Tag Archives: ZDNet

Marketing Deceptive Concepts

We are all in the lane of what is coming; the problem is that what is coming is set on the E40, the longest European highway going from Calais all the way to Kazakhstan (Ridder). So as we depart from Ridder, trying to get to Calais on this AI highway, we need to consider that at present we only got past the first 100 kilometres of a trip that will be 8,000 kilometres long and we are not driving a Aston Martin, not even a Lada, we are traversing this in a 1908 Model T, giving a much clearer indication that this trip will take years (read: a decade at the very least) at best. To be quite honest, as technology goes, we are nowhere near AI, true AI. It will take the largest players (Google & IBM) decades to get to the real AI part, and only when computers become more technically savvy and a lot faster. As such I do not see the reason for people and companies like RACGP to give us: ‘AI is coming to healthcare – and it’s here to help‘, with the quote: “real promise – of artificial intelligence in healthcare“, yet we remain fair. Dr Martin Seneviratne stays faithful when he gives us: “we’re far away from that, to be honest” and he is correct. Yet the stage is there where we see: “In this article we are listing top 15 artificial intelligence apps for android and iOS users“, as well as “an Indian start-up claiming to have built an artificial intelligence-assisted app development platform, is not in fact using AI“. It is all BS (read: Hogwash), there is no such thing as AI, it is theoretical, conceptual at best, the real deal is at least a decade away. It reminds me of some Sales Dumbo I had to deal with on how cloud computing was it bees knees. When I mentioned that there is no thing like a cloud, it is merely someone else’s computer, I was the one who did not comprehend it (in the end I was right, and he (read: it) was not). Yes, I am aware of the ZDNet article (at https://www.zdnet.com/article/stop-saying-the-cloud-is-just-someone-elses-computer-because-its-not/). We get it, it is about scalability and the scale of the cloud is huge, but still, it is a server center that is owned by someone else, and the location of that server is equally important in the data laws we see today. Because the moment China launches its own commercial cloud system, the Americans will ‘suddenly’ come with issues like cloud locations and how the Chinese government can look into every cloud account. I was not belittling anything, merely making sure that we keep focus on terms used (and awareness is often larger than anyone considers). It is the monitoring, hacked data and more important lost data. The cloud comes with all kinds of marketing hypes, but informing on the scope and warning of the dangers that poor passwords bring is often not seen.

So when we get to the Verge where we see: “The company was sued earlier this year by its chief business officer, Robert Holdheim, who claims the company is exaggerating its AI abilities to get the funding it needed to actually work on the technology. According to Holdheim, Duggal “was telling investors that Engineer.ai was 80% done with developing a product that, in truth, he had barely even begun to develop“, we see the larger deception and we also see a lack of actions by governments to a much larger degree, apparently white collar deception is OK in their books.

So when we get back to the RACG (at https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/professional/ai-is-coming-to-healthcare-and-it-s-here-to-help) where we see: “‘Documentation is a constant issue, and so is having a computer separating you and the patient,’ Dr Seneviratne said. ‘The dream of this AI revolution is that it helps with the parts of medicine doctors and patients don’t like, creates a safety net for ensuring quality across the board, and gives clinicians more time to be with their patients.’“, my mind goes back 47 months, 12 days and 14.1 hours (roughly) when I designed the concept of what could be the Google Tome (I concluded that the iTome could never become a reality in an technological iterative pushed corporation), a device that would take case of part of it and help the UK NHS to get a handle on their paper mess and red tape. The device would also be a great solution for places like Scandinavia where the rural population is all over the place. There was one tiny setback, it required 5G, it was the only way to get it to work to the degree it did and 5G was nowhere near ready to the stage that places like the NHS, GP’s and clinics could be upgraded. We are still 1-2 years away, but the Google Tome would be a game changer as it worked on a very different IP. Apple would take a decently large hit as I remembered some original parts from before the PowerMac and Apple actually had the inside track, with today’s iPad they could have ruled, but in the last two years they became a mere iterative needy toddler, taking them out of the game. both IBM and Huawei are not ready for this leap giving Google an actual first position with no chance of any number two catching up for close to half a decade. My solution was not AI based, it was based on the realistic foundation of NHS administrations and to see where the obstructions were. Instead of making some political never working one system (UK Parliament spend £11.2 billion learning that it did not work), my path was to upgrade all the elements and give a new definition to speed, not the one that is founded, for downloading, but a new on access protocol that emphasises on security and data safety. In fact, the results would in theory get to the right physician 30%-60% faster. Anyone who waited for results in an NHS location can tell you what a game changer that is.

And none of this touches the 5G IP I created three years later.

But that is not what it is about, it is about the marketing ploys we are confronted with and for the most, the media greedily uses that hyped term to get traction with people, clicks and awareness, the information is less and less a concern to the larger group of media (or so it seems). The one that I got confronted with yesterday is the one that set it off. A friend (Tom Breur) wrote an excellent piece regarding Data Democracy (at https://tombreur.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/what-does-data-democracy-stand-for/). Yet in data, as I personally see it, there is no real democracy, it can be dictatorial, it can be feudal, it can even be tyrannical, but it is never democratic, you do not get a vote in that hierarchy, that is the way with data and it is the researcher who can redefine you through giving you a weight of 1 (or lower) or disregard you as inconsequential as grouping you with other user missing points of non interest. The respondent never had a voice in the matter negating the entire democracy part.

This setting was most likely started by media with their claims of “Big data’s threat to democracy becoming global problem“, and there the delusion started. Big data is never about democracy and democracy is not about data, it is about applied wisdom, they do not correlate and are even less likely one and the same. It becomes even more entertaining when we (at https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/labour-will-ban-big-money-buying-democracy) see: “Labour will ban big money from ‘buying up democracy’“, it is entertaining and hilarious as this has been happening well over a century, long before there was a silicon based economy (not talking about boobies here). When we get: “Last November Mr Johnson was flown to New York and was paid £94,507.85 for a two-hour speech at the multibillion-dollar hedge fund company Golden Tree Asset Management“, we can argue that he was merely doing a job he was allowed to do, and that is not impeding democracy, is it? And when we see: “We are funded by workers through their trade unions and small donations, averaging just £22 in the last general election“, how much support did you give the people who voted for UK Labour without a donation? And when we see the Washington Post give us: “Data shows that an overwhelming majority of Africans believe that democracy remains the best form of government“, I might not disagree with that, yet the issue is not agreeing and disagreeing, it is the deceptive model of awareness creation that big business allows for when they buy the identities on Facebook by millions and target them with political advertisement. Even as Senators like Ron Wyden are calling to ban that, he knows he is fighting a lost war. Also, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he is watching proven CIA tactics being deployed via Facebook and he knows how efficient those can be, it is a game only the rich can play. He even hides behind “I’d rather have them do it voluntarily than requiring a law“, because there is no way that they can pass that law in time and even then there will be a dozen loopholes to circumvent the law passed via the first amendment.

It is all due to the marketing we allowed from the very beginning. there was no stop to the media, the hold on awareness versus deceptive is sketchy at best and now that there is a whole slew of iterations coming forward we see more and more deceptive conduct, yet nothing is done, there are attempts, but they are feeble at best. That evidence is seen when we consider Engineer.ai and its founder & CEO, Sachin Dev Duggal. We see the news in the Wall Street Journal as well as the Verge, yet less than 3 days ago that person won the Serial Entrepreneur award, so it seems that the players are all OK with deceptive conduct. Yet I remain optimistic, I merely have to wait to see this blow up in the faces of those sales driven CEO’s and VP’s to see that their failure gave them months of reprieve and every documented event merely sets the stage for my IP in a much more powerful way.

We need to consider that when it comes to creating awareness, the media is still accountable to shareholders, stake holders and advertisers, as such there are a lot of issues in the IT field, personally in light of recent events the do’s and don’ts of Sachin Dev Duggal take the cake. Don’t take my word for it, merely look at the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/ai-startup-boom-raises-questions-of-exaggerated-tech-savvy-11565775004) and consider how the award two days later was still handed to Sachin Dev Duggal. Even as the man ‘hides’ behind ‘human-assisted AI‘, and when we look at the quote: “it uses artificial-intelligence technology to largely automate the development of mobile apps, but several current and former employees say the company exaggerates its AI capabilities to attract customers and investors“, we need to ask a whole range of questions, none of those are found anywhere. I am not raining on the man’s parade, but clearly no one else is either. I wonder how many righteous participators at that entrepreneurial award feel left out in the cold, a fair question if I say so.

I merely look at the marketing part of it all, when I look into the direct impact, that some marketing hypes are giving us, I tend to wonder if the need was really awareness, or confusion that was behind the creation of the hype. It is sad but that is more and more often the need to wonder when any form of media gets involved.

It is a sad evolution in the age of information as it has been for some time now.

 

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A little pain to Huawei

Yes, there is finally a moment where we need to ask Huawei questions. Bloomberg reported (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-30/vodafone-found-hidden-backdoors-in-huawei-equipment) that backdoors have been found. More accurately: “Vodafone asked Huawei to remove backdoors in home internet routers in 2011 and received assurances from the supplier that the issues were fixed, but further testing revealed that the security vulnerabilities remained, the documents show“, yet knowing the track record of Vodafone, that is not the whole story. Is there an issue? Seemingly not, as the headline gives us: ‘While the carrier says the issues found in 2011 and 2012 were resolved at the time‘, so an issue found 7 years ago was resolved at the time. Is that issue there now? Bloomberg does not really give us that do they? It gets to be a larger issue of what is seemingly called reporting when we see the ZDNet report from 2017 (5 years after the Bloomberg reported issue: “Thousands of routers, many of which belong to AT&T U-verse customers, can be easily and remotely hacked through several critical security vulnerabilities“. that as well as: “Among the vulnerabilities are hardcoded credentials, which can allow “root” remote access to an affected device, giving an attacker full control over the router. An attacker can connect to an affected router and log-in with a publicly-disclosed username and password, granting access to the modem’s menu-driven shell. An attacker can view and change the Wi-Fi router name and password, and alter the network’s setup, such as rerouting internet traffic to a malicious server“, these are much larger issues and were they resolved? We would think yes, but the article did not give us that. They did give us: “The report said Arris NVG589 and NVG599 modems with the latest 9.2.2 firmware are affected, but it’s not clear who’s responsible for the bugs“. The small fact that this constituted 5 flaws as well as a reported statement of: ‘the vulnerabilities are not limited to the hard-coded credentials flaw‘ give rise to a whole range of issues. So even as we might think that this one flaw is a stitch in the high regard for Huawei, the fact that an American solution has well over 500% the amount of vulnerabilities and as stated on several levels give rise to the reliability of Huawei. Moreover, the length of the issue is also a given at times as well as the need for better 5G equipment. Yet in all this, how much actual damage has either caused, Bloomberg was willing not to disclose that either. Yet Huawei is not out of the woods yet. The article gives us ‘further testing revealed that the security vulnerabilities remained, the documents show‘ and that is indeed a larger problem, yet these documents were from 2012, when was it actually resolved? The fact that we do not see that it was never ‘not resolved’ implies that it was, in addition, the 2012 issues in Italy were resolved that year. Then there is the quote ‘it couldn’t find evidence of historical vulnerabilities in routers or broadband network gateways beyond Italy‘ making it a localised temporary issue.

In all this Huawei has an issue to deal with and even as we see the lack of comparison flaws (I added the AT&T issue so you can be aware), the unbalanced reporting, as well as the clarity that there is to some extent an issue remains. The fact that the huge AT&T disaster was never called to answer questions might be equally a consideration to make. All computers and most software have bugs and security flaws. When I looked this morning, I found a list of 845 vulnerabilities in Windows 10, some of them critical. So when we compare these issues, we should consider that your Huawei router is not the largest problem and that is merely the beginning of the issue. Historically speaking, from 1999 we see that Windows have had 113,811 vulnerabilities; 4911 vulnerabilities regarding the ability to gain privileges, 10377 on getting information and 6001 on bypassing options. So in all we need to consider that your choice of Windows is a much bigger concern than your Router is, if the Chinese government wants to get access to your data they merely need to wait for you to switch on your windows machine, there are plenty of options to get to the stuff no matter which router you buy and if you got the Arris NVG589 or NVG599 modem it would have seemingly been easy as pie to just copy whatever you had, so in the end can you see that the entire Huawei mess is merely an American mess to project the notion that you should not buy Chinese, but consider the optionally more flawed American solutions?

And whilst I got to AT&T, the news (three days ago) was ‘AT&T claims title as first U.S. carrier to hit 2Gbps on 5G network‘, yet when we consider the quote by VentureBeat: “It’s great in the abstract that some businesses in Atlanta may be able to get 2Gbps speeds on a 5G device regular consumers can’t buy. But what really matters is the actual speed normal 5G users across multiple cities will see on actual consumer devices. Verizon has provided a sub-1Gbps sense of what to expect, but AT&T hasn’t.

We see that what is regarded as reliable in America is a bit of a stretch at some point, for the most I was most disappointed with is the fact that the Bloomberg article should be regarded as an attack on Huawei whilst there is no comparison given as to how that flaw related to the flaws others had, more important the fact that there were larger flaws from others much more recent is a missed part. Still Bloomberg did raise a really valid point on a flaw that Huawei seemingly has, with the perception that the news could have been given in 450 words, the rest was a lot of smoke around an issue that dwarves against some of the other issues, issues where there is actual fire, not merely smoke.

But that is merely my $0.02 on the situation.

 

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Paul Simon song appplication

I grew up in the 70’s, actually I started to grow up a lot longer before that, but the 70’s were sweet. It was about music and creativity so without even knowing the years flew by, they were quality years. Things were in a good place for nearly everyone and I looked around on all the wonders that were there to behold. In that time we all knew Simon and Garfunkel and soon thereafter we knew the songs of Paul Simon. The album showed, still a young sprout at that time, dressed in jeans with shirt and hat, an alternative Indiana Jones, who would actually not show for another 6 years, so Paul Simon became a trendsetter too.

In this we take a look at some of the tracks and the impact that their 2018 remastered editions hold.

  1. Still Failing After All These Years

Yes, it is everyone’s favourite piñata of technology. It’s about IBM, who reportedly gives us ‘the 5 percent revenue growth in its latest quarter came from the 10 percent decline in the value of the US dollar‘, which sounds nice, but is IBM not that growing behemoth tailoring Watson, left, right, and south of the border? Well, it seems that this is merely a side play to what the insiders call “we are all familiar with IBM’s strategy to shift sales from traditional low-margin businesses to what it calls “strategic imperatives”, such as cloud services, AI, security, blockchain and quantum computing. However, this is not a separate division, and IBM does not break out the numbers. It claimed that SI revenues were up by 15 percent, or by 10 percent at constant currency. That isn’t impressive in a booming market” (source: ZDNET). I personally think that the further you are away from ‘isn’t impressive’ the better you look, you see, the part not shown here is the one that End Gadget gave us. that is seen with the title ‘IBM’s Watson reportedly created unsafe cancer treatment plans‘, with the additional quote “the AI is still far from perfect: according to internal documents reviewed by health-oriented news publication Stat, some medical experts working with IBM on its Watson for Oncology system found “multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations”. In one particular case, a 65-year-old man was prescribed a drug that could lead to “severe or fatal haemorrhage” even though he was already suffering from severe bleeding“. Now, we can understand that a system like that will falter at times. Yet the setting could have been presented when the people behind Watson would have taken the knowledge of IT experts that have known since the early 80’s that the application of the GIGO law must always be checked for. The GIGO law, or as it is stated the ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out Law‘ has been available for the sceptical mind for well over three decades.

This is not me in some anti-AI mind. I think that AI can do great things, yet to look at cancer treatment recommendations when the medical world still have to figure out plenty towards cancer in the first place also implies that there will be plenty of untested situations there (and many more unknown elements); so IBM bit of a lot more than they could chew. Now if they hire Rob Becket as a spokesperson, then there is at least the chance that the biting part is taken part of, digesting the amounts of data will be up to IBM, some things they will just have to learn for themselves.

 

  1. My Little Town

Issue skipped as it has religious elements that will set political correctness in an unbalanced nature.

  1. I Do It for Your Love

It might have been a topic, yet with well over 40% getting divorced, I would be required to give an unfaithful setting towards the forecasting of trends, which is where Watson comes into play again and that system will make the wrong anticipation, just like chocolate shoes is likely to have on one of the parties in any marital contract. If that would not have been an issue, we see a long term setting of statistical outliers where any AI and the population at large will reject the setting of the song.

  1. 50 Ways to Irradiate Your Lover

There is a topic we can sing about. We have all seen the setting where the lovers left had to resort to revenge porn to get their jollies up. In all this we see that tinker, tailor, soldier and spy are all involved, the soldier is sued, a major from Fort Bragg. I knew the people there, in many cases not really the most intelligent bunch to say the least, but that does not excuse, ignorance is no defence as any law student might know. So even as Adam Matthew Clark is seemingly involved with an army gynaecologist named Kimberly Rae Barrett, so basically he replaced his porn needs with a woman who knows how to squeeze the tomatoes and knows where they are. In the setting it is still part of that well known 40% and in this we see that the laws have been updated. Tumblr has updated the settings with the mention that explicitly ban hate speech, glorifying violence, and revenge porn will be cast out. No one states that this is a bad idea, yet the setting is that 9/11 this year will be the first day that all that is no longer allowed, so how will that go over?

All great songs and the fact that this album jumped into my mind made perfect sense. In a time when we were all set upon the optional wonders that the world had to bring, we are now set into payback, PayPal, revenge and misstated intentional miscommunications.

It is a setting that tends to be devastating to the creative mind. Not merely a concept, it is a book by Margaret Boden. A part matters in all this, because we see that the Creative mind is more than just a search towards the within. It is also the place where we can surpass ourselves.

Drawing on examples ranging from chaos theory to Coleridge’s theory of imagination; using the idea that creativity involves the exploration of conceptual spaces in people’s minds, we see a description of these spaces and ways of producing new ones. In the setting it is a perpetual engine never stopping, feeding itself iteration after iteration until something completely new is found and that too gets digested by the mind, it curiosity flags require it to do so. So when we consider that the creativity requires a much different handle, we can state the obvious and call Watson to some extent a failure, that is until the medical setting is given the question on constipation, when Watson MD stops for 60 seconds and states ‘It is not out yet!‘, that will be the first victory for IBM, because when the system can set dimensionality past the clinical application of text, only then will it look in directions the creative mind would have considered to find the equation of nature, at that point will it become the path to a victory and that is where their spokesperson (Rob Beckett) really goes to town. when his teeth produces the dam to the water inlet of the New Bong Hydroelectric Power Complex in Pakistan, when the IBM software gets to contemplate water shortage and drought, that will be the victory that IBM needs, it seems to consider the wrong flags in the wrong places and what to do when there is no water is a first step in properly solving the issues. That was seen when the IBM users were confronted with ‘SHUTDOWN -F MAY REBOOT INSTEAD OF HALT‘, so when you restart a power plant, when there is no juice to start, it seems that this is not a biggie, it merely melts a few parts, now consider that the setting is not merely a water plant, but the setting is ‘USERS AFFECTED: All IBM Maximo for Nuclear Power users‘ and we are confronted with “NUC7510-SQL ERROR WHEN FILTERING IN ROUNDS TAB (DUTY STATION (NUC)) ON THE NEW READING DUE DATE FIELD“, now also consider that this is directly linked to: “Maximo for Nuclear Power provides enterprises with best practices for managing all types of nuclear equipment, tracking regulatory requirements, and enhancing operational and work management practices“, is it still merely an academic exercise for you? You see, the basic error is that too many people are developers relaying on black and white truths, they consider the true and the false setting of a flag and nine out of 10 they forget about the null setting of that same flag meaning that essential steps were not properly set, a basic error that everyone (no exception) gets to be confronted with, now also realise that Watson is merely a developed system that is large enough to forget settings because a few thousand flags were wrongfully set (actually unintentional mind you), so when the setting is a stage that is not a cancer treatment, but a nuclear power facility that is AI driven (the wet sexual fantasy of too many IBM board members) then we get a real problem, because it is not the 1000 test scenario’s it is the one we did not consider through natures spasms that gets into the wires and at that point we all go nuts and not merely because of the fallout. So when we are confronted with the settings of mere truths and we add last year’s news “AREVA NP has joined forces with IBM’s Watson IoT advanced analytics platform. This partnership helps utilities implement big data solutions for the nuclear industry. Utilities can use this integrated data intelligence to predict the when, where and why of component operations and performance, as well as the consequences of component issues“, with a false treatment one person bites the dust, what do you think happens when they get it wrong in an operational nuclear power plant? It might have merely three sections, but those sections have a little over 706,329 parts (a really rough estimation) and not all are monitored. Even as I designed a way to meltdown an Iranian nuclear power plant from within without having to go into any control room, I can also tell you that Watson will not be ready for that eventuality. So at that point, when it can be done to any power plant, how dangerous is the setting when we see that those with knowledge are seeing that Watson made critical errors that was given with ‘In one particular case, a 65-year-old man was prescribed a drug that could lead to “severe or fatal haemorrhage” even though he was already suffering from severe bleeding‘, a basic danger not covered by the system, what else might have gone wrong that the doctors did not anticipate? That can happen under any condition to no flaw to the physician in any way. I think that IBM is punching the envelope (not pushing it) to seem more astronomical in their approach. The most basic of marketing flaws in an age where marketing wold never be held accountable. So when you see Chernobyl (CA) USA, and IBM marketing states ‘Not my problem‘, how will you feel (besides irradiated that is)?

Yet there is an upside in all this, because the: ‘Comic Book Authorities’ tell us that glowing in the dark improves road safety for pedestrians at night

Sometimes an old song leads to a new song that shows and teaches us that creativity is more than finding new paths; it is the knowledge that adjusting and evolving old paths that are equally rewarding in many ways.

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Overpricing or Segregation?

What is enough in a PC? That is the question many have asked in the past. Some state that for gaming you need the max hardware possible; for those using a word processor, a spreadsheet, email and browse the internet, the minimum often suffices.

I have been in the middle of that equation for a long time; I was for well over a decade in the high end of it, as gaming was my life. Yet, the realisation became more and more that high end gaming is a game for those with high paying jobs was a reality we all had to face. Now we see the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Xp 12GB GDDR5X Video Card at $1950, whilst we can do 4K gaming and that one card is a 4K 65″ TV with either the Xbox X or the PS4 pro. Now consider that this is merely the graphics card and that the high end PC requires an additional $2K that is where the PC with 4K gaming requires 4 thousand dollars. It is a little stretch, because you can get there with a little less, but then also the less requires the hardware to be replaced quicker. So I moved to console gaming and I never regretted it. We all agree that I have lost out, but I can live with that. I can truly enjoy gaming without the price. So in this situation, can someone explain to me how the new iMac Pro will cost you in its maximum setting $20,743? Is there any justification to need such an overpowered device? I reckon that those into professional video editing might need it, but when we consider those 43 people in Australia (on that high level) who else does it benefit?

In comparison, a maximised Mac Pro costs you $11,617, so it is almost 50% cheaper. Now the comparison is not fair because the iMac Pro has an optional 4TB SSD drive, and that is not a cheap item, but the issue is that the overpowering of hardware might seem cool and nice, but let’s be fair, when we compare this through MS Word, we see the issue. The bulk of all people will never use more than 20% of that text editor, which is a reality we face yet at $200 we do not care, take the price a hundred fold, with $20,000 in the balance it adds up and even as MS Word has one version the computers do have options, and a lesser option is available, in this, that new iMac Pro is in minimum configuration $7K and at twice the price of a 4K gaming machine, with no real option for gaming, is that not a system that is over the top?

Now, some might think it is, some will state it is not and it is really in the eyes of the beholder. Yet in this day and age, when we have been thrusted into a stage where mobiles and most computer environments are set to a 2-4 year stage at best, how should we see the iMac pro? In addition, where the base model of the pro is 100% more expensive than the upgraded iMac 27″, is there a level of disjointed presentation?

Well, some do not think in that way and they are right to see it as such. One source (ZDNet) gives us: “The iMac Pro is aimed at professionals working with video (a lot of video), those into VR, 3D modeling, simulations, animation, audio engineers and such“, a view I wholeheartedly agree with, yet that view and that image has not been given when we see the marketing, the Apple site and even the apple stores. Now, first off, the apple stores have not been misleading, most have kept to some strict version of ‘party line’ and that is not a wrong stance. Also the view that ZDNet gives us at the end is spot on. With “It’s Mac for the 1 percent of Mac users, not the 99 percent. For the 99 percent, yes, the iMac Pro is overpriced and just throwing away money, but for the 1 percent who need the sort of power that a system like that can generate, it’s very reasonably priced” and that is where we see the issue, Mac is now segregating the markets trying to get the elite back into the Mac fold. Their timing is impeccable. Microsoft made a mess of things and with the gaming industry in the chaotic view of hardware the PC industry has become a mess. It moved towards the gamers who now represent $100 billion plus already we see that others went on the games routine whilst to some extent ignoring the high end graphical industry. It is something that I have heard a few times and to be honest, I ignored it. I grew there whilst being completely aware of all the hardware, which was 15-25 years ago. The graphical hardware market grew close to 1000%, so when I needed to dig into the PC hardware for another reason, I was amazed just how much there was and how affordable some stuff was, but in the highest gaming tier, the one tier where the gamer and high end video editing need overlaps, we see a lag, because selling to 99 gamers and one video editor means that most will not give a toss about the one video editor. Most will know what they need, but that market is not well managed. Issues like video drivers and Photoshop CC 2017 against Windows 10 are just a few of the dozens upon dozens of issues that seems to plague these users. Important is that this is not just some Adobe issue; it seems that the issues are still in a stage of flux. With “Microsoft warned that the April 2017 security update package has a known issue that could affect users’ computers and which the company is seeking to fix” a few months ago, we are starting to see more and more that Windows forgot that its core was not merely the gamer, it was an elite user group that it had slowly snagged away from Apple and now Apple is striking back in the best way possible, by giving them that niche again, by pushing these people with money away, they might soon see that the cutting edge Azure targets for high end graphic applications become a pool of enjoyment for the core Microsoft Office users. A market that they are targeting just as Apple gets its ducks in a row and snatches that population away from them.

That is indeed a clever move, because that was the market that made Apple great in the first place. So as we read on how Azure is aiming for the ArcGIS Pro population, we see that Apple has them outgunned and outclassed and not by a small amount either. Here the iMac Pro could be the difference between real time prototyping and anticipated results awaiting aggregation. That would instantly make the difference between a shoddy $5K-$8K gaming system used for data and the iMac Pro at $20K that can crunch data like a famished piranha, you can wait and watch those results become reality before you finish your first coffee.

In addition, as soon as Apple makes the second step we will see them getting a decent chunk out of the Business Intelligence, forecasting and even the Enterprise sized dash boarding market, because with 18 cores, you can do it all at the same time. This is not the first, not the second and not even the third case where Microsoft dropped the ball. They went wide, and forgot about the core business needs (or so you would think). Yet, the question remains how many can or are willing to pay the $20K question, even as we know that there are options in the $8K and $13K setting in that same device, because there is room for change between 8 and 18 cores. It seems that for a lot the system is overpriced, we can all agree on that, but for those who are in the segregated markets, it is not about a new player, it is more that the windows driven PC market, they just lost a massively sized niche, it is the price we pay for catering to the largest denominator, the question then becomes: ‘Can Microsoft and will it hit back?

Time will tell, what is the case is that the waiting is over and 2018 could potentially see a massive shift of high end users towards Apple, a change we have not seen for the longest of times, I wish them well, because in the end many average users will benefit from such a shift as well, because in confusion there is profit and Microsoft is optionally becoming one of the larger confused places in 2018.

So why should I care?

Apple started something that will soon be copied by A-brands like ASUS. It will remain a PC, but they now see that the high end users they do have, they want to keep it. This makes it almost exactly 20 years after I learned this lesson the hard way. There was a Dutch sales shop who had a special deal, the deal was the Apple Performa, maxed (as far as that was possible) for almost $2750, I was happy as hell. My apple (My first 100% owned by my own self) and I had a great time. I never regretted buying it, but there was a snatch, 3 months later that same shop had the Power-Mac on special, the difference was well over 300%, the difference $1000 (a lot in those days), but still 300% more power and new software that would no longer support the Performa system and older models, a system outdated before the warranty ran out. We are about to see a similar shift. We know multi-core systems, they have been around for a while, yet the shift is larger, so as we see new technologies, new solutions pushed on us whilst the actual current solutions as still broken to some extent, we will be pushed into a choice, will we follow the core or fall behind? Even as we see the marketing babble now on how it is upper tier, merely for the 1% and we feel to be in agreement (for now) we see a first wave of segregation. As the followers will emphasise on the high end computers, we will see a new wave of segregation.

And? So what? I do not want to pay too much!

This is the valid response for many players, for many users, they do not have the needs IT people have, many merely see the need they have now and that is not wrong, not in this life as the economy is not coming back the way it needs to be. Yet two elements are taking over, the first is Microsoft, we can’t get around them for the most and as e-commerce and corporate industry is moving, shows to be both their option and their flaw. As we see more push where 90% of the Fortune 500 is now stated to be on the Microsoft cloud, we see the need for multi-core systems more and more. Even as some might remember the quote form early 2017 “Find out why it’s the most complete #cloud solution“, the rest is only now catching on that the Azure cloud is dangerous in several ways. Chip Childers, the fearless leader of the Cloud Foundry Foundation gives us “We are shifting to a “cloud-first” world more and more. Even with private data centres, the use of cloud technologies is changing how we think about infrastructure, application platforms and software development“, yet the danger is also there yet not mentioned. This danger is slowly pushed onto us through the change that the US gave yesterday. As Net Neutrality is being abolished, there is a real danger that certain blocks could grow on a global scale. So as we see trillions in market value shift, how long until other players will set up barriers and set minimum business needs and cater to them above all others?

Core Cloud Solutions become a danger, because it forces the contemplation that it is no longer about bandwidth and strength of your internet connection, the high end of business is moving back to the Mainframe standards that existed strongly before the 90’s started. It will be about CPU Time Used. So at that point it is not about the amount of data, but the reception of CPU channels, as such the user with a multi core system will have a massive advantage, and the rest is segregated back towards second level, decreased options. It does not change consumer use of places like Netflix, but when you require the power of your value to be in Azure, the multicore systems are the key to enable you and disable connection huggers and non-revenue connected users, consumers at a price for limited access.

This is the future we push for; it is not created by or instigated by Apple. It merely sees what will be needed in 4 years when 5G is the foundation of our lives. I saw part of this as I designed part of a solution that will solve the NHS issues in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, but I was slow to see that the lesson I was handed the hard way in 1997 is also around the corner. As Netflix and others (Google in part) is regressing towards the mean in some of their services and options that they will offer the global audience at large. The outliers (Google, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and SAP) will soon be facilitators to the Expression Dataset of the next model of usage that comes. There will be a shift and it will go on until 2022, as 5G will enable some players like NTT Data and Tata Communications to get an elevated seat, perhaps even a seat at that very table.

They will decide over the coming years that there is a shift and as people decide the level of access that they are getting they will soon learn that they are not merely deciding for themselves, because the earlier their children get full access, the more options they will get beyond their tertiary education. Soon we will learn that access is almost everything, but we will not learn that lesson the way we thought we would. Even I have no idea how this will play out, but such a shift beyond the iteration IT world we see now is exciting beyond belief. I hope I will end up being part of that world, I have been part of the IT/BI Industry since 1980 and I am about to see a new universe of skills unfold before my very eyes. I wonder how far I am able to get into that part, because these players will all need facilitation of services and most of them have been commission driven for too long, meaning that they are already falling behind.

What a world we are about to need to live in!

 

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The line of privacy

I have a decent grasp on privacy. I tend to give it to others as much as possible, moreover as I on average do not really care about their private lives. This sounds harsh, but consider the facts. When the person isn’t family, or directly connected to you, how much do you actually care? Some people do care to know everything, but that is another matter entirely. So when ZDNET and a few others published ‘61 agencies after warrantless access to Australian telecommunications metadata‘, I was initially in that mood of, ‘oh yea, whatever!’ You see, when I see names like ‘Australian Financial Security Authority’, I reckon financial planners will get jumpy, but is that about possible ‘dubious’ choices, or their need for privacy? You see, one implies the element of a transgression, as such it becomes debatable whether those actions are to be lauded with non-access.

With a player like Clean Energy Regulator we see an industrial access need, and I very much doubt whether they are interested in individuals. But what happens when we see that groups like Bankstown City Council, Racing Queensland, Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (VIC) and the National Measurement Institute, I start having questions (especially regarding levels of sanity).

Let’s consider the access: “warrantless access two years’ worth of customers’ call records, location information, IP addresses, billing information, and other data stored by Telco’s“.

Now, I will be the last one to questions access by ‘valid’ organisations and even looking that the ‘alphabetical’ list the locations of the redacted names does not seem to include ASIO and ASIS, who have a clear need for that access, but can anyone explain why Bankstown City Council needs that access? In that same line we can add both Racing Queensland and the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (VIC). If there is an investigation, it should go via the police of the correct channels. I see zero, I say again, zero reason to give those three access. Before we know it, we see Waverly City Council and perhaps even Chatswood City Council. How long then until all that data becomes available ‘for a special price’?

There are a few others on that list that require scrutiny. Do you really think that industrial transgressors wanted by the Department of the Environment will use their own phones? How much wasted man-years will we face as those untrained individuals try to make sense of 23,644 burner phones, which is just Sydney. In all this it seems to me that those requiring access will after that have an issue with processing data, which means more software, more failed levels of security and even more data transgressions. This must be the heaven that Rupert Murdoch dreams of. Data all accessible behind a server guarded with the admin password ‘qwerty’ or perhaps even ‘password’.

Yes, there is a massive issue here and the magazines including ZDNET (at http://www.zdnet.com/article/61-agencies-after-warrantless-access-to-australian-telecommunications-metadata/) mention the names (minus the redacted ones), we see the additional quote “Of the agencies and departments given access to existing information or documents to enforce a criminal law over the 12-month period, and not included on either list released by AGD, or known to be an enforcement agency already“, we now see names like RSPCA Tasmania and The Hills Shire Council, when we look at one of the websites (http://www.rspcatas.org.au/ for example).

We see in the about section: “The RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the voice for the animals of Australia. We defend their dignity and fight to stop cruelty. We offer shelter, education, medical attention and love. We are animal protectors, carers and guardians. We bring solace to abandoned, surrendered and injured. We prosecute those who would harm them. And we fight for the humane treatment of all living things. Our job does not stop at animals. We believe behind every animal is a human being who is in need of guidance, encouragement and help“, which is a nice fluffy and caring text. Nothing wrong there. So explain to me, how a place like that has a decent level of cyber security, with in their office pool an IT person with CCSP certification or higher and a few other skills. You see, when these skills are absent your data will be up for grabs. Perhaps that is outsourced, meaning that additional people have access to all that data, have those places been properly vetted? So on an island of 515,000 we see this level of personal data access requirements? My initial follow up questions would than become, of all those funds required from the donations, how much ends up going to animals?

In the case of the Hills Shire Council we can have a lot more fun, their community profile (at http://profile.id.com.au/the-hills/population) gives us “The Census population of The Hills Shire in 2011 was 169,873, living in 57,205 dwellings“, why for the love of whatever is holy (or named Cthulhu) would THEY need that level of access to data?

In my view we should start asking a few questions regarding the mental health of whomever gave that level of access. I am guessing that this was Attorney General, George Brandis, which basically gets confirmed in the Guardian Article (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/18/dozens-of-agencies-want-warrantless-access-to-australians-metadata-again). As we see the quote “the government narrowed the definition of an “enforcement agency” that was eligible to access telecommunications data to a shortlist of law enforcement agencies, including the Australian federal police and state and territory police forces“, my initial thought was ‘that makes perfect sense’, yet in that light, how the flipping Divine Comedies did RSPCA Tasmania make that list?

The Guardian in light of all this ends with a comical quote “This method was taken to allow the Australian Border Force to gain access to telecommunications data without needing to gain approval from the Attorney General’s Department or the intelligence committee“, which is interesting as this implies that the Australian Border Force has less access than RSPCA Tasmania, which would make perfect sense if you are a golden retriever.

So apart of the access and the lack of insight here, has anyone considered how that data is to be read, analysed and processed? In addition, when we consider the access level of applications, the support and very likely (read: extremely likely) the levels of consultancy needed, what else is missing what will this cost the taxpayers in the end? I can tell you now that such solutions are not cheap, not easily implemented and did I mention the security needed for keeping that data safe? Even if this all goes through clouds and remote access, how long until a volunteer looking after cats will leave that password accidently out in the open, or even worse leave that system logged in and unattended?

As stated, I would never object to the actual law-enforcement agencies to get that access, but it seems to me that too large a group on that list is nowhere near that level and even (read: especially) when we consider groups like Greyhound Racing Victoria, why are they not going through police channels?

I see both articles and no one seems to be asking the questions that need to be asked. Questions that had to be asked extremely loud and very nearby after a mere 30 seconds of reading those articles. By the way, when reading the ZDNET article, it is the article that follows that is cause for even more questions.

One of the quotes is ‘the Many Layers and Tools of Digital Collaboration Today‘, which is nice when it is a mere graph of generic data. In that we might not care, but in the issue of ‘call records, location information, IP addresses, billing information, and other data stored by Telco’s‘, which includes all your personal data. Consider the following quotes “employees and departments are helping themselves to the tools they believe they really need. At the same time, companies are steadily dealing with what is now too many categories of communication and collaboration software to adequately manage and govern, much less individual apps” and “The issue itself is perhaps best demonstrated by the rapid rise of Slack, the current darling of team chat and wildly popular with its users. In many of my recent conversations with IT managers, I find that Slack is invading the workplace on many fronts, regardless whether it’s sanctioned or not” and finally “The top categories of apps today include VOIP, Web conferencing, e-mail, unified communications, IM/chat, file shares, file sync, CMS/DMS, intranets, discussion forums, enterprise social networks, relationship management platforms (including customer-facing CRM), and last but not least, online community“.

Now remember, the second article (on the same page) is not connected to the first, but consider the cloud and the explosive growth of so called ‘tool apps’ and the utter lack of in-depth security and access checking, how many back doors are organisations creating through such tools, with access to your data? Weirdly, I would never hold a bad thought for a volunteer organisations like the RSPCA, which is exactly why they should have never ever been given access to data like that. For the mere reason that cyber security cannot viably be maintained.

Whomever boasts on the security of places like Slack is in my view decently nuts. When we see interested players like Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social+Capital, the first thing we will see fail is a pressure to release a new version and there will be the need of security patches (which is a reality), this also means that data would have been unprotected. The mere intense need for Common Cyber Sense is that boss who wants that new version, because the presentation looks cooler. Even when we ignore the issue of Slack, we still see an exponential growing app base, with access all over the place, which means danger to the data. Even when remotely accessed, even if that connection is secure, too many places get access to data they should not have access to.

When we hear people state that servers have access limitations and more of the mumbling, here is a simple word of caution, something I personally witnessed. There was a financial software program. It was a good and legitimate program. The small issue was that when the program accidently crashed, that person remained on the data server with rights of an administrator. It took them 2 weeks to figure out it was happening and another 3 weeks to repair their system. Consider something like that happening today and with the ‘upgrades’ Microsoft requires on a too regular a basis, can we even risk this level of access to the expanded group that has too limited a grasp (as I see it) on what constitutes Common Cyber Sense?

I wonder how long until we get a carefully phrased apology from certain high ranking IT elements, who will offer their resignation and walk away with a 7 figure handshake.

 

 

 

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Without even thinking

As I see it, Microsoft did not learn from the massive act of idiocy that Don Mattrick bestowed upon the Xbox One, when the quote “Microsoft’s Don Mattrick has addressed concerns about the compulsory connectivity requirements of Xbox One. ‘Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called Xbox 360,’ said Mattrick. ‘If you have zero access to the Internet, that is an offline device’”, the blowback in 2013 was massive and as such Microsoft had to take a few steps back, mainly because Microsoft had lost the trust of the people through the mere lust of data.

And now, without even thinking, Microsoft now does exactly that same thing as they rolled out Windows 10 on Xbox One. Once you have updated, you cannot play any games unless you have signed in online. A mandatory sign in! I reckon that Microsoft has now moved beyond a certain point, it is called betraying your customer base, so fuck you very much Microsoft!

Thank god there is Sony!

Without even thinking they pushed it out, forcing mandatory internet connectivity, the threat that made people jump towards Sony due to ‘the Mattrick equation’ will now assist to soar Sony’s PlayStation 4 even further. So if Phil Spencer gets a lovely bouquet from Andrew House we will all know the reason. So as this mistake was made just in time for the people of America just before Thanksgiving and for all other people before Christmas to cancel their Xbox One order and change their order to a PlayStation 4.

There will still be an issue for me; you see to keep the PlayStation competitive it needs a nemesis. If we accept that the Xbox will run dry another solution needs to be found. Perhaps Google will father a sibling next to their console and make one for true high level gaming. Perhaps it will be an upgraded Steam based reality, perhaps something truly new. They might be the only one who can replace Microsoft. I reckon that is not the only field where Microsoft will lose. As it has ‘mesmerised’ the media with a massively overpriced tabled with a soft keyboard (the Surface 3) at almost twice the price of the most powerful iPad, being at almost 400% of a Chromebook that can be stronger from the word go by inserting an $80 CF card you get the 32Gb storage the surface has (they have bigger models too), yet these CF cards can be switched in mere seconds. This is not me becoming anti-Microsoft, this is me informing the consumer that they should not take any ‘easy’ path but they should consider that alternatives should be considered. The fact that Microsoft becks out on their earlier promise, how long until they break other promises? What options will they have AFTER they paid $2293 for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3?

Yes, we cannot deny that there is still a market for Microsoft, but they are now pricing themselves out of a market by no longer being reliable, because how long until every device is forced onto the land of THEIR cloud systems and how private will your data be? Part of that was addressed by ZDNet today, the rest (the press at large) seemed to have ignored the Xbox issues. Perhaps they decided to hold out for advertiser’s funds like hungry debutants! Yes, the press is not the reliable force of true information it ones was.

ZDNET gives us another part that connects to this (at http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-updates-privacy-statement-addressing-concerns-from-critics/), stating “Microsoft recently revised its global Privacy Statement, with a few minor changes and some significant additions aimed at cooling overheated privacy concerns“. The article is for the most about the user’s privacy and it goes into lengths to do that, so if you fear your ‘privacy’ then read the article and fear no more. The article addresses it quite clearly but then stops short of dealing with the mandatory login (which was not part of the article in all fairness), which is now one step away from ending preowned gaming. An entire economy now in direct possible threat.

But back to the consoles!

The fact that this escalation has happened is also a blessing now, because as people realise before Thanksgiving that whatever Microsoft device is gifted at thanksgiving, it will be the thanksgiving present for Microsoft, not for the intended person that would be the recipient of the console, so How crazy is that?

Thank god we have Sony!

Between now and late 2016, the PS4 will have 15 titles on its sleeve that are PS4 only, some of them have been jaw dropping, as such PS4 remains the compatible system that does not demand you to be online, yet until the Achievements remain offline, that part is not too realistic. Sony has in addition kept its word throughout the PS2, PS3 and PS4 era, something that cannot be said for Microsoft as the promised backward compatibility on the 360 was not delivered on and now that it has some backwards compatibility, the issue of being forced online is a massive setback to gamers all over the world.

Thank god we have Sony!

Sony is not without flaws either, yet this level of backstabbing has never been ‘offered’ by Sony, which gives Microsoft now a massive disadvantage with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, so the gap between Sony and Microsoft could widen even further. When we consider that Sony has a 2:1 growing lead and even as the Microsoft Marketing engine is trying to flog statements like “Sony PlayStation 4 sells 22 million, but Microsoft has backward compatibility“, whilst not revealing that online presence on a daily basis is now mandatory gives food for thought and the served meal is no longer that appealing.

In all this if Xbox takes another massive hit, so much the better, they need a little humbling experience, because even though the gamers tend to be online, to be forced there is not what they signed up for and if Microsoft is breaking its word, what else will it break its word on? Pre-owned games perhaps? Because if this is where gamers are going, they will be happy to switch trains any way they can. Microsoft just didn’t realise the impact of that move, the worse for them I say!

In the end, what are the fact of life? The people do not mind being online, they mind being forced there, no matter how we feel about some marketed stream of ‘media’ like the Sydney Morning Herald (at http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/xbox-one-finally-finds-its-feet-with-backwards-compatibility-gamesfocused-dashboard-20151115-gkzq7p.html). Is it not interesting how Tim Biggs remained unaware how people MUST be online now so that they can sign in?

Thank god we have Sony!

Yet in all this, we have ignored an alternative player, perhaps they will come with a new console called ‘the Black Hole’, a device that equals the next ‘PS4+’ allows for gaming, internet and streaming. That has an interchangeable drive and can be the centre of your devices to you can synch your mobile and tablet. All things the gamer does, all this whilst he/she plays a game, by themselves or with/against friends. Connected was never the issue, it was the non-consensual part that had everyone miffed, so if you do something you truly want, yet you get there without consent, does that not equal getting screwed over?

They did that to you without even thinking and the press stayed silent how lame is that?

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