Marshall Sutherland
  


Trump's Fake News: Deep Breaths and Fact-Checking Might Just Save America
by ReasonTV on YouTube

President Trump labels whatever he dislikes as "fake news," and makes up his own, but the media is part of the problem. In the latest "Mostly Weekly," Andrew Heaton provides a solution.
Sophie
  
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Marshall Sutherland
  
He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He's Worried About An Information Apocalypse.

"What happens when anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did?"
Marshall Sutherland
  
Interesting view of borders with implications for immigration.

Why political borders are not like private property lines
Some people want to “lock down” our national border for the same reason we lock our doors at night. The metaphor doesn’t work. You own your home. You don’t own the nation. The politicians don’t own it either. So a border is not a door, or a wall, or even a fence. It serves no protective function. Quite the opposite.

A border simply indicates that one group of gangsters rules on one side, and another group rules on the other side.
Marshall Sutherland
  


How Prosecutors Score a Windfall Turning Small Tickets Into Big Fees
by InstituteForJustice on YouTube

There is a new sheriff in town in Indio, California and he’s coming after residents who find themselves caught in the city’s outrageous new code enforcement law.

That sheriff is a private, for-profit law firm called Silver and Wright, which was hired by Indio in 2014 to serve as the city’s official prosecutor for code enforcement cases. The firm’s pitch was appealing. It offered “cost neutral or even revenue producing” prosecution services, so long as the city changed its ordinances to allow the firm to bill property owners for its full attorneys fees.

Pay a fine to the city and then have to pay much larger attorney fees to the city's prosecutor. What a racket!
Adam Robertson
  
This is very upsetting to read. Especially since I live in California and that particular law firm is expanding to other cities.
Sophie
  
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Marshall Sutherland
  
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Wed, 14 Feb 2018 09:54:48 -0500
Terrified of Bitcoin, banks forced to innovate for the first time in 40+ years
Terrified of Bitcoin, banks forced to innovate for the first time in 40+ years

Yesterday morning, several banks in Australia started rolling out a new payment system they’re calling NPP, or “New Payments Platform.”

Until now, sending a domestic funds transfer in Australia from one bank to another could take several days. It was slow and cumbersome.

With NPP, payments are nearly instantaneous.

And rather than funds transfers being restricted to the banks’ normal business hours, payments via NPP can be scheduled and sent 24/7.

You can also send money via NPP to mobile phones and email addresses. So it’s a pretty robust system.

Across the world in the United States, the domestic banking system has been working on something similar.

Domestic bank transfers in the Land of the Free typically transact through an electronic network known as ACH… another slow and cumbersome platform that often takes 2-5 days to transfer funds.

It’s pretty ridiculous that it takes more than a few minutes to transfer money. It’s 2018! It’s not like these guys have to load satchels full of cash onto horse-drawn wagons and cart them across the country.

(And even if they did, I suspect the money would reach its destination faster than with ACH…)

Starting late last year, though, US banks very slowly began to roll out something called the Real-time Payment system (RTP), which is similar to what Australian banks launched yesterday.

[That said, the banks themselves acknowledge that it could take several years to fully adopt RTP and integrate the new service with their existing online banking platforms.]

And beyond the US and Australia, there are other examples of banking systems around the world joining the 21st century and making major leaps forward in their payment system technologies.

It seems pretty clear they’re all playing catch-up with cryptocurrency.

The rapid rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies proved to the banking system that it’s possible to conduct real-time [or near-real-time] transactions, and not have to wait 2-5 days for a payment to clear.

Combined with other new technologies like Peer-to-Peer lending platforms, fundraising websites, etc., consumers are now able to perform nearly every financial transaction imaginable– deposits, loans, transfers, etc.– WITHOUT using a bank.

And it’s only getting better for consumers… which means it’s only getting worse for banks.

All of these threats from competing technologies have finally compelled the banks to innovate– literally for the FIRST TIME IN DECADES.

I’m serious.

When the CEO of the company launching RTP in the US announced the platform, he admitted that the “RTP system will be the first new payments system in the U.S. in more than 40 years.”

That’s utterly pathetic. The Internet has been around for 25 years. Even PayPal is nearly 20 years old.

Yet despite the enormous advances in technology over the past several decades, the last major innovation in bank payments was back when Saturday Night Fever was the #1 movie in America.

Banks have been sitting on their laurels for decades, enjoying their monopoly over our savings without the slightest incentive to improve.

Cryptocurrency has proven to be a major punch in the gut. The entire banking system keeled over in astonishment over Bitcoin’s rise, and they’ve been forced to come up with an answer.

And to be fair, the banks have reclaimed the advantage for now.

NPP, RTP, and all the other new protocols are faster and more efficient than most cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, for example, can only handle around 3-7 transactions per second. Ethereum Classic maxes at around 15 transactions per second. Litecoin isn’t much better.

By comparison, there were 25 BILLION funds transfers in 2016 using the ACH network in the US.

Based on the typical holiday schedule and the banks’ 8-hour working days, that’s an average “throughput” of roughly 3500 transactions per second.

So, now that banks have finally figured out how to conduct thousands of transactions per second in real-time, they clearly have superiority.

But that superiority is unlikely to last.

It takes banks decades to innovate. They have enormous bureaucratic hurdles to overcome. They have endless committees to appease, including the Federal Reserve’s “Faster Payments Task Force.”

And most importantly, given that most banks are still using absurdly antiquated software, any new systems they develop have to be carefully designed for backwards compatibility.

Cryptofinance and other financial technology companies have no such limitations.

As my colleague Tama mentioned in the podcast we released yesterday, the cryptocurrency space sort of exists in ‘dog years’.

Things move so quickly that one year in crypto is like 7 years for any other industry.

Right now there is almost a unified push across the crypto sector to solve the ‘scalability’ problem, i.e. to securely transact a near limitless number of transactions in real time.

Those solutions will almost undoubtedly come from technologies that you haven’t heard very much about yet.

Hashgraph and Radix, for example, are two such ventures working on extremely elegant payment solutions that break the mold of previous cryptos.

Rather than build upon standard cryptocurrency concepts like blockchain, Proof of Work, and Proof of Stake, both Hashgraph and Radix have created their own algorithms from scratch.

This is the bleeding edge of the bleeding edge of a massively disruptive sector that has existed for less than a decade.

And there are literally dozens of other companies and technologies aiming for similar heights.

Some of them will undoubtedly succeed. And still other ventures that won’t even be conceived for years will have yet more disruptive power in the future.

The banks don’t stand a chance. The future of finance absolutely belongs to crypto.

Source
Marshall Sutherland
  
We allow customers to pay via ACH. Behind the scenes, this involves using FTP to send a file to our bank once a day.
Marshall Sutherland
  
I've not listened to this yet, but I thought it might be of interest to the DIY crowd, :-)

Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Tue, 13 Feb 2018 23:46:18 -0500
Timo Marshall: How To Make Alcohol
Timo Marshall: How To Make Alcohol

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The process of distilling alcohol to produce common spirits -- like vodka, gin, whiskey, bourbon, brandy, rum, tequila, and vermouth -- is not widely known.

On this podcast, we're joined by Timo Marshall, co-founder of Spirit Works Distillery. In today's discussion, Timo walks through the basic science underlying the distillation process, what differentiates the most common spirits from one another, and what resources are available to those interested in taking up the practice.

Join the conversation »

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Mike Macgirvin
  

Your Facebook data is creepy as hell

    … and why you should really have a look get the hell out.



#fixedthatforyou
Marshall Sutherland
  
I just went and looked at my download from when I left in 2013. Only 1.4G. I had already deleted lots of things, so they did not feel obligated to include them, even if they still had a copy.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Longish (30 mins) but interesting.



Surprise: Voters Aren't More Polarized than Ever, Only Pols and Media Are
by ReasonTV on YouTube

Stanford political scientist Morris Fiorina says it's media and political elites who live in ideological bubbles, not regular Americans.
Sophie
  
Interesting how he compares the two party system in the States to the situation in Europe in the Ninetieth century. It seems a bit of an extreme comparison, but still interesting. I might need to get the book ;-)
Marshall Sutherland
  
Fat HeadFat Head wrote the following post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 20:07:34 -0500
Dietitians Want Their Bad Advice To Be The Only Advice: A Tale of Three Twitties
Dietitians Want Their Bad Advice To Be The Only Advice: A Tale of Three Twitties

Actually, this post is about three tweets, but A Tale of Three Twitties is catchier.

I came across the three tweets on the same day, and together they tell the story of what’s wrong with the current dietary advice and The Anointed who promote it.

The first tweet included a link to a recent study in which a low-carbohydrate diet was used to treat type 2 diabetics. Here’s a quote from the summary:
The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a new care model with very low dietary carbohydrate intake and continuous supervision by a health coach and doctor could safely lower HbA1c, weight and need for medicines after 1 year in adults with T2D. 262 adults with T2D volunteered to participate in this continuous care intervention (CCI) along with 87 adults with T2D receiving usual care (UC) from their doctors and diabetes education program. After 1 year, patients in the CCI, on average, lowered HbA1c from 7.6 to 6.3%, lost 12% of their body weight, and reduced diabetes medicine use. 94% of patients who were prescribed insulin reduced or stopped their insulin use, and sulfonylureas were eliminated in all patients.

Lower blood sugar, lower body weight, and 94% of the patients reduced or even eliminated the need for insulin treatment.  Awesome. All patients were able to discontinue sulfonylureas, which are drugs that stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Since all drugs have side effects, I looked up the side effects of sulfonylureas. Here’s what I found on a UK diabetes site:
Sulphonylureas are not recommended for people who are overweight or obese, as their mode of action (increase in insulin production and secretion) means that weight gain can be a relatively common side effect.

Funny, isn’t it? The fact that elevated insulin triggers weight gain seems to be accepted as a given by everyone except many (ahem) weight-loss experts.

I doubt the results of this study surprise you.  Quite a few clinical studies, like this one and this one, have shown similar results.

If you’ve got high blood sugar because of insulin resistance, cutting way back on the carbs can work wonders. I know it, you know it, countless personal trainers know it, everyone who’s read a book on low-carb diets knows it, gazillions of people who’ve done their own research online know it. Seems as if the only people who don’t know it are a helluvalotta doctors and nearly all dietitians.

Which brings us to the second tweet. That one included a link to a Dear Dietitian column in a county newspaper. If you have a tendency to bang your head on your desk when reading incredibly stupid advice from registered dietitians, you might want to don a helmet before continuing.

Okay, you were warned. Here goes:
Dear Dietitian,

I was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I’m trying to watch my diet, and have cut out most carbs, but if I eat a slice of white bread, my blood sugar goes up to 200! What gives?

Dear Frustrated,

First of all, try to be patient. This is a major lifestyle change, and it cannot be accomplished in a couple of weeks. It will take at least six weeks to become accustomed to the new diet, and it won’t be perfect. Secondly, there is no need to remove carbs from your diet. Carbs are a great source of energy and are very satisfying. Anyone who has diabetes should be able to consume 12 to 15 servings of carbohydrate foods each day while maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.

Head. Bang. On. Desk.

How the @#$% is someone with type 2 diabetes supposed to maintain a healthy glucose level while eating 15 servings of carbohydrate per day?! Well, you know the answer to that one:
Another important component for good diabetes management is to obtain the right medicine to lower your blood glucose levels.

Eat your 12 to 15 servings of carbohydrate per day (a great source of energy!), then beat down your blood sugar with more insulin. That’s how dietitians are trained to think. When Chareva’s father was in the hospital for surgery some months back, he was of course given meals approved by the staff dietitian. For breakfast, he was served pancakes with maple syrup … but no butter on those pancakes, because butter will kill ya, doncha know.

These registered imbeciles believe that if you shoot enough insulin to beat your blood sugar down to the normal range, it means you’re okay now — same as if you kept your blood sugar in the normal range by cutting back on the carbs instead.

No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, damnit, it’s not the same.

If you’re a type 1 diabetic and you need injections to achieve a normal level of insulin, that’s fine.  You’re just replacing what your body fails to produce.

But if you’re a type 2 diabetic and you have to inject yourself with extra-high doses of insulin so you can eat those great source of energy carbs, there are consequences. High insulin triggers weight gain. It thickens your arteries. It screws up the balance of your sex hormones. It likely promotes the growth of tumors. Telling insulin-resistant people to eat all those carbs and then shoot ever-higher doses of insulin is insane.

But that’s what dietitians are trained to recommend, which is why so many fat, sick, frustrated people are going elsewhere for dietary advice. Naturally, The Anointed don’t like it when the masses refuse to listen to them.

Which brings us to the third tweet. That one included a link to a video posted by the president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here’s the official description:

President Lucille Beseler, MS, RDN, LDN. CDE, FAND, offers members ways to protect the public’s health (and the nutrition and dietetics profession) from “disruptors” – competitors who offer lower-quality care and less-comprehensive services.

I’d prefer to embed the video in the post, but can’t. You can watch it on this page — and please don’t leave any snarky comments here or elsewhere about Ms. Beseler’s size. No need to go for the cheap shot.

Ms. Beseler is encouraging members to keep an eye out for people who give non-approved dietary advice and report these “disruptors” to state licensing boards … to protect the public’s health, of course.

Yes, because lord only knows what will happen to the millions of type 2 diabetics in the country if they aren’t told to eat their 12 to 15 servings of carbohydrates per day and then shoot up with more insulin.

Let’s take the official description of the video and edit it to reflect the true purpose:

President Lucille Beseler offers members ways to protect the nutrition and dietetics profession from competitors.

This is nothing new, mind you. As Adam Smith pointed out way back in 1776 when he wrote The Wealth of Nations, regulations that are supposedly passed to protect the poor, helpless public are often nothing more than a means to stifle competition — which screws the poor, helpless public.

In what has to be the most outlandish example I’ve ever seen, Illinois passed a regulation requiring anyone who braids hair for a fee to first obtain a cosmetology license. (If you think I’m kidding, read this.) Apparently the regulation was passed after hundreds of people were rushed to emergency rooms suffering from badly-braided hair.

Here’s how it should happen in a supposedly free country: People who give dietary advice that works attract more customers who are willing to pay them. People whose dietary advice doesn’t work lose customers. A license granted by The Anointed shouldn’t figure into the equation either way. If health coaches, personal trainers and other “disruptors” are giving advice that doesn’t work, then the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has no cause for concern. Word will get around.

But of course, that’s the problem: the word has gotten around. Dietitians are still telling diabetics to eat their carbs and shoot more insulin — perhaps because the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics receives generous support from the makers of industrial foods. Their advice is garbage, so people are seeking and finding alternative advice that actually works — as demonstrated by clinical studies and the experiences of millions. That makes the alternative advice a threat, so the dietitians want government licensing boards to stifle the “disruptors” who offer it.

And that’s where we’re at.  A Tale of Three Twitties tells pretty much the whole story.

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 health
Marshall Sutherland
  
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How Lobbyists Normalized the Use of Chemical Weapons on American Civilians
by Longreads on Longreads

The story of Amos Fries and his entrepreneurial social network is a cautionary tale. It reveals the origins of the dangerous relationship between the escalation of police force and the profitable pursuits of riot-control manufacturers. As true in the 1920s as it is today, protest became an opportunity to “field test” new weapons. Austerity and injustice were mobilized as excuses to sell, research, and develop weapons designed for use against civilians.

In the years since Amos Fries brought military tear gas to the policing of protest, public safety has become ever more dictated by business models for risk and security. Economic interests and the pursuit of private profits fuel these models. Under these conditions, the repression of political communication itself becomes a commodity. It is traded and sold in the feed the less lethal industry. This industry expands so long as protest stays criminal and the police can be persuaded to purchase more and more military-grade goods.

Looking back toward the nascent military-industrial complex of the 1920s and 1930s helps unravel the evasive alliances that work to dehumanize interaction, commodify repression, and elude accountability. While Fries’s power was contested and had its limits, his ideologies shaped the military transfer of tear gas for civilian use. His dangerously myopic visions of “good” and “bad” Americans legitimated the deployment of chemical weapons to crush popular uprisings.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Healthy lifestyle could prevent half of all cancer deaths
If people in the U.S. adopted a healthy lifestyle—not smoking, drinking in moderation, maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising regularly—half of all cancer deaths and close to half of all cancer diagnoses could potentially be prevented, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
 health
Maria Karlsen
  
What's wrong with cabbage soup? ;-)
Marshall Sutherland
  
Maybe I don't know enough about the cabbage soup lifestyle! :-)

(living in Florida, I should have used my other example -- the grapefruit diet lifestyle)
Sophie
  
My favorite is the kiwifruit diet. Everything except kiwi ;-)
Marshall Sutherland
  
Why should I care about Kubernetes, Docker, and Container Orchestration? - Scott Hanselman

A person at work chatted me, commenting on my recent blog posts on the Raspberry Pi Kubernetes Clusters that are being built, and wondered "why should I care about Kubernetes or Docker or any of that stuff?"
 work
Marshall Sutherland
  
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:05:10 -0500
This may be the beginning of the Great Financial Reckoning
This may be the beginning of the Great Financial Reckoning

Less than two weeks ago, the United States Department of Treasury very quietly released its own internal projections for the federal government’s budget deficits over the next several years.

And the numbers are pretty gruesome.

In order to plug the gaps from its soaring deficits, the Treasury Department expects to borrow nearly $1 trillion this fiscal year.

Then nearly $1.1 trillion next fiscal year.

And up to $1.3 trillion the year after that.

This means that the national debt will exceed $25 trillion by September 30, 2020.

Remember, this isn’t some wild conspiracy theory. These are official government projections published by the United States Department of Treasury.

This story alone is monumental– not only does the US owe, by far, the greatest amount of debt ever accumulated by a single nation in human history, but $25 trillion is larger than the debts of every other nation in the world combined.

But there are other themes at work here that are even more important.

For example– how is it remotely possible that the federal government can burn through $1 trillion?

Everything is supposedly totally awesome in the United States. The economy is strong, unemployment is low, tax revenue is at record levels.

It’s not like they had to fight a major two front war, save the financial system from an epic crisis, or battle a severe economic depression.

It’s just been business as usual. Nothing really out of the ordinary.

And yet they’re still losing trillions of dollars.

This is pretty scary when you think about it. What’s going to happen to the US federal deficit when there actually IS a financial crisis or major recession?

And none of those possibilities are factored into their projections.

The largest problem of all, though, is that the federal government is going to have a much more difficult time borrowing the money.

For the past several years, the government has always been able to rely on the usual suspects to loan them money and buy up all the debt, namely– the Federal Reserve, the Chinese, and the Japanese.

Those three alone have loaned trillions of dollars to the US government since the end of the financial crisis.

The Federal Reserve in particular, through its “Quantitative Easing” programs, was on an all-out binge, buying up every long-dated Treasury Bond it could find, like some sort of junkie debt addict.

And both Chinese and Japanese holdings of US government debt now exceed $1 trillion each, more than double what they were before the 2008 crisis.

But now each of those three lenders is out of the game.

The Federal Reserve has formally ended its Quantitative Easing program. In other words, the Fed has said it will no longer conjure money out of thin air to buy US government debt.

The Chinese government said point blank last month that they were ‘rethinking’ their position on US government debt.

And the Japanese have their own problems at home to deal with; they need to scrap together every penny they can find to dump into their own economy.

Official data from the US Treasury Department illustrates this point– both China and Japan have slightly reduced their holdings of US government debt since last summer.

Bottom line, all three of the US government’s biggest lenders are no longer buyers of US debt.

There’s a pretty obvious conclusion here: interest rates have to rise.

It’s a simple issue of supply and demand. The supply of debt is rising. Demand is falling.

This means that the ‘price’ of debt will decrease, ergo interest rates will rise.

(Think about it like this– with so much supply and lower demand for its debt, the US government will have to pay higher interest rates in order to attract new lenders.)

Make no mistake: higher interest rates will have an enormous impact on just about EVERYTHING.

Many major asset prices tend to fall when interest rates rise.

Rising rates mean that it costs more money for companies to borrow, reducing their leverage and overall profitability. So stock prices typically fall.

It’s also important to note that, over the last several years when interest rates were basically ZERO, companies borrowed vast sums of money at almost no cost to buy back their own stock.

They were essentially using record low interest rates to artificially inflate their share prices.

Those days are rapidly coming to an end.

Property prices also tend to do poorly when interest rates rise.

Here’s a simplistic example: if you can afford the monthly mortgage payment to buy a $500,000 house when interest rates are 3%, that same monthly payment will only buy a $250,000 house when rates rise to 6%.

Rising rates mean that people won’t be able to borrow as much money to buy a home, and this typically causes property prices to fall.

Of course, higher interest rates also mean that the US government will take a major hit.

Remember that the federal government already has to borrow money just to pay interest on the money they’ve already borrowed.

So as interest rates go up, they’ll be paying even more each year in interest payments… which means they’ll have to borrow even more money to make those payments, which means they’ll be paying even more in interest payments, which means they’ll have to borrow even more, etc. etc.

It’s a pretty nasty cycle.

Finally, the broader US economy will likely take a hit with rising interest rates.

As we’ve discussed many times before, the US economy is based on consumption, not production, and it depends heavily on cheap money (i.e. lower interest rates), and cheap oil, in order to keep growing.

We’re already seeing the end of both of those, at least for now.

Both oil prices and interest rates have more than doubled from their lows, and it stands to reason that, at a minimum, interest rates will keep climbing.

So this may very well be the start of the great financial reckoning.

Source
 debt
Maria Karlsen
  
And with USA being so big - the rest of the world will be affected.
Marshall Sutherland
  
I've got a post on the "we owe it to ourselves" B.S. that some people like to say rolling around in my head. Maybe at some point I'll write it down.
Marshall Sutherland
  
The House That Spied on Me

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In December, I converted my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco into a “smart home.” I connected as many of my appliances and belongings as I could to the internet: an Amazon Echo, my lights, my coffee maker, my baby monitor, my kid’s toys, my vacuum, my TV, my toothbrush, a photo frame, a sex toy, and even my bed.
Haakon Meland Eriksen (Parlementum)
  
Good read, thanks.
Marshall Sutherland
  
o.O

Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Fri, 09 Feb 2018 12:53:05 -0500
Meet the world’s next central banker: Mark Zuckerberg
Meet the world’s next central banker: Mark Zuckerberg

Within the last week, Facebook announced a ban on all advertisements about bitcoin, initial coin offerings and other cryptocurrencies.

Facebook (along with Google) virtually controls Internet advertising. So their policies have enormous influence over consumer behavior.

Banning ICO advertisements on its platform, for example, will certainly have a negative impact on the amount of money flowing into new ICO’s.

Facebook said it instituted this ban to “protect its users” from financial scams in the cryptocurrency sector. At least, that’s the “official” reason.

And in fairness, there is a ridiculous amount of fraud out there — countless scammy ICO’s and appallingly stupid tokens and coins.

But it’s also possible that Facebook’s main driver in this move goes beyond its desire to protect the well-being of its nearly 2 billion users.

It was only a month ago that Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would study encryption and the blockchain to “see how best to use them in our services.”

And one of the speakers at the crypto conference that one of our team members attended in New York City yesterday confirmed Facebook is investing a ton of capital into blockchain right now.

It stands to reason that Facebook’s decision to ban crypto advertisements may be rooted in eliminating its own competition, i.e. Facebook may be working on its own proprietary blockchain and cryprocurrency to deploy on its own platform.

One possibility is that Facebook could adopt a similar model to Steemit – a decentralized social network that operates on the blockchain.

It’s up to Steemit’s users to police the site, not a central authority. And the platform rewards its users for good content with small amounts of cryptocurrency and penalizes users for spam and “fake news.”

This would solve a huge problem for Facebook, which has already come under fire from governments across the world for not doing enough to moderate user content including “fake news,” “hate speech,” etc.

Facebook has already hired an army of content moderators, but this is barely been able to make a dent in solving the company’s problem.

So adopting a model like Steemit ,which rewards users with specialized crypto could certainly make sense.

This wouldn’t be the company’s first foray into the arena, either.

When social games like Farmville were popular (maybe they still are, who knows), gamers could pay for e-goods with an in-game currency. Then Facebook created its own currency for people to trade in and out of Farmville and other games.

A full-blown Facebook Token is the logical next step.

Given Facebook’s worldwide dominance, its tokens would have the potential to become enormously popular, practically overnight, and used in everyday transactions in the real world.

The big hope with Bitcoin is that it may one day disrupt conventional fiat currencies. Maybe so. But Bitcoin still has a steep adoption curve before it becomes truly disruptive.

Facebook Tokens, on the other hand, would be adopted by hundreds of millions of people right from the start.

You’d be able to buy and sell products in Facebook Tokens, send money and remittances, pay contract employees overseas, and engage in all sorts of cross-border transactions.

This would essentially make Mark Zuckerberg the world’s central banker… the one person with control over the first truly global currency.

Given that he already controls the #1 media source in the world and has substantial influence over consumer behavior, launching a Facebook Token would solidify his position as the most powerful person on the planet.

Source
Maria Karlsen
  
At first I thought...oh well... then I read it again and - this is actually really scary.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Senate reaches budget deal to clean out your wallet | Libertarian Party

“The ‘bipartisan deal’ means that the politicians get what they want,” Sarwark said. “We, as taxpayers, will pay an extra $400 billion according to the Washington Post. More precisely, because nearly all this extra spending will be funded by borrowing more money, our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will pay. In individual terms, this means that every man, woman, and child in the United States will have $1,238 added to their federal tab. When we combine that with the GOP tax cut of $1.5 trillion, which was not accompanied by reduced spending, our additional federal credit charge adds up to $5,880 per person.”

What was the definition of "bipartisan" I gave just the other day?
Marshall Sutherland
  
Do you want to let dying people try experimental medicines?

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Senate and President say yes. Pressure the House to agree
Sophie
  
Wow. There are times when I think the US are the richest developing nation in the world.
Marshall Sutherland
  


What Data Does Windows 10 Send to Microsoft?
by Techquickie on YouTube

Your Windows 10 installation is probably sending quite a bit of information to Microsoft. Just what sorts of things are being sent, and could they be used to identify you or your activities?
Mike Macgirvin
  
Back in the day we used to move images around with dd, but you had to be aware of and transfer data in exact multiples of the block size. I figured by using startup disk creator I wouldn't have to try and find any documentation about the blocksize of my Chinese USB stick. And after having Microsoft thwart several of my earlier efforts I also didn't want to do it over yet again. So yes you can use dd, but if you've got a device with an unusual blocksize (something besides an exact multiple of 512) you're going to have to know what that is.
Einer von Vielen
  last edited: Thu, 08 Feb 2018 11:21:17 -0500  
but you had to be aware of and transfer data in exact multiples of the block size.
Indeed, the blocksize can make troubles. After using "dd" to create the last bootable USB I tried to re-format it again and run into errors caused by different block sizes. I think It was something like "the partation table says blocksize XY but the real physical block size is YZ".

I will remember and try "your" startup disk creator the next time. Thanks for the hint.
Adam Robertson
  
At my kid's school , I help maintian all of the office computers and network. They have painfully slow internet because of the remote location.

I can always tell when one of the Windows 10 computers is doing its thing (uploading data) because no one else can access the internet. At first I thought it was a network issue but my router tells me exactly who is the culprit.  Windows 10 Desktop every time.

I think I have them convinced to downgrade to Windows 7 pro,
Marshall Sutherland
  
Grammarly's flawed Chrome extension exposed users' private documents

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The grammar-correcting browser extension is used by about 22 million users.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Directly control how your taxes are spent with the Universal Charitable Credit Act

The Universal Charitable Credit Act lets you allocate $500 of your taxes to non-profit organizations that you think do better at solving social problems than the government does.

Tell your elected representatives to introduce the Universal Charitable Credit Act