Nishant Agrawal » How to Run a Ponzi Scheme for Tech People
How to Run a Ponzi Scheme for Tech People Posted November 28, 2020 by Nishant More people are online than ever before. More people are desperate than ever before. Learn how to use that 👇 Is this the right course for me? Good question. My courses are NOT for everyone. You need to be a good fit. Th...
This is so on point.
“How do I convince people I am legit?
Tell people you are open to speaking engagements. Talk about the number of trees you planted this month. Tell them someone else forced you to post on IH or HN because of how great your content is.
Act quirky on Twitter.”Posted on 2020-11-30T03:50:49+0000
Inside Operation Boris It looked like a routine traffic accident on a wet Long Island highway. But it led investigators to a gigantic fraud they're calling the Big Organized Russian Insurance Scam. - December 8, 2003
(FORTUNE Magazine) – There was a shortage of regular guys on the road. At least that's how it seemed to six young Russians driving on the Southern State Parkway. They had left the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn--known as "Little Odessa" for its large Russian emigre population--more than an hou...
I came across this story randomly on Twitter and it seemed too incredulous to believe - massive insurance fraud, pervasive through the system where people would fake accidents, have doctors be in on it to actually bill the insurance companies, and ... it gets even crazier. But this all checks out! I wonder if there’s a documentary on this somewhere (article is from 2003)
“I can't tell you their names. Or even the type of cars they were driving. If I do, someone might find them. And when you're involved with organized crime and you talk about it, you don't want to be found. What I can tell you is that the accident, which occurred in the winter of 2002, proved to be a very big deal indeed. In the months that followed, the four passengers listed on the police report were arrested. Their testimony ultimately led investigators in Suffolk County, Long Island, to uncover what may turn out to be the largest organized insurance-fraud ring in U.S. history. In mid-August, Suffolk County district attorney Thomas Spota announced that a grand jury had indicted 567 people and corporations connected with the ring, which he says is tied to more than 1,000 car accidents in the New York area. The list of indictments includes passengers; the "runners" who recruited them and orchestrated the accidents; the doctors who "diagnosed" and "treated" the victims; the medical clinics that processed their insurance claims; and the financiers the district attorney alleges are the masterminds of a vast and interconnected criminal enterprise.
Only 240 of the indictments have been made available to the public. The rest, along with many of the facts in the case, remain under seal. Over the past two months, however, FORTUNE has interviewed dozens of officials involved with the case, including insurance company investigators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and detectives; reviewed hundreds of pages of confidential documents; and heard the stories of people charged in the scheme, who agreed to speak on the condition that we shield their identities. The picture that emerges is of a sophisticated organized-crime syndicate that rivals any drug lord's, and that systematically bilked some of the best-known names in the insurance industry out of hundreds of millions of dollars. The losses from the case are still being tallied. State Farm has acknowledged potential exposure of $48 million, and experts involved in the case predict that when Allstate, GEICO, and others weigh in, that number could easily reach $500 million.”Posted on 2020-11-29T07:04:22+0000
The Case Against Leaf Blowers
Hell is other people, with leaf blowers.
“The crude little two-stroke engines used by most commercial backpack-style blowers are pollution bombs. “Simplest benchmark: running a leafblower for 30 minutes creates more emissions than driving a F-150 pickup truck 3800 miles,” Fallows writes. “About one-third of the gasoline that goes into this sort of engine is spewed out, unburned, in an aerosol mixed with oil in the exhaust.””Posted on 2020-11-29T04:25:21+0000
The Donut King who went full circle - from rags to riches, twice
Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy made a fortune in doughnuts then lost it all to gambling.
I know this is basically an ad for a documentary but it’s still an engaging story.
“"This story sheds light on refugees in a positive way, about what happens when they're given an opportunity," she says.
"Ultimately, this is a story of a guy who came to the country with nothing, and with some hustle, and dreams, and a little luck, really made quite a charmed life for himself."
Which he then threw away.”Posted on 2020-11-29T04:14:17+0000
How Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell Shaped Our Understanding of the Universe by Discovering Pulsars, Only to Be Excluded from the Nobel Prize
How a sole “scruffy signal” jokingly attributed to “little green men” forever changed our image of the cosmos.
“In a 1977 speech, Bell Burnell insisted on not feeling slighted by the Nobel committee, citing the difficulty of resolving “demarcation disputes between supervisor and student” and the belief that “it would demean Nobel Prizes if they were awarded to research students.” But it is hard to read such sentiments without wondering whether there might be a kind of Stockholm Syndrome of the disenfranchised at work — after all, those systematically marginalized and discriminated against by any power structure have no choice but to rationalize injustice as a coping mechanism if they are to continue operating within that ecosystem without being broken by its biases.”Posted on 2020-11-28T23:56:11+0000
Summary of the Amazon Kinesis Event in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region
We wanted to provide you with some additional information about the service disruption that occurred in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region on November 25th, 2020.
‘Tokenized’: Inside Black Workers’ Struggles at the King of Crypto Start-Ups
Coinbase, the most valuable U.S. cryptocurrency company, has faced many internal complaints about discriminatory treatment.
Oof. I don’t even know where to begin.
“One Black employee said her manager suggested in front of colleagues that she was dealing drugs and carrying a gun, trading on racist stereotypes. Another said a co-worker at a recruiting meeting broadly described Black employees as less capable. Still another said managers spoke down to her and her Black colleagues, adding that they were passed over for promotions in favor of less experienced white employees. The accumulation of incidents, they said, led to the wave of departures.”Posted on 2020-11-27T19:24:47+0000
Apple Silicon M1: Black. Magic. Fuckery.
These are the words used by the user holdagold on reddit to describe their experience with the new Apple Silicon M1 Macbook Air. Rarely does a product leave people effusing to the extent Apple Silicon M1 has done this week.
Is it time to short Intel? Or am I too late?
“For years, Intel and AMD have been playing a chess match, sniping back and forth with improvements in CPU performance, battery life, and onboard graphics. Apple appears to be playing an entirely different game on an entirely different level. The same interplay between hardware and software that has led to such huge successes on the iPhone and iPad has now come to the Mac.
The most exciting — or frightening, if you’re a traditional PC chip company — part of Apple’s new chips is that the M1 is just the starting point. It’s Apple’s first-generation processor, designed to replace the chips in Apple’s weakest, cheapest laptops and desktops. Imagine what Apple’s laptops might do if the company can replicate that success on its high-end laptops and desktops or after a few more years of maturation for the M-series lineup.
But when a $1,000 M1 laptop can outdo a maxed-out, $6,000 MacBook Pro with quadruple the RAM and Intel’s best chip, while also running cooler and quieter in a smaller and lighter form factor and with twice the battery life, where do competitors even go from here?”Posted on 2020-11-26T06:34:53+0000
Finally, a Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve | Quanta Magazine
Computer scientists have been searching for years for a type of problem that a quantum computer can solve but that any possible future classical computer cannot
"The work provides an ironclad assurance that quantum computers exist in a different computational realm than classical computers (at least relative to an oracle). Even in a world where P equals NP — one where the traveling salesman problem is as simple as finding a best-fit line on a spreadsheet — Raz and Tal’s proof demonstrates that there would still be problems only quantum computers could solve."
Interesting read/overview on quantum computing.Posted on 2020-11-20T07:07:08+0000
How raising children can change a father’s brain – James K Rilling | Aeon Essays
The bodies and brains of fathers, not just mothers, are transformed through the love and labour of raising a child
"Researchers have found some answers here, too. There is evidence for a decline in fathers’ testosterone even during the partner’s pregnancy, so cues from the mother could be important. There is also evidence that postnatal contact with the infant can both lower T and increase oxytocin. Perhaps something about the appearance, the odour or actual tactile contact with the infant is responsible. A notable 2015 study showed that skin-to-skin contact with premature infants increases both parental and infant oxytocin levels. These findings predict that human fathers should become more strongly bonded to their children if they spend more time in close proximity to them as infants, and this has indeed been demonstrated."Posted on 2020-11-20T07:04:33+0000
Why I Left IBM to Work on CockroachDB
I’m a database nerd. Or, to be more precise, a DBMS nerd. But back in university, I avoided the Databases course at all costs. A little ironic when you consider I quit my job building IBM Db2 to work on CockroachDB.
Really engaging read, not just on databases, but also on a long career journey and how to continue learning and growing.
The advice at the end definitely stands out for more than just database engineers.
"When deciding where to work, which team to be a part of, or how to spend your energies outside of work, it’s always helpful to remember that we have the ability to influence our own luck. While you can’t always control the “right time”, you may have a better sense for the “right place”."Posted on 2020-11-19T05:47:23+0000
How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps
A Muslim prayer app with over 98 million downloads is one of the apps connected to a wide-ranging supply chain that sends ordinary people's personal data to brokers, contractors, and the military.
“The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of people around the world, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, Motherboard has learned. The most popular app among a group Motherboard analyzed connected to this sort of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others include a Muslim dating app, a popular Craigslist app, an app for following storms, and a "level" app that can be used to help, for example, install shelves in a bedroom.”Posted on 2020-11-17T07:43:32+0000
What Gödel Discovered
In 1931, a 25-year-old Kurt Gödel wrote a proof that turned mathematics upside down. The implication was so astounding, and his proof so elegant that it was...kind of funny. I wanted to share his d...
Quoting one of the top hacker news comments on this:
"The author in a self-deprecating way says that he’s not a mathematician, but just a programmer. Bear no mind to that: this is one of the best popular expositions of Goedel theorem I’ve seen. Everything is very accurately explained, there are no silly mistakes and untruths one often sees mentioned in context of Goedel theorem, and even the original proof is sketched in a very approachable manner, striking a very good balance between getting across all crucial ideas, and skipping most of the distracting technical aspects (which are important and interesting, but I think only to mathematicians, haha). Great job all around."
This is a really good in-depth explanation of the incompleteness theorem and I can now finally say I (sorta) understand it.
(also trying not to get sucked back into doing some more proofs...)Posted on 2020-11-17T07:13:34+0000
Being Glue — No Idea Blog
Slides and notes for the Being Glue talk.
Really good talk on understanding work that really makes a team succeed, from the perspective of the team, the manager, and a person trying to navigate their career.
"Your job title says "software engineer", but you seem to spend most of your time in meetings. You'd like to have time to code, but nobody else is onboarding the junior engineers, updating the roadmap, talking to the users, noticing the things that got dropped, asking questions on design documents, and making sure that everyone's going roughly in the same direction. If you stop doing those things, the team won't be as successful. But now someone's suggesting that you might be happier in a less technical role. If this describes you, congratulations: you're the glue. If it's not, have you thought about who is filling this role on your team?
Every senior person in an organisation should be aware of the less glamorous - and often less-promotable - work that needs to happen to make a team successful. Managed deliberately, glue work demonstrates and builds strong technical leadership skills. Left unconscious, it can be career limiting. It can push people into less technical roles and even out of the industry.
Let's talk about how to allocate glue work deliberately, frame it usefully and make sure that everyone is choosing a career path they actually want to be on."Posted on 2020-11-17T06:53:40+0000
Standing up for developers: youtube-dl is back - The GitHub Blog
Today we reinstated youtube-dl, a popular project on GitHub, after we received additional information about the project that enabled us to reverse a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown.
While I'm a bit sad it took this long, I'm glad github did what is right here.
"No matter what we do to protect developer rights, we still must work within the boundaries of the law. And the DMCA’s current boundaries are hurting developers. One way to address the problems with the DMCA is to work to improve the law itself—and to prevent even worse laws from being enacted around the world."
"Nonetheless, developers who want to push back against unwarranted takedowns may face the risk of taking on personal liability and legal defense costs. To help them, GitHub will establish and donate $1M to a developer defense fund to help protect open source developers on GitHub from unwarranted DMCA Section 1201 takedown claims. "Posted on 2020-11-17T06:05:34+0000
Study reveals gender bias in TA evaluations
A college class had two teaching assistants: one male and one female. At the end of the semester, the students scored the male TA higher on course evaluations, while the female TA got five times as many negative reviews.
“A college class had two teaching assistants: one male and one female. At the end of the semester, the students scored the male TA higher on course evaluations, while the female TA got five times as many negative reviews.
There’s just one problem: They were the same person.”Posted on 2020-11-06T21:43:56+0000
Names are not type safety
Haskell programmers spend a lot of time talking about _type safety_. The Haskell school of program construction advocates “capturing invariants in the type system” and “making illegal states unrepresentable,” both of which sound like compelling goals, but...
Good read on avoiding a common trap when getting used to expressing software better using the type system. Types are useful when they codify invariants or properties of your business logic - names, not so much. (I'll admit I do use `newtype` or equivalents a lot, but usually to cut down on typing).
"Newtypes like these are security blankets. Forcing programmers to jump through a few hoops is not type safety—trust me when I say they will happily jump through them without a second thought."Posted on 2020-11-02T05:06:53+0000