Weekend tech reading: Catching Silk Road's Dread Pirate Roberts

By on October 6, 2013, 11:42 AM
silk road, dread pirate roberts

How the feds took down the Dread Pirate Roberts The Dread Pirate Roberts, head of the most brazen drug trafficking site in the world, was a walking contradiction. Though the government says he raked in $80 million in commissions from running Silk Road, he allegedly lived under a false name in one bedroom of a San Francisco home that he shared with two other guys and for which he paid $1,000 a month in cash. Though his alleged alter ego penned manifestos about ending "violence, coercion, and all forms of force," the FBI claims that he tried to arrange a hit on someone who had blackmailed him. Ars Technica

Dell declares the PC 'undead,' Windows 8.1 starts to shine Dell really is pushing hard against the mindset that the PC is dead this week. The industry heavyweight had one of their largest PC launches ever and while tablets were a part of the launch, the devices didn’t eclipse the overall initiative. Personally, I think this is quite a strategic approach, simply because tablets haven’t been trending that well of late (particularly for Apple), and while volumes continue to rise, they are mostly tied to really cheap products. TG Daily

Remembering my friend, Hiroshi Yamauchi One day [circa 1985], my wife showed me an article in a Japanese magazine that said that Nintendo’s president Hiroshi Yamauchi played Go, a Japanese board game. Coincidentally, someone had sent me a Go game for the Commodore 64. The C64 had the same CPU as Nintendo’s Famicom (NES), a 6502. I sent Mr. Yamauchi a fax on a Tuesday, telling him I could make a Go game for the Famicom and that I would like to meet him before I left for the States that Saturday. Wired

China employs two million microblog monitors state media say The Beijing News says the monitors, described as internet opinion analysts, are on state and commercial payrolls. China's hundreds of millions of web users increasingly use microblogs to criticise the state or vent anger. Recent research suggested Chinese censors actively target social media. The report by the Beijing News said that these monitors were not required to delete postings. BBC

Hello, Nexus 5 service manual Well, here is a bountiful leak on a Saturday night. Take a look at the Nexus 5 official service manual (LG-D821), which gives us just about every dirty detail you could ask for outside of a release date and price. We’ve included the 281-page document for you below in case you are at home tonight chillin’. We’re out and about, but will have more tomorrow. Droid Life

Inside the Arctic Circle, where your Facebook data live Every year, computing giants including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Cisco Systems sell north of $100 billion in hardware. That's the total for the basic iron -- servers, storage, and networking products. Add in specialized security, data analytics systems, and related software, and the figure gets much, much larger. BusinessWeek

Mugged by a mug shot online In March last year, a college freshman named Maxwell Birnbaum was riding in a van filled with friends from Austin, Tex., to a spring-break rental house in Gulf Shores, Ala. As they neared their destination, the police pulled the van over, citing a faulty taillight. When an officer asked if he could search the vehicle, the driver -- a fraternity brother of Mr. Birnbaum’s who quickly regretted his decision -- said yes. The NY Times

Google is building Chrome OS straight into Windows 8 Google unveiled its Chrome Apps initiative recently to launch apps that exist outside of the browser and extend its reach into more of a platform, but it looks like the company has a whole lot more planned. Over the past few weeks, Google has been updating its developer version of the Chrome browser to run what's essentially Chrome OS within Windows 8's "Metro" mode. The Verge

NSA has built its own, secret, warrantless, shadow social network, and you've already joined it Soon after the very earliest reporting on Ed Snowden's leaked documents about PRISM, the folks from Datacoup put together the very amusing GETPRSM website, which looks very much like the announcement of a new social network, but (the joke is) it's really the NSA scooping up all our data and making the connections. Techdirt

Analysis of Silk Road's historical impact on Bitcoin Silk Road, the online drug bazaar that has eluded authorities and been ingrained in the bitcoin narrative for years, was shut down yesterday. Ross Ulbricht was named in the court documents outlining Silk Road’s activities, as were a number of key data points that offer insights into the impact the world’s most infamous retail website has had on bitcoin. The Genesis Block

Shrinking list of video games is dominated by blockbusters Big video game makers, like their cousins in books and music, have scrambled in recent years to adapt to the digital technologies buffeting their business. Tens of millions of people now play games on smartphones and tablets, usually for a sliver of the cost of playing on a game console. The NY Times

Tom Clancy's splintered legacy: great video games, troubling worldview If you'd asked me in 1998 to look fifteen years in the future and guess who the the most enduring names in video games would be, I might've listed the usual suspects: Sid Meier, Tim Schafer, Will Wright, Shigeru Miyamoto and maybe a few others. I probably wouldn't have included Tom Clancy. Kotaku




User Comments: 16

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Now Dread Pirate Roberts is going to share a one bedroom home with two other guys at Levenworth.

3 people like this | Guest said:

Poor guy, living in the land of the opportunity trying to make a living. If only the government had received tax on all these transactions.

The truth is America teaches propaganda; you've won everything that's ever come your way. The land of the free. Even though with almost 300 sovereign states in the world, nearly 200 have freedom. America only leads the world in two things: Military spending, and percentage of people incarcerated by population.

Decriminalize drugs and it will cut down on all this wasted tax money. Portugal did it in 2001. Gun violence reduced drastically. They offer assistance to addicts rather than prison terms. Less addicts, less related violence, less related casualties, and more money put towards good things like education.

I'm not anti-American. I know most of the people are good, great people. However they're fed false information through the media, and the government is secretly controlled by corporations.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm not anti-American. I know most of the people are good, great people. However they're fed false information through the media, and the government is secretly controlled by corporations.
I am American and completely agree with your comment.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Thanks for this.

Somehow you guys always came up with interesting read each week. :D

spencer spencer said:

Weird how in the first article it goes meth,lsd,and then cannabis as if it belonged in the same category.

MilwaukeeMike said:

. America only leads the world in two things: Military spending, and percentage of people incarcerated by population.

I'm not anti-American. I know most of the people are good, great people. However they're fed false information through the media, and the government is secretly controlled by corporations.

Another brilliant cynic. Is that you Michael Moore? You forgot GDP and personal income. Anyway, I know I'm completely guilty of feeding the troll on this one. I'm not surprised that there are people who side with the criminal and think the big bad govt should keep their nose out of that poor little guy's million dollar drug empire. But I am surprised that the majority of comments here side with the criminal.

Guest, here's some advice on not falling victim to the big bad corporate machine running America. Stay in your house and play video games all day. That way you don't have to 'work for the man' or pay any tax to the corrupt system.

Or maybe you were planning on doing that anyway, and took a break to try to justify it.

spencer spencer said:

Another brilliant cynic. Is that you Michael Moore? You forgot GDP and personal income. Anyway, I know I'm completely guilty of feeding the troll on this one. I'm not surprised that there are people who side with the criminal and think the big bad govt should keep their nose out of that poor little guy's million dollar drug empire. But I am surprised that the majority of comments here side with the criminal.

Guest, here's some advice on not falling victim to the big bad corporate machine running America. Stay in your house and play video games all day. That way you don't have to 'work for the man' or pay any tax to the corrupt system.

Or maybe you were planning on doing that anyway, and took a break to try to justify it.

don't you think it should be an individuals choice of what to put in his or her body? Your such a media puppet you probably think cannabis will kill you. LIBERTY the power of the PEOPLE is whats important don't you see the corruption around you add 2+2 don't you see the political tactics being used...obamacare written by insurance companies anti drug ads funded by beer companies use of the media to divide race further in-between us how the DHS wants billions of bullets and tanks in cities now (Boston specifacally) and yet a legal law abiding citizen still doesn't have the right to arm his or herself. Is there something wrong with the fact cops got applauded for killing an unarmed woman in cold blood? or does obama make it okay like everything else?

1 person liked this | Tygerstrike said:

@spencer...

We live in a country of Law. The Law states that these substances are illegal. As such, no matter WHAT your personal view on the substance is, it is ILLEGAL. Youre not V when you spark a J. Youre not Robin Hood when you do a line. You are just a addict feeding your addiction. Yes you SHOULD have the right to imbibe whatever you wish. But the same laws that protect you confine you. If you truly wish to effect social change, your not going to do it while getting high.

Now Im not saying "you" "youre" to say that you the individual does these things. But to point out to those that do that THEY are inevitably just breaking the law. The very same Law they want to protect them from the big bad terrorist. Or the Serial Killer.

Drugs are bad, and yes even MaryJane. YOU may handle the effects with no issue, but I KNOW for a fact that not everyone is as "cool" as you. Giving illegal drugs to children, Giving it to the old or infirm. Giving them to pregnant ladies. All of these are reasons WHY drugs are illegal. I could probably write pages of the trickle down effects that drug use causes, but that would be beating a dead horse. The point is they are illegal for a reason. Just because you do not agree with the Law, is no reason to skirt the Law. We as Americans and as individuals tend to see ourselves as the ONLY real ppl out there. Thats just not the case. Drugs cause harm to the community, to the indiviudal, and to their families as well. All very good reasons WHY its illegal.

But can you sit there and give a pro to the argument?? Even legalized the problems would increase. So until there is a pretty good pro against the Law, we will just have to continue to follow the Law to the best of our ability. And please dont be the teenager in this, Just because you CAN do something, doesnt mean you SHOULD. And trust me, just because it feels good is no reason to do it. Unless you have cancer or someother life ending disease. Those people need all the help they can get.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Don't you think it should be an individuals choice of what to put in his or her body?

I don't care if people put heroin or cocaine or addicting prescription pain killers in their bodies, except that then the taxpayers pay for their trips to the emergency room, the taxpayers pay their food stamps and unemployment when they can't find work, the taxpayers pay to take care of the children they leave behind. Maybe they should move to Portugal first.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You know why making drugs illegal is wrong? By making them illegal, they are tempting everyone even greater. People are always looking for ways to do things they shouldn't. And our fine government knows that it is job security (lifetime of money in the bank) as long as it remains illegal.

And for the record, I don't do drugs either. I despise everyone for there stupid habits. But our laws and punishments for breaking them are not working and therefor need to be re-evaluated.

spencer spencer said:

UP

@spencer...

We live in a country of Law. The Law states that these substances are illegal. As such, no matter WHAT your personal view on the substance is, it is ILLEGAL. Youre not V when you spark a J. Youre not Robin Hood when you do a line. You are just a addict feeding your addiction. Yes you SHOULD have the right to imbibe whatever you wish. But the same laws that protect you confine you. If you truly wish to effect social change, your not going to do it while getting high.

Now Im not saying "you" "youre" to say that you the individual does these things. But to point out to those that do that THEY are inevitably just breaking the law. The very same Law they want to protect them from the big bad terrorist. Or the Serial Killer.

Drugs are bad, and yes even MaryJane. YOU may handle the effects with no issue, but I KNOW for a fact that not everyone is as "cool" as you. Giving illegal drugs to children, Giving it to the old or infirm. Giving them to pregnant ladies. All of these are reasons WHY drugs are illegal. I could probably write pages of the trickle down effects that drug use causes, but that would be beating a dead horse. The point is they are illegal for a reason. Just because you do not agree with the Law, is no reason to skirt the Law. We as Americans and as individuals tend to see ourselves as the ONLY real ppl out there. Thats just not the case. Drugs cause harm to the community, to the indiviudal, and to their families as well. All very good reasons WHY its illegal.

But can you sit there and give a pro to the argument?? Even legalized the problems would increase. So until there is a pretty good pro against the Law, we will just have to continue to follow the Law to the best of our ability. And please dont be the teenager in this, Just because you CAN do something, doesnt mean you SHOULD. And trust me, just because it feels good is no reason to do it. Unless you have cancer or someother life ending disease. Those people need all the help they can get.

Why illegalize drugs that have a positive impact on your health if most of the population drink neurotoxins... illegalize aspartame and other toxins in our water and food then maybe ill believe it's for our own good. I don't ingest any substances to be cool, that's just silly. And also not everyone that does any substance sucks off the system (the system is an entirely different and complex issue in the first case). And for the record mary can cure cancer and stimulate brain cell growth meanwhile I can run a mile in 5 mins so whats the problem? I don't see it cool;to fight any form of corruption it's a duty not a fairytale.

Guest said:

I have tried most drugs. After trying the legal drug, alcohol, I was very interested to see how illegal drugs compared. They say marijuana is the gateway drug, it is actually alcohol. I came to the realization that short of injecting drugs, alcohol had the most server consequences. It was alcohol that would lower my inhibitions and make me want to do other drugs.

Some drugs I tried were a lot of fun, especially hallucinogens. Nothing wrong with having a good trip and enjoying some laughs. They're not the type of drug that you get addicted to. It's more like a good experience you're glad you had, but wouldn't need to do it again. Of course there are people with addictive personalities, smoke one cigarette, drink one glass of alcohol, eat one Big Mac... Those people should be offered help, not jail time, why should it be any different for other drugs?

I'm through experimenting with drugs. I'm happy I tried them when I was young though, they opened my mind and helped me to be accepting of others. Alcohol was the worst, only after drinking would I ever want to try a drug again. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't take prescription drugs, I don't take illicit drugs, I don't eat fast food, I exercise, eat healthy, and I very much enjoy feeling free of toxins. But everyone should be able to make their own decisions.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Alright @spencer, here's another argument for you then... Have you thought what would happen if weed were legal? Who do you think would benefit and who do you think would be hurt?

If everyone were corrupt as you say, then pot WOULD be legal. You know who wants pot made legal even more than you? Phillip Morris. Cigarettes have sort of a bad reputation and Big Tobacco would sure love to move onto being Big Cannabis. And yet it's not legal, so perhaps the corporations aren't running govt after all.

Do you know who it would hurt if pot were legal? Cancer patients, chronic pain patients, and pretty much anyone else who has a 'real' medical reason for smoking it. If pot were to become as legal and common as beer do you think insurance companies are going to be still paying for it? If you turn it into a recreational past-time then it won't be medicine anymore for those people, and they'll be screwed.

It'll also hurt all the small medicinal sellers. They'll lose all their business to the govt and Big Cannabis.

Sure it'll help raise some tax money, and those regular food farmers in CA who have their fields burned to make room for illegal squatting pot growers will get a break, but there are plenty of big downsides to consider.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Do you know who it would hurt if pot were legal? Cancer patients, chronic pain patients, and pretty much anyone else who has a 'real' medical reason for smoking it.
By that line of thought, there are billions of people not getting the medicines they need because they are legal. :rollseyes:

Making a medicine legal will not diminish the medicinal properties or the need to keep it branded as medicine. But the fact that it can be used as a medicine and actually used is two faced when considered illegal.

MilwaukeeMike said:

By that line of thought, there are billions of people not getting the medicines they need because they are legal. :rollseyes:

There are plenty of medications that are legal to buy at the pharmacy that you can get prescriptions for... like Claratin for example. But all of those are ONLY medicines. No body uses an over the counter drug to get high. Well... that I know of...

Making a medicine legal will not diminish the medicinal properties or the need to keep it branded as medicine. But the fact that it can be used as a medicine and actually used is two faced when considered illegal

There are hundreds of medications like that... any narcotic like Vicodin, Percoset, Valium, and on and on... But none of those are legal to buy like pot would be.

The problem is that once it's legal it won't be a 'medicine' any more, and the public perception will change. Even if you can get a script for it. It'll be like beer. And instead of being a chronic pain patient treating their pain, you'll be more like an alcoholic treating their depression with beer.

This isn't my argument anyway.... read this...

[link]

2 people like this | Guest said:

@ MilwaukeeMike : There's a difference between legalizing and decriminalizing. I think all drugs should be decriminalized. Decriminalization helps addicts and lowers taxes for everyone else. The government obviously doesn't like losing money.

I don't smoke pot, but for those who do, you want it decriminalized, not legalized (unless you want to pay more). For either option it's a slippery slope being that American society has already been conditioned to their current way of thinking.

Educate yourself, one of the biggest reasons for making pot illegal was racism.

1934 editorialized: "Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice."

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.