Credit Cards: Over 41% of Total Revenue Going to “Fraud Prevention”

Credit card issuing companies are spending upward of 41% of total revenue every year on — more or less futile anyway — attempts to prevent (or at least limit) credit card fraud. This is a well-known fact throughout the banking and credit card industries. Largely anachronistic money transfer systems such as credit cards but also bank wire transfer technologies, dating from the age of the telegraph but still in use today, prove increasingly unfit for today’ where much more frequently than in pre-internet days some sort of “overseas” aspect is present. Despite the high extra cost thus associated with all “international”...

Apple Pushing a Proprietary Payments System for iOS

Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have removed a number of Bitcoin-related iOS applications from their proprietary online App Store. While in some cases, Apple failed to even give a proper reason for their move, other app developers have received notifications from Apple , Inc. that Bitcoin payment functionality, in a stricter sense, needed to be removed for apps to stay “acceptable” for Apple’s platform. The measure taken by Apple, Inc. has resulted in the extinction of usable payment applications for Bitcoin on Apple iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Only a few apps that show just Bitcoin wallet balances...

IMF’s Christine Lagarde Calling for Outright Government Theft

Christine Lagarde, chair person of the IMF, has called for making the “Cyprus Solution” of confiscating portions of savers’ cash in bank a common government policy. Piggybacking on last week’s call by the IMF for setting up an agency that would be responsible for either closing or salvaging troubled banks across the continent, Mrs Lagarde’s proposed “funding” such an agency with money drained from savings held by bank customers. Mrs Lagarde’s ingenuity and arrogance seems to be boundless, to say the least. (It is equally obvious that her knowledge of real-world economics, on the other hand, is painfully limited.) The proposed...

Hidden in Plain Sight: a Truly New Economy, Web 3.0 and Virtual Currencies

With the economic crisis officially declared in 2008, and far from solved despite some conflicting news suggesting otherwise, there has been set in motion a more fundamental process of change with a potential to affect overall economics and world trade as fundamentally as the invention of the Letter of Exchange in medieval Venice or the concept of limited liability in 17th century maritime commerce. The emerging commercial vehicle is an array of virtual currencies. While actually experimented with since the late 1980s in the San Francisco Bay and other local areas, the latest generation of virtual currencies evolving are of...

Debt Ceiling Games: U. S. Government Shutdown “Imminent”

The U. S. government is going to be broke in a few days — again. Players in Washington, D. C. are pretending to be in a feverish battle to “save the country”. It is all fraud and ridicule though — hardly surprising as the very person of the current president is, too. What is happening now in Washington is a childish squabble between two allegedly different ideologies without any grown ups in the room. Americans should throw all the Republicans and Democrats out of office. They are absolutely not helping America move forward and get back on its feet again....

Pathetic “Mission Creed” and Why the Executive Needs to Be Checked

Ongoing revelations about the U. S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its routine disregard of Due Process as well as all other fundamental constitutional as well as general human rights-related rules show the probably cause of the agency’s way of acting. Art Greenwald, Pulitzer Award-winning journalist and publisher of Edward Snowden’s documents explained in a recent interview what motivates NSA agents to constantly break all kinds of legal regulations, political rules, and common sense. Rather than any kind of “conspiracy”, the problem with the NSA’s out-of-control behavior is rooted in a pathetic sense of “Mission Creed” among its personnel. That...

Financial Endgame in Europe Accelerating

Italian banks have been ordered by the Italian government to withhold a 20% “tax” on all inbound wire transfers. This confiscation order is retroactive and put into force from 1 February. Il Sole reports, that “the deductions will be automatic (unless there is a prior request for exclusion), and then it will be up to the taxpayer to prove that the money is not of the nature of compensation ‘income.'” The ruling means that all Italians are now suspected to be money launderers and tax evaders, unless proven innocent. On top of the retroactivity of the executive decree, it is...

Bitcoin Facilitating a New-New Economy

As the European banking and currency crisis unfolds, Bitcoin and the other emerging digital currencies have become a refuge for people fleeing from the euro and striving to protect their assets and savings from confiscation. Many analysts believe that Bitcoin, which facilitates unmediated fund transfers between individuals, poses a potential threat to conventional banking. Bitcoin and other Crypto coins are certainly exposing the weakness of the US dollar as the world’s incumbent reserve currency, as well as all other similarly stricken paper currencies. “Faster and easier than One-Click Buying on Amazon.com”, but actually for unlimited amounts of money. Watch the...

Secure Communications Despite Illegal Surveillance and NSA Over-Colletion

“What is needed is a communications protocol and accompanying software that encrypts messages, masks the sender and receiver of messages from others, and guarantees that the sender of a message cannot be spoofed, without relying on trust and without burdening the user with the details of key management.” An in-depth special report on Bitmessage, a secure P2P-based communications protocol, will be come up here. Please check back or subscribe to receive a notification once this paper is published.

Radio Days?

The media landscape is profoundly changing. BBC Worldservice, Voice of America, even CNN — they are all on their way out. It’s the old players’ own fault: instead of preserving the tested and proven look and feel of days gone by, the BBC, for example, have largely thrown out their cherished user experience (for example, the old steam-radio-style Signature tune played before the world news as well as s host of other melodies and popular programs altogether). This — often pathetic — attempt to “appear modern” at any price has largely failed and proved to be a gamble that did...