Shared posts

22 Jul 23:42

Caught Red-Handed: Google Search Suppresses Climate Realism

by Leo Goldstein

I don't agree with prosecuting them for fraud, but the tampering should be known by their clients.

Claims that Google Search improperly downranks some websites are frequent but not always correct, and they’re hard to prove even if they are. But the latest available (May 2017) Google Search Quality Evaluation General Guidelines provide conclusive proof of intentional, severe, and malicious suppression of climate realist views.  A quote: “High quality information pages on…
22 Jul 19:09

Steemit's Best Classical Music Roundup [Issue #8]

--- ###### Finding and sharing the best classical music content on steemit! ---

**In this issue:** 1. What's new? 2. Roundup issue #8 3. What is this initiative? 4. How you can help
###### Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
--- ### 1\. What's new? - We have no special announcements about our own efforts, but would like to highlight one of the posts that we shared, since it might be of general interest to the community. In [this post](, @titin - one of steemit's resident concert pianists, has proposed a reward for the top-3 classical performance videos. - We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the authors and performers who are helping the #classical-music related posting genres to grow on steemit. --- ### 2\. Roundup issue #8 Since our last roundup post, there have been about 21 new articles posted in the categories that we monitor, and we have shared eight articles on the [Steemit's Best Classical Music]( Facebook page. Here are the articles we shared. Some are still eligible for payout votes, so you know what to do! | Author | Title | Days left to add rewards | Share of this post's liquid rewards | | ------ | ---- | ------ | ------ | | @somtow | [Somtow - Mahler 9 - Siam Sinfonietta]( | 3 days | 1/6 | | @qsounds | [Michael Nyman - The Piano - One of the BEST SOUNDTRACKS by master NYMAN (music and more inside)]( | 3 days | 1/6 | | @cmp2020 | [7 Bassoon Concertos YOU Should Listen to this Week]( | 1 day | declined | | @birdistheword | [Me playing the famous Clair De Lune by Claude Debussy]( | 10 hours | 1/6 | | @titin | [First classical music competition in Steemit / a proposal by @titin]( | 3 days | 1/6 | | @birdistheword | [Me Playing "The Balcony Scene" On Piano - From The Blockbuster Film Romeo & Juliet]( | 0 | 1/6 | | @winstonalden | [Glenn Gould Reaches The End Of Bach]( | 0 | 1/6 | | @remlaps | [10 Simple rules for learning to enjoy classical music]( | 0 | declined | As with our previous roundup posts, these authors will receive a proportional share of this roundup post's liquid author rewards (Steem and SBD, not SteemPower), with the exception that @cmp2020 and @remlaps have excluded our own accounts from liquid reward sharing. ###### (note: Although we don't curently envision changing this practice, this reward distribution is subject to change without notice, at our sole discretion.) --- ### 3\. What is this initiative? To introduce the wider community to [](, we have launched the facebook page, [Steemit's Best Classical Music](, and we are monitoring a number of classical music related categories (and others) on steemit. We share the best posts that we find about classical music on our facebook page. The point of this is to raise steemit awareness and visibility among people on facebook who share an interest in classical music. Additionally, to bring additional attention to the best articles and authors that we find, we recently began sharing periodic roundup articles here on steemit. #### Sharing guidelines Standards for sharing are subjective, but here are some guidelines to show the kinds of the things that we look for: * Original steem blockchain content * Attractive formatting * Well written grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. * Roughly 500 to 2,000 words in length * English language text (Sorry, that's the only one we know.) * Supplementary video embeds from other platforms - such as youtube - are encouraged when accompanied by original steem block chain content. * Word length expectations will be relaxed for videos of original performances or compositions by the steemit author. * Sharing of articles by a single author will be limited to one or two per week. * To avoid spamming our facebook audience, sharing on facebook will generally be limited to one or two posts per day. --- #### 4\. How you can help. This initiative is intended to promote steemit, and to strengthen the classical music ecosystem here, so if you share these goals we would appreciate your support! Here are some ways you can help: * Contribute your own original content about classical music to the steem block chain. * If you have a facebook account, "Like" us [here](, and adjust the settings to see all of our posts. * Reshare articles from our facebook page with your facebook friends. * Resteem our roundup articles. * Use your upvotes to support the authors of articles that we find and share. * Let us know if there are any articles that we have overlooked. * Delegate steempower to the @classical-music account to give weight to our votes for authors of classical content. * Follow the @classical-music curation trail through []( * This is a user driven initiative with no whale support, and we're making it up as we go, so we enthusiastically welcome your ideas. --- #### Thank you for your continued support and for taking the time to view this post! @remlaps ---
22 Jul 19:09

7 Bassoon Concertos YOU Should Listen to this Week

Hello everyone, last week I posted my first weekly7 in a while, and decided that I would be starting a sub-series on concertos with specific instruments featured. The bassoon and the oboe are two instruments with a sound that is concise and beautiful. I only recently discovered them as I became more interested in classical music. Here are 7 Bassoon Concertos I have picked for you to listen to to hear the beauty this instrument possesses: ### 7. Bassoon Concerto in G Minor - [Antonio Vivaldi]( I'm sorry, the second I saw the harpsichordist in the beginning of this video sitting while the bassoonist came out, I thought of that kid from Charlie Brown who plays the piano. It is only fitting that we start this list out with the concerto king. These lists will likely contain a lot of Vivaldi, he had hundreds of concertos. My first thought when listening to this is that it sounds like something that would be played in an Italian pizza shop. It really doesn't sound that minor even though it's in a minor key, it sounds in between minor and major, and sounds like something you'd play as you take the train to work and watch the people around you. ### 6. Bassoon Concerto in E flat Major - [Johann Christian Bach]( This piece sounds quite uplifting. The bassoon part also sounds more developed than Vivaldi's Bassoon part was. It is actually quite majestic. Like the bassoon represents someone who is gifted, but does not believe that entitles him to anything, and works hard. I don't know, that is just what I think of when I listen to this. I also hear some slight similarities to what I have noticed in [Mozart]('s music. I can also hear some other similarities to [Johann Sebastian Bach]( in this, almost like it's in between the styles of the two composers. ### 5. Bassoon Concerto in B Flat Major - [Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart]( You can tell this piece is Mozart almost right away. After Vivaldi, I think Mozart was probably one of the best at writing concertos, especially for instruments such as Oboes and Bassoons because of how light and playful they can be. Mozart's music almost always has a light and playful mood to me. These instruments, therefore, really fit Mozart's character and style as a composer. I look forward to listening to some of his other wood wind concertos. This piece is not quite as complex as the last piece, and sounds a little bit less complicated, and a little bit more subtle with complexities such as trills and scales. IT has them, but not so much as to almost show off the performers skill. This piece sounds more or less as if it is meant to show off this instruments elegant sound, and clear range. As a result, I think this piece is very beautiful! ### 4. Duet Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon - [Richard Strauss]( I have set a precedent with [the last list]( that concertos with two featured instruments can still be included. I chose this piece because I knew that Strauss wrote a lot of concertos too, and felt that I should check if he had a concerto for bassoon, and this is what I found. This piece is a lot more relaxing than any of the other pieces on this list at first, until Strauss brings out more clarinet with a harsher sound. After this, it sounds like the bassoon and clarinet are communicating, and the orchestra is spectating this conversation, interjecting its own ideas at points. Strauss knew how to orchestrate a good accompaniment for a concerto that was assertive, but still left room for the featured soloists to grow and develop. ### 3. Bassoon Concerto in F Major - Carl Maria von Weber I had never heard of this composer until looking for pieces to include in this list. But, this concerto is quite good. The bassoon and orchestra parts really do balance well together. Much like Mozart, much of Weber's interpretation of the bassoon seems to be light and playful. The bassoon part sounds complex, but not complicated in a way as to show off the performer, but complicated in a way that displays the range of the instrument. ### 2. Concerto For Bassoon And Orchestra - [Gioachino Rossini]( This piece is probably the most joyous on this list so far. It sounds very upbeat! I enjoy how Rossini uses the orchestra to portray a happy and upbeat sound, and uses the bassoon to portray a tender yet happy sound. Much of this piece sounds similar to Rossini's overtures to me, specifically The Barber of Seville in that they are both a little bit playful, and a little bit joyful. I enjoy the tempo changes between when the orchestra is featured, and when the bassoon is featured. ### 1. Bassoon Concerto in A Minor - [Antonio Vivaldi]( I included this in my [birthday post]( for Vivaldi. This piece is more on the dark side than a lot of pieces in this list. The bassoon is obviously featured, you can almost always hear the bassoon, even in parts where the orchestra is featured. The bassoon part of this piece sounds slightly complex, and uses the lower part of the bassoons range. As I said before, this piece makes me think of jogging because I can't jog, so jogging is dark to me. ## **All Previous Weekly7s** [7 Relaxing Classical Pieces You Should Try to Listen to This Week]( [7 Songs from Broadway Musicals You Should Try to Listen to This Week]( [7 Songs By Billy Joel That Should Have Been Hits]( [7 Exhilarating Classical Pieces You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Classical Composers That Wrote Extremely Famous Christmas Music]( [7 Love Ballads You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Pieces of Classical Music Used in Popular Movies]( [7 Piano Sonatas YOU Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Movies About Artists You Should Watch (This Week)]( [Revisiting 7 of My Own Compositions to Wind Down the Year]( [7 Pieces by Gabriel Fauré YOU Should listen to This Week]( [7 Fantastic Sports Related Movies YOU Should Watch This Week]( [7 Songs I've Been Listening to this Week in Remembrance of My Great Grandmother]( [7 One-Hit-Wonders You probably Forgot About but Will Recognize Right Away]( [7 Magic Tricks That Will Probably Amaze You]( [7 Disney Songs You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Piano Concertos You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 (+3) Of Vivaldi's Compositions in Honor of His Birthday]( [7 Of The Funniest Musical Comedic Skits]( [7 Great (Classical) Songs YOU Should Listen to this Week]( [7 Fantasias You Should Listen to this Week]( [7 (More) Relaxing Classical Pieces You Should Try to Listen to This Week]( [7 Symphonies You Should Listen to this Week]( [7 Classical Pieces That Will Make Your Blood Boil]( [7 Pieces of Miltary Tech that Will Blow Your Mind]( [7 Oboe Concertos YOU Should Listen to this Week]( [7 Bassoon Concertos YOU Should Listen to this Week]( Thanks for reading this! Make sure to comment which of these concertos was your favorite. Also, I hope to eventually have more people posting weekly7's but with different topics, like I will almost always stick to classical music/music in general, so it would be great to see other people post weekly7s. Make sure to leave feedback and check back later! **Also remember to check for: My weekly 7 post, As Well As My Composer Birthday Posts** **Come play on my minecraft server! The Ip is:** --- ###### (Note) In order to encourage meaningful feedback on the platform, I will check comment trails of users who leave superficial comments (ie "Awesome post," or "Upvoted.") and will mute any users who exhibit a pattern of leaving "spammy" comments.
22 Jul 19:08

10 Simple rules for learning to enjoy classical music

--- Here are ten simple rules that, almost accidentally, led me to begin enjoying classical music. --- * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* Before talking about how to learn to enjoy classical music, some people might wonder why in the world anyone might want to do that. I'm sneaking up on 50 years old, and up until about two years ago, I thought of classical music as just slightly more enjoyable than a root canal. Now, here I am helping to build the [Steemit's Best Classical Music]( facebook page and the @classical-music steemit account. What changed my mind? There are three things that I especially enjoy about classical music that I don't find in modern music. These are its connection to history, its amazing complexity, and its intellectual challenge. * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* In a way, I guess that it's similar to studying genealogy. As I've begun learning (Ironically, from my 15 year old son - @cmp2020) about classical music, it is fascinating to put the pieces I hear into historical context. For example, did you know that Beethoven was writing his masterpieces around the tumultuous times of the various political upheavals in France? @cmp2020 even tells me that one of Beethoven's pieces was named for Napoleon, and then renamed in anger when Napoleon declared himself emperor. I was never a student of history, so sometimes these relationships are forgotten soon after I learn them, but it is still interesting to pick up what I can. This music has a historical context that often makes it more interesting to listen to. This context may also account for some of the music's complexity. When you listen - really listen - to many classical pieces, the complexity is astonishing. You'll hear a theme come and go, forget about it, then suddenly be surprised when the same them reemerges out of nowhere with some unexpected variation. And this, in turn, may lead to the intellectual challenge that comes with listening to classical music. Listening to classical music can be a much more active experience than listening to my other favorite genres: country, bluegrass, folk, and rock. Listening to identify the themes and patterns in a piece can come to feel almost like solving a puzzle. So now that I've persuaded you that you really do want to learn to enjoy classical music, here are ten simple rules that I followed during the last couple of years to develop my own appreciation for the art form. ### 1. One piece at a time My first step on the journey to enjoying classical music came when @cmp2020 switched piano teachers. His first teacher taught from mostly contemporary music. He played a few simple classical tunes, but mostly it was music by (relatively) modern performers like Billy Joel, Elton John, and Three Dog Night. When he left her, he was working on Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag, which he completed with his next instructor: After that, however, his next instructor insisted on classical music, so I heard Bach's First Invention rehearsed over and over and over (and over) again, until it sounded like this: This constant repetition for six months or more gave me a level of familiarity that I'd never had from listening to any other classical pieces, and one day I realized that I really enjoyed it. When I had listened to classical music in the past, the pieces all ran together, but the level of familiarity that I accidentally developed with Bach's First Invention opened my mind to listening to more. ### 2. One composer at a time It was about this time that we switched @cmp2020's piano instruction again, to the [Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music ]( He also started taking lessons in music theory, which led him to launch his [composer birthday]( series here on steemit. Now, every time a famous composer has a birthday, I have 10 new classical pieces to listen to on youtube. It is fascinating to hear the different styles from each of these composers. ### 3. One performer at a time Having developed an appreciation for classical music, what I also like to do now is to pick out a performer from one of the pieces that I am already familiar with and extend my knowledge by listening to two or three other pieces by that individual in an evening. Some of my favorite performers include: #### Leon Fleischer #### Hillary Hahn #### Julia Fischer #### Simone Dinnerstein And I learned of most of them here on steemit! ### 4. Talk about it I definitely don't think that I'd get as much enjoyment out of classical music if I couldn't talk about it with @cmp2020. As with most things, it helps if people around you share your interest. The metadata surrounding classical music can be almost as interesting as the music itself, but that metadata often needs to be shared to be appreciated. ### 5. Make a game out of it This actually goes back to before I started listening to classical music. It is a holiday tradition that when we're on a long car drive during the holiday season, @cmp2020, his mother, and I will cover the information panel on the dashboard with our hand and race to guess the performer and title of whatever Christmas Carol comes on the radio next. We keep score, and whoever has the most points at the end of the car ride wins. Now that @cmp2020 and I share an interest in classical music, we will often challenge each other to guess the composer and era (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Modern) of a classical piece when it comes on a programmed music station. Obviously, I usually lose to the music theory student, but I'll keep trying! ### 6. Learn about the people Until recently, I thought of the classical music composers sort of like austere museum pieces. When you start learning about them, it turns out that there's all sorts of humor, drama, and tragedy, hidden out there in their life stories. For example, it's far more interesting to listen to Antonín Dvořák's *Stabat Mater* (Suffering Mother) when you learn from @steemswede that the piece is autobiographic, because Dvořák lost [three of his own children]( Another example is [Gesualdo](, who murdered his wife and got away with it. His music takes on a new dimension when you listen to it with that knowledge. Similarly, I understand that a German exchange student in @cmp2020's school this year was suitably surprised by the title of this Mozart piece: When you learn to think of the composers as people instead of wax figures, it makes their music all that much more interesting. ### 7. Youtube, Pandora, and Music Choice are your friends I have two primary styles of listening to classical music, active and passive. When I am actively listening to classical music, I go to the buffet, youtube. Maybe this is sacriligeous to a true enthusiast, but you actually don't have to listen to a whole hour and 23 minute symphony. I listen for as long as I enjoy it, then I find something else. On the other hand, when I'm passively listening I'll listen to it on pandora or on I usually prefer pandora on a mobile device or desktop computer, but on cable TV, Music Choice is great, because they display little bits of trivia about the piece and composer that they're playing. If I'm working, or focusing on something else, but I just want to have some classical music on in the background, those are my weapons of choice. ### 8. See it live There's nothing like seeing a classical piece performed live, and if you scout around, it doesn't have to cost much. We saw Faure's requiem at our church, and we saw a number of [Baroque pieces]( by Bach, Vivaldi, and others, at the nearby Barnes Foundation. Both performances were free and very enjoyable. * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* ### 9. When you see it live, listen to it on the Internet first On the other hand, before I started listening to classical music, we saw two very expensive performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra. One was by Brahms, and I don't even remember who the second was - but it featured Lang Lang on piano. I didn't enjoy either of those performances anywhere near as much as the two mentioned above, and I think it was for a very simple reason. I was not familiar with the music before-hand. For me, having an idea of what to expect seems to make the experience far more enjoyable. If you read [The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business](, this will probably make sense. It does to me, anyway. So when you know you're going to see a piece performed live, pull it up on youtube and listen to it a few times. Contrary to what I wrote in rule #7, in this situation, you really do need to listen to the whole thing. ### 10. Follow these steemit accounts There are many good steemit authors of articles about classical music. @cmp2020 and I have launched the @classical-music account, where we try to share the best of them. I'm sure I'm missing many, but the individual authors that come immediately to mind for you to follow are @cmp2020, @katharsisdrill, and @steemswede. These authors don't just share the music videos, but they give you some of that all-so-important context, too. Please comment if you know others that should also be followed. ### Conclusion So that's it. I'm late to the game, and I'll never be an expert on classical music, but by following these simple rules I have changed my mindset and learned to enjoy listening to classical music. No guarantees, but I bet they will work for you, too. --- Thank you for your time and attention.
###### Steve Palmer is an IT professional with three decades of professional experience in data communications and information systems. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, a master's degree in computer science, and a master's degree in information systems and technology management. He has been awarded 3 US patents. ###### Follow: @remlaps ###### [RSS for @remlaps](, courtesy of []( ---
22 Jul 19:08

Mr Gore’s alarming warming projection too hot for June 2017

by admin

After period of warmer global average temperatures, June 2017 experienced a mean anomaly of 0.21°C. The figure was 0.05°C higher than Professor Armstrong’s forecast, and 0.25°C lower than Mr Gore’s IPCC warming projection. Despite the fall in average temperature and a clear win for the month for Professor Armstrong, 59% of previous months over the course of the bet were cooler.

As always, there were regional variations. For example, the average temperature anomaly over land in the southern hemisphere was (slightly) negative.

For the latest chart and data, click on the chart to the right.

22 Jul 19:05

South Korea Officially Legalizes Bitcoin, Huge Market For Traders

by CoinTelegraph By Joseph Young

South Korea Officially Legalizes Bitcoin, Huge Market For Traders

22 Jul 19:04

'Bitcoin Sign Guy' Has a New Job, But He's Keeping His Identity Secret

by Michael del Castillo
A now-famous bitcoin supporter known for his promotional stunt during a US congressional hearing has landed an internship.


21 Jul 19:41

BIP 91 Has Locked In. Here’s What That Means (and What It Does Not)

by Aaron van Wirdum

It looks as if Bitcoin is getting Segregated Witness.

Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91 (BIP 91) just locked in. Up to 90 percent of all hash power signaled support for this soft fork, which implies miners intend, in turn, to trigger Segregated Witness (SegWit) activation. By extension, this should make BIP 148 obsolete and August 1 a non-event.

But SegWit is not certain. In fact, on a technical level, SegWit is not any closer to activation at all.

BIP 91

Segregated Witness, defined by BIP 141, locks in if at least 95 percent of miners (by hash power) signal support for the upgrade within a two-week difficulty period. To do so, miners need to embed a piece of data called “bit 1” in the blocks they mine.

Importantly, this is technically the only way for SegWit to activate right now. And this threshold has not yet been met.

But there are alternative strategies to try and trigger this threshold “indirectly” — like BIP 91.

BIP 91 is a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal proposed by Bitmain Warranty engineer James Hilliard. It is compatible with the New York Agreement and backed by a number of Bitcoin companies and mining pools. It is also compatible with BIP 148, another strategy to trigger the BIP 141 threshold indirectly.

Miners have been signaling support for BIP 91 over the past couple of days through another piece of data, “bit 4.” Once 269 blocks within a 336-block window included bit 4, this BIP 91 soft fork locks in. This threshold was just met.

This means that after another 336 blocks, a little over two days from now, all BIP 91–compatible nodes will reject any block that doesn’t include bit 1.

As long as a majority of hash power enforces BIP 91, this majority should eventually control the longest valid chain according to all Bitcoin nodes. And as this chain consists of bit 1 SegWit-signaling blocks only, it would in turn lock in SegWit on all SegWit-ready nodes by mid-August. SegWit itself should then be live on the Bitcoin network after a two-week “grace period” by the end of that month.

If all goes well …

What Could Go Wrong?

Although well over 80 percent of hash power has signaled bit 4 for BIP 91 lock in, this doesn’t actually guarantee anything. Most importantly, it doesn’t in itself mean that these miners will signal bit 1 for SegWit.

Indeed, so far, most miners don’t. Currently, the proportion of miners signaling bit 1 is still far lower than BIP 91 activation would suggest. It is even lower than 50 percent.

Moreover, BIP 91 will probably be enforced by hardly any economically relevant nodes; that is, nodes operated by users that accept bitcoins as payment. Almost no Bitcoin users on the network recognize BIP 91 or its bit 4 signaling at all, and will therefore continue to accept blocks with or without bit 1.

BIP 91 will, instead, be enforced by hash power alone. This in turn means that a majority of miners (by hash power) could back out of BIP 91 with little more than reputational damage. They could continue to mine blocks that do not signal bit 1, even after BIP 91 activates in a few days. As long as these miners are in a majority, they will still control the longest valid chain: valid according to most miners, and valid to most users.

Furthermore, any minority of miners and the few nodes that do enforce the BIP 91 soft fork would then be forked off the Bitcoin network. In a few days from now, these miners would mine (on top of) blocks that almost only they themselves would care for, while most of the rest of the entire Bitcoin network would completely ignore them.

With this week’s bit 4 signaling, a majority of miners have effectively made a statement that they intend to start to activate the SegWit soft fork within a couple of days. But for now, that’s really all it is: a very public, blockchain-based statement of intent.

Actual SegWit activation should start next week, if miners stick to their stated intent.

The post BIP 91 Has Locked In. Here’s What That Means (and What It Does Not) appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

21 Jul 15:45

Golem and Streamr announce cooperation

by Henri Pihkala

Building decentralized infrastructure for resilient and hugely scalable Ðapps is exciting, and the potential rewards for the community and the citizenry are immense. But nobody ever said that the work will be easy. The technology is cutting edge, the problems are new, and the past is not a good guide of how to get things done in the decentralized space.

But one thing we have learned is that you can get so much more done by working together with talented and like-minded people. In the case of Golem and Streamr, we’ve realised yet again that this very much remains true.

The two companies and the key people were introduced to each other by common friends earlier this year. Since we first met, Golem and Streamr have had a number of pow-wows, stimulating discussions have been had, premises and home towns of both teams have been visited, and pizza and refreshments have been consumed.

In these meetings it has become apparent that there is a great amount of overlap between what the two teams are planning to do in their respective roadmaps. Golem and Streamr have therefore decided to formally co-operate on the shared part of the technology stack. Cue fanfare!

Photo the courtesy of La Fanfare en Pétard.

Why is this a great match?

For the followers of either Golem or Streamr projects, a few words about the context may be of interest. As mentioned, it’s become apparent to our friends at Golem and us at Streamr that there is a deep and broad shared problem space. In the case of either project, a peer-to-peer (P2P) network is an integral part of the technology stack. In Golem, computing tasks are distributed to computation nodes in the Golem network. In Streamr and especially in the transport layer — i.e. the Streamr Network — messaging and data storage tasks are distributed to broker nodes in a P2P network.

A peer-to-peer structure (photo the courtesy of pixabay).

The implication is that there is a wide overlapping region where both projects need to solve similar problems. Areas where common problems are likely to be found include the assignment of tasks to computing resources, validation of computation results, atomicity of data exchange and payments, reputation management, resource measurement, pricing mechanisms, assessment of task scalability, understanding and monitoring network dynamics, long-running tasks, low-latency tasks, and blockchain interoperability.

A vision for the decentralized Internet

But we can go even further with this. Given the number of questions which are of interest to both projects, it is natural to ask whether a suitable abstraction exists which may simplify the R&D roadmap. In particular, can we redefine the network stack so as to efficiently and elegantly handle the different tasks fulfilled by either project?

The answer, we believe, is affirmative. Think of a network which follows a hierarchical protocol where each layer is decentralized. In other words, each layer consists of a network of nodes, each of which implements one or more parts of the shared communication and computing stack. A tentative plan for the hierarchical protocol includes the following layers:

  • (Application layer)
  • (Additional infrastructure layers)
  • Streamr (data transport layer)
  • Golem (computation layer)
  • Ethereum (blockchain layer)
A layered protocol: The Step Pyramid of Saqqara (Original source: H.W. Dunning, “To-day on the Nile”, James Pott & Company, New York, 1905).

If you take a step back, you’ll see that what we envisage here is effectively a protocol stack for the decentralized Internet. And when you think of the cooperation between Golem and Streamr in such terms, the possibilities are truly and profoundly exciting!

What does this mean to you?

Golem is making good progress along its roadmap, but if there’s a chance to deliver better things and faster, the Golem team is certainly willing to take that chance. We also believe that the cooperation will be a boon for the community. The intention is that the code and solutions co-developed by Golem and Streamr will be free for everyone to use under the appropriate open source license.

At Streamr, we are excited to get to work with the deep thinkers at Golem to solve common problems for mutual benefit. We also find Golem to be the perfect platform for decentralizing the Streamr Engine, our real-time stream computing layer. Working together and even bundling both technologies opens the door to tremendous added value to application creators. The cooperation will take us, one step at a time, towards the decentralized application stack envisaged above!

If you want to keep track of the fruits of the cooperation, please join us in either the Golem Slack, the Streamr Slack, or preferably both! Also check out the Streamr blog for demos and wild thoughts.

Golem and Streamr announce cooperation was originally published in The Golem Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

11 Jul 03:53

Programmer Automates Data Entry Job, Ponders Whether to Tell Employer


h/t Roumen.ganeff

"Is it unethical for me to not tell my employer I've automated my job?" This is the dilemma of a StackExchange member who ended up writing a program to do all his work (SQL scripts) for him, going as far as inserting fake bugs to make everything look like it was generated by a human. He notes that he receives a full wage for doing only one or two hours of work but doesn't feel that he is cheating the company, as they are satisfied with his performance and getting "exactly" what they want. "I've basically figured out all the traps to the point where I've actually written a program which for the past 6 months has been just doing the whole thing for me," they wrote in the post. "So what used to take the last guy like a month, now takes maybe 10 minutes to clean the spreadsheet and run it through the program." The user went on to say they spend an hour or two on their job each week, even though they're getting paid for full-time work. On one hand, they wrote, "it's not like I'm cheating the company." On the other, "it doesn't feel like I'm doing the right thing." Discussion
10 Jul 22:42

So Where Is The Climate Science Money Actually Going If Not To Temperature Measurement?

by admin

You are likely aware that the US, and many other countries, are spending billions and billions of dollars on climate research.  After drug development, it probably has become the single most lucrative academic sector.

Let me ask a question.  If you were concerned (as you should be) about lead in soil and drinking water and how it might or might not be getting into the bloodstream of children, what would you spend money on?  Sure, better treatments and new technologies for filtering and cleaning up lead.  But wouldn't the number one investment be in more and better measurement of environmental and human lead concentrations, and how they might be changing over time?

So I suppose if one were worried about the global rise in temperatures, one would look at better and more complete measurement of these temperatures.  Hah!  You would be wrong.

There are three main global temperature histories: the combined CRU-Hadley record (HADCRU), the NASA-GISS (GISTEMP) record, and the NOAA record. All three global averages depend on the same underlying land data archive, the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN). Because of this reliance on GHCN, its quality deficiencies will constrain the quality of all derived products.

The number of weather stations providing data to GHCN plunged in 1990 and again in 2005. The sample size has fallen by over 75% from its peak in the early 1970s, and is now smaller than at any time since 1919.

Well, perhaps they have focused on culling a large poor quality network into fewer, higher quality locations?  If they have been doing this, there is little or no record of that being the case.  To outsiders, it looks like stations just keep turning off.   And in fact, by certain metrics, the quality of the network is falling:

The collapse in sample size has increased the relative fraction of data coming from airports to about 50 percent (up from about 30 percent in the 1970s). It has also reduced the average latitude of source data and removed relatively more high-altitude monitoring sites.

Airports, located in the middle of urban centers by and large, are terrible temperature measurement points, subject to a variety of biases such as the urban heat island effect.  My son and I measured over 10 degrees Fahrenheit different between the Phoenix airport and the outlying countryside in an old school project.  Folks who compile the measurements claim that they have corrected for these biases, but many of us have reasons to doubt that (consider this example, where an obviously biased station was still showing in the corrected data as the #1 warming site in the country).  I understand why we have spent 30 years correcting screwed up biased stations because we need some stations with long histories and these are what we have (though many long lived stations have been allowed to expire), but why haven't we been building a new, better-sited network?

Ironically, there has been one major investment effort to improve temperature measurement, and that is through satellite measurements.  We now use satellites for official measures of cloud cover, sea ice extent, and sea level, but the global warming establishment has largely ignored satellite measurement of temperatures.  For example, James Hansen (Al Gore's mentor and often called the father of global warming) strongly defended 100+ year old surface temperature measurement technology over satellites.  Ironically, Hansen was head, for years, of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), so one wonders why he resisted space technology in this one particular area.  Cynics among us would argue that it is because satellites give the "wrong" answer, showing a slower warming rate than the heavily manually adjusted surface records.

10 Jul 22:33

Karmic Justice: EU Does to Google What Google Did To Others With Net Neutrality

by admin

Google was (and is) a big supporter of Net Neutrality.  Content providers like Google (Google owns Youtube, among other large content sites) want to make sure that other content providers are not somehow given special treatment by the ISP's that provide the bandwidth for consumers to view these sites.  In particular, sites like Youtube and Netflix, which consume a HUGE percentage of the bandwidth at many ISP's, don't want to somehow pay any extra costs that might be imposed on content sites that use a lot of bandwidth.   I wrote this on net neutrality a few years ago:

Net Neutrality is one of those Orwellian words that mean exactly the opposite of what they sound like.  There is a battle that goes on in the marketplace in virtually every communication medium between content creators and content deliverers.  We can certainly see this in cable TV, as media companies and the cable companies that deliver their product occasionally have battles that break out in public.   But one could argue similar things go on even in, say, shipping, where magazine publishers push for special postal rates and Amazon negotiates special bulk UPS rates.

In fact, this fight for rents across a vertical supply chain exists in virtually every industry.  Consumers will pay so much for a finished product.  Any vertical supply chain is constantly battling over how much each step in the chain gets of the final consumer price.

What "net neutrality" actually means is that certain people, including apparently the President, want to tip the balance in this negotiation towards the content creators (no surprise given Hollywood's support for Democrats).  Netflix, for example, takes a huge amount of bandwidth that costs ISP's a lot of money to provide.  But Netflix doesn't want the ISP's to be be able to charge for this extra bandwidth Netflix uses - Netflix wants to get all the benefit of taking up the lion's share of ISP bandwidth investments without having to pay for it.  Net Neutrality is corporate welfare for content creators.

A typical ISP would see this relative usage of its bandwidth.  You can be assured everyone on this list is a huge net neutrality supporter.

Essentially, Google wanted to force ISP's to be common carriers, to be legally required to carry all traffic equally, even if certain traffic (like Google's Youtube) is about a million times more expensive to serve than other people's content.

But the point of this story is not about my issues with Net Neutrality.   The point of this story is Karma, or as we used to say it in the South, what "goes around, comes around."

The European Union’s antitrust watchdog in the coming weeks is set to hit Alphabet Inc.’s Google with a record fine for manipulating its search results to favor its own comparison-shopping service, according to people familiar with the matter.

The penalty against Google is expected to top the EU’s previous record fine levied on a company allegedly abusing its dominance: €1.06 billion (about $1.18 billion) against Intel 2009.

The fine could reach as high as 10% of the company’s yearly revenue, which stood at $90.27 billion last year.

But more painful to Google than a sizable fine could be other consequences that come with the European Commission’s decision, including changes not only to the tech giant’s business practices with its shopping service but with other services as well. The EU’s decision could also embolden private litigants to seek compensation for damages at national courts.

The EU is likely to demand Google treat its own comparison shopping service equally with those of its competitors, such as and Ltd., possibly requiring the search giant to make rival services more visible on its own platform than they are at present. Such companies rely on traffic to their site from search engines like Google’s.

Hah!  I think this is a terrible decision that has nothing to do with economic sanity or even right and wrong -- it has to do with the EU's frequent historic use of anti-trust law as a way to bash foreign competition of its domestic providers, to the detriment of its consumers.  But it certainly is Karma for Google.  The EU is demanding that Google's search engine become a common carrier, showing content from shopping sites equally and without favor or preference.  The EU is demanding of Google exactly what Google is demanding of ISP's, and wouldn't you know it, I don't think they are going to like it.

10 Jul 22:15

AP Writes Over 1300 Words on the Loss Of Summer Jobs for Teens, Never Mentions Minimum Wage

by admin

If one is curious why the public is economically illiterate, look no further than our media.  The AP's Paul Wiseman managed to write 1300 words on the loss of teenage summer jobs, and even lists a series of what he considers to be the causes, without ever once mentioning the minimum wage or the substantial restrictions on teen employment in place in many states.  I do not know Paul Wiseman and so I will not guess at his motivations - whether ignorance or intentional obfuscation - but it is impossible to believe that this trend isn't in part due to the minimum wage.  As I wrote in the comments on the AZ Republic:

How is it possible to write over 1300 words on the disapearance of teenage summer jobs without once mentioning the minimum wage?

Two of the most substantial criticisms of the minimum wage are 1. it prices low-skilled workers out of the market (and there is no one more unskilled than an inexperienced teenager) and 2. it put 100% emphasis on pay as the only reward for work, while giving no credit for things like gaining valuable experience and skills. We clearly see both at work here, and it is likely no coincidence that we are seeing this article in the same year minimum wages went up by 25% in AZ, as they have in many other states.

By the way, in addition to the minimum wage, AZ (as has many other states) has established all sorts of laws to "protect" underrage workers by adding all sorts of special work rules and tracking requirements. In our business, which is a summer recreation business, we used to hire a lot of teenagers. Now we have a policy banning the hiring of them -- they are too expensive, they create too much liability, and the rules for their employment are too restrictive.

Without evidence, he treats it entirely as a supply problem, ie that teens are busy and are not looking for work. But the data do not support this.  The teen unemployment rate, defined as employment by teens actively looking for work, is up.  The workforce participation rate for teens is down, but the author has nothing but anecdotal evidence that this is a supply rather than a demand issue.  It could be because teens are busier or buried in their cell phones or whatever or it could be because they have given up looking for work.

10 Jul 22:01

[Fill In Government Program Name or Name of Socialist Country] Would Have Worked if Only the Right People Had Run It

by admin

Sent to me by a long-time reader.

10 Jul 21:57

Mom Arrested for Letting Child, 10, Shop Alone at Lego Store

by lskenazy

An upstate New York mom has been arrested for an unspeakable crime. She allowed her 10-year-old child to shop alone at the Lego store in the local mall while she shopped in a different store.

The horror.

Rochester station WHEC reports:

The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office says a Pittsford mother is accused of leaving her ten-year-old child alone in the Lego Store at Eastview Mall while she shopped.

Deputies say that 44-year-old Jia Fan was arrested at about 5:37 p.m. Sunday evening. She is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Ah yes, that poor, endangered kid, surrounded by small pieces of plastic.

Alert readers may recall that in 2014 a mom in Long Island, New York, was arrested for leaving her 7-year-old at the Roosevelt Field Mall Lego store for one hour and 20 minutes while she shopped elsewhere in the mall. And in 2015, a Lego store in Canada detained an 11-year-old for being “too young” to shop alone. That child’s father, Doug Dunlop, wrote a letter to the company:

Dear Lego,

Today, our son went to the Lego store in Chinook Mall, Calgary, Alberta. He had over $200 and was intending to purchase some Lego with it….

Imagine my surprise when I entered the store and found that the manager had called a security guard to detain my son….

I spoke to the security guard who told me that the Lego store required a parent to be with any child 12 or under. He stated that it was Lego store policy and that he was just enforcing it.

I then followed the guard to the manager, and asked him why he would call security on my son. He stated that for safety reasons, no child under 12 could be left unattended in the store.

My question: Is a child of double digits “unattended” or simply “on their own” if they are out in public without an adult chaperone? One label implies negligence on the part of the parent, the other implies a parent who has raised a competent young adult.

Another question: Did Lego call the cops on the latest kid, or did the cops stumble upon the kid on their own?

The Lego corporate press office has not responded to my request for comment. The manager of the Eastview Mall Lego store, Dan Prouty, told me that he could not comment on whether or not someone at his store called the cops. But Prouty did acknowledge that there’s a sign in his store’s window that says, in his words, “children under the age of 12 are not allowed to be unattended in the store—that’s paraphrased a little bit.”

I went into the Lego store at Rockefeller Center here in New York City yesterday and asked the guard if I could let my (hypothetical) 11-year-old come shop my himself. The guard told me no.

Lego does seem to be obsessed with age liability. Consider these admission rules at the Legoland in Toronto:

Please note: Children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult supervisor 18 years of age or older. Adults (18+) will not be admitted without a child, with the exception of Adult Only Nights.

So people are almost always too old OR too young to visit Legoland alone.

As for the mom in upstate New York, WHEC says she was “given an appearance ticket, and is expected to answer the charge in Victor Town Court on a future date.”


Halt there, you tween!

10 Jul 21:54

Remy: People Will Die!

by ReasonTV

Remy channels his inner Elizabeth Warren to vilify the other side.

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Written and performed by Remy
Music mastered by Ben Karlstrom
Video by Meredith Bragg


People need kidneys, it's sad but decreed
yet this Senator's hoarding one more than she needs
I offer this bill and I hope you'll vote "aye"
Unless, of course, you just want PEOPLE TO DIE!

Traffic deaths have many crying with fear
Over 30,000 people are dying each year
this modest change I propose must be applied
Unless, of course, you just want PEOPLE TO DIE!

Alcohol deaths are exceeding comparisons
Black people, white people, Native Americans
We need to ban alcohol, it can't be denied
Unless, of course, you just want PEOPLE TO DIE!

Murders are bad. They have no defenders
yet many are committed by repeat offenders
I say lifetime in prison, whatever the crime
unless, of course, you want PEOPLE TO DIE!

So I don't have a bill, or a groan to detail
I just need a short clip for my donor email
That good? Cool. Tim, dinner at five? Yeah.

These car deaths I mentioned are terrible stuff
It just doesn't seem that one seatbelt's enough
Either vote for my act so that fewer will cry
Unless, of course, you just want PEOPLE TO DIE!

The carbs. The container. We cannot ignore
Whipped cream's killing more people than ever before
This bill would be passed and be ratified
if those people there didn't want PEOPLE TO DIE!

Why not weigh all the costs, the effects, the results
Empathize with each other as if we were adults
Use our brains to craft arguments--not vilify
See that freedom's a trade-off--YOU WANT PEOPLE TO DIE!
10 Jul 21:54

Open Adventure 1.1, and some thoughts on software preservation

by Eric Raymond

Open Adventure 1.1 has shipped. There are a lot more changes under the hood than are readily apparent. In fact there have been no changes in gameplay at all, and only minor changes to the UI (reversible with the -o oldstyle switch).

We (Jason Ninneman, Per Vorpaev, Aaron Traas, Peje Nilsson and I) could have taken the approach of changing the original rather ugly C code (mechanically translated from FORTRAN) as little as possible, simply packaging it for compilation and release in a modern environment.

I elected not to do that, one reason being that I think we honor hacker tradition better by bring the code forward as a dynamic, living artifact that invites being hacked on than museumizing it as a static one. There’s also the fact that the extreme obscurity of the code made it difficult to appreciate what a work of genius Adventure actually was. (The code we inherited had over 350 gotos in it – rather hard to see past those.)

So we’ve taken a different path. We’ve translated the code into (almost) fully idiomatic C (but not trying to introduce pointer idioms; that should make translation to future languages easier). We’ve replaced the rather cryptic custom text database file that used to define the dungeon with a YAML document that is orders of magnitude easier to read and modify. We haven’t hesitated to use technology that wasn’t even a gleam in anyone’s eye when Adventure originated – the YAML is compiled to C structures at build time by a Python script.

The effect (we hope) is Adventure as it would have been written if Crowther & Woods had had today’s tools to do it – the same vision and design logic, expressed in modern coding idioms. Worth doing, because there are still some things to be learned from this design.

Probably the single cleverest thing in it – which pretty much has to go back to Crowther, Woods couldn’t have bolted it on afterwards – is the way movement in the dungeon is handled. The dungeon’s topology is expressed by a kind of pseudocode broadly resembling the microcode found underneath a lot of processor architectures; movement consists of dispatching to the sequence of opcodes corresponding to the current room and figuring out which one to fire depending not only on the motion verb the user entered but also on conditionals in the pseudocode that can test for the presence or absence of objects and their state.

It was hard to fully understand and appreciate this before, because the code was a spaghetti tangle in what looks today like a shockingly primitive style. The abstraction of the dungeon topology into a declarative specification that – in effect – loads microcode into the game engine was a thing you could half-see, but the impact was blunted by the unreadability of both the code and the specification format. Lifting the specification to YAML was like polishing a rough diamond, revealing beauty and brilliance.

And that’s before we even get to Adventure considered as a work of communicative art. It’s had so many successful descendants – like, every dungeon-crawling game ever, and every text adventure ever – that it’s difficult to see with fresh eyes. But if you make the effort, it is astonishing how mature the wry, quirkily humorous, slightly surrealistic style of this very first game seems. The authors weren’t fumbling for an idiom that would be greatly improved by later artists more sure of themselves; instead, they achieved a consistent and (at the time, unique) style that would be closely emulated by pretty much everyone who followed them in text adventures, and not much improved on as style, even though the technology of the game engines improved by leaps and bounds.

I don’t know how they did it, and the authors would probably not be able to explain if we asked. But I think it is damned impressive how well this game has aged – the code may have needed a refresh, but the design still shines. I’m proud to have helped restore it, and hope I have brought it to a state where it can be forward-ported to future languages for as long as programming is a living art.

10 Jul 21:50

7 Oboe Concertos YOU Should Listen to this Week

It's been a while since I've done a weekly7. But, I was listening to classical radio (ish the TV station) the other day, and had the idea to make a list of 7 Oboe Concertos that I think you and your friends should listen to. The Oboe is quite beautiful, in fact, one of the most pure instruments in my opinion. I think I am going to make this a sub series of 7 Concertos featuring different instruments each week. If there's a piece you think should have been included in this list, comment it! Here are my picks for 7 Oboe Concertos YOU Should Listen to this Week: ### 7. Oboe Concerto No.2 in F major - [František Vincenc Kramář]( This is the piece I heard playing on the radio, that inspired me to make this list. Kramář does a nice job at asserting the Oboe into the piece, without over dramatizing it, or making it more significant than it needs to be. Yes, it is the featured instrument, but he made sure to include a very nice accompaniment that isn't afraid to step up when it needs to. Kramář also did a nice job at writing specifically for the oboe, utilizing its range, pure sound, and timidness to set the mood of the piece. Here is Kramář's second Oboe Concerto in F major: ### 6. Oboe Concerto in A minor - [Ralph Vaughan Williams]( Almost immediately, you can sense a difference in how the Oboe is utilized in each of these pieces. In Kramář's concerto, the Oboe was rather shy, yet melodic. In this concerto by Vaughan Williams, the Oboe has more of a dark, almost lonesome sound. It reminds me in many ways of snake charmer music. This sets this piece apart from many of the Oboe concertos I have heard, because in almost every case, I have heard a style similar to Kramář. I feel this variation really shows a unique comprehension of the instrument on Vaughan Williams part. It still sounds shy, but in this case, it is shy and sorrowful. Here is Vaughan Williams' concerto in A minor: ### 5. Oboe Concerto in C Major - [Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart]( When I first listened to this theme, I recognized it, thinking "Where have I heard this before?" It could have been the [movie about Mozart](, or it could be that it's Mozart, and much of his work sounds similar to me. But, this is another example of a composer utilizing the Oboe to obtain a unique mood. I feel that this piece is quite similar to the Kramář concerto previously listed. Except, I think Mozart's Oboe part sounds a lot more complex, and less eloquent. Mozart has a lot of runs, and a lot of trills; while Kramář has a more melodic theme with few scales. Either way, it's just a case of interpretation and ideals of what each composer wanted their piece to portray. Here is Mozart's Oboe Concerto in C Major: ### 4. Oboe Concerto in D Major - [Richard Strauss]( Strauss utilizes the Oboe in such a beautiful way in this piece. I feel the Oboe part in this concerto creates a tender mood for the piece, that is quite relaxing, while maintaining a good expressive assertiveness. I think in this piece, Strauss avoids making the Oboe too shy or too bold. I feel like it just blends in with the crowd, every now and then making distinct statements that show its dominance. Strauss obviously focused on using the accompaniment to support the Oboe, and take burden off of it, while still featuring it. ### 3. Double Oboe and Violin Concerto in C Minor - [Johann Sebastian Bach]( This piece is probably the most similar to Vaughan Williams on this list. It sounds sad, and utilizes the Oboe in a darker sense than any of the other pieces. This piece was supposedly originally written for two harpsichords, with the later substitution of an Oboe and a Violin as featured instruments. This piece is distinctly Bach though, as you can clearly hear the different lines, and how they fit together. Though the Oboe (and Violin) are featured, every melodic line is vital to the mood created by this concerto in general. Here is Bachs Double Oboe and Violin Concerto in C Minor: ### 2. Oboe Concerto in C Major - [Antonio Vivaldi]( Vivaldi was one of the early adopters of the concerto. He wrote hundreds of concertos that featured a variety of instruments, including Oboes, Bassoons, Violins, and many other instruments. This piece is not really sad or happy, it is a mixture. It is clearly baroque. Vivaldi's Oboe part is quite complex, like in Mozart's concerto. Vivaldi also does a nice job in this piece of making sure the Oboe is always featured, and that the accompaniment backs off, yet still plays a vital role when the Oboe plays. Here is Vivaldi's Oboe Concerto in C Major: ### 1. Oboe Concerto No. 2 in D Minor - [Tomaso Albinoni]( This concerto is also quite similar to the Vaughan Williams Concerto. I saw this concerto performed live (as well as the Bach Concerto)back in May, at a [performance by the Vox Amadeus Baroque Ensemble]( This was the first time I heard how beautiful, an Oboe wielded by a professional could be. This piece may sound a little dark, but it still has a melodic beauty unlike many other concertos. I really do like the second movement (3:55). The accompaniment sets up a special and tender song, and the Oboe embraces it to create one of the most beautiful sounds I have heard. Here is Albinoni's Second Oboe Concerto in D Minor: ## **All Previous Weekly7s** [7 Relaxing Classical Pieces You Should Try to Listen to This Week]( [7 Songs from Broadway Musicals You Should Try to Listen to This Week]( [7 Songs By Billy Joel That Should Have Been Hits]( [7 Exhilarating Classical Pieces You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Classical Composers That Wrote Extremely Famous Christmas Music]( [7 Love Ballads You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Pieces of Classical Music Used in Popular Movies]( [7 Piano Sonatas YOU Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Movies About Artists You Should Watch (This Week)]( [Revisiting 7 of My Own Compositions to Wind Down the Year]( [7 Pieces by Gabriel Fauré YOU Should listen to This Week]( [7 Fantastic Sports Related Movies YOU Should Watch This Week]( [7 Songs I've Been Listening to this Week in Remembrance of My Great Grandmother]( [7 One-Hit-Wonders You probably Forgot About but Will Recognize Right Away]( [7 Magic Tricks That Will Probably Amaze You]( [7 Disney Songs You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 Piano Concertos You Should Listen to This Week]( [7 (+3) Of Vivaldi's Compositions in Honor of His Birthday]( [7 Of The Funniest Musical Comedic Skits]( [7 Great (Classical) Songs YOU Should Listen to this Week]( [7 Fantasias You Should Listen to this Week]( [7 (More) Relaxing Classical Pieces You Should Try to Listen to This Week]( [7 Symphonies You Should Listen to this Week]( [7 Classical Pieces That Will Make Your Blood Boil]( [7 Pieces of Miltary Tech that Will Blow Your Mind]( [7 Oboe Concertos YOU Should Listen to this Week]( Thanks for reading this! Make sure to comment which of these concertos was your favorite. Also, I hope to eventually have more people posting weekly7's but with different topics, like I will almost always stick to classical music/music in general, so it would be great to see other people post weekly7s. Make sure to leave feed back and check back later! **Also remember to check for: My weekly 7 post, As Well As My Composer Birthday Posts** **Come play on my minecraft server! The Ip is:**
10 Jul 21:34

On Competition, Technology, and Prices, or, Why We Do Not Speak About The Others

by Julian Zawistowski

On the 11th of November, 2016, the great Ethereum community funded Golem project, placing their trust in us to deliver technology to change the way the entire market for computation is organised. Even more impressively, it seems the community even shared our goal of building a better, more decentralised Internet on top of this already ambitious goal. Thus our focus is on delivering technology, and the sustainable business model that would surround it. This means our focus is not on many other things community sometimes expects us to do, and I’d like to explain what those things are, and why we ignore them.

Golem competitors and their ICOs/crowdfundings

Subject: [contact] (name of the project) takes over Golem
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:36:52 +0200
From: (name)
Hey People,
Are you going to write something on the various crypto news channels or you are gonna let eat (name of the project) you alive.
Investers will be running through the door to them if you keep silent on those channels.
Writting text isn’t that hard else people like me will be dumping gnt and go for their ico tomorrow.

It is our policy that, wherever possible, we simply do not engage in discussions with our competitors, especially those which are in a pre-crowdfunding phase. We are not doing that, because we see it as a waste of our valuable time. Again, we have to focus on delivering this technology. Our self-proclaimed competitors are focused on showing how they are different and superior to Golem. This is an obvious strategy, as there is no need to fund a project which would be exactly the same or even inferior to Golem. The truth is however, that both Golem and others will struggle to manifest this vision, because it is hard. Have we solved all the problems? Not yet, we’re working on it. Have they? I do not think so and have not seen anything which would change my mind. And besides, if they have solved anything, they could just launch it; there would be no need for crowdfunding.

Make no mistake: we are researching in detail every project around that we think might be interesting and valuable for us. We are already forming partnerships with great teams to work together on decentralised technologies. I believe there is always scope to cooperate, if the other party (even your competitor!) acts reasonable. I also believe that most of the teams working on similar technologies are legitimate, and some may eventually do better than Golem (of course I believe we are the best, but I am biased). I also think that sometimes, some of the project fail to communicate responsibly what their technology is, and even what Golem is — either because they have not researched the technology, or because they wish to create hype and FUD around some ICO. But, if that is often the case, why do we not engage in the discussion?

Communication to speculators does not matter

We do not do that because communication to traders and speculators is not that important to the actual development and adoption of our core technology. All the communication around ICOs and prices is communication to people interested in ICOs and prices. This group is not relevant for the adoption of projects like Golem. We either go mainstream, which is to say, we become successful at minimum in some interesting sub-communities outside of the blockchain space, or we die. And on the contrary, entering into irrelevant discussions on nonsensical statements (or true statements we have commented 10 times already) is simply a waste of our time. At this stage of the project, we owe ourselves and our community two things: regular information about our progress, and a business development and communications strategy for the broader world.

Price discussions are harmful

What I said above is even more true for the discussions around the price of GNT. A week ago I was asked to comment at a conference on prices. If you think about that, there is no way I can give a good answer. Regardless of what I say, it will be be misinterpreted by some, and not understood by others. It will result in a mess, and then an even larger mess when I will try to explain what I mean, which will itself be misinterpreted and misunderstood. I will waste a lot of time, the project will lose credibility, and that all for no gain whatsoever. About entering discussions on the ICOs and crowdfunding events of our competitors, we see it as more or less the same.

This is all about technology

What we are doing here is creating cutting-edge technology, and then pushing it to mainstream, practical use, as fast and hard as we can. Honestly I believe that we can do that — I know that this is what we are going to do. Thus, discussing how to achieve that is generally perceived by us as a better use of our time, certainly better than discussing other teams’ blog posts. And if this latter discussion is a process purely driven by ICO logic, then this is really not useful.

Golem team on Swarm Orange Summit in Berlin, June 13 2017, left to right: Pepesza, Marek, Chfast, Alex, Grzegorz.

At the same time, discussing and sharing ideas, and building on the shoulders of others is how this space should work as a whole. This needs no hate/FUD about competitors, but rather mature discussion with others about technology, and clear-minded cooperation. At the moment, 5 engineers from the core Golem team are at the Swarm Summit in Berlin, busy exchanging ideas with other top developers in the Ethereum space. In my humble opinion, this is how we should discuss our decentralised future — and I encourage everyone, including our competitors, to do so.

On Competition, Technology, and Prices, or, Why We Do Not Speak About The Others was originally published in The Golem Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

08 Jul 20:13

Steemit's Best Classical Music Roundup [Issue #6]

--- ###### Finding and sharing the best classical music content on steemit! ---

**In this issue:** 1. What's new? 2. Roundup issue #6 3. What is this initiative? 4. How you can help
###### Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
--- ### 1\. What's new? - We have distributed our first reward sharing transfers from the liquid rewards of [Steemit's Best Classical Music Roundup \[Issue #4\]]( Thank you again to all contributors!!!! - In addition to classical-music and classical, we have begun light monitoring of the steemitradio-classical and steemradio-classical categories. - We have decided that @cmp2020 and @remlaps will not accept the proportional share of liquid rewards distributions that we're distributing to other authors if our own articles should be shared on facebook. --- ### 2\. Roundup issue #6 Since our last roundup post, there have been more than 20 new articles posted in the categories that we monitor. Eight of them have already been shared on the [Steemit's Best Classical Music]( facebook page, others will be shared in future facebook posts. We were especially pleased to debut two new steemit classical vocalists for our facebook audience. Here are the articles we shared. Some are still eligible for payout votes, so you know what to do! | Author | Title | Days left to add rewards | Share of this post's liquid rewards | | ------ | ---------------------------------------------------- | ----------------------- | -------------------------------------- | | @enkeli | [Introducing Myself: Enkeli the Musician]( | 0 | 1/8 | | @enjoywithtroy | [Classical Music For You Suite for Piano \(Star-Crossed\)]( | 0 | 1/8 | | @birdistheword | [Piano Classics - Clair De Lune - Claude Debussy]( | 0 | 1/8 | @soundreasoning | [The Holy Grail of Music Theory: The Circle of Fifths (FAST MUSIC THEORY)]( | 0 | 1/8 | | @steemswede | [\[CLASSICAL MUSIC\] Dvořák's Choral Masterpiece]( | < 1 | 1/8 | | @steemswede | [\[CLASSICAL MUSIC\] Johannes Brahms - Socially Rude and Heartless - Musically Warm and Empathic]( | 1 | 1/8 | | @morodiene | [Life as an Opera Singer]( | 3 | 1/8 | | @soundreasoning | [Classical Badasses: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons \(Favorite Performance Video\) + Light and Polite Music Theory Breakdown]( | < 1 | 1/8 | As with our previous two roundup posts, each of these authors will receive a proportional share of this roundup post's liquid author rewards (Steem and SBD, not SteemPower). ###### (note: Although we don't curently envision changing this practice, this reward distribution is subject to change without notice, at our sole discretion.) --- ### 3\. What is this initiative? To introduce the wider community to [](, we have launched the facebook page, [Steemit's Best Classical Music](, and we are monitoring a number of classical music related categories (and others) on steemit. We share the best posts that we find about classical music on our facebook page. The point of this is to raise steemit awareness and visibility among people on facebook who share an interest in classical music. Additionally, to bring additional attention to the best articles and authors that we find, we recently began sharing periodic roundup articles here on steemit. #### Sharing guidelines Standards for sharing are subjective, but here are some guidelines to show the kinds of the things that we look for: * Original steem blockchain content * Attractive formatting * Well written grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. * Roughly 500 to 2,000 words in length * English language text (Sorry, that's the only one we know.) * Supplementary video embeds from other platforms - such as youtube - are encouraged when accompanied by original steem block chain content. * Word length expectations will be relaxed for videos of original performances or compositions by the steemit author. * Sharing of articles by a single author will be limited to one or two per week. * To avoid spamming our facebook audience, sharing on facebook will generally be limited to one or two posts per day. --- #### 4\. How you can help. This initiative is intended to promote steemit, and to strengthen the classical music ecosystem here, so if you share these goals we would appreciate your support! Here are some ways you can help: * Contribute your own original content about classical music to the steem block chain. * If you have a facebook account, "Like" us [here](, and adjust the settings to see all of our posts. * Reshare articles from our facebook page with your facebook friends. * Resteem our roundup articles. * Use your upvotes to support the authors of articles that we find and share. * Let us know if there are any articles that we have overlooked. * Delegate steempower to the @classical-music account to give weight to our votes for authors of classical content. * Follow the @classical-music curation trail through []( * This is a user driven initiative with no whale support, and we're making it up as we go, so we enthusiastically welcome your ideas. --- #### Thank you for your continued support and for taking the time to view this post! @remlaps ---
05 Jul 23:13

Go Ahead, Put Salt on Your Food

by Ronald Bailey

h/t Whig Zhou

"Salt," an unknown wit once said, "is what makes things taste bad when it isn't in them." In that sense, government nutrition nannies have spent decades urging Americans to make their food taste bad.

In June 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued proposed guidelines to the food industry to reduce the amount of sodium in many prepared foods. The agency, noting that the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium daily, wants to cut that back to only 2,300 mg. That is basically the amount of sodium in one teaspoon of salt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) similarly advises that "most Americans should consume less sodium" because "excess sodium can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart disease and stroke."

There's one problem: Evidence has been gathering for years that government salt consumption guidelines might well kill more people than they save.

The research does suggest that some subset of Americans may be especially sensitive to salt and would benefit from consuming less. Among those are folks with ancestors from Sub-Saharan Africa. But for most people, the risk lies elsewhere.

A 2014 meta-analysis of more than two dozen relevant studies, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, concluded that risk of death appeared to be lowest among individuals consuming between 2,565 mg and 4,796 mg of sodium per day, with higher rates of death above and below that consumption range. As noted above, the FDA itself reports that average daily consumption is 3,400 mg—right in the middle of the ideal range.

In April, a new study by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine, who followed more than 2,600 people for 16 years, once again debunked the dire claims about salt. "We saw no evidence that a diet lower in sodium had any long-term beneficial effects on blood pressure," said lead researcher Lynn Moore. "Our findings add to growing evidence that current recommendations for sodium intake may be misguided."

In fact, the authors found that study participants who consumed less than 2,500 mg a day had higher blood pressure than those who consumed more. They also pointed out that other research has also found that people who consume very high or very low amounts are both at greater cardiovascular risk. "Those with the lowest risk," they noted, "had sodium intakes in the middle, which is the range consumed by most Americans."

30 Jun 20:41

Easy Call

by Jeff Id

America is not allowed to elect a conservative president of any form.  The deep state, fourth branch of government has declared that they now have critical mass to enforce their will upon us independently from our elected officials.  Liberal feeders have infected every branch of government, media and education to the point where even without any evidence, a conservative president will be impeached.  There is zero evidence that Trump has done anything wrong, yet we are surrounded by openly visible liberal crimes that go un-prosecuted.   Comey leaking to get a fake prosecutor, Hillary selling the US for personal gain, Obama fast and furious, Hillary’s dead ambassador to Lybia and the lies to cover it, instead we have fake prosecution recommended by deputy ag Rosenstein for Trump firing Comey, the very act that Rosenstein recommended in a public letter.  Now we have a fake ‘public’ trial by partisan judges where every witness admitted that there is no evidence of wrongdoing.   A trial which hasn’t ended because now the prosecuting liberals have switched from the proven false ‘Russia stole the election’ charges to different FAKE charges of obstruction of justice.  Obstructing the investigation of the proven fake Russia stole the election charge by the way.

How does one obstruct justice regarding the non-investigation of a fake crime?

Only in America methinks.

Trump could order the investigation of something he was guilty of, stopped,  without being guilty of obstruction by the way, because he’s actually the boss.  He’s completely allowed to do that.  Any common sense in America?  No, instead, Muller hired 13 lawyers to prosecute a crime which by definition cannot exist.   Trump is in charge of the FBI.  He can stop any investigation at any time, yet he did NOT.

13 LIBERAL lawyers. Hillary and Democrat donors, Investigating a president without even a potential crime.  YES they will make something up.  We don’t know what but LAWYERS lie for a living.  They twist fact into innuendo as a matter of duty.  They find crime and innocence where none exist, and innuendo is their primary weapon.  Having so many liberals paid to find a problem with the president is a huge issue.

But it got worse today.


“All Americans, regardless of party, agree on the fundamental principle that no one is above the law,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) told MSNBC Friday. “And if President Trump were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, and then [get] special counsel Mueller fired, I believe Congress would begin impeachment proceedings.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) echoed Lieu’s sentiments, saying that Congress would come together to make sure they overrule Trump’s authority on the matter.

“Congress will not allow the president to so egregiously overstep his authority,” Schiff said in a statement.

America is in trouble when the left, with no evidence can issue a statement to THREATEN the boss of the FBI with impeachment if he doesn’t allow his own employees to prosecute him for something that DID NOT HAPPEN. Obstruction of false politically motivated liberal attacks is the true crime and that is nothing but a job well done.

It seems Trump has little choice.  In his place, I would fire them all right now with the statement that it is in our country’s best interest that these idiots move on.  Muller, Rosenstein, and about 2500 other Obama swampmongers would leave right at this exact moment if I had the ability.   Trump gets the same result either way, prosecution, innuendo and nonsense.  Chuck them to the curb with extreme prejudice and put in someone who will investigate Comey, Clinton, Muller’s fake investigation and Obama.  Because those folk all actually did obstruct “justice”.

Clinton lied to investigators–obstruction.

Clinton destroyed evidence–obstruction.

Clinton bribed and manipulated office holding investigators — obstruction.

A democrat operative who was apparently leaking to Wikileaks was shot.   obstruction.

NO REAL INVESTIGATIONS of any of these things.





14 Jun 01:19

Bug Bounty: Current List of Payouts

by Dominik Schiener

Hmm... 31st of June?

The IOTA Bug Bounty program was announced now more than a month ago. During this timeframe many of the existing, but also new community members participated in the bug hunting.

In total, we have found more than 35 issues (mostly in the low category) which the dev team quickly resolved. 1 critical bug was found related to the updating of the ledger state (which posed no serious security threat though).

These found bugs totalled some $5,215.00 — or in IOTA Terms, they are worth more than 72.476 Gi at a $200m market cap. The full list of bugs and the recipients can be found in the spreadsheet below:

IOTA Bug Bounty: Results

We will continue paying out the bug bounty until the 31st of June. Feel free to continue submitting issues on Github.

Bug Bounty: Current List of Payouts was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

14 Jun 01:08

A Global Warming Red Team Warning: Do NOT Strive for Consensus with the Blue Team

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has advocated a Red Team approach to evaluating the climate science guiding CO2 regulations.

Now that the idea of a global warming Red Team approach to help determine what our energy policy should be is gaining traction, it is important that we understand what that means to some of us who have been advocating it for over 10 years — and also what it doesn’t mean.

The Red Team approach has been used for many years in private industry, DoD, and the intelligence community to examine very costly decisions and programs in a purposely adversarial way…to ask, what if we are wrong about a certain program or policy change? What might the unintended consequences be?

In such a discussion we must make sure that we do not conflate the consensus on a scientific theory with the need to change energy policy, as is often done. (Just because we know that car wrecks in the U.S. cause 40,000 deaths a year doesn’t mean we should outlaw cars; and I doubt human-caused climate change has ever killed anyone).

While science can help guide policy, it certainly does not dictate it.

In the case of global warming and the role of our carbon dioxide emissions, the debate has too long been dominated by a myopic view that asserts the following 5 general points as indisputable. I have ordered them generally from scientific to economic.

1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by our CO2 emissions

3) there are no benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic)

4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level that we avoid a substantial amount of the expected damage

5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions is low enough to make it worthwhile (e.g. mandating much more wind, solar, etc.)

ALL of these 5 points must be essentially true for things like the Paris Agreement (which President Trump has now withdrawn us from…for the time being) to make much sense.

But I would argue that each of the five points can be challenged, and not just with “fake science”. There is peer-reviewed and published analysis in science and economics that would allow one to contest each one of the five claims.

The Red Team Approach: It’s NOT a Redo of the Blue Team

John Christy and I are concerned that the Red Team approach, if applied to global warming, will simply be a review of the U.N. IPCC science on global warming. We are worried that it will only address the first two points (warming will continue, and it is mostly caused by CO2). Heck, even *I* believe we will continue to see modest warming, and that it might well be at least 50% due to CO2.

But a Red Team reaffirming those points does NOT mean we should “do something” about global warming.

To fully address whether we should, say, have regulations to reduce CO2 emissions, the Red Team must address all 5 of the “consensus” claims listed above, because that is the only way to determine if we should change energy policy in a direction different from that which the free market would carry it naturally.

The Red Team MUST address the benefits of more CO2 to global agriculture, “global greening” etc.

The Red Team MUST address whether forced reductions in CO2 emissions will cause even a measurable effect on global temperatures.

The Red Team MUST address whether the reduction in prosperity and increase in energy poverty are permissible consequences of forced emissions reductions to achieve (potentially unmeasurable) results.

The membership of the Red Team will basically determine the Team’s conclusions. It must be made up of adversaries to the Blue Team “consensus”, which has basically been the U.N. IPCC. If it is not adversarial in membership and in mission, it will not be a real Red Team.

As a result, the Red Team must not be allowed to be controlled by the usual IPCC-affiliated participants.

Only then can its report can be considered to be an independent, adversarial analysis to be considered along with the IPCC report (and other non-IPCC reports) to help guide U.S. energy policy.

13 Jun 23:14

A Primer on IOTA (with Presentation)

by Dominik Schiener

This just popped up out of nowhere at #6 on Market cap is around 1.7 billion. Whitepaper here -

I recently gave an introductory presentation to IOTA at the IoT and Blockchain meetup in Berlin. Since this meetup was recorded (and the video will be available on Youtube soon), I thought I would write up a quick blog post that accompanies the presentation so that other people can read through it and have an overview of what IOTA is, where we come from and where we’re going. If you want to hold a presentation about IOTA at a local meetup, feel free to use the content below, or even reach out to us so we can provide further assistance.

This blog post will be a bit more comprehensive (expect a ~15min read), but it’s clearly divided into sections so you can just skip the ones which are not relevant to you. Here’s the presentation:

IoT and Blockchain: A relationship that makes sense?

The exploration of Blockchain-related use case has been actively pursued by pretty much everyone in this space (corporates, startups, researchers, individuals) over the last 4 years. One of the areas that most excites us and many others is the Internet of Things. Not only has IoT a tremendous potential since it’s going to be everywhere (after all, it’s an ubiquitous computing and sensor platform), but it also has a whole range of problems where distributed ledgers could be the solution.

We’ll write an in-depth blog post on “Why IoT Needs a Ledger”, but the obvious reasons are: M2M Payments, Security of Things (including identity) and automated execution of processes.

Blockchain: We’re not quite there yet

The simple reality when it comes to Blockchain + IoT (or Blockchain and anything else), is that we’re simply not there yet. The technological limitations are apparent to everyone (including consultants) at this point. The two major problems that I want to elaborate on in this post are scalability and transaction fees.

In Bitcoin we’re already seeing the consequences of a protocol that is inherently limited, but is (intended to) being used by a wider audience. Over 200.000 transactions were unconfirmed at the time of writing. This is cumbersome for users, and means that the majority of use cases cannot be executed, simply because you will never get your transactions through. If you’re a large corporate, you don’t want to wait, pay a higher fee, or bear with the uncertainty of not getting your transactions through.

Now all of us are obviously excited about permissionless distributed ledgers and their potential especially in the corporate world, which has up until now only adopted private Blockchains for their use cases. The biggest issue next to scalability is transaction fees (they are largely intertwined). Bitcoin’s mean transaction fees have already risen above $1. The question of “Who is going to pay for it?”, arises regularly. Especially when it comes to micropayments and enabling a thriving Machine Economy, this question is no longer just a disadvantage listed on a Powerpoint presentation; but it’s a prohibitive factor that renders many of the use cases useless.

Having uncertainty about how much money you will end up receiving in a monetary transaction means that you have uncertainty if your business model even works (after all, you want to make a profit..). How much money will you end up making from selling one resource (e.g. electricity, bandwidth, computation) from one machine to another, when transactions fees are often unpredictable?

Even though we’re seeing a lot of R&D in this area, the overall conclusion is that Blockchain is not production ready, and most of the use cases that are being discussed right now cannot be executed at scale. Every technology in this space today is a Proof of Concept — even Bitcoin.

The Story behind IOTA

All of the founders of IOTA (David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo, Serguei Popov, Dominik Schiener), have been in the Blockchain space since 2010 to 2011. IOTA itself came out of a stealth hardware startup, which is working on a new trinary microprocessor with working title ‘Jinn’. One of the major differences of our origin stories vs. other projects is that IOTA came out of real necessity. It was not the drive of creating a fancy new DAG technology that initiated the project, but the apparent problem of transactional settlement for the Internet of Things, and the lack of existing solutions out there today.

Because we’ve been in this space for so long and have actually pioneered some of the first “Blockchain 2.0” technologies (such as the first full Proof of Stake Blockchain called Nxt, which had features such as a decentralized asset exchange, name registry and many more), we realized early on that we need to start from scratch to meet the challenging demands of the Internet of Things. With that in mind, the Tangle was born.

The main innovation behind IOTA is the Tangle. It’s a novel new distributed ledger architecture that is based on a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph). One might refer to it as a “Blockchain without Blocks and the Chain” (semantically, it’s not really a Blockchain).

Read our Whitepaper:

At its core, the Tangle still has the same underlying principles as a Blockchain: it’s still a distributed database, it’s still a P2P Network and it still relies on a consensus and validation mechanism.

But, if we are to summarize the main differences between the Tangle and the Blockchain, the two most apparent ones are how the Tangle is structured (a DAG), and how we achieve consensus.

In IOTA there are no “blocks” in the classical sense. Instead, a single transaction references two past transactions. This referencing of transactions is seen as an attestation: with your transaction you attest directly that two transactions, and indirectly that a subsection of the Tangle are valid and conform to the protocols rules.

Instead of a smaller subset of the network being responsible for the overall consensus (miners / stakers), the entire network of active participants (i.e. devices making transactions), are directly involved in the approval of transactions. As such, consensus in IOTA is no longer decoupled from the transaction making process: it’s an intrinsic part of it, and it’s what enables IOTA to scale without any transaction fees.

The transaction making process in IOTA is a simple, 3 step process:

  1. Signing: You sign the transaction inputs with your private keys
  2. Tip Selection: MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) is used to randomly select two tips (i.e. unconfirmed transactions), which will be referenced by your transaction (branchTransaction and trunkTransaction)
  3. Proof of Work: In order to have your transaction accepted by the network, you need to do some Proof of Work — similar to Hashcash (spam and sybil-resistance)

Once you’ve done that, your transaction will be broadcast to the network. Someone else will come along, choose your transaction in the tip selection process and validate it. And just like that, your transaction is confirmed.

Consensus in IOTA

As with any Distributed Ledger the question is: how does the network agree on the current state? With that question, we directly also tap on the “double-spending problem” (which probably confuses most people with IOTA)

Colored Tangle picture from the IOTA Consensus Masterclass:

Lets take a look at the colored Tangle picture above. Green blocks: transactions on which consensus was achieved (i.e. transaction finality with some security guarantees); red blocks: transactions where we are still uncertain on their full acceptance; grey blocks: tips (unconfirmed transactions).

Goal of any transaction is it to be green — you want it to be confirmed and accepted by the entire network. The question is, how do you go from grey, to red, to green? Without going into discussion on the CAP Theorem and the concept of eventual consistency, let me explain.

When we look at the picture, the main difference of the green and the red blocks, is that the green blocks are indirectly referenced by all the grey blocks. This means that for every confirmed transaction, there is a direct path leading to it from a tip. As such, it is quite easy to determine the confirmation level of your transaction: we execute the MCMC algorithm N times, the probability of your transaction being accepted is therefore M of N (M being the number of times you land on a tip that has a direct path to your transaction).

As a merchant, in IOTA you have complete freedom to decide with what probability you will start accepting transactions. If you are happy with 51% probability, you execute MCMC 100 times, and if 51 times or more there is a path, you accept the transaction and exchange goods. For high value transaction you can increase this threshold to 99 or even 100.

Once you have understood this concept of transaction finality in IOTA, you will start appreciating the simplicity and beauty of this system. It’s completely self-regulating and ensures both scalability and security.

Lets dive into some of the main features of IOTA, so you better understand why IOTA is so awesome.

Because IOTA achieves consensus on the validity of transactions without the involvement of any miners, we also have no transaction fees to pay. IOTA is the first transactional settlement protocol that enables you to transact even sub-cent values Peer-to-Peer without any transaction fees for either the sender or the recipient. As such, we really perceive IOTA to be the backbone of all current and future micropayment and nanopayment use cases.

IOTA was designed to enable transactional settlement at scale. Since consensus is parallelized, and not done in sequential intervals of batches as in Blockchain, the network is able to grow and scale dynamically with the number of transactions. The more transactions are made, the more secure and the more efficient the Tangle gets.

Some of our most recent stresstests have already shown Confirmed Transactions Per Second above 100 in smaller networks of less than 250 nodes, with confirmation times of 10seconds or less. A much larger stresstest is coming up soon.

The beauty of the Tangle is that you can fluidly branch off and back into the network. This partitioning is key in being adaptive to the rigorous requirements of an asynchronous IoT environment. There is no such thing as always-on connectivity, as such you need to be able to make transactions and secure data even in an offline environment. IOTA makes it possible for a cluster of devices to branch off and still make transactions in an offline environment; utilizing different communication protocols (ZigBee, Bluetooth LE, etc.) for the P2P communication. More on some specific use cases in Supply Chain and Mobility later.

The main reason why IOTA was created is to enable and to be the backbone of the Machine Economy. We envision a future where Machines trade resources (computation, electricity, storage, bandwidth, data etc.) and services with each other without the involvement of any third party — purely Machine-to-Machine. As the Internet of Things starts unleashing itself, the need for “Smart Decentralization” is apparent.

I will leave this as a cliffhanger here, as we have a larger blog post all about the vision of IOTA coming up very soon (will link to it here once ready).

Use Cases

IOTA’s unique feature of feeless transactions enables a plethora of use cases that are not possible on any other platform. Not only do we enable true micropayments (send 1 cent, receive 1 cent), but we also improve existing and enable new data integrity use cases. With the introduction of more IXI modules we will further increase the usability and the use cases enabled by IOTA.

The main industries where we are running case studies are Mobility, Energy, Smart Cities and Infrastructure (such as smart grids). Even though we mainly focus on the Internet of Things and the Machine Economy, IOTA is well suited for payments between humans as well. Especially if we look at remittances, where we want to be able to transact even a few dollars from Country A to Country B; IOTA has a unique offering.

We will be writing follow-up blog posts on all the specific use cases. This way readers will get an in-depth overview of what we do. The use cases which we are currently developing with our corporate partners will also be written about and explained in more details with case studies soon.

Status Quo

The Core Team has been working on IOTA and its ecosystem since summer 2015. Over the course of the past 2 years, we have further refined and optimized the Tangle concept. Especially the launch of the main network on July 11th 2016 has given us great insight to optimize the core client. The IOTA Reference Implementation is written in Java and is available on Github.

To make IOTA ever-more user-friendly, we have also developed a GUI Client which amongst other things, has dedicated GPU and light-wallet support. In order to truly foster the ecosystem, we have also setup a dedicated “Learn” hub, where developers can publish tutorials for their IOTA-powered applications. This is a source of resources for developers intending to get started.

Because we want to make the IOTA core as simple as possible, to get the most out of IOTA developers have to utilized client libraries. Current implementations are written in Javascript, Python, C#, Java and Go; with more coming soon. You can head over to the main documentation hub at

Overall, we have so far facilitated more than 2.5m txs on the main network (with more than 30million on our respective testnets). This has enabled some $100m+ to be transacted, purely Peer to Peer without any transaction fees.

As we truly aim at scalability, we have setup a framework that makes it possible to launch AWS and Azure instances on the fly, and simulate a network of nodes transacting with each other. From these stresstests we’ve already gotten some early results (as shown in the screenshot above), and we’re currently preparing for a much larger stresstest where we aim at achieving 1000TPS.

The IOTA Foundation

IOTA itself, and all the technologies that we will build on top and alongside it, are governed by the non-profit IOTA Foundation. The IOTA Foundation will be a “gemeinnützige Stiftung” based in Berlin, Germany focused on developing and standardizing new DLT-based technologies. We truly believe in the vision of a Machine Economy; as such we need to foster a thriving ecosystem that encourages interoperability and permissionless innovation.

The Foundation acts as a neutral party that helps in executing and achieving our vision. More information about the Foundation, its members and the governance structure will be published over the coming weeks. Needless to say, we are in this for the long-run.

Focus over the next few months will it be to develop additional core clients and to extend IOTA’s potential via IXI (IOTA eXtensible Interface). The development of the Go, Rust and C++ client has already started, and will be completed by Summer. Major emphasis will be put on optimization and making the core client more adaptive to specific deployment environments. Our goal is it to make IOTA production ready by the end of the year.

Masked Authenticated Messaging (MAM) makes it possible to have a secure, encrypted and authenticated data stream on the Tangle. As a first in this space, we ensure both data integrity and encrypted data blobs on our distributed ledger. This means that only certain parties with the proper authorization can read the data stream. With MAM we are already developing use cases aimed at supply chain and sensor data integrity.

Our approach to Oracles will make it possible to directly form oracles on top of IOTA. This is unlike anything that’s currently being used in this space. With our Oracle platform we not only aim at connecting the physical world with IOTA; but we also want to enable true interoperability with all other Blockchain platforms.

The simulation framework that we’ve been working on over the last few months is going to be published in June. This framework will make it possible to simulate a global, clustered Tangle environment and gain concrete insights on network propagation, transaction finality and confirmation rates. In addition to that, we’ve implemented and simulated the attacks from the Tangle whitepaper.


We are not maximalists and believe in the future of purpose-specific technologies. Because of that, we are working actively on interoperability with existing Blockchain technologies and communities. Right now the main focus is on EVM-based Blockchains (Ethereum, RSK, Qtum) and Hyperledger. With the release of our new Oracle platform we envision true interoperability with many more projects in this space.

Ecosystem Fund

One of the first initiatives aimed at building an ecosytem around IOTA is our recently announced Ecosystem Fund. Together with a few dedicated community members and key partners, the Foundation has set aside more than $2m that will be used to fund the development of use cases and prototypes, active research for IXI modules and general projects that help in increasing awareness and understanding around IOTA.

If you are interested in applying to the fund, please head over to the official announcement, which has further instructions.


IOTA is one of the most innovative projects in this space. The Core team is dedicated and committed to bring IOTA millions — if not billions — of devices and watch our vision of a Machine Economy unfold. There are many more announcements especially with our corporate partners which will be announced over the course of the next few months, alongside the introduction of new IXI modules and other protocols which we’re developing.

A Primer on IOTA (with Presentation) was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

10 Jun 03:08

10 Of Schumann's Compositions in Honor of His Birthday

Yesterday was [Robert Schumann]('s 207th birthday. Schumann was a romantic era composer with a very interesting life. He was a very smart composer, but suffered from bipolar disorder. In this article, I will write about 10 of Schumann's compositions; but first, here's a little bit about Schumann:
## The Life of Schumann Robert Schumann was born on June 8th, 1810, in Zwickau (Kingdom of Saxony). From a young age, Schumann was composing. He composed his first piece at the age of 7, and although he disregarded any formal rules in writing, his compositions were still considered impressive for his age. It was also at the age of 7, that Schumann would first receive instruction for general music and piano. But, his childhood was spent learning literature as much as music, due to his father's career as a bookseller, publisher, and novelist (A quality I think would help him later on with his vocal works).
Schumann's love of music started when he saw Ignaz Moscheles, a composer and pianist, playing at Karlsbad (Schumann would later be inspired by the works of [Beethoven](, [Schubert](, and [Mendelssohn]( Schumann's father would encourage Schumann to pursue music until his death in 1826 (Schumann was 16). From then on, none of the guardian figures in Schumann's life would encourage him to pursue music. In 1828, Schumann left school and went to Leipzig to study law (To meet the criteria to gain his inheritance).
In 1830, Schumann would hear the Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer Niccolò Paganini play in Frankfurt, and write to his mother "My whole life has been a struggle between Poetry and Prose, or call it Music and Law." He would resume piano lessons at the age of 20 (with his old teacher), with the ambition of becoming a concert pianist. This ambition would be ruined when Schumann's right hand was permanently damaged (how is speculation, some say it was a finger strengthening device, others say it was a chronic illness that hurt the hand. Clara Schumann disputed the finger device idea). This caused Schumann to abandon his dreams of a career as a concert level pianist, and take up composition. The first case of what is now called program music, or the combination of literary ideas with musical ones is said to be Papillons, Op. 2 (Butterflies), Schumann's depiction of events from Jean Paul's novel Die Flegeljahre.
On September 12th, 1840, Schumann married 20 year old Clara Wieck (Schumann) after a long legal dispute with her father about marrying her. Clara, although delicate in appearance, was actually quite strong-willed and exhilarant, keeping a strict touring schedule and bearing multiple children. Clara was Schumann's most valid inspiration, critic, and confidant.
From 1832 - 1839, Schumann wrote almost uniquely piano pieces. 1840 is considered to be one of Schumann's most productive years, in which he wrote at least 138 songs. This is likely because of how secretive, he had to keep his relationship with then Clara Wieck. Schumann would often wait in a nearby city for hours just to see his future wife for just a few minutes after one of her concerts. As a result of this, he wrote many pieces for her, including a piece called [Widmung]( which uses a theme from [Franz Schubert]('s [Ave Maria]( In 1841, Schumann would write two of his four symphonies, No. 1 in B flat major "Spring," and No. 4 in D minor (it was performed that year, but not published until much later [Opus 120]). Schumann dedicated all of 1842 to chamber music, including the Piano quintet in E-flat Major, the Piano Quartet, and three String Quartets.
From 1844 - 1853, Schumann became obsessed with setting [Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe]('s Faust to music. Faust is the story of a young man name Faust who is depressed with his dull life as a scholar. Faust tries to kill himself, and after failing, attempts to make a deal with the devil, to gain all the knowledge in the world and power. The devil's representative, Mephistopheles, appears to Faust and agrees to serve him in this for a set number of years, at the end of which, the devil takes Faust's soul. Depending on the version, Faust uses Mephistopheles powers in different ways, but particularly in Goethe's version, Faust uses Mephistopheles powers to seduce a young and innocent woman named Gretchen, who's life is ruined when she gives birth to Faust's son. When learning of what Faust has done, and the evil within his son, she drowns the boy. Leading to her execution for murder. Gretchen is spared, and taken to heaven because of her innocence. In Goethe's version, Faust is spared by God, due to Gretchen's begging. But, in other versions, the deal is carried out, and Faust, taken to hell. Schumann became obsessed with setting this literary work to music, and began to experience a nervous breakdown. Whenever he went to work, he would have fits of shivering and foreboding death, and getting a feeling of horror from high places, all metal tools, and drugs. At this point, Schumann also heard the sound of an A5 playing in his ears constantly.
In 1853, Schumann would meet his close friend [Johannes Brahms]( (You might recall that I talked about this in my [Brahms Birthday Post]( They would collaborate for several years. On February 27th, 1854, Schumann attempted suicide by throwing himself off a bridge into the Rhine river. After he failed and was rescued by boatmen, he asked to be put in a mental asylum. He remained there until his death in 1856. ## 10 Compositions ### 10\. Carnaval You can tell that Schumann was a pianist based on this piece. It sounds like a very early form of jazz, but a mix of jazz and classical. Actually, this piece originates from variations of a theme from a Sehnsuchtswalzer by [Franz Schubert]( Schumann was one of the earlier composers who discovered [Schubert]('s work and helped to make them famous. I did not realize that this piece came from a [Schubert]( piece until I read about it on [Wikipedia]( ### 9\. Toccata op. 7 This piece sounds pretty fast. It does not sound very structured. It actually sounds a lot like Samuel Barber's [Sonata]( It has its up points and down points. There are some places that I really like, and others that I despise. ### 8\. Cello Concerto I could see the cello part from this concerto expressing an emotion of sadness, or even an emotion of love. I tend to lean towards sadness though, based on the overall sound. Sometimes sadness and love can coexist too. Schumann wrote this piece in a period of 2 weeks, which is quite impressive. ### 7\. Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major This is one of Schumann's most famous pieces. If you'll recall from **The Life of Schumann**, this piece (and most of his chamber works) were written in the year 1842. This piece actually sounds quite cool, I can hear some similarities to [Mendelssohn]( in this piece. Which isn't surprising, considering that Mendelssohn and Schumann were close friends. ### 6\. Symphony no. 4 in D Minor This piece, and Schumann's first symphony were written in 1841, this piece being the last published symphony, but second written. This piece has a much more different sound to it than Schumann's first symphony had, which is surprising, considering that they were written at the almost exact same time. This piece sounds sad, like a piece played at a funeral, while Symphony no. 1 is very lively, and energetic. Based on the key of this symphony, I wonder if his inspiration was Beethoven's 9th (also in D minor). ### 5\. Ich Grolle Nicht This piece is from the song cycle Dichterliebe, and the title, Ich Grolle Nicht, translates to "I bear no grudge." Overall, this piece is very fun to listen to. It is energetic and short. I have included it in several lists, but I only recently learned that it is part of this song cycle. ### 4\. Der Arme Peter I was recently assigned this song cycle for voice (to learn this summer). This song cycle contains 3 songs, all telling the story of this guy named peter who likes a girl named Gretel, but is depressed because she is marrying a guy named Hansel. My voice teacher asked me why I thought Peter felt sad and alone, and I remarked "Oh! Does Peter have a thing for Hansel?" little did I know that Hansel is a guy. . . Anyway, you can read the translation of the song cycle [here]( ### 3\. Piano Concerto This is another one of Schumann's most famous pieces. The theme in the beginning sounds kind of like [Chopin]('s [funeral march]( to me at least. Until, he utilizes a bit of a faster theme. Here is Schumann's Piano Concerto: ### 2\. Liederkreis (Song Cycle) I really like the singer, named [Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau](, in this recording I found. He is one of my favorites ever since I heard him do [Schubert]('s [Erlkonig]( This cycle uses poetry by Joseph Eichendorff from his collection of poems called Intermezzo. Here is Liederkreis: ### 1\. Symphony no. 1 I have never really heard one of Schumann's symphonies. This symphony is actually very energetic (at least in the first movement). The first movement is one of the most energetic movements I've heard in a symphony. Schumann also does a great job at utilizing themes (and developing them). For example, the second movement has a very tender and structured theme. Schumann sketched this symphony in 4 days, finishing it within a month. [Felix Mendelssohn]( conducted this symphony at its premiere. It was also named the Spring Symphony (I can see why). Here is Schumann's first symphony: **Sources** ***Information*** [Wikipedia (Schumann)]( [Wikipedia (Faust)]( [Wikipedia (Symphony no. 1)]( ***Photos*** [Wikipedia (Schumann)]( [Wikipedia (Faust)]( **Previous Composer Birthdays (In order by how recent it was) [6/8 - Robert Schumann]() [5/22 - Richard Wagner]( [5/12 - Gabriel Fauré]( [5/7 - Johannes Brahms]( [5/7 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky]( [4/1 - Sergei Rachmaninoff]( [3/21 - Johann Sebastian Bach]( [3/4 - Antonio Vivaldi]( [3/1 - Frédérick Chopin]( [2/28 (29) - Gioachino Rossini]( [2/3 - Felix Mendelssohn]( [1/31 - Franz Schubert]( [1/27 - Wolfgang (Amadeus) Mozart]( The Next Birthday will be [Richard Strauss]( on June 11th.** Thanks for reading this! Schumann is probably one of the most well known, and influential composers of the romantic era. And even through hardships, he had friends and family that supported him. As always, please remember to leave feedback, today's question: Do you think Schumann's obsession with [Faust]( was caused by his insanity, or was his insanity caused by his obsession with [Faust]( Please remember to check back later! **Also remember to check for: My weekly 7 post, As Well As My Composer Birthday Posts** **Make sure to check out my Minecraft server themed on Steem, The Ip: is **!!**
10 Jun 03:03

Gridcoin is the sixtieth fastest supercomputer in the world!

According to boincstats the team gridcoin has a RAC of 333,037,098.50127. RAC / 200,000 is roughly equals to the amount of TeraFLOPS. 333,037,098.50127 / 200,000 ≈ 1665 TeraFLOPS Place 60. on the Top500 Supercomputer list is the computer Edison, located in the United States, with 1,654.7 TeraFLOPS. This demonstrates what enormous computing power the gridcoin team already has and which impact it can have on science! Happy crunching! ![serveimage.jpg](
09 Jun 20:10

Monkeying With Logic

by Don Boudreaux
(Don Boudreaux)


Here’s a letter that I sent earlier this week to the New York Times:

In “What Monkeys Can Teach Us About Fairness” (June 4) Nicholas Kristof recounts what happens when human experimenters arbitrarily give some monkeys cucumber slices while giving other monkeys more highly prized grapes.  When the monkeys receiving the cucumbers see other monkeys getting grapes, they react with disgust.  From this experiment Mr. Kristof correctly concludes that monkeys care about fairness.  But Mr. Kristof then draws a further conclusion, namely, that the monkeys’ disgust is sparked by the ‘income’ differences.  This latter conclusion is unjustified.

What is unfair about this distribution of cucumbers and grapes is that it is completely arbitrary.  It’s connected in no way to any differences in effort or contribution on the part of the monkeys.  Would the monkeys who get the cucumber slices be disgusted if the monkeys who get the grapes have to work twice or three times as hard as is required to get cucumber slices?  The experiment as recounted by Mr. Kristof supplies no answer to this question, although a plausible prediction is that monkeys would find unequal ‘distributions’ of cucumbers and grapes far less unfair and disgusting when such differences reflect perceived differences in effort or merit.

If for no reason other than the fact that incomes in modern market societies are not arbitrarily dispensed and ‘distributed’ (as they are in the monkey experiment) but, instead, are produced and largely reflect differences in the contributions that each of us makes to the well-being of our fellows, it’s disappointingly unscientific for Mr. Kristof to leap from the results of these experiments with monkeys to the conclusion that humans suffer anger and disgust at income differences regardless of the source(s) of these differences.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

This column by Kristof is very revealing about the presumptions that typical NYT columnists have about the social processes that generate incomes.  Here, Kristof apparently assumes that such incomes are literally distributed rather arbitrarily.

09 Jun 01:50

Merkel’s Phony CO2 Policy… U.S. REDUCTIONS Making Huge Progress As Germany Does Nothing

by P Gosselin

Chancellor Angela Merkel is perturbed by the USA’s unruly new leader, President Donald Trump, who demanded deadbeat Germany pay up big on NATO. But what really took the cake was the President strongly signaling his rejection of the Paris climate accord. That was just too much to take.

In terse comments Merkel has even called into question the transatlantic relationship, saying that the US could no longer be counted on as a reliable partner. Merkel and Germany’s leaders are offended, and have unfriended Trump.

What is strange is that the mainstream media and leading climate action proponents like Merkel all pretend that Germany is a responsible leader in cutting back CO2 emissions, and even claim that big emitters, like China and India, are all onboard in curbing CO2 emissions, and that is only the USA that is the big, rogue CO2 sinner.

However, when we look at the facts, we see that Merkel and the German climate activists are truly living a fake reality. 

The real reality is that Germany has done virtually nothing at all to reduce its CO2 emissions over the past years.

No GHG emissions reductions in 8 years!

And despite all of Merkel’s pontification and Trump-scolding on climate protection, her own country, Germany, has itself not cut back on greenhouse gas emissions in 8 years!

German greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalent in millions of tonnes) have not fallen since 2009. Source: Umweltbundesamt.

Last year German CO2 emissions in fact rose by some 4 million tonnes, from 902 million in 2015 to an estimated 906 million tonnes in 2016.

And Merkel has had it with Trump? She’s the last who should be preaching. On GHG emissions, Merkel is a phony.

Note that Germany’s drop since 1990 comes mostly as a result of shutting down former communist-run East Germany, after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Germany is also expected to totally miss its 2020 reductions target of 40%. So it’s peculiar that the country’s leaders would think it’s fitting to go around lecturing others on climate protection.

US in fact has far outperformed Germany

The real progress on CO2 reductions has in fact come the USA (thanks to fracking), and here we are not talking pocket change. The following chart shows how much US CO2 emissions have fallen: from 6 billion tonnes of CO2 annually to under 5.3 billion tonnes in 2015.

graph of U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, via here.

This means the US has cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 700 million tonnes since 2005 – a 12% drop. That drop almost amounts to Germany’s total annual CO2 emissions (796 million tonnes).

Election year bashing

To keep things in perspective, it’s important to remember that it’s an election year in Germany, and right now there is a race to see who can bash America and its democratically elected President the most.

And now that German leaders and media have grown tired of bashing Russia, Turkey, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, Greece, etc. they now feel compelled to go after the United States, its President, and especially the deplorable Americans who elected him. Not surprising Germany is having a row with a host of countries. Also read GWPF post here.

Intolerant to other views

Germany’s leaders and elitist class indeed have a difficult time accepting views that differ from their own. And when it comes to German politics, throwing the baby out with the bath water has a long tradition. The truth here is that it is perhaps Germany that is not a reliable partner, and not the other way around.

08 Jun 21:58

The 'Game of Thrones' season 7 finale will be the longest episode yet

by Carrie Wittmer

Game of Thrones season 7

You might have to take a long afternoon nap or have a giant cup of coffee before watching the season-seven finale of "Game of Thrones" later this summer. According to Watchers on the Wall, the finale episode of the beloved HBO series' latest season will be a record-breaking 81 minutes long.

Quite a few epsiodes in the shortened season will be longer than we've seen in the past, with all but one reportedly being well over 50 minutes long. The sixth and penultimate episode of the season will be 71 minutes long.

This isn't the first time "Game of Thrones" has done long episodes, but an 81-minute one is the longest, next to the season-six finale, "The Winds of Winter," which was 68 minutes long. And the creators packed a lot of death (and other things) into that one. 

A lot can happen in 13 minutes on any TV show, especially "Game of Thrones." We're hoping for 13 minutes of Lady Mormont yelling at Littlefinger, but it will probably just be even more death. Season seven premieres with a 59-minute episode on July 16. 

SEE ALSO: All the 'Game of Thrones' deaths, ranked from least tragic to most tragic

Join the conversation about this story »

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