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One Bitcoin Transaction Now Uses as Much Energy as Your House in a Week

Posted on November 3rd, 2017 at 18:06 by John Sinteur in category: News


Bitcoin’s incredible price run to break over $7,000 this year has sent its overall electricity consumption soaring, as people worldwide bring more energy-hungry computers online to mine the digital currency.

An index from cryptocurrency analyst Alex de Vries, aka Digiconomist, estimates that with prices the way they are now, it would be profitable for Bitcoin miners to burn through over 24 terawatt-hours of electricity annually as they compete to solve increasingly difficult cryptographic puzzles to “mine” more Bitcoins. That’s about as much as Nigeria, a country of 186 million people, uses in a year.

This averages out to a shocking 215 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of juice used by miners for each Bitcoin transaction (there are currently about 300,000 transactions per day). Since the average American household consumes 901 KWh per month, each Bitcoin transfer represents enough energy to run a comfortable house, and everything in it, for nearly a week. On a larger scale, De Vries’ index shows that bitcoin miners worldwide could be using enough electricity to at any given time to power about 2.26 million American homes.

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The suspect told police ‘give me a lawyer dog.’ The court says he wasn’t asking for a lawyer.

Posted on November 3rd, 2017 at 17:57 by John Sinteur in category: News


When a friend says, “I’ll hit you up later dog,” he is stating that he will call again sometime. He is not calling the person a “later dog.”

But that’s not how the courts in Louisiana see it. And when a suspect in an interrogation told detectives to “just give me a lawyer dog,” the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the suspect was, in fact, asking for a “lawyer dog,” and not invoking his constitutional right to counsel. It’s not clear how many lawyer dogs there are in Louisiana, and whether any would have been available to represent the human suspect in this case, other than to give the standard admonition in such circumstances to simply stop talking.

So… it should have been:


“Excuse me fine sir, although I am a minority, historically underrepresented and overlooked in your systematically and problematic societal hierarchy, I would like to exercise my constitutionally granted right to obtain an attorney forthwith*, who may be able to assist me in navigating your admittedly biased judicial system.”

probably followed a few seconds later by

“I see now you are utilizing violence as a means to exert your authority and control my behavior, as you evidently feel threatened by some aspect of my presence. Although such activities, from my perspective, are counter productive and, in fact, underscoring the very disparity I was just mentioning, I once again assert that a legal representative would be best for both our interests in this instance and could help alleviate the fear that seems to be being experienced mutually presently.”


*“We don’t have an attorney named Forthwith. Start confessing to things or we give you a rough ride.”

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  1. To me it appears to be a sensationalist article.

    1. The suspect was advised of and waived his miranda rights in both interviews
    2. The suspect wasn’t asking for a lawyer. If you look at the full quote:

    “if y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what’s up.”

    To me, any reasonable person would see it’s clear from the context that he wasn’t “unambigously” asking for a lawyer, dog or not kind. And (whether it is ethnically right or not) according to the justice: ““[m]aybe I should talk to a lawyer” is not an unambiguous request for a lawyer”

  2. **** Bah, i meant **ethically**, not *ethnically*

  3. Here’s the actual sentence from the opinion:

    In my view, the defendant’s ambiguous and equivocal reference to a “lawyer dog” does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview and does not violate Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 101 S.Ct. 1880, 68 L.Ed.2d 378 (1981).

    How clear do you want people to get?

    Defendant: “Pursuant to my 5th Amendment Rights I demand a lawyer before I will submit to questions.”

    Judge: Because the 6th Amendment, not the 5th is what provides a right to counsel, this court holds that the defendant did not clearly ask for counsel, and the police were not obliged to stop questioning.”

    Defendant: “I exercise my rights under Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 435, to refuse to sit for interrogation without being provided counsel.”

    Judge: “384 U.S. 435 is Jenkins v. Birzgalis and was dismissed for want of Jurisdiction. The defendant did not clearly exercise their rights under Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436, and the police were not obliged to stop questioning.”

    Defendant: “I want to talk to an attorney.”

    Judge: “Defendant didn’t specify that he wanted an attorney-at-law, and there’s no right to talk to an attorney-in-fact. Defendant was ambiguous.”

    I mean, REALLY, how clear do you have to be?

    “Defendant requested counsel per his rights under the 6th amendment, but of course the sixth amendment does not apply to the State of Louisiana except by way of incorporation through the 14th amendment. Absent a clearly specified legal mechanism by which the constitution extended a right of counsel to the defendant, police could not possibly have known whether he was requesting an attorney.”

    In any sane country, even “maybe I should talk to a lawyer” should be enough to invoke right to council.

    And yeah, “ethnically” may be relevant too in this particular case.

Jenna Abrams, Russia’s Clown Troll Princess, Duped the Mainstream Media and the World

Posted on November 3rd, 2017 at 17:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


Abrams, who at one point boasted nearly 70,000 Twitter followers, was featured in articles written by Bustle, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, several local Fox affiliates, InfoWars, BET, Yahoo Sports, Sky News, IJR, Breitbart, The Washington Post, Mashable, New York Daily News, Quartz, Dallas News, France24, HuffPost, The Daily Caller, The Telegraph, CNN, the BBC, Gizmodo, The Independent, The Daily Dot, The Observer, Business Insider, The National Post, Refinery29, The Times of India, BuzzFeed, The Daily Mail, The New York Times, and, of course, Russia Today and Sputnik.

Many of these stories had nothing to do with Russia—or politics at all. Instead, stretching back to 2014, Abrams’ account built up an image of a straight-talking, no-nonsense, viral-tweet-writing young American woman. She was featured in articles as diverse as “the 15 funniest tweets this week” to “#FeministAMovie Proves Why Twitter Can’t Have Nice Things.” Then, once she built her following, she would push divisive views on immigration, segregation, and Donald Trump, especially as the 2016 election loomed.

Abrams’ pervasiveness in American news outlets shows just how much impact Russia’s troll farm had on American discourse in the run-up to the 2016 election—and illustrates how Russian talking points can seep into American mainstream media without even a single dollar spent on advertising.

And why this дезинформация campaign is working so well is something you can blame the Republicans for:


The US is experiencing a deep epistemic breach, a split not just in what we value or want, but in who we trust, how we come to know things, and what we believe we know — what we believe exists, is true, has happened and is happening.

The primary source of this breach, to make a long story short, is the US conservative movement’s rejection of the mainstream institutions devoted to gathering and disseminating knowledge (journalism, science, the academy) — the ones society has appointed as referees in matters of factual dispute.

In their place, the right has created its own parallel set of institutions, most notably its own media ecosystem.

But the right’s institutions are not of the same kind as the ones they seek to displace. Mainstream scientists and journalists see themselves as beholden to values and standards that transcend party or faction. They try to separate truth from tribal interests and have developed various guild rules and procedures to help do that. They see themselves as neutral arbiters, even if they do not always uphold that ideal in practice.

The pretense for the conservative revolution was that mainstream institutions had failed in their role as neutral arbiters — that they had been taken over by the left, become agents of the left in referee’s clothing, as it were.

But the right did not want better neutral arbiters. The institutions it built scarcely made any pretense of transcending faction; they are of and for the right. There is nominal separation of conservative media from conservative politicians, think tanks, and lobbyists, but in practice, they are all part of the conservative movement. They are prosecuting its interests; that is the ur-goal.

Indeed, the far right rejects the very idea of neutral, binding arbiters; there is only Us and Them, only a zero-sum contest for resources. That mindset leads to what I call “tribal epistemology” — the systematic conflation of what is true with what is good for the tribe.

There’s always been a conspiratorial and xenophobic fringe on the right, but it was (fitfully) held in place by gatekeepers through the early decades of America’s post-war prosperity. The explosion of right-wing media in the 1990s and 2000s swept those gatekeepers away, giving the loudest voice, the most exposure, and the most power to the most extreme elements on the right. The right-wing media ecosystem became a bubble from which fewer and fewer inhabitants ever ventured.

(oh, and more about this “Internet Research Agency” in this 2015 NYT article)

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Teachers spend nearly $1,000 a year on supplies. Under the GOP tax bill, they will no longer get a tax deduction.

Posted on November 3rd, 2017 at 14:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


It’s well known that teachers — even those who earn meager salaries — dig deep into their own pockets for supplies to do their jobs, with one study estimating they spend an average of nearly $1,000 a year on everything from pencils to batteries.

For now, teachers can get a small tax break — deducting up to $250 from their taxes — for what they spend on supplies. But under the GOP tax reform bill, that deduction would go away for teachers and other categories of workers, including certain state and local officials and performing artists.

For modern Republicans, the real treasure is the suffering they caused along the way.  If it helps a person who’s not part of their gang, if that person’s losing it would cause hardship that could otherwise be avoided, they’re all for it.

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  1. Here’s a pitch for the tax cut bill.

    Join the brotherhood who is striving to overthrow our current tyranny of taxes. Join the Coup Cuts Clan.