, the new (read next) top dogs are usually one development update away.

The other two quotes are “Affordable health insurance plans, which kept many workers shackled to traditional jobs, are more accessible because of the Affordable Care Act” and “companies are increasingly open to hiring freelancers and independent contractors. Many say independent workers bring fresh ideas without the long-term commitment“. In the US there is an affordable care act, but that is the only thing. That care act does not get you an income when you became a hit and run victim, or if you slip on icy pavement and you are recuperating. Even though some insurances can be made, these insurances are very expensive. They are usually not that expensive for a boss who insures all his staff, that means that the slack from you gets taken on by co-worker 1, 2 or 3. Which means the company goes on. In your freelance space it is ONLY YOU. Which means 100% drop out, at which moment premiums go up faster than you can blink your eyes at.

The second one is the part I have the greatest issue with. You see, we all work hard for a firm, we put in the hours and we get it done. So in the case of a decent boss, when there is a lull, you get to relax half a day. As you deliver, he/she will not object. But when you relax in your own firm, the equation changes as relax equals non-paid moment. When you have a busy schedule this is nice, when one job did not get through, any lull will become aggravating, because the next bills are always less than a month away. So for corporations to rely on freelancers is nice, but when too many freelancers remain, the price gets pushed down, now, when you have a family it will upset the life balance, which means that this boss gets a sweet deal, it is sweet because the social and fiscal responsibility is no longer there as they are freelancers. In that world no work means no pay at all.

There are a few other issues that neither article looked upon. You see, when I was a Freelancer, I worked at home, if you are a rich person with a separate work room, there is a small degree of separation, when it is not, your work and home life become indistinguishable. This means that the expression ‘home is where the office is’ becomes a serious reason for depression. Freelancers, when they are not working a pure sales job are at additional risk of becoming socially isolated. The danger here is not just the isolation, it is that freelancer will usually be in denial of it, making matters worse.

In the end, being a freelance is not all bad, but it is usually in the beginning of your career. My Freelance days were for the most decent, because in 1990 there was a lack of Clipper programmers, there were loads of jobs and I was able to do it on the side. There was an additional benefit that my rent in those days was then set at $195 a month for a 1-bedroom apartment. Now, the average rent is above $400 a week, that makes for really bad overhead and that is when there is no family to worry about, when junior gets sick and mommy is of working too, healthcare comes directly out of your income and your deadline flies off to never never land. I never had those complication, but in today’s world, many freelancers are 30+ and if the partner does not have a full time job, whether he/she freelances or not the pressure of missed deadlines/complications usually translates into no rent/mortgage.

These are realities you face in the world of Freelance!

So when you see these options of $2500 a day, you better believe that this is for people who are beyond flexible. I am not just talking about the decades of experience. They better have a setup that exceeds the usual corporate standards, or they will lose more time than they are comfortable with! In all this, who considered the cost of hardware and software for that matter, because the job had it for you and it is tax deductable, but you better have the goods beforehand and software can be extremely pricey!

So when you consider the article by Joseph Pisani you better keep a realistic eye on the negative and the unmentioned parts of being a Freelancer, for many bosses it is great as monthly costs are gone. The freelancer gets those costs added, and the end result is a lot less fun that the article implied it to be.

 

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A coin with more than two sides

Let us take a look at two of many more sides. The first side is given in this article: Google’s Vint Cerf warns of ‘digital Dark Age’ (at http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31450389). The initial quote is “Vint Cerf, a ‘father of the internet’, says he is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost“. This sounds nice, but is that not the same as we have had forever? If we did not take care of our old photographs and our old negatives, than those pictures would be lost forever, so how is that different?

110mm_Agfa

See here, the picture of an Agfa Instamatic. It is almost identical to the camera I had in the late 70’s. So, how will you get those negatives developed? Where to buy film? Most will not care about it, many have bought new camera’s, but where to print the negatives you have? Nowadays with digital images, almost any printer will print it, almost every system will show them. How is that different? So are the words of Vint Cerf anything else but a sales pitch for some new ‘forever’ saved option, likely one that Google will offer and not unlikely in a way that gives Google shared ownership. Is that under the current feelings of ‘data collection’ such a sceptical view to have?

Now, I will state, that not unlike those old prints, the owner has the responsibility to keep the images safe, just like in the old days. Even if the originals (the digital negatives) are lost, as long as a print still exists, the image remains, just like the old photographs. Yet, his quote “But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution” holds truth, because that is not unlike the 110mm film issue. So as long as you have a data option that survives, like the 110mm negative holder, you can always get another print. So, CDROM’s in a writable version came in the late 90’s, so we only started to have a backup option for 20 years, yet affordable digital images would still need several more years. Yes, that market has grown exponential and now, we see the application of Common Cyber Sense in another way. Now, people will get confronted with the need to back things up. As the Digital disc evolved, so has the quality of these solutions. Now the discs last a lot longer, so backing up the old discs on new discs does make a whole lot of sense, so there is a side that makes perfect sense, but is that enough?

That part is shown in the following quote: “’I worry a great deal about that,’ Mr Cerf told me. ’You and I are experiencing things like this. Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed’“. This is at the heart of what Vincent Serf is getting to, so he is definitely onto something. How many of you can still access all the WordPerfect files you created in 1992? Who can still access their FRED applications and their Ashton Tate’s Framework solutions? That list is slowly and surely getting close to zero. This is what Vincent is getting to and there list the crux, because this would have gone beyond mere images and what we currently still access. Consider the Digital VAX/VMS systems, the collected data that spans decades from 1982 onwards. The IBM series one (those 64Mb mainframes with 10 9” floppies), so Vincent is perfectly correct (as a man with his experience would be), but what solution to use? Yes, his idea is perfectly sound, but the issues that follows is the one that I have to some degree an issue with, you see, sometimes things get lost, which has happened throughout history, would our lives have been better if the Library of Alexandria survived? Would it be better, or would there be more and more incriminations? There is no way to know, but the issue can be explained in another way. This is a myth I heard in school a long time ago. The story is that a person could ask whatever he wanted for a created chess game. He asked for a grain in the first square, two in the second square and so on. By the time the board was half way through, the person paying for it would owe the person 2,147,483,648 grain seeds and that is just half way through. Now think of today’s world, where we collect everything. Like the chess board we collect every part and this just increased the junk we collect and that at a premium price. So what to keep? That is the hard part, it is interesting to keep on the side that sometimes we need to allow to lose things, but Vincent has a case. Now we look at one of the last quotes: “’Plainly not,’ Vint Cerf laughed. ‘But I think it is amusing to imagine that it is the year 3000 and you’ve done a Google search. The X-ray snapshot we are trying to capture should be transportable from one place to another. So, I should be able to move it from the Google cloud to some other cloud, or move it into a machine I have’“. Yes, there is the sales pitch. “Google search” and “move it from the Google cloud“, so there we have it, the Google cloud! Still, even though there is a sales pitch in here, does that make it a bad approach? Are we better because we save EVERYTHING? That is at the heart of this little conundrum. Now, those having their data on the old Cray might consider their data worthy, so do many who had their data on UNIX mini’s, but now consider every Novell edition, every desktop, now, it will be arbitrary if people decide to take these steps, yet what happens when all data can be baked up like this, what happens when some start ‘offering’ this for ‘free’? Who then co-owns that data, those solutions? Is that such a crazy thought to have?

Here is the last part: “And that’s the key issue here – how do I ensure in the distant future that the standards are still known, and I can still interpret this carefully constructed X-ray snapshot?” This is the part that is interesting; his concept of Digital Vellum is an interesting one. Yet, how should we move forward on that? What happens when these snapshots link up, when they connect, perhaps even interact? There is no way of knowing; perhaps this would be the beginning of a new evolution of data. Is that such a weird concept? Perhaps that is where we need to look at other sides too. Consider our insight, into our memories, our ‘wisdom’ and our ability to filter and extrapolate. Is this solution a primal step from near ‘artificial-intelligence’ to possible cyber/digital intelligence? The question becomes, if intelligence is grown from memories, what do we create when we give it everything we ever collected? I have seen the stories, the way some people think that the dangers of an artificial intelligence is so dangerous. We might consider the thoughts from the ‘Cyberdyne’ stories (Terminator series), but in the end, what if the digital intelligence is the beginning of our legacy? What if we learn to preserve ourselves, without leaving a carbon footprint, without being the deadly blight on nature? At some point we will stop to exist, we die; it is a simple consequence of nature, but what happened, if our wisdom is preserved? Many come with stories and nightmares of the loss of identity, but what happens if we can store intelligence? What happens if the next century Albert Einstein would be there to help us create progress, inspire innovation for all time? Is that such a bad thing? Some of these questions are beyond my ability to answer but there is a dangerous dark side too, what happens when this becomes commercial Intellectual Property? I am all for IP, yet, should cloned intelligence become the property of anyone? I feel that I might be alive long enough to actually see that question go to court. I hope that those making that decision are a lot wiser than I currently feel.

This now gets me to story two, which also came from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31440978), the story here is ‘Cybersecurity: Tech firms urged to share data with US‘, which gave me the initial scepticism regarding the Vint Cerf story. So, I am not linking them perse, they are separate stories. The initial quote is “Private tech firms should share more information with government and with each other to tackle cybercrime, according to US President Barack Obama“, I do not disagree with this thought, however, there is a side to this that is not addressed. The given quote is “Senior Google, Yahoo and Facebook executives turned down invitations to the summit, held at Stanford University“, so is this about not sharing, or about keeping the data non-sharable. There is part that we see when we look at the quote “Mr Obama is backing the creation of information sharing and analysis organisations (ISAOs) to help firms and government share material on potential threats“, yes, if we consider that Snowden fellow there could be issue, but is that a valid path? You see, consider how some do NOT want the cyber threat to reduce for the largest extent, consider how many software ‘solutions’ are out there, for viruses, phishing attacks, identity theft and several other parts. There are two dangers, at one part we have a possible solution to theoretically start solving and decently diminish the danger, the other side is on how all that data gets linked, that part in the wrong hands is a lot more dangerous than many could imagine.

The following quote adds to the worry: “Government cannot do this alone. But the fact is that the private sector can’t do it alone either because its government that often has the latest information on new threats” My issue is that this should not in the hands of any private part, it could be seen as the execution of the premise ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’, those who face that lesson will not have an option. I would see a solution if there was collaboration between NSA, GCHQ, DGSE and a select few more. Reasoning? Cybercrimes have a distinct impact on national income and also national tax donations. They have all the drive to get it resolved. I have less faith in private companies, their allegiance is to profit, their board of directors and more profit. This is the issue as they will do what they need, someone falls on a sword and many get extremely wealthy, the data goes everywhere and many become exploitable, classifiable and re-sellable. I have been in data for decades, I think that governments can do what needs to be done, and it is time to change the cycle of re-iterated profit. Governments have made themselves the bitch of the private industries, the three mentioned initially is not enough, consider the quote down the line “Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft have all sent less senior executives to the conference“, so why was Microsoft not mentioned earlier? What is going on? The interesting part is that Bloomberg mentions Microsoft several times, the BBC article just twice. It is clear that something needs to be done on several levels, but it takes a different scope and a different approach, I feel decently certain that keeping the private touch out of this will be essential, for the reason that private companies have a mere commercial scope. I feel uncertain that this approach will work, it has not worked for a long time; I have seen ego and political play and personal reasoning interfere with results, in more than one nation. Whatever is done, it needs to be done, it needs to be done a lot faster than many consider and even though taking the politician out of a government seems to be impossible, we need to make sure that an approach is considered that does not allow for political exploitation, but how to get that done is another matter entirely.

 

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Pussy versus Tiger

This was my first assessment when I looked at the Guardian regarding the article ‘Barack Obama and David Cameron fail to see eye to eye on surveillance‘. (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/16/barack-obama-david-cameron-surveillance-terrorists). As we see America slump more and more into the weak excuse it is on an empty wallet, it must have been quite the surprise for Prime Minister David Cameron, to go to the ‘leader’ of the free world, hoping for a decent lamb chop (which you actually can only get in either Australia or New Zealand) and he ends up having dinner with someone who prefers Purina as a meal.

You see, I am not buying his ‘civil liberty’ approach for one second. In an age where Google is demanding more and more privileges to access your mobile data, where Google search gets transparently pushed into your android phone on top of your functions. In that era HE is proclaiming ‘civil liberties’?

Where we see Facebook where we would have to consent to allow access to our religious beliefs and that of our friends for access to a game. What is this, ‘Gaming for Catholics’? Here we see discord on what is needed to keep the citizens safe?

I particularly like this part “As Cameron warned the internet giants that they must do more to ensure they do not become platforms for terrorist communications, the US president said he welcomed the way in which civil liberties groups hold them to account by tapping them on the shoulder“, tapping on the shoulder? Yes, with Bing, Google, Amazon and Yahoo all in America, he definitely wants the power of collection to be ‘unhindered’ for now. There is of course the thought that President Obama has no control and it is Google and Microsoft telling Congress how it will be for now, which means unmonitored access.

That part is also a requirement to keep the financial sector running uncontrolled until it is too late (a point which might have passed already).

So, is this all rambling? Let us look into the evidence!

The first part comes from the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (at http://www.consumersinternational.org/media/1396104/tacd-resolution-on-data-flows-in-the-transatlantic-trade-and-investmemt-partnership.pdf), an organisation not too visible, but it is loaded with high profile participants (at http://tacd.org/about-tacd/whos-who/), the PDF had nothing really new to tell me, but this part is important “The actual extent of these data collection practices, whether they were lawful, or the range of activities involving companies such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo are still unclear. Until the new US and EU joint group of experts tasked with examining privacy in the light of the National Security Agency’s PRISM Internet data program and related disclosures makes a report to the respective governments and the public, it would be unwise for the negotiators to address data and e-commerce-related trade matters at all. The public on both sides of the Atlantic deserves a full and frank discussion of what actually transpired, and what policies or safeguards should be required as a consequence“. Even though we were confronted with the Snowden fiasco, the massive part that is kept silent is what non governments are collecting, they have been collecting data every second, of every minute of every key press you made these last few years. Data that is valued, without oversight. So ‘yes’, as I see it, the President (or the Democratic Party) is very likely getting told that with oversight, the fat checks will disappear.

This is at the heart of the matter, David Cameron (and several others) needs to keep their civilians safe, whilst as I see it, America is about the bottom dollar at the expense of everyone’s safety. Should you doubt the latter part then consider the next bit “US trade policy requires radical reform, not only to the flawed certification process, but also to the secrecy of trade negotiations in general, the lack of accountability to the public, and Fast Track proposals that insulate trade agreements even from the scrutiny of Congress itself“, which we get from Electronic Frontiers Australia. So, as we see the push for ‘free trade’, how can there be ‘free trade’ without civil liberty? It seems that in the US ‘free trade’ is synonymous with corporate trade, specifically the corporate trade of big business. So as we see that areas are drowning in corporate oversight (by the corporations), we see the term ‘civil liberties’ being cast in a voice to keep big business out of oversight. So, how does your Purina taste today Mr President?

Now the intelligent person will state, what has one thing to do with the other? How did we get from some data discussion to the TPP? This would indeed be a decent question and my answer is that it is all linked. You see, the big data collectors can only continue if it is unhindered by policy. Google’s fortune comes from the data of millions each day. So once the data starts getting holes as the rights of those from the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Australia are set to boundaries, the collected data will show holes, which means the value goes down by a lot. Over 30% of the internet has business, which lands roughly 40% of ALL profits in the hands of US firms. I am precise in my statement here, US Firms! Not US government or the IRS, just US firms who will syphon billions via Ireland and like-minded places where taxability is at 0.1% (or some other ridiculously low number). If this oversight changes, so will the profits dwindle to a much lower percentage, now suddenly it will be a fair game for internet companies on a global scale, which is NOT what the US wants at all.

When we consider “The prime minister adopted a harder stance on the need for big internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to cooperate with the surveillance of terror suspects“, that fear will hit many and suddenly there are more holes in the collected data, downgrading businesses, the economy and heaven forbid, the DOW Jones Index, hence kitty goes into ‘UCLA’ mode.

But many in Europe are now a lot more awake, the events in Paris did that, when an actual terror attack hits a place like Paris, people suddenly notice and their fear for their safety spring into action, which is counter-productive for these US firms (as the terror attack is not happening in the US), corporate greed takes a front seat on what needs to happen, all under the guise of ‘civil liberty’.

As the president came with “In a sign of the concern in the US at the threat posed by extremists in Europe and in Syria and Iran, the president said disfranchised Muslims were one of the greatest challenges faced by Europe. “It is important for Europe not to respond with a hammer with law enforcement,” Obama said at a press conference with Cameron as he contrasted the way in which US Muslims had integrated and regarded themselves as wholly American“, really? How did Americans react on September 12th 2001? They couldn’t get the DHS started fast enough! In addition, let’s take a look at the Guardian in 2012 (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy), ‘Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy‘. It seems that ‘civil liberties’ are not an issue, when profit (read: banks) are in play. If we accept the quote “The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens“, now apart from the Snowden issue, I regard the Guardian to be a good paper, this gives a clear view that ‘civil liberties’ is not an issue in the view of profit and in the view of those depending on thus stated profit.

So here we see the clearer view of Kitty (Oval Office) versus Tiger (10 Downing Street). David Cameron needs to get a handle on the terror fear which goes a lot further then ‘commercial interests’, he needs to actually address and deal with these fears, hence the need for data. In this matter he had to speak to the President, let’s face it, getting GCHQ to download Exabyte’s of data (whilst permission is pending), without a meeting first is just bad form. On the other hand we could ask that data set from North Korea, apparently that is where the top hackers are today (according to US officials).

 

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