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2018-01-18 09:26 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 284 references
[Comments enabled]  

If you think this is about Zucker****er suddenly giving a crap about you then you need to check in for psychiatric treatment:

Zuckerberg said late on Thursday the world’s largest social network would adjust its centerpiece News Feed to prioritize what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.

The problem with ad saturation and "monetizing" platforms are well-understood by everyone except Wall Street analysts, who continually claim the problem doesn't exist -- right up until the business dependent on it collapses.

First, autoplay videos are not only a menace to user satisfaction (especially if sound comes with them) they arguably invite lawsuits and even criminal prosecution for theft by conversion since they force you to pay for the delivery of bits to a device you do not wish to see, and they do so by subterfuge.

This is no small matter; indeed if you look at your data traffic closely on your cellphone I bet you find a solid half of it, if you don't use the phone to do things like watch Netflix, is advertising data.

How much of your "data plan" do you need because of advertising sent to you that you did not request and for products you do not want?

Half, roughly.

Got an "unlimited" plan?

That's nice -- why did you spend the money on it when half of what you transfer wasn't data you wanted to see?

Let me put some perspective on this -- with an adblocked browser and not watching Netflix on my device I often run just over 2Gb of data a month.  That's because textual web pages, even image-heavy ones, and things like Twatter (assuming you have "auto video" turned off!)  don't consume much data.  Neither do emails, contacts, calendar sync, etc.  But I don't have Facesucker on my phone -- at all.  I also downloaded the offline map for my local area, so if I need Google Maps for some reason all the data that has to be sent is for traffic.

I'm by no means a light phone user -- yet without all that advertising traffic directed at me I use very little mobile data at all.  Most people's traffic is largely advertising; that is, they're paying to be abused!

Second, there's a huge problem generally with so-called "algorithmic" targeting of so-called "news."  Since the entire point of these sites is drive this thing they call engagement they are designed to find the patterns in what you believe through what you like and spend time on and then surround you with a bubble that presents only that which reinforces your already-existing prejudices.

You do this of course when you go to the movies; you pick a movie based on what you think you'll like.  But contemplate the problem with filtering alleged news and information this way and you being to see how that sort of paradigm is extraordinarily destructive and intentionally so, since it's how these sites are designed and in fact rely on in order to make money.

Facebook, in short, has a tiny fraction of its present business value unless it reinforces what you already believe because without doing that you won't feel good and thus you won't come back.  The firm's entire intent is to addict you by manipulating your feelings of pleasure and the more successful they are in doing that the more time you spend, the more ads you see, and the more money the company makes.

Any presentation of facts that contradicts what you like thus has to be filtered from your view.

If you don't recognize this as an act of intentional psychological abuse you should.  Adults, of course, are free to engage in as much masochistic behavior as they'd like.  It may be dumb, it may be self-destructive but you have the right to do it.

However, when a company targets those under 18 it's another matter.  That's an arguably-criminal act.  We correctly treat the selling or giving of addictive substances to and engagement in addictive behaviors (such as sex) with minors by adults as crimes.  We do it not because a 13 year old doesn't have the hormone drive to have sex -- he or she does.  We recognize as adults that while adults do engage in sometimes-foolish behaviors that provoke extreme levels of pleasure (sex, for example) there is an inherent power imbalance when adults engage in same with kids and such engagement is inherently abusive.  That is why we have statutory******laws which punish that behavior irrespective of whether said minor gives consent.

The same is true for the use of tobacco and alcohol.  Tobacco is almost universally addictive when consumed in cigarettes and "chew".  But despite the fact that many cigar smokers are not addicted it's still illegal to sell or give a cigar to a 16 year old!  The same is true for alcohol; while booze is not especially harmful in small quantities nor are the majority of users addicted it remains illegal to give or sell it to minors.

Finally, from a social acceptance perspective we need to start calling so-called "social media" that effectively reinforces whatever biases you have exactly what it is:


As for people like Zuckerpig we're well past the point where he should be treated as a drug pusher to our youth and locked up along with every single person who works for that putrid firm's properties.

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On posterboard, will need framing, nicely-priced.

Email for price and shipping details.

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2018-01-17 15:08 by Karl Denninger
in Flash , 297 references
[Comments enabled]  

Bitconnect eh?

Here 'ya go folks....

Suicide by tickerguy

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2018-01-17 12:27 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 265 references
[Comments enabled]  

"Virtue signalling" and "diversity politics" are nasty things when you get down to the reality of it.

But when applied to places where sensitive activities take place, like, for instance, in the US Capitol, they're suicidal.

So it should be no surprise that the Democrats are doing everything in their power to prevent the result of their idiocy from becoming known widely.

House investigators concluded that Democratic IT aides made unauthorized access to congressional servers in 2016, allegedly accessing the data of members for whom they did not work, logging in as members of Congress themselves, and covering their tracks, according to a presentation summarizing the findings of a four-month internal probe.

Their behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” and they continued even after orders to stop, the briefing materials allege. There are indications that numerous members’ data may have been secretly residing not on their designated servers, but instead aggregated onto one server, according to the briefing and other sources. Authorities said that the entire server was then physically stolen.

Where did it all go?

Probably to Pakistan.

May I remind you that Pakistan is engaged in a cold war of sorts with India and that both sides have nukes?

Who did it?  Almost-certainly Imran Awan and others, all of whom were either hired directly by Democrat members of Congress or were their spouses and others.

Rather than employ Americans to take care of IT needs Democrats imported foreigners and effectively invited persons engaged in espionage into the inner halls of our government.

Of course nobody wants to go after this -- including Trump, by the way, which is one hell of an indictment standing alone.  Can someone tell me why our President doesn't find the likely theft of government data by foreigners who were hired without reason, simply to pass a "virtue signalling" test, an utterly outrageous act for which people should be expelled from office and then indicted, and why is it that everyone involved who isn't a sitting member of Congress is not in the dock right now for what certainly appear to be very serious federal crimes?

Maybe you can come up with a plausible explanation for this other than that Trump is equally guilty through his refusal to run this as far up the ass of the DNC and Democrats in Congress as necessary.

Take your best shot in the comments, if you dare.

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2018-01-17 11:57 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 629 references
[Comments enabled]  

So now BitCON has dropped under $10,000, which is a 50% retrace since the "top."

The screamers are all out saying "well, this has happened before" (50% declines) and it has always led to another (huge) advance -- buy now!

Uh, not so fast folks.

Who knows if this time is the one where it falls apart -- literally.

But let me point out that as the coins "mined" increase the difficulty increases and worse, the "reward" -- number of coins you get - goes down.

This is important because not only does it mean the next one cost more to get but it also becomes a huge problem since the "miners" are the source of transaction verification.  Without transaction verification the entire scheme collapses as worthless.

Therefore as time goes on and the imputed cost structure of clearing transactions is forced out of being cross-subsidized that cost becomes exposed and it is enormous compared against all other existing means of payment -- eclipsing even physical gold and silver in that regard.

These frictional losses that are inherent in the "distributed" cryptocurrency space are very, very hard to eliminate and doing so with existing systems is nearly impossible.

I agree that the concept of chains of signed certifications has the potential to remove a lot of game-playing in society generally.  For example were Barack Obama's alleged "birth certificate" a cryptographically-signed digital image with a certificate chain valid back to a national archivist it would have been nearly impossible to tamper with it in any way.  As a modern-day example if you have a software executable with a cryptographic hash it is essentially impossible to modify that software while not breaking the hash verification.

We do this today with land titles, for example, by keeping them in a book and referring back to the previous issue in the same series of books.  But this requires that I trust the archivist, since there is no way to know if he tampered with it, just as is the case with so-called "vital records."  If, instead, said title was digitally signed with a certificate that had a chain of issuers back to a trusted place then you'd have to corrupt that and everyone under it in order to commit forgery.  It is much harder to corrupt 10 people than one and it is very hard to corrupt hundreds without someone raising hell about it.

That doesn't make the current offerings in this space compelling; to the contrary, by attempting to make them "anonymous" and "uncontrollable by any central party" they actually made them unusable as either mediums of exchange or stores of value because manipulation became the intent and inherent in the design.  This in turn led to obfuscation and cross-subsidization of the clearing mechanism which becomes exponentially harder and thus more expensive the more it is used, which is also stupid.  While some of the existing scams have tried to address some of these misfeatures the means by which they do so are inherently hacks because of the very nature of what they tried to build.

At some point all of these existing systems will fold back and when they do they will become effectively worthless.  Without a clearing function you cannot trade in these things since you can't prove ownership and without a means to pay for that clearing function which expands in cost exponentially over time nobody will do it, since nobody ever works for free.

Whether this is the point where recognition comes and BitCON collapses to zero is not a question with a definitive answer, except after the fact.  However, anyone paying $10,000 for a string of digits under these circumstances ought to have their head examined, and if you paid $20,000 for that same string of digits a few weeks ago you've already lost half.

You might want to consider, in that case, whether a 50% loss is better than a 100% one.

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