Friday, November 25, 2022

Crypto currencies cry wolf once again

via Naveen Chilamkurti Profile - La Trobe University

Decision making accuracy and speed - social engineering - Cyber Hero - Stroop Effect

State of Service Report reveals corruption stats in APS by Chris Johnson

A zero tolerance approach to corruption within the Australian Public Service identified 172 instances of behaviour that could be categorised as corrupt during 2021-22 and 138 employees found to have breached the APS Code of Conduct.

This figure is down from 256 employees identified the previous year to have been involved in some form of corrupt behaviour.

The latest State of the Service Report has revealed a strong focus on anti-corruption initiatives inside the APS, with the collection and reporting of integrity-related data proving a good method of promoting trust in the public service.


2022 APS Employee Census results

Whistleblower protection must not be an afterthought – it is the main game of integrity

Chinese Communist Party critic Drew Pavlou removed from Australian parliament by police

FBI, Air Force Agents Mysteriously Raid House of Guy Who Runs Area 51 Blog Gizmodo

Higher taxes look to be here to stay, says IFS BBC 


UK opposition parties to table amendments to delay deletion of 4,000 EU laws Guardian

Which? in the UK reports that the Home Office has little sense of the volume of fraud


Progress combatting fraud - National Audit Office (NAO) report

Intel unveils real-time deepfake detector, claims 96% accuracy rate VentureBeat: “On Monday, Intel introduced FakeCatcher, which it says is the first real-time detector of deepfakes — that is, synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness. Intel claims the product has a 96% accuracy rate and works by analyzing the subtle “blood flow” in video pixels to return results in milliseconds.

 Ilke Demir, senior staff research scientist in Intel Labs, designed FakeCatcher in collaboration with Umur Ciftci from the State University of New York at Binghamton. The product uses Intel hardware and software, runs on a server and interfaces through a web-based platform.”

The violent phobias that bind Hindutva and Zionism 972

‘They Know Who I Am, They Know What I’m Doing’ Arrested Journalists Speak Out over New Policing Act Byline Times

A Walmart manager killed six people at his store in Chesapeake, Virginia, last night before shooting himself dead in a pre-Thanksgiving rampage that witnesses say was a targeted attack on his colleagues. 

Laughing' Walmart worker opened fire in break room of Virginia store then turned his pistol on himself in 'targeted' pre-Thanksgiving rampage: Seven dead - including gunman - and four hospitalized

THE DEATH OF EQUITIES, REDUX: The Economist asks: Is this the end of crypto?

The more that comes out about the demise of ftx, the more shocking the tale becomes. The exchange’s own terms of service said it would not lend customers’ assets to its trading arm. Yet of $14bn of such assets, it had reportedly lent $8bn-worth to Alameda Research, a trading firm also owned by Mr Bankman-Fried. In turn, it accepted as collateral its own digital tokens, which it had conjured out of thin air. A fatal run on the exchange exposed the gaping hole in its balance-sheet. To cap it all, after ftx declared bankruptcy in America, hundreds of millions of dollars mysteriously flowed out of its accounts.

Big personalities, incestuous loans, overnight collapses—these are the stuff of classic financial manias, from tulip fever in 17th-century Holland to the South Sea Bubble in 18th-century Britain to America’s banking crises in the early 1900s. At its peak last year, the market value of all cryptocurrencies surged to the giddy height of almost $3trn, up from nearly $800bn at the start of 2021. Today it is back at $830bn.

As at the end of any mania, the question now is whether crypto can ever be useful for anything other than scams and speculation. The promise was of a technology that could make financial intermediation faster, cheaper and more efficient. Each new scandal that erupts makes it more likely that genuine innovators will be frightened off and the industry will dwindle. Yet a chance remains, diminishing though it is, that some lasting innovation will one day emerge. As crypto falls to Earth, that slim chance should be kept alive.

In August of 1979, Business Weekfamously ran a cover story headlined “The Death of Equities.” That year, the Dow Jones ended at 838.74, which is about where it was when the ’70s began. And then Paul Volcker got inflation under control, President Reagan cut taxes, and the Dow ended the ’80s at 2753.20, and is currently at 33,745.69. Will the same sort of scenario play out for crypto, once the dust settles on the FTX implosion?

Living in Turkey has made the author a master of the genre.

  1. “Having a higher sense of purpose appears protective against all-cause mortality,” according to a recent study — or to put it another way: a purpose of purpose in life is life
  2. “I take these to be the most important human achievements — language, literacy, human rights and the spread of these things — but I think our next level up is for everyone to have the conceptual framework for their own life be open to them for modification and reflection” — Agnes Callard (Chicago) interviewed about her life and work
  3. “Concepts of philosophical interest vary across cultures, ages, generations, genders, and socio-economics status” — a video summing up some of the results of the Geography of Philosophy Project, via Edouard Machery (interesting also as an example of philosophy research PR)
  4. “Even if it were possible, to build infallible memory into machines would mean forgoing some of the important benefits of forgetting” — Ali Boyle (LSE) on why it’s important that AI learns to forget
  5. “Did any parent ever say to their toddler, ‘The dog… now I can say that because there is exactly one member of that species that is salient to us at the present moment…’? I doubt even Russell did that. But young children learn to use definite descriptions just the same” — an interview with Paul Elbourne (Oxford)
  6. “Successful social movements have frequently—and appropriately—drawn on the socially transformative possibilities of imagination to help make space for justice” — Michele Moody-Adams (Columbia) on the connection between imagination and political life
  7. “In an overheated debate, your fatigue may lead you to misinterpret the situation and believe that your opponent is too dim or too deluded to see the truth… We humbly suggest that sometimes it’s not them; it’s you” — Nathan Ballantyne (Arizona State) and Jared Celniker and Peter Ditto (UC Irvine) on “persuasion fatigue”