The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Facebook to close Irish units at center of tax dispute – AFP, 30 December 2020 

Facebook said its Irish subsidiary at the heart of a dispute on shifting profits
 to avoid taxes has been closed, with the assets brought back to the California

Washington (AFP) - Facebook confirmed Wednesday it was closing its Irish subsidiaries at the center of a dispute on profit shifting to avoid taxes in the United States. 

The California tech giant acknowledged the winding down of Facebook Ireland Holdings Unlimited Company amid a dispute with US tax authorities, which claimed the company owed billions in taxes by improperly shifting profits offshore. 

A Facebook spokesperson said the move was "part of a change that best aligns with our operating structure" and that the holdings of the three subsidiaries were "distributed to its US parent company." 

The closing was previously reported by the Times of London and other media. 

Facebook has disputed the claims from US tax authorities seeking some $9 billion for allegedly undervaluing intellectual property assets used by the social network. 

But it noted that these assets were repatriated in July in a move which "best aligns corporate structure with where we expect to have most of our activities and people." 

Facebook says it has paid more than $11 billion globally in income tax over the past three years and that its effective tax rate over the last five years exceeds 20 percent. 

The news comes amid stalled negotiations on a new global tax treaty which would allocate profits of multinational firms including tech giants and efforts by some countries to unilaterally impose digital taxes based on revenues. 

In November, some 75 major tech players, including Google and Facebook, backed a French initiative committing them to making a "fair tax contribution" in countries where they operate.

Related Article:

Google to stop using ‘double Irish, Dutch sandwich’ tax dodge: Reuters

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Chinese citizen journalist jailed for Wuhan virus reporting

Yahoo – AFP, 28 December 2020 

Authoroties said former Chinese lawyer and citizen journalist
Zhang Zhan had spread "False remarks" online.

A Chinese citizen journalist was jailed for four years Monday for her reporting from Wuhan as the Covid-19 outbreak began, her lawyer said, almost a year after details of an "unknown viral pneumonia" surfaced in the central China city. 

Zhang Zhan, a former lawyer who arrived at court in a wheelchair, was sentenced at a brief hearing in a Shanghai court for allegedly "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" during her reporting in the chaotic initial stages of the outbreak. 

Her live reports and essays were shared on social media platforms in February, grabbing the attention of authorities, who have punished eight virus whistleblowers so far as they curb criticism of the government's response to the outbreak. 

Beijing has congratulated itself for "extraordinary" success in controlling the virus inside its borders, with an economy on the rebound while much of the rest of the world stutters through painful lockdowns and surging caseloads a year on from the start of the pandemic in Wuhan. 

Controlling the information flow during an unprecedented global health crisis has been pivotal in allowing China's communist authorities to reframe the narrative in their favour, with President Xi Jinping being garlanded for his leadership by the country's ruling party. 

But that has come at a serious cost to anyone who has picked holes in the official storyline. 

The court said Zhang Zhan had spread "false remarks" online, according to one of her lawyers Zhang Keke, but the prosecution did not fully divulge its evidence in court. 

"We had no way of understanding what exactly Zhang Zhan was accused of doing," he added, describing it as "a speedy, rushed hearing." 

In return the defendant "didn't respond [to questions]... She refused to answer when the judge asked her to confirm her identity." 

The defendant's mother sobbed loudly as the verdict was read out, Ren Quanniu, another member of Zhang's defence team, told reporters who were barred from entering the court. 

Concerns are mounting over the health of 37-year-old Zhang, who began a hunger strike in June and has been force-fed via a nasal tube. 

Her legal team said her health was in decline and she suffered from headaches, dizziness and stomach pain, and that she had appeared in court in a wheelchair. 

"She said when I visited her (last week): 'If they give me a heavy sentence then I will refuse food until the very end.'... She thinks she will die in prison," Ren said before the trial. 

"It's an extreme method of protesting against this society and this environment." 

China's communist authorities have a history of putting dissidents on trial in opaque courts between Christmas and New Year in an effort to minimise Western scrutiny. 

Example made

The sentencing comes just weeks before an international team of World Health Organization experts is expected to arrive in China to investigate the origins of Covid-19. 

Zhang was critical of the early response in Wuhan, writing in a February essay that the government "didn't give people enough information, then simply locked down the city". 

"This is a great violation of human rights," she wrote. 

Rights groups and embassies have also drawn attention to her case, although diplomats from several countries were denied requests to monitor the hearing. 

"Zhang Zhan's case raises serious concerns about media freedom in China," the British embassy in Beijing said, urging "China to release all those detained for their reporting." 

Authorities "want to use her case as an example to scare off other dissidents from raising questions about the pandemic situation in Wuhan earlier this year", added Leo Lan, research and advocacy consultant at the Chinese Human Rights Defenders NGO. 

A United Nations official following the trial also expressed "deep concern" about the verdict. 

"We raised her case with the authorities throughout 2020 as an example of the excessive clampdown on freedom of expression linked to #COVID19 & continue to call for her release," the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a tweet. 

Zhang is the first of a group of four citizen journalists detained by authorities after reporting from Wuhan to face trial. 

Previous attempts by AFP to contact the other three -- Chen Qiushi, Fang Bin and Li Zehua -- were unsuccessful. 

Related Article:

(>13.46 Min - Reference to the Global Coronavirus crisis)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Private psychotherapy notes leaked in major Finnish hack

Yahoo – AFP, 26 October 2020

The confidential treatment records of tens of thousands of psychotherapy patients in Finland have been hacked and some leaked online, in what the interior minister said Monday was "a shocking act." 

Many victims of the hack reported receiving emails with a demand for 200 euros
($236) in bitcoin to prevent the contents of their discussions with therapists
being made public. (Nicolas Asfouri)

Distressed patients flooded victim support services over the weekend as Finnish police revealed hackers accessed records belonging to private company Vastaamo, which runs 25 therapy centres across Finland. 

Thousands have filed police complaints over the breach, they added. 

Many patients reported receiving emails with a demand for 200 euros ($236) in bitcoin to prevent the contents of their discussions with therapists being made public. 

"The Vastaamo data breach is a shocking act which hits all of us deep down," Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo wrote on her website on Monday. 

Finland must be a country where "help for mental health issues is available and it can be accessed without fear." 

Ministers met for crisis talks this weekend, with further emergency discussions tabled for the coming week over the unprecedented data breach. 

"We are investigating an aggravated security breach and aggravated extortion, among other charges," Robin Lardot, the director of Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, told a news conference at the weekend. 

Lardot added that they believed the number of patients whose records had been compromised numbered in the tens of thousands. 

On Monday evening, Vastaamo said it had fired its CEO, Ville Tapio, after an internal enquiry discovered that he had concealed a March 2019 data breach from the board and the firm's parent company. 

The firm admitted flaws in the security of its customer data, "which allowed criminals to break into the database up until March 2019," Vastaamo said in a statement. 

The company's owner, PTK Midco Oy, on Monday launched court proceedings "in relation to its May 2019 purchase of Vastaamo," the statement added. 

'Justifiably worried' 

Security experts reported that a 10-gigabyte data file containing private notes between at least 2,000 patients and their therapists had appeared on websites on the so-called dark web. 

The hack, which targeted some of society's most vulnerable including children, has caused widespread shock in the Nordic country of 5.5 million, with ministers gathering on Sunday to discuss how to support the patients whose sensitive data had been leaked. 

"It is absolutely clear that people are justifiably worried not only about their own security and health but that of their close ones, too," Ohisalo told reporters late on Sunday. 

On Monday, authorities launched a website for victims of the cyberattack, offering advice and telling them not to pay the ransom demand. 

"Do not communicate with the extortionist, the data have most likely already been leaked elsewhere," the "Data Leak Help" site said. 

Mental health and victim support charities reported being overwhelmed with calls from distressed people fearing that their intimate conversations with their therapists would be publicly released. 

Nothing 'to be ashamed of' 

One of the recipients of a blackmail threat, the former MP Kirsi Piha, tweeted a screenshot of the ransom message along with a defiant reply to the hackers. 

"Up yours! Seeking help is never something to be ashamed of," Piha wrote. 

"I've seen a lot, but I haven't seen this," Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at data security firm F-Secure said in a statement. 

"I don't think there's a crime in our criminal history which would have more victims than this one." 

Hypponen, an internationally renowned cybersecurity specialist, said the perpetrator used the alias "ransom_man", and said he was only aware of one other patient blackmail case, where a cosmetic surgery clinic in Florida had a smaller amount of data stolen in 2019. 

On Monday, Finland's social care regulator said in a statement it was investigating Vastaamo's practices, including how well patients were kept informed of the breach. 

Meanwhile, the head of the state digital services agency DVV, Kimmo Rousku, said that the cyberattack could have been avoided if Vastaamo had used better encryption. 

DVV published a checklist on Monday for firms to make sure their digital security is in order. 

"Management needs to wake up," Rousku told public broadcaster Yle. 

A phone line offering legal advice had also been set up, the country's consumer authority announced.

Friday, September 18, 2020

EncroChat messages reveal at least ten cases of ‘bent coppers’ leaking info

DutchNews, September 17, 2020 


The investigation into millions of messages between criminals via encrypted service provider EncroChat has also yielded proof of police corruption and a special team has been tasked with the prosecution of the officers involved, police havesaid

Officials have not yet said how many police officers are involved and at what level, but at least two have been arrested following the EncroChat operation. 

Sources cited by the Telegraaf  say 10 serious cases involving the leak of information to criminals are currently being investigated. The search also yielded information about a network of lawyers, real estate brokers and notaries whose services helped criminals launder money, they said. 

Police did confirm information had been leaked to criminals but would not say more for operational reasons.  The sheer volume of messages – over 20 million – that have to be followed up must be dealt with meticulously to avoid false claims of corruption, police said. 

However, the first signs are serious enough to warrant a special team, police chief Henk van Essen said. ‘We have started a number of prosecutions and more will follow. The information on drug deals and money laundering as well as the corruption in the force have been given the highest priority.’ 

Van Essen said that there have always been ‘bent coppers’ but the fact that their number is increasing is worrying. 

‘A policeman can become corrupt through blackmail but can also simply be bought,’ Van Essen said. ‘Information is a goldmine for criminals. It can be anything from information on current investigations and people to addresses and cars. They are always on the lookout for people with access to this type of information, not only in the force but in companies as well.’ 

Software to flag up suspicious search behaviour by officers will be introduced next year, Van Essen said. ‘But we don’t want to check each and every email or app. We want a system built on trust but we must be realistic. There is corruption and we want to stamp it out. And an operation like EncroChat shows that no one is beyond the reach of the law.’

Realted Article

Dutch detectives unravel 3.6 million encrypted emailssent by criminals

Thursday, September 3, 2020

5G can be rolled out, but more research is necessary, says health council

DutchNews, September 2, 2020 


The roll-out of 5G telecoms services in the Netherlands is safe, but some aspects remain unclear and require further research, the Dutch health council Gezondheidsraad said on Wednesday. 

‘It has not been proven and it is not likely that exposure to 5G systems can damage health, even though the science cannot rule this out entirely,’ the council said on its website. ‘The health council is advising that exposure be monitored and that more research is done.’ 

The council had been asked to look into the health aspects of 5G telecommunications by MPs following a spate of arson attacks on telecom masts. 

The report focuses on the theoretical impact on health because 5G is so new there is little concrete information. And this means that actual exposure to 5G needs to be monitored as more networks come online. ‘The commission cannot answer the question if exposure to 5G will actually lead to risks to health,’ the report said. ‘Therefore the focus has been on the potential to cause damage.’ 


The commission makes two main recommendations. Firstly, officials should set up an epidemiological research project into the relationship between exposure to the 5G frequencies being used and cancer, reduced fertility in men, risks to pregnancy and birth defects. 

The Netherlands is already taking part in an international research project into 5G and health, and these results can be a part of the Dutch study, the researchers said. 

At the same time, the council recommends officials postpone the use of the higher end of the frequency spectrum, namely 26GHz, because relatively little research has been done on the impact of this frequency range on health. 

There are currently no concrete plans in the Netherlands to use this frequency. 


Telecoms company KPN said it welcomed the report which reconfirmed that the current frequencies for mobile communications via 3G, 4G and 5G can be used. 

However, the anti 5G campaign group Stichting Stop5GNL, which tried earlier to have the roll-out stopped in court, said that the recommendations are contradictory. 

‘You cannot put something in the market which has not been properly researched,’ spokeswoman Martine Vriens told broadcaster NOS.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Virus lockdowns give major boost to e-commerce

Yahoo – AFP, Corentin DAUTREPPE, 30 August 2020

In the Covid economy, there are winners and losers -- e-commerce giants such as
Amazon, show rising profits and sales but traditional retail outlets have been
shedding jobs by the thousand

While large traditional retailers announce big lay-offs because of the pandemic, sometimes shedding thousands of staff, coronavirus lockdowns have in contrast given e-commerce a major boost.

Recent data shows a shift to shopping online -- according to Kantar consulting group, international e-commerce grew 41 percent in only three months compared with 22 percent growth for 2020 as a whole to date, as the pandemic "transformed" retail habits.

The trend was brought into sharp relief on August 18, when British high street mainstay Marks & Spencer announced it was culling 7,000 staff.

Hours later, in contrast, online behemoth Amazon said it was hiring 3,500 in the United States.

The M&S slimdown is only one part of the picture in the UK, with 2,500 more job losses announced at department store Debenhams, which in April entered administration for the second time in a year. Hundreds more jobs are also to be lost at other well known British high street chains.

By contrast, Britain's largest supermarket chain Tesco placed a sizeable feather in its online cap by saying it was creating 16,000 permanent jobs to deal with strong growth in its online activities.

"It is very clear that the digitisation of commerce, (even) if in place for a long time, is accelerating enormously," said Herve Gilg, managing director and distribution specialist at Alvarez & Marsal corporate transformation services.

The benefits are being reaped by those companies which were already carrying out a sizeable chunk of their activities online.

That troupe is led by Amazon, which doubled its net profits in the second half of this virus-challenged year.

Following was Germany's fashion and lifestyle e-commerce heavyweight Zalando, which saw its active customer base rise 20 percent in first half 2020 to 34 million.

US giant Walmart, although not an online "pure player", has also shifted in that direction to benefit from the upswing in virtual commerce in the US and its second-quarter results soared past estimates on an e-sales jump of 97 percent.

Walmart saw e-sales put rockets behind its second-quarter results

E-presence 'indispensable'

In France, the United Kingdom, Spain and China, the average market share of e-commerce went from 8.8 percent of value (in 2019) to 12.4 percent in second quarter 2020, said Kantar.

It added that in China, online shopping already amounts to "a quarter of expenditure on mass consumer products."

The trend was already under way before Covid-19 began to batter the global economy.

But the brutal falloff in out-of-home spending has had "a major knock-on effect for non-food commerce dependent on physical sale points", Gilg said.

The unprecedented development has "made all retail actors understand or else confirm that it is indispensable to have an online presence and to be as competitive as possible there," says Stephane Charveriat, senior associate director with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

In a world of retail clicks and mortar -- a physical presence still counts, not
 least for tourists wanting to show off their purchases in the real world

'Significant investments'

That has meant evolution, which "requires significant means and investments," observes Charveriat. But that need comes at a time when company coffers are relatively bare and money placed aside for online purposes is cash which does not therefore flow to the physical business.

France's CDCF trade council asked the government in the summer for a "tax credit or accelerated super-amortisation mechanism to support digital investment."

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday responded that "several hundred million euros" would be made available in the form of subsidies and public investment bank support "to help firms digitise" in a bid to compete with the likes of Amazon.

"Clearly, it is a sizeable challenge to confront large platforms," says Charveriat. He says French firms must define an internet strategy, be it in the form of alliances with others, in order to compete in the digital marketplace with existing big hitters.

Still, Gilg says the existing physical presence of distribution brands can be a major asset in that regard, for example, catering to visiting international tourists who may want to experience what a brand has to offer on-site when post-Covid tourism does eventually take off again.

"Apple has shown very effectively how a shop can act as a stage" to show off its wares, Gilg said, adding that while commercial clicks have their value, retail mortar can provide physical brand "authenticity."

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Amsterdam universities signed deal with controversial tech giant Huawei

DutchNews, August 25, 2020


Amsterdam universities UvA and VU have entered into a close collaboration with controversial Chinese tech company Huawei despite government warnings, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Tuesday. 

The tech giant, which is widely suspected of spying for the Chinese state, is increasingly unwelcome in most European countries and the universities’ move has divided opinion, the paper said. 

The deal, signed on May 15, comprises a €3.5m payment to both universities which will reportedly be used to finance a lab for the development of artificial intelligence, employing around 100 people. 

Researchers at the lab will be specifically tasked with developing technology for a search machine for Huawei, which has been banned from using Google on its mobile phones. 

The agreement comes despite Dutch government warnings about universities working with Chinese partners because it could result in an ‘unwanted exchange of knowledge’, potentially causing national security issues and damage to economic interests. 

Surprisingly, however, intelligence and security services AIVD and NCTV, which met with university representatives on January 30 to discuss the move, did not register any objections to the deal. In addition, both the education ministry and the economic affairs ministry signalled support, the FD said, albeit among warnings of ‘great potential risks’. 

The education ministry even confirmed to the paper it had ‘facilitated’ the meeting between the security services and university representatives on its premises. 

The AIVD told the paper the meeting was an ‘awareness presentation’ but did not want to comment any further. 


The boards of both universities have dismissed worries about possible Chinese state intervention, saying the work for Huawei ‘has nothing to do with the network equipment which is causing public discussion’. 

A spokesman for the two universities told the paper that a ‘thorough check’ had been carried out to ensure that scientists can publish their findings independently and that sensitive information will not be shared. The security services had been happy with the guarantees put in place to prevent potential knowledge theft, he said. 

However, the Rathenau Institute, an independent government tech advisory body, has said that in AI research the boundaries between military and civil technology have become blurred. 

It calls for clear government guidelines for universities to establish if a cooperation with ‘a company such as Huawei’ is acceptable or not. Last year Oxford university severed its ties with Huawei following a public outcry about the cooperation. 

The Dutch government has also come under considerable pressure, particularly from the US, to keep Huawei out of the Netherlands 5G network development plans.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Beyond batteries: Scientists build methanol-powered beetle bot

France24 – AFP, 19 August 2020

A team at the University of Southern California has built an 88-milligram "RoBeetle"
that runs on methanol and uses an artificial muscle system to crawl, climb, and carry
loads on its back for up to two hours Xiufeng YANG Xiufeng Yang, University of
Southern California/AFP

Washington (AFP) - Scientists have long envisioned building tiny robots capable of navigating environments that are inaccessible or too dangerous for humans -- but finding ways to keep them powered and moving has been impossible to achieve.

A team at the University of Southern California has now made a breakthrough, building an 88-milligram (one three hundredth of an ounce) "RoBeetle" that runs on methanol and uses an artificial muscle system to crawl, climb and carry loads on its back for up to two hours.

It is just 15 millimeters (.6 inches) in length, making it "one of the lightest and smallest autonomous robots ever created," its inventor Xiufeng Yang told AFP.

"We wanted to create a robot that has a weight and size comparable to real insects," added Yang, who was lead author of a paper describing the work in Science Robotics on Wednesday.

The problem is that most robots need motors that are themselves bulky and require electricity, which in turn makes batteries necessary.

The smallest batteries available weigh 10-20 times more than a tiger beetle, a 50 milligram insect the team used as their reference point.

To overcome this, Yang and his colleagues engineered an artificial muscle system based on liquid fuel -- in this case methanol, which stores about 10 times more energy than a battery of the same mass.

The "muscles" are made from nickel-titanium alloy wires -- also known as Nitinol -- which contracts in length when heated, unlike most metals that expand.

The wire was coated in a platinum powder that acts as a catalyst for the combustion of methanol vapor.

As the vapor from RoBeetle's fuel tank burns on the platinum powder, the wire contracts, and an array of microvalves shut to stop more combustion.

The wire then cools and expands, which once more opens the valves, and the process repeats itself until all the fuel is spent.

The expanding and contracting artificial muscles are connected to the RoBeetles' front legs through a transmission mechanism, which allows it to crawl.

The team tested their robot on a variety of flat and inclined surfaces made from materials that were both smooth, like glass, and rough, like mattress pads.

RoBeetle could carry a load of up to 2.6 times its own weight on its back and run for two hours on a full tank, said Yang.

By contrast, "the smallest battery-powered crawling robot weighs one gram and operates about 12 minutes."

In the future, microbots may be used for a variety of applications like infrastructure inspection or search-and-rescue missions after natural disasters.

They might also assist in tasks like artificial pollination or environmental monitoring.

Roboticists Ryan Truby and Shuguang Li, of MIT and Harvard respectively, wrote in an accompanying commentary that RoBeetle was "an exciting microrobotics milestone," but added there were also opportunities for improvement.

For example, the robot is limited to continuous forward motion, and taking electronics out of the equation reduces its capacity to carry out sophisticated tasks.

Apple becomes 1st US company to hit $2 tn in market value

Yahoo – AFP, KIMIHIRO HOSHINO, August 19, 2020

Apple became the first US company to hit $2 trillion in market value

Apple on Wednesday became the first US company to reach $2 trillion in market value in the latest demonstration of how tech giants have benefited from the upheaval of the coronavirus.

The iPhone maker attained the distinction in mid-morning trading and was up 1.1 percent at $467.18 near 1545 GMT. The company had previously become the first giant to hit $1 trillion in market value in March 2018.

Apple is followed by other technology companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet, all of which now have more than $1 trillion in market value.

Shares in Apple have roughly doubled from March lows, an astonishing performance which has lifted chief executive Tim Cook's net worth to $1 billion for the first time, according to a Bloomberg Billionaires Index calculation.

Even as other large tech firms have shot higher on robust demand during lockdowns, Apple has outpaced its rivals by delivering strong sales of gadgetry including wearables and tablets, along with new apps and services which have gained ground during the global health crisis.

"Apple has been wildly successful in building out its platforms, mitigating the fact that iPhone sales had peaked, by building products that surround it and services that enhance it," said Avi Greengart, analyst with the consultancy Techsponential.

"It all feeds back into the cycle for Apple."

In the past quarter ending in June, Apple reported profits climbed eight percent to $11.2 billion and revenues jumped 11 percent to $59.7 billion.

Analysts say Apple CEO Tim Cook deserves credit for the company's surge 
over the last decade


A major factor in Apple's success has been leadership from Cook, who took over just ahead of the death of Steve Jobs in 2011.

"He didn't invent anything, but what he has done is keep a firm hand on the tiller, steering the ship and keeping the culture intact," said analyst Laura Martin at Needham & Company.

"He deserves a lot of credit for making the most out of Steve Jobs's inventions."

Apple's rise comes amid a broader rally in technology shares as employees around the country shift to working at home amid the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing protocols.

The tech-rich Nasdaq has hit records more than 30 times in 2020, including on Tuesday.

In the most recent quarter, Apple enjoyed a modest rise in smartphone revenue and robust increases in sales of iPads and Mac computers amid elevated demand for remote education and work-from-home buyers.

The company also benefited from services such as digital payments and streaming and from increased sales in smartwatches as interest in health and fitness applications rises.

People queue up to enter a new Apple flagship store that opened in Beijing
in July 2020

Success brings scrutiny

The ascendancy of Apple and other tech giants has prompted increased oversight from regulators and lawmakers, including on Capitol Hill, where Cook and the CEOs from Amazon, Facebook and Google all were grilled at a high-profile July 29 hearing.

"Simply put, they have too much power," said Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island who chairs the panel that convened the hearing.

During the session, Cook faced tough questioning over the market power of the company's App Store and its treatment of developers.

Analysts expect more scrutiny ahead for Apple and the other giants, but it isn't clear yet whether the questioning will lead to meaningful change.

Some analysts believe efforts to break up tech giants or otherwise reign them in could gain momentum if Democrats sweep the 2020 elections.

Another wildcard for Apple involves risks from heightened tensions between the United States and China, since Apple not only manufactures iPhones and other products there, but also relies on that market for a large chunk of sales, Greengart noted.

US President Donald Trump has been ratcheting up pressure on Beijing through restrictions on leading Chinese tech firms. Any retaliation against Washington by China could cause troubles for Apple, analysts say.

Related Articles:

"Wild Cards" (3) - Nov 19 - 20, 2016 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

"... Then there was Steve Jobs. He was a wild card. What he did had little to do with technology, for that would have happened anyway soon enough. Instead, it had to do with the paradigm of the business of music on Earth. He freed it, and the paradigm of how music is obtained and heard will never be the same. However, Steve Jobs did basically one thing for all of you, and then he died. Do you see any kind of connecting of the dots to some of the inventors who come and give you the one thing, then leave? If he had lived, would there be more? Yes, but you’re not ready for it. Consciousness has to support what happens. ..."

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Amazon to invest $10 bn in space-based internet system

Yahoo – AFP, July 31, 2020

Amazon could deliver satellite-based internet service to the US and other parts of
the world without reliable access through its Project Kuiper, which will deploy
some 3,000 satellites (AFP Photo/Philippe LOPEZ)

Washington (AFP) - Amazon says it will invest $10 billion for its planned space-based internet delivery system after winning US regulatory approval to deploy more than 3,000 low-orbit satellites.

The US tech giant said on Thursday it is moving forward with its Project Kuiper, one of several systems planned to bring internet to customers without land-based connections.

Project Kuiper aims to deliver satellite-based broadband services in the United States, and eventually around the world, and may offer connectively for wireless carriers and 5G networks.

Amazon offer no timetable for the project but said it would begin deployment of its 3,236 satellites after the Federal Communications Commission approved the project.

"We have heard so many stories lately about people who are unable to do their job or complete schoolwork because they don't have reliable internet at home," said Amazon senior vice president Dave Limp.

"There are still too many places where broadband access is unreliable or where it doesn't exist at all. Kuiper will change that. Our $10 billion investment will create jobs and infrastructure around the United States that will help us close this gap."

Project Kuiper seeks to deliver high-speed broadband service to places beyond the reach of traditional fiber or wireless networks, including disaster relief.

It will be aimed at individual households, as well as schools, hospitals, businesses and other organizations.

An Amazon statement said the project also aims to "deliver an affordable customer terminal that will make fast, reliable broadband accessible to communities around the world."

Kuiper is one of several projects to deliver internet from space begun over the past decades.

Elon Musk's SpaceX and British-based OneWeb, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, are working on similar projects.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Hundreds arrested, tonnes of drugs seized as police intercept crime gang messages

DutchNews, July 2, 2020


Police have arrested over a hundred suspects in the Netherlands as a result of messages intercepted on encrypted service provider EncroChat, Dutch police and Europol said on Thursday. 

Some 20 million exchanges by criminals on the network were read by police before they could be encrypted in what police call ‘an earthquake for organised crime’. EncroChat has around 50,000 users worldwide, 12,000 of whom live in the Netherlands. 

The investigation has so far led to the arrest of more than 100 suspects in the Netherlands and the seizure of eight tonnes of cocaine and 1.2 tonnes of crystal meth.  In total, 19 synthetic drugs labs have been dismantled and police have confiscated dozens of (automatic) fire weapons, expensive watches and 25 cars, and almost €20m in cash. 

In addition, a large number of suspects have also been arrested in several countries which were not participating in the investigation, including in the UK, Sweden and Norway. Many of these investigations were connected with international drug trafficking and violent criminal activities, Europol said. 

According to the Daily Mail, in Britain, 746 people have been arrested. London’s Met force has detained 132 people – including in the most serious organised crime network in the capital – and seized more than £13.3m in cash as well as machine guns and narcotics. 

More arrests are very likely to follow in the coming period, Europol said. 


The investigation was set up in 2017 with French police when it came across an increasing number of EncroChat phones, and assisted by European crime fighting agencies Europol and Eurojust. France has not yet gone public with the results of the investigation on its territory. 

The operation came to an abrupt end two weeks ago when EncroChat became aware of the software used by police to infiltrate the site. It then told its users to get rid of the phones.‘It was like sitting in on a meeting of criminals’, Dutch police chief Jannine van den Berg said. 

It is the fourth time a network used by criminals is infiltrated by police. In 2016 the server of network provider Ennetcom yielded millions of messages whose content is used to get the group surrounding notorious criminal Ridouan Ta