In November, we posted that mysterious rolls of cash were showing up on sidewalks in the small English village of Blackhall Colliery, on the North Sea coast of County Durham. In the last 5 years, around US$30,000 had been found in twelve rolls. Now, the mystery has been solved. Two anonymous individuals have been placing the bundles on the sidewalk as random acts of kindness. From CNN:
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The generous pair voluntarily came forward to the police after residents were left puzzled by the regular appearance of cash bundles, which have been found 12 times in Blackhall Colliery since 2014.
The couple, who have asked to remain anonymous, received unexpected windfalls and wanted to leave the money to help people, Durham Constabulary said in a statement.
They chose Blackhall Colliery as they had an "emotional connection" to the village after being helped by a resident, police added.
The pair would often stay to make sure the cash had been picked up, police said.
It is not clear whether the pair will continue to leave cash, but police said that any money handed in will be returned to the finder.
Yes, it has come to this. Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg and acting U.S. president and warmongering dumbass Donald Trump are both buying duelling $10 million dollar campaign ads to run against each other during the Super Bowl. Read the rest
Last March, game devs Alex Schwartz and Ziba Scott gave a presentation at the Game Developers Conference called "1,500 Slot Machines Walk into a Bar: Adventures in Quantity Over Quality in which they described how their own dissatisfaction with falling revenues from mobile app stores led them to muse about bulk-creating crappy apps and seeing if they could get paid.
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PayPal on Thursday says it has halted payment support for models with PornHub, the online adult site, after Paypal says it found that Pornhub made certain payments without PayPal's permission. Read the rest
Technically, it's illegal for Chinese merchants to refuse payment in cash, but this rule is hardly ever enforced, and China has been sprinting to a cashless society that requires mobile devices -- not credit-cards -- to effect payments, even to street hawkers.
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In Limestone County, Alabama, Christopher James Shock, 32, was arrested for counterfeiting after a garbage collector spotted bags filled with bills in Shock's trash cans and called police. A clue that the money was funny is that one of the $50 notes was printed on a the back of a receipt from Alabama Pardons and Paroles. From WHNT:
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Investigators estimate between 10 and 30 thousand dollars in Shock's counterfeit bills are already in circulation.
If you have been passed a fake bill, Limestone County Sheriff's Office encourages you to turn it in to police.
The House Financial Services Committee has asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook's planned Libra cryptocurrency, and he will do so on October 23. Read the rest
New US Census Bureau data shows that while the median household income for the United States (and 14 states within the USA) increased a bit from 2017 to 2018, "income inequality was significantly higher during the same period for the nation and nine states.... Maryland ($83,242) was among the states with the highest median household income and West Virginia ($44,097) was among the lowest."
More data and an interactive version of the map: "2018 Median Household Income in the United States" (Census.gov)
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The Royal Mint made no new 1p and 2p coins last year, saying there are enough in circulation. The nearly worthless denominations aren't being phased out, though.
Cash use has fallen across the UK, and some feared the end of copper coins when the government announced a consultation on the mix of cash in circulation earlier this year. But the Treasury concluded that the coins were still needed, and said they would continue to be used "for years to come". Over 2 million people are estimated to be almost entirely reliant on cash in their daily lives, with the elderly, vulnerable and those in rural communities likely to be hardest hit by any decline in cash availability.
Canada ceased production of its 1c coin five years ago, but it remains legal tender. Australia and New Zealand ditched their 1c coins about two decades back. But the increasingly pointless American penny remains in business, held aloft by the tide of hysteria that washes in whenever the Treasury suggests getting rid of it. Read the rest
Computer scientist Alan Turing, key to decoding Nazi communications during World War II, is to be the face of the new £50 banknote. The BBC:
The work of Alan Turing, who was educated in Sherborne, Dorset, helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German Naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine.
Less celebrated is the pivotal role he played in the development of early computers, first at the National Physical Laboratory and later at the University of Manchester.
In 2013, he was given a posthumous royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for gross indecency following which he was chemically castrated. He had been arrested after having an affair with a 19-year-old Manchester man.
Also, artist Turner on the Twenty:
The Jane Austen tenner entered circulation in 2017. Churchill's on the fiver. Queen Liz is, of course, on all of them.
There hasn't been a £100 in circulation from the Bank of England for decades (The Bank of Scotland has one, with founder Archibald Campbell on it). They should do a run and put Ira Aldridge or Mary Seacole on it. Read the rest
The Bank of England has unveiled its new £50 notes, which had been earmarked to honour a distinguished British scientist, and which will feature Alan Turing, the WWII hero who discovered many of the foundational insights to both modern computing and cryptography, and whose work with the codebreakers of Bletchley Park are widely believed to have shortened WWII by many years and saved millions of lives.
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It's been a crackerjack year, hasn't it? Kids are being held in concentration camps, whole species are disappearing from the face of the earth, our weather is absolutely borked and drinkable water is fast disappearing in many locales around the world. Everything is terrible!
Except for when it isn't.
From The Globe & Mail:
An anonymous benefactor who secretly placed a $100 bill and an unabashed message of positivity in a Nova Scotia park has delighted and intrigued the town’s residents.
The bill was taped to a New Glasgow, N.S., gazebo in a Ziploc bag with a note encouraging the finder to spend the money on something that brings them happiness and to remember the good in the world.
It was found by town employee Doug Miller while setting up for a funding announcement over the weekend.
As detailed in a photo on the Globe & Mail's website, the note reads: To whoever finds this $100 bill -- it is yours! I hope it will bring you joy and that you will use it for your enjoyment. Always know that there is good in the world and joy to be found. I hope you know, or will learn, that you are priceless and worth more than any paper or plastic. I hope you will always choose to be happy.
A hundred bucks is a lot of cash, to most people. To others, it's a fart in a mist. No matter how you're situated for cash, I'm sure you'll agree that it's nice to occasionally run across a news story where nothing is on fire, spreading like the plague or about to die at the hands of the military industrial complex. Read the rest
The escalating tariff slap-fight between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China is messing with so many bottom lines that the only people playing the market and making bank are those with companies that make red ink in their portfolios. Even Apple, a company that pretty much prints its own damn money, isn't immune. In a week where Chinese telecom and computing giant Huawei declared that they'd be making billions less than forecasted, signs that the fruit flavored phone floggers may be looking to shift their operations away from mainland China have cropped up.
From the Nikkei Asian Review:
Apple has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.
The California-based tech giant's request was triggered by the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, but multiple sources say that even if the spat is resolved there will be no turning back. Apple has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, are too great and even rising, several people told Nikkei.
The Nikkei Asian Review goes on to talk up the fact that a slowing birthrate, concerns over dependency on centralized production in one locale and rising labor costs are a part of driving Apple's wandering industrial eyes to look on over yonder. Read the rest
38.8% more than the same period a year ago
Apple announced the long-awaited modular Mac Pro yesterday. It's expensive, starting at $5000, but the faithful wanted some truly pro equipment and they got it. Even the 6k monitor to go with it is hard to fault at $4000, as there's nothing else out there to compete but for a plasticy 8k Dell that's only a little cheaper.
But $1000 for the stand? Even that was a little much for the audience at WWDC, whose collective gasp gave the presenter something to trip over.
Still, compare it to the roasting Steve Jobs got when he announced that Internet Explorer would be the default Mac browser:
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Illustrator Boden Him makes fantastic money art, transforming US presidents into pop culture icons. See more here: Illegal Tender.
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Facebook is said to be developing a 'stablecoin,' which is a kind of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.