Tuesday, 17 October 2017

MY COMMENT TO 'DAILY RANT AUSTRALIA' ON HIS YOU TUBE VIDEO - 'Bitcoin is Still Just Money'

You Tube video blogger 'Daily Rant Australia" posted a good video pointing out the realities of the much hyped and touted, block chain-based crypto currency - Bitcoin.


I commented on it and Daily Rant Australia replied:-

"Thanks for the detailed response. You should make your own rant! :)"

Well, IT.Scheiss has been my text rant site since 2012, so below I share my comment to Daily Rant Australia's video blog post here (with minor edits of typos and grammar).

Anarcho-capitalists have touted Bitcoin as the alternative 'solution' to problems of the current establishment monetary system and if it exists as an independent, alternative currency within a parallel financial universe from the establishment currency system then it may serve its function as an alternative currency.

I personally have no issue with people creating and using any kind of alternative currency, even if it be Linden Dollars, marbles, pebbles or whatever.

However, once people place importance of the exchange rate of Bitcoin versus establishment currencies and speculate on it, then it no longer is an independent parallel currency but just another currency within the establishment system, just like a stock in the establishment stock market or a currency in the establishment foreign exchange market.

The anarcho-capitalists also touted Bitcoin as a means of 'salvation' of mankind which will 'free' mankind from the 'tyranny' of establishment currencies and governments. As you rightly pointed out, the current cost of owning and operating Bitcoin mining farms to mine enough Bitcoin to be profitable for the owner makes Bitcoin mining or ownership a preserve of the elite, which only helps to further widen the gap between the haves and have-nots and it does nothing to end the dominance and aggression of imperialist power such as the US and some Western European imperialist countries upon the peoples and nations of Afghanistan, the Middle-East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

All this nonsense being touted is similar the cyber-utopian fantasies and claims back in the 1990s that the Internet would 'level the playing field' by allowing a small business operating from a bedroom to compete on par with a giant corporation online, thus leading to some idealistic Utopia in which monopolies are brought down low.

Look around today at cyberspace and we see how much it has become dominated by new giant corporations - Internet giants which began as 'cute and cuddly' startups in what initially was a free market environment in which there was much competition and consumer choice but has through those very free market forces, thus resulted in the weaker players being driven out by the stronger and more successful ones until only a handful of dominant players are left standing.

These right-anarchist, libertarian, neo-liberal, cyber-utopian idiots do not know or realise the dialectical-materialist reality that free market environments by their very own laws of operation, will eventually gravitate towards monopoly, just as water left to its own devices, tends to find its way to the common denominator in the sea; unless prevented to by regulations, which these cyber-utopians so abhor and which is so anathema to their ideals.

Going back even further to the 1960s and early 1970s, countercutural utopians used to say, that if everyone smoked pot and dropped LSD, there would be 'world peace' and the 'brotherhood of mankind'. Recall the claims of societal change made by Charles Reich's in his book, The Greening of America, where when "Consciousness 3" people who were youths at the time would 'create an better and more peaceful world' when they grew older? Well much pot has been smoked and much LSD dropped since then and we are no closer to world peace and the brotherhood of mankind today. Instead wars and hatreds have intensified since then.

The problems and wrongs of our world which are the result of capitalism and imperialism cannot be ended by the establishment of alternatives within the capitalist and imperialist framework but rather the capitalist and imperialist framework must be overthrown and a new socio-political-economic system - i.e. socialism established. Anything else is just a pipe dream, very likely fostered or encourage by the capitalist/imperialist state to undermine any real solutions to the problems of capitalism and imperialism.

Thus I am suspicious of the likes of Peter Joseph and his Zeitgeist Movement which whilst he is spot on with regards the problems of capitalism, however promotes the Utopian notion that technological developments will somehow pull the proverbial rug from under the feet of the very capitalist who have financed the development of such technology and who own it, thus resulting in society somehow transitioning to a communist society without any resistance, often violent from those currently in power.

This Zeitgeist Movement looks like it is just another controlled opposition created by the capitalist and imperialists to lead albeit sincere and genuinely concerned individuals who want change into an ineffective dead end.

END

At the core of Bitcoin is a blockchain - i.e. just a digital ledger or a database of transactions maintained online by multiple parties and accessible to all authorised parties. Bitcoin has implemented its blockchain in a certain way, whilst other crypto currencies have their own implementations of blockchain technology.

However, no bank, financial institution, business enterprise of government body with any sense will want to maintain their critical data on a public blockchain, so they are looking into creating their respective private enterprise blockchains, just as many have opted to operate their own respective private cloud computing sites, rather than use a public cloud site - for reasons of security and privacy of course.


The main reason I see for organisations to maintain their own blockchain in a distributed manner is that that if the primary site goes down or closes shop, the participants still have access to a copy of a record of their transactions. This is called 'redundancy' In computing, data storage and networking terms. However, if these data centres are taken out by conventional missile strikes in times of war, electricity supply and communications infrastructure are wrecked by a massive electromagnetic pulse from massive sunspot activity or a massive earthquake breaks the submarine cables through which international Internet traffic transverses, well the whole kaboodle will come crashing down.

As for bypassing legal and financial intermediaries, that may be so in the early days but just as has happened before with websites, blogs, social media, e-commerce and so forth, but the regulatory and enforcement authorities will soon catch up and try to regulate and make illegal such attempts to bypass them.

Google's recent measures to demonetise (deny advertisements) on You Tube videos deemed to be offensive or too radical for advertisers is just one example of attempts at such control by the site owner itself and some creators of content deemed too controversial who have found themselves unable to make a living from advertisements on You Tube after demonetisation have thought that they could instead rely on crowd-funding sites such as Patreon, only to find themselves kicked off Patreon as Laura Southern did. At least Google did not kick her off You Tube but only demonetised some of her videos but Patreon went the whole hog and booted her off altogether.


Some of those content creators who complain about You Tube demonetising their videos also predict that You Tube will 'collapse' as content creators 'flee' to these other sites but this is unlikely to happen.
 
Some of them may think that they can carry on on other less known video sites such as VidMe https://vid.me/ and DTube https://dtube.video/ however do that advertisers who did not want their advertisements to be associated with their videos on You Tube will somehow be willing to have their advertisements associated with the same videos on VidMe or DTube? Highly likely not, so these content creators will still not get enough advertising revenue from their videos on these other sites.

Moreover, these video sites were not set up by some philantropist just to enable unfettered free expression online, but by startups intent on eventually making money and lost of it from their sites. They may may be ultra liberal with regards the nature of the messages conveyed via the content hosted on their respective sites in order to build up traffic to attract advertisers but once they have attracted enough traffic and are earning enough advertising revenue, they can to then dump those content creators who are a liability to their advertising revenue, just as Google, whose worldwide advertising revenue surpassed all print newspaper advertising revenue in the U.S. in 2012 and can now quite literally fart in the faces of creators of You Tube videos deemed to be too controversial in the eyes of their advertisers - who at the end of the day call the shots.


Hosting bulky content such as videos on servers in data centres and the capacity (bandwidth) of Internet connections to these sites to enable smooth streaming of the videos to multiple viewers simultaneously costs these content site owners money and like any business, they will be more interested in maintaining those content creators who are being in sufficient advertising revenue for them and whilst video hosting and streaming sites have not gone so far as to remove the accounts of creators whose content is not earning them enough advertising revenue, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually get rid of creators whom they deem to be 'deadwood' from their sites to save costs and free up more storage space and Internet connectivity capacity for the more 'productive' content creators.

These cyber-utopians have recently learned the realities of capitalism in Cyberspace the hard way, when it has turned around and bitten them, yet many continue to entertain their cyber-utopian delusions.

Perhaps they should band together to pay for a site to host their videos in a co-operative fashion, similar to what the wholly membership supported Vancouver Co-op Radio has done for the past 44 years, initially with radio broadcasts in 1974 and later also with on a website, audio & video streaming and mobile applets.



Vancouver Co-op Radio eschews advertisements and prides its independence wholly enabled by membership dues and donations.

However, it appears that such formerly organised, co-operative initiatives amongst like-minded persons, with annual general meetings and democratic election of committee members by the membership; are anathema to the atomised milieu of content creators in cyberspace, whether on the right or on the left who have this entrenched entitlement mentality of wanting to have everything handed out to them free-of-charge in cyberspace.

Most of these very same content creators condemn low income recipients of much-needed social welfare payments and affordable healthcare for having an 'entitlement mentality' for needing government aid to survive when meaningful jobs have been outsourced to low-wage countries, yet these cyber-parasites feel entitled to get, take and have everything for free online, even if it denies talented content creators, such as composers, musicians, artists, journalists and so forth their legitimate royalties or income which can sustain their livelihoods.

This is why I look down with such contempt on the Internet culture.  I have no issue with Internet technology as such but with the Internet culture.

I have worked as a journalist writing about the information and communications technology industry since September 1994 until now. One of my uncles was a journalist and so was my grandfather but looking at how media today, whether print, on the Web or digital media are struggling to survive and are grasping for increasingly scarce and elusive advertising revenue; So I would not advise any school leaver to pursue a career in journalism, since they could be out of work in their 40s, burdened with family, children, a mortgage on their homes, a car loan to pay off and perhaps part of their student loan as well.


IT.Scheiss
http://itsheiss.blogspot.my/



Wednesday, 4 October 2017

TOUTES NOS F√ČLICITATIONS - HIGH TIME MORE RESTAURANTS DO THE SAME

Congratulations to this French restaurant for taking a stand against the epidemic of socially dysfunctional people with their faces in their phones - i.e. tell them WE DON'T NEED CUSTOMERS LIKE YOU, SO GET OUT!

This restaurant sure has class and it's high time more restaurants adopt such measures to bring people together in body, mind and spirit and put an end to this IT scheiss that has gripped the world.

BTW. I make my own juices from fresh fruits and fresh vegetables using a blender.

French restaurant bans mobile phones, ketchup, Coca-Cola — RT News




Published time: 3 Oct, 2017 15:12

Ever done something so outrageous as to be kicked out of a restaurant? Use a mobile phone at Le Petit Jardin in the south of France, and you’ll see a yellow card. A second time will be enough to get you sent off. Ketchup and Coca-Cola are banned too.

The owner of the restaurant, Jean-Noël Fluery, says banning mobile phones at his place proved to be just what the doctor ordered, helping to make the atmosphere more convivial and family-friendly.

“Our system makes it possible to draw the entire restaurant to create dialogues between the tables.”

“The tradition in France is to speak during meals," the restaurateur said. But technology has been getting in the way of enjoying our lives, with mobile phones being the biggest source of trouble during a meal.

Fluery decided to fight against people’s growing addiction to phones and tablets with a twist of irony.

"We were inspired by the codes of football and, humorously, we award cards to clients who break the rules," he told Le Figaro. 

Waiters at the restaurant would blow a whistle and show a yellow card to someone caught using their phone. If a diner is caught again it will be a red card, meaning the culprit has to leave the restaurant.

“The cards and whistles are always effective," he added, as quoted by Le Figaro.
Staff have been forced to “send off” a few diners, the restaurant owner told The Local.

"Some have refused to put down their phones and said they don't like the rule and have left," he said.

“We explain the rules to them all when they come in,” he added. “People accept having to turn their phones off when they go to the cinema or the theatre so why not restaurants?”

Teens are not always happy to put away their smartphones.

“We’ve received some unpleasant comments on our Facebook page from young people who did not appreciate the ban on mobile phones and have not appreciated being shown a card in front of others.”

Fluery says he couldn’t care less.

“That’s a good publicity for the establishment!”

Alongside the mobile phones, Coca-Cola, Ketchup and Mayonnaise are on the venue’s banned list.

“We do it to promote local produce. We have good local fruit juices here that people can drink instead of Coke and we have Moutard a l'ancienne instead of Ketchup,” Fleury explained.

https://www.rt.com/news/405553-french-restaurant-bans-phones/
Tours trully

IT.Scheiss





Thursday, 21 September 2017

SET UP FLOOD SENSORS BUT DO NOTHING ABOUT THE FREQUENT FLOODING

This is a typical case of IT scheiss - ie. "IT bullshit".

Penang has been regularly affected by flash floods over the past few years, with 100 areas affected by the worst flash floods of them all due to the tail end of Typhoon Doksuri which was pretty far way over Vietnam.

The Penang state government blames the Malaysian federal government for not providing the funds to widen the storm drains and deepen the rivers in order to solve or mitigate the flooding, whilst environmentalists and other people blame the Penang state government for not doing enough to stop property developers from clearing away the forestation especially on hill slopes to make way for condo and other building projects. This is pretty evident from muddy brown water flowing down from the hills to the low land areas, as can be seen in the video and photos in Penang-based environmental activist Anil Netto below:-

http://anilnetto.com/economy/development-issues/penang-floods-price-control-irresponsible-development/

In Malaysia, land matters come under the purview of the respective state governments and some people want the Penang state government to do something to improve the drainage and also curb the clearing of greenery by the property developers.

Then on 20 September 2017, Star TV reported that the Penang Island City Council plans to set up flood sensors around the city to warn of impending floods.


https://www.thestartv.com/v/Penang%20plans%20to%20set%20up%20flood%20sensors%20next%20year

How wonderful !!! Set up a system which alerts the authorities that flooding in imminent but do nothing to prevent or at least lessen the extent and frequency of flooding.

What will the Penang Island City Council do when faced with an imminent flood - command the floods to receded, like how King Canute commanded the sea tide not to come in?

This is typical of Malaysia, whether under the Barisan Nasional or the Pakatan Harapan  (Pact of Hope),in the case of Penang - i.e. throw gee whiz information technology, including Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, cloud computing, virtualisation, associated smart phone applications, Enterprise Architecture, etc, etc, etc at real world problems but do nothing concrete on the ground to solve or mitigate the occurrence of problems.

Well, that folks, is a load of "IT scheiss"  

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was right in saying that Malaysians have a first world infrastructure but a third world mentality.

Welcome to the Information and Services Society! 

IT.SCHEISS
http://itsheiss.blogspot.my/


Friday, 8 September 2017

WE ARE HEADING TOWARDS A IT-MEDIATED DYSTOPIAN FUTURE

We are heading towards this dystopia and we can see it happening right now.

If you have dealt with helpdesk, customer support or whatever call centre agents, you will realise that they are following a standard script, with an "if, then, else" process of answers to your questions which the call centre agent must stick to, with all thinking, personal initiative and decision making denied by the system.

About two weeks ago, I banked in a cheque via a cheque deposit machine and I expected to see the sum reflected in my account balance within a few days.

When no funds appeared in my account after about a week, I called my bank's customer support call centre and asked about this payment and was informed that whilst the name of the recipient (I.E. me) written on the cheque was my full name - i.e. first-name, middle name and family name, however my alias was missing.

I then told the agent, "C'mon, I rarely use my alias and few people write my alias on cheques in my favour, so why now?"

The agent replied, "Sorry sir but the computer rejected the cheque because it did not have your alias".

By his reply, it seems that my bank has begun to scan cheques using character recognition technology, so I then told him, "A human handling clearance of the cheque would be able use their discretion to decide that I am the right person by my full name without my alias and clear the cheque, whilst your dumb computer system has more authority over human discretion".

Monday, 21 August 2017

WE NEED REALSPACE, NOT CYBER-SOLUTIONS TO TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Dear Y.B. Lim Lip Eng, Member of Parliament for Segambut,

I refer to the Free Malaysia Today and Malaysia Outlook reports about your Right Honourable asking the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate seemingly exorbitant price the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) paid for the eDrive application which interacts with the Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS), and lets users check traffic current conditions on certain roads on their Apple iPhones, iPads or Android  devices; as well as another RM198 million which the DBKL has spent over six years to maintain and rent the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and system.

Whilst I'll let the MACC reply to your questions, however what I would like elected representatives like your Right Honourable to do is to ask the relevant highway authorities or concessionaires what they have done in the medium and longer term to remedy and rectify the factors which cause such horrendous traffic congestion on our roads, especially during peak travel periods as this has been a perennial problem in the Klang Valley despite the Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) which went into operation in 2005 or 12 years ago.

According to ITS Asia Pacific,  the "Key objectives of the system are the early detection of disruptive traffic incidents and, in to collaboration with first responders, to clear the blockages so that normal traffic flows can be restored expediently. The system operates 140 variable message signboards (VMS) and a wide array of automated traffic counters to provide a real time view of the overall traffic network." ITS Asia Pacific is a regional membership-based organisation of intelligent transport system (ITS) operators from across the Asia Pacific region.

http://itsasia-pacific.com/about-its-asia-pacific/examples-of-its-deployment-by-countryarea/2005-2008-integrated-transport-information-system-malaysiati-1/

So ITIS basically provides information to the public on current traffic conditions such as congestion on certain roads in real time so they can decide to take alternative routes, delay their travel time, choose a different mode of transport such as the LRT or MRT. It also lets the authorities remotely monitor traffic conditions and for incidents and despatch first-response teams to clear blockages.

Also, according to The Star, eDrive lets users see a map that shows a 5km radius of Variable Message Sign (VMS) and CCTV view of 40 locations. Those VMS signboards are those electronic signboards mounted on gantries above the roads where ITIS operates and informs drivers especially of adverse traffic conditions ahead and its extent; whilst its Parking Guidance Information System feature lets uses remotely check the current avilability of parking at 14 malls including Suria KLCC, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Low Yat Plaza and Maju Junction.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/07/10/kl-traffic-in-the-palm-of-your-hands-twomonth-test-period-for-new-app-featuring-realtime-cctv-images/#UXXAjZjL2Yw1WSvH.99

I have been writing about the information and communications technology industry (ICT) industry since September 1994, including about eleven and a half years with The Star and I recall having written some articles in which I mentioned ITIS even before it was launched.

I live in Petaling Jaya, close to the horrendously congested Federal Highway and my work required me to travel to venues within the Golden Triangle and where they are not near the LRT line, I had to drive and endure the horrendous traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur on my return, especially if it was after 5 pm and oftentimes I looked up at the ITIS signboard and wondered what is the point of it telling me that the road I am on is congested, when I am in the thick of it and already know only too well that it is congested; especially when this is the same story, year after year, with no end in sight, even until today, and also horrendously congested until today, is the main road in front of The Star, Eastin Hotel, Phileo Damansara I and II.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

SIX DAYS OFF WHATSAPP

I was last on WhatsApp last Sunday and plan to not turn on the WiFi on the phone until tomorrow (Sunday) at least, if not later and without WiFi, the phone won't receive WhatsApp.

Life's great without WhatsApp.

IT.SCHEISS

Friday, 18 August 2017

54,103 GRADUATES UNEMPLOYED SIX MONTHS AFTER GRADUATION - WELCOME TO THE INFORMATION AND SERVICES ECONOMY!

The large number of unemployed university and college graduates has been a perennial problem in Malaysia and also worldwide, especially in the developed countries which hollowed out their manufacturing industries by outsourcing manufacturing work to lower wage countries, whilst paperback writers who sold many books and earned lots of money from speaking engagements which many bums in seats paid plenty to hear their 'words of wisdom' as if they were Moses, descendeth from the mountain, tablets in hand.

So the economic sun set on those countries from which 'sunset' industries departed, whilst the sun rises in those countries to which these 'sunset' industries went, just as when the sun is 'setting' somewhere on planet Earth, it is rising on the other side of our planet.

Well actually, the sun never sets on planet Earth. If it did, we'll all freeze to death.

The latest horror story is that Malaysia has 54,103 unemployed university and college graduates as per the first article below and the solution proposed by an Australian recruitment company in the second article following it is more or less for these graduates to keep running like hamsters on a treadmill, learning and re-learning stuff which will be obsolete in no time in order  to remain 'relevant' in our economy which aspires to be a 'knowledge-based, information economy' as we 'move up the value chain' above the 'lowly' agricultural and manufacturing industries which were solid foundations of the Malaysian economy and still are in fact.

I bumped into the former human resources manager at the company I used to work for a couple of months back and he told me that he now provides human resource consultancy to a rather obscure private university college nearby and I jovially told him - "So, you are working for a graduate factory" and he replied, "Yes, we are churning them out by the hundreds". No wonder there are so many unemployed graduates.