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Was Bitcoin Created by This International Drug Dealer? Maybe! | WIRED
“If you want to make money—real money—you need to do like the North Koreans who print it,” he recalled Le Roux saying. “Or just make your own currency.”


I spent five years tracking Paul Calder Le Roux, a South African pro­grammer who built a global drug and arms dealing empire, and transformed himself into one of the 21st century’s most prolific and pursued criminals. I’d obsessively catalogued his life, from his early history as an encryption coder; through his creation of an online prescription drug business worth hundreds of millions of dollars; to his diversification into smuggling, weapons, and violence; to his 2012 capture by, and cooperation with, the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Along the way he had, among other endeavors, simulta­neously fed the American opioid epidemic; built his own base operations in Somalia, protected by an armed militia; run gold and timber extraction operations in a half-dozen African countries; laundered millions of dollars through Hong Kong; plotted a coup in the Seychelles (later abandoned); bought off law enforcement in the Philippines, where he was based; trafficked methamphetamine out of North Korea; and overseen a team of engineers building missile guidance systems for Iran and drones for drug delivery.

I’d traveled into the Manila underworld and found former employees, including ex-military mercenaries who’d worked as Le Roux’s enforcers. I’d distilled hundreds of interviews and tens of thousands of pages of records into a 400-page book, The Mastermind, detailing Le Roux’s epic rise and fall.

Most relevant to Satoshi was Le Roux’s experience building and disseminating his own software—software that in many ways paralleled bitcoin. In the late 1990s, while working programming jobs by day, he spent nights and weekends coding a complex piece of disk encryption software called Encryption for the Masses, or E4M. In 1999, he announced E4M on a cryptography mailing list, launched a web site at e4m.net to release the open source code, and began patiently answering technical questions and taking suggestions. A more famous successor to E4M called TrueCrypt—which Le Roux has never been directly tied to, but which several of my sources believe he was likely involved in—surfaced in the same manner.

PAUL LE ROUX had the technical skills to create bitcoin—that much I’d concluded the first time around. He was an autodidact coder, fluent in a range of languages but particularly in C++, the language of bitcoin’s software. He was knowledgeable in both encryption and networking, with a wide-ranging intelligence that enabled him to develop expertise across an extraordinary number of domains—albeit many of them illegal. “He was such a talented and gifted software developer,” Shaun Hollingworth, a fellow encryption programmer, had once told me. “One of the brightest I have met in a 30-year career in this industry.”

he’d spent years as a contract programmer, hired to implement protocols for international bank transfer systems for banks like Dutch giant ABN AMRO and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, among other projects.

He’d spent years obscuring his identity as his business grew increasingly criminal. He’d sent his employees detailed instructions on the use of encryption, burner emails, and untraceable proxies. He’d built his own encrypted email servers, out of reach government surveillance. He’d operated under multiple identities—some of Le Roux’s trusted employees didn’t even know his real name—and carried a fistful of fake passports.

Once the narrative was pierced, I started to see dozens of flaws, in the same way I’d once seen nothing but connec­tions. Even the logical inferences that I’d once matched up so carefully seemed to fall apart on further reflection.

That, in the end, was the problem with starting a search with a conclusion already in mind. I could—I almost inevitably would—cherry pick the facts that aligned in its service. Because it would be so satisfying to discover that Le Roux really had done it all
confirmation  bias  pattern  recognition  story 
1 hour ago
Amazon Warns Customers: Those Supplements Might Be Fake | WIRED
CVS recently announced plans to independently test every nutritional supplement it carries in its stores. buyers would likely have little legal recourse against the company. When consumers have tried to sue online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay for selling dangerous goods in the past, courts have ruled they aren’t responsible for products offered by third-party vendors—they serve merely as intermediaries between consumers and sellers.

In many of these cases, the companies have defended themselves using Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Passed in 1996, it shields them from nearly all liability for what sellers or users post on their sites. In one 2014 case, for example, a judge found that because of Section 230, eBay isn’t liable even when it sells items that have been recalled.

Retailers, on the other hand, can be held directly responsible for selling things like questionable dietary supplements. Three years ago, the Department of Justice ordered GNC to pay a $2 million fine for selling products with harmful hidden ingredients, and the chain agreed to better police the goods on its shelves moving forward.

Amazon is both a retailer and a third-party marketplace. It buys some products directly from manufacturers and sells them at a markup, and it allows independent merchants to offer their goods directly to consumers, the latter of which accounts for 58 percent of gross merchandise sales on the platform. But the line between those two parts of its business are not always clear.

a single Amazon product listing can feature goods from dozens of independent sellers, making it difficult for consumers to understand from whom they’re purchasing a product.

The US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that these kinds of differences do, in fact, make Amazon liable for harmful products sold by third-party sellers in some circumstances. The judges noted that because third-party vendors can only communicate with consumers directly through Amazon, they can “conceal themselves from the customer, leaving customers injured by defective products with no direct recourse." The case involved a woman who purchased a dog collar from a third-party vendor on Amazon in 2014. Several weeks later, while she was walking her dog, it snapped, leaving the woman permanently blind in one eye. Goldman notes the ruling is based on Pennsylvania law, and doesn’t yet set a precedent for the rest of the country. Amazon is also asking the court to review it again.

Making Amazon legally liable for everything on its site wouldn’t be a silver bullet. The immunity granted under Section 230 is what, in part, made it possible online marketplaces to thrive in the first place. If platforms became totally liable, that would make it incredibly difficult for, say, Etsy to allow independent artists to sell their work on its site. Amazon has banned some products it’s deemed to be dangerous, like hoverboards, but there are an endless number of other categories in which seemingly benign products may pose risks.

And in situations where Amazon can't be held legally responsible, it can be almost impossible to track down the entities who are. The third-party vendor who sold the knockoff Align pills, or the company that manufactured them, may very likely be difficult to find, especially if they’re overseas. In the dog collar case, The Furry Gang, the third-party vendor that sold the defective collar, completely disappeared.
Amazon  fake  knockoff  copycat  products  law  policy  USA 
1 hour ago
Racial uniformity of immigrant founders
From http://startupsusa.org/fortune500/, Immigrant Founders
of the 2017 Fortune 500:

"You can literally count on one hand the number of times a 3rd wold migrant founded a Fortune 500.

It’s such a bullshit argument from the left.

Meanwhile 92% of the time, it’s a European immigrant who does the bit they pretend all immigrants do.

So there you have it ladies & gentlemen: there’s your Fortune 500 founders immigration policy.

94% white (or fellow white, might disaggregate that some other time), 5% East Asian, 1% Indian."
immigrant  company  founder  statistics 
14 hours ago
'ICE COLD BEER': Utah boy has police called on him for root beer stand
No need to read article. Kid had root beer stand with "ICE COLD root BEER" sign, with "root" in small font.
marketing  fun  kid  IDEA 
14 hours ago
Watch "Is it Actually Safe to Travel to Cancun or Riviera Maya in Mexico?" on YouTube
Safe AF in the state of Quintana Roo: Cozumel, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun
travel  Cancun  Mexico  video 
20 hours ago
Pravan Health in Puerto Rico
They are incredibly professional, thorough, detail-oriented, and friendly -- all of them: the nurses, the doctors, and even the non-medical staff. The doctor seemed genuinely interested in learning about my health and concerns and actually took the time to step through each lab and explain what it means rather than just saying "Yep, everything looks good. See you next year." He asked questions no other doctor has asked me before and even took time to look at the labs from my former primary care physician. The whole experience was mind blowing, compared to any doctor visit I've had in the states. I haven't tried any others in PR, so maybe this level of service is just normal here, but it far exceeded any experience I've had in the states, even at high end doctor's offices.
Puerto-Rico  doctor  recommendation 
yesterday
The Disconnect Between Our Stress Response And Modern Life - Thrive Global
The guy is dyslexic or something. Typos galore. Useless generic advice anyway, with the hyperbolic intro taking up most of the lame article.
against  Alex-Fergus 
2 days ago
Are Innocent People Pleading Guilty? A New Report Says Yes
"Guilty pleas have replaced trials for a very simple reason: individuals who choose to exercise their Sixth Amendment right to trial face exponentially higher sentences if they invoke the right to trial and lose. Faced with this choice, individuals almost uniformly surrender the right to trial rather than insist on proof beyond a reasonable doubt, defense lawyers spend most of their time negotiating guilty pleas rather than ensuring that police and the government respect the boundaries of the law including the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard, and judges dedicate their time to administering plea allocutions rather than evaluating the constitutional and legal aspects of the government’s case and police conduct. "
against  USA  justice  court  system 
4 days ago
[1905.09773] Speech2Face: Learning the Face Behind a Voice
https://twitter.com/KirkegaardEmil/status/1133621785113575424

From the free PDF:

"When we listen to a person speaking without seeing his/her
face, on the phone, or on the radio, we often build a mental
model for the way the person looks [25, 45]. There is a strong
connection between speech and appearance, part of which is
a direct result of the mechanics of speech production: age,
gender (which affects the pitch of our voice), the shape of the
mouth, facial bone structure, thin or full lips—all can affect
the sound we generate. In addition, other voice-appearance
correlations stem from the way in which we talk: language,
accent, speed, pronunciations—such properties of speech
are often shared among nationalities and cultures, which can
in turn translate to common physical features [12].
Our goal in this work is to study to what extent we can
infer how a person looks from the way they talk. Specifically,
from a short input audio segment of a person speaking, our
method directly reconstructs an image of the person’s face
in a canonical form (i.e., frontal-facing, neutral expression).
Fig. 1 shows sample results of our method. Obviously, there
is no one-to-one matching between faces and voices. Thus,
our goal is not to predict a recognizable image of the exact
face, but rather to capture dominant facial traits of the person
that are correlated with the input speech."
generate  face  speech  AI  machine-learning 
4 days ago
The Surgical Singularity Is Approaching - Scientific American Blog Network
In 2016, the Smart Tissue Anastomosis Robot (STAR), an autonomous surgical robot, underwent experimental trials in animals. The robot, which utilized “smart sensing” apparatus including cameras and mechanical sensors, along with AI-control algorithms, outperformed human surgeons at certain tasks, including joining intestine in a living animal without direct human intervention.

The technical benefits of using surgical robots have translated into improved outcomes and reduced complications for certain procedures such as prostate surgery.

because of the technical advantages of such systems, which include a lower complication rate and better removal of diseased tissue, studies have demonstrated a reduction in overall costs to health care systems for robotic surgery for certain diseases such as prostate cancer.
surgery  surgical  robot  robotics 
4 days ago
The Niche - Knoepfler lab stem cell blog
UC Davis professor blogging about fraudulent stem cell clinics (among other things). A skeptic - https://www.reddit.com/r/stemcells/comments/cd1z7t/help_me_find_a_stem_cell_therapy_clinic_and_i/etvj3v9/

> I'm a stem cell researcher and I've also been doing research as I have time on the stem cell clinics themselves. I've published quite a few papers on the for-profit clinics.

While there are truly promising things out there in clinical trials with stem cells, the clinics out there now are generally selling unproven stuff. Not known to be safe and not known to work. They are taking a short cut around the hard work of doing the real clinical science.

Why?

No, they aren't some kind of wonderful biomedical rebels or Robin Hoods. They want your money. It's pretty simple.

Yes, some truly believe in stem cell magic and aren't necessarily solely focused on the money, but most are.

The most well known and catastrophic side effect from going to stem cell clinics has actually been blindness so I recommend caution.
stem  cell  research  news 
4 days ago
Body language cues
Pretty obvious, except for:

* Happy moms hold the baby with their left arm. Stressed moms hold the baby in their right arm.
* @9:20 Shoes: calm people wear uncomfortable shoes (e.g. high heels). Aggressive people: ankle boots. Amiable people: comfortable shoes.
body  language  video 
5 days ago
Watch Out: Daylight Saving Time Causes Heart Attack Spike
Michigan study on 42,000 people over 3 years. Apparently caused by the extra stress.
heart-attack  against  daylight-saving-time 
6 days ago
t.uber.com/contact
Worked to complain that they had mistakenly disabled my credit cards
Uber  report  problem  issue 
10 days ago
Why travel with a theme/focus
Makes a false dichotomy that you must travel for either 1-2 weeks or "move there forever" but:

You will be encountering locals who have a shared interest with you, whether it’s coffee or techno music or tropical birds, and you will readily strike up interesting conversations. You will be seeing the things you want to see, not the things everyone “must see,”
travel  howto 
11 days ago
California police are destroying files and charging high fees to release misconduct records - Los Angeles Times
"Some law enforcement organizations are charging high fees for records, destroying documents and even ignoring court orders to produce the files."

"The city of Bakersfield estimated that reviewing the audio and body-worn camera footage related to a single shooting would cost about $6,621.60. Footage related to cases from the last five years, when Bakersfield police shot 28 people, would cost an estimated $185,000.

West Sacramento estimated it would cost $25 per minute to redact its footage, meaning the material from five shootings would cost $25,000 in total.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department charged KPCC $1,655 to redact audio from shooting investigations."

"Some agencies destroyed records before they could be turned over to the public. Earlier this year, the Downey Police Officer’s Assn. went to court in an attempt to force the city to destroy records older than five years, arguing that doing so would be in keeping with the records retention schedule."
corruption  against  police  USA 
14 days ago
Erik Voorhees on Libra
Excellent, nuanced, opinion. Libra is the trojan horse.
tweetstorm  cryptocurrency 
14 days ago
Estratos: A Guide to Understanding Estratos in Colombia
The estrato system in Colombia was devised in the mid-1990s, in a country that at the time which had poverty rates close to 40 percent. And the estrato system in Colombia is reportedly unique in the world.

Homes in estrato 5 and 6 pay higher utility rates to subsidize lower utility rates in estrato 1, 2 and 3. And homes in estrato 4 doesn’t pay extra or receive subsidies.

According to DIAN, the IRS of Colombia, about 20 percent living in estrato 3 are in the top 20 percent of the incomes in Colombia but they receive utility subsidies (lower utility rates) for living in estrato 3.

The majority of Colombians live in estrato 1, 2 or 3 homes, which represents about 80 percent of the housing in Colombia.

In addition, the wealthy estrato 6 in Colombia represents only about 3 to 4 percent of the housing in Colombia.

74% of the homes in El Poblado are rated estrato 6. And in Laureles-Estadio, 64% of homes are rated as estrato 5. Also, note that about 95% of estrato 6 housing in the entire Aburrá Valley are located in El Poblado.
Colombia  social  economic  class  interesting 
15 days ago
Amazon admits it keeps some Alexa recordings even when users delete them — RT USA News
A little exaggerated from Amazon's actual response letter at https://www.coons.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Amazon%20Senator%20Coons__Response%20Letter__6.28.19[3].pdf

[[Amazon has admitted some recordings made by its constantly-eavesdropping AI personal assistant Alexa are never really gone from the company's servers, even if the user manually deletes them. Third parties get to keep them, too.

Alexa owners learned earlier this year that Amazon employees are listening to them even before they speak the "wake word" set to trigger recording, and the company has since tried to sell this daunting revelation as a feature, unveiling its "Alexa Guard" service, which listens for glass breaking, smoke alarms, and other sounds of distress to "protect" the user, no wake word (or consent) required.

The company also received a patent in May to constantly record and store audio – supposedly to allow users to address the AI more "naturally," for example saying "Play this song, Alexa" instead of "Alexa, play this song." Another patent, uncovered last month, continued the "surveillance as a service" trend by offering customers the opportunity to pay for the delivery drones it insists are right around the corner to watch out for any suspicious activity in their yards, such as broken windows, prowlers, or fires.

Amazon admitted in a white paper published last year that it doesn't delete data obtained through Alexa until the "machine learning" processes the data is used for are complete. Because Alexa is constantly evolving – "designed to get smarter every day," as Huseman put it – it's unclear how long the process could stretch and keep the customers' data around.]]
surveillance  against  Amazon  Alexa  smart  speaker 
15 days ago
Amazon.com: Shittens Disposable Mitten-shaped Moist Wipes, 20 Count: Health & Personal Care
THE ULTIMATE WET WIPE: If there's one universal truth that we can all agree on, it’s this: no one wants poop on their hands. We’re the first mitten shaped wet wipes that protect your hands while cleaning posteriors.
WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone who poops. Or is around poop. Additionally, anyone who has a small child, a fur baby, or a grandpa. Shittens are a lifesaver for elderly adults, for a shower-on-the-go (after the gym or on the “walk of shame”), and on that camping trip. How many times has your dog's "number two" been closer to a “number one and a half"? Enough is enough! When you REALLY need a Shitten, nothing else will do(o).
WE’RE THE SH*T: Shittens are eco-friendly, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Feel good about using Shittens to wipe your babies, pets and adults. Everybutty loves a cool, clean Shitten!
HOW TO: After using it, make a fist. With your other hand, grab the bottom edge of the Shitten on the back of your hand and pull it up & over, creating an inside out "Shitten Ball" for easy disposal. Like all wet wipes, Shittens shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet (and seriously, a Shitten Ball is FAR less gross in your trash can than a used square wet wipe).
WE ARE SHITTENS: Poop is gross. Shittens fully protect your hands and, more importantly, give you emotional peace of mind.
WTF  lol  shit  wipes  product  marketing  poop  feces 
16 days ago
Reddit Nootropics | Last year's top links
Can ask authors for research papers and they'll send for free
Dehydration and CO2 reduce cognitive performance
10 minutes of rest/reflection after learning increases recall by 40% 1w later
cognitive  performance  nootropics 
18 days ago
Query an Array of Embedded Documents — MongoDB Manual
Using dot notation, you can specify query conditions for field in a document at a particular index or position of the array. The array uses zero-based indexing.
MongoDB  array  nested  embedded  document  field 
20 days ago
I Made My Shed the Top-Rated Restaurant in London on TripAdvisor - VICE
It was real - http://archive.is/coW0I

"So there we go: I invited people into a hastily-assembled collection of chairs outside of my shed, and they left thinking it really could be the best restaurant in London—just on the basis of a TripAdvisor rating. You could look at this cynically—argue that the odor of the internet is so strong nowadays that people can no longer use their senses properly."

TripAdvisor's response was they police fake reviews for REAL businesses, not fake ones.
fun  hilarious  story  fake  restaurant  against  reviews  TripAdvisor 
22 days ago
Former insurance claims adjuster explains how to get the most from your home possessions claim : bestof
Consumer Reports does large scale surveys of people who have had to exercise their homeowner's insurance, and they've been doing so for many years. I recommend reading their reviews.
homeowner  insurance  howto 
25 days ago
Travel Insurance Showdown! World Nomads vs Safetywing | Hobo with a Laptop
World Nomads covers missed flights, stolen/damaged gear (up to $1.5k/item), and being in the US (for US citizens? what kind of coverage?). Safety Wing does not.

Author got a bunch of things wrong, see my comment (if published):

[[
1. Re. World Nomads, are you sure they cover missed flights? Or more precisely, what do they mean by that? Missed due to your waking up late for the flight, or "Your Sickness, Accidental Injury or death, that results in medically imposed restrictions as certified by a Physician at the time of Loss... being hijacked, Quarantined, required to serve on a jury, subpoenaed, [etc. etc.] a Terrorist Attack", aka stuff outside of your control (Explorer Plan at https://products-api.worldnomads.com/v2/insuranceContract/28/pds?preferredDocumentFileType=HTML&planId=170, page 5)? Safety Wing covers (some of) that too (p. 16 of https://safetywing.com/static/media/safety-wing-specimen-policy-0118.dc91f542.pdf).

2. Under the explorer plan you are covered for up to $1500 per item (no longer $2000)

3. The pre-existing condition period is 90 days for both plans (page 2). The article mentioned 6 months.

4. You might need to specify your full itinerary too, with World Nomads. The quote page asks you to enter the countries you plan to visit, and adding certain countries increases the quote. That suggests you might not be covered if your itinerary changes and you travel to a country you haven't declared - quite scary. Have you had any experience with that?

5. Worth mentioning that that the maximum trip duration with WN is 6 months.

6. Also worth mentioning that the plans may have subtle differences depending on the US state you declare as your residence. For example, the Explorer plan sent to US Florida "residents" is https://products-api.worldnomads.com/v2/insuranceContract/28/pds?preferredDocumentFileType=HTML&planId=170&lang=en&countryCode=USA&provinceCode=FL looks slightly different (note "Allied Property Casualty Insurance Company") than the generic US plan if you trim the proviceCode from that URL - https://products-api.worldnomads.com/v2/insuranceContract/28/pds?preferredDocumentFileType=HTML&planId=170, note "Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company".
]]
travel  nomad  expat  insurance  comparison 
25 days ago
Cross-Asset Correlation Tool
Indexes, forex, commodities (meta, grains, energy etc.), interest rates

Bitcoin doesn't really correlate with any other asset
market  asset  contract  correlation  economics 
26 days ago
Does Trustpilot have a Whistleblower function? – Trustpilot Support Center
https://support.trustpilot.com/hc/en-us/requests/new, or for more extreme cases, compliance@trustpilot.com.

"As long as it relates to Trustpilot, the types of wrongdoing you can report to us can include actions taken by a company, by a customer, or even by a member of the public.

It might be that you have particular information about fraud or people writing (or offering to write) fake reviews on Trustpilot. It could also be appropriate to report information about misuse of our platform, abuse of Trustpilot’s functions, or anything else that seriously undermines Trustpilot.

For example, a member of our community informed us about online advertisements where people offered to write fake reviews on Trustpilot for a small fee. We passed along the details to our team of investigators who looked into the case and were able to have the ads removed."
Trustpilot  report 
27 days ago
Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug | Society | The Guardian
[[“Death from toxicity is almost unheard of with poisoning with more dangerous fungi being a much greater risk in terms of serious harms.”

Of the almost 10,000 LSD consumers who took part in GDS 2017, around 1% of them – 95 individuals – reported seeking emergency medical treatment, five times more than those who took magic mushrooms.

One of the riskiest drugs, according to the survey, was synthetic cannabis. Over one in 30 of users in the sample sought emergency medical treatment – the highest of any drug studied except crystal methamphetamine.

Brad Burge from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps) urged caution on relying on people’s self reports for data as people often take multiple drugs at the same time, so you can’t be sure which one is causing the problem.

He also highlighted that seeking emergency medical treatment means different things for different drugs. With a drug such as heroin, a trip to the emergency room is a life-or-death situation requiring resuscitation and medication. With LSD or mushrooms, there is no toxicity and the effects wear after a few hours.

“There is no known lethal dose for LSD or pure psilocybin,” he said.]]
drugs  safety  shrooms  LDS  THC  study 
28 days ago
Dodging the "Where are you from?" question - Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange
North of Antarctica*

Above sea level*

Below the sky

Brooding: "I've been trying to figure that out. Did you ever read [some recent armchair psychology book]?"

I've moved around a lot and lived in various different places, but I've been here for the last decade and it's my home now.

When someone asks you where you're from … do you sometimes not know how to answer? ... Don't ask where I'm from, ask where I'm a local!

I've been living in Cambridgeshire for so long that I consider this to be where I'm from! Gotta love all those nature and surroundings.

"Originally" is a Russian doll (no pun intended). When people ask this, there are many ways to answer, based on the time dial--I often think to myself, "How far back do you want to go?".

As an indirect example that I use frequently, for when I'm asked, "how are you?" My answer is often, "living the dream." It matches my personality and it is frequently well out of line with my situation as the person whom I'm answering clearly observes. (For example, buying parts to fix a broken toilet.)
conversation  small-talk  fun 
29 days ago
ProvenDB - MongoDB on top of public blockchain
ProvenDB is a MongoDB compatible database service that combines traditional database capabilities with Blockchain characteristics such as immutability. Using ProvenDB, you can write applications which anchor data to a public Blockchain, providing cryptographic proofs of the integrity and history of the data.
blockchain  database 
29 days ago
Facebook moderators break their NDAs to expose desperate working conditions - The Verge
[[Facebook has expanded its workforce of people working on safety and security around the world to 30,000. About half of those are content moderators, and the vast majority are contractors

individual contractors in North America make as little as $28,800 a year. They receive two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch each day, along with nine minutes per day of “wellness” time that they can use when they feel overwhelmed by the emotional toll of the job. After regular exposure to graphic violence and child exploitation, many workers are subsequently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

They described a filthy workplace in which they regularly find pubic hair and other bodily waste at their workstations. Employees said managers laugh off or ignore sexual harassment and threats of violence. Two discrimination cases have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since April.

They said marijuana use is so prevalent that the site manager jokingly complained at an all-hands meeting that he had gotten a contact high walking in the door.

Cognizant’s approach to hiring moderators: find bodies wherever you can, ask as few questions as possible, and get them into a seat on the production floor where they can start working.

The result is a raucous workplace where managers send regular emails to the staff complaining about their behavior on the site. Nearly every person I interviewed independently compared the Tampa office to a high school. Loud altercations, often over workplace romances, regularly take place between co-workers. Verbal and physical fights break out on a monthly basis, employees told me. A dress code was instituted to discourage employees from wearing provocative clothing to work — “This is not a night club,” read an email to all employees obtained by The Verge. Another email warned employees that there had been “numerous incidents of theft” on the property, including stolen food from the office refrigerator, food from vending machines, and employees’ personal items.

Johnson was particularly disturbed by the site’s sole bathroom, which she regularly found in a state of disrepair. (The company says it has janitors available every shift in Tampa.) In the stalls, signs posted in response to employee misbehavior proliferated. Do not use your feet to flush the toilet. Do not flush more than five toilet seat covers at one time. Do not put any substances, natural or unnatural, on the walls.

“And obviously the signs are there for a reason, because people are doing this,”

The work day in Tampa is divided into five shifts, and desks are shared between employees. Contractors I spoke with said they would frequently come to work and find their workstation for the day in dire condition — encountering boogers, fingernails, and pubic hairs, among other items. The desks would be cleaned whenever Facebook made one of its regular planned visits to the site. At other times, employees told me, the office was filthy.]]
Facebook  content  moderators  Florida  ridiculous  WTF  sweatshop  awareness 
29 days ago
Safety Wing's upcoming expat primary health insurance
" comprehensive global health insurance product (except US as home country for now). No travel benefits. You apply for it and provide medical records (the current nomad/travel medical product you just sign up). Yearly contracts. Includes preventative care and has add-ons for dental and maternity. As mentioned it has a higher price point and is likely more comprehensive than a typical digital nomad needs, especially if living in areas where minor treatments and checkups are cheap. It is the kind of product a company may want to offer as a benefit to their remote employees, and also companies of 5+ people don't need to provide medical records. We think remote companies/employees are the best fit for this product, but we will also offer it to individuals/families who manage their own insurance."

About Safety Wing: https://www.reddit.com/r/digitalnomad/comments/bdzzca/safety_wing_broker/eljb7wi/

https://www.reddit.com/user/safetywing

https://www.reddit.com/r/safetywing/
travel  expat  health  insurance 
4 weeks ago
Health cover for temporary stays in another EU country - Your Europe
"As an EU citizen, if you unexpectedly fall ill during a temporary stay in another EU country - whether on holiday, a business trip or studying abroad - you are entitled to any medical treatment that can't wait until you get home. You have the same rights to health care as people insured in the country you are in.

You should always take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you on all trips abroad. This card is the proof that you are insured in an EU country.

If you don't have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or you can't use it (for instance, for private health care), you can't be refused treatment, but you might have to pay for your treatment upfront and claim reimbursement once you get home.

You should not have to pay anything for your EHIC. You should get it for free from your health insurer before leaving home."
Europe  health  insurance 
4 weeks ago
Collaborative code editor, no signup
Works in realtime with no signup BS
Supports Node.JS
collaborate  code 
4 weeks ago
The CIA Spied on People Through Their Smart TVs, Leaked Documents Reveal - VICE
Samsung itself is aware of these risks. In its privacy policy, the company warned customers to be aware that "if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition."
surveillance  CIA  hack  smart  TV  against  Samsung 
4 weeks ago
Why Are There Health Insurance Enrollment Periods?
Because of the "adverse selection effect". If people could sign up whenever, only the sick would sign up, and the healthy would wait. The insurer wouldn't raise enough premiums.
why  open-enrollment  health  insurance 
4 weeks ago
Highly-upvoted incorrect answers on questions are harmful - Meta Stack Overflow
"The only correct answer is 25th in terms of votes; there is pretty much zero chance of it ever being seen, unless it somehow manages to accumulate over a hundred times as many upvotes as the accepted answer."
against  StackOverflow  StackExchange 
4 weeks ago
What is a solution to the Stack Overflow "underdog effect"? - Meta Stack Overflow
Conclusion: 13.9% of all SO questions with accepted answers have an answer provided later (the underdog) which surpasses the votes of the accepted answer over time.
against  StackOverflow 
4 weeks ago
These couples say they’ll never move in with each other — here’s why | Marketwatch
it can work well for “couples who have sharp differences in living styles, but get along fine when they’re not sharing space.”

this kind of arrangement can diminish personality clashes and allow both each person to “pursue his or her own lifestyle and priorities, without having to alter things for the partner.”

the arrangement has meant “we don’t get sick of each other” and get to “miss each other” and that their “time spent together is more valuable.”

“He’s an investment banker so he’s always busy and doesn’t feel guilty having to work late on projects.”

“I love living with him part-time because it gives me enough time alone to really feel like I know myself as an individual, and not just within the relationship. In past relationships, I found myself becoming too caught up in the identity or role I played in the relationship, that I forgot about who I really was without the person. Then, when those relationships ended, I felt completely lost and devastated. Now, I feel like I have an entire life outside of my relationship that I love just as much as my life within the relationship.”
marriage  living  separately  apart  against  cohabitation 
4 weeks ago
My Top Resources for Nomads, Travelers, & Expats
Probably so-so, judging by the recommendations I have expertise on:
* VPN: no mention of mullvad
* Banking: no mention of Alliant Credit Union (2% interest anyone?)

Other than that:
* Safety Wing for travel insurance
* Health: MSH International/ASFE - "I did a lot of research when choosing which international health insurance I should get when I was no longer covered by any government programs—and MSH International surfaced as the best option in terms of price/quality, customer service, and actually treating you like a human being and not a criminal. Tip: You’re better off choosing at least a €750 yearly deductible."

* Uniplaces for longer term stays (30+ days) in Europe
* Nestpick - metasearch engine, includes Uniplaces
* Booking.com - largest inventory, best prices
nomad  services  resources  insurance  banking  cards 
4 weeks ago
11 Rules for Hardgainers to Live By | Breaking Muscle
how to incrementally increase volume throughout a training block would probably be helpful:
 

Pick a rep range to perform an exercise in. For this example, let’s go with 10-12.Begin using a weight you can do 3x the lower end of the rep range (i.e.,3x10).Aim to increase this to 3x the top end of the range (i.e., 3x12).When you hit the upper end of the range for 3 sets, then add a set.Work to increase the reps on the final set so that all sets are at 12.Add weight, and start the process over at stage 1.

Train 3, then 4 days a week. Not more. Recovery guidelines:

 

Be in bed by 10 pm and aim and for 6.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.Eat a minimum 16 times your bodyweight in pounds. (e.g., A 200 pound man would eat a minimum of 3200 calories, 16x200=3200, to gain muscle.)Have complete rest days, not days playing 5-a-side with your mates or doing some intervals to keep your abs in check.

How much should you gain and how quickly? Here are some general guidelines for you:

A mass gain phase should generally last 3-4 months.
Aim to gain 0.25-0.5% of body weight per week.
Any more than the above means you are likely gaining excess body fat.Any less is tough to track accurately.
When progress stalls, raise calories by 250-500 per day. Use the lower end of that range if you are a smaller or shorter individual and the higher end if you’re bigger in size.
Adjust based on scale weight rather than some arbitrary weekly adjustment.

Glycogen is the dominant fuel source for high intensity activities like weight training. Do yourself a favor by fueling training sessions and muscle growth by eating sufficient carbs.



As a rule of thumb, if you train hard with weights 4-5 days a week, then you should consume a minimum carbohydrate count of 1.5g per pound of body weight per day. See how you progress. If you are not gaining, then bump it up to 2g.
hardgainer  gain  muscle  ectomorph  howto  bodybuilding  diet 
4 weeks ago
Fat Loss Is a Steep Climb to the Bottom | Breaking Muscle
What is the time frame for sensibly losing a reasonable amount of body fat? We know that there are approximately 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat.1 The average person can only lose fat at the rate of approximately 30 calories per pound of body fat per day.2

 

From that, there is a reasonable formula developed by Drew Baye:

 

[(X1 - X2) x 3,500] / [(X1 + X2) x 15] = D

 

Where:

X1 = your initial body fat (in pounds).X2 = your end-goal body fat (in pounds)D = The approximate number of days to reach your end body fat goal if you create a daily caloric deficit equal to your current amount of body fat (in pounds) multiplied by 30.

 

Here is an example of a person who wants to reduce their body fat percentage from 30% to 20% without reducing lean body mass:

 

Scale weight = 190lbCurrent body fat percentage = 30%X1 = .30 x 190 = 57lb of fat190lb – 57lb of fat = 133lb of lean mass20% body fat = 133lb x 1.2 = 160lbX2 = 160lb – 133lb lean body mass = 27lb of fat

 

Let's plug the numbers into the estimated formula:

 

[(57-27) x 3,500] / [(57 + 27) x 15] = 83.3

 

Therefore, it would take approximately 84 days of a diet with optimal caloric balance (- 27*30 cal/day) for a 190lb person with 30% body fat to reduce to 160lb and 20% body fat.
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fat  loss  caloric  intake  duration  time 
4 weeks ago
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