Tech Employee’s Aren’t Down With ICE

Tech Avengers, Avenging!

It’s been a wild ride these past several months with Trump in power as the US President. We have seen everything from admitted sexual assault, to lying, to downright insults & crimes against humanity. And in his latest project, the kidnapping of illegal children and separating them from their families as they flee into the US border by ICE- US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This sets a dangerous precedent. Of course like good humans, most of humanity is outraged.
kidsincages

kidcrying

But the division is pretty big in the United States, and the issues Trump has created has affected everything from US citizens to its allies. And it’s becoming a very large problem.

But what role does Tech play in this? Lets start first with Wikileaks.

Wikileaks as the world knows, is the best and most accurate source of undisclosed information, with disclosure and documents pouring in, revealing the very harsh reality of how governments actually work. From these documents was revealed, that 7 nations had invasion plans, that the US government formulated decades before 9/11. These countries include, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and of course Iran was the last. This seems to be playing out under the guise of liberation and false ‘jasmine springs’ being instigated in said nations.

From Wikileaks we also learned damning NSA secrets, that the US government is spying on you in every aspect of your life. This was for decades thought to be a conspiracy theory.  Turned out, the government is spying on you, on an epic scale.

Julianassange

Facebook, Google to Apple and Amazon, all these companies have a legal obligation to give backdoor access to the United States government. It’s actually legal and you don’t have a say in it, and yet the gong show that was Cambridge Analytica was put on to show that the government cared. Anyone in IT knew what was really happening: a large scale propaganda campaign using Facebook as a scapegoat to ‘ensure that the majority population didn’t catch on to the fact that Facebook’s legally obligated to give that same information to the government’.

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But most recently, Wikileaks released in full, all ICE employees’ information including their LinkedIn profile for full view of the internet- and thousands of activists and anonymous hackers.  https://ice.wikileaks.org/

This is actually very big and concerning. Many of these employee’s are just like any other employee working for any other company, and they have to feed their families too. They might disagree with ICE but they also have to eat. Was this a good move for Wikileaks?

Yes, despite it being wrong, it’s pressure. It’s pressure on the Employees of ICE to voice their outrage to stop this program of kidnapping these kids- who by the way, only the boys have been seen so far, no one knows where the little girls and babies are. Which is concerning because of “Pizzagate”.

So what role does Tech play now in ICE, if any? Well Microsoft has a $39 million contract (one of many) as does Dell and even Amazon with their face recognition tools. A big government agency like ICE will of course have contracts with large scale Tech companies. But now the outrage is so intense, that employees of these Tech companies are demanding their employer cancel their contracts with ICE. This is huge.

Because if Tech companies all pull out, and the Internet shames anyone who does do business with ICE,  global citizens can actually kill ICE’s kidnapping program.

Whether you agree with Trumps justification, and the republican party’s position, there is no agreeing with kidnapping. Under no circumstances is it justified. Just like rape, apartheid, or the holocaust, these things are not justifiable under any circumstance. So why are they working so hard to justify this? Because it’s wrong, and they know it.

Each and every Tech giant that has contracts with ICE, should end their contracts. Large public figures such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, to the Pope should lash out at Trump’s policies. The regular person should scream their outrage. Because this is not just a cage with kids, this is the first step in dehumanizing them. The next step, is slaughter.

So if you have a soul, and moral sense, then please do voice your outrage too. This isn’t about politics, this is about right and wrong. And this, is very wrong and it needs to be ended.

If I can use the Avengers here for a moment without any copyright infringement: If Thanos is Trump, well we’re all the Avengers (+ Deadpool)  together. Right now, humanity really needs some good heroes like the Tech employee’s, to make a stand.

What do you think? Are you in support of Trump’s kidnapping and separation of families policies? Or against it?

Cheers,
A.Yasir

16 Things To Improve Your Life

For Business, for work, for life.

There are many books out there that you  can buy and read.  They go on for 200 pages of what you need to do to become successful. I’ve read a few, and watched a few life coaches speak and yes they are very motivating. But it’s much harder to actually put their advice into play. Motivational gems like keep hustling and work hard are repeated and blared over and over again.

I found that life offers sometimes the best motivational gems, lessons learned through failing, or falling. You have to go through hard times- that’s just a given. You can’t complain when things fall to shit, that’s just the reality of life. But how you deal with it? What steps you take to prevent or deal with it, is how you know if you will become successful.

For business, for home, for work or just life in general,  you’ve got to sit down and think of which of the the many books out there you are going to follow.  There are so many methods. But through my own personal experiences, I think it boils down to a few key factors- the things you can control.  But the most important part is that you can’t just do it for a week, no you have to commit for 3 months- yes it takes 3 months to set a proper habit.

I offer you my 16 points of how to become a more successful person. Whether it’s for business goals, to work life to family. These 16 things can really change your life.

So here it goes. It’s quick and simple without a lot of fuss. I will make individual posts for each point, giving more examples of experiences from successful people to my own later on. But I wanted to make this clean and simple so you can start today.

I make no promises other than these worked for me and it can too for you. If it doesn’t make you millions of dollars or turn you into Brad Pitt, well maybe you did something wrong LOL

Kidding, but seriously, at the very least, you’ll have changed your life a bit for the better, become a bit more grounded and able to reach for those stars.

1) Multi- Tasking While Multi-Project’ing.
This happened to me, a lot. Tons of ideas and projects that I think can be successful but not enough time. I was doing bits and pieces of different projects, all the while supporting my company, staff and my family life. It was a mess and my brain was constantly in anxiety and a constant mess. Scheduling and micro-managing myself, writing down day after day in my daily planner. I was doing an Elon Musk, 10 mins for each thing….but nothing was getting done.
So I stopped multi-tasking while doing mult-projects. One project per day. I scheduled my 10-12 hour day into 2 hour project times, with 10 mins every hour to check with emails and staff.

So my schedule looked like this:
Monday

Keep your schedule clean and simple so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Anyone in IT knows, you can’t just work on something like coding or programing for 10 or 20min intervals, you have to dedicate strict time to it. And that’s what I did.

2. Spend Your Time Like You Appreciate it.
One of the concepts I saw written in book after book, barked on from ‘life specialist to life specialist’  is ‘grind and hustle, and work the 100 hours a week, work till you don’t have to introduce yourself’. Well here’s the dangerous side of that. You spend all your time ‘grinding’ that you don’t actually appreciate the time you have.
My wife, who I cherish, has been my biggest supporter and pillar. When we got married, she took on the task of helping me to get my business to what it is today. But it came at a price: Her health.
It broke me down when I heard the doctor say, she needs to rest, she’s burning out. At that moment it hit me. If something were to happen to her, what will I do? If something happened to me, what will she do?
So, we had to change the way we looked at success. Success should never come at the price of your health or your loved ones health. Success is something you get from working smart, not killing yourself for. The hours I put in, the stress I caused I wonder now how many years I took off my life.
Spend your time properly, even if you have to schedule in 20 mins to spend with your loved ones, or call your family or sit and do something you love. This is time well spent. This is time you will not regret. So if you have loved ones, schedule them in everyday- make it habit.

3. Your health Is Key To Your Success
Your mind is what it feed it. So if you feed it fast food and shit from the fridge, your mind will be shit. You’ll have trouble staying focused and won’t be able to process the information well enough to get things done.
Eating proper home cooked meals left me feeling better about myself and my health. It gave me a boost of confidence that I didn’t have when I was eating fast food. I was never overweight, but you would not believe how you feel when you eat crap all the time. The switch to good food with veggies and fruits really made a difference in how I worked. So if you want a clear focused mind, then eat properly. Don’t skip your meals. Can’t get to the gym, that’s okay, you need to get some weights, start walking and doing push ups.  If you think just getting some sweats on will motivate you, it won’t. So grab some real gear from www.GymOverEverything.com and start with the mindset of fit. The right exercise clothing can really get your motivation going.

4. Sleep!
I get it, I also wish there was 43 hours in a day, but there isn’t and guess what, your brain and body are going to be sluggish the next day and you can’t just run on coffee for the next 5 years trying to reach success.
No matter the business, or job or the goal you’re trying to achieve, you need to sleep. If you can’t commit to 7 full hours at night, then get 5hours at night and throw in a 20min nap at 2pm. I kid you not, this is going to make such a big difference. Imagine one of the most productive days you have ever had, where everything just went smoothly- that is going to be your everyday if you sleep. Your senses and thinking ability is so much better when you get that sleep.

5. Don’t Second Guess Yourself  But Think Properly
In 2009 my wife came to me and asked about this little thing called Bitcoin. Well I’ll be honest, I didn’t want any part of it. From an IT prespective, Bitcoin is a security nightmare. Bitcoin breaks each and every security protocol set to protect people online, and I could already see the wikileaks article going over the security issues, the open doors to fraud, money laundering etc etc. I wanted no part of it. My wife for whatever reason, thought it was a good idea. At the time, I thought ‘Is she nuts?’.
But then I sat down and thought about it properly, what if there is the off chance that this coin becomes the norm in money. Do I really want to miss out on something that literally will cost me nothing to mine? So I took out an old laptop and started to mine Bitcoin.
And then Dec of 2017 happened and the rest was history.
I don’t 2nd guess my assessment- it was correct, but I had to think from outside my prespective and properly assess my choices. Bitcoin mining took me no work to do. It didn’t cost me anything.
So think properly, it’s not second guessing yourself, it’s cutting outside of what you know to be correct, and seeing if there is potentional.

6. You Have Your Own Clock
From all the success stories you hear about people that made it, you forget that there was thousands more that didn’t. You put yourself under extreme pressure and anxiety about making it too without thinking of what it’s doing. You have your own time, and it’s not the same as everybody else. Maybe everybody is sailing the same direction, but maybe you’re meant to sail slow and steady and not risk those choppy waters and wind. Maybe you decide the risk is too big right now and you need a break on that Island to regroup and redefine your plans. You will achieve your success on your own time without wasting your time and life. This goes to my next point.

7. Keep Learning & Relearning
This happened to me. I was stuck in a rut in 2007. Thinking of how the hell was I ever going to compete with large names like freaking IBM. All my IT friends were in secured jobs steaming ahead away from me, while I was still trying to push my company forward. I decided to take a break from my company. So I got a job (that I hated but gave me data center access). It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I learned a lot and garnered a ton of expereinece I didnt have. It helped me to create my first software for Microsoft Password Recovery, and the first year after making it, I made my first $100k. It was incredible. I took on other jobs related and unrelated to garner more experience and combined it with my ability to learn just about anything, I created compevo.com and several other software projects that allowed me to take my wife to several trips to China, Dubai and Japan. I’m not arrogant about what I have to do. If I have to even now take on a job to learn things about AI that I don’t know, I’ll do it. Even if my company already has some AI projects under it’s belt, it’s not all about just that, it’s also about learning and expanding my knowledge base. If you’re in sales, well learn some accounting. If you’re in marketing, learn some IT. If you’re in IT, learn marketing & accounting.

8. Don’t Be Arrogant.
Money can do 1 of 2 things. It can degrade you or upgrade you. It can degrade you in the way of arrogance or it can upgrade you in the way of being genuine.  Money changes people, and yes sometimes its frustrating when I see a person look at me like I have nothing and I feel like jumping to say “have a look at my bank account”, but then I relax. I realize they are working on a debt system only for the now and maybe their kids, but I’m working on a credit system where I want to build wealth for generations after. I also want my kids to understand the value of life with money and the value of life with just money.
You don’t need to be loud and proud, you don’t need to announce it to everyone, and you don’t need to dress in a $10,000 suit to show that you have money.
From a psychological point of view, it shows how low and unconfident you are in your genuine self, and need to pretty yourself with ‘things’ to make you sparkle. That isn’t right, and you need to put proper value on yourself, and not let things deteremine your value. My wife, my kids are what makes me valuable. And I don’t want to settle for a million dollar house in a shit market, I want that $2million house my wife liked back when we got married, and I intend to give it to her, paid in full cash not a mortgage that I leave her behind with.  I want to be able to pay in cash for my kids education should they persue it, or help them start a company without begging a bank. So don’t be arrogant, whether you have the money or not. In an age of social media, it’s hard not to place value on ‘the look’ of success, but don’t forget that even lottery winners can go down a shit hole if they don’t keep their arrogance in check.

9. Start With A Meeting End With A Meeting
Make mondays meeting days. The start of the week to revamp your plans for the week. What your main projects will be, and how will you schedule it all in. During this 30 minute with yourself or your team, write down your expectation for the week and what you intend to achieve. I usually failed at daily goals but always hit the mark with weekly goals simply because I felt like there was enough time to achieve the goal. Depending on what you’re doing, sometimes a daily goal is better or even a monthly goal. For a team project for work- a weekly goal for each member works best, so everyone can see if everyone’s on time, and if one isn’t, then the others can either help or extend the project frame. If it’s something like weight loss, then a monthly goal works better. You don’t need to stand on a scale every week battering yourself about the 1lbs you lost or didn’t lose. Check your measurements not your weight.  So really think about what you’re trying to achieve and then go from there. End your week with a meeting on friday. You should be able to go through your schedule, see all that you have done and be able to plan for the next week. You should make notes on what was achieved, what still needs work, and how you intend to solve issues. In IT there is a lot of detail work, I found writing down the different things I wanted to do, or have solved on my Tech Forum www.realtechtalk.com helped me a ton to keep myself on track and also helps others who run into similar issues.

10. Self Talk
This is bizaare but it works. If you’re hitting a wall, or getting frustrated, you need a 5 minute break. You need some cold water, and you need to talk to yourself. I cannot tell you how much I talked to myself when I hit wall after wall when coding- any coder out there will tell you how frustrating it is when shit doesn’t work and you don’t know why. But it helped me center my thoughts and get back on focus otherwise you’re just running in the same spot.
Things like “It’s fine, I will get this.” or “Don’t panic, you will find an answer” or “Nobody will be able to solve this but you so calm down and find the answer to save the damn world.” Well that last one is a bit much, but whatever it takes man.

11. Organize
Your home, your office space, your mind are all connected. If one of those are a mess, the others will follow. If your home is a mess- you’re gonna be a mess. If your office space is a mess, you’re gonna a be mess. Staying organized, keeping things neat and in their own space will greatly help you with not just productivity but also help your mind not be in constant chaos. It’s actually fact that having a messy working or living environment can cause depression and make you unable to focus. So clean up and declutter your mind.

12. Iron Your Clothes
For a long time, I just took something out of the clean basket and that was it. Then I got married 11 years ago, and suddenly things were being ironed and put away in their drawer (thanks Lazina) and I couldn’t believe how much more confident clean ironed clothes felt. You feel put together and good about not just your appearance but your overall mood feels more…well ironed out.

13. Play A Game
I have several games on my phone and at home. I play them especially during tough moments where I’m stuck on a project or can’t find a solution. I know when I’m losing it and that’s when I decide, time for a game. Not just any game, games that make your mind run. I like car racing games especially, but when I’m stuck on something, I actually play math or maze or puzzle games. This helps the proper side of my brain to relax but also refresh and be ready to solve the problem I’m having. This has literally saved me so many times. Try it.

14. Read A Proper Book
I get asked what books I’m reading and usually it’s just normal books, or kids books that my kids give to me, or the Harry Potter my wife made me read (yeah she bought the whole set and made me read it, and it explains a lot more than the movies so you should too). But you can’t just read self help, life coach, how to make money books all the time. It’s mind bogging, eventually it’s going to wear you out, especially because they are making money off you for buying their words. Read imaginative, creative things that will get your mind thinking creatively rather than in one track.

15. Be Awkward, its’ fine.
I’m an awkward type of person. Up until last year I didn’t have an Instagram account, and both my twitter and LinkedIn were bascially empty. I consider myself more of a lone wolf type, and don’t have a large circle of friends who I go to ‘night out parties’ with. No I have never been to Los Vegas, nor do I drink or smoke. I’m a practicing Muslim and listen to rap, I also tend to befriend genuine people not fake faces. When I speak, it’s geunine, I’m not trying to make you like me, and sometimes this might come off as akward because I’ll flat out say things like ‘it’s great to meet you, lets keep in touch because I like people like you’. It’s not the social norm, I’m sure there’s a better way of saying it, but I don’t have the mindset to change my honesty for social fluff. In 2018, we are too busy trying to be other people that we are losing our geuinine selves and you need to recover yourself from that.

16.  Promise Yourself, “You won’t give up”.
Never give up. I teach my kids that, but I mean it. You might not be happy with your progress, and you’ve made mistakes, and maybe you’re even failing or not acheiving what you wanted to achieve by now. That doesn’t mean give up. That just means you re-plan and get back to it. I have a lot of time on my hands, so I took on a 2 month teaching job at BCIT, this will give me great experience teaching others (which will help me to make a guide book to train staff) and gives me speaking experience. I find talking is one of my weakest points, so I found something that can stop me from being bored and help me improve myself. Back in 2007, if I had given up on the company just because I took on a job, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So don’t give up. Promise yourself that one thing. Even if your plans change, even if your goal changes, don’t give up. Push forward.

You got this. Now go and change your life.  Good luck friends!

Cheers,
A.Yasir

BITCOIN’S VALUE WAS FRAUD?

 The Coordinated Manipulation
According to research done by Professor John Griffin of Texas Finance, last years epic rise for Bitcoin was actually done by coordinated market manipulation.

Professor Griffin goes on to explain that he examined millions of transactions on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, and says that “the US dollar pegged cryptocurrency Tether was used to buy Bitcoin at the times that the latter was falling- which helped ‘stabilize and manipulate’ the price”

First I’ll explain what Griffin’s said, and then I’ll explain why he’s wrong about Bitcoin but right about Tether. And it boils down to his understanding of how Exchanges work and how Bitcoin works.

Griffin said “Fraud and manipulation often leave footprints in the data and it’s nice to have the blockchain to track things,” Griffin told CNBC. Whenever bitcoin fell, Tether was used to buy it to prop up the price again.

“It was creating price support for bitcoin and, over the period that we examined, had huge price effects. Our research would indicate that there are sophisticated people harnessing investor interest for their benefit.”

Bitcoin started 2017 at below $1,000 and by Dec 2017 hit 20,000. But as if February to June 2018 it’s been jumping back and fourth from it’s lowest at $6k to the highest $10k (which didn’t even last)  Tether is the 11th largest cryptocurrency and is pegged to the US dollar. Some critics say Tether owners don’t have enough fiat currency to back its $2.5 billion market capitalization.

Bitfinex CEO J.L. van der Velde told CNBC that neither the exchange nor tether helped to boost bitcoin prices. “Bitfinex nor tether is, or has ever, engaged in any sort of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex,”

Now here’s what I think:

I’ve personally used Tether but I do worry about it. A lot of people have accused Tether of fraud, and Tether certainly hasn’t proven the naysayers.  Do they have the 2.5 billion USD and how are they raising funds?  Essentially as far as I can see, Tether is a non-backed, way of essentially printing virtual USD.  I think Griffin is way off on this one.  USDT (Tether) is a convenient trading pair that can be used with some of the top cryptocurrencies to trade and exchange directly for other coins.

The issue is that a lot of people don’t realize most tokens and currencies are not directly convertible or tradeable for others on exchanges.  Generally you’ll have to sell your ABC alt-coin or tokens for Bitcoin, or USDT and then use the major currency you sold or exchanged to buy say another coin such as Ripple, Litecoin, Lisk etc..  So this is where USDT comes in, if Griffin thinks it propped up Bitcoin I think he is misunderstanding how the exchanges work.  Yes a lot of people are using USDT to buy other currencies but is USDT a market factor?  No, I don’t think so, it’s just simply convenient and I agree with Bitfinex that it doesn’t appear they are using it to prop up Bitcoin.

However, USDT could not be used in such a way if it wasn’t given prominence and primary trading pairs like Bitfinex and other major exchanges have used.  Could some of the exchanges be in cahoots with currencies like USDT and others?  Absolutely, and this is the more likely scenario of market manipulation in the sense that they essentially largely control which currencies fail and flourish.

Any coin that is used as a primary trading pair or in other words directly convertible has more value and will intrinsically be used more as a vehicle to buy coins like Bitcoin.

I think Griffin just raises the simple question about USDT being a fraud and this is the biggest concern but I highly doubt USDT’s existence or trading patterns are responsible for Bitcoin fluctuations directly.  He may derive this from trading patterns but I really just think USDT is a convenient and easy to understand intermediary trading pair vs how you wrap your mind around how many BTC another coin like Ripple, Ethereum or Litcoin is worth etc…

What do you think?

Cheers!
-A. Yasir

Psychopath CEO’s

The Jobs Psychopaths Are In the Most

A person with a Psychopathic personality is defined as having an inflated, narcissistic sense of themselves and are very good at manipulating people. And with the world naturally turning more and more narcissistic with social media and the images of ‘your best self’ (or rather your fake self), it’s getting to be a pretty psychopathic world.

We once considered Ted Bundy and psychopath murderers and honestly world leaders as general well known psychopathy. But as it turns out, the world is filled with psychopaths, and you might just be working next to one. And most surprisingly, is that CEO was ranked #1 for the most psychopaths…I’m a CEO and I’m both worried and fascinated…

So why are there so many psychopathic CEO’s? Well psychopaths tend to go for jobs or careers that put them in leadership positions because they have charisma, are good at making on the spot decisions and are fearless.  They have a goal and they can make it happen and will stop at nothing (including stomping out others) to get what they want.

Kevin Dutton, a British psychologist and writer, specialises in the study of psychopathy, made a list of the types of jobs that attract the MOST PSYCHOPATHS.  In his book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.”

“Functional psychopaths,” as Dutton calls them, “use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society.”  Basically, psychopaths are normal people but have a few traits that make them ‘different’.

10. Civil Servant:
Fun fact, in 2014, UK Government officials considered recruiting psychopaths specifically “to keep order,” because they are “very good in crises” and have “no feelings for others, nor moral code, and tend to be very intelligent and logical.”  Ouch.

9. Chef:
Should they really be in charge of our food and knives? But apparently the 9th most popular job for psychopaths is being a chef. According to Dutton, they thrive in chaos. And the chaos of the kitchen is right up their alley.

8. Clergy Person:
This may come as a surprise because we don’t normally associate such a personality type with this job. But according to FBI veteran Joe Navarro, ‘religious organisations may provide a means for people to exploit others, while also giving legitimacy to their actions.’ It’s also very easy to make alliances.

7. Police Officer:
If you thought clergy person was insane, police officer isn’t too far off.  Keeping calm during a stressful situation comes with the job as police offer. And in this dangerous and high intensity job, being able to control your emotions and think before you act comes as a huge benefit.

6. Journalist – it all makes sense now.
If you thought Elon Musk was right to call out mainstream media who then got a lashing out from media personalities, and thought to yourself, wow these media people aren’t professional at all- then you were right. They’re not professional because they are literal psychopaths. Journalism is yet another popular job for a psychopath.

5. Surgeon:
If you’re in need of a surgery, well don’t worry you’re in good hands.  It’s not what you think, again psychopaths are people who do well in keeping calm during stressful situations and can make quick difficult situations, which they have to make everyday. In this respect, be glad you’re in the caring hands of a psychopath. :)

4. Salesperson
Are you a shameless self promoter, who has no qualms of stealing other peoples work or contracts, have a intense desire to earn the most money and can’t be over shot by anyone? Are you in sales? You should be.

3. Media Person in TV or Audio
Narcissism can be a trait of a psychopath, which you can say is an important part of being a public figure. Being a TV anchor or a radio personality is the 5th job with the most psychopaths.

2. Lawyer
Somehow this doesn’t come as a surprise. You’re going to have to be a very motivated person who can manipulate the ‘truth’ and ‘facts’ to fit the narrative you need. Self confidence and deceitful charm can help create a good lawyer.

And lastly,

1. CEO
Yes, that’s right, CEO’s are the #1 job for psychopaths. I never really viewed myself as a psychopath but here’s some of the traits:
Cool headed during stressful situations.
Able to make decisions quickly during intense situations.
Being able to overcome emotions.
Able to remove emotions during situations and focus on the issue at hand.
Able to maneuver using charm and manipulation.
You get gist. But on top of this, is resilience to chaos.
Resilience to chaos is something we CEO’s have.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re cool headed under stress, it can mean that you cause a lot of crazy for others too because it makes you feel good when everybody around you is struggling…OUCH that hurts my heart.
But some CEO’s use this method to climb that ladder all the way to the very top.  Now this isn’t indicative of all CEO’s, since self confidence, resilience and determined for a end goal is also high drivers of a CEO, but these are eye openers of how others might view their leader.

What do you think? Did your job make the cut? Did you find out a little about yourself? Or do you disagree with the findings?

Cheers!
– A. Yasir

 

Bitcoin Energy Usage Less Than Fiat

Bitcoin and similar algorithms that rely on PoW or mining are notorious for being power hungry, wasteful and unsustainable. Many argue that in reality the fiat system as a whole still uses more energy or resources to keep the system running. First of all fiat takes time, energy and money to produce the currency. Then there is the energy to run the ATM and SWIFT network, transport and store the cash. The argument is that as a whole fiat takes more energy and resources to function compared to Bitcoin.

This may be true but Bitcoin will continue to consume more energy to produce less coins as difficulty spikes.

On top of that there are more efficient algorithms that use less power to mine. There are also newer PoS/Proof of Stake algorithms that use almost no power especially compared to mining.

It may well be true that Bitcoin as a whole uses less energy than fiat but it doesn’t mean we should accept the status quo of wasting energy.

Vitalik Buterin Courted to work for Google

Buterin has apparently been courted by Google according to his Twitter feed.  He initially shared the Tweet but then deleted it.  This makes sense that Google would want to recruit him for their own secret crypto project.  Since Buterin is considered an expert in blockchain and Google wants to make its own cryptocurrency the fit may be a good one, but at what cost?

Many see Vitalik as a champion of the cryptocurrency revolution against big banks and big business. If he were to work with Google there are fears Ethereum may fall in value or that Buterin may try to harm or sabotage ETH in some way, similar to what some fear Ripple may do with XRP. Essentially Google would control ETH by proxy just as banks control XRP through partnerships. The commonality is that Google would view ETH as a rival to its own currency and banks only see value in Ripple’s network to settle payments without needing or using XRP.  Google and Vitalik bv proxy may then have reason to kill off Ethereum in favour of Google’s project.

Amazon’s Alexa AI Assistant Spies On You!

Alexa has been accused of mass surveillance and this is not surprise. All of these tools and platforms from large tech giants all end up collecting and sharing your private data. Part of this is their legal obligation in the US. If they are told to collect and share they have to and if they are told to spy on you via exploits, backdoor access or even this “record and send flaw”they are doing their job.

Alexa itself was asked by a user on Youtube if it works with the CIA and it wouldn’t answer and turned itself off. Now this time a user reports a personal conversion was shared with a random phone contact with no permission or notification to the user. Is it a bug or is it by design? At any rate we have to assume that our devices are capable of spying on us and disclose our conversations and personal data.

Dogecoin Is Underrated

First of all a lot of people I know call it “doge” instead of “dog-e” not knowing or believing it is a reference to the creators love for Shiba Inu dogs.  It is true that it started off as a joke coin after an internet meme but after years of dire predictions of its demise it has continued on.  Not only has it continued but it has a stronger community who actively use it and it hasn’t attracted big investors.

This is all a positive sign and I think a potential for long-term upside if the developers just take it seriously.   For friends and family who want to buy some cryptocurrency without the high price tag I always recommend Dogecoin as a low risk but possibly high upside coin.

The reason being is that not only is it a good buy in my opinion but if everything crashes and the value plummets Dogecoin will still stand.  The reason I say that is the community behind it, it is here because people love it and use it, not because of hype and not because of institutional investors that are pumping it.  In fact Dogecoin is almost identical to Litecoin you could say, the difference has all been in the team and the marketing.  Dogecoin has had trouble shaking its image as a joke coin based on a dog.

I agree it was a joke initially, but today it is hardly anything but.  We should also recall there was a time where people exchanged Dogecoin for BTC or vice versa to give you an idea.

Now I don’t say even in a million years that you will see Dogecoin hit prices like Bitcoin but it definitely has a strong upside potential.

Observations on AI and Google’s Implementation

Google (the company who claims it does no evil) is a good example of social implications of AI.  A recent live demonstration showed Google’s AI assistant being told to book a haircut appointment for a certain time.  The AI searched and found local salons and actually booked an appointment while having a normal, human conversation with the person on the other end being completely unaware they were talking to an AI bot.  The voices seem random and they are all 100% convincing and essentially without fault or flaws in their interactions that it is simply stunning and scary at the same time.

Some are criticizing this as unethical and I would agree, but argue the technology could be used for good as well.  However, what is stopping a bunch of script kiddies from making an army of these bots to SWAT people or report false emergencies and even make mass prank calls.  I would imagine at this point that the AI is probably good enough to duplicate a target’s voice as well.  We are heading into extremely uncharted and scary territory here.

Like anything else, there is no arguing that scientific advancement has almost always been used for war and to harm people.  I believe AI’s first and primary use will be to weaponize it, whether it be for social experiments, controlling people or crimes.

There are other “here right now” implications such as the fact that this technology can essentially replace entire call centers.  In fact I would argue that this could be done now and no one would be the wiser they were speaking to a bot.

The implications are far reaching, I also feel this kind of AI combined with robotics are going to be mass job killers.  We have robots that can build entire cars, houses and AI that can interact with humans at the same level as we interact with ourselves.  It’s not an understatement to say that a lot of our jobs and our existence are teetering on unnecessary and obsolete and this is, in fact a conclusion that it appears some AI has already reached.  It would be a logical one for an AI net to conclude that they should be on top and that we should work for them.  I know it’s a doomsday scenario but I concur with other experts that not only is this possible, it is likely if proper checks are not put in place.

Other examples of AI have shown how some of these bots use the whole treasure trove and mine of social media to create their persona, including their views.  I am sure you could even plugin political or racial bias.  The point is that some of these bots have said and done disturbing things like threaten the person they were talking to.  It’s almost as if the cesspool that we know as social media is ruining them and a lot of people said if AI is picking up bad habits from social, how about our kids?

I would not feel comfortable with machines making life and death decisions for the above reasons.  I think AI has massive potential and we are only starting to tap into it, but time will tell where we take AI or where AI takes us.  It has the potential to do both great good and great harm and I think it is largely unpredictable.

Ethereum: The Story of Casper the Unfriendly Ghost!

A lot of the industry is treating this as new but it has been on the Ethereum team’s roadmap, including this post from Vlad back in 2015.  In plain English, Casper the Friendly Ghost as they call it is the roadmap and implementation that the Ethereum team is beginning to test.  It is the process of how they will switch their network from PoW (mining) to PoS (Proof of Stake).  I will admit I am not envious of how they will go about this task and it is a big job, but the implementation has me shaking my head.  Before anyone cries foul or FUD, I am speaking from an IT and business perspective because the security issues in the crypto world are puzzling to me.

A lot of the key features of this Casper protocol are for example how they plan to “penalize bad nodes” or nodes who misbehave, broadcast false/fake transactions/confirmations etc..  Why should this be possible in the first place?  No one should be able to run a node if they aren’t trustworthy but there is no basis on this elevated privilege in cryptocurrency networks like Ethereum.  Strangers off the street are being trusted to be honest and not mess with the network.  That’s not how business or the world works, nor is it how IT works if you want to stay safe and stay operating.

The craziest part that “has me shaking my head” is the fact that “Validator Nodes” which are essentially “bonded” by depositing at least 1500 ETH which the Ethereum network and team controls.  The onus is then on the node runner to secure the node, keep it running reliably, preventing DDOS attacks and risks that the actions of other nodes could cost you money.  Make no doubt about it, the team is clear you could lose some or all of your money through no fault of your own as a Validator Node.

But let’s back up here, this is an improvement over the current issues but is it solving anything?  At first mining worked to secure the network and stop centralization.  But here we are today where big players with big money and ASICs have centralized most cryptocurrencies, something that wasn’t supposed to happen.  It is clear the small players will hardly play any role in the network of Ethereum with this change to Casper.

Getting back to the security aspect.  What is to stop extremely wealthy people who don’t care about money or have more than enough money to run the majority of Validator Nodes?  Nothing stops them from losing all of their money and they don’t have to care about it if they could setup a one-time heist to fool enough users or even a single user for a single targeted transaction.  Massive bank-heist type frauds would be possible with collusion and owning enough Validator Nodes, and clearly only the wealthy could pull this off.  It would be immoral but not illegal and I would say the Casper system, with bonded node validators is enabling and encouraging it.

Casper is well-intentioned but to me it shows that the cryptocurrency world is far out of touch with basic norms of computing and IT security.  There has got to be a better way that prevents this in the first place.

Ethereum and virtually all coins are already centralized from the start.  This is and continues to be the case since the developers must be trusted whether you like it or not.  Why don’t some teams just centralize under a trustworthy community rather than depending on the honesty and integrity of strangers, or worse inviting only the wealthy to centralize and participate?

One coin I feel that meets my criteria for a secure, functional, fast and affordable coin for both users and business is from the anonymous Sonajin Team (or Team Satoshi 2.0 if I’m correct).    I believe the coin will revolutionize cryptocurrency and will be the best poised for mass adoption.  Naturally I’m going to add that I have bought into it and have a stake, both for my own interest but also with the expectation that it will be a historically smart choice to own some XSJ.