Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Water Cooler

There's liquid under all that snow and ice.
NASA Confirms Subsurface Ocean on Enceladus (theverge.com). Researchers used Cassini to measure the wobble in Enceladus' orbit of Saturn, something that "can only be accounted for if its outer ice shell is not frozen solid to its interior."

Southern California Fault Line May Be Much Deeper Than Previously Thought (la.curbed.com), based on helium-3 leakage patterns and other evidence.

Online security braces for quantum revolution (nature.com). When quantum computers come online, existing security methods (based on the difficulty of factoring large numbers into primes) will be obsolete.

An aspirin a day keeps cancer away.
U.S. Government Panel Recommends Aspirin for Cancer Prevention (well.blogs.nytimes.com). Anti-inflammatory drugs have long been known to have a cancer-preventive effect. See my piece from two years ago at BigThink. Daily aspirin is not suitable for everybody, of course. When in doubt, consult your physician.

Sharp increase in young kids getting drunk on hand sanitizer (edition.cnn.com). The latest craze. Who knew?

Investors snapping up new homes for rentals (cnbc.com). Zillow Nation.

Wall Street Banks to Settle CDS Lawsuit for $1.87 Billion (bloomberg.com). A slap on the wrist for the banks who made billions off credit default swaps (profiting from price opacity). Too big to convict? Also see:

Prosecution of White Collar Crime Hits 20-Year Low (http://www.alternet.org).

Treasury Auctions Rigged, Lawsuit Claims (reuters.com). Suit alleges wrongdoing by 22 primary dealers who serve as the backbone of Treasury trading -- including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley.

Nine of the World’s Biggest Banks Form Blockchain Partnership (recode.net). Worth keeping tabs on. Banks could someday use a Bitcoin 2.0 (or other digital currency) as short-term interchange medium for P2P transactions that are then reconciled against user cash balances (so in theory you might never know you were using Bitcoin when you clicked watches with that homeless person to give him $1 at that traffic island). The scenarios are a bit vague at this point, but we're seeing the beginnings of something. Arguably.

Efficiency up, turnover down: Sweden experiments with six-hour working day (theguardian.com).

U.S. Uses Over 1,400 Foreign Military Bases in 120 Countries: Assange (washingtonsblog.com).

Black plastic bags containing irradiated soil, leaves and debris
are dumped at a seaside in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture.
Flooding swept away radiation cleanup bags in Fukushima (japantimes.co.jp). It remains "unclear" how many bags were washed away.

Whatever Happened to Google Books? (newyorker.com). Another botched moonshot.

The War Against Evidence (politico.com). Republicans want nothing to do with data-driven policymaking.

CNN Staffers Fed Up with Nonstop Trump Coverage (crooksandliars.com). I agree. Why not just call it the Trump Channel now?

43% of Republicans would support a military coup, while only 20% of Democrats and 29% of independents would (theguardian.com). If you've seen the Guardian story, see also the thoughtful Fabius Maximus post.

How Ashley Madison Hid Its Fembot Con From Users and Investigators (gizmodo.com). Detailed specifics on how the femobots lured male users into opening their wallets (if anybody still cares). The company never had more than 11% real women customers; 89% of customers were suckers  men.

Secession Question May Appear on Texas Primary Ballot (thedailysheeple.com). The ballot question would have no force of law. An exercise in lunacy only.

Why Cannabis Plants Are Growing All Over Britain's Cities (reset.me). A group's been planting seeds randomly everywhere.

Russian Charity Offers Rent-A-Granny Service (bbc.com).

Journalism isn't dead. It just takes frequent naps. Join us here every Friday for our legendary alternative news links. Tell a friend!


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