Monday, March 10, 2014

Something for Economics (and Ethical Hacking) students.
How To Explain Bitcoin To Anyone
The concept of cryptocurrency isn’t easily understood. How can one use their computer to “mine” coins? Where does the money come from? Who controls it?
We’ve published a manual on the subject of Bitcoin and even taught you how to mine it. But if you ever need to explain the basics on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, this infographic by WhoIsHostingThis is quite helpful.

Perhaps it's not the technology, but the users.
Yik Yak chat app stirring up trouble in high schools
From Chicago, to Georgia, to Southern California, a new social media application is causing problems on middle school and high school campuses across the United States.
It's called Yik Yak, a location-based app that creates an anonymous social chat room where up to 500 nearby users connect through GPS tracking on their phones. Less than 4 months old, Yik Yak has "a couple hundred thousand users, mainly in Southeast/East coast campuses," its co-founder Brooks Buffington said.
… "The app was made for college-age users or above, for college campuses and to act as a virtual bulletin board, so it acts as local Twitter for their campus," Buffington told CNN.
… School administrators in Chicago said teens in some of their schools have used the free app for cyberbullying. Others have made anonymous bomb threats that have led to school lockdowns.
… Some students have compared it to a virtual bathroom wall where users post vitriol and hate.
"One of the things we were planning to do is to essentially geo-sense every high school and middle school in America, so if they try to open the app in their school, it will say something like 'no, no no, looks like you are trying to open the app on a high school or middle school and this is only for college kids,' and it will disable it and the app won't work," Buffington told CNN.

For modern Willie Suttons, here's “Where the money is.”
Junk Justice: A Statistical Analysis of 4,400 Lawsuits Filed by Debt Buyers
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 9, 2014
Holland, Peter A., Junk Justice: A Statistical Analysis of 4,400 Lawsuits Filed by Debt Buyers (2014). Loyola Consumer Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2014. p. 179; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-13. Available at SSRN:
“Debt buyers have flooded courts nationwide with collection lawsuits against consumers. This article reports the findings from the broadest in-depth study of debt buyer litigation outcomes yet undertaken. The study demonstrates that in debt buyer cases,
(1) the vast majority of consumers lose the vast majority of cases by default the vast majority of the time;
(2) consumers had no lawyer in ninety-eight percent of the cases; and
(3) those who filed a notice that they intended to defend themselves without an attorney fared poorly, both in court and in out of court settlements.
This study challenges the notion that there is an “adversary system” within the context of debt buyer lawsuits. The findings suggest that no such adversary system exists for most defendants in consumer debt cases. Instead, these cases exist in a “shadow system” with little judicial oversight, which results in mass produced default judgments. The procedural and substantive due process problems which are endemic in debt buyer cases call for heightened awareness and remedial action by the bench, the bar, and the academy. As lawyers who are “public citizens, with a special responsibility for the quality of justice,” the profession can do better. This article proposes suggestions for further study, and several common sense reforms.”

Dilbert explains the philosophy of life I aspire to.

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