Boats, bad people, crypto and sports. Just normal Tabs stuff.
Tracy Alloway, co-host of the Odd Lots podcast at my LARP employer @business, needed to ship the contents of her Hong Kong apartment to New York. The good news is that in a still-snarled global logistics market she finally found space for a shipping container. The bad news is that it was on the Evergreen ship Ever Forward, which is now stuck in the mud outside of Baltimore. So instead of having a couch, Tracy has a podcast episode with Joe Weisenthal and Sal Mercogliano about why the Foreign Dredge Act Of 1906 means her furniture will probably be aground for several more weeks. I feel bad for her empty home but this is tremendous content. Sal Mercagliano runs the YouTube channel “What’s Going on With Shipping?” which is great if you want to know what’s going on with shipping. Also Today in Boats: National authorities continue to seize the property of Russian oligarchs, including at least eight superyachts and Paul Manafort. Insider’s Grace Kay and Sam Tabahriti reported that the yachts “could rapidly waste away without crews to maintain them,” and the same is likely true of Paul Manafort.
Bad People Updates
Sarah Lawrence cult dad Larry Ray feigned a seizure and collapsed in court again, and the U.S. Attorney’s office prosecuting him accidentally sent a list of one of his victim’s 112 sex work clients to a folder shared with news outlets, report Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh in NY Mag’s Court Appearances newsletter. The collapse of the JFK QAnon global politics fanfic cult, however, appears unfeigned. Vice’s David Gilbert recapped this season’s plot so far:
…the Ukraine war is part of a plan to uncover President Joe Biden’s criminality and replace him with JFK, who is very much alive and hiding in plain sight, disguised as former President Donald Trump.
I personally don’t believe the writers have any plan and the finale of this is gonna be some real “Lost season 6” nonsense. Jeffrey Epstein’s curséd islands are for sale. For just $125 million you could luxuriate in “two pools, a main residential compound, four guest villas, three private beaches, a gym and a tiki hut,” all drenched in Caribbean sunshine and residual psychic malignancy from the years of abuse that took place in them. And what’s going on with the purges in Russia? Isaac Chotiner talked to Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov about how true power in Russia has shrunk to just Putin himself and the army. Soldatov also doesn’t see any prospect of the Russian people standing up to Putin:
You have ordinary people, and people in the security services, and people in the military, and they are supportive of this war. And I don’t quite understand how we can humanize them back. I just don’t see a way.
According to the WSJ, NATO estimates that “up to 40,000 Russian troops have been killed, wounded, taken prisoner or are missing in Ukraine,” which would be about 21% of the original invasion force. Seems like eventually a lot of parents are going to wonder why their kids are still assigned to top-secret duty at a Belarusian crematorium, but what do I know.
Speaking of horrific grinding campaigns with no possible winner, crypto’s siege on every person or cultural artifact with any extractable value continues. It gives me no pleasure to introduce: the Mandelaverse. And Zaha Hadid Architects, the firm behind Qatar’s vagina stadium, has released pretend pictures of a pretend city linked in some nebulous way to an actual contested strip of land between Serbia and Croatia that’s been claimed by a pretend libertarian nation, all of which will supposedly exist at some point in the metaverse, or as it’s more commonly known, “Second Life.” Casey Newton expanded on Kyle Chayka’s reporting about ApeCoin, pointing out that it’s essentially a fake stock that allows investors to cash out early while still holding their equity, which is a neat trick if you have an endless hype machine to lure new bag holders into your pyramid scheme. And Kickstarter’s CEO Aziz Hasan will step down in April, just a few months after announcing a widely loathed crypto reboot for the crowdfunding platform. So that’s going well I guess.
Also Not Going Well:
"This is very frustrating, and it's very rude that Jonah left," said another employee. "It's fucking disrespectful. All of this is really disheartening and hurtful. This is why we have a fucking union. You can't just treat people like this."
Okta’s dismissal of the LAPSUS$ breach, which went from “The Okta service has not been breached” at 10:45am yesterday to “we have concluded that a small percentage of customers – approximately 2.5% – have potentially been impacted” at 6:31pm. But only 2.5%, that’s not so bad ri—
Ah, well, nevertheless. Microsoft took advantage of the distraction to mutter “oh they hacked us too lol don’t worry about it though.” The South American hacking and extortion group behind this breach is currently on vacation until the 30th, but will gladly respond to your message when they’re back in the office.
And Now… Sports?
Bloomberg’s Ainslie Chandler:
Today’s Song: Sonic Youth, “Out & In”
~ the only thing necessary for the triumph of tabs is for good men to do nothing ~