Things are becoming more complicated. With the push for online systems and online storage we have found that this interconnection and interdependency works well in an integrated approach when things work properly. But when things fail or don’t go as planned when they should the system breaks down. Many firms are charging their customers for this breakdown when the breakdown wa nothing to do with them. They claim it costs them money, but they have a stranglehold on compensation for problems. Immediate payment is now acceptable practice with penalties for late payment. The idea is any delay in payment costs a firm money, but this logistic problem of having the right amount in the right place is becoming acute. When the amount is not in the right place at the right time a powerful firm can charge not only its customers, but its suppliers as well, getting paid both ways, even though they may be tardy at re-inbursing wrongly charged amounts to customers and not paying their suppliers on time.
We have seen with covid how supply chains when stressed cause all kinds of goods and services just not to be there, a major problem with communications meaning the whole system grinds to a halt.
We have seen a number of cyber-attacks and hacks on Russia recently because of the Ukraine business. Groups around the world that were synonymous with anarchy and damaging society have suddenly received respect in the public. ‘Your enemy is my enemy’ thinking. But there is a mixed set of overlapping people, some on either side of the problem and little-known differentiation between who is for and against. The US, Russia and China have in the past ‘sponsored’ a number of these groups for their espionage, some possibly being sponsored by all three. Most of the attacks are specific publicly arranged hacks, where there are large systems that have vulnerable points. The larger and more complicated the system, the easier it is to gain entry, and the bloatware that is standard on today’s systems quite often give more points of access than those they replace. (Why use a 1K routine when a 100MB renamed library will work just as well, there being so much space left on people’s hard disks, every programmer thinking the same way.)
Unless you become an identifiable target and stand out, in most cases minimal protection is all you need. Just being slightly vigilant, not opening sites from emails, a standard anti-virus, a VPN, not using other people’s pen-drives, keeping regular back-ups of computers and phones, etc. The determined cyber-warfare release of controls and restrictions in the world will give some unwanted effects, but most people won’t be affected, project fear now being used and employed as a sales tool by manufacturers of equipment and software to regularly get people to buy the latest at full retail rates, giving slower and more cumbersome systems that have exponential levels of simple and small things disrupting them completely.
Cars have become this way, with them failing to run completely by a non-manufacture’s parts being a tiny fraction out from defined resistances or timings, even though a factor of ten would make no difference to its actual running. VW’s designed software just being one more of a whole string of manipulations to get people to part with money or buy their product instead of another’s. A bit like putting in a demand for wood to be measured to thousandths of an inch.
Like computer software, built in and planned obsolescence is now the order of the day, car software being also full of booby traps, dead-ends, false calls, obsolete routines, just to force upgrades in equipment, operating systems and software (0-60 in 10.5 seconds being better than 0-60 in 11, where 99% of people don’t like being in cars where drivers do this sort of thing.) The idea is to lock you into a defined and regular cash stream, not for your benefit. Overall, we are being manoeuvred into sell-by, best-by, and use-by dates in equipment and software, forcing into slow systems and unwanted revenue paths, not for security, but for selling you stuff for more money.
Nearly all software and operating systems are now designed, not that they won’t run efficiently on old systems, all of them could, but that they can’t run on old systems, with fake calls that do nothing, and deliberately renamed calls, so they are purposely designed to fail or hang. Think, the original operating systems, windows, office suite, would all fit within 10MB installed and would do 95% that it does now and much quicker and less complicated, with it all running within 1MB of memory. Now you need about 50GB space (5000 times) and 8GB memory (8000 times) to do less and slower, cloud services really being extremely slow remote access drives, ‘model T Ford level engines’ in computers. Adequate pictures are in the 50k mark, anything over 200k being more for posters. In comparison, internet access is about 30mbs, the very oldest 1990 hard disks 5mbs, later laptop ones typically 200mbs, SSD’s 20,000mbs. The enforced and planned ‘thin client’ mentality is firmly entrenched in this revenue stream, but an interconnected, interrelated and interdependent set of systems is easy and likely to fail completely due to small problems the natural and artificial world throws at us and wherever thin client is installed and claimed to be the last word, the users have another word for it and try to avoid using it.
I have gone to more than one organisation that has thin client systems, the key and vital work being done on laptops because the system isn’t fit for purpose, only upper management being happy with the results as they are completely divorced from its use.
But the move to have everything on th internet leaves it fully open to the possibility at some point that internet is not there. People involved with transferring everything onto web and cloud services working from an everything works position. The web has a number of key areas that could cause it fail or pushed into failure, possibly needing weeks to restablish. So with all social, transport and logistics, medical, financial, supply, customer, sales, all on one system we are planning for disaster, not to prevent it, but to cause it.