Halfway There [DOT 9/2/22]

Happy Wednesday gang! Hope everyone is hanging in there.

US married couple arrested for allegedly conspiring to launder $4.5bn in bitcoin


Nathan Chen scores world-record 113.97 points in men’s short program at Beijing Olympics

Ow my balls!


Peloton is replacing its CEO and cutting 2,800 jobs

No job anymore, but you get a free subscription!


The craziest ways Wall Street is spending this year’s record-setting bonuses

This is adorable!

A stranger bought this Broadway star a ticket years ago when he couldn’t afford it. They just reunited.

Have a great day!



    • Do the Peloton employees actually have the equipment? Unless they do it’s like giving a year’s worth of Netflix to someone who lives in a tent. Actually, the Netflix thing is better because the person in the tent might actually have a cell phone.

  1. Great thread on hackers gaming Facebook for fake trucker stuff.

    Obvious points here — This stuff is astroturfed. It’s being done with hackers with centralized planning. They know how to generate the kind of activity which the press will jump on. Bad actors know the press won’t care about obvious fake campaigns.

    Facebook is terrible at figuring this stuff out. Facebook’s inability to know the difference between a hacked account and a real person shows how bad Facebook is across the board at its core big data services.

    • Digging down the thread is fascinating in a train wreck way. I’d argue that Facebook doesn’t actually WANT to figure this out. If astroturfed garbage generates clicks and shares, Facebook is like “okay then” and doesn’t bother to look into it. It’s obvious that Facebook is being gamed but they simply don’t care. The average mouth breather can’t distinguish between fiction and reality, much less understand fake Facebook accounts.

      • Their userbase numbers have always been grossly inflated by bots. What’s come out of leaks and investigations is the degree to which Facebook has skewed toward enabling the political trolling from right wingers in particular.

        What is kooky is that the political trolling and astroturf has always been chump change for FB. Their bread and butter has always been conventional ads and engagement.

        What’s also been emerging is the degree to which top management has been doing this despite warnings from lower level employees that this stuff wasn’t sustainable, and investors are getting alarmed as they are finally realizing it can’t be papered over any more. And just as they need to address problems with real audience numbers, they have a massive self inflicted branding problem from their right wing complicity.

  2. Here’s an intricate, if somewhat arcane, article abut the strange beast known as The New York City Co-Op Apartment:


    When it came time for us to buy we wouldn’t even consider looking at co-ops for all the reasons detailed here. This is probably why co-ops aren’t being built anymore: all the new buildings are condominiums and even most of the conversions are. We went through a terrible period where a hard-charging neighbor got onto our condo board and there was a subtle and not so subtle co-opization afoot, mostly concerning pesky self-imposed building rules that no one wanted or asked for. At board meetings she would slip up and say things like, “As shareholders we–” and people would scream back at her, “This is a condo building, not a co-op. We’re owners, not shareholders.” She was eventually thrown off, practically defenestrated, and it was all very ugly.

    Co-op living is a special kind of hell. I have provided many a personal reference for my friends and if they got in their horror stories abound. No thanks. There are enough nuts running around New York. There is no need to be ruled by them in your own home.

    • My mom lived in a co-op for a while. She hated every aspect of it other than the location and the apartment itself. The racism and money grabbing wasn’t even subtle. Selling it was like passing along a cursed object.

      • I assume he is talking about his denouncing the RNC censuring Kinzinger & Cheney.  His endgame is to get back control of the GOP from Trump.  Eventually they are going to have to let Trump hang himself for that to happen and he knows they won’t win back both houses if all the candidates are crazy Trumpers w/out even more cheating.

        • Oh. Well, there are so many schemes and scams afoot. Yes, the RNC declaring Jan. 6 “legitimate political discourse” is a huge gift to Democrats if they’re smart enough to use it. Discourse doesn’t kill people. Just putting that statement over footage of the rioting is incredibly damning. Of course, Democrats can fuck up a ball bearing, so there’s that.

          Yertle is watching the Republicans implode from infighting, while Democrats are belatedly starting to coalesce around voting rights and Roe v. Wade. What originally looked like a runaway Republican midterm sweep is beginning to seem much less certain, and RNC greed isn’t helping (to be clear, the RNC is manipulating MAGAts for fundraising).

          Trump’s utter irrationality is causing splinter fanatics to start attacking anointed Republican candidates, and even if the anointed candidates make it through primaries, the splinter fanatics won’t fall in line and vote for them. Problem with crazies is that they’re, by definition, crazy, not predictable. And Yertle is despised by MAGAts. He’s also had a good thing going with rigging votes and gerrymandering, and all the attention voter scams are getting is gonna make him nervous.

          Yertle needs Trump off the board, but Trump ain’t cooperating. It’s kinda weird — we’re reaching the point where the best thing that could happen to Republicans is Trump croaking. Keeping him around is messing up their plans.

    • Amazing how eligibility for medicare by being over 65 during a pandemic where the highest death rates have been among elderly people somehow means medicare for all would cause poorer health outcomes for everyone.

  3. Just highlighting the fact that the woman in the bitcoin-laundering couple fancied herself a rapper by the name Razzlekhan. A lot of her stuff seems to have switched to private now, but what’s out there is . . . really not good.

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