Monday, December 11, 2017

Bitcoins, New Nomads: Reality Check: Who’s buying the Putin calendar?

Queensland election: how Palaszczuk's Adani veto turned tide for ALP
Aussie Bitcoin exchanges now need to register with the govt

Bitcoin Could Cost Us Our Clean-Energy Future

The insane trajectory of the energy cost of bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin Swings and Tax Glitches
Just as Bitcoin Heads for Prime Time, a Wild Session Raises Questions Bloomberg
RBS boss likens bitcoin to Dante's Inferno as currency tops $15000

Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America’s new nomads Guardian

The richest 1 percent now owns more of the country’s wealth than at any time in the past 50 years Washington Post

There was the ever-present worry that aircraft would make war even more horrific.  Some called for the international control of aviation to prevent its misuse.  A few even advocated the complete destruction of all aircraft on the grounds that even civilian machines could be adapted for war.
…At the opposite end of the spectrum were the enthusiasts who expected that soon everyone would be able to fly their own personal aircraft…As early as 1928, Popular Mechanics predicted a car that could be turned into a helicopter, but most commentators thought the autogyro was a better bet — although it did need a short horizontal run before take-off…As late as 1971, Isaac Asimov was still expecting that VTOL [vertical take-off and landing system] machines would eventually take the place of automobiles.

Firefighters free YouTube prankster who cemented head into microwave Guardian. PlutoniumKun: 

“Paging Mr. Darwin.”

Timeline For Artificial Intelligence Risks Human Cusp  Conscious AI is coming very soon. Why should machines want humans around? Or a biosphere, for that matter?

theguardian uk: “Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s optimism about the future of the web is starting to wane in the face of a “nasty storm” of issues including the rollback of net neutrality protections, the proliferation of fake news, propaganda and the web’s increasing polarisation. The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. But Berners-Lee’s vision for an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries” has been challenged by increasingly powerful digital gatekeepers whose algorithms can be weaponised by master manipulators. “I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence,” said the British computer scientist. “We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things,” he said. The spread of misinformation and propaganda online has exploded partly because of the way the advertising systems of large digital platforms such as Google or Facebook have been designed to hold people’s attention. “People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them,” said Berners-Lee…”

Reality Check: Who’s buying the Putin calendar? BBC. Regardless of whether the sales figures are fake news or not, some of these pictures are priceless

Enterprises hesitant to embrace ambiguity in the past, now want and need to be agile to meet evolving customer, technology, and market dynamics.
The post Structure your organisation to be a ‘lean, customer-centric, winning machine’ appeared first on Blog | Deloitte Australia

It’s Amazon’s World—But Do You Want to Live There?Wall Street Journal. When you’ve lost the Journal…plus the idea that Amazon is the cheapest option is often incorrect.See this comparison with Costco, for instance. 
The operative phrase is…”And before shipowners say that automation will never happen, they should visit Quingdao’s new automated container terminal that operates 24/7 with only 9 employees.” Yikes!!
It Will Take More Than Single-Payer to Make Baltimore Healthy Nation (resilc). Someone should give the Nation hell over this headline. The fact that blacks are hurt by continued ghettoization isn’t an argument against single payer. And ignores that single payer would increase mobility.
Democrats poll test class warfare message against GOPMcClatchy. Resilc “Demozzz, please get your own house in order before….”

Tax Chief: Chris Jordan Exclusive Inteviews

Selected exclusives by Nick Tabakoff | Author at The Australian

Days after the NRL cleared Parramatta of governance problems, Nick Tabakoff exposed a multimillion-dollar Eels scheme to cheat the salary cap that involved ...

The Australian Tax Office is targeting hundreds more of the country's richest people as the man who replaced disgraced Michael Cranston takes a more personal approach to high-end tax avoidance. 
"This is a prevention rather than correction strategy," Mr Day told The Australian Financial Review.

Under the auspices of the Tax Avoidance Taskforce the team run by Will Day, the ATO's new deputy commissioner of private groups and high wealth individuals, has been conducting one-on-one interviews with representatives of the top 320 private groups, many of whom appear in the Financial Review Rich List

It is an entirely different approach for the ATO, which has typically relied on audit and review activity to catch cheats. 

ATO targets hundreds of Australia's richest people | 

Chris Jordan has never run from a fight. Having spent his childhood as the sixth of seven kids in a two-bedroom house in the shadow of Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport, he learned to scrap for everything: from bedroom drawers to food

Illustration: Michael Mucci

Illustration: Michael Mucci 

Chris Jordan on why the ATO is ‘designing for the majority’.
"In Australia, there are many regulators (including the ATO historically), and government agencies that focus more on the people who do the wrong thing. They administer systems for the very last worst person – which imposes unnecessary burdens on those who want to do the right thing."

ATO commissioner takes aim at tax agents who “lead taxpayers” to dodgy deductions

Cranston scandal my most difficult case, says ATO boss

Tax chief Chris Jordan targets property rental rorts - Report on the ATO's scrutiny of the rental property market by monitoring electricity and gas records and real estate agents

Billions in dodgy tax deductions: nurses, teachers, police exposed - Report that the ATO plan to crackdown on tax agents who claim big deductions for specific professions including nurses, teachers and police

ATO eyes legal fight against BHP, Rio over Singapore hubs - Report on Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan's comments that the ATO is prepared to go to court against the mining companies on their use of Singapore-based marketing hubs for tax purposes

Relaxed about change: Chris Jordan is the first tax commissioner to be appointed to the ATO from outside the organisation.
Relaxed about change: Chris Jordan is the first tax commissioner to be appointed to the ATO from outside the organisation. Photo: Rob Homer
Tax chief Chris Jordan leads global response to Paradise Papers leak - Report on the ATO's response to the Paradise Papers data leak to include focus on professional service firms

Taxman targets specific suburbs in cash-only business blitz - Report on an interview with the Tax Commissioner, Chris Jordan, discussing ATO audits targeting the black economy

Australian Taxation Office's Chris Jordan in "Al Capone" style bid to stop bikies - Report that Tax Commissioner, Chris Jordan, has unveiled a plan to give motorcycle gangs the "Al Capone treatment" to ensure more criminals go to prison, as crack joint Australian Taxation Office and police teams form a powerful alliance against organised crime

$5bn tax crackdown targets multinational technology giants - Report that Tax Commissioner, Chris Jordan, will initiate joint forensic tax audits with other countries' authorities, in an unprecedented escalation of his crusade to ensure the world's biggest companies, including Amazon, Google and Facebook, pay their fair share of tax in Australia

Chris Jordan: the ATO outsider ready to build bridges

Chris Jordan, tax avenger leads the hunt for millions spirited overseas

Google and MEdia Dragon Coverage: Chris Jordan

 Behind a $191m Gen Y crime wave

CODA: A tax haven blacklist without the UK is a whitewash | Prem Sikka

Breaking up Big IT Players is hard to do

 Tax Games - the Race to the Bottom

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Glorious Sundays of Fisksing: Recovering From Book Club of Large Wine Glasses

Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom.

If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so.
~ Latitude is like the East Laboratory of the new West

From The Crown to Misery: the best of film and TV streaming in Australia...’s Word Of The Year For 2017 Is ‘Complicit’

Good Readers Versus Bad Readers


Research: What Makes A Poem Stick Out?

James Salter: Why I Became A Writer.   

“Why was I writing? It was not for glory; I had seen what I took to be real glory. It was not for acclaim.  I knew that if the book was published, it would have to be under a pseudonym; I did not want to jeopardize a career by becoming known as a writer. I had heard the derisive references to “God-Is-My-Copilot” Scott. The ethic of fighter squadrons was drink and daring; anything else was suspect. Still, I thought of myself as more than just a pilot and imagined a book that would be in every way admirable.”

Duck-like dinosaur with crocodile teeth and clawed flippers so 'peculiar' researchers thought it was fake

“Judging someone by their book cover is no longer an option. Every person has a story, and the more people I speak with, the more I see this great human storyline emerging that connects us. I wonder what actually divides us, when there are so many things we have in common. We all want to be seen. We all want to be understood. We all want to be free.”

DC has highest percentage of heavy drinkers WTOP. BC: “To be fair, DC probably NEEDS the highest percentage of heavy drinkers just to make it through the day.”

As Conquest’s Third Law of Politics states, “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”


SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Serving wine in larger glasses encourages people to drink more.

Everyone knows that wives and lovers of Senior Public Servants get promoted to astronomical levels and women resent that as all appointments should be made on merit and not nepotic (sic)  family ties or how good the officers are in bed ...

MARTHA STEWART JOKED, “I HEAR NBC EXECUTIVES CALL MATT THE ‘COCK OF THE ROCK:’” ‘They all knew’: Media elites roared in laughter at obscene 2008 ‘roast’ sending up Matt Lauer’s office sexcapades.
The 2008 Friars Club roast took place at the New York Hilton and was attended by everyone from future President Donald Trump to TV legend Norman Lear to a constellation of New York’s media elite including Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Nancy O’Dell and Howard Stern. Also on hand were numerous top executives from across the business and almost everyone who was anyone at NBC News. Fox News has confirmed many details of the roast with a media executive who attended, and has also drawn on the one contemporaneous account of the roast, which appeared in The Village Voice.
Speaker Martha Stewart joked, “I hear NBC executives call Matt the ‘Cock of the Rock,’” according to The Voice.
Another of the roast’s speakers was current CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker — then the chairman of NBC Universal — who last week adamantly denied that he had any ideaabout Lauer’s in-office sexcapades.
“It’s just good to see Matt up here and not under my desk,” Zucker said from the podium. “I don’t want to say Matt is a germophobe, but he’s the only guy I know who uses Purell both before and after he masturbates.” 
 Perhaps the big catch there is Zucker, who has been in full Sgt. Schultz mode during the past week regarding his former employee, including last Thursday when he said, “I’ve known Matt for 25 years and I didn’t know this Matt.” But we’ve been seeing numerous variations of the above article in recent weeks. As Daniel Greenfield writes today at Front Page, “The massive media machine built to smear and steamroll Republicans never bothered to report what everybody on the inside already knew. The wannabe Woodwards and Bernsteins in every paper, news bureau and explainer site weren’t investigating the scandals they already knew about. Those weren’t the scandals they were looking for. That’s why no one trusts them. Hollywood, the media and the Democrats have been preaching to us about sexism and feminism for generations. Meanwhile behind the cameras and the chambers, an assault spree was in progress. And everybody knew.”
QED, these articles, all recent Insta-links:  
● “Or, to put it another way: More than 20 people in one magazine office alone all had the story about Harvey Weinstein’s ‘mistreatment’ of women. So why didn’t anyone write it? Not to take anything away from Jodi Kantor’s excellentNew York Times piece, but the reality is that everyone had the story. The reason no one wrote it is not because the press wanted to get Weinstein, but couldn’t prove the story. No, it’s because the press was protecting Weinstein.”
Amazing how many in the political-media-industrial complex “everybody knew,” and couldn’t be bothered telling

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED: Eating cheese every day might actually be healthy.