Mammon category archive
Bruch Schneier reports and Amazon has patented a method to stop you from using your mobile device to comparison shop in a store.
Given that Amazon in the past has encouraged such comparison shopping, hoping that you would buy whatever it was from them, I agree with Schneier that this is all very strange.
My local rag reports on a stock manipulator who tried to bite Fitbit by fraudulently driving its stock price up, but ended up getting bit himself.
Investigators were able to see what websites the user of that email account had visited and found he had checked out at least two on Nov. 8 to see whether his computer’s IP address was disguised.
Investigators also connected the email account behind the fake tender offer to Murray by researching information the user provided when it was set up. Among other things, investigators discovered there was a backup email address on file.
More on how they tracked him down at the link.
A columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle sums up Alexa (and all those other “digital assistants”).
“So was the Trojan Horse.”
Thom summarizes the history and failure of Neo-Liberalism, in particular its role in molding oligarchies.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Sentenced Friday to 1½ years in prison, Brent Meisner was found to have left about $170,000 in income off his 2009 tax return. Federal prosecutors continue to contend, though, that the omission to the IRS was the least among Meisner’s crimes.
“Meisner was not merely a tax cheat,” the prosecutors said in court papers. “He was a bully, a narcissist, and a white-collar gangster. He felt entitled to things to which he clearly was not. He took things from others, justifying the theft with an oversized sense of self-entitlement and self-worth. …
By the by, does that last bit of the remind you of anyone else?
At the Boston Review, K. Sabeel Rahman discusses the return of “Vulture Capitalism.” Here’s how he starts his essay:
In 1913 the great American lawyer Louis Brandeis railed against “The Curse of Bigness” in Harper’s Weekly, documenting the troubling concentration of economic power among the new tycoons and trusts of the industrial age, from railroads to steel to oil. By establishing monopolies, he argued, these private actors could dictate prices and shape the terms of access to essential goods, thus allowing them to exploit, extract, and otherwise dominate society.
But behind the monopolies lay an even more dangerous force: the financiers who jointly invested in these companies through a variety of legal and corporate vehicles. For Brandeis, this “money trust” of “banker-barons” was the ultimate villain in the industrial economy since it existed beyond the ordinary scope of traditional checks and balances. In his famous pamphlet, Other People’s Money, he warned that financiers had “acquired control so extensive as to menace the public welfare.”
Follow the link for the rest. The time it takes to read it will be well spent, because all that was old is new again.
Your guide to being Flint-hearted:
Here is your regular reminder that the residents of Flint, Mich., have not had clean water for just over three years. Unfortunately, they are still expected to pay water bills for water that is neither drinkable nor usable, and on the heels of last month’s shut-offs for nonpayment of said water bills, this month, residents are being threatened with the loss of their homes.
More than 8,000 residents who have unpaid bills have received notices that if their balances are not paid by May 19, a tax lien will be placed on their homes, according to a report by NBC News.