Turkey, Russia strike strategic Turkish Stream gas pipeline deal

Aren't they in a shooting war with each other? They're using proxies, but still.

The Internet Archive saved a report on suspicious Bitcoin trading at MtGOX. Key allegations in the report:

  • A bot named Willy by redditors was repeatedly dropping $2.5 million on Bitcoins, never selling, and opening a new account to repeat the process after spending the pre-set amount.
  • Willy was able to make trades when MtGOX was disconnected from the Internet, suggesting that it ran from inside the MtGOX network or that it was able to backdate its trades.
  • Willy's user IDs were significantly higher than the highest user IDs of normal users.
  • A user nicknamed Markus by the report's author also had higher user IDs than those of normal users, and Markus stopped trading 7 hours before the first Willy user ID was created, suggesting that Markus may have been an earlier bot or the user that created Willy.
  • Markus's purchases show the exact same currency value as the previous user's trade even when the bitcoin value is different, suggesting that the trade records were created from dirty memory either when the trades were recorded or when the report was generated, in either case without money changing hands.
  • When MtGOX released an anonymized version of their trading logs, the new logs changed the currency values of Markus's trades to the market price and changed Markus's user ID to that of a user named MagicalTux, a name used by MtGOX CEO Mark Karpeles.

As of two days after this report was published, it has been taken down by Wordpress.

This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.

The report ends by openly accusing MtGOX of fraud, which probably attracted the attention of lawyers. The author should have kept to the data and let it explain itself.

[Edit June 05] Wordpress has restored the Willy Report blog.

I heard from someone in local government that management was pushing accountants to move away from accrual accounting (also known as accounting) and back to cash-based accounting whose inaccuracy and incompleteness is the reason we invented accrual accounting. The context for this was a migration from one accounting software package to another, but according to a Bloomberg report, the idea to move to a cash basis comes from the state governor's office.

60 Minutes had an interesting piece on the stock market. Apparently all the talk about "high frequency trading" has little to do with algorithms anymore and is more about the HFT companies running MITM attacks on other traders, intercepting their trade orders, and using their own fiber lines to put in new trade orders quickly enough to raise the price before the original trade order gets in.

What's also interesting is that "anymore" was two years ago. 60 Minutes seems to have held back the story until someone had a book to sell, and they spent the end of the segment hawking the new company of one of the guys who identified the problem. Recall that the Benghazi report was based on someone who had a book to sell, which turned out to be a problem when CBS repeated some of the bullshit he had put in the book to make it more exciting. At least this latest book is not being published by a CBS subsidiary.

Banks and employers have found a new way to fuck over workers: You have to pay a fee to receive your wages. Some employers are getting kickbacks from the arrangement, so they are literally skimming from their workers' paychecks. I'm surprised no one has gone to jail for this yet.

Interesting link: Rhode Island after the Revolutionary War actively sought to redistribute the wealth of the city merchants by forcing merchant creditors to accept paper money that was then printed in such volume that it would depreciate. On that matter of forcing, merchants who refused to accept paper money had their property seized and their citizenship revoked after being tried in "special courts without juries and without the right to appeal". These policies were popular because there were more farmers with debts than merchants lending credit. There were also proposals in the Legislature to require everyone to swear an oath to the paper money system and for the State to simply seize all merchant assets, but these proved unpopular and were defeated.

Just as interesting are the responses from educated outsiders, as there was talk of forcibly invading Rhode Island and annexing it to Connecticut and Massachusetts to stop these policies. This sounds similar to the anti-Communist reactionary movements of the 20th century.

As for the effect that these policies had on the economy, the policy seems not to have had any significant deleterious effect. At least, none is mentioned in the essay. With its wartime debts paid off, Rhode Island may have come out the other end of these policies healthier than when it started.

via a Republican who is trying to argue that this is what Democrats are doing right now.

I never wrote down more than the titles for these ideas, so I'll briefly describe what I can remember.

Volcker, Texas Economist Ranger

The Texas Rangers are preparing to bust drug dealers in a cabin out in the wilds. Volcker suggests legalizing drugs to increase supply so their business will not be profitable and they will stop dealing drugs on their own initiative. The rangers explain that they're trying to get rid of drugs and that would be counterproductive.

Volcker gets sent out to recon the cabin. He gets in a fight with the drug dealers, and, well, he's an 80-year-old man so he ends up tied up in a chair. The Rangers kick down the door and Volcker tells the drug dealers that they are about to become familiar with a famous economic theory: the Prisoner's Dilemma.

Ramona and Beezus and Butthead

Beavis and Butthead are on a city sidewalk. Beavis runs into traffic and cars veer around him and crash. One car runs into a gas station and causes a mushroom-cloud explosion. Police vans show up immediately and cart Beavis away, and the whole scene only lasts ten or fifteen seconds.

BEAVIS: "Don't tase my butt!" (zap) "AUGH MY BUTT!"

BUTTHEAD: "Huhuhuh that was cool."

There is a change of style and pacing as Beatrice (13yo) and Ramona (9yo little sister) enter the scene. Beatrice decides to hang out with Butthead because he's in high school and therefore must be cool. Butthead takes them back to his place and proceeds to "hey baby" both of them and run through a list of adolescent deviant behaviour tropes.

  • He gives Beatrice a beer (which is a non-alcoholic Near Beer)
  • He gives her a cigarette which he "lights" with a flashlight
  • ...etc...

Finally they get around to seeing music videos. Ramona head-bangs hard to Rob Zombie's Dragula.

BEATRICE: "I didn't know MTV played music videos."

BUTTHEAD: "They only play videos like late at night."

BEATRICE: "Late at night? What time is it?" (checks) "Oh my god it's like two o'clock! We have to get home!"

After they leave, Butthead remarks that he's totally gonna score.

The next day, Ramona innocently tells the parents about how Beatrice was up all night with a high school boy who gave her beer and cigarettes.
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