👓 FAQ: What happens when I choose to “Suppress Ads” on Salon? | Salon

Read FAQ: What happens when I choose to “Suppress Ads” on Salon? (salon.com)
Like most media companies, Salon pays its bills through advertising and we profoundly appreciate our advertising partners and sponsors. In this traditional arrangement between reader and publisher, we are able to offer our readers a free reading experience in exchange for serving them ads. This relationship — of free or subsidized content in exchange for advertising — is not new; journalism has subsisted on this relationship for well over a century. This quid pro quo arrangement, ideally, benefits both readers and media. Yet in the past two decades, shifting tides in the media and advertising industries threw a wrench in this equation.

Just the other day I was reading about third party plugins that injected code that allowed websites to mine for bitcoin in the background. Now publications are actively doing this in the background as a means of making money? In addition to the silliness of the bitcoin part, this just sounds like poor editorial judgment all around.

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👓 ‘Bitcoin is my potential pension’: What’s driving people in Kentucky to join the craze | The Washington Post

Read ‘Bitcoin is my potential pension’: What’s driving people in Kentucky to join the craze by Chico Harlan (Washington Post)
The possibility of a windfall lures many who see themselves in a financial rut.

This is just painful to read and feels all too much like a Ponzi scheme gone wrong. Sadly, the reportage doesn’t take a direct stance, so some are more likely to read this and think that it’s an actual investment scheme to be dabbled with. If it were a realistic currency, then having a relatively constant value would be a key feature.

I came across this from Paul Krugman’s tweet which is all too apt:

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👓 How the NSA identified Satoshi Nakamoto | Alexander Muse

Read How the NSA identified Satoshi Nakamoto by Alexander Muse (Alexander Muse | Medium)
The ‘creator’ of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is the world’s most elusive billionaire. Very few people outside of the Department of Homeland Security know Satoshi’s real name. In fact, DHS will not publicly confirm that even THEY know the billionaire’s identity. Satoshi has taken great care to keep his identity secret employing the latest encryption and obfuscation methods in his communications. Despite these efforts (according to my source at the DHS) Satoshi Nakamoto gave investigators the only tool they needed to find him — his own words. Using stylometry one is able to compare texts to determine authorship of a particular work. Throughout the years Satoshi wrote thousands of posts and emails and most of which are publicly available. According to my source, the NSA was able to the use the ‘writer invariant’ method of stylometry to compare Satoshi’s ‘known’ writings with trillions of writing samples from people across the globe. By taking Satoshi’s texts and finding the 50 most common words, the NSA was able to break down his text into 5,000 word chunks and analyse each to find the frequency of those 50 words. This would result in a unique 50-number identifier for each chunk. The NSA then placed each of these numbers into a 50-dimensional space and flatten them into a plane using principal components analysis. The result is a ‘fingerprint’ for anything written by Satoshi that could easily be compared to any other writing.

The article itself is dubious and unsourced and borders a bit on conspiracy theory, but the underlying concept about stylometry and its implications to privacy will be interesting to many. Naturally, it’s not much new.

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Norm Peterson on Cheers invented the symbol for Bitcoin

Interestingly it didn't stand for digital currency, but a more familiar liquid one.

In the cold opening of Cheers, Season 9, Episode 23 “Carla Loves Clavin” aired on March 21, 1991, Norm Peterson (portrayed by George Wendt) invents the original definition of what would ultimately be adopted as the iconic symbol for Bitcoin. Interestingly at the time it didn’t stand for digital currency, but a more familiar liquid one.

Norm: Okay Rebecca. Um. Here’s the deal, I’ll paint the whole office including woodwork, and uh, it’ll run you 400.
Rebecca: 400 bucks sounds reasonable.
Norm: Oh no, that’s 400 beers, the B with the slanty line through it, it’s kinda my own special currency.

Norm invents the definition of the letter B with a slash through it. Hint: It doesn’t mean Bitcoin.

(Featured image credit: Jason Benjamin)

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❤️ Bitcoin propaganda posters in Brighton | Jeremy Keith

Liked Bitcoin propaganda posters in Brighton. by Jeremy Keith (adactio.com)

Bitcoin posters in Brighton

I love the overall advertising concept here–particularly for such a modern product.

I’m almost half-tempted to commission someone to re-purpose old war propaganda posters like this to promote the Indieweb movement.

He controls his own website–and they love that.

Don’t let that shadow touch them. Own your domain.

She may be… accepting Webmentions.

INDIEWEB

First they ignore you.

Then they laugh at you.

Then they fight you.

Then you WIN

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🔖 Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Bookmarked Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World (Portfolio, May 10, 2016)
The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second genera­tion—powered by blockchain technology—is bringing us the Internet of value: a new, distributed platform that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.

Blockchain is the ingeniously simple, revolution­ary protocol that allows transactions to be simul­taneously anonymous and secure by maintaining a tamperproof public ledger of value. Though it’s the technology that drives bitcoin and other digital cur­rencies, the underlying framework has the potential to go far beyond these and record virtually everything of value to humankind, from birth and death certifi­cates to insurance claims and even votes.

Perhaps not necessarily this particular book which appears to be on the overview side, but sometime this year I’d like to delve more deeply into the concept of blockchain and the tech behind it.

Anyone have recommendations of books they liked?

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