Curating the Internet: Business, leadership, and management micro-summaries for September 2, 2019

1 year ago
6 Min Read
1157 Words

Google contract workers are unionizing in Pittsburgh; Bitcoin mining farms are flourishing in Siberia; The Lightning network has yet to deliver on promises; Mark Twain the newspaper man; Part 1 of a Steem essay on the life of Frank Hamer, the TX law man who tracked down Bonnie and Clyde

Straight from my RSS feed
Whatever gets my attention

Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.


pixabay license: source.

  1. Google contract workers in Pittsburgh are unionizing as the company's 'shadow workforce' continues to fight for the same pay and benefits as full-time employees - The Pittsburgh Association of Tech Professionals (PATP) announced Thursday that Google contract workers in Pittsburgh are unionizing after a 66% vote in support of union representation. The employees object to being blocked from access to all-hands meetings and internal job-aids, and also to the requirement to wear red contractor badges, which the company says is for security purposes, but the workers say creates a sense of shame. The article cites TheVerge, saying that unionization of tech workers is unusual, and if successful, this action could have a ripple effect.

  2. Bitcoin Mining Farms Are Flourishing on the Ruins of Soviet Industry in Siberia - Eastern Siberia's Bratsk hydroelectric station was built during the Soviet era to power the manufacturing industry. Now it is flourishing in its new life providing cheap power to bitcoin mining enterprises. Russian bitcoin mining farms now account for about 600 megawatts of hash power, roughly 10% of the global total. In addition to the cheap energy, the area is also attractive to miners because its low temperatures reduce the cost of cooling, and because it's remote location enhances security. Equipment in the region is owned by people from as far away as America, Japan, Lithuania, Brazil, India, Poland, and China. Companies, taking advantage of the $.04 per kilowatt electricity rates, include Bitriver, Minery, and Cryptoreactor.

  3. Lightning Network Proving Less Electric for Bitcoin Than Promised - As designed, Bitcoin can only deliver 7 transactions per second. Clearly not enough for a global payment system. One attempt to bring it up to the required scale is the lightning network, a side chain that enables users to conduct a series of transactions, and then just report balances back to the main blockchain. This solution promises to deliver 10,000 transactions per second, which is closer to the 24,000 transactions per second that is the Visa network capacity. But, transacting via lightning requires a user to move their assets off of the main chain and onto a side chain. So far, Bitcoin's transaction fees have not become expensive enough to incentivize that behavior, and the lightning enabled assets are decreasing. Meanwhile, other platforms are pursuing scalability in their own ways, so it remains to be seen which solution will eventually win the day.

  4. Twain Out West: The Birth of a Literary Icon - Mark Twain joined the Missouri militia as the Civil War was breaking out, but when the unit was subsumed into the Confederate Army, Twain left the unit and headed west. Before becoming a novelist, he tried his hand as a silver miner and newspaper man. In 5 months, historians estimate that Twain wrote 5,400 shitposts err... articles, but since none have bylines, only about 500 have been verified as authentic. He described his work as a newspaper writer as monotonous drudgery, but still managed to decorate trivial-seeming topics with his own brand of humor.

  5. STEEM The Incredible Life Of One America's Greatest Lawmen - This is arguably not directly about business, leadership, or management. but it is interesting, and with the Steem blockchain down while I'm writing this post on Sunday, it's the closest I could get... This Steem essay is the first in a series to tell the story of "Texas' greatest law man", Frank Hamer. This part talks about Hamer's formative years, mentioning that his grandfather was captured and nearly killed by Indians, but managed to escape. Later in life, he became a Presbyterian minister. Hamer's father migrated west from Pennsylvania and Ohio, after joining the Army in 1874. I haven't watched it yet, but Frank Hamer is one of the characters in the Netflix series, The Highwaymen, and he is apparently best known for tracking and killing world-famous bankrobbers, Bonnie and Clyde. Check @janton's account later for the next post in the series.

    And just for fun, here are some songs that were insipired by Bonnie and Clyde:

    The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, Georgie Fame

The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde, Merle Haggard

Bonnie and Clyde, Beyonce and JayZ

Bonnie and Clyde, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot (French, no idea what the lyrics mean)

Die Toten (German - no idea what the lyrics mean)

(A 10% beneficiary has been applied to this post for @janton)

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