Windows TrueCrypt Fatally Flawed

Continued research after the first TrueCrypt audit yielded inconclusive results has discovered fatal privilege escalation vulnerabilities allowing for complete takeover (archived). So far this is known to affect TrueCrypt on Windows boxes, but there is still potential for other flaws to be discovered in TrueCrypt on other platforms. Details of the vulnerabilities are not yet disclosed, but this supports the possibility that it may not be possible at all to develop software offering any level of security on the Windows platform.

Buterin's Waterfall Nearly Spent

In a post on the Ethereum foundation's blog Vitalik Buterin with substantial optimism announced that the Ethereum Foundation has nearly spent down all of its reserves (archived). The Vitalik claims Ethereum Foundation expenses of roughly 410,000 Swiss Francs per month though he assures readers he can bring that down to a third of a million Swiss Francs in the near future and a quarter of a million Swiss Francs per month further into the future. Buterin claims approximate reserves of 200,000 Swiss Francs, 1800 BTC which will continue to be dumped onto the markets, and 2,700,000 of their own Ether tokens. A further amount of roughly half a million Swiss Francs, or nearly a month of their operating costs is claimed to be held in reserve for legal contingencies.  Buterin's own estimate for the depletion of his Foundation's funds is June of 2016 though their burn rate suggests insolvency may arrive much sooner. When paired with claims of extraordinarily desperate measures being taken by Confiscatory agents of the state to acquire more Bitcoin (archived), it appears Buterin's Waterfall may be nearing the end of its most effective days.

Pumpkin Extortion Attempt Squashed

The Daily Mail reports (archive) a 53 year old ex-soldier has been jailed after he attempted to blackmail an elderly pumpkin farmer into paying him £50,0001 in bitcoin. Fearing for his livelihood, farmer David Bowman reported the threat to police and was then instructed by the UK's Foods Standards Agency to plough the field of concern, resulting in the loss of £120,0002 of stock. Continue reading

  1. Approximately $75,000 USD. 

  2. Approximately $182,000 USD. 

Editor Under Fire

A heavily redacted document detailing the deposition of CoinFire editor Michael Johnson regarding what were threats presumably made by Homero Joshua Garza of GAW Miners and his cohorts has been released. While the document does not mention Mr Garza by name, it is clear to anyone familiar with the GAW Miners and Paycoin debacles that many of the numerous gaps in the document are a reference to him and his partners in crime.

The original PDF document is available here, and the text of that document is quoted below. It outlines threats of assassination as well as Michael Johnson's eagnerness to work with LEA due to concerns for his own safety as well as that of family, friends and colleagues. Continue reading

Eyewitness: People Walking Out of BitPay Office in Tears

According to a known and reliable eyewitness numerous people have been spotted leaving the BitPay office in tears. This suggests rumors of further rounds of layoffs at BitPay. The witness further suggest that the marketing department was hit hard as many people's phone lines at BitPay no longer work. BitPay's struggles over the last year suggest high burn rate is a severe danger to companies starting up in the Bitcoin space.

India Imposes and US Considers Tariffs on Hot Rolled Steel

Last week India imposed a 20% tariff on a number of hot rolled steel products to "safeguard" domestic production. According to the Business Standard this has lead domestic producers to drop their customarily negotiated discounts and begin charging customers according to their actual published price sheets (archived). Earlier this month the United States began an investigation (archived) into hot rolled steel products of their own and have just announced that based on early findings they intend to continue the investigation (archived) as imports appear to impose "harm" on US producers in their determination through low prices. The US can be expected to follow India in introducing protectionist tariffs on hot rolled steel soon. As a larger tend expect bureaucracy heavy states struggling to support domestic industry such as the United States and India to begin ramping up their imposition of protectionist tariffs in an effort to keep the remains of their domestic production capacity from being gutted.

FDA Regulatory Overreach Allows Price Gouging

Recently news has been circulating that condemns Turing Pharmaceuticals for price gouging United States consumers of pyrimethamine1 an antimalarial which sells for under ten cents per dose in markets other than the United States where generic forms are available. Pyrimethamine is very popular in areas of the world where malaria is endemic due to its efficacy against most strains of the falciparum and vivax species of the Plasmodium malaria parasite, but in the United States it is typically used to treat toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised patients making it a niche treatment. Turing Pharmaceuticals managed to get a contract to exclusively market pyrimethamine in the United States thanks to FDA regulations. Because the FDA allows them exclusive marketing rights they can set prices arbitrarily, and if they can they must. Continue reading

  1. trade name Daparim, released in 1953  

Have Nude Pics of Yourself, go to Jail

In what is merely the most recent criminalization insanity to manifest in embarrassment of the US, two teenagers in Fayetteville, North Carolina have recently been charged with felonies for sexually exploiting themselves by having nude pictures of their own persons on their own phones. The male, 17, has been charged with exploitation of a minor and was prosecuted as an adult for his "selfies". He subsequently agreed to subject himself to a year of warrantless searches, which somehow has been found by the courts circus to not constitute self-exploitation. His girlfriend, 16, took a plea bargain, which entailed a $200 fine, 30 hours of community service, the inability to use a cell phone for one year, mandatory attendance at a "class in making good decisions", and an "order to stay in school and refrain from using drugs and alcohol". Following his girlfriend's state-mandated metamorphosis from a normal, sexually curious teenager to the passive victim of local mores well out of touch with reality, the male involved in the case accepted a "similar" plea bargain. Continue reading

Pirateat40 Pleads Guilty To Securities Fraud

Despite entering a plea of not guilty earlier this year, Trendon Shavers AKA pirateat40 has plead guilty to one charge of securities fraud related to the operation of a ponzi scheme, better known as the Bitcoin Savings and Trust. As reported by Reuters (archive), Shavers has agreed not to appeal any sentence at or below 41 months in duration and will face sentencing early next year on February 3rd.

Bet Over Ethereum's Survival Rockets Past 100 BTC in Wagers

A six day old Bet on whether Ethereum rides into 2016 as a continuing economically viable thing has managed to so far draw more than 129 Bitcoin in wagers. The criteria assigned for Ethereum to fail include the value of Ethereum tokens falling under 0.001 BTC per Ethereum token during December 2015 or if the volume of Ethereum tokens traded during the month of December 2015 being less than 100 Bitcoin in value. At the present 23 Bitcoin have been staked on Ethereum's failure while 106.11 Bitcoin are staked on Ethereum surviving December. According the the wager on BitBet price information is to be taken from Poloniex. As of this writing Ethereum is trading for around 0.004 Bitcoin per token with an all time low price of 0.00243990 Bitcoin per token on August 10th shortly after Ethereum's release. Continue reading