Special Forces and bitcoin, self-driving cars, modular synths, a Wikignome, the hoax virus

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

1. Navy SEALS, DELTA Force, Green Berets, and CIA operatives recently met to discuss… bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.

"In particular, the Islamic State and associated terrorist groups have the ability to use crypto-digital currencies such as Bitcoin to transfer funds from wealthy Saudi Wahhabi supporters to arms dealers and other suppliers of provisions and services. We had assembled financial and computer experts to work with the USSOCOM operators to disrupt the use of Bitcoin by terrorists. The particular counter-threat techniques we discussed cannot be disclosed because it would give an advantage to enemies of the U.S. But the session was an excellent opportunity to consider just how far the crypto-currency community has come in a relatively brief period."

2. A good summary of the state of autonomous vehicles from Nature.

"Almost every major car maker is working on some form of automation, as are many electronics companies. But looming over everyone is the Internet giant Google: the company has been widely acknowledged as the world leader in driverless-car research since October 2010, when it announced that it had entered the field a year earlier — and that its driverless test vehicles had already logged more than 200,000 kilometres on roads near its headquarters in Mountain View, California, and elsewhere in the state. The public's enthusiastic response to that revelation galvanized car makers and government research-funding agencies around the world to accelerate their efforts in this arena. 'I've never seen anything move so quickly from concept into products,' says Richard Bishop, an automotive consultant who headed a US Department of Transportation research programme on automated motorways in the 1990s. Although many technical challenges remain, developers say they can see clear paths for solving most or all of them."


3. These modular synthesizers are a physical interface for electronic sound.

"Every jack, every chord and every knob has a function. It’s all there. For the most part, what you see is what you get. There are no presets with a modular, which is another really important thing. You have to know that’s where the signal comes out, and that’s where the control signal goes in and all that. Modulars have a really imposing physical presence. You see somebody with a huge system and it connotes all these possibilities. There’s an infinite amount of ways you can bring signals in and out of other things. The fact that they all speak the same language is nice, having the same voltage ranges. You can’t really screw it up."

4. The man who has made 15,000 edits to Wikipedia fixing a single grammatical error: the use of "comprised of."

"Giraffedata—a 51-year-old software engineer named Bryan Henderson—is among the most prolific contributors, ranking in the top 1,000 most active editors. While some Wikipedia editors focus on adding content or vetting its accuracy, and others work to streamline the site’s grammar and style, generally few, if any, adopt Giraffedata’s approach to editing: an unrelenting, multi-year project to fix exactly one grammatical error."


+ "One of us! One of us!"

5. Hoaxes are like viruses that replicate using the media as a host.

"There has been a spike in online threats made against airlines since Jan. 17, when a bomb threat was made against a flight between Atlanta and Raleigh, according to a U.S. official. Since that threat, authorities have received more than 50 threats made online against airlines. The official says most of the incidents are believed to be copycat incidents. None of the threats have proven credible. The official, as well as other government officials CNN spoke with on Wednesday, point to the publicity these threats receive for the increase."


Today's 1957 American English Language Tip

derring-do. This curious word, now established as an archaic noun meaning desperate courage, is traced to a misinterpreted passage of Chaucer, in which Troilus is described as second to none 'in dorrying don that longeth to a knyght,' i.e. 'in daring (to) do what belongs to a knight.' Spenser, a lover of old phrases, apparently taking it for a noun, as if the line meant 'in bold achievement, which is a knightly duty,' made derring doe in this sense a part of his regular vocabulary. The derivation is a surprise; but if Spenser did make a mistake, it does not follow that modern poetical writers should abstain from saying 'deeds of derring-do'; the phrase is part & parcel of an English that is suited to some occasions.


The Credits:  1. darientimes.com / @bruces 2. nature.com  3. ableton.com / @debcha 4. medium.com 5. cnn.com

Subscribe to The Newsletter

Language Is Nice, Having the Same Voltage Ranges

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`