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Jay Gischer
Lives in Mountain View, CA


“The unexpected tragedy of our financial system is that the less money you have, the more expensive it is to send money around.”

Those are the words of Joyce Kim, executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, a small non-profit with a big goal: to provide a backend infrastructure for the global financial system that literally anyone, anywhere can patch into.

This looks really interesting.  They use a cryptocurrency not completely dissimilar to Bitcoin, but they are focusing it in a very different way, a way that seems much more likely to get adopted, and when adopted, be something that gets used for something other than criminal behavior.

However, they have their own set of obstacles to overcome.  Just this morning I read this, from a piece about Richard Braggs, who runs a fake-account mill in the Philippines:

His biggest order, he told me, was for Chinese hackers trying to fleece the digital payment exchange Stellar; he hired every freelance worker he could find, but he was still only able to fulfill a small portion of it.
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Politicians will be politicians, so the main point here doesn't bother me so much.

But there's a bit at the end that surprises me.  

According to another attendee, Kalman Sporn, Cruz also called Peter Thiel, a deep-pocketed openly gay investor, a close friend.

I am by no means an expert on what Peter Thiel likes in his politics, but I'd be surprised if he supported Cruz's run.
At an event in Manhattan Wednesday night hosted by a pair of high-profile gay hoteliers, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that he would have no problem if one of his daughters said she was gay.
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Jay Gischer

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If you read the story, you discover that he had kissed the snake successfully without being bit several times before.  This time the snake was "acting funny" though.

via +David Archer 
One Florida man learned the hard way that water moccasins do not make the best kissing partners. According to Fox 13, 18-year-old Austin Hatfield of W...
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Wendy Northcutt, who created the website and wrote the books, (but according to her didn't invent the term) has a category called Honorable Mention that this guy is perfect for.
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Deng Xiaoping's influence on China is still felt strongly today.

It feels like the Chinese Communist Party has gotten itself into a position where it can’t even ask those questions. Delivering steady economic growth has become the key source of its legitimacy, so it will keep doing whatever it can to deliver. And, given how painful an outright Chinese recession would be for the sputtering global economy right now, we’re kind of stuck with rooting for it to succeed.

And if you'd like to see a little more democracy in China, you might be tempted to root for that recession.  But there's no guarantee at all that what would follow would be better.
Delivering steady economic growth is the government's key source of legitimacy.
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I love Obama by the way, it's personal, non personal wise I think he's unfortunate to be the president after bush
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Very good read in the whole.   This caught my eye:

I think of it as the movie reviewer’s syndrome. I noticed many years ago that almost all movie reviewers will automatically deduct at least one point from their rating of a movie if it contains a car chase. Why? Well, it’s not hard to understand. Seeing three or four or five movies a week the way they do, they get sick and tired of car chases.

_But the average movie-goer doesn’t watch new movies four times a week. For them, movies are a relatively occasional experience—and, what the hell, car chases are kinda fun.
What you get with literature, including any and all forms of genre fiction, is the following division:_

What the mass audience wants, first and foremost—and this has been true and invariant since the Sumerians and the epic of Gilgamesh—is a good story. Period.

“Tell me a good story.” Thazzit.

But, sooner or later, that stops being sufficient for the in-crowds. At first, they want more than just a good story. Which, in and of itself, is fair enough. The problem is that as time goes by “more than just a good story” often starts sliding into “I really don’t care how good the story is, it’s the other stuff that really matters.”

Eventually, form gets increasingly elevated over content. “Originality” for its own sake, something which the mass audience cares very little about—and neither did Homer or Shakespeare—becomes elevated to a preposterous status. And what withers away, at least to some degree, is a good sense of what skills are involved in forging a story in the first place.

I think this is a general problem in all of the arts.  There's lots more here, and it's interesting.
I've been doing my best to stay away from the current ruckus over the Hugo Awards, but it's now spread widely enough that it's spilled onto my Facebook page, and it's bound to splatter on me elsewhere as well. It's also been brought to my attention that Breitbart's very well-trafficked web ...
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All too often, "media conversations" aren't conversations at all.  People who run media outlets have no interest in peace.  Conflict is what drives attention and clicks.
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It's hard for me to see how flipping the table, even if metaphorically, and leaving tech altogether is going to result in more women in tech, even in the long run.

Not that I don't think some of the incidents that women face don't deserve an angry response.  And expressing anger, especially anger with men, is one of those things that is drilled into women from an early age Not To Do.  So it's good on one level for them to actually express it.

A lot of these women are young.  So they've worked at maybe one company and had a bad experience? There are definitely bad experiences to be had.  And I've known lots of women who had successful tech careers, and some companies that do better than others.
Opting out of sexist workplaces is straight out of the universe of boycotts and strikes. It acknowledges that this is a political problem, not one to be solved by HR
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Yeah, that kind of sucks.  My sympathies.  I have a friend that works IT for Charles Schwab, and has done so for 17 years, complaining all the while.
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I've been wondering the same thing as this commenter: 

It was my understanding that false bids and asks were endemic, that a very large percentage of orders from major and minor players alike were never filled nor intended to be filled and that masking the origin of these orders was often masked as well, so what did Sarao do that was materially different?

Another commenter, with pseudonym, responds - 

Simple: You can’t have more in trades that capital in your account.

I expect he means "than capital in your account".

Which means that only big players get to manipulate the market, because it's plausible that they meant the trades. 

This is a really unreliable source, but it's the best I have to date.  I would really like to get a definitive answer to this.  What was Sarao doing that is different from what everyone is always doing with HFT?
Earlier this week a trader was arrested in London and accused of spoofing. What's spoofing and what does it have to do 2010 flash crash? Bloomberg View's Matt
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A great sketch by Amy Schumer, and a great piece on it by +Alyssa Rosenberg   Watch the sketch first, I'm going to spoil it.

When Rosenberg says, 

 _Even the man who’s giving his players clear and blunt anti-rape education turns out to be feeding the mind-set that turned his players into predators in the first place._

I don't think she goes far enough.  This isn't about football, which is just proxy warfare.  It's about warfare and the survival of your tribe, which is predicated on dominating them physically.  Every member of the tribe has an interest in having individuals that are capable of physically dominating others.  These days, we do it with technology, though.

So the paradigm has shifted.  It's about "overcoming obstacles".  I recently had a conversation with someone I'd collaborated with ten years ago.  He recollected what we did, and what I did as "overcoming obstacles".  We recognize this as a very good quality in a person that is working with you.  Of course, that makes it a very bad quality in a person that is working against you.

The traditional gender system indoctrinates men as "doers" (and women as "feelers") and part of that indoctrination is "overcome obstacles".

This does not make rape inevitable.  I want to be clear about that. I teach martial arts to people and teach them to be obstacle overcomers.  However, I also teach them to respect limits when their training partners set those limits.  

It is necessary to change the way people think about the "overcoming obstacles" mindset.  One can teach people to be mindful about their use of it, employing it in a way that is instrumental rather than habitual.  

It is my belief that the best path for us to follow is one that leads to people who are comfortable in both "doing" and "feeling" modes, and can use them flexibly and instrumentally, rather than habitually.
A parody of "Friday Night Lights" that looks at rape and elite athletes feels more like a cry of despair than the end to an argument about culture and sexual assault.
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It's unusual for me to link to something like this, but he mentions California, and I couldn't resist.

California is the prototypical example. It has the highest tax rates of any state. It has very generous welfare benefits. Many of its cities have a high minimum wage. But day after day, the middle class keeps leaving.

What on earth is he talking about?  California's population has been growing, at an above-median rate for US states.  You would think he would have some fact in mind.

The wealthy areas such as San Francisco and the Silicon Valley boom. Yet the state has nearly the highest poverty rate in the nation.

California's poverty rate is 13.2%  This makes it rank as the 15th highest.   That's not good, certainly.   Is this due to its tax rates?  Well, the top five poverty rate states are, in order, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, and Texas.  That doesn't really support the hypothesis that low tax rates bring the poverty rate down.  My best guess is that tax rates don't have much impact on poverty rates.

The Golden State, alas, has become the inequality state. 

There's some truth to this, but it's due to the industries that have their centers of gravity here:  Both entertainment and tech tend to be hit-based industries, and concentrate wealth to a very large degree.  So there's quite a few people here getting rich every day.  This creates problems, as we well know.  The tax rate, and what you do with the tax money once you've collected it, can mitigate these issues, but probably not make them go away altogether.

I'm pretty sure Elizabeth Warren understands these things quite well.
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+Jay Gischer​ Mostly population, since that drives the economic growth. Of course, if the resources put toward making the economy grow were out toward researching sustainable growth, we might actually be able to make it work.
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Someone tried to use Betteridge's Law to their advantage in this piece.

However, it's maybe less rude than dumb to ask if women's humor is different.  Funny is funny.  It comes from someone's life, and gender is something that influences your life.  But I have had lots of laughs from Rita Rudner talking about relationships, and from +Mallory Ortberg describing some paintings taken from the Western Art canon.

I have a T-shirt.  This T-shirt says,

I don't often test my code, but when I do I do it in production

Most people think this is mildly amusing.  Programmers laugh out loud when they see it. This is because of shared experience.  Of course, telling jokes that only programmers get will kind of confine you to the poorhouse - there aren't that many of us.

Anyway, kudos to Mallory for refusing to answer the question seriously.
When asked to answer the question of whether women humor writers are different from other humor writers, panelist Mallory Ortberg at first refused to answer.
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I think the owners of the Sugar Pine Mine, Rick Barclay and George Backes, have a much stonger case than Cliven Bundy, and they haven't yet had their day in court.  Cliven Bundy had his, and lost.

The BLM claims that surface rights were ceded to it in 1961.  If they've done nothing to enforce those rights in 50+ years, my meager knowledge of such things suggests that the rights may have reverted to Barclay and Backes, by virtue of squatting.  But IANAL.

So, I'm ok with them wanting their day in court.  The BLM definitely has to prove they have the surface rights.  I am not ok, of course, with people assaulting federal agents coming to the property to conduct normal business.  It kind of seems like the situation has spiralled out of the control of Barclay and Backes.

"A lot of the stuff going around on social media is absolute bull--." [Barclay told a local newspaper].
Oh what hell the Bundy Ranch hath wrought. A dispute between the Bureau of Land Management and gold miners in Southwestern Oregon drew immediate comparisons to the 2014 standoff at Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch as word of the fresh conflict wound its way through the blogosphere this week. Many of the ingredients were the same: a disagreement over property rights, a remote locale and a band of armed activists committed to protecting the land own...
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Thing Two and I have been playing a lot of the X-Wing miniatures game, and in that game, Wedge Antilles is awesome.  He really, really works well.  

Alas, Denis Lawson, who played Wedge in IV, V, and VI is not credited in VII. Although Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Warwick Davis are.  Oddly, Warwick Davis isn't given a character name on IMDB.  I suspect shenanigans.

"Get clear Wedge, you can't do any more good back there."  Sigh.  A cameo as a flight instructor, maybe?  We know that they still have X-Wings...
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One of my GeekFest buddies and I have started playing the X-Wing and Star Trek miniatures games of late, between the overly infrequent GeekFest outings. I'm a noob, but have managed to take the majority of encounters, much to his consternation. I'm compelled to chalk it up to mostly luck, as he has a good bit of experience and I'm mostly wondering what the hell I'm doing.
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I write software.
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I am not a robot, I am a unicorn!
I'm a software developer by day, 3000-year-old redheaded elf by night.  Born in Blaine, I surprised many in Lynden by my success.  You can tell I live in Silicon Valley, because I know what "Sunnytoga-DeAnzavale Road" refers to.
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Mountain View, CA