Wednesday What We’re Reading (Feb. 6, 2019)

Last week’s call for laptop names was premature, happily. A replacement battery and some marring on the chassis from my jimmying screwdrivers later, and we’re back in action.



  • Forgotten Weapons on the Colt CK901 – It’s an AR-15-pattern rifle in 7.62×39, designed for the Yemeni military. It has some nifty features you don’t find in presently-available 7.62×39 ARs. I could see myself buying one, if they ever release it for the American shooting public.


  • Oracle continues comic book supervillainy – By auditing Java users and attempting to wring license fees out of them for uses in violation of terms.
  • Do e-cigarettes help people quit smoking? – They help people quit smoking cigarettes, at any rate. I suspect they are not so good at helping people quit vaping.
  • A brewing Bitcoin scam? – QuadrigaCX is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange whose founder recently died. The sub-bullets following are wild conspiracy-theorizing, based in part on the article above.
    • Gerry Cotten, the deceased, is claimed to have died in India of Crohn’s disease. He is Canadian, however, and lived in Canada. Crohn’s is not generally a fatal condition except in severe, poorly-managed cases. Severe-unto-death cases make long airline flights unlikely, for reasons of lavatory availability.
    • According to the blog post above, Quadriga’s story (that much of the exchange’s crypto reserves were in an offline wallet on an encrypted laptop) doesn’t jive with known transactions. Quadriga was paying withdrawals with new deposits, and a large amount of Bitcoin left Quadriga’s known online wallets by way of another exchange.
    • If I were looking to con a bunch of people and run away somewhere, a destination like India, where English is widely spoken, a life of luxury is readily and cheaply available, and local officials are not entirely above bribery, would be high on my list. So also would a cryptocurrency exchange be high on my list of methods.

4 thoughts on “Wednesday What We’re Reading (Feb. 6, 2019)

  1. Chris Bradshaw

    Time to get the search & replace chrome extension, and set it to replace all mentions of the Pacific Fleet as the Grand Fleet, and all mentions of the People’s Liberation Army Navy as the High Seas Fleet.

    1. Fishbreath Post author

      It would just about work, up until the U.S. Navy habit of bribing legislators by naming ships after them ruined the illusion.

  2. Chris Bradshaw

    Certain legislators do deserve a bit of credit. Without Carl Vinson, we might have entered WW2 with far fewer ships and shipyards. We would have still won the war, but it might have taken quite a bit longer. I think that merits a ship named after him, although maybe not a CVN.

    1. Fishbreath Post author

      Fair point!

      Plenty of destroyers were named for people even in the golden age of non-person American ship names, too, so perhaps my pining for 18th-century Royal Navy naming schemes is a bit misplaced.

      I recall parvusimperator and I were recently pining for fish names for submarines, a tradition too soon cut short.

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