China’s new regulations for Bitcoin exchanges are a PITA

China's new regulations for Bitcoin exchanges are a PITA
JISHOU, HUNAN — If you’re not into Bitcoin, you may safely skip this post. Otherwise, read on to learn of my frustrations in complying with China’s new requirements for Bitcoin exchange users. I have accounts with two Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, and previously had no issues at all registering those accounts and submitting orders using my Chinese bank cards. But national banking regulators have recently compelled the exchanges to comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) regulations, ostensibly to protect customers and cut off possible criminal activity, but mostly to restrict capital flight. Over the weekend, Bitcoin prices had dipped into the $900 range, and I was betting that they would bounce back. Assuming that these new KYC/AML regulations were not yet in effect, I made a 500 RMB ($73) deposit to my account. And nothing happened. Huobi did not credit the deposit to my account. Yesterday, customer service informed me that I had to upload a photo of my passport and a photo of me holding the passport next to my face. So I did that. Several times. Each time, there was an error message. First, I got “the image is not clear,” so I submitted ...

The Atlantic Monthly fails Science 101, #FlatEarth ers rejoice

<em>The Atlantic Monthly</em> fails Science 101, #FlatEarth ers rejoice
GEORGE TOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA — There is just so much wrong about a science writer equating “fringe science” with real science in a major magazine that I feel compelled to write a response. I know, I should be writing about my wonderful vacation trip instead of grousing about an essay praising science cranks for their creativity and inquisitive spirit, but Lizzie Wade’s essay in The Atlantic Monthly, “In Defense of Flat Earthers,” just irritates the crap out of me. It bothers me because Wade, whose background as a science writer seems pretty solid, gets all touchy-feely, New-Agey and says fringe scientists are just so adorable, trying to make sense of the world in their cockeyed ways. Why, they’re just like real scientists! No, they are not. I will explain why momentarily. Even more annoying is Wade’s response to criticism that she’s fundamentally missed the boat on what science is and does. She tweeted this rejoinder to one such complaint: It’s not my job to promote science or encourage people to become scientists. — Lizzie Wade (@lizzie_wade) January 28, 2016 What in blue blazes do you think your job is, Lizzie Wade? A science writer shuld be writing about science, ...

Jim Hoft’s Obama Derangement Syndrome kills worthwhile project

JISHOU, HUNAN — I’m angry. I’m angry about something that happened on the other side of the world, in a city I have never visited. I’m angry at two men whose entire raison d’etre is to promulgate disinformation for political and social reasons, because they HATE the current president, and liberals, and Democrats, and anybody who is not them. With one poorly researched, inflammatory article, Jim Hoft and Kristinn Taylor killed a worthwhile charitable project even before it got off the ground. Within minutes, every right-wing media site picked up the story — which was almost 100% wrong — and the resulting publicity led the project’s organizers to abandon the plan. Weslaco, Texas, could have been home to a facility to take care of immigrant kids coming over the Mexican border. It could have gained a few hundred new jobs. It could have had $50 million added to its local economy. Not now. Because Hoft and Taylor, in their blind hatred, spread lies and misinformation, implying the project was going to be a resort of some kind for illegal aliens, complete with swimming pools, tennis courts, weight rooms, free Wifi and free cable TV. Here is their headline: FEDS TO ...

More bonehead advice from the Right

JISHOU, HUNAN — As stupefied as I was a few days ago by Megan McArdle’s idea to gang-rush would-be shooters, today I read that another armchair strategist, Charlotte Allen, has another solution. More strong men. Yup, the whole problem with the Newtown shooting tragedy was there were too many girly-girls in the primary school. An ample supply of men would have nipped that mass-shooting in the bud. Writes Ms Allen for National Review Online: But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza. Fractally wrong. The more you examine the assumptions of this blitheringly stupid argument, the more wrongness you find, ad infinitum. I can think of what Sandy Hook would have been like, if any men or boys had followed Allen’s tactical wizardry. A couple of dead ...

Voters in Queens: hand this putz Turner his walkin’ papers

[UPDATE: Well, nevermind. The putz won the election with 53% of the vote. Hope you like what you got, Brooklyn and Queens.] This is an actual campaign flier sent out by the New York Republicans on behalf of NY-9 candidate Bob Turner. I can’t think of a more crass exploitation of the 10th anniversary of the Twin Towers attack than this. Turner is running against Democrat David Weprin in a special election to fill the seat of Rep. Andrew Weiner (D-NY-9), who resigned his seat after a sexting scandal. It’s supposed to be a tight race. I hope this flier backfires on Turner big time. Aside from the obvious bigotry, it lies like a dog. The Park 51 project is not at the site of World Trade Center (the so-called Ground Zero), is not a mosque, and doesn’t look anything like the gold-domed edifice in the flier. The project additionally does not violate any laws, local or national, and has even been approved by the local community zoning board. Turner is a putz. Look it up at if you don’t know what it means.

Hitler loved his dog, so animal lovers hate people 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — I should avoid reading Right Wing Watch, because it makes me fear for the sanity of the United States. I have to quote this entire remark by Rabbi Daniel Lapin verbatim, because it’s too crazy to paraphrase convincingly. The Bible provides guidance on certain fundamental principles of life. One of them is that there is a major difference between people and animals. Now this is so important that it’s covered right up in the beginning of the first few chapters of Genesis, we established that. Look, it’s not an accident that some of the most brutal and cruel, demonic tyrants of history loved animals. It’s not an accident. It’s not an accident that Adolf Hitler was almost never seen without his dog, who he was petting constantly. Loved his dog! Well, what we understand is that there is a potential, it’s not going to happen to everybody, but there is a potential within a large society that if we obliterate the distinction between people and animals it’s not that people will start treating animals better, they’ll start treating people worse… The reality is that the lives of most women are not as good today as they were ...

I swear I saw this in Kentucky once 1

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Tericka Dye = Tera Myers = Another lost teaching job 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — Back in 2006, a really good Western Kentucky middle school science teacher had to quit her job because someone (a student, it seems) saw her in a porn movie done when she was younger. She got married, left the Paducah area and found work under a different name in a school in Missouri. History repeated itself last week. Another student with too much …uh … time … in his hand .. on his hands … put two and two (or something) together, and found out his teacher, Tera Myers of Parkway North High School used to be Tericka Dye of Reidland High School, who once performed in a few porn movies as Rikki Andersin some 15 years ago. Apparently, the boy approached Myers with this knowledge, and she then went to her superiors, told them what’s what, and asked to be put on administrative leave. They agreed, and she is not in the classroom now. She should be back in it. From all the reports from her schools, Myers is an excellent teacher, and in Kentucky, was a great volleyball coach, well liked by parents and students. Considering the lack of decent middle school science teachers in ...

Stopping creeping sharia law in the Cowboy State 1

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — There are perhaps 300 Muslims who live in Wyoming, where the livestock outnumber the people in general. Yet, a state representative there (he’s a Republican, in case you couldn’t guess) has proposed a ballot measure to forbid state judges from using Islamic law (sharia) or “international law” in deciding cases. He calls it a “pre-emptive strike.” Just in case those 300 Muslims rise up and try to impose religious law on Wyoming’s people … and livestock. Voters in another hotbed of Islam, Oklahoma, approved a similar measure last year. It was later struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge. Despite the futility of trying to have a similar referendum in Wyoming, Rep. Gerald Gay wants to waste everyone’s time anyway. I can’t decide if these guys are insane, or are playing to the crazies to garner votes. Maybe both.

I am fed up with Sarah Palin – again, also 7

JISHOU, HUNAN — I wish she would just shut up, go back to Alaska and do whatever she did before being picked as Sen. John McCain’s running mate. Oh, wait, she can’t. She quit that job. Well, you get my point. Days after the shootings in Arizona, after a number of people remarked on her use of gun-friendly terminology and metaphors, Sarah came out of her Lower 48 igloo to post a long-winded video on her Facebook page. Here is the text, with my commentary in all-caps. I apologize in advance if I offend anyone. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Like millions of Americans I learned of the tragic events in Arizona on Saturday, and my heart broke for the innocent victims. No words can fill the hole left by the death of an innocent, but we do mourn for the victims’ families as we express our sympathy. HOLE? POOR CHOICE OF WORDS FOR GUNSHOT VICTIMS. “WE” — ARE WE QUEEN NOW? I agree with the sentiments shared yesterday at the beautiful Catholic mass held in honor of the victims. The mass will hopefully help begin a healing process for the families touched by this tragedy and for our country. BLAH BLAH BLAH — ...

Ah, crap. End of world moved up to May 21, 2011 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — And here I thought it was set for Dec. 21, 2012. I’m going to have to redo my whole schedule now. Details here.

My iPod and its resurrection from the dead 4

JISHOU, HUNAN — Riddle me this, Steve Jobs. Why is my dead iPod Shuffle once again working properly, after two years of sitting unused in a desk drawer? Two years ago this fall, my iPod stopped holding a charge. I would charge it up, even overnight, and within minutes of using it would go dead again. Finally, I chucked it into a desk drawer and bought a new music player in disgust. Well, that drawer had turned into a junk pile, so yesterday I had some spare time and decided to clean it out. Before tossing stuff out, I like to see if it really is fubar’d. My deceased Palm Treo 680 is now even deader than before, if that’s possible. The phone ignores the charger entirely – not even a lit LED to show it’s connected. Then, I tried charging the iPod, once from the USB connection and once from the AC charger. I got the same result: the iPod acted liked it was fully charged already. WTF? So, I fired up iTunes, and loaded some music onto the Shuffle. And guess what? The danged thing has been playing music through my speakers since yesterday morning — not continuously, ...
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