- thorgallecommented5 days ago
If you would like to know more about this huge scam, I can recommend the BBC podcast "The Missing Cryptoqueen", hosted by the author that wrote the referenced book (which probably contains most of the same information).
That true crime podcast started in late 2019 and is still running. It's entertaining, informative and provides much more background information in eleven 45-minute episodes to date (if you can look past Bartlett's narrative style, which I found a little... childish?).
Having binged that podcast a few months ago, nothing in this article is new, but it's a decent summary.
What the article doesn't express well is how widespread this scam was... the podcast episodes situated in Kenya are mind-blowing in that regard.
OneCoins were not mined like other cryptocurrencies, federal investigators said. Instead of armies of powerful servers, OneCoin was generated by a piece of software, court documents said.
It's hard to even call it a cryptocurrency. One crazy revelation in the show is that Ruja tried to procure someone to build a real blockchain (distributed ledger) for their "cryptocurrency", a few years in, while they had already sold millions of $ of their coin. OneCoin was and had always been a simple centralized database. People were literally buying a number in an arbitrary table controlled by OneCoin, without any value backing it. I guess you argue that BitCoin is also just a number in a distributed, hopefully tamper-proof database, but with OneCoin there was never even a possibility to exchange it for fiat currencies, let alone other coins! A pure scam.
OneCoin has shut down and its website is no longer active.
The last episode from October 2022 showed that scammers are still operating under the name of OneCoin... hard to kill this multi-headed dragon.
- thorgallecommented1 week ago
A handful of years ago I was more into researching this topic, reading Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. That book proposes a variation on the utilitarian theory that Nussbaum criticizes here. I wondered what she meant with “averages”. This paraphrased quote from the linked Wikipedia page provides more insight:
In addition, Martha Nussbaum has argued that the capability approach provides a more adequate foundation of justice than Utilitarianism can supply. Utilitarianism, Nussbaum argues, ignores adaptive preferences, elides the separateness of distinct persons, misidentifies valuable human/non-human emotions such as grief, and calculates according to "sum-rankings" rather than inviolable protection of intrinsic entitlements.
I can see the point there :)
- thorgallecommented1 week ago
I share this “ennui”, and it’s a big contributing reason of why I’m not an active participant on Instagram or TikTok today.
But I don’t see this as an absolute problem. There are plenty of amateur smartphone photographers out there living by this philosophy. They might not be all your friends or acquaintances, but you can find them if you want.
General lesson: we can’t expect a comfy situation to last forever
- thorgallescouted3 weeks ago
"Realistically, the percentage of players who will play a local co-op or competitive mode in your game is small unless you are making a sports or party game," Roberts concludes. "However, on a personal level I still think nothing beats the feeling of playing a game together next to each other."
I’ve recently been enjoying Borderlands on Switch in split-screen with my partner. It’s great that some developers and designers still take the plunge (or re-release old successful titles), because it’s a special experience!
- thorgallecommented1 month ago
I thought this sounded good for poor people, but the following is a convincing counter-argument:
But if the goal is to give money to low-income people, we should give money directly to low-income people.
In Helsinki, I feel blessed with a good regional public transport network that integrates trains, buses, trams and ferries under one ticket. They’re virtually alway on time, frequent, clean, omnipresent, … tickets are not cheap, but still cheaper than in Belgium (native country), where the service is worse in almost every way. Worse quality there doesn’t affect my usage much because I often cycle, but I would consider alternatives if I needed public transport for a daily commute. That aligns with the article!
- thorgallecommented1 month ago
Fun to learn about Madhyamaka Buddhism from ChatGPT! I have to say, I've been curious to use this AI tech, and I understand the viewpoint of allowing students to leverage it, rather than trying to block it in schools. At the same time, it would be one more thing we may become dependent on, inhibiting our own critical thinking skills. Good that the author still sees under his purview.
Maybe GPT-based tools could help me write & publish more, giving that first push. I have many ideas and thoughts penned down, combining them into cohesive units for publication is the hard part that rarely happens.
I've recently been listening to 13 Minutes to the Moon, a podcast series from the BBC where the story about the landing of the Apollo 11 lunar module is told in detail, as well as its social, political and technical context in the 60’s Apollo programs and space race in general. It’s fascinating!
Naturally these stories made me curious about humanity’s moonshots this decade, and the article does a good job of discussing those. Good the missions are more international this time.
I hadn’t checked this update out yet (shame on me for dropping my Finnish), it’s indeed overwhelming. Duolingo is known for having an experimentation culture. I can only assume this change went through several tests before they released it generally.
I can see that this new path is good for casual, infrequent learners that need to build a learning habit with as little friction as possible, yet annoying for heavy learners that want more flexibility (like the writers). Maybe Duo wants to focus more on engaging and retaining the former…
Unbelievable! Like a soccer match where the only goal is scored at the last second…
They all did their part. Including the tech. But still… Having a GPS tracker in the clothing sounds like it would have been helpful. I also wonder why both fishermen didn’t seem to have this as a precaution.
Russia has acknowledged deliberately targeting energy infrastructure but has repeatedly denied targeting civilian infrastructure such as residential buildings, schools and hospitals. These kinds of buildings have been struck by Russian missiles and drones on multiple occasions throughout the war, however, leading to civilian deaths and injuries.
I watched the BBC documentary “The Last Days of Mariupol” a few nights ago. It’s the first time I’ve seen extensive footage of the horror I had only read about earlier. It’s not just a few buildings that happened to get hit, but an entire city that was shelled with thousands of people still in it. It’s hard to believe any Russian statements about this war.
"I think that already everyone, including Putin, realized that even tactical nuclear weapons will not solve the problem for Russia
How would these even work? Like the bombs in Hiroshima & Nagasaki?
After reading four articles on the topic, I’m still not 100% clear whether making “verification” a paid process also changes the process of tying an account to a real world identity, which is I thought the whole point of “verification”. This article seems to say that that will still happen. I understand the complaints in this scenario, but Twitter is a business trying to make money. It is not obligated to provide equitable access to verification on its platform, just like we are not obligated to be on the platform.
Other articles suggest that mere payment will give a check mark, without additional identity verification required. So impersonators and trolls could get them easily with $8/mo. That just seems free-for-all dystopian, and given the historical meaning of “verification”, it’s also a deceptive change.
I still think journalism-at-large needs something like Readup (when the marketplace was in place), just like the music industry’s broken way of operating was changed by Spotify. Maybe Substack or Medium will try to pull it off, integrating mainstream media into their monetization & community schemes. Let’s see how this unfolds indeed.
My partner and me had a similar experience in Marina, California last summer, though less grave. A local friend of us had booked a last-minute hotel via an Amex Travels program he was part of. That program’s site had quoted good reviews for the place.
Upon arrival, we similarly didn’t feel safe, with the hotel looking very dingy, and most of the cars in the parking lot being damaged. When we went to complain about the heavy smoke odor in our room, the receptionist told us the hotel had been partly a homeless shelter since COVID, to cover costs with government subsidies. When he learned Amex had overcharged us 2.5x on the value of the room, he transferred us to a better property nearby. Still, not a fun experience!
The conclusion at the end is interesting: extract what value you can from aggregators like booking.com, but then drop them when making the actual booking. This basic attitude of freewheeling things online is a part of what brought us to surveillance capitalism.
and said he would lift Twitter’s content moderation policies, eliminate spam, add new features and provide more transparency about the algorithms used to promote content.
Interesting mix of goals. What I consider spam might be another’s free speech.
Twitter’s performance will be vital as Mr. Musk balances investing in the company’s future and paying off interest on the $12.5 billion in loans he took out to finance the deal.
Doesn’t he have enough stress as it stands?
I would not take a stance in this debate before having seen the documentary. I think it’s unfortunate that people in the industry seem to do so!
I only read Murder on the Orient Express from Agatha, less than a year ago in fact. I was charmed by the wit of the story and am definitely interested in more! Probably (some of) these podcasts will prove to be a good guide to her oeuvre.
This article was well-written, weaving the story of the podcast beautifully with that of the podcasters and that of Agatha Christie.
Seriously impressive product and achievements! Especially given a two-person team. It already rivals giant products in utility & UX, at least for the segment they’re chasing. The travel company where I’m working now is using Tally extensively and happily.
Great arguments! I am on board with most of this, except maybe the part about Elastic Search and MongoDB, where Google and Amazon are stealing their lunch. It sounds weird coming from the Supabase cofounder, a scale-up pitching itself as the open-source Firebase alternative. Supabase is trying to steal Google’s lunch, not the other way around.
The argument of out-shipping and out-iterating competitors also only works when you can scale a team quickly enough to rival big tech’s software resources. Hence requiring serious a initial investment.
PS: sorry for the Readup parser mess on top, here’s a direct link for reading the first paragraphs. This will be a good article to debug the parser!
There’s a lot here! An honest reflective piece. I stumbled on this blog while looking for a “zero-waste” store in Helsinki for coffee beans. Cool that I can read someone’s relatable in-depth feelings on social media after checking out their in-depth review of a (now defunct) store. We really don’t need bite-sized feeds to find connection, but online writing can be so powerful.
Fair enough, this breakdown seems reasonable and recognizable. But I would question the relevance of some of the supporting statistics.
This is a laudable move! I can imagine it feels meaningful to work for a company that doesn’t enrich a few individuals, but rather funds a non-profit dedicated to climate action.
I’m questioning whether globalized capitalism, in any form, can save the planet though. Patagonia will keep producing more, selling more, shipping more and it is this consumerism that is intertwined with climate change. If every big company would follow Patagonia’s lead, while they keep growing as they are, would the billions in climate funds help to offset the emissions caused by continued global consumerism? I can only hope.
We need companies like Patagonia that are serious about ethical production, the repair & reuse economy, but without drastic lifestyle changes by most (comparatively) rich people, I’m doubtful whether we can reverse the emission trend.