Electoral fraud: Trump sends fundraiser emails to foreign politicians

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US election law makes it a crime to knowingly solicit campaign funds from foreign nationals who do not have permanent residence in the USA. Read the rest

Video: the literal shrinking dollar

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Dip your dollar into liquid anhydrous ammonia, dry it, and repeat. The surface tension of the boiling and evaporating ammonia shrinks the bill. Caveat: It could prove difficult to use a mini-dollar and mutilating a bill may even be illegal.

(Applied Science via Weird Universe)

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What everyone earns working on a $200m blockbuster

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Vanity Fair breaks down the individual incomes of people who work on a major Hollywood blockbuster. Assuming a budget of $200m, the breakdown is approximate but based upon average union rates and published figures. [YouTube] Read the rest

Gadget promises electric shocks to people who spend "too much"

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Pavlok is a wristband that one can use to deliver mild electric shocks to oneself, an experiment in Pavlovian self-conditioning. Intelligent Environments is a UK firm that has invented a "platform" to link it to your bank account, so it can shock you when you spend money.

No bank has yet announced that it will be offering the Interact IoT (Internet of Things) platform to customers but Intelligent Environments lists several British banks as clients for its existing online banking platforms.

Chief executive David Webber told the BBC the idea was about consumer choice.

"This is about reacting to changes in your financial well-being," he said.

A perfectly British combination of nannying, shame and unintended consequences. Read the rest

Iceland's Pirate Party to receive millions in election funding

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Iceland's elections are publicly funded, with funds awarded based on polls of the electorate; the Pirates have consistently polled higher than any other party, and the incumbent coalition (whose parties are polling in the single digits) has been scrambling to avoid a general election after the Panama Papers revealed that he had secret offshore accounts that benefited from his bailout of Iceland's planet-destroying banks. Read the rest

Helicopter was sent to fetch Alabama governor's wallet: "I had to buy something to eat"

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Alabama governor Robert Bentley left his wallet in Tuscaloosa when he headed off for his beach house. So his aides sent a state police helicopter to fetch it, at a public cost of about $4000.

"I requested they deliver my wallet, I didn't know how they were going to do it," the governor told AL.com. "I did not request that a helicopter was used. You have to have your wallet for security reasons. I'm the governor. And I had to have money. I had to buy something to eat. You have to have identification."

Bentley's about to be impeached, but over an unrelated a sex scandal. Read the rest

A cashless society as a tool for censorship and social control

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The Atlantic had the excellent idea of commissioning Sarah Jeong, one of the most astute technology commentators on the Internet (previously), to write a series of articles about the social implications of technological change: first up is an excellent, thoughtful, thorough story on the ways that the "cashless society" is being designed to force all transactions through a small number of bottlenecks that states can use to control behavior and censor unpopular political views. Read the rest

Studio sculpts giant coin, photographs it alongside normal objects to make them look tiny

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In 2011, the Norwegian design studio Skrekkøgl scuplted a massive 50-Euro-cent coin and shot it from above with a tilt-shift lens alongside numerous full-sized objects to make them seem to be cunning miniatures. 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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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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Canada's next bank notes will feature portraits of women

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...instead of Spock's great-great-great-grandfather. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Twitter on International Women's Day, and invited the public to nominate women to appear on the new notes. Read the rest

Despite media consensus, Bernie Sanders is raising more money, from more people, than any candidate, ever

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After mixed showings in the primaries and a sense that the Democratic Party's profoundly undemocratic "superdelegates" will hand Hillary the nomination no matter what, the press has all but declared Bernie Sanders out of the race. Read the rest

Free Bitcoin textbook from Princeton

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The Princeton Bitcoin Book by Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller and Steven Goldfeder is a free download -- it's over 300 pages and is intended for people "looking to truly understand how Bitcoin works at a technical level and have a basic familiarity with computer science and programming." Read the rest

Beautiful, 1 oz calavera and oracle coins

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Dead on Paper makes many beautiful, strange things, but I'm most taken by two of its custom coins. Read the rest

Knife hidden in a Kennedy half-dollar

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No one will look twice at your tiny knife hidden in a JFK 50-cent piece, assuming your deep cover identity is as a harmless numismatist. (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

US Treasury Dept wants to know which offshore crimelords are buying all those NYC and Miami penthouses

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It's an open secret that the world's luxury property boom is being driven by crooked rich people in the former Soviet Union, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa who have looted their homelands and want to stash the money out of reach of any new dictators who might come along and change which oligarchs are favored and which are not. Read the rest

Man buried retirement cash, only to have it eaten by worms

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Five years ago, a fisherman in Deyang, China, buried his entire life savings. The amount he buried totaled about US$5,500. When Wu Chen, 67, and his family recently dug it up, they discovered that the plastic bag the bills were in had deteriorated. Worms and insects had eaten through much of his cash.

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