Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Monday Roundup

So now there is peace in Gaza, and Ukraine and Russia are talking. Looking promising.

Both sides in the middle east conflict have agreed to a cease fire. This peace plan framework was the same the Hamas militants rejected a month ago. Why? Lets look at the evidence and see if we can read between the lines. Israel want peace, they have no plan to take over the world with their own ideology. Hamas has a jihad (holy war) against anyone who doesn't agree with their ideology. So reading between the lines, I would suggest that Hamas will use this time to re-arm, recruit some more soldiers, and probably digging some more tunnels. It would appear that the biggest problem, at the moment, to the middle east conflict is the militant jihad, and when you look at where Israel has been attacking in Gaza, it has been in the majority, Hamas connected buildings. I suspect that in about 3 weeks there'll be a rocket set off towards Israel, or a kidnapping/killing of an Israeli.

And so to Putin, saying that if Ukraine signs up with Europe, Russia looks to loose $3bn in trade, he will pout his bottom lip, and apply sanctions. Oh didums! This reminds me of the smart phone wars of litigation rather that innovation and competition. If Ukraine can get a better deal from Europe then so be it, that's the global market, global competition.

photo credit: <a href="">Stuck in Customs</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Is conflict a lifestyle?

   When is a war not a war? Its semantics and all in a word and its meaning. Or to put it another way - politics!    So Israel and Hamas are slugging it out and Israel is winning on the ground, but not doing too well in perception, although there are some out there who are putting things into perspective. The world see Israel hitting Palestinians while trying to get to Hamas, what the world doesn't see is the reason for Hamas doing the things they are doing. Hamas doesn't know peace! Hamas mandate is to bring Islam to the world, by force if necessary, and not just any Islam but their form of Islam. This reminds me of the conflict in Northern Ireland and the IRA. The question was, what would the IRA do when there was peace? Some of the IRA members had only known conflict and therefore they would be out of a job when there's peace, so they didn't want peace because otherwise they'd have nothing to fight for, nothing to do. And so to Hamas. When they've brought Islam to the world, what then, mission over, what do you do then? Sit do and have a chat over a coffee? What happens to all that built up anger? Does it just go away? I don't think so! Hamas has chosen a battle it knows it cannot win and therefore a fruitless persute! Why not do something you can continue to do even when the work is done. Its a lifestyle choice and Hamas doesn't have a longterm lifestyle!

In other conflicts like that in Syria are similar, in that they aren't fighting for freedom, but for their form of religious government. The reasons for the uprisings in the North Africa and Middle East came out of the "democratization" of Iraq. Democracy and Islam don't go hand in hand, but also when looking at South Africa, the voting isn't really done along party lines but tribal lines, so in the North African countries the system is being used for tribal means, not really for the good of the country. Its more to do really with aristocracy, similar to what is creeping into western democracy.

In tribal areas it is very difficult to bring democracy of the type used in the west because to be tribal chief you have to depose the incumbent. This was done in olden times by fighting to the death! Now, when you bring Islam into this culture, you have religious influence over the tribe and the fear of a "god" is greater than the fear of man. It is a recipe for conflict!    What is democracy? If you look back at where it came from, in simplistic form, its about the dissemination of power. Giving the locals the ability to rule themselves with a framework for reference. Democracy now seems to mean that you have a vote and that is all! (More on this in a later post).

Whats the solution to the conflict, simple really, a change in lifestyle! Far simpler said than done!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A New Senate

In July, the Australian government has a new senate, and it will be interesting as to how Tony Abbott's government will "do business", or horse trading as it's sometimes called. Already one deal has been done to allow the abolition of the Carbon Tax with Clive Palmer being the main winner. Clive Palmer holds the balance of power in the senate and no one really knows how he stands on many areas but as a coal miner he is learning politics quickly! He managed to have Al Gore with him on stage when announcing his position on the Carbon tax reform.
What did surprise me was all the so called confusion from the announcement. It appeared to me that some people had decided to hear only a bit of the announcement and not listened properly, which seems to be a prerequisite for being a politician, and in this instance Clive Palmer is a welcome change, where coming from business you need to listen properly so you can understand properly. To me, what Clive had announced made sense: repeal the carbon tax, have a ETS (emmission trading scheme) starting at $0 until Australia's trading partners (USA, NZ, China, etc) start one too and to keep the alternative power generation bodies to promote and fund the solar and wind power industries. The idea of the ETS only with trading partners is so Australia isn't disadvantaged.
The thing I like about Clive palmer is that it is the polices he doesn't like not the parties. Sometimes I get the impression that Australian politics is more like school kids having a strop in the playground. An example of this is the Victorian Premier (Liberal Party) saying that he will not use the water from the desalination plant because it was built under the watch of Mr Brumby (Labour). This attitude is not in the best interest of the people who pay their wages. It would be better for the country if the senate could remove party politics and just look at the policies, but I can't see this happening.
What is harming politics and the country is the professional politician. The problem with professional politicians is that they have no world experience, how to manage people, money, business, they just know how to speak and argue! With Mr Palmer coming in, it is a bit of a fresh breeze blowing through because he can see Australia as "Australia PLC", which needs to be done. He understands business and how the middle class keeps the ecomony going, not the rich. The rich don't spend or create jobs. I read recently that saying the rich create jobs is like saying a seed creates a tree. It doesn't! Put a seed into a desert and see what happens! A seed is needed but it is not the all, a seed also needs water, light, warmth, nutrients and tlc (weather). And so jobs need someone with vision (the why) and people to do (the how) and people to buy the goods. Kill wages and you'll kill spending, and the knock on from that is businesses closing and loss of jobs! All actions have consequences.
The political parties look to being "in power" instead of serving the people and at the moment they are behaving like they own the place (and the people), and they don't. If they keep behaving like the aristocrats of old, the people will do the same and revolt. Oh, "they won't revolt in Australia, we're too civilised here" I can hear people say - I say rubbish - look at England with the pole-tax riots. Don't under estimate the public, especially the quiet ones.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Blackberry - what next?

Blackberry seem to be on the brink of something and no-one is really sure of what! So what should Blackberry do now?
These are my thoughts on the matter and considering I know very little about Blackberry my thoughts could be rubbish!
Firstly Blackberry had a very very good system that crashed and harmed its reputation big time. This message system needs to be rebuild with a scaling factor built in, able to cope with millions of users reliably. And it needs to be secure, this goes without saying these days. Then the hardware. The Blackberry system, from what I saw of it seemed good and stable and able to be developed, but Android is now a dominant player, so I'd suggest that Blackberry develops 2 phones and 2 tablet, one of each with Blackberry system and one of each with Android, making sure both can communicate with the core Blackberry messaging system. The form factor of the phone I'd make would be a phone that is comfortable in the hand and comfortable to use. Maybe the use of polycarbonates for strength and feel. A lot of phones and tables look good but are a pain when holding and trying to use. And use some good marketing to launch it all, a countdown to a special launch, midsummer, outside for all to see, not in a conference hall, but a park or a railway station, the Grand Canyon might be a good place. Blackberry needs to look outside the box and do something a little different if they want to not only survive but be a player in the communications market.
In saying that Blackberry have just released there messaging app on Android and iPhone, and people seem to like it. May be there is hope, I hope so.
Just my thoughts. 

Monday, 3 June 2013

A Week in Politics

This week was quite funny. Well I thought so.  Some background, Tony Abbot has said that he wants an open and transparent government. The ALP apparently have funding problems. This week it was announced the "political donation bill" where $50m of tax payers money would be hived off to pay for party administration and political campaigns. The public and independent MP's stated this bill was immoral. Julia Gillard and Tony Abbot seemed surprised at this attitude. Lets look at this. A deal was done in secret, is this seems normal for the ALP re the mining bill, but seem hipocritical of Tony Abbot! The budget stated that the Australian bank account was "overdrawn" but several billion dollars and they want to take some more out of the pot.  I could go on.
The fact that Tony Abbot has withdrawn his support of the bill shows he listens!
They (the party leasers) say there is democracy in Australia, I'd say it a strangled version of it. Democracy has two main caviats, choice and dissemination of power - to allow the local community to govern themselves. In Australia there is a lack of choice in that there is compulsory voting and two party preference.  And they wonder why the young are not registering to vote! And for the dissemination for power is nonexistent in that all the power is slowly heading to the centre. Its almost a feudal system. The main difference between here and Zimbabwe is that we can still vote for our dictator!   
What needs to be done? Get rid of two party politics, the two party preferences and clear the way for smaller parties to have their say and bring in accountability. The government has racked up huge debt but it is us who'll have to pay it off. Where is the accountability? This is just the start, I could go on. Have you read The Prince by Machiavelli? Well worth the read!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Can Australia stop the boats?

Asylum seekers keep coming by boat to Australia and recently on of the boats sank with sadly, loss of life. A simple answer to the question above is probably no. Policies like those presented will not stop the boats. Mr Abbott talks about the time with the Howard Government and the policies then stopped the boats, the problem with this is that there were less people seeking asylum and therefore less boats, so it probably wasn't the policies. The only way to stop the boats is to blow them out of the water, or send the refugees straight back from whence they came. This is too drastic! What needs to be done is to find out why Australia and just how desperate they are to get to Australia. I heard an interview with a successful refugee who suggested a processing centre in Indonesia, he thought this would work because most asylum seekers come through Indonesia. The boats will not be stopped, but it can be made safer for the refugees, and that is the point

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Can you eat the dollar?

We live in interesting times. It would appear that the austerity measures put in place by European countries is not going down well with the people. "Why should we have to pay for the bank's stupidity?" is a cry heard often, and needs to be answered really. The people are also to blame for being sucked into the scam of the banks to make more money, but ultimately it is the banks greed to lending irresponsibly and they need to step up and put thing right. The current economic policies will fail - yep, you heard it hear first folks! The policies are flawed, why, because it is still based on the old system of constant growth. You HAVE to make MORE and MORE money to SURVIVE! Imagine, a company employing 1000's, with a turnover of $millions and it profits are $millions but year on year the increase in profits remain in line with inflation, and therefore would be classified by the market as stagnating, its share price would fall and the company could even go bust because of what it is SEEN to be doing rather than what it IS doing. Amazing! How can you have constant growth in a finite world? What happens when the world is full? And now there is talk of Greece leaving the Eurozone. We will know in late June after the new elections. Can Europe survive if Greece leave? I really don't know, but I am sure that either way its not looking good for Europe. Spain isn't in a good situation either and its economy is bigger than that of Greece. When I was a child my parents taught me that if I wanted something then I had to save up for it, to make sure I could afford it. Now I know my parents had a mortgage on their house (our home) but they could manage it even with rising interest rates of the time (late '60 early '70). Some weeks it was a little tight but we never went without because the finances were managed well. It seems bazaar that banks, who you would think would lead by example, would also manage their finances well, but I think its because of the "its a big company" syndrome made the managers complacent, irresponsible, and dare I say it - greedy. This attitude and 'need' for greater wealth, for themselves and their shareholders, not for the business and it customers that lead to this sorry state. Some of the most successful companies were successful because it focused on the customer, not the shareholder. A company is nothing without its workers and its customers.

So what's gong to happen? I hear you ask. Its a good question and well presented. No-one really knows except God of course, but I think there will be another financial bust because there has not been a correction in the financial thinking from the last bust, and this one will be bigger than all of them put together. Oh doom and gloom! One thing that will come out of all of this and that is a realisation that you can not eat the dollar!