Categories
video games

Chess.com Becomes NFT Grifting Site

Users of the Chess.com were surprised today to find out that their previously played games could be minted on a blockchain as part of an NFT grift. Chess.com has an announcement about the scam, and the only way to opt-out of having previously played games minted is buried at the end of a support document linked from the announcement (that’s an archive.org link, the live page is here). According to the support page, users are required to contact Chess.com support to opt-out or their opponents can mint their games as NFTs. When I tried to opt-out just now for my Chess.com account, the button to “Contact Us” did not work in the Safari web browser, I had to use Vivaldi.

According to chess.com:

Treasure Chess is a place for chess and crypto fans to turn their games into unique “Treasures” to collect, share, trade, and sell. You can mint any of the games you played on Chess.com into a Treasure, which will then exist as an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) on the Polygon Network.

Any of these things could happen without engaging in cryptocurrency or NFT scams by using a technology invented decades ago called a database. By using a database you can also back up the system and protect against the scams and fraud which happen every day with cryptocurrency and NFTs.

The Chess.com support site says I’ll hear back in 1-2 business days about my request to opt-out of letting the games I played in the past become NFTs. I’ll be very surprised if they’re able to keep up with the volume of people opting out within that time frame. I didn’t play there much, but now I have no intention of ever playing a game using Chess.com again.

Categories
apple development

Homebrew Package Manager Founder Turns Crypto Grifter

There have been a variety of third-party command-line package management utilities for Mac computers that all really make the Mac’s terminal a good place to get things done with modern packages since Apple doesn’t provide a package management system for the command line like other Unixes do. MacPorts, Fink, and the newest and I think likely to be the most popular is HomeBrew. There are plenty more out there, but those are the ones I’ve used in the past. Some of these package managers can even run on top of other operating systems, HomeBrew can run inside of Windows 10 (and 11’s) Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

Max Howell was the original creator of HomeBrew and has now started a similar new project called Tea, announced with a blog post, Max calls Teabrew2” and points out the obvious problem of open source software projects not paying bills despite enormous companies relying on open source software and then turns that to Web3 (crypto currency grafting the web with the blockchain grift) as the solution:

While learning about web3 I bought and sold a few NFTs. The process was mostly uninteresting except for when I sold one and saw the automated, unavoidable 10% royalty enforced by a digital contract (with no need for a legal structure) that compensated the original creator for secondary sales. I felt the sting of inspiration.

web3 enables indirect compensation.

I wondered if we could apply this concept to helping distribute value to open source.

The Tea homepage claims that:

Like its predecessor, brew, tea is the base of the developer stack—seated beneath the tools that build the Internet.

This is a terrible mistake. Crypto currency grifters would no doubt love to turn desperate people like open source software developers into suckers to buy in so the grifters at the top of the pyramid can cash out. Fortunately, at least one member of the Homebrew team has indicated that Homebrew has no connection to this pyramid scheme. Hopefully Tea will fail to gain any traction after this initial round of 8 million dollars in the pump phase of the scam. The dump phase could be even sadder than open source developers getting screwed over by the companies that exploit their labor.

Note: All links in this post lead to archive.org so as not to encourage anyone to join the pyramid scheme that is Web3, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. 

Categories
mechanical keyboard

The First Mechanical Keyboard NFT Scam Has Arrived

The Angry Miao company has priced a new keyboard at $1600, it’s called the Am Hatsu. I am not a manufacturing expert, but this price is very unusual. If there is something that makes it reasonable to charge $1600 for that keyboard and you don’t work for Angry Miao and aren’t invested in any form of Cryptocurrency or NFT please get in touch.

The store page for the Am Hatsu when it initially went up for sale was charging a $320 “deposit” with no information about what the final amount required for the purchase is. The only way to know the full purchase price was to calculate it from a separate product page which indicated that this deposit was 20% of the final purchase price though there was also a 20% discount available if people bought it before a certain day which may make the total cost $1280.

The store page was later updated with the actual price, but pre-orders are urged on through the NFT scam. The first 100 people to pre-order the keyboard would get access to an “NFT Trading Card.” The text of the offer is difficult to parse, but it is clear that Angry Miao bought into the climate destroying scam and wanted to use it to entice sales of the overpriced keyboard. Here is the text of the scam from the product page:

As the world’s first brand to release a physical product as NFT, Angry Miao will release exclusive NFT on the OpenSea platform, one of the largest NFT trading platforms on the Ethereum network. After placing a deposit for the corresponding NFT and paying the remaining balance, users can obtain a physical copy of the AM HATSU keyboard in 1:1 form through Angry Miao’s official website. Holders of NFT have the full rights to collect or resell their NFTs.

At the same time, users can make a reservation for AM HATSU on the official website of Angry Miao. After paying the remaining balance, they can obtain a corresponding NFT Trading Card. In addition, the 1st to 100th users who made a reservation are eligible for the NFT Trading Card Redemption. An exclusive serial number can be selected in sequence of the order payment time.

Other keyboards do go out for high prices new, but the price is typically under a thousand dollars, and the market for them is growing but still supposedly small enough that it is difficult to make some designs available continuously. 

Angry Miao had already tainted their first keyboard project. That was last year’s Cyberboard, a typical TKL layout keyboard with a unique array of slightly diffused lights that most users would never see because the light array faces at an angle, away from the person using the keyboard. Fun idea, unfortunately the users of the board are still complaining that the software to control the keyboard isn’t functional.

Note: All product and store links in this article point to archive.org to not encourage anyone to get in on the scam and contribute to accelerating the collapse of the climate we need to survive.

Categories
computers nature

“THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES WITH CRYPTOART WILL BE SOLVED SOON, RIGHT?”

This past week has apparently been a watershed moment for “cryptoart”, and the past few months have helped grow cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens. Everest Pipkin:

The current ecological cost of cryptoart and cryptocurrency is very real and very large, and while steps can be taken to reign in some of that energy cost, the crypto- market is still based in a value system that fundamentally ties worth to spent physical resources.
There is no undoing that relationship, no matter how low the cost to mint tokens gets or what the percentage of green energy is in doing so.

A value system that understands itself only in terms of what, materially, has been burned so far to create investment and what, materially, will need to be burned tomorrow is one that is untenable to the future we have to build, one that has decoupled worth with waste, one where units of labor are not bought and sold for wage.

Don’t trust anyone who is accelerating the destruction of the planet so that fake copies of gifs can be bought and resold.