Thursday 9 June, 2022

Rose-tinted lenses

Shot with DXO ONE Camera

Quote of the Day

“She thoroughly understands what no other Church has ever understood: how to deal with enthusiasts.”

  • Thomas Babington Macaulay, on the Catholic Church

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Ed Pickford | The Workers’ Song


Long Read of the Day

FTC: How scammers are cashing in on crypto craze

This paper from the Federal Trade Commission fits neatly with my view that the ‘crypto’ obsession is the Tulip Mania de nos jours.

And the Commission is not noted for its sense of humour.

From Super Bowl ads to Bitcoin ATMs, cryptocurrency seems to be everywhere lately. Although it’s yet to become a mainstream payment method, reports to the FTC show it’s an alarmingly common method for scammers to get peoples’ money. Since the start of 2021, more than 46,000 people have reported losing over $1 billion in crypto to scams – that’s about one out of every four dollars reported lost, more than any other payment method. The median individual reported loss? A whopping $2,600. The top cryptocurrencies people said they used to pay scammers were Bitcoin (70%), Tether (10%), and Ether (9%).

Crypto has several features that are attractive to scammers, which may help to explain why the reported losses in 2021 were nearly sixty times what they were in 2018. There’s no bank or other centralized authority to flag suspicious transactions and attempt to stop fraud before it happens. Crypto transfers can’t be reversed – once the money’s gone, there’s no getting it back. And most people are still unfamiliar with how crypto works. These considerations are not unique to crypto transactions, but they all play into the hands of scammers.

Reports point to social media and crypto as a combustible combination for fraud. Nearly half the people who reported losing crypto to a scam since 2021 said it started with an ad, post, or message on a social media platform…

And this paper only covers fraud that’s reported to the FTC.

My commonplace booklet

  • My question in Monday’s edition about whether it would be possible to drive the Kystriksveien in an EV brought a helpful reply from Seb Schmoller (Whom God Preserve) with a link to charging points on the route. And Harry Rutter sent a link to a Norwegian news item dated May 2021 suggesting that there were ambitious plans to put EV chargers on the route. I don’t think I’ll set off for it just yet.

  • With uncharacteristic effrontery, Ford surprises F-150 Lightning owners with an accessory that can recharge stranded Teslas! Link

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