Four days in, and the BBC hasn't even mentioned the biggest bribery scandal in history

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On Wednesday, Fairfax and Huffington Post broke the Unaoil story, revealing that they had been leaked a trove of email from an obscure Monaco family business that had acted as a global fixer in bribery and bid-rigging that looted the treasuries and oil-fields of some of the world's poorest countries, from Iraq to Yemen, acting on behalf of blue-chip companies like Rolls-Royce and Halliburton. Read the rest

Bitcoin transactions could consume as much energy as Denmark by the year 2020

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The numbers in this study are very back-of-the-envelope and assume a worst case: widespread adoption of Bitcoin and not much improvement in Bitcoin mining activity, along with long replacement cycles for older, less efficient mining rigs. Even the best case scenario has Bitcoin consuming a shocking amount of electricity.

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Online casino bankrolls largest-ever, ruinously expensive war in Eve Online

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Eve Online ("spreadsheets in space") is the infamously intricate massively multiplayer space trade/conquest game where real cash can be exchanged for in-game currency , making the battles fought there consequential in a way that sets it apart from other games. Read the rest

Chase freezes man's bank account because his dog's name, 'Dash,' looked like 'Daesh'

Seriously, guys? [Shutterstock.com]

Bruce Francis transferred some money to his dog walker to pay for services to his pit bull, and wrote the dog's name, "Dash," in the notes field.

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Judge says Citibank's law-school loan isn't "student debt" and can be discharged in bankruptcy

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The most toxic debt in America is student debt: your student loans (originated by universities, backed by the federal government, and handed off to banks, who securitize them) are subject to virtually unlimited (and uncontestable) penalties and fees, and are immune to bankruptcy, and are the only form of debt that can be taken out of your Social Security. Read the rest

Student loan garnisheeing topped $176M in three months

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The latest figures on government-backed student loans are in, and with them, the news that the US government took $176 million out of ex-students paychecks and Social Security in the last three months of 2015. Read the rest

Scarfolk's lost 1970s budget announcement lays bare the modern Tory strategy

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Scarfolk is a fictional English horror-town stuck in a perpetual loop, from 1970-1980, from which beautifully weathered artifacts escape onto our modern Web. Read the rest

America's universities: Hedge funds saddled with inconvenient educational institutions

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Public and private universities alike have been transformed into financial shell-games for Wall Street's wealthiest hedge-funds, while tuition and student debt soar, adjuncts are exploited, and the lifetime expected returns on a university degree plummet. Read the rest

Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich

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A federal judge called America's move to forced arbitration and bans on class-action suits -- bans favored and enabled by Scalia -- "among the most profound shifts in our legal history." Read the rest

Hollywood hospital ransoms itself back from hackers for a mere $17,000

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Last week, hackers bricked Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, encrypting all the data on its devices and demanding 9,000 Bitcoin (~$3.6m) to give the hospital's IT staff the keys needed to reboot it. Read the rest

Russian Central Bank shutting down banks that staged fake cyberattacks to rip off depositors

The Russian Central Bank has withdrawn licenses from at least three banks who are alleged to have hired hackers to break into their own systems and empty out depositors' account, secretly giving the money back to the bank less a commission. Read the rest

A new, made-in-China subprime crisis

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As China's banks struggle under the weight of never-to-be-repaid subprime loans (which were turned into bonds using the same trick that produced the US/EU subprime crisis), the Chinese government is throwing money at them to loan out to ever-dodgier borrowers, just to change the ratio of delinquent debts to ones that have yet to turn delinquent. Read the rest

Tim O'Reilly schools Paul Graham on inequality

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Y Combinator founder and essayist Paul Graham's essay on the inevitability -- and desirability -- of income inequality sparked many scathing rebuttals, some of them quite brilliant, but the best so far comes from Tim O'Reilly, one of technology's towering figures. Read the rest

Your smartwatch knows your ATM and phone PIN

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Because a PIN-pad is so constrained and predictable, the accelerometer in your smartwatch is able to guess with a high degree of confidence (73%) what you enter into it -- it can also serve as a general-purpose keylogger, though with less accuracy (59%), thanks to the complexity of the keyboard. Read the rest

Sympathetic Bernie Sanders profile in Bloomberg Businessweek

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Joel Stein paints an incredibly sympathetic portrait of Sanders, painting him as a genuine true believer whose political tenures have been marked by equitable successes that benefited all his constituents, not just the rich and powerful. Read the rest

Bank of America uses copyright to censor business reporter's tweets

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Business Insider's Jim Edwards got a letter from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch informing him that they'd instructed Twitter to remove two of his tweets on the grounds that they violated B of A's copyright. Read the rest

Martin Shkreli is right: fraud charges only arose because of pharma scumbaggery

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli is led to a waiting police car by federal agents following his arrest in the Manhattan borough of New York December 17, 2015.     REUTERS/Nate Raymond

Martin Shkreli, the notorious, most-hated-man-on-the-Internet pharma douchebro who was arrested last week for securities fraud, told the FBI that the only reason they bothered busting him for financial corruption is that he had made a spectacle out of himself with his pharma shenanigans. Read the rest

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