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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)

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Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Questions Answers
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself? I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
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Why did homeland security want to talk to you? They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible? I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
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But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught? they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing? I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
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Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks. It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
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So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
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Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative! I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks! I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort? There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
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By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies. FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious? We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts. I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point. I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you? By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible... The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually... I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity? A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics? I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive? I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all. DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ? So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins? His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road? Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question? They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done. lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online? I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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[deleted] You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe? It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru! re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you. I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back? i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios? Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits? Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt. Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there? It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you." No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"? It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite? After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him. Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author? I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it? By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web? There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76 1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
the below is a reply to the above
Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop. Yes, I wrote about them in The Darkest Web
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit? There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

Fortnight Tech Roundup & Discourse - IRNSS NavIC

Fortnight Tech Roundup & Discourse - IRNSS NavIC

Welcome to this week's tech round up and discourse post.

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EBay, Stripe and Mastercard drop out of Facebook’s Libra Association techcrunch
Club Factory raises $100M to expand its lifestyle e-commerce platform in India economictimes
Donald Trump joins Amazon's video game streaming platform Twitch cnn
Bill McDermott steps down as SAP’s CEO wsj
Elon Musk says that NASA is free to share all SpaceX IP with ‘anyone it wants’ gizmodo
NASA’s new Moon-bound spacesuit is safer, smarter and much more comfortable nasa.gov
Steam will soon let you play local-only multiplayer games with far off friends pcgamer
Dyson kills its electric car project and turns to solid-state batteries guardian
Amazon Music arrives on Apple TV pocket-lint
Google takes AMP to the OpenJS Foundation openjsf
Russia’s Yandex introduces an Echo Dot-style smart speaker techcrunch
Cisco hit by an internal network outage cbronline
Xage now supports hierarchical blockchains for complex implementations globenewswire
NASCAR could debut hybrids as early as 2022 thedrive
Apple pulls HKmap from App Store, the day after Chinese state media criticized its ‘unwise and reckless decision’ to approve it cnbc
Virgin Orbit plans to send cubesats to Mars as early as 2022 cnet
Call of Duty is the biggest mobile game launch ever, with 100 million downloads independent
Pinterest launches a new ‘Lite’ app for emerging markets androidpolice
Microsoft’s Your Phone app can now route calls from your Android phone to your PC blog.windows
European risk report flags 5G security challenges techcrunch
Toyota, GM, Nvidia, Bosch, Arm and others form new autonomous driving tech consortium theiet
China attacks Apple for allowing Hong Kong crowdsourced police activity app nyt
AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 is its new entry-level competitor to Nvidia’s GTX 1650 pcworld
Amazon, Walmart confront India’s slowing economy as holiday season growth stalls techcrunch
Essential reveals Project Gem smartphone with very long, unusual design engadget
Twitter admits it used two-factor phone numbers and emails for serving targeted ads help.twitter
Arm brings custom instructions to its embedded CPUs developer.arm
Sony’s next console is the PlayStation 5, arriving holidays 2020 theverge
Chinese firms Tencent, Vivo and CCTV suspend ties with the NBA over Hong Kong tweet edition.cnn
Eight Chinese tech firms placed on US Entity List for their role in human rights violations against Muslim minority groups techcrunch
Mars Curiosity Rover finds evidence of an ancient oasis on Mars earthsky
Instagram is killing its creepy stalking feature, the Following tab androidpolice
Ex-Tinder CEO files lawsuit saying sexual assault allegations against him are defamation theverge
Fire TV might not get Disney+ as Amazon and Disney clash over ads variety
Amazon introduces a Kindle for kids indiatoday
Apple’s MacOS Catalina is now available 9to5mac
Spotify gains Siri support on iOS 13, arrives on Apple TV forbes
Disney is reportedly banning Netflix ads across its entertainment TV networks theverge
Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to PC in November rockpapershotgun
NASA shares 3D Moon data for CG artists and creators space
PayPal is the first company to drop out of the Facebook-led Libra Association economictimes
Iranian hackers targeted US 2020 campaign, says Microsoft bbc
Apple CEO Tim Cook slams Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency as a power grab forbes
Google-backed Dunzo raises $45M to expand its hyperlocal delivery startup in India fortuneindia
NASA’s first all-electric experimental X-plane is ready for testing nasa.gov
Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan macrumorsInstagram launches Threads, a Close Friends chat app with auto-status wired
India’s Fyle bags $4.5M to expand its expense management platform in the US, other international markets techcrunch
Uber launches a shift-work finder app, Uber Works, starting in Chicago tnw
Redesigned Google Shopping goes live, with price tracking, Google Lens for outfits and more pcmag
Zuckerberg Plans to Sue if Elizabeth Warren Tries to Break Up Facebook gizmodo
Samsung pulls the plug on Chinese smartphone production techcrunch
Microsoft showcases an Android Surface 'phone' and dual-screen Windows Variant cnet
Microsoft’s latest Surface Laptop arrives in 13- and 15-inch models theverge
India’s NoBroker raises $50M to help people buy and rent without real estate brokers business-standard
Cybersecurity giant Comodo can’t even keep its own website secure forums.comodo
NASA awards $43.2M to Blue Origin, SpaceX and others for tech to take us to the Moon and Mars techcrunch
NASA launches a new planet-hunting telescope using a giant balloon phys.org
UPS gets FAA approval to operate an entire drone delivery airline nyt
Streamlit launches open-source machine learning application development framework techcrunch
WhatsApp tests self-destructing messages theverge
Europe’s top court says active consent is needed for tracking cookies techcrunch
SpaceX details Starship and Super Heavy in new website techcrunch
Hyundai is getting into the flying car business newatlas
Microsoft makes Windows Virtual Desktop generally available globally zdnet
Google's Project Jacquard is available on new Levi's jackets youtube
PayPal to enter China through GoPay acquisition venturebeat

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The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) recently become fully-operational and has been provided with the operational name of NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation). Developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with the objective of offering positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) to the users on a variety of platforms with a 24 hour x 7 day service availability under all weather conditions - in its service area with a position accuracy of < 20 m throughout India and within the region of coverage extending about 1500 km beyond. nih.gov
Having an autonomous regional satellite navigation system of one’s own offers strategic autonomy in military operations. The GPS that we have known and used all along is the satellite-based radio navigation system owned by the US government and operated by the American Air Force. During the Kargil War 20 years ago, the US refused to provide India critical information on the movement and precise location of Paki enemy troops. toi A need for an indigenous satellite navigation was felt earlier, but Kargil experience made the nation realize it's inevitability. Geopolitical needs teaches us that some countries can deny us the service in times of conflict, a way of arm twisting.
With an accuracy of <10 m on Restricted and Encrypted Service (RES) while an accuracy of <20 m on Standard Positioning Service (SPS), IRNSS will offer 2 level of services for very differing purposes. isro.gov.in \PDF]) Almost all Military and Reconnaissance applications will utilize RES while SPS will be available for civilian uses. unvienna \PDF])

The IRNSS space segment architecture consists of 3 satellites in GEO (Geostationary Orbit) at 32.5°, 83° and 131.5° East while 4 satellites in geosynchronous orbit placed at inclination of 29° with longitude crossing at 55° and 111.75° East forming an analemma. isac.gov.in Out of the 4 GSO satellites, the first sat IRNSS-1A failed in orbit due to atmoic clock malfunction. On August 31, 2017, sat IRNSS-1H was meant to replace defunct IRNSS-1A, failed to deploy due to malfunction in payload fairing mechanism. Though failures are not uncommon in space missions of even developed nations, India is not in a position where it can afford even relatively minor glitches neither financially nor in terms of reaching the higher goals it has set for itself. firstpost

IRNSS Analemma

Unlike GPS which is dependent only on L-band, NAVIC has dual frequency (S and L bands). When low frequency signal travels through atmosphere, its velocity changes due to atmospheric disturbances. US banks on atmospheric model to assess frequency error and it has to update this model from time to time to assess the exact error. In India's case, the actual delay is assessed by measuring the difference in delay of dual frequency (S and L bands). Therefore, NavIC is not dependent on any model to find the frequency error and is more accurate than GPS. toi
Studies have also shown marked improvement in GDoP (Geometric dilution of precision) values when IRNSS is used in conjunction with GPS constellation for position fix in primary coverage region of IRNSS. Hence IRNSS can be augmented with GPS to improve position accuracy in the given region. ias.ac.in

The IRNSS is being developed parallel to the GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Satellite Navigation) program that in essence use GPS signals for navigation but after making them much more reliable for safety critical applications like in civil aviation., the ISRO SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) version of an overlay system for GNSS signal corrections. earth.esa.int As of 2013, the statutory filing for frequency spectrum of Global Indian Navigational System (GINS) satellite orbits in international space, has been completed. hindubusinessline GINS is supposed to have a constellation of 24 satellites, positioned 24,000 km (14,913 mi) above Earth. wikipedia)

On Sep 24, 2019 Global mobile telephony standards body, 3GPP, gave its approval to NaVIC (Proposed jointly by Reliance Jio and ISRO). 3gpp.org \XLSX]) The approval has been given for the system’s use in Rel-16 LTE and Rel-17 5G NR specifications, paving the way for wider commercial adoption of NaVIC, allowing it to be integrated with 4G, 5G and internet of things (IoT). 3gpp.org \ZIP]) Thus, electronics companies can start designing and building integrated circuits and mass manufacture other products uniquely created to be compatible with NavIC. From what all scant information I was able to gather it seems Broadcom was first to introduce BCM47756 3gpp.org \ZIP]) chipset integrated with NavIC and Xiaomi Mi8 was the first phone to have the capabilities. insidegnss Will the introduction of indigenous satnav be another step closer towards being a global power? Comments open.
PS: Here's an interesting presentation prepared by Space Application Center that goes a little deep inside Navigation with Indian Constellation http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/icg/2018/icg13/05.pdf

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And in the last, here's 19th-Century Vision of the Year 2000 by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000.
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Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:France_in_XXI_Century_(fiction))
submitted by chummekiraat to IndiaSpeaks [link] [comments]

04-03 12:33 - 'Paul Le Roux' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/financeoptimum removed from /r/Bitcoin within 191-201min

'''
Paul Le Roux is a fascinating character, whose story entails drugs, gold, arms dealing, North Koreans, Iranians, elite-level encryption, Somali pirates, women...and more women.
Let's get into it...
Part 1/5 - The Early Years
Paul Le Roux was born on Christmas Eve, 1972, in Bulawayo, the second-largest city in what was then called—by the white minority that governed it, at least— Rhodesia.
In 1980, Robert Mugabe became prime minister of what would now be called Zimbabwe, ending minority white rule in the country.
Four years later, when Le Roux was 12, the family relocated to South Africa.
Not long after the move, in exchange for washing his father’s car, Le Roux was given his first computer. After that, a relation of Le Roux states that he became "completely anti-social.”
When Le Roux was 15 or 16, in the late 1980s, the local police raided the family home and arrested Paul for selling pornography. After that, Le Roux turned even more inward.
Although he was an excellent student, he despised the idea of learning Afrikaans, which was compulsory in South African schools, describing it as "a dead language" that he "didn't want to learn."
At 16, he dropped out of high school and decided to follow his interest in computers, taking a local programming course.
Family lore has it that after he spent one class explaining some technical fact to the teacher, he got a letter saying he no longer needed to attend. He then completed a year’s worth of material in eight weeks!
Accounts of Le Roux do indicate that he was exceptionally gifted, and people who worked with him described him as a genius.
After returning from a family holiday to Disneyland in the US, 17-year-old Le Roux decided to leave South Africa, and departed for the UK eight months later to work as a programmer.
He then moved from the UK to the US, where he lived in Virginia Beach.
After six months in the US, he followed his then-girlfriend Michelle to Australia in 1995. The couple married and Le Roux acquired Australian citizenship.
Le Roux frequented message boards and enjoyed trolling Australians. A typical post read:
"All of Australia could disappear into the Pacific and the only difference it would make to the World is the Americans would have one less pussy country to protect."
His posts caused outrage on the board - someone even changed their handle to fuck @ you.paul
Le Roux would later declare that his correspondents had fallen for his ploy:
"Australians are east to provoke and your postings (including 2 death threats, numerous flames, and one guy who swears he has my address & phone number) have provided me with hours of amusement."
Of course, Le Roux did more than just troll Australian message boards in this period...
Le Roux had started building E4M - Encryption for the Masses - in 1997, releasing it at the end of 1998.
Part 2/5 - The Turning Point
E4M allowed users to encrypt entire hard drives, and to conceal the existence of encrypted files (such that prying eyes wouldn't even know they were there).
According to Le Roux, the software was written from scratch, with thousands of hours going into its development and testing.
As well as this, in the [Politics section of the E4M website]1 , Le Roux published a sort of Manifesto, describing how "governments are increasingly relying on electronic data gathering" and how "Strong Encryption is the mechanism with which to combat these intrusions, preserve your rights, and guarantee your freedoms into the information age and beyond."
In the spirit of the open-source software movement in the late 90s, Le Roux released E4M for free and made the code available for other people to improve.
Therefore, with no income from his two years of labor, he was struggling financially. His marriage fell apart violently and the couple got divorced in 1999.
Le Roux first relocated to Hong Kong, then to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He married a Dutch citizen named Lilian, and they had a child shortly after.
In 2000, in order to monetize E4M, Le Roux launched [SW Professionals]2 in 2000.
Based in South Africa, the company offered offshore programming, including E4M customization.
One of Le Roux's clients was an Italian telecoms engineer called Wilfried Hafner, who had corresponded with Le Roux for several years about E4M.
Hafner had founded a company to create a commercial encryption product that would combine some of the elements of E4M with another piece of software, Scramdisk. The new company would be called SecurStar, and its product would be called DriveCrypt.
Hafner hired Le Roux to build DriveCrypt's underlying engine.
At the time, Le Roux was desperate for money - he drove a beat up car and worked out of a Rotterdam apartment small enough that, on the phone, Hafner could often hear a baby crying in the background.
Hafner on the other hand was living in the South of France, and Le Roux openly coveted the kind of success that he imagined led to such a home. He told Hafner: "I am ambitious, I want to have all this."
However, in the middle of the development work for DriveCrypt, Hafner discovered that Le Roux was still working on E4M and had incorporated some of his work for SecurStar into his personal project. As a result, Hafner terminated Le Roux's contract.
By October 2002, SW Professionals was now defunct and Le Roux was openly soliciting for work on the alt.security.scramdisk forum.
It was around this time that Le Roux received some news that "shattered his whole world."
In 2002, he travelled to Zimbabwe to retrieve a copy of his birth certificate.
On the trip, his aunt and uncle pulled him aside to tell him the truth, and it was then that Le Roux found out he was adopted.
Although many family members had known for years, Le Roux’s parents had elected to keep him in the dark about it.
It was the "unknown" part that hurt him the most.
Shortly after, Le Roux appeared on an another set of message boards - he seemed to be launching some kind of moneymaking scheme that required opening a company based in the U.S.
In 2004, a group of anonymous developers did exactly what Hafner had feared: they released a new and powerful, free file-encryption program, called TrueCrypt, built on the code for E4M.
TrueCrypt combined security and convenience, giving users the ability to strongly encrypt files or entire disk drives while continuing to work with those files as they would a regular file on their computer.
Hafner and his SecurStar colleagues suspected that Le Roux was part of the TrueCrypt collective but couldn't prove it.
As we'll explore in Part 5, TrueCrypt is an interesting part of this story...
Part 3/5 - Money and Power
After Le Roux's departure from the encryption world, at least under his own name, he entered the Internet-pharmacy business.
What Le Roux did next was combine two of America's favourite past times, popping pills and online shopping, and the results were sensational. He turned over around $300MM in 4 years.
In 2007, Le Roux moved his family to Manila, where he would base his operations. He also had call centres in Israel. This was a brilliant move by Le Roux, as the authorities were not looking at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as hot-spots for a large-scale organised crime operation...
Le Roux was moving serious volume during this time - his operation was once one of FedEx's largest customers.
A relative of Le Roux pointed to 2008 or 2009 as the point at which Le Roux snapped.
"I think the money got to him. I personally saw $100 million in his office in Makati. Cash, bud. It was fucking ridiculous. It was in wicker baskets lined up on the side of the wall in his office."
Le Roux's appetite only grew, and not just in the literal sense (he was known as the "Fat Man" in the Philippines): he wanted to be a different kind of businessman, a lord of the real underworld, not just the virtual one.
An Israeli associate of Le Roux tells how "Le Roux wanted to make more money, fast. Le Roux wanted to diversify, to be bigger. The only way to do that was illegal. He was living inside a movie, you could almost say."
As well as this, Le Roux was notorious for his sexual exploits - he once wrote to his cousin, "15-20 a week, sometimes 3 per night."
A former call centre employee tells how Le Roux approached him with an assignment, which at first he thought was collecting women for Le Roux to open a bar. However, that was not the reason, as Le Roux explained:
"I'm going to impregnate them, and build an army of kids."
Le Roux asked him to make a spreadsheet to track the women: their names, dress size, age, medical checkups. The operation was given top priority by Le Roux, who even sent his emissary to China to try to find women there.
It is rumoured that Le Roux has at least 11 children to 7 different women!
Le Roux's businesses expanded into logging, precious metals mining, gold smuggling, land deals, cocaine shipping, and arms dealing. These activities were spread across dozens of shell companies registered all over the world.
Of course, he needed to launder the money. Le Roux used paid muscle in Hong Kong to swap cash for gold bars, and then proceeded to stash the gold in warehouses in Hong Kong (this totalled around $50MM).
Speaking of paid muscle, Le Roux had plenty: ex-soldiers and mercenaries made sure any problems were dealt with force if necessary.
Le Roux was closest to ex-British soldier Dave Smith, who would act as the leader of the mercenaries and allow Le Roux to insulate himself and not have to deal with people. In fact, Le Roux once told Smith "I live vicariously through you."
However, things took a turn for the worse, at least from Dave Smith's perspective, as Smith stole $5MM worth of Gold from Le Roux.
Le Roux was furious. He then summoned Smith to his place in the country, and asked him to dig a hole as they needed to stash some gold. However, when he arrived, he was greeted by a South African hit-man. After the hit-man had finished shooting Smith, Le Roux then grabbed the gun and fired into Smith's corpse.
Le Roux then set about building an arms base in Somalia.
To achieve this, Le Roux called upon an ex-soldier from Europe, code-named 'Jack' to work for him on the ground in Somalia.
At sea, Jack had to bribe Somali pirates.
It was actually this activity in Somalia that landed Le Roux on the radar of the DEA, as he popped up in a UN Report on security in Somalia.
The DEA were now on his tail. Of course, his encryption skills came in handy - Le Roux's thick layers of encryption meant that the DEA needed someone on the inside...
Part 4/5 - "Well played gentlemen, well played"
Le Roux was getting more and more paranoid about people in his organisation stealing from him. Without justification, he suspected that his self proclaimed 'Golden Boy' Jack was stealing from him - so he ordered a hit on Jack.
This was a huge mistake on Le Roux's part, as Jack then called a CIA hotline and went on the run. It was 18 months later that a DEA investigating Le Roux found Jack's message to the CIA. The DEA agent then called Jack. Scared for his life, Jack agreed to turn informant.
In the meantime, Le Roux then had a change of heart and apologised to Jack for ordering the hit on him. The DEA then asked Le Roux to go back to work for Le Roux - they now had someone on the inside.
To tempt Le Roux, the DEA devised a sting operation. They knew that Le Roux wanted novelty and excitement. So they fabricated the scenario that Jack had made contact with a high profile Colombian trafficker, and the Colombians wanted to bypass the Mexicans for their meth supply in the US.
Le Roux was hooked. However, the DEA needed to lure Le Roux out of Manila, as his network of corrupt officials would ensure he will never be arrested.
Jack needed to get Le Roux to Liberia (where the DEA had a trusted ally in Fombah Sirleaf, Head of Liberia's National Security Agency).
Jack achieved this by saying that they needed to meet a cartel representative to finalise the deal.
It worked, and Le Roux was arrested. Initially, Le Roux went into passive resistance - he was a big unit (hence the nickname "Fat Man") - and it took around 10 agents to get him on the plane to fly back to the US.
Well he settled on the plane, the first thing Le Roux said to the DEA agents was: "Well played gentlemen, well played."
He then said: "If you're looking at me, then clearly you're looking at bigger things..."
The DEA agents were intrigued: "No Paul, you're the prize - what could possibly be bigger than you?"
Le Roux responded: "Nation states gentlemen, nation states."
He then started to spew out extremely valuable information on North Korea and Iran.
Of course, this wasn't the only leverage Le Roux had...
The enforcers who were once on Le Roux's payroll needed to be held accountable for their numerous murders, and the DEA were desperate to get them behind bars. Le Roux was key in their eventual capture. But that's not all: a crucial piece to this story is Part 5...
Part 5/5 - TrueCrypt
As we discussed previously, Le Roux was rumoured to be a member of the TrueCrypt collective.
In November 2012, a man with the online handle Cincinnatus decided to throw a party in Hawaii. The idea arose out of an email exchange with Runa Sandvik, a developer and expert on the online software Tor, which allows its users to mask the physical location of their computers on the Internet.
After she gave a Tor tutorial on Reddit, Cincinnatus sent Sandvik an encrypted message. Cincinnatus told Sandvik that he lived in Hawaii. Sandvik mentioned that she would be there on vacation the following month and could give a talk on Tor.
Cincinnatus suggested they host a “cryptoparty,” a phenomenon that had arisen around that time among technology- and privacy-conscious activists. The date was set for December 11.
Unbeknownst to Sandvik, her fellow party planner was hatching a much more elaborate education scheme. Four days after he contacted Sandvik, Cincinnatus sent an email to the journalist Glenn Greenwald. “The security of people’s communications is very important to me,” he wrote. In a series of emails, he suggested that Greenwald set up an encrypted means by which sources could contact him.
Cincinnatus organized the cryptoparty at a hacker space called HiCapacity, located in the back of a furniture store in Honolulu.
When Sandvik arrived around 6 p.m., Cincinnatus introduced himself as Ed and told her that he worked at the computer-hardware company Dell.
Ed kicked off the evening by welcoming the attendees, then invited Sandvik to give her presentation on Tor. When she was finished, Ed pulled out his laptop, plugged it into the projector, and began his own instructional talk about TrueCrypt. In Ed’s presentation, Sandvik later wrote, he “pointed out that while the only known name associated with TrueCrypt is someone in the Czech Republic, TrueCrypt is one of the best open-source solutions available.”
Six months later, in June 2013, Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras published the first of a series of articles that grew out of their contact with Cincinnatus.
In time they revealed that his full name was Edward Snowden, that he had worked in various capacities at the National Security Agency, and that he had downloaded and handed over a trove of documents from the NSA in an effort to blow the whistle on what he believed were egregious privacy encroachments by the U.S. government.
Among them was a document revealing that TrueCrypt was one of a small number of encryption programs that had withstood the NSA’s efforts to crack it.
What Snowden and the rest of the world wouldn’t know for another two years was that Paul Le Roux, the man whose code formed the foundation of True Crypt, was at that very moment in the custody of the U.S. government. Le Roux was in a bind, facing the full force of a U.S. federal prosecution for any number of his extraordinary array of crimes. The only way out was to spill his secrets...
[[link]4
'''
Paul Le Roux
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: financeoptimum
1: e4m.net/**l*ht*l 2: e4m*net* 3: www.yout*be.co*/watc**v=z**aMoJ**k* 4: www.youtube.com/watc*?v*z*Za*o***kc**^*
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]

MeWe: A trip report

Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community, and others, is MeWe with over 250 mentions. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS. It is headed by professed Libertarian CEO Mark Weinstein.
As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations.
This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.

Leadership

Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein.
Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company).
Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books.
His Crunchbase bio is a repeat of the MeWe content.

Advisory Board

Ownership & Investment

MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016.
Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041
Crunchbase Profile.
Founded: 2012 (source)
Secured $1.2M in seed funding in 2014.
2016 valuation: $20m (source]
Backers:
Despite the business address, the company claims to be based in Los Angeles County, California and is described by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a Culver City, CA, company.

Business

Policy

In an August 6, 2018 Twitter post, Weinstein promotes MeWe writing:
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
Highlights of these follow.

Privacy

The privacy policy addresses:

Terms of Service

The ToS addresses:
Effective: November 6, 2018.

FAQ

The FAQ addresses:

Values

This emphasises that people are social cratures and private people by right. The service offers the power of self expression under an umbrella of safety. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy.
Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.

Privacy Bill of Rights

A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
  1. You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
  2. You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
  3. You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
  4. Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
  5. You control who can access your content.
  6. You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
  7. Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
  8. Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
  9. Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
  10. You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.

Press

There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.

Self-reported articles

The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press page:
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.).
There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.

Other mentions

A DuckDuckGo search produces several other press mentions, including:

Technology

This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.

Mobile Web

The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.

Mobile App

There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
Crunchbase cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.

Desktop Web

Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button.
The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.)
The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.

Onboarding

The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.

Interface

Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site.
Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not provide tooltips for navigational aid.

Features

Among the touted features of MeWe are:

Community

A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.

Size

Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com" on Twitter.
The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members.
This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.

Active Users

MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.

Groups

MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest.
"MeWe has over 60,000 open groups" according to its FAQ.
The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here.
A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories.
The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5.
Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.

Google+ Groups

The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.

Political Groups

It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ that:
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
  1. Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
  2. The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
  3. Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
  4. Drain The Swamp (4978)
  5. Libertarians (4528)
  6. United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
  7. The Right To Self Defense (3757)
  8. Alternative Media (3711)
  9. Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
  10. Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
  11. Return of the Republic (2509)
  12. Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
  13. Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
  14. Berners for Progress (1963)
  15. Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
  16. The American Conservative (1839)
  17. I Am The NRA (1704)
  18. Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
  19. We Love Donald Trump (1611)
  20. MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
  21. Q (1396)
  22. ClashDaily.com (1384)
  23. news from the front (1337)
  24. Basket of Deplorables (1317)
  25. Payton's Park Bench (1283)
  26. Convention of States (1282)
  27. Britons For Brexit (1186)
  28. MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
  29. MeWe Free Press (1119)
  30. The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
  31. Libertarian (1097)
  32. WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
  33. AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
  34. #WalkAway Campaign (894)
  35. ALEX JONES (877)
  36. The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
  37. We Support Donald Trump! (810)
  38. The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
  39. TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
  40. Official Tea Party USA (749)
  41. Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
  42. Yes Scotland (697)
  43. "WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
  44. Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
  45. Anarcho-Capitalism (658)
  46. Ted Cruz for President (650)
  47. No Lapdog Media (647)
  48. Q Chatter (647)
  49. Daily Brexit (636)
  50. Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
  51. The Trumps Storm Group (600)
  52. QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
  53. 100% American (569)
  54. Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
  55. Deep State (560)
  56. In the Name of Liberty (557)
  57. Material Planet (555)
  58. WikiUnderground (555)
  59. Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
  60. Magna Carta Group (520)
  61. Constitutional Conservatives (506)
  62. Question Everything (503)
  63. Conspiracy Research (500)
  64. Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
  65. Conservative Misfit's (479)
  66. Canadian politics (478)
  67. Anarchism (464)
  68. HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
  69. Deplorable (450)
  70. Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
  71. UK Politics (430)
  72. Bongino Fan Page (429)
  73. Radical Conservatives (429)
  74. RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
  75. The Deplorables (409)
  76. America's Freedom Fighters (401)
  77. Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
  78. CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
  79. Political satire (383)
  80. RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
  81. UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
  82. The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
  83. End The Insanity (349)
  84. Coming American Civil War! (345)
  85. Constitutional Conservatives (343)
  86. United Nations Watch (342)
  87. A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
  88. The New Libertarian (335)
  89. Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
  90. DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
  91. American Conservative Veterans (331)
  92. Anarchism/Agorism/Voluntaryism (328)
  93. America Needs Donald Trump (326)
  94. The UKIP Debating Society (321)
  95. Coalition For Trump (310)
  96. Egalitarianism (306)
  97. FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
  98. 2nd Amendment (287)
  99. Never Forget #SethRich (286)
  100. Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:

Conclusion

Whilst there may not be a political agenda, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects.
Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.

Updates

submitted by dredmorbius to plexodus [link] [comments]

AMA: I travelled to Turkey to get an FUE Hair Transplant: 5000 Grafts, Dr Koray Erdogan, ASMED Clinic

Hi Guys (& Gals?),
Just wanted to quickly thank you all for your contributions to these forums. You really made a huge difference to my journey.
After over an entire year of research, here's my input. I've tried to make it short and precise to exactly what I would've liked to know as I was making this decision.
Started losing my hair at 21, now 29. I live in Sydney, and flew over to Istanbul to get an FUE Hair Transplant done. It was last year that my hair loss kicked into overdrive, with that tingling/sensitive/burning sensation that many of you might already know (ask me for more info if interested).
Pictures:
Pre-op:
  1. https://imgur.com/jKO02ZT
  2. https://imgur.com/wiSKWNo
  3. https://imgur.com/nBXjqiO
1 day post-op:
  1. https://imgur.com/3sjG7XB
  2. https://imgur.com/IYrujam
  3. https://imgur.com/KImhO7e
16 days post-op:
  1. https://imgur.com/dVmh7aU
  2. https://imgur.com/p9755Xh
  3. https://imgur.com/mm9aPgf
(You can see that there is some redness, and the hair is overall pretty thin. A lot of the hair had fallen, which I understand is part of the process)
30 days Post-Op:
  1. https://imgur.com/OLQvPPF
  2. https://imgur.com/jX6QXKH
  3. https://imgur.com/GbjRt3Q
60 days Post-Op:
1: https://imgur.com/K0Pkoth
2: https://imgur.com/nrlnjGe
3: https://imgur.com/Of2KkXh
4: https://imgur.com/rbUZS9v
No hair cuts up to this point except for my side-burns. What you see is the growth since the surgery.
Day 94:
https://imgur.com/sPzZKDG
https://imgur.com/dH5AElx
https://imgur.com/pR6cQxc
https://imgur.com/XhcUIo7
Day 288 (13 photos):
https://imgur.com/a/78IBTHF
I'll update with more photos if people are interested.
Definitions
  • Donor area: The back of my head (and sides), where there is no hair loss.
  • Recipient area: Where the grafts are planted (Balding areas)
  • Graft: This is a follicle unit, and it can carry multiple hairs (1 to 6)
  • Total Donor Capacity: This is the amount I could extract, while still enjoying a natural-looking donor area. No harvesting beyond this amount.
  • Dr Koray Erdogan: There is a wikipedia page on him.
  • Patient Coordinator: This is the person that coordinates for you both information and logistics. He/She is also a translator and will be by your side for most of the operation.
The Basics
  • Age: 29
  • Norwood: Probably 4
  • Total Grafts: 5000 Grafts, Yielding 10,400 Hairs
  • Operation Date: 17/April/2018 - Today is 16 days post-op.
  • Total Cost Breakdown:
2.5 Euro Per Graft for the operation and 3 day accomodation (together) + Extra Accomodation (around 80 Euro per night) + Economy Ticket + Pocket Money
12,500 + 240 + 840 + 100 = 13,680 Euro
  • Finasteride: Yes. Started 1 month before the surgery @ 0.5mg, and now on 1mg for the next 12 months. See Finasteride Section
  • Total Donor Capacity: 8,400 (At the clinic, I've seen people ranging between 6,500 and 9,400)
  • Total Days: 7
1: Arrival and Planning. 2: First operation - 2500 Grafts (Includes all three phases: Extraction, Incision and Implantation). 3: 2nd Operation - 2500 Grafts. 4: Washing and removal of bandages. 5: RecoveWash at the clinic/Eat Turkish Kebabs. 6: RecoveWash at the clinic/Eat Turkish Kebabs. 7: Self-Wash on Sunday and Fly.
Payment
I'm not a rich person, and have been worried about this aspect throughout the entire process. I eventually decided to take out a bank loan of the total amount, and signed to pay it off over 2 years (with a 10% interest rate).
I transferred the maximum amount allowed by the clinic (3,000 Euro) via WorldFirst, which had the best exchange rate. And I carried the remainder in cash (exchanged AUD to EUR via TravelEx - I actually negotiated a rate, just like a peasant. lol)
The Operation
The first day is all about planning. You get photographed, and then Dr Koray will study the degree of your hair loss and where the grafts would be best placed. He builds a strategy for you, and explains it in detail.
I have to mention that Finasteride was part of this strategy for me, since I agreed to stick to it. This means that the Dr would focus on the areas where I've completely lost my hair, and go easy on the areas that are simply thinning. As he explained it, after 1 year, Finasteride would've hopefully done it's magic on the thinning areas, and the bald spots would simply grow the implanted hair. He also shared with me some examples of what the result should look like (where a person didn't transplant hair into a thinning area, and it was pretty dense eventually). Naturally, if you decide you don't want to take the drug, I'd imagine the strategy will be different.
I had to do the operation over 2 big sessions, 2500 grafts each. Each session is 3 parts: Extraction, Incision and Implantation. Both the Extraction and Implantation parts are conducted by a team of surgeons dedicated to you, and the incision session is conducted by Dr Koray himself. Just like many on these forums, I've criticised this method, as I wanted to work with a clinic where the Dr does all the stages himself. When I went to the ASMED clinic, I realised that you're paying for the methods, tools and process, and not for who does the work. The extraction and implantation sections did not seem super technical, as the entire team were relaxed and even chatting/listening to light music while conducting these parts. I trusted this, since the Doctor was checking in on the team every few hours, and then does a final check in the end.
Dr Koray conducted the incision session himself, surrounded by the entire team.
While I was there, I verified my understanding of the process, and requested to see each tool being used. Everything on their website is true, including the punch tool's diameter (which is designed to leave really tiny holes in your donor area).
Talk to me about Pain
Of course it's painful! What did you expect? It's surgery! lol I personally underestimated how painful this operation would be. Here's what you need to know:
  1. They use local anaesthesia to the area where they want to operate, and THAT part is painful. Also, as the anaesthesia wears off, you'll start feeling the stings depending on the session. You will need to notify the team when this happens, so they can re-inject that area. The other patients spoke about different levels of pain (either more or less), so I'm guessing my experience is not consistent.
  2. While sitting, I experienced some lower back pain, which is the same pain I get when driving long distances. You can ask for a pillow to help.
  3. 1 day post-op, my recipient area was really painful (as the wounds were healing). And the inability to sleep (due to the pain, jet-lag and required awkward sleeping position) did not help at all. The post-surgery pain went away at around day 8.
Worth mentioning that the clinic has an anaesthetist who checks on your every half an hour during the operation. He has given me all kinds of drugs to help with my pain. I caught him for some painkillers every day before leaving.
Patient Coordinator
There are several patient coordinators at ASMED. They are probably assigned based on what language you speak (and there are quite a few that speak English). I worked with the coordinator Esen, whom I highly recommend. She had answers for me before I asked the questions, and is still evaluating progress to this day.
I've observed the other coordinators while I was there, they were OK! But all the other patients agreed that I had hit the jackpot with Esen being my coordinator. If you're doing this at ASMED, and you're an English speaker, I recommend you ask for her.
Other Patients
There will be other patients while you're there. I have to admit, it was refreshing to meet people who are in the same boat as me. It was like going to an AA meeting for baldness (lol ok bad joke, but you get it). We spent time together at the hotel, and at the clinic. I highly recommend you mingle and get to know these guys. We discussed things like: Expectations, Finasteride Side Effects, Do's and Don'ts, Pain, etc. Me and the group eventually started a whatsapp group to share progress. I honestly found that this made the entire thing easier for me.
What surprised me though was that some of the other patients were rather careless. Some were smoking straight after the operation, others didn't come wearing the correct clothing (a buttoned shirt) and some hadn't done much research. But anyway, each to his own.
Work Leave + Planning the stay
I booked 3 weeks of annual leave, and told my boss that I'll be getting an operation done. I was honestly not comfortable sharing this information, but the team would've known anyway because I expected some redness for at least 2 months after the operation. My boss requested that I take my surgery time as Sick Leave, which was awesome. They also agreed that I work from home for 2 weeks after I'm back from leave - How awesome is that? I figured that was definitely sufficient time for me to get back on my feet, and almost fully recover (and not still look like a patient).
So..1 Week (Sick) + 2 Weeks (annual leave) + 2 Weeks Work from Home. Try to pull this off if you can, for maximum comfort.
For the surgery, I arrived on a Monday, and left on Sunday. This worked really well for me, because I didn't want to fly straight after the operation looking like an alien (and dealing with the pain on the plane). Also, if you stay, the clinic will give you a wash every day, including Saturday. Which I thought was a no-brainer, because I was too paranoid about touching my head myself.
The Emotional Aspect
I wasn't too anxious about the operation. I felt that I had done enough research and planning that I was ready and excited. Everyone at the clinic is very warm and welcoming.
After I was done with the operation, I went back to my hotel room, and was in a lot of pain. I looked at myself in the mirror, and wept a little. Yes. The whole thing had hit me like a raging truck - The whole hair loss journey had been painful, and horrible. And look at what I'm doing to fight it! Look at how I've put myself in financial jeopardy, just to fix this stupid-ass DHT sensitivity gene that I'm carrying. It's horrible, everything about it is horrible! How much valuable time did I spend on my hair loss problem? It's incredible. I used to be at least 10 times more confident with a full head of hair. And I've spent every day in the last 9 years looking in the mirror, and thinking.."Fuck! It's happening!".. but acting like it's all "good in the hood". No, it's not good! It's awful! And I could not believe how far I was willing to go to fix it. There I was, in my hotel room, with a burning scalp, a hole in my pocket and looking a lot like ET.
I then got it together and ordered a tub of chocolate ice cream to make me feel better.
Finasteride
Of course I was going to have a section for this drug. I was absolutely terrified when I started researching it, and I found it very odd that the clinic recommended this drug before even meeting me.
I started using a generic Finasteride brand 1 month before the operation (@ 0.5mg), and for some reason, I lost a good 30% of my hair during that period. I found that very strange, but there have been people online reporting the same thing.
The clinic was disappointed that I had gone for a generic finasteride brand, and that I only took 0.5mg. Everyone in the clinic emphasised that I stick to the products produced by Merck. I had an argument with the anaesthetist about this, and I presented my research and why I felt generic finasteride was exactly the same. He agreed with me, but explained that his experience with patients of the clinic showed that both Propecia and Proscar (Merck) have yielded the best results and least side effects - But anyway, why take the risk and go for a generic brand? Also, they weren't happy with the 0.5mg, and insisted I go for 1mg.
The clinic provides you a year's worth of Finasteride, btw.
I have had no side effects from the drug so far, other than the sudden hair loss at the very beginning.
Why I chose Turkey?
After all the research I've done, it became clear to me that some of the top surgeons reside in Turkey. There isn't really a #1 surgeon out there, but I know quality when I see it! And Dr Koray's work has fascinated me every single time. There are a lot of examples of his great work, and I have literally found no poor results so far. I even translated Turkish forums to see how he's performing from their perspective, and it's all nothing short of excellence.
For the price, and what you're getting in quality, Turkey was definitely the best option for me.
Logistics in Istanbul
This was all arranged. A fancy mini-van picked me up from the airport, and transported me back and forth from the clinic everyday. I stayed in the Radisson Blu Hotel, very close to the clinic. Breakfast was provided, and I used google translate to order food online (via yemeksepeti.com)
I didn't get to go out much, although I really wanted to explore Istanbul, but I was too jet-lagged/in pain. There was a point I even got dressed and went out for a few minutes, but decided to go back to my room in fear of fainting.
The Painful/Uncomfortable Feeling of Balding
(This section was written on day 60 post-op)
Do you know that feeling of..balding? That sensitivity in your scalp when you simply put your hand on your head? That feeling of some subtle stinging in the roots of your hair? The thing that comes and goes, depending on the day, and maybe even depending on your sexual activity? I have suffered from this for many years, and realised that after this pain takes place in specific areas in my head, it's followed by balder spots. Anyway, I'm glad to announce that I don't feel this pain anymore. I'm not sure why, as so much has changed in the last couple of months, but this is what I think:
  1. Finasteride! Yes. I started Finasteride 1 month before the surgery, and had a giant shed. It is possible that the shedding was due to DHT being eliminated from my scalp, and the hair follicle going into a dormant phase. I'm guessing that the scalp pain may have been because of DHT attacking my follicles. And now that Finasteride is in full swing, and has killed off all the DHT-affected hairs (and put them into dormant mode), I no longer feel the pain.
  2. It could be the vitamins. There is some chatter online that Omega 3 helps eliminate this pain. Please refer to the original post if you want to know what vitamins I'm taking.
  3. I could be imagining this. Maybe the pain hasn't fully disappeared, and I'm just still numb from the surgery.
If you suffer from this pain/sensation in your scalp, I recommend you try 1mg Finasteride for a few months, and allow your scalp to shed. I will keep this section updated because this pain drove me crazy in the last couple of years.
Other Matters
  • I've done some research on what to take that could help with recovery. Here's what I'm on:
  1. Vitamin D
  2. B-Complex (Focused on Biotin. As much as possible).
  3. Omega 3-6-9
  4. Magnesium Threonate (Not Citrate)
  5. Zinc
  6. Aloe Vera (on my donor area once a day, starting day 8 post-op)
  7. Finasteride 1mg
  8. Vitamin K2 MK7
I buy all my supplements in Australia from iherb.com - I'm pretty sure it's the cheapest out there.
  • A super high quality neck pillow is your best friend if you're getting a hair transplant. Trust me.
  • Not many people speak English in Turkey. For example, the drivers don't speak a word of English. Would be good to have translation app handy. But, you don't have to worry about this at the clinic, since your coordinator will..coordinate..everything for you.
  • Funny, I got a consultation in Australia for a hair transplant a few months ago. They recommended 2,000 grafts, at a similar price to my 5,000 grafts at ASMED. I confessed that I'm going for a 5,000 graft surgery and was just comparing. They would not believe that and said it was too much.
  • Expect some swelling after the surgery. Oh yes! I spent a day or two looking like ET.
  • The maximum I've seen someone do in one session (over 2 days) is 5,500 grafts. Might want to ask the Doctor if you wanted to go beyond that.
Anyway, I hope all this was useful. If you would like to donate to help me repay the surgery loan, that would be crazy awesome:
  • Bitcoin (BTC): 3HKyJZcxcNtxhH69ifedVSUG4zHorv9Rhq
  • Ethereum (ETH): 0x15F72fa0B3B184251f57763dD081C4eBA2CD23e2
  • Ripple (XRP): rUH3ZB7DsDCo9eU33ovUeWKwjqp61HEsCz
Fire away! Ask me anything.
EDIT: I'm updating the photos, and some key details for anyone who may come across this post later and doesn't want to go through the entire thread.
submitted by TraditionalCoffee to tressless [link] [comments]

J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Wed 9.27.17 - **PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS DOCUMENT**

J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Wed 9.27.17
Trading Desk Commentary; For Institutional Investors Only

PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS DOCUMENT

Morning Levels

Trading Update

Top Headlines for Wednesday

US politics – it was a big night of news as Moore wins, healthcare dies, Corker retires, “Establishment” Republicans shutter, Mueller advances, taxes arrive, and more.

Company-specific news update from Tues night 9/26.

Reasons to be optimistic

Reasons to be cautious

Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months

Full catalyst list

  • Fri Sept 29 – China Caixin manufacturing PMI for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning)
  • Fri Sept 29 – German jobs numbers for Sept. 3:55amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Eurozone CPI for Sept. 5amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – US personal income/spending for Aug. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – US PCE for Aug. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Chicago PMI for Sept. 9:45amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Michigan Confidence for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Sept 29 – Fed speakers: Harker
  • Fri Sept 29 – analyst meetings: CMP
  • Sat Sept 30 – China NBS manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning)
  • Mon Oct 2 – China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
  • Mon Oct 2 – Eurozone manufacturing PMI for Sept. 4amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – Eurozone unemployment rate for Aug. 5amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – US manufacturing PMI for Sept. 9:45amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – US manufacturing ISM for Sept. 10amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – US construction spending for Aug. 10amET.
  • Mon Oct 2 – Fed speakers: Kaplan
  • Tues Oct 3 – Eurozone PPI for Aug. 5amET.
  • Tues Oct 3 – US auto sales for Sept.
  • Tues Oct 3 – analyst meetings: F/Ford (Ford CEO to host strategic update), INTU, SHW
  • Tues Oct 3 – earnings before the open: PAYX, LEN
  • Wed Oct 4 – Eurozone services PMI for Sept. 4amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – Eurozone retail sales for Aug. 5amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – RBI rate decision. 5amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – US ADP jobs report for Sept. 8:15amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – US services PMI for Sept. 9:45amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – US non-manufacturing ISM for Sept. 10amET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – Yellen delivers opening remarks at Community Banking conf. 3:15pmET.
  • Wed Oct 4 – analyst meetings: MNK, TTD
  • Wed Oct 4 – earnings before the open: AYI, MON, PEP, RPM
  • Wed Oct 4 – earnings after the close: RECN
  • Thurs Oct 5 – ECB meeting minutes. 7:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 5 – US factory orders and durable goods for Aug. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 5 – Fed speakers: Williams, Harker, George.
  • Thurs Oct 5 – analyst meetings: BKH, CLX, LUK
  • Thurs Oct 5 – earnings before the open: STZ
  • Thurs Oct 5 – earnings after the close: COST, YUMC
  • Fri Oct 6 – German factory orders for Aug. 2amET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – US jobs report for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – US consumer credit for Aug. 3pmET.
  • Fri Oct 6 – Fed speakers: Bostic, Kaplan, Bullard
  • Sat Oct 7 – China FX reserves for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning)
  • Mon Oct 9 – China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
  • Mon Oct 9 – German industrial production for Aug. 2amET.
  • Mon Oct 9 – Columbus Day holiday in the US (equities will be open while fixed income is closed).
  • Tues Oct 10 – German trade balance for Aug. 2amET.
  • Tues Oct 10 – analyst meetings: TECD, Santander, WDAY, WMT
  • Tues Oct 10 – PG shareholder meeting
  • Tues Oct 10 – earnings after the close: CUDA
  • Wed Oct 11 – US JOLTs report for Aug. 10amET.
  • Wed Oct 11 – Fed minutes from the Sept 20 meeting (2pmET).
  • Wed Oct 11 – analyst meetings: KR
  • Wed Oct 11 – earnings before the open: FAST
  • Thurs Oct 12 – Eurozone industrial production for Aug. 5amET.
  • Thurs Oct 12 – US PPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 12 – analyst meetings: BOX, HPQ
  • Thurs Oct 12 – earnings before the open: C, JPM, Tata Consultancy.
  • Thurs Oct 12 – earnings after the close: EXFO
  • Fri Oct 13 – China imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning)
  • Fri Oct 13 – US CPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – US retail sales for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – US Michigan Sentiment for Oct. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – US business inventories for Aug. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 13 – analyst meetings: SAFM
  • Fri Oct 13 – European trading updates: Man Group
  • Fri Oct 13 – earnings before the open: BAC, PNC, WFC
  • Mon Oct 16 – China CPI/PPI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
  • Mon Oct 16 – Eurozone trade balance for Aug. 5amET.
  • Mon Oct 16 – earnings before the open: SCHW
  • Mon Oct 16 – earnings after the close: NFLX, Rio Tinto
  • Tues Oct 17 – Eurozone Sept auto registrations. 2amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – German ZEW survey results for Oct. 5amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – US import prices for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – US industrial production for Sept. 9:15amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – US NAHB housing index for Oct. 10amET.
  • Tues Oct 17 – earnings before the open: CMA, CSX, GS, GWW, HOG, JNJ, UNH
  • Tues Oct 17 – earnings after the close: BHP, CP, CREE, IBM
  • Wed Oct 18 – US housing starts for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – US building permits fro Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – US Beige Book. 2pmET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – earnings before the open: ABT, MTB, USB
  • Wed Oct 18 – earnings after the close: AXP, SLG
  • Thurs Oct 19 – China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning)
  • Thurs Oct 19 – US Leading Index for Sept. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 19 – earnings before the open: ADS, BBT, DHR, GPC, KEY, PM, PPG, TRV, TXT, VZ
  • Fri Oct 20 – US existing home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 20 – earnings before the open: BHGE, CFG, GE, SLB, STI, SYF.
  • Mon Oct 23 – US Chicago Fed Activity Index for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Oct 24 – Eurozone flash PMIs for Oct. 4amET.
  • Tues Oct 24 – US flash PMIs for Oct. 9:45amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US durable goods for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US FHFA home price index for Aug. 9amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US new home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US wholesale inventories for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US advance goods trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US pending home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 27 – US Q3 GDP, personal consumption, and core PCE for Q3. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 27 – US Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct. 10amET.
J.P. Morgan Market Intelligence is a product of the Institutional Equities Sales and Trading desk of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and the intellectual property thereof. It is not a product of the Research Department and is intended for distribution to institutional and professional customers only and is not intended for retail customer use. It may not be reproduced, redistributed or transmitted, in whole or in part, without J.P. Morgan’s consent. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
submitted by SIThereAndThere to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

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