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There's been a big move in the shares of BlackBerry the last couple of days upward on news that they're partnering with Google, much as they did with Samsung, to "secure" Android devices for corporate use.

While this does not necessarily means that the full Google Suite will become available on BB10, it might foreshadow it -- particularly if Google loses their anti-trust cases in a number of countries that are pending due to their forced-agreement structure for Play and its components.

I believe Google is arguably in violation of anti-monopoly statues in this regard in the United States as well, and one of the reasons (indeed, arguably the reason) these agreements with handset makers are kept "secret" is to prevent them from being analyzed on that basis.  The problem with such a clause is that it's unenforceable as soon as someone fires off a subpoena, and that day has both come in other places and probably will come here in the US as well.

Once it does, or if Google simply decides that allowing "Play Store" access without bundling all the other pieces that demand access to your personal data as well (such as Gmail, the contacts and calendar interface, etc) is a good idea the gate will come down.

As it stands right now BlackBerry intentionally prevents you from sideloading the Play components.  There is no technical reason to do this, only a business one -- and since you can't tamper with a BlackBerry BB10 OS and remove or change components (since their load process is actually secure, as far as anyone has been able to determine thus far) that "cock block" has remained effective.

This doesn't prevent people from loading Android apps -- and most of them not only load they do run.  It only prevents you from loading their official store interface, along with the services components (e.g. in-app billing.)

Even if this announcement doesn't lead to official "Play" load capacity for BB10 devices it's a big move forward for BlackBerry, and a tremendous revenue opportunity -- one that certainly merits a nice revaluation of the company (and it's stock) upward.

If, however, that block was to be removed and Play explicitly permitted, which might come about not so much due to negotiation but rather due to Google losing in one or more countries on a world-wide basis, the impact would be utterly tremendous as it would turn the BB10 handsets into the corporate handset of choice at all levels from the least expensive to the super-premium handset (e.g. Passport), bar none.

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I've received a few pieces of push-back on my articles on the medical industry, including the recent one on Coronary Artery DiseaseOne of them, which I didn't publish, included this snippet:

The current prevailing research does support that taking the statins produces a net benefit, regardless if the original intention of cholesterol lowering is the reason why.

But that's not the test, you see, unless you're a greedy ****.

If someone is Type II diabetic and their blood sugar is out of control, prescribing insulin will of course produce a net benefit over not doing so.  However, getting the carbs out of their diet might well effectively reverse their high blood glucose entirely.

But while the latter will do (far) more to help the poor sod with the disease it costs nothing and the medical establishment can't make a lot of money selling insulin to someone who doesn't need it any more.

The medical establishment also won't make any money cutting off the toes of said person over time nor off their eventual need for dialysis, which is virtually always a final-stage thing in that a few years later you're nearly always dead.  In other words your suffering and ultimate demise is very profitable.  Your health, not so much.

I note further that the American Diabetes Association recommends eating carbohydrates!  If there was some essential nutrient that could only be gained by doing so, or was almost-impossible to gain otherwise, I could see the point of the recommendation.  You take the good with the bad because the good is necessary.

But this is not true; there is no essential nutritional value found in carbohydrates that cannot be had without them and if you eliminate them you also largely eliminate variable insulin demand making it entirely possible for a Type II diabetic to either greatly reduce or even eliminate their requirement for medication!

So how does the medical establishment in any form justify the current recommendations?  I don't think they can, and in fact there is little argument for them other than "it's easier -- and more profitable -- to sell someone a pill (or injection) than explain to them how their biochemistry works and further explain that while drugs are an option statistically speaking they are dramatically less-likely to be both sustainable over the remainder of your life and produce as good of an outcome as getting rid of the carbs in your diet will."

Diabetes is by far the only circumstance where this is the case. Indeed, when it comes to chronic disease and disorder, particularly obesity and all of its related ills, virtually all follow the same script in this regard.  Never mind so-called "mood disorders" and the various drugs prescribed therefor (Prozac, anyone?)  I've written repeatedly about the fact that even if they so-called "work" they also appear produce rage monsters in a small percentage of people.  We have pointedly refused to have the debate about whether that cost to society is worth the benefit for those who cannot be, either due to circumstance or refusal to comply, closely monitored to detect this problem before it becomes emergent but boy, those drugs are sure as hell profitable to have people chowing down on like candy corns.

I'm really just playing devil's advocate at this point because it is rather fatiguing to see your posts be so one sided and then see some of the community of the site just jump on it as if the medical industry and doctors are all out to get each and every one of you.

Well what the hell do you call it when an "industry" appears to have manufactured disease and death and has massively profited from it, doing all of the following:

  • Gone from ~3% of GDP to ~18% over the last 40 years and that's on hard costs; it's nearly certain to be over 1 dollar in five today.  The cost of having a baby in 1963, in today's dollars including a three-night stay in the hospital, was under $1,000.  Today it typically runs eight times that much for an uncomplicated birth and involves a stay of only hours.  This is flat-out financial rape.

  • Taken obesity from a somewhat common and troublesome problem to an outright epidemicmore than doubling since the 1970s.  More than 2/3rds of adults in America are either overweight or obese and 82% of black women are in this category!  This has coincided with doctors recommending a meat-restricted, high-carbohydrate and high processed-plant-oil based diet over the same 40 years.  It is a fact that this set of "recommendations" has done nothing but coincide with the largest explosion of waistlines in the history of the planet yet physicians almost to an individual continue to beat the same drum on "diet and exercise" that led us here and worse, profit tremendously from the pain, suffering, morbidity (hip and knee replacements anyone?) and ultimately mortality that come from it.

  • Presents knowing falsehoods to the public on a literal daily basis, including those related to meat, diagrams of coronary artery disease that are factually wrong, continued presentation of disproved hypothesis (e.g. The Lipid Hypothesis, claims that coronary artery disease proceeds from direct absorption of cholesterol out of the blood despite knowledge to the contrary) and worse, when a hypothesis is under active questioning this is never presented to patients in an honest fashion with the clear statement that said "expert" doesn't actually know what is going on but instead is guessing.  This results in people having various treatments literally shoved down their throat (in the form of pills, operations or both) when there is no clear proof that this is the best option available and without any frank discussion of the risks and potential rewards of the alternatives.  

  • Rank profiteering and cost-driving is not only part and parcel of the profession it provides a tremendous motivation for doctors to not discuss the various alternatives openly and honestly. While there are certainly medical conditions for which there is no realistic alternative than the one propounded upon (e.g. if your arm is broken you need to have it set) in many if not most cases there are multiple alternative options and all have both risks and potential rewards.  Because cost is not only almost-never brought into the equation the fact that there is a profit margin on various treatment modalities means that the physician and his friends all make the most money from the most-expensive treatment whether it's the one you would choose on a risk:reward basis or not!

  • Monopoly and "captive customer" practices are not an exception, they're the rule.  Doctors performing a "drive by" consultation in the hospital, for example (e.g. sticking their head in the room, saying "hi" and then billing for a "consult") constitutes an epidemicStates with "CON" laws have their review boards staffed by doctors and administrators who usually own the competing businesses.  Laws requiring prescriptions to obtain utterly-ordinary things (such as having virtually any minimally or non-invasive test done, as is the case for virtually any blood-draw related test) drive costs to the moon and serve to prevent people from monitoring their own health without paying someone their hourly rate.  Not one physician in 100 will recommend, for example, that you check your own fasting blood sugar level despite the fact that you can buy a meter that is calibrated and known accurate (after all, diabetics need such a device) and "starter" test strips to do so and check it in 30 seconds any morning upon awakening you wish at almost any pharmacy in the country over-the-counter for about $20; exactly where in this nation can you get an office visit for such a purpose for $20, say much less the test?  Why is it that I can't walk into any diagnostic center, plunk down $20 and have a CBC, for example, done with the results given to me and only me -- on demand?

  • Have and do, on a daily basis, collude together and act in a means intended to reduce competition and monopolize markets.  Whether it's arguing for and supporting "prescription" requirements to limiting the number of MRI machines in an area to outright price-fixing and refusing to quote a price for a procedure in advance, doctors and other parts of the medical establishment engage in such actions daily.  Anti-competitive behavior and collusion is a felony in this country generally under the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman Acts; exactly why should I trust someone with my life that has chosen to affirmatively act and profit from geting laws passed to excuse them from behavior that for anyone else would land them in prison for a decade or more?  Every one of the persons involved in any such act should be doing life in prison -- the penalty is 10 years for each act.

  • If it's my body why are not my medical records my property - - exclusively so?  Medical providers, down to dentists, routinely refuse to see anyone who won't give them personally-identifying information and allow them to keep all of it. In the world of paper records this might not have been that big of a deal but it sure is in the world of electronic records, where you no longer have any control over what happens to that data once it's collected.  While HIPPA allegedly protects this on a legal basis the fact is that no medical provider or related firm has ever been held criminally or civilly accountable to any material degree for breaches -- including Anthem which was just hacked and likely had the records of millions of people stolen including children.  Simply put it's none of anyone's damned business what my health records look like except me and, perhaps, those who I contract with to pay for my treatment.  If I fail to disclose something to my doctor then it's on me if I get a bad outcome as a result, not on him or her.  In short is that doctor interested in my health or my data?

I say that the so-called "medical establishment" is out to get each and every one of us.  Maybe they don't want to shove all of us in the hole, but they sure do want all of our money.  Virtually all of the medical personnel in civilian medicine engage in practices that in nearly any other line of business would be considered felonious when it comes to long-standing law on competition and restraint of trade.  How in the hell can anyone in this line of work argue that I should respect them when they engage in, aid and abet acts that, were I to have done so when running my ISP, would have landed me in federal prison?

Being a physician used to be a decent middle-class job; now it's a treadmill deal where gross and net income are grotesquely misaligned and yet doctors whine about the cost of things like malpractice insurance and similar when it is in fact their own actions that led them to being where they are in the market today.

And don't give me this crap about how there aren't choices or alternatives. That's the same defense that Nazis used at Nuremberg, and it didn't work for them.  It won't work for you in the end either and as long as I can grab my Passport, head to the airport, fly to Narita in Japan, get an MRI done there and fly back home for less than the "billed price" for the same service in the exact same device made by the same company a mile up the road from my house you can all take that outright lie and shove it, along with the AMA, your closest hospital and the pharmaceutical industry where the sun doesn't shine.

This crap -- all of it -- must stop not only because it has not produced any net improvement in these chronic diseases in terms of prevalence among the public but also because trees cannot grow to the sky and the continued financial******of the public is both unacceptable and unsustainable.  It will destroy this nation if it is not halted; arithmetic cannot be argued with or bargained over.  Those in the medical or pharmaceutical profession who refuse to cut this crap out must be imprisoned.

If there are persons in the medical field that recognize any of this they're a tiny minority.  Silent acquiescence is consent folks, and I refuse to give anyone who consents to this crap in the so-called "industry" a pass.  Rather, they deserve to be shunned, prosecuted and their various interactions with others subjected to the same sort of rapacious pricing they inflict on all of us -- and that's being kind.

I'll stop ripping on doctors and the medical establishment when, and not before, they stop trying to financially screw me and every other American in the ass, then shovel my dead -- and dead-broke -- butt in the hole.

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Hmmm..... now the game is afoot.

​​​​The investigation into the intrusion methods described in the document and the sophisticated attacks that Gemalto detected in 2010 and 2011 give us reasonable grounds to believe that an operation by NSA and GCHQ probably happened

The attacks against Gemalto only breached its office networks and could not have resulted in a massive theft of SIM encryption keys.

So Gemalto believes.

Of course the best hacks are the ones the target does not detect.  Those are of course also the most-dangerous, for all the obvious reasons.

The problem with simply believing Gemalto is that if they were hacked and their SIM key database was stolen this is an existential threat to the future of the company.  It only gets worse if they were hacked and don't know about it.

On the other hand, Snowden -- and Russia -- have plenty of reasons to overstate claims that cannot be refuted as well!

So what should we take from this?

From my point of view, it's simple: It is utterly outrageous and inexcusable, irrespective of the context, for national security-related spy agencies, or any "law enforcement" agency of any sort, to hack into private companies that are not the target of an actual investigation and thus are not subject to a warrant.

There are no exceptions to this.  If we make those exceptions then when the Chinese hack our companies and steal their data we have no right to bitch because we are doing the same thing.  The ostensible and claimed "purpose" of said hacking is immaterial to the fact that once the data has been obtained it can and will be used.

Using undercover means to investigate a target suspected of an actual violation of the law, under court supervision via the warrant process, is fine.  But in cases like this there is no allegation that Gemalto was involved in anything related to law-breaking and as a consequence such an action is utterly indefensible irrespective of the claimed purpose.

I have often written in these pages excoriating our tolerance of Chinese hacking into our corporate databases and personal data stored on various servers, an endemic problem that our government refuses to address via trade and diplomatic sanction.

The problem is that we have no right to complain as long as we're doing the same thing -- and as a result we must stop this crap right here and now.

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Here we go again....

The three major democratic advanced economies—the eurozone, Japan and the U.S.—continue to experience significant economic challenges. The eurozone is weak and vulnerable; Japan has been in recession again; and while recent data have been better, the American recovery is still slow by historical standards, with stagnant median real wages and a labor market that is weaker than the official unemployment rate indicates.

The particulars of these economic challenges differ, but in each region one thing is constant: endless focus by the media, analysts and investors on the yellow-brick road that leads to central banks. Will the European Central Bank’s quantitative-easing program have major impact? How will the Bank of Japan proceed? When will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates?

Uh huh.  Robert goes on to talk about, of course, that government ought to be spending money (it doesn't have.)  Specifics?  Sure, Robert's got those!

The greater these risks are, the more imperative it is that elected officials do what is needed for a successful economy. In the U.S., that agenda should include a sound and well-constructed fiscal regime, robust public investment, and structural change in areas like immigration, education, trade liberalization and much else. The fiscal regime should consist of upfront job-creating infrastructure spending, enacted simultaneously with somewhat deferred structural fiscal-discipline measures on the spending and revenue sides. And sequestration should be canceled.


The entire reason we have a bubble machine -- a serial one at that -- in all the advanced economies is because that structure is necessary in order to run fiscal deficits.  This is an act of fraud upon the public; the claim that one can have that which one cannot or will not pay for with current income (in this case, taxes.)

This would be ok if the spending was merely pulled forward and then not undertaken later -- in other words, if you borrowed say, $100 billion and then paid it off.

However, that never happens.  It has never happened in the history of the United States in over 100 years.  It has not happened here, it has not happened in Japan, and it has not happened in Europe.  That's the developed, industrial world.

I recently had a very long conversation with yet another person who was utterly convinced that The Fed was what wrong with the world and Ron Paul (never mind a gold standard) was right.  I may have disabused him of this after quite some time but the fact is that whether I did or not he was and is wrong.

Federal Reserve policies, and commercial bank credit emission (which incidentally is how we get bubbles, NOT The Fed) all come from the fact that the government demands the right to emit credit whenever they want in whatever quantity they want.  This is done through the banks since they buy the Treasuries; ergo, the structure must be in place to emit unbacked credit!

Stop that, and there is no need to allow the banks to have that structure.  Stop that, and there is no inflation.  Stop that, and there are no more bubbles.  There are still good ideas and bad, but there is no more government of whatever you want to "give", there is only government that the people will consent to pay for via taxation.

One Dollar of Capital resolves all of this.  But that's an impossible mandate so long as the government demands the ability to cheat.

You see, the problem doesn't lie in the Eccles Building, just a few blocks from the White House and Washington Monument.  It lies on the other end of the Washington Mall dead-center, the place where of 535 lying sacks of crap meet on a regular basis.

If you want to resolve any of these problems you need to fix one thing first and foremost -- you must end deficit spending and run at least a small but persistent cash-basis surplus.  That is, the "Debt to the Penny" figures must be decreasing on an annual basis, not increasing.

Then -- and only then -- can you address the structural problems that are (a) destroying the middle class in this country and (b) creating repeated bubbles in various parts of the economy.

Without ceasing the predicate act that requires the bubble structure that is currently present you simply cannot get rid of it.  No, not even issuing "greenbacks" would help; in fact, doing that would make the problem worse.

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for enterprise users, at least.

10.3.2, next update coming, appears to have full S/MIME support.

Unconfirmed at this moment, but it appears so.

Sorry Android.....

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