We’re lucky we’re still alive.

Recent fat-finger moments

2014: An anonymous broker on the Japanese stock market accidentally enters an order worth $617 billion—more than Sweden’s GDP—which triggers a huge volume of trading that affects blue-chip stocks like Toyota and Honda.

2015: A junior Deutsche Bank employee, left in charge while his boss was on vacation, makes a $6 billion trading error.

2017: An Amazon employee incorrectly types a command for the company’s AWS cloud service, taking down thousands of companies including Trello, Slack, and Medium, at a cost of $150 million.

2017: For eight minutes in August, a Chinese syllabus supply company enjoys a stock market value of $5 trillion—more than the combined market value of the 10 biggest firms in the world.

I’m in favor of micro RFID chips below the skin.

Judge Upholds Alabama Voter ID Law in Win for Common Sense

A federal judge in Alabama has thrown out a lawsuit against the state’s voter ID law, finding that the law doesn’t prevent anyone from voting because “nearly the entire population of registered voters in Alabama already possess a photo ID that can be used for voting.”

For those who don’t, obtaining a qualifying ID can be done “with little to no effort and no cost.”

I try to stay informed on these things but I knew nothing about the the CLT.

How the Great Books Are Revolutionizing College Admissions Tests

These tests have monopolized the college entrance process, and in recent years—in the case of the SAT in particular—have been tied to the controversial Common Core standards.

The Classic Learning Test offers an alternative to the SAT and ACT. As opposed to these standardized tests, the Classic Learning Test measures a student’s knowledge of great works of literature and applied mathematical skills. …

…You may remember taking the SAT or the ACT. Hours and hours of memorizing techniques and tricks, all to get that perfect score to unlock your college dreams. …

… But colleges are increasingly accepting the Classic Learning Test, and 86 colleges across the country now accept it as a part of their admissions process as an alternative to the SAT and ACT. …

You probably don’t really have to.

Why we keep difficult people in our lives

Chances are someone in your life causes a lot of tension and stress. Difficult relationships are common and hard to evade. New research suggests that difficult people are likely to be found in contexts where people have less freedom to pick and choose their associates. Often it’s family and co-workers – people you’re stuck with, either because you need them or because you can’t ignore them — making it difficult to cut the cord.

Off to a strange start.

Macron Meets May With French Seeking Support on Calais Migrants
Brexit isn’t everything.

That’s the message President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May will send Thursday when they meet near London to discuss a raft of bilateral issues that have little to do with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union — including the touchy issue of migrant camps around the northern French port of Calais. France wants Britain to take in more refugee applicants and step up its financial contributions to French border policing

Caught in the net.

Attorneys representing local Indonesian Christians will return to federal court in Boston Wednesday for a hearing on their request to prevent deportation before they have been given an opportunity to reopen their asylum cases.

In September, attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP, with offices in Boston and Manchester, filed a a motion for a temporary restraining order, a class-action complaint, and a preliminary injunction.

The 51 people in the suit are members of the local Indonesian immigrant community who fled religious persecution, but were denied asylum in the United States.

They have been under orders of supervision and have been allowed to stay in the United States, some for 20 years. Many now have children born in the United States.

Geez … another security failure that cost lives.

The US has arrested a suspected mole who may have rattled the CIA’s operations in China

The US government has arrested a former spy who may have significantly derailed the CIA’s operations in China in the early part of this decade. The capture highlights quiet tensions that the US and China have maintained over intelligence operations, as the two countries work to keep up appearances of positive relations.

According to the Department of Justice, authorities arrested Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a 53-year-0ld former CIA officer and naturalized US citizen, after he landed in John F. Kennedy Airport on the evening of Jan. 15. He has been charged with unlawful retention of national defense information and, if convicted, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, according to the Justice Department. According to the New York Times, he does not have a lawyer.

Lee’s arrest comes years after the CIA faced a major crisis in China. Last year the New York Times reported (paywall) that between 2010 and 2012, Chinese authorities killed at least a dozen key US intelligence sources in China and imprisoned about 10 to 20 other individuals. For a time, the officials in the CIA were split as to what the cause of the fallout was—some believed that Beijing had hacked its communications services to reveal sources, others believed a mole was outing sources to Beijing.