Monday, 23 June 2014

Good! And I'd love to buy a PC with the Baikal processor

Russia wants to replace US computer chips with local processors
Economy June 19, 16:44 UTC+4

US microchips Intel and AMD will be replaced by domestically-produced micro processor Baikal in a project worth dozens of millions of dollars

MOSCOW, June 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry plans to replace US microchips Intel and AMD, used in government’s computers, with domestically-produced micro processor Baikal in a project worth dozens of millions of dollars, business daily Kommersant reported Thursday.

The Baikal micro processor will be designed by a unit of T-Platforms, a producer of supercomputers, next year, with support from state defense conglomerate Rostec and co-financing by state-run technological giant Rosnano.

The first products will be Baikal M and M/S chips, designed on the basis of 64-bit nucleus Cortex A-57 made by UK company ARM, with frequency of 2 gigahertz for personal computers and micro servers.

The Baikal chips will be installed on computers of government bodies and in state-run firms, which purchase some 700,000 personal computers annually worth $500 million and 300,000 servers worth $800 million. The total volume of the market amounts to about 5 million devices worth $3.5 billion.

The Activist Post continues:-


In addition to the obvious financial benefits for Russia of locally manufacturing processors, there are several other dimensions within which the move will be beneficial, including in terms of national security.

Long has it been reported that US-manufactured processors may have vulnerabilities engineered into them, at the request of US intelligence agencies including the National Security Agency (NSA).

Australia's Financial Review revealed in 2013 in an article titled, "Intel chips could let US spies inside: expert," that:
One of Silicon Valley’s most respected technology experts, Steve Blank, says he would be “surprised” if the US National Security Agency was not embedding “back doors” inside chips produced by Intel and AMD, two of the world’s largest semiconductor firms, giving them the possibility to access and control machines.
The claims come after The ­Australian Financial Review revealed that computers made by Chinese firm Lenovo are banned from the “secret” and “top secret” ­networks of the intelligence and defence services of Australia, the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand because of concerns they are vulnerable to being hacked.
Internationally renowned security research engineer Jonathan Brossard, who unveiled what Forbes described as an “undetectable and incurable” permanent back door at last year’s prestigious Black Hat conference, told the Financial Review that he had independently concluded that CPU back doors are “attractive attack vectors”.
If correct, the allegations would raise the stakes in a growing cyber cold war, and fuel claims that US snooping leaves the Chinese in the shade.
The move by Russia would help protect government assets from foreign spying and cyber attacks enabled by the potential vulnerabilities described in the Financial Review. And because of the large scale of production that will be needed to supply the Russian government's annual demand, the possibility of Russian-made processors being used outside of state agencies and firms could help secure Russia's wider national IT infrastructure as well.

Dependence on foreign technology has created a potential threat to Russia's IT infrastructure. Technological self-sufficiency, then, can clearly be seen as a priority for national security. Developing independent technology requires an emphasis on education, research, and development, but the price of neglecting these areas renders a nation at the mercy of those that haven't.
The West's geopolitical primacy has been enabled by the various corporate-financier monopolies that exist upon Wall Street and in the City of London. Breaking the back of these monopolies requires nations to develop alternatives that undermine and ultimately displace these monopolies from within their borders. Russia's decision to produce processors domestically is one example of this. Nations focusing on domestic food security by encouraging local, organic farming undermines and displaces the West's big-agri monopolies and in particular their attempts to monopolize the very code of life itself through the proliferation of patented GMOs.

And while governments should be focused on national-level solutions to undermine and displace foreign monopolies threatening national security, on the local level there are steps regular people can take to protect their communities and themselves - including boycotting and replacing Fortune 500 monopolies with local solutions, and the creation of local institutions and organizations that are composed and serve the interests of the people that created them.

Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg.  Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Ha Ha Ha! Now you know why I call my blog "IT.Scheiss"

The proverbial "shit" has hit the proverbial "fan" sooner than I thought with regards 1BestariNet, a Minsitry of Education project to provide broadband services to Malaysia's over 10,000 schools using Yes4G WiMAX wireless broadband connectivity from YTL Comms and the Frog Virtual Learning System by a British company which YTL had acquired.

Below, The Malaysian Digest carries a press release by disgruntled teachers.


1BestariNet Service Is Poor And Inconvenience For Malaysian Teachers
Published on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:10

Press release from Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) Taskforce Chief Mohd Nor Izzat bin Mohd Johari

I feel that the Ministry of Education (MoE) has been made the scapegoat in the 1BestariNet issue. 1BestariNet was introduced by MoE to help ease Malaysian teachers’ online activities. However, the service is poor and burdened more than 300,000 teachers nationwide.

1. 1BestariNet which only offers 1Mbps cost the ministry more than RM200 or maybe even higher.

2. 1BestariNet only provided 300mb monthly for each school.

3. (Did) 1BestariNet use the same antenna post in school compound which is also used for Yes 4G services?

4. 1BestariNet has burdened more than 300,000 teachers with it sluggish server. Evidently showed by the repealing of Sistem Pengurusan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (SPPBS).

I urge MoE to reconsider using YTL’s service 1BestariNet or even terminating the service altogether since it’s only humiliating the ministry.

I also urge all teacher associations to voice out their stands on 1BestariNet which is troublesome for teachers and students.

I am confident that MoE wanted to provide the best service in line with the PPPM 2013-2025 by maximising the ICT usage. However, MoE shall pick a better service provider than the current one.

Mohd Nor Izzat bin Mohd Johari
Taskforce Chief
Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM)


Here's some background to the 1BestariNet project.

"Will 1BestariNet really benefit all school students?"

Now here are some fairly recent press releases on 1BestariNet.

"YTL Communications and Red Hat Transform the Way Students are Educated in Malaysia with E-Learning"


"YTL Communications and Intel Malaysia Collaborate to Help Improve Education in Malaysia"

Look! Wireless broadband may be fast but it has a relatively high latency - i.e. long response time to requests, compared to fibre.

Like where I am, the latency (PING response time) indicated with with my U Mobile HSPA+ modem is about 107 ms with U Mobile's own SpeedTest.Net server, whilst with Unifi fibre broadband it's from 1 to 9ms depending on Speedtest.Net server selected.

Don't believe me. Here's the test result at 4 pm on 18, June, 2014 with using Speedtest.Net, hosted on a server over my 5Mbps Unifi fibre line.

Click to Enlarge

And here's the test result at about 4.30pm on the same day using a U Mobile HSPA+ USB-modem dongle.

U Mobile HSPA+ is supposed to have a download speed of up to 42Mbps but I only get 5.84 Mbps download and 0.7Mbps upload.

Click to Enlarge

Also note the 107ms PING latency compared to 1ms with Unifi.

This latency adds up with the multiple handshakes (interactions between client and server) which take place in any packet-based Internet communications so the lower the latency, the faster the response time.

Also, with Unifi fibre, I more or less get the 5Mbps speed I pay for but whilst the download over U Mobile may be a bit faster, it's far short of 42Mbps.

I can assure you that it will be the same old story with the much touted LTE.

Wireless broadband is great for mobility, with anytime and anywhere Internet access but not so great for statiionary users in homes, schools, offices, etc.

I mean like wireless broadband would be great for this guy below.

If the Ministry of Education wants to provide broadband Internet access to every student in a school, then provide each school with enterprise-grade gigabit per second fibre connectivity with UNLIMITED quota FREE OF CHARGE.

Otherwise, all this talk about distance learning and online education is just a load of scheiss.

I'm still waiting to see a PC on every desk in Malaysian schools. I've been waiting since the late 1990s.

I guess like the title of that led Zeppelin song, The Song Remains The Same, we'll be hearing more and more of these complaints, whether it's 1BestariNet, 2BestariNet, 3BestariNet, ....... 1000BestariNet ......

Now you see why I call my blog "IT.Scheiss" !

Yours truly


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Welcome to the Information and Services Economy

So! This is the "information and services economy", much touted by futurist paperback writers, charlatans, business executives, management consultants and amplified by compliant or totally ignorant journo-prostitutes of the information technology (IT) and business media, when according to 2011 OECD figures, the "glorious" United States of America, so worshipped by small-minded Malaysians and fellow Asians, leads the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) - a rich nations' club - with 24.8% of its workforce earning low wages of US$10 per hour or less.

The U.S. has by far outdone even economically challenged Greece, where 13.5% of Greek employees earn low wage.

"The system at least in the eyes of Wall Street and the government is working perfectly fine. We have a plentiful supply of low wage labor while laws and bailout mechanisms are in place for the financially and politically connected."

Ah! I see. Low wages are good for finance capitalists and finance capitalism.

I'll leave you to enjoy the article below.


1/ 4 Working For $10 An Hour Or Less In U.S.

 The US is slowly becoming a McJob nation. While the press jumps up and down that the US is now finally at a breakeven point from the jobs lost since the recession started in 2007, they fail to mention that those not in the labor force is up by nearly 13 million.

Even looking into the recent employment report, we continue to find a heavy trend of hiring in low wage employment sectors. For example, 32,000 jobs were added in “leisure and hospitality” bringing the annual total of jobs added to 311,000. Another 21,000 jobs were added in social assistance which pay very little but will grow as demand for health support grows by an aging population.

The system at least in the eyes of Wall Street and the government is working perfectly fine. We have a plentiful supply of low wage labor while laws and bailout mechanisms are in place for the financially and politically connected.

The middle class continues to fall off the bandwagon one by one and enters a labor force of permanent low wage labor with very little prospect of a decent retirement. In fact, most will be working until all the wheels come flying off. We also find that 1 out of 4 Americans are working in jobs that pay $10 or less per hour. How about trying to earn the Americans Dream on that McJob salary?

 Breaking even and seeing the non-labor force surge

It has taken us 7 slow and painful years simply to recover the jobs we had back in 2007. With the latest jobs number, we finally are back to where we were in 2007. Of course, the population has increased and many of these new jobs come with horrible benefits, lower wages, and very little security. Is it any wonder why home buying in the country continues to be so anemic?

Low wages are also creating an entire nation that is unprepared for retirement. For example, 1 out of 3 Americans has zero dollars in their savings account. Half the country is one paycheck away from a financial avalanche. During the last 7 years, we have added close to 13 million Americans to the “not in the labor force” category:

A part of this growth is an older population but a large part of it isn’t. We have many digging into college degrees with massive debt to avoid the current economic situation. Others have simply given up looking for work. The low wage recovery has been extremely painful for many Americans and wealth growth has not occurred for 90 percent of the country. These are simply the facts. This is what we find in every piece of data we look at.

Economist Tim Taylor presented a chart highlighting that the US has a very high portion of its population working in low wage jobs. This is contrary to the image that the US is a land with middle class jobs for many:

Low wage work as defined in the data set above is employment that pays less than $10 per hour. Imagine trying to support a family on this. 2,000 hours of work would yield $20,000 which is below the poverty line for a family of three. And then we wonder how we have roughly 47 million Americans on food stamps.

The reason we continue to see this kind of recovery is that all policy made during the collapse was dictated by those in the banking industry that led up to this collapse in the first place. Even former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner mentioned that if we didn’t do the bailouts exactly as we did (i.e., keep big payouts to banking execs, money for corrupt workers, etc) then the economy would have imploded. Well the economy did implode for most workers and a recovery never happened. Maybe for his closely knit group of people things are looking great:

But for the rest of country people are running the Red Queen’s Race by working harder and harder simply to stay in the same place. A McJob recovery is not something to be proud about especially when the middle class in the US continues to dwindle.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

U.S. newspaper ad revenue continues to decline

Last week, I ran into a former colleague at The Star whom I found to agree with me almost 100% on the fact that newspapers' online advertising revenue is still far below print ad revenue despite all the hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo about the "future" of journalism online.

Agreed, media readership is moving online in a big way, especially in developed, mostly English speaking countries like the U.S. where access to broadband Internet is pervasive, well almost everywhere.

However, the evidence from such places still shows that for every one dollar advertising revenue growth from online editions of publications, there's a $10 decline in its print advertising revenue.

Whilst I'm no lover of the Neo Conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, this article on its website by one of its scholars Mark J. Perry says a lot about the state of the media in the U.S., which is a harbinger of what it can be further down the road in other parts of the world, including Malaysia.

Elsewhere, there are indications reports that circulation revenue is increasing, which helps to stabilise the decline in media revenue.

However, as this is not a comprehensive analysis of the state of print media, I'll come to that in greater depth later.

Mark J. Perry's blog and articles follow below.

They both blow out of the water the hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo peddled by a certain journalist whose a new media advocate and self-styled "consultant" who has been telling Malaysian media that the "future is online", whilst not telling the other side of the story that online ad revenues are not making up by far for the decline in print ad revenue.

The trends below raise serious doubts over the future of journalism as a VIABLE, PAYING career on which journalists can rely on for a living.

That's why I stated this blog IT.Scheiss, which is German for "IT.Shit", to counter the marketing and Utopian hype, hoohah, bullshit and ballyhoo of the information technology (IT) industry, especially the Internet industry.


BTW. If you have any problems viewing the embedded images in your e-mail client, please enable viewing images of visit my blog at

Embedded graphics courtesy of Carpe Diem Blog, and Ross Dawson.


Creative destruction: Newspaper ad revenue continued its precipitous free fall in 2013, and it’s probably not over yet

For the last several years, I’ve been regularly posting charts like the one above showing the history of US newspaper advertising revenue back to 1950, based on quarterly and annual data from the Newspaper Association of America. Those charts have been noteworthy for several reasons.

First, more than any of the hundreds of charts and graphs that I’ve created and posted on Carpe Diem over the last seven years, the newspaper ad revenue charts have received the most attention by far. Those charts have been featured on so many other blogs and websites that a recent Reuters article referred to my most recent version as the “much-reproduced chart.” I hope this is a testament to how powerful and compelling the graphical representation of data can be!

Second, it’s possible that the attention the ad revenue charts were generating on the Internet may have contributed to the decision by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) last year to suddenly stop its long-standing practice of reporting quarterly advertising revenue data and switch to releasing only annual data. In a 2013 interview, NAA CEO Caroline Little was quoted as saying that she and the organization’s board decided it was “time to stop beating themselves up four times a year with the negative numbers.”

Without access to quarterly data, I’ll now only be able to update the charts and report newspaper ad revenue once a year when annual data are released in April by the NAA, which just released its ad revenue figures for 2013. The updated chart above shows annual data from 1950 to 2013 in inflation-adjusted (2013) dollars. The blue line represents total annual print newspaper advertising revenue (for the three categories national, retail, and classified), and appear in the chart as billions of constant 2013 dollars. Newspaper print advertising revenues of just $17.3 billion in 2013 fell to the lowest level of print advertising since the NAA started tracking industry data in 1950. In constant 2013 dollars, advertising revenues last year were $2.7 billion (and 13.5%) below the $20 billion spent in 1950, 62 years ago. Print advertising last year was almost $2 billion below the level of $19.2 billion in 2012, which was the first year that print advertising revenues fell below the 1950 level.

The decline in print newspaper advertising to a 63-year low is pretty amazing by itself, but the sharp decline in recent years is stunning. Newspaper print advertising revenues decreased more than 50% in just the last five years, from $37.6 billion in 2008 to only $17.3 billion last year; and by almost 70% over the last decade, from $56.9 billion in 2003.

Here’s another perspective: It took a half century for annual newspaper print ad revenue to gradually increase from $20 billion in 1950 (adjusted for inflation in 2013 dollars) to $65.8 billion in 2000, and then it took only 12 years to go from $65.8 billion in ad revenues back to less than $20 billion in 2012, before falling further to $17.3 billion last year.

Even when revenues from digital advertising and other categories described by the NAA as “niche publications, direct marketing and non-daily publication advertising” are added to print ad revenue (see red line in chart), the combined total revenues for print, digital and other advertising last year was still only $23.56 billion in 2013 dollars, which was the lowest amount of annual ad revenue since 1954, when $23.3 billion was spent on print advertising alone.

The introduction of digital advertising starting in 2003, and the introduction of “niche publications, direct marketing and non-daily publication advertising” in 2011, have helped to slightly increase total ad revenues (print + digital + other), and the red line in the chart shows the contribution of those other revenue sources. But those sources are relatively small in comparison to print advertising revenues, and haven’t stopped the continuing, overall decline in total ad revenues. For example, digital advertising increased only 1.5% last year, the niche/non-daily category fell by almost 6% and direct marketing increased only 2.4%. Print advertising fell last year by 8.6%, and overall total advertising revenue fell by 6.5%. Those new revenues sources are certainly helping to stop the revenue decline from being even steeper, but won’t likely ever be high enough to reverse the precipitous overall decline in ad revenues in the coming years.

Economic Lesson: The dramatic decline in newspaper ad revenues since 2000 has to be one of the most significant and profound Schumpeterian gales of creative destruction in the last decade, maybe in a generation. And it’s not even close to being over. A 2011 IBISWorld report on “Dying Industries” identified newspaper publishing as one of ten industries that may be on the verge of extinction in the United States.
HT: Sprewell


Meanwhile, mobile and Internet ad spending is growing worldwide but are newspapers benefiting from this trend or are they losing out?

Let's see what has to say below.

Driven by Facebook and Google, Mobile Ad Market Soars 105% in 2013

Mobile ad spending on pace to reach $31.45 billion this year

Last year, global mobile ad spending increased 105.0% to total $17.96 billion, according to new figures from eMarketer. In 2014, mobile is on pace to rise another 75.1% to $31.45 billion, accounting for nearly one-quarter of total digital ad spending worldwide.

Facebook and Google accounted for a majority of mobile ad market growth worldwide last year. Combined, the two companies saw net mobile ad revenues increase by $6.92 billion, claiming 75.2% of the additional $9.2 billion that went toward mobile in 2013. The two companies are consolidating their places at the top of the market, accounting for more than two-thirds of mobile ad spending last year—a figure that will increase slightly this year, according to eMarketer.

Facebook in particular is gaining significant market share. In 2012, the social network accounted for just 5.4% of the global advertising market. In 2013, that share increased to 17.5%, and eMarketer predicts it will rise again this year to 21.7%. Google still owns a plurality of the mobile advertising market worldwide, taking a portion of nearly 50% in 2013, but the rapid growth of Facebook will cause the search giant’s share to drop to 46.8% in 2014, eMarketer estimates.

The rapid pace at which mobile has taken over the company’s ad revenue share indicates Facebook’s mobile future. In 2012, only 11% of Facebook’s net ad revenues worldwide came from mobile, and last year, that figure jumped to 45.1%. In 2014, eMarketer estimates that mobile will account for 63.4% of Facebook’s net digital ad revenues. Mobile accounted for 23.1% of Google’s net ad revenues worldwide in 2013, and eMarketer estimates this share will increase to 33.8% this year.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.


Below is futurist Ross Dawson's Newspaper Extinction Timeline which forecasts that print newspapers will be extinct in the United States in 2017 and in Malaysia in 2029.

By this timeline, the best places for journalists to be are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Latin America.