Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

A map of human problems

Posted by Anonymous on June 21, 2014

20140621-135253-49973427.jpgI want something I can’t find on the net, something big and important. I want a visual interactive map of human problems and where we are along the various paths to solutions. I want everyone to be able to interact with it, add to it, vote on it!

We have all this information, so organize it! Who can help? Google? I want a globe where the continents are categories.

Here is a great planet maker: http://planetmaker.wthr.us/# I’d like something like terrestrial planet X.0 with randomly generated continents like this:
http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/game-programming/polygon-map-generation/demo.html

I want to zoom in on a problem to see the bleeding edge technology with details explained so anyone could understand it.

Update:

“At this year’s CeBIT exhibition, the team from Fraunhofer IGD / Fraunhofer IDM@NTU, Singapore, presents a new, exciting, X3DOM-based prototype for fast, intuitive exploration of information, which is entitled InfoLand. Information is presented on a multi-touch interface through a graphical representation, serving as an information or marketing tool for industry partners and collaborators, researchers, and students. Information is presented in the form of text, images, videos and 3D models, which can be accessed intuitively.”

Sounds like the InfoLand engine is close to being capable of what I’m imagining, but it doesn’t seem to be available for anyone to use.  What are the big categories?

Here’s a nice model as a start, but replace the Earth continents with the human problem continents, let them take different shapes as people add content and as old ideas erode.

http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/projects/armsglobe/

Posted in Alt Energy, Do stuff, Earth, Education, Health, human rights, Money, Physics, Survival, Technology, War | 5 Comments »

Americans spent $56 billion on pets in 2013

Posted by Anonymous on March 13, 2014

20140313-130258.jpgAmericans spent a record $55.7 billion on their pets last year, an industry trade group said Thursday, a figure that could increase to a whopping $60 billion this year. The amount Americans shelled out for puppy chow, cat litter, toys, grooming and all matter of indulgences last year is equivalent to the gross domestic product of Croatia, and $10 billion more than Germany’s entire defense budget.

The American Pet Products Association, which has been tracking spending on pets since the mid-1990s, unveiled the latest figures Thursday during the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla. Spending increased 4.5 percent from 2012 to 2013. …

http://time.com/23451/pets-dogs-cats-spending-americans/

Cool, I’m saving billions by having no pets. ;-)

Posted in Money | Leave a Comment »

Canada to pull out of Afghanistan

Posted by Anonymous on March 12, 2014

20140312-143051.jpgCanada’s military efforts in Afghanistan will end this month, with the withdrawal of the last 100 soldiers from Kabul, where they had been wrapping up training of Afghan National Security Forces.
Canada’s involvement included efforts in diplomacy, education, women’s rights and even dam building. The five years of heavy combat cost the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers, two consultants, one diplomat and one journalist.
With security deteriorating in many rural areas of Afghanistan, a number of foreigners have faced tighter security measures. As the country approaches the presidential elections next month, authorities expect to see more violence and instability. …

Against a backdrop of heightened security, the Canadian flag will be formally lowered on Wednesday and Canadian troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of the week.
Here’s a timeline of Canada’s role in Afghanistan:
October 2001: Following the 9-11 attacks in the United States, the UN Security Council adopts a resolution supporting efforts to root out terrorism in Afghanistan. On Oct. 8, a day after the U.S. begins operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, Canada announces that it will contribute sea, land and air forces to the operation.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/timeline-involved-since-2001-canada-wraps-up-its-mission-in-afghanistan-1.1724890#ixzz2vmPapqX1

Will this change anything with regard to the drugs coming from the area?

Afghanistan has been the greatest illicit opium producer in the entire world, ahead of Burma (Myanmar), the “Golden Triangle”, and Latin America since 1992, excluding the year 2001. Afghanistan is the main producer of opium in the “Golden Crescent”. Opium production in Afghanistan has been on the rise since U.S. occupation started in 2001. Based on UNODC data, there has been more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004–2007) than in any one year during Taliban rule. Also, more land is now used for opium in Afghanistan than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 92% of the non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. This amounts to an export value of about $4 billion, with a quarter being earned by opium farmers and the rest going to district officials, insurgents, warlords, and drug traffickers. In the seven years (1994–2000) prior to a Taliban opium ban, the Afghan farmers’ share of gross income from opium was divided among 200,000 families. In addition to opiates, Afghanistan is also the largest producer of cannabis (mostly as hashish) in the world.
Via Wikipedia

Posted in Money, Politics, War | Leave a Comment »

Obamacare Surcharge Appearing on Restaurant Bills Across the Country

Posted by Anonymous on March 7, 2014

20140307-002324.jpgThe small business mandate doesn’t go into effect until 2015, but restaurants across the country are already passing the extra costs associated with having to offer healthcare to their employees on to consumers.

Double D’s Sourdough Pizza in Denver recently started adding a five percent charge to customer’s bills in order “to pay for half of the health care costs of all employees, both full- and part-time,” according to CBS Denver.

Double D’s owner Ted Dorr says he isn’t trying to make a political statement by subjecting patrons to the extra charge. He just wanted to be able to offer health care to his employees.

A restaurant chain in Florida also recently began adding a one percent surcharge to its customer’s bills.

According to CNN:

The Gator Group’s full-time hourly employees won’t actually receive health insurance until December. But the company said it implemented the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it’s facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate kicking in in 2015…

http://www.infowars.com/obamacare-surcharge-appearing-on-restaurant-bills-across-the-country/

Obama care sounds like a great idea, but who is going to pay for it?

“It is already paid for.”

Apparently not.

Posted in Health, Money, Politics, Survival | Leave a Comment »

Saddle Ridge Hoard: Buried gold coin stash worth $10,000,000

Posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2014

20140226-110211.jpg
The coins were in uncirculated, mint condition, adding to their worth to collectors
A California couple found a stash of gold coins buried on their property last year valued at as much as $10m (£6m), rare coin dealers have said.

The 1,427 coins, which date from 1847-1894, were never circulated and are in mint condition, numismatist David Hall told the Associated Press.

The unnamed couple found them buried in rusting metal cans under a tree while on a walk last April.

It is seen as the largest haul of buried treasure in US history.

“We’ve seen shipwrecks in the past where thousands of gold coins were found in very high grade, but a buried treasure of this sort is unheard of,” David McCarthy of currency firm Kagin’s, who is advising the couple, told Reuters news agency.

“I’ve never seen this face value in North America and you never see coins in the condition we have here.”

A rusted old can that contained the gold coins, shown in a photo distributed by the coin dealers Kagin’s
The coins were buried in rusted old metal cans
The couple live in a rural area of California known as Gold Country for the swarms of prospectors who descended on the region during the 19th Century gold rush.

They found the coins in an area of their land they called Saddle Ridge, and the coin dealers who have seen the haul have taken to calling it the Saddle Ridge Hoard.

It is a mystery who buried the coins – and why.

Mr Hall of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, California, which recently authenticated the coins, told the Associated Press the coins’ face value adds up to about $27,000. But some of the coins are so rare they could sell for $1m each,

The couple plan to sell the coins on Amazon.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-26349136

What a quick fun way to become a multimillionaire! Why didn’t I think of this? ;-)

Posted in Archaeology, History, Money | Leave a Comment »

Bitcoin near total collapse?

Posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2014

A major bitcoin exchange based in Japan has gone bust after secretly racking up catastrophic losses, a potentially fatal blow for the exotic new form of money. (Feb. 25, 2014)

It was supposed to revolutionize the global monetary system. Instead, the bitcoin virtual currency that has captured the imagination of investors and financiers is on the verge of collapse.

In a stunning blow to a novel way to buy products and services, the world’s largest exchange for trading bitcoin currency shut down Tuesday, triggering a massive sell-off and sending many prospective investors away — perhaps for good.

“This is extremely destructive,” said Mark Williams, a risk-management expert and former Federal Reserve Bank examiner. “What we’re seeing is a lot of the flaws. It’s not only fragile, it’s fragile as eggshells.”

After saying users could not withdraw their funds, Mt. Gox suddenly ceased all operations, including shutting down its website. Mt. Gox users may have lost more than $300 million worth of bitcoins in what was the latest and biggest in a series of recent setbacks for the virtual currency.

The mysterious circumstances that triggered the failure of the exchange, Mt. Gox in Tokyo, is only adding to the renewed anxiety over the virtual currency, which just a month earlier had been gaining momentum and supporters.

The currency exists only online, and its value is based on an algorithm. Investors buy bitcoins with dollars, euros and other real currency. A purchase with bitcoins typically involves transferring an amount from the buyer’s bitcoin “digital wallet” to the seller’s wallet on the Internet. The blow to bitcoin’s credibility has highlighted all the fears critics have been trying to raise. Because it is unregulated and anonymous, there is probably no way for users to know who may have seized the thousands of missing bitcoins — and no way to recover them.

This sudden reversal of fortune is particularly painful for enthusiasts who believed just a few weeks ago that bitcoin was on the cusp of mainstream acceptance because of growing support from venture capitalists, banks and regulators.
Instead of triumph, the bitcoin community is now focused on repairing the damage. Mt. Gox is nothing more than a “collapsed tower of toxic sludge,” said Williams, who is also a finance professor at Boston University School of Management.
The recent weeks have been troubled ones for bitcoin. In late January, the chief executive of another bitcoin exchange was arrested on money-laundering charges, Russia banned the virtual currency, andApple Inc. pulled a popular bitcoin app from its App Store over concerns about its legality.

But the fall of Mt. Gox trumps all of these stumbles in size and scope, and has clearly left many in the bitcoin community stunned and confused. Although there are other exchanges where people can buy and sell bitcoins, Mt. Gox was the biggest.
“Having Mt. Gox shut down is to bitcoin what having the New York Stock Exchange shut down is to our equity market,” said James Angel, a professor of finance at Georgetown University.

Problems at Mt. Gox first surfaced earlier this month when the exchange stopped letting users make transactions because of what appeared to be a glitch that was also affecting other exchanges. But although the other exchanges came back online, Mt. Gox remained dark through last weekend.

On Monday, users noticed that the site seemed to be disabled and the home page was blank. Later that day, a “Crisis Draft Strategy” document was obtained by somebody and posted online, purporting to be from Mt. Gox.
The document, whose authenticity has been questioned, raised further alarms because it indicated that Mt. Gox may have lost 744,000 bitcoins to theft over several years. It also explored whether to shut down Mt. Gox completely or re-launch it under a new name.

What really happened? Mt. Gox issued only a short statement Tuesday: “In light of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on Mt. Gox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.”

Across the bitcoin community, Mt. Gox faced swift and harsh criticism for its handling of the crisis.

“This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt. Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of Bitcoin and the digital currency industry,” read a joint statement from several bitcoin companies posted on the Coinbase blog. “As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.”

Created in 2009 by a programmer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is based on a software standard that runs across a wide number of servers around the world for regulating the creation and trading of bitcoins. It is not controlled by any nation, governing body or business. …

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bitcoin-collapse-20140226,0,5968430.story

I think they were hacked and robbed by some organization with big resources who sees them as a threat. Mt. Gox didn’t buy enough protection. I’d buy a Bitcoin… for a dollar, just for the novelty of owning one.

But it was only 7% of all bit coins that are missing…. Only….

Mark Karpeles, the 28-year-old French CEO of Mt. Gox, which once handled around 80 percent of the world’s bitcoin trades, filed for bankruptcy at a Tokyo District Court late on Friday. His lawyer said that nearly all the bitcoins in the exchange’s possession – 850,000 of them – were missing. Karpeles blamed hackers.

At current bitcoin rates on other exchanges, that would mean $473 million is lost – around 7 percent of all bitcoins minted.

“If the theft is true,” said Campbell Harvey, a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, “it’s the biggest bank heist in history,” aside from when Saddam Hussein ordered his son to withdraw $1 billion from Iraq’s central bank in 2003.

How this happened remains a mystery. But most observers say Mt. Gox’s laxness played a key role in the debacle.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/28/bitcoin-mtgox-heist-idUSL3N0LX2SP20140228

Posted in Money, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Eight Banker Suicides Mystery Deepens

Posted by Anonymous on February 21, 2014

Leap: JPMorgan confirmed that a 'tragic incident' had taken place at its offices in Chater House, where it occupies the top 10 floors

… “RIP … What happened to all the promises and plans you made? What happened to your return to Toronto? I didn’t know you were that upset! I will miss you always,” remarked the friend. Junjie had recently bought a HK$5.5 million apartment in Hong Kong and friends commented on how he always had a smile on his face.The fact that Junjie did not seem to be depressed and had made specific future plans suggests that his suicide was quite spontaneous and may have been in response to information he was told or had uncovered in the 48 hours preceding his death. .

.. Grady Means, economist and advisor to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, predicted that the 4th of March 2014 would be the date on which the economic collapse accelerated, followed by, “A run on the bank (that) will start suddenly, build quickly and snowball.” “The doomsday clock will ring then because the U.S. economy may fully crash around that date, which will, in turn, bring down all world economies and all hope of any recovery for the foreseeable future – certainly over the course of most of our lifetimes,” wrote Means in a 2012 Washington Times editorial.  infowars

Last month, Gabriel Magee, an American senior manager, 39, fell from the 33-storey skyscraper at around 8am and was found on the ninth floor roof, which surrounds the Canary Wharf skyscraper. His body was left in full view of City workers in surrounding buildings for up to four hours as police investigated the death. He was a vice president in the corporate and investment bank technology department having joined in 2004, moving to Britain from the United States in 2007. Mr Magee, who lived in North London, was an expert in highly specialist software which reaps huge profits for the US company by predicting market patterns.

Senior colleagues were last night investigating Mr Magee’s  recent workload as rumours swirled around the City over what may have prompted his death. Last night a colleague said: ‘They’re going to be going through his stuff to try to find out if  he’d made some kind of terrible error. It’s possible he had been in the office all night trying to put it right before the fall.’  dailymail | dailymail

[Ryan Henry Crane, Executive Director Global Program Trading ] was the head at the program trading desk. Meaning he over saw all of the trades and was familiar with all of the software( trade platforms) that these trades were done in. This job works closely with guess what? That’s right the London desk and who died last week in London? That’s right Gabriel Magee the one who jumped off the 33rd floor. What was his post? Head of IT and trade platforms meaning he had access to info that Ryan Henry Cross would have. They knew each other and uncovered something they were about the same age and these hits happen when two big announcements by JPM. One they are out of commodities and two the wholesale selling of their HQ downtown.  beforeitsnews

Seven Dead Bankers, No Questions Asked… What is going on with this apparent epidemic of banker “suicides”?  Is anyone buying this as suicides?  Can so many bankers be so mentally ill that they would all decide to go at the same time?  … Did they sing to government investigators?  Did they talk to missing Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird?  Were they whistleblowers?  Were they negotiating for sentencing?  Were they going to sell out their masters?  … Dead men tell no tales…  pepeledog

Russell Investments chief economist Mike Dueker was discovered dead from an apparent suicide Thursday, January 30, 2013. It was the fourth such instance of suicide by a prominent banker in just a week’s time. Dueker, who had previously been an assistant vice-president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, had worked for Russell since 2008. William Brocksmit, a 58-year-old former senior executive at Duetsche Bank AG, was found dead of a suicide in his home in London on January 26, 2014. On January 27, 2014, at the Shangra-La Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, international banker Karl Slym, there to attend a board meeting of Tata Motors, was found to have committed suicide in his hotel room. The next day, January 28, 2014, in London, 39-year-old Gabriel Magee, of JP Morgan, jumped from the roof of the company’s European headquarters.  wikinut

1 – William ‘Bill’ Broeksmit, 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London, on January 26th.

2- Karl Slym, 51 year old Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok on January 27th.

3 – Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters in London on January 27th.

4 – Mike Dueker, 50-year-old chief economist of a US investment bank was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.

5 – Richard Talley, the 57 year old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

6 -Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, however the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.

7 – Ryan Henry Crane, a 37 year old executive at JP Morgan died in an alleged suicide just a few weeks ago.  No details have been released about his death aside from this small obituary announcement at the Stamford Daily Voice.

8 – Dennis Li Junjie, 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped from the JP Morgan HQ in Hong Kong this week.

Makes no sense. There was obviously a time before this modern world where people survived. Even in a complete crash people need the basics.

Posted in Crime, Money, Politics, Strange, Survival | Leave a Comment »

Monsanto’s Roundup: new deadly scam exposed

Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2014

Roundup is the Monsanto herbicide that is touted as the cornerstone of GMO food crops. Monsanto claims these crops are genetically engineered to withstand heavy spraying of Roundup.

There are several key lies associated with these claims – but a new one has surfaced.

A study to be published this month indicts Roundup and, in fact, the general class of insecticides and herbicides. On what grounds? When they’re tested for safety, only the so-called “active ingredients” are examined.

The untested ingredients are called “adjuvants,” and they are said to be inert and irrelevant. But the new study concludes this is far from true. The adjuvants are actually there to INCREASE the killing power of the active ingredient in the herbicide or insecticide.

Safety tests don’t take this into account. “Active ingredients” are already toxic, but the adjuvants ramp up their poisonous nature even higher.

And the worst offender is Roundup.

Here are key quotes from a January 31 article at GM Watch, “Pesticide approvals misleading – and Roundup most toxic of 9 pesticides tested.”

“Pesticide formulations as sold and used are up to 1000 times more toxic than the isolated substance that is tested and evaluated for safety.”

“Roundup the most toxic of herbicides and insecticides tested.”

“…the complete pesticide formulations as sold and used also contain additives (adjuvants), which increase the pest- or weedkilling activity of the pesticide. These complete formulations do not have to be tested in medium- and long-term tests – even though they are the substances to which farmers and citizens are exposed.”

“This is a serious defect of the regulatory process, according to a newly published study by the team of Professor Séralini (Mesnage et al. 2014, Biomedical Research International). The study found that for eight major pesticides (out of a total of nine analyzed), the commercial formulation is up to 1000 times more toxic than the active ingredient assessed for safety by regulators.”

“The study was carried out in vitro on three types of human cells.”

“The study produced another surprise outcome. Roundup is often claimed to be a benign herbicide that is widely used in public spaces and by home gardeners as well as by farmers. Yet the researchers found it was by far the most toxic of all the herbicides and insecticides they tested.”…

http://www.infowars.com/monsantos-roundup-new-deadly-scam-exposed/

I want a pocket spectrophotometer or some other small personal device to analyze foods before we take a bite. I’d also like visible meters for what my body needs the most at any given moment. For example, is my systemic zinc level low or high? An attempt to do this is hair mineral analysis, but I have some doubts about the diagnostic value. Still, it seems like a step in the right direction.

Posted in Food, Health, Money, Politics, Technology | 3 Comments »

Blue Diamond ‘Worth Tens Of Millions’ Discovered

Posted by Anonymous on January 31, 2014

http://media.skynews.com/media/images/generated/2014/1/22/283985/default/v1/pdl-140118-0001-1-942x530.jpgA massive diamond with a possible price tag of more than £36m has been discovered at a mine in South Africa.

The 29.6 carat blue diamond, described as being “exceptional”, was dug up at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria – owned by Petra Diamonds.

Chief executive Johan Dippenaar said: “The stones in the last year or so are selling well above $2m (£1.2m) per carat. That’s not my quote, that’s updates in the market.”

However, analyst Cailey Barker at brokers Numis said it could expect to fetch less – between $15m (£9m) and $20m (£12m) – at auction.

The mine, owned by the firm since 2008, was also where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905 – described as the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered and weighing 3,106 carats.

Other notable diamonds found in the mine include a 25.5 carat Cullinan blue diamond, found in 2013 and sold for $16.9m (£10m), and a diamond found in 2008, known as the Star of Josephine, which was sold for $9.49m (£5.7m).

via Blue Diamond ‘Worth Tens Of Millions’ Discovered.

I’m not sure about this particular mine, but there is a hidden human cost with regard to the diamond business.

Posted in Earth, Money | Leave a Comment »

The FBI Seized All of TorMail’s Data and Is Using It to Catch Hackers

Posted by Anonymous on January 28, 2014

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/s403x403/1653589_739744546044848_856876181_n.jpgIf you had any faith left in anonymous email services, now would be the time to let that go. New court documents show that in chasing down associates of Freedom Hosting, the FBI managed to download the entire email database of TorMail. And now it’s using that information to take on the Darknet.

Just over a month after reports of a malware attack on the anonymous Tor network, the FBI told an Irish court that it was behind the shenanigans. But … Read…

It’s unknown exactly how many users or how much data is in the TorMail network, but we do know that the FBI has it all. The agency obtained a search warrant for a TorMail account connected to a Florida man accused of stealing credit card numbers in order to search its own copy of the database. It appears that the FBI acquired the database while using malware to investigate Freedom Hosting last year. As Wired put it:

The tactic suggests the FBI is adapting to the age of big-data with an NSA-style collect-everything approach, gathering information into a virtual lock box, and leaving it there until it can obtain specific authority to tap it later.

In the past six months, we’ve learned that the FBI’s using malware to expose the anonymous internet and the NSA’s been going after Tor for years. And now it seems that federal authorities have been successful in breaking down the wall of anonymity that kept the internet safe for a lot of users. We’ve also learned that despite his advisors’ recommendations, President Obama is content continuing the bulk collection of data that drew scrutiny to the NSA in the first place, albeit in a different form. And so while Tor and its related services are still good for a lot of things, anonymity is apparently no longer one of them.

http://www.infowars.com/the-fbi-seized-all-of-tormails-data-and-is-using-it-to-catch-hackers/

My TorMail test account’s password stopped working as soon as I had an email in it with some fake BitCoin info I created as a test. I concluded that TorMail is false security, part of a crime ring, perhaps even a government scam. The above story amounts to the same thing: The government get everything.

Posted in Crime, Money, Technology | Leave a Comment »

 
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