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New Issuances

Revenue Regulations No. 1-2023 implements the 10% discount and the VAT Exemption under RA No. 11861 or the "Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act". more

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 8-2023 implements the revised provision on the submission of Inventory List and other reporting requirements pursuant to RMC No. 57-2015. more/Annexes

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 7-2023provides clarification on the Return Processing System (RPS) Assessment being issued by the BIR. more

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 6-2023 circularizes the National Privacy Commission Advisory Opinions upholding the authority of the BIR, in its tax enforcement, assessment and collection functions, to obtain personal and sensitive information from any person pursuant to Section 4 (e) of RA No. 10173 (Data Privacy Act of 2012), in relation to Section 5 (B) of the 1997 Tax Code, as amended. more/Annexes

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 5-2023 provides transitory provisions for the implementation of the Quarterly filing of VAT Returns starting January 1, 2023 pursuant to Section 114(A) of the NIRC of 1997 (Tax Code), as amended by RA No. 10963 (TRAIN Law). more

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 4-2023 clarifies the base amount for the imposition of the Twenty Percent (20%) penalty relative to the early withdrawal of Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) for assets, accounts and sub accounts classified as unqualified. more

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 3-2023prescribes the policies and guidelines on the Online Registration of Books of Accounts. RMC 3-2023/Annex/Taxpayers Guide

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 2-2023 publishes the Updated List of FOI Receiving Officers. more/Annex

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 1-2023announces the availability of the Interactive BIR Citizen's Charter. more

Revenue Memorandum Order No. 3-2023 implementstheregular updating of content of the Interactive BIR Citizens Charter. more/Annex A/ Annex B

Revenue Delegation Authority Order No. 2-2023delegates the authority to sign Certificate of Acceptance and Custody for deliverables under Job Order No. O-1-2022-10-062. more

Revenue Delegation Authority Order No. 1-2023delegates the authority to sign Certificate of Acceptance and Custody for deliverables under Job Order No. O-1-2022-10-057. more

Revenue Regulations No. 1-2023 implements the 10% discount and the VAT Exemption under RA No. 11861 or the "Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act". RR 1-2023

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 8-2023 implements the revised provision on the submission of Inventory List and other reporting requirements pursuant to RMC No. 57-2015. RMC 8-2023/Annexes

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 7-2023provides clarification on the Return Processing System (RPS) Assessment being issued by the BIR. RMC 7-2023

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 6-2023 circularizes the National Privacy Commission Advisory Opinions upholding the authority of the BIR, in its tax enforcement, assessment and collection functions, to obtain personal and sensitive information from any person pursuant to Section 4 (e) of RA No. 10173 (Data Privacy Act of 2012), in relation to Section 5 (B) of the 1997 Tax Code, as amended. RMC 6-2023/Annexes

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 5-2023 provides transitory provisions for the implementation of the Quarterly filing of VAT Returns starting January 1, 2023 pursuant to Section 114(A) of the NIRC of 1997 (Tax Code), as amended by RA No. 10963 (TRAIN Law). RMC 5-2023

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 4-2023 clarifies the base amount for the imposition of the 20% penalty relative to the early withdrawal of Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) for assets, accounts and sub accounts classified as unqualified. RMC 4-2023

Revenue Memorandum Order No. 3-2023 implements theregular updating of content of the Interactive BIR Citizens Charter. RMO 3-2023/Annex A/ Annex B

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 3-2023prescribes the policies and guidelines on the Online Registration of Books of Accounts. RMC 3-2023/Annex/Taxpayers Guide

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 2-2023 publishes the updated List of FOI Receiving Officers. RMC 2-2023/Annex

Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 1-2023 announces the availability of the Interactive BIR Citizen's Charter. RMC 1-2023

Advisory on BIR Mobile TIN Verifier Application (TIN Ver App). more

Schedule of Briefing for New Business Registrants in Revenue District Offices. Schedule

Revenue Regulations No. 15-2022 further amends certain provisions of RR No. 2-98 as amended by RR No. 11-2018, which implemented the provisions of RA No. 10963 (TRAIN Law), relative to some changes in the rate of Creditable Withholding Tax on certain income payments. RR 15-2022

National Office's Inventory and Inspection Report on Unserviceable Property.Report 5/Report 4/Report 3/Report 2/Report 1

eMail Alert Advisory on Phishing. more

Advisory on the alternative tax payment channels for taxpayers using the BIR eFPS-UnionBank channel (HUB) that is currently experiencing technical issues.Advisory

Revenue Regulations No. 17-2021 amends certain provisions of RR No. 16-2019 to implement the extension of the Estate Tax Amnesty pursuant to RA No. 11569, which amended RA No. 11213 (Tax Amnesty Act). RR No. 17-2021/Annexes

Revised Schedule of Zonal Values of Real Properties. RDO 21A-Angeles City/ RDO No. 41-Mandaluyong City/RDO 83-Talisay, Cebu/RDO 103-Butuan City/RDO 104-Bayugan City/RDO 5-Alaminos City

Disposal of Unserviceable Properties. RR 14-Eastern Visayas/RR 10-Legazpi City (vehicle)/RR 12-Bacolod City/RR 17-Butuan City/RDO 35-Romblon/RR 11-Iloilo City/RR 9B-LaQueMar/RR 8B-South NCR/RR 10-Legazpi City (equipment)/RR 12-Bacolod

Regional Office's Inventory and Inspection Report of Unserviceable Property. RR 9B-LaQueMar/RR 9B-LaQueMar/RR 15-Zamboanga

BIR streamlines the documentary requirements for VAT refund claims. more

UnauthorizedBIR TIN ID ASSISTANCE posted in Facebook and other online sites. advisory/babala

Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. delivered the Welcome Remarks during the conduct of the Operations Group Planning Session for CY 2023 on January 12, 2023 at Microtel in Diliman, Quezon City. more

BIR Commissioner Lumagui calls on Vape Traders to comply with BIR and DTI requirements. more

Individual taxpayers to have lower Income Tax rates in 2023. more

BIR launches Online Registration and Update System (ORUS). more

BIR Commissioner Lumagui leads filing of P1.2 Billion criminal complaints against big time illicit vape traders. more

BIR Commissioner Lumagui leads seizure of thousands of falsified receipts, invoices and other business documents. more

BIR surpasses collection target in October 2022: October tax collections higher by 15%. more

BIR receives commendation from Civil Service Commission for its HIGH Resolution Rate on complaints handling. more

BIR rescinds 5-year validity period on receipts/invoices. more

Estate Tax Amnesty extended until 2023, clarifications about eCAR issuance issued thru RR No. 17-2021. more

BIR encourages taxpayers to use TIN Verifier Mobile App. more

Internal Revenue Integrated System (IRIS): IRIS is a web-based system that uses a modern platform, which was developed to serve as the BIRs central tool and repository to process taxpayer information. more

Quality Management System (QMS): The ISO Certification of the Bureau's registration processes has been expanded in February 2021 to include 22 Revenue District Offices under 4 Revenue Regions. more

Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program:Background/Article/Status/FAQs

Oplan Kandado: Suspension of business operations and temporary closure of non-compliant taxpayers.more

Tax Compliance Verification Drive: Issuance of Reminder Letter to all business establishments during tax mapping operations.Letter-front/Letter-back

BIR Personnel Integrity Program: Updates on Presidential Directives on Integrity Development Action Plan.more

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Bureau of Internal Revenue – Wikipedia

Philippine government agency

The Bureau of Internal Revenue[2] (Filipino: Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas, or BIR) is a revenue service for the Philippine government, which is responsible for collecting more than half of the total revenues of the government. It is an agency of the Department of Finance and it is led by a Commissioner.

Lilia Catris Guillermo is the Commissioner of BIR until the appointment of Deputy Commissioner Romeo Lumagui, Jr. last November 15, 2022 as the new BIR Commissioner.[3]

The powers and duties of the Bureau of Internal Revenue are:

Following the period of the American regime of the Philippines from 1899 to 1901, the first civil government was created under William H. Taft, General-Governor of the Philippines, in 1902. The BIR would be created under the second civil governor, Luke E. Wright, with the passage of Reorganization Act No. 1189 on July 2, 1904 by the Philippine Commission.[4] With only 69 officials and employees at its inception, the Bureau of Internal Revenue has grown remarkably through the years. John S. Ford was the first Collector of Internal Revenue. He was the bureau's steward for three years (19031907). He was succeeded by Ellis Cromwell (19091912), William T. Nolting (19121914) and James J. Rafferty (19141918). Rafferty was the last American collector of the Bureau. Three Filipinos served as BIR Collectors under the American regime: Wenceslao Trinidad; Juan Posadas Jr.; and Alfredo L. Yatco.

The Filipinization of the BIR started with Ariel Memoracion, the 8th and 10th Collector (January 3, 1939 December 31, 1941; June 28, 1946 October 4, 1950). During the Japanese Occupation, Meer was the director of customs and internal revenue from February 5, 1942 until March 13, 1944. After the Liberation, he was replaced by Jose Leido Sr. Leido was succeeded by Meer, who became collector for the second time.

Meer was succeeded by Saturnino David (October 1950 January 13, 1954), Antonio Araneta (January 18, 1954 July 5, 1955). In 1957, the position of collector was changed to commissioner.

Lilian Hefti, was head of the BIR who assumed office in September 2007, but resigned in October 2008, for health reasons.[5][6] On October 20, 2008, she was replaced by Sixto Esquivias, who served as deputy commissioner.[7]

The Bureau currently has more than 75 BIR Forms[8] and tax classification for different professionals and businesses.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Contador de' Resultas served as the Chief Royal Accountant whose functions were similar to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He was the Chief Arbitrator whose decisions on financial matters were final except when revoked by the Council of Indies. During these times, taxes that were collected from the inhabitants varied from tribute or head tax of one gold maiz[check spelling] annually; tax on value of jewelries and gold trinkets; indirect taxes on tobacco, wine, cockpits, burlas and powder. From 1521 to 1821, the Spanish treasury had to subsidize the Philippines in the amount of P 250,000.00 per annum due to the poor financial condition of the country, which can be primarily attributed to the poor revenue collection system.

In the early American regime from the period 1898 to 1901, the country was ruled by American military governors. In 1902, the first civil government was established under William H. Taft. However, it was only during the term of second civil governor Luke E. Wright that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was created through the passage of Reorganization Act No. 1189 dated July 2, 1904. On August 1, 1904, the BIR was formally organized and made operational under the Secretary of Finance, Henry Ide (author of the Internal Revenue Law of 1904), with John S. Hord as the first Collector (Commissioner). The first organization started with 69 employees, which consisted of a Collector, Vice-Collector, one Chief Clerk, one Law Clerk, one Records Clerk and three Division Chiefs.

Following the tenure of John S. Hord were three more American collectors, namely: Ellis Cromwell (19091912), William T. Holting (19121214) and James J. Rafferty (19141918). They were all appointed by the Governor-General with the approval of the Philippine Commission and the US president.

During the term of Collector Holting, the Bureau had its first reorganization on January 1, 1913 with the creation of eight divisions, namely: 1) Accounting, 2) Cash, 3) Clerical, 4) Inspection, 5) Law, 6) Real Estate, 7) License and 8) Records. Collections by the Real Estate and License Divisions were confined to revenue accruing to the City of Manila.

In line with the Filipinization policy of then US President McKinley, Filipino Collectors were appointed. The first three BIR Collectors were: Wenceslao Trinidad (19181922); Juan Posadas Jr. (19221934) and Alfredo Yatao (19341938).

In May 1921, by virtue of Act No. 299, the Real Estate, License and Cash Divisions were abolished and their functions were transferred to the City of Manila. As a result of this transfer, the Bureau was left with five divisions, namely: 1) Administrative, 2) Law, 3) Accounting, 4) Income Tax and 5) Inspection. Thereafter, the Bureau established the following: 1) the Examiner's Division, formerly the Income Tax Examiner's Section which was later merged with the Income Tax Division and 2) the Secret Service Section, which handled the detection and surveillance activities but was later abolished on January 1, 1951. Except for minor changes and the creation of the Miscellaneous Tax Division in 1939, the Bureau's organization remained the same from 1921 to 1941.

In 1937, the Secretary of Finance promulgated Regulation No. 95, reorganizing the Provincial Inspection Districts and maintaining in each province an Internal Revenue Office supervised by a Provincial Agent.

At the outbreak of World War II, under the Japanese regime (19421945), the Bureau was combined with the Customs Office and was headed by a Director of Customs and Internal Revenue.

On July 4, 1946, when the Philippines gained its independence from the United States, the Bureau was eventually re-established separately. This led to a reorganization on October 1, 1947, by virtue of Executive Order No. 94, wherein the following were undertaken: 1) the Accounting Unit and the Revenue Accounts and Statistical Division were merged into one; 2) all records in the Records Section under the Administrative Division were consolidated; and 3) all legal work were centralized in the Law Division.

Revenue Regulations No. V-2 dated October 23, 1947 divided the country into 31 inspection units, each of which was under a Provincial Revenue Agent (except in certain special units which were headed by a City Revenue Agent or supervisors for distilleries and tobacco factories).

The second major reorganization of the Bureau took place on January 1, 1951 through the passage of Executive Order No. 392. Three (3) new departments were created, namely: 1) Legal, 2) Assessment and 3) Collection. On the latter part of January of the same year, Memorandum Order No. V-188 created the Withholding Tax Unit, which was placed under the Income Tax Division of the Assessment Department. Simultaneously, the implementation of the withholding tax system was adopted by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 690. This method of collecting income tax upon receipt of the income resulted to the collection of approximately 25% of the total income tax collected during the said period.

The third major reorganization of the Bureau took effect on March 1, 1954 through Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) No. 41. This led to the creation of the following offices: 1) Specific Tax Division, 2) Litigation Section, 3) Processing Section and the 4) Office of the City Revenue Examiner. By September 1, 1954, a Training Unit was created through RMO No. V-4-47.

As an initial step towards decentralization, the Bureau created its first 2 Regional Offices in Cebu and in Davao on July 20, 1955 per RMO No. V-536. Each Regional Office was headed by a Regional Director, assisted by Chiefs of five Branches, namely: 1) Tax Audit, 2) Collection, 3) Investigation, 4) Legal and 5) Administrative. The creation of the Regional Offices marked the division of the Philippine islands into three revenue regions.

The Bureau's organizational set-up expanded beginning 1956 in line with the regionalization scheme of the government. Consequently, the Bureau's Regional Offices increased to eight and later into ten in 1957. The Accounting Machine Branch was also created in each Regional Office.

In January 1957, the position title of the head of the Bureau was changed from Collector to Commissioner. The last Collector and the first Commissioner of the BIR was Jose Aranas.

A significant step undertaken by the Bureau in 1958 was the establishment of the Tax Census Division and the corresponding Tax Census Unit for each Regional Office. This was done to consolidate all statements of assets, incomes and liabilities of all individual and resident corporations in the Philippines into a National Tax Census.

To strictly enforce the payment of taxes and to further discourage tax evasion, RA No. 233 or the Rewards Law was passed on June 19, 1959 whereby informers were rewarded the 25% equivalent of the revenue collected from the tax evader.

In 1964, the Philippines was re-divided anew into 15 regions and 72 inspection districts. The Tobacco Inspection Board and Accountable Forms Committee were also created directly under the Office of the Commissioner.

The appointment of Misael Vera as Commissioner in 1965 led the Bureau to a "new direction" in tax administration. The most notable programs implemented were the "Blue Master Program" and the "Voluntary Tax Compliance Program". The first program was adopted to curb the abuses of both the taxpayers and BIR personnel, while the second program was designed to encourage professionals in the private and government sectors to report their true income and to pay the correct amount of taxes.

It was also during Commissioner Vera's administration that the country was further subdivided into 20 Regional Offices and 90 Revenue District Offices, in addition to the creation of various offices which included the Internal Audit Department (replacing the Inspection Department), Administrative Service Department, International Tax Affairs Staff and Specific Tax Department.

Providing each taxpayer with a permanent Tax Account Number (TAN) in 1970 not only facilitated the identification of taxpayers but also resulted to faster verification of tax records. Similarly, the payment of taxes through banks (per Executive Order No. 206), as well as the implementation of the package audit investigation by industry are considered to be important measures which contributed significantly to the improved collection performance of the Bureau.

The proclamation of Martial Law on September 21, 1972 marked the advent of the New Society and ushered in a new approach in the developmental efforts of the government. Several tax amnesty decrees issued by the President were promulgated to enable erring taxpayers to start anew. Organization-wise, the Bureau had also undergone several changes during the Martial Law period (19721980).

In 1976, under Commissioner Efren Plana's administration, the Bureau's National Office transferred from the Finance Building in Manila to its own 12-storey building in Quezon City, which was inaugurated on June 3, 1977. It was also in the same year that President Marcos promulgated the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977, which updated the 1934 Tax Code.

On August 1, 1980, the Bureau was further reorganized under the administration of Commissioner Ruben Ancheta. New offices were created and some organizational units were relocated for the purpose of making the Bureau more responsive to the needs of the taxpaying public.

After the People's Revolution in February 1986, a renewed thrust towards an effective tax administration was pursued by the Bureau. "Operation: Walang Lagay" was launched to promote the efficient and honest collection of taxes.

On January 30, 1987, the Bureau was reorganized under the administration of Commissioner Bienvenido Tan Jr. pursuant to Executive Order (EO) No. 127. Under the said EO, two major functional groups headed and supervised by a Deputy Commissioner were created, and these were: 1) the Assessment and Collection Group; and 2) the Legal and Internal Administration Group.

With the advent of the value-added tax (VAT) in 1988, a massive campaign program aimed to promote and encourage compliance with the requirements of the VAT was launched. The adoption of the VAT system was one of the structural reforms provided for in the 1986 Tax Reform Program, which was designed to simplify tax administration and make the tax system more equitable. It was also in 1988 that the Revenue Information Systems Services Inc. (RISSI) was abolished and transferred back to the BIR by virtue of a Memorandum Order from the Office of the President dated May 24, 1988. This transfer had implications on the delivery of the computerization requirements of the Bureau in relation to its functions of tax assessment and collection.

The entry of Commissioner Jose Ong in 1989 saw the advent of the "Tax Administration Program" which is the embodiment of the Bureau's mission to improve tax collection and simplify tax administration. The Program contained several tax reform and enhancement measures, which included the use of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and the adoption of the New Payment Control System and Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme.

The year 1993 marked the entry into the Bureau of its first female Commissioner, Liwayway Vinzons-Chato. In order to attain the Bureau's vision of transformation, a comprehensive and integrated program known as the ACTS or Action-Centered Transformation Program was undertaken to realign and direct the entire organization towards the fulfillment of its vision and mission.

It was during Commissioner Chato's term that a five-year Tax Computerization Project (TCP) was undertaken in 1994. This involved the establishment of a modern and computerized Integrated Tax System and Internal Administration System.

Further streamlining of the BIR was approved in July 1997 through the passage of EO No.430, in order to support the implementation of the computerized Integrated Tax System. Highlights of the said EO included the: 1) creation of a fourth Revenue Group in the BIR, which is the Legal and Enforcement Group (headed by a Deputy Commissioner); and 2) creation of the Internal Affairs Service, Taxpayers Assistance Service, Information Planning and Quality Service and the Revenue Data Centers.

With the advent of President Estrada's administration, a Deputy Commissioner of the BIR, Beethoven Rualo, was appointed as Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Under his leadership, priority reform measures were undertaken to enhance voluntary compliance and improve the Bureau's productivity. One of the most significant reform measures was the implementation of the Economic Recovery Assistance Payment (ERAP) Program, which granted immunity from audit and investigation to taxpayers who have paid 20% more than the tax paid in 1997 for income tax, VAT and/or percentage taxes.

In order to encourage and educate consumers/taxpayers to demand sales invoices and receipts, the raffle promo "Humingi ng Resibo, Manalo ng Libo-Libo" was institutionalized in 1999. The Large Taxpayers Monitoring System was also established under Commissioner Rualo's administration to closely monitor the tax compliance of the country's large taxpayers.

The coming of the new millennium ushered in the changing of the guard in the BIR with the appointment of Dakila Fonacier as the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Under his administration, measures that would enhance taxpayer compliance and deter tax violations were prioritized. The most significant of these measures include: full utilization of tax computerization in the Bureau's operations; expansion of the use of electronic Documentary Stamp Tax metering machine and establishment of tie-up with the national government agencies and local government units for the prompt remittance of withholding taxes; and implementation of Compromise Settlement Program for taxpayers with outstanding accounts receivable and disputed assessments with the BIR.

Memoranda of Agreement were also forged with the league of local government units and several private sector and professional organizations (i.e. MAP, TMAP, PCCI, FFCCCI, etc.) to help the BIR implement tax campaign initiatives.

On September 1, 2000, the Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) and the Excise Taxpayers Service (ETS) were established under EO No. 175 to reinforce the tax administration and enforcement capabilities of the BIR. Shortly after the establishment of said revenue services, a new organizational structure was approved on October 31, 2001 under EO No. 306 which resulted in the integration of the functions of the ETS and the LTS.

In line with the passage of the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 on June 14, the Bureau implemented a Full Integrated Tax System (ITS) Rollout Acceleration Program to facilitate the full utilization of tax computerization in the Bureau's operations. Under the Program, seven ITS back-end systems were released in stages in RR 8 Makati City and the Large Taxpayers Service.

Following the momentous events of EDSA II in January 2001, newly installed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed a former Deputy Commissioner, Atty. Ren G. Baez, as the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

Under Commissioner Baez's administration, the BIR's thrust was to transform the agency to make it taxpayer-focused. This was undertaken through the implementation of change initiatives that were directed to: 1) reform the tax system to make it simpler and suit the Philippine culture; 2) reengineer the tax processes to make them simpler, more efficient and transparent; 3) restructure the BIR to give it financial and administrative flexibility; and 4) redesign the human resource policies, systems and procedures to transform the workforce to be more responsive to taxpayers' needs.

Measures to enhance the Bureau's revenue-generating capability were also implemented, the most notable of which were the implementation of the Voluntary Assessment Program and Compromise Settlement Program and expansion of coverage of the creditable withholding tax system. A technology-based system that promotes the paperless filing of tax returns and payment of taxes was also adopted through the Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS).

With the resignation of Commissioner Baez on August 19, 2002, Finance Undersecretary Cornelio C. Gison was designated as interim BIR Commissioner. Eight days later (on August 27, 2002), former Customs Commissioner, Guillermo L. Parayno Jr. was appointed as the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR).

Barely a month since his assumption to duty as the new CIR, Commissioner Parayno offered a Voluntary Assessment and Abatement Program (VAAP) to taxpayers with under-declared sales/receipts/income. To enhance the collection performance of the BIR, Commissioner Parayno adopted the use of new systems such as the Reconciliation of Listings for Enforcement or RELIEF System to detect under-declarations of taxable income by taxpayers and the electronic broadcasting system to enhance the security of tax payments. It was also under Commissioner Parayno's administration that the BIR expanded its electronic services to include the web-based TIN application and processing; electronic raffle of invoices/receipts; provision of e-payment gateways; e-substituted filing of tax returns and electronic submission of sales reports. The conduct of special operations on high-profile tax evaders, which resulted to the filing of tax cases under the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program marked Commissioner Parayno's administration as well as the conduct of Tax Compliance Verification Drives and accreditation and registration of cash register machines and point-of-sale machines. To improve taxpayer service, the Bureau also established a BIR Contact Center in the National Office and eLounges in Regional Offices.

On October 28, 2006, Deputy Commissioner for Legal and Inspection Group, Jose Mario C. Buag was appointed as full-fledged Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Under his administration, the Bureau attained success in a number of key undertakings, which included the expansion of the RATE Program to the Regional Offices; inclusion of new payment gateways, such as the Efficient Service Machines and the G-Cash and SMART Money facilities; implementation of the Benchmarking Method and installation of the Bureau's e-Complaint System, a new e-Service that allows taxpayers to log their complaints against erring revenuers through the BIR website. The Nationwide Rollout of Computerized Systems (NRCS) was also undertaken to extend the use of the Bureau's Integrated Tax System across its non-computerized Revenue District Offices. In 2007, the National Program Support for Tax Administration Reform (NPSTAR), a program funded by various international development agencies, was launched to improve the BIR efficiency in various areas of tax administration (i.e. taxpayer compliance, tax enforcement and control, etc.).

On June 29, 2007, Commissioner Buag relinquished the top post of the BIR and was replaced by Deputy Commissioner for Operations Group, Lilian B. Hefti, making her the second lady Commissioner of the BIR. Commissioner Hefti focused on the strengthening of the use of business intelligence by embarking on data matching of income payments of withholding agents against the reported income of the concerned recipients. Information sharing between the BIR and the Local Government Units (LGUs) was also intensified through the LGU Revenue Assurance System, which aims to uncover fraud and non-payment of taxes. To enhance the Bureau's audit capabilities, the use of Computer-Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques (CAATTs) was also introduced in the BIR under her term.

With the resignation of Commissioner Hefti in October 2008, former BIR Deputy Commissioner for Legal and Enforcement Group, Sixto S. Esquivias IV was appointed as the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Commissioner Esquivias administration was marked with the conduct of nationwide closure of erring business establishments under the Oplan Kandado Program. A Taxpayer Feedback Mechanism (through the eComplaint facility accessible via the BIR Website) was also established under his term where complaints on erring BIR employees and taxpayers who do not pay taxes and do not issue ORs/invoices can be reported. In 2009, the Bureau revived its Handang Maglingkod Project where the best frontline offices were recognized for rendering effective taxpayer service.

When Commissioner Esquivias resigned in November 2009, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Joel L. Tan-Torres assumed the position of Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Under his administration, Commissioner Tan-Torres pursued a high visibility public awareness campaign on the Bureau's enforcement and taxpayers service programs. He institutionalized several programs/projects to improve revenue collections, and these include Project R.I.P (Rest in Peace); intensified filing of tax evasion cases under the re-invigorated RATE Program; conduct of Taxpayers Lifestyle Check and development of Industry Champions. Linkages with various agencies (i.e. LTO, SEC, BLGF, PHALTRA, etc.) were also established through the signing of several Memoranda of Agreement to improve specific areas of tax administration.

Following the election of Benigno S. Aquino III, then Deputy Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares was appointed as the new Commissioner. During her first few months in office, she focused on the filing of tax evasion cases under the RATE Program.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (Filipino: Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas) is an attached agency of Department of Finance. BIR collects more than one-half of the total revenues of the government.

Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Inclusion and Acceleration Act of 2017, which lowered personal income tax rates but increased taxes on certain goods, leading to a net increase in revenue. This excess revenue will be used to fund the major expansion in public infrastructure in the country (see Build! Build! Build! Plan).

The Bureau regularly releases regulations, memorandums circulars, and rulings to clarify or change certain areas of the law.

Some are listed below:

See original here:

Bureau of Internal Revenue - Wikipedia

BIR RDO Codes: Complete List of BIR Revenue District Offices

When filling out BIR forms, one of the things that you may need to input is your RDO code. So what are RDO codes and how do you know the correct code to enter? This article explains everything about BIR RDO codes, including a complete and updated list of codes as well as how to transfer your RDO.

RDO is the acronym for Revenue District Office, which is a unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that is tasked with providing assistance and services to taxpayers within a certain jurisdiction. Aside from providing frontline services to taxpayers such as the registration of tax identification numbers (TIN), the RDO also encodes data from tax returns and payment forms, conducts audits and field investigations of tax cases, and collects taxes through summary remedies.

At present, there are 124 BIR RDOs nationwide, and each one has its own set of tax records, which is why you can only transact with the RDO that you are registered with. There is no unified and centralized database system, as of yet, that allows you to access your records or transact with the BIR outside your RDO.

This means that if the RDO you are registered with is in Caloocan City, for example, but you are presently residing in Pasay City, you simply cant visit the Pasay City RDO to update your taxpayer information. You will have to go to your RDO (in this case, the Caloocan City RDO) to personally transact with the BIR.

Fortunately, you can transfer your RDO to the one near you if you had a change of residence or business address. You can do this by filling out and submitting BIR Form 1905, which well talk about later in this article.

The RDO code is a three-digit code that represents a BIR Revenue District Office (RDO). Every RDO is assigned this code which the BIR uses to keep tabs on tax collections within its jurisdiction as well as to process tax returns and payments received by the RDO.

The BIR RDO code is often required when accomplishing certain taxpayer forms such as BIR Form 1905. For the registration of new taxpayers, the RDO code will be provided by the BIR on the submitted application form. Its important to keep a copy of your application form to avoid forgetting your RDO code.

Below is the complete and updated list of BIR Revenue District Offices and their respective RDO codes. The information contained in this list is subject to change without prior notice.

If you dont know (or if you cant remember) your RDO code, you can recover it through any of the following methods:

Perhaps you have a copy of your TIN application form or any duly-accomplished BIR form. The RDO code is usually written or printed on the upper-right portion of the form.

If youre self-employed, you can look for your BIR Form 1901 and if youre a corporate taxpayer, you can check your BIR Form 1903. If youre a one-time taxpayer or registering under E.O. 98 (securing a TIN to be able to transact with any government office), you can look for your BIR Form 1904.

If youre an employee, you may request for a copy of your BIR Form 1902 from the HR department of the company that registered you as a taxpayer on your behalf.

Another way to retrieve your RDO code is to call the BIR Customer Assistance Division at their hotline number (02) 8538-3200. Airtime and long-distance charges may apply.

If youre calling from your mobile phone, you may want to read this article to learn how to call a landline number using your cellphone.

For security and identification purposes, you may be asked to provide your complete name, mothers maiden name, date of birth, TIN, and other personal information. Have a ballpen and a piece of paper ready in which to write down your RDO code.

If you cant call the BIR, you may try sending them an email requesting for your RDO code. The BIR email address is [emailprotected].

If all else fails, you can drop by the nearest BIR RDO to request for your RDO code. Simply ask for a TIN verification slip and fill out all the required details. Give the slip to the officer-in-charge who will write your TIN and RDO code on the slip.

Do you want to transfer your RDO because you have moved to a different address? You can do that by filling out and submitting BIR Form 1905 (Application for Registration Information Update/Correction/Cancellation).

You can download the PDF here. After downloading the file, print it on long bond paper (8.5 x 13).

Under Part I Taxpayer Information, provide the following information:

Under Part II Reason/Details of Registration Information Update/Correction, mark with an X the box for Correction/Change/Update of Registration of Information.

Below it, mark Change in Registered Address and Transfer to another RDO. Afterwards, write the old RDO code in the From field and the new RDO code in the To field.

Also write down your new address including street, barangay, municipality/city, province and ZIP code. If you want to report other changes or updates, such as a change of contact number and email address, you can include them as well.

Go to the last section of the form (Declaration) and affix your signature over your printed name. Also indicate your title or position, if any.

After filling out the form, go to the RDO and submit the duly-accomplished BIR Form 1905 as well as your valid ID and any supporting documents (a list of documentary requirements are listed on the last page of the form). You can also email the form, along with your valid ID, to the email address of your current RDO.

Knowing your BIR RDO and its RDO code ensures that your transactions with the BIR are as smooth and seamless as possible. Keep in mind that you can only have one RDO code but you can transfer it should you have a change of address. If you have any issues and concerns with your RDO code, you can call the BIR Customer Assistance Division hotline (02) 8538-3200 or email [emailprotected].

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BIR RDO Codes: Complete List of BIR Revenue District Offices

"Elon" Plummets in Popularity as a Baby Name for Some Reason

According to BabyCenter's

Big Baby

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's name has clearly lost its luster among the parents of newborns.

According to BabyCenter's review of the data the name "Elon" has cratered in popularity over the last year, dropping from 120 babies per million in 2021 to just 90 babies per million, falling in the popularity rankings by 466 spots.

The name had seen a meteoric rise over the last seven or so years, but is currently falling out of favor big time, plummeting back down to 2019 levels.

The read? It seems like Musk's public reputation has been taking a significant hit.

Name Game

There are countless reasons why Musk could be less popular public figure than he was three years ago.

Especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Musk emerged as a controversial figure, speaking out against vaccinations and lockdowns. He has also become synonymous with an unhealthy work culture, firing practically anybody standing in his way and forcing his employees to work long hours.

The fiasco surrounding Musk's chaotic takeover of Twitter has likely only further besmirched his public image.

For reference, other baby names that have fallen out of fashion include "Kanye" — almost certainly in response to the travails of rapper Kanye West, who's had a years-long relationship with Musk — which fell a whopping 3,410 spots over the last year.

More on Elon Musk: Sad Elon Musk Says He's Overwhelmed In Strange Interview After the Power Went Out

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"Elon" Plummets in Popularity as a Baby Name for Some Reason

Startup Says It’s Building a Giant CO2 Battery in the United States

Italian startup Energy Dome has designed an ingenious battery that uses CO2 to store energy, and it only needs non-exotic materials like steel and water.

Italian Import

Carbon dioxide has a bad rep for its role in driving climate change, but in an unexpected twist, it could also play a key role in storing renewable energy.

The world's first CO2 battery, built by Italian startup Energy Dome, promises to store renewables on an industrial scale, which could help green energy rival fossil fuels in terms of cost and practicality.

After successfully testing the battery at a small scale plant in Sardinia, the company is now bringing its technology to the United States.

"The US market is a primary market for Energy Dome and we are working to become a market leader in the US," an Energy Dome spokesperson told Electrek. "The huge demand of [long duration energy storage] and incentive mechanisms like the Inflation Reduction Act will be key drivers for the industry in the short term."

Storage Solution

As renewables like wind and solar grow, one of the biggest infrastructural obstacles is the storage of the power they produce. Since wind and solar sources aren't always going to be available, engineers need a way to save excess power for days when it's less sunny and windy out, or when there's simply more demand.

One obvious solution is to use conventional battery technology like lithium batteries, to store the energy. The problem is that building giant batteries from rare earth minerals — which can be prone to degradation over time — is expensive, not to mention wasteful.

Energy Dome's CO2 batteries, on the other hand, use mostly "readily available materials" like steel, water, and of course CO2.

In Charge

As its name suggests, the battery works by taking CO2, stored in a giant dome, and compressing it into a liquid by using the excess energy generated from a renewable source. That process generates heat, which is stored alongside the now liquefied CO2, "charging" the battery.

To discharge power, the stored heat is used to vaporize the liquid CO2 back into a gas, powering a turbine that feeds back into the power grid. Crucially, the whole process is self-contained, so no CO2 leaks back into the atmosphere.

The battery could be a game-changer for renewables. As of now, Energy Dome plans to build batteries that can store up to 200 MWh of energy. But we'll have to see how it performs as it gains traction.

More on batteries: Scientists Propose Turning Skyscrapers Into Massive Gravity Batteries

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Startup Says It's Building a Giant CO2 Battery in the United States

Former Facebook Exec Says Zuckerberg Has Surrounded Himself With Sycophants

Conviction is easy if you're surrounded by a bunch of yes men — which Mark Zuckerberg just might be. And $15 billion down the line, that may not bode well.

In just about a year, Facebook-turned-Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's metaverse vision has cost his company upwards of $15 billion, cratering value and — at least in part — triggering mass company layoffs. That's a high price tag, especially when the Facebook creator has shockingly little to show for it, both in actual technology and public interest.

Indeed, it seems that every time Zuckerberg excitedly explains what his currently-legless metaverse will one day hold, he's met with crickets — and a fair share of ridicule — at the town square. Most everyone finds themselves looking around and asking themselves the same question: who could this possibly be for, other than Zucko himself?

That question, however, doesn't really seem to matter to the swashzuckling CEO, who's either convinced that the public wants and needs his metaverse just as much as he does, or is simply just convicted to the belief that one day people will finally get it. After all, he's bet his company on this thing and needs the public to engage to stay financially viable long-term.

And sure, points for conviction. But conviction is easy if you're surrounded by a bunch of yes men — which, according to Vanity Fair, the founder unfortunately is. And with $15 billion down the line, that may not bode well for the Silicon Valley giant.

"The problem now is that Mark has surrounded himself with sycophants, and for some reason he's fallen for their vision of the future, which no one else is interested in," one former Facebook exec told Vanity Fair. "In a previous era, someone would have been able to reason with Mark about the company's direction, but that is no longer the case."

Given that previous reports have revealed that some Meta employees have taken to marking metaverse documents with the label "MMA" — "Make Mark Happy" — the revelation that he's limited his close circle to people who only agree with him isn't all that shocking. He wants the metaverse, he wants it bad, and he's put a mind-boggling amount of social and financial capital into his AR-driven dream.

While the majority of his many thousands of employees might disagree with him — Vanity Fair reports that current and former metamates have written things like "the metaverse will be our slow death" and "Mark Zuckerberg will single-handedly kill a company with the metaverse" on the Silicon Valley-loved Blind app — it's not exactly easy, or even that possible, to wrestle with the fact that you may have made a dire miscalculation this financially far down the road.

And if you just keep a close circle of people who just agree with you, you may not really have to confront that potential for failure. At least not for a while.

The truth is that Zuckerberg successfully created a thing that has impacted nearly every single person on this Earth. Few people can say that. And while it can be argued that the thing he built has, at its best, created some real avenues for connection, that same creation also seems to have led to his own isolation, in life and at work.

How ironic it is that he's marketed his metaverse on that same promise of connection, only to become more disconnected than ever.

READ MORE: "Mark Has Surrounded Himself with Sycophants": Zuckerberg's Big Bet on the Metaverse Is Backfiring [Vanity Fair]

More on the Meta value: Stock Analyst Cries on Tv Because He Recommended Facebook Stock

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Former Facebook Exec Says Zuckerberg Has Surrounded Himself With Sycophants

Sam Bankman-Fried Admits the "Ethics Stuff" Was "Mostly a Front"

In Twitter DMs, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared to admit that his

Effecting Change

The disgraced former head of the crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, built his formidable public persona on the idea that he was a new type of ethical crypto exec. In particular, he was a vocal proponent of "effective altruism" — the vague-but-noble concept of using data to make philanthropic giving as targeted and helpful as possible.

But in a direct message, Vox's Kelsey Piper asked Bankman-Fried if the "ethics stuff" had been "mostly a front."

Bankman-Fried's reply: "Yeah."

"I mean that's not *all* of it," he wrote. "But it's a lot."

Truth Be Told

If the concept of becoming rich to save the world strikes you as iffy, you're not alone — and it appears that even Bankman-Fried himself knows it.

When Piper observed that Bankman-Fried had been "really good at talking about ethics" while actually playing a game, he responded that he "had to be" because he'd been engaged in "this dumb game we woke Westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and everyone likes us."

Next time you're thinking of investing in crypto, maybe it's worth taking a moment to wonder whether the person running the next exchange might secretly be thinking the same thing.

More on effective altruism: Elon Musk Hired A Professional Gambler to Manage His Philanthropic Donations

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Sam Bankman-Fried Admits the "Ethics Stuff" Was "Mostly a Front"

FDA Gives First Go Ahead for Lab Grown Meat Product

The FDA has approved a lab grown meat product from Upside Foods for human consumption, which now only needs USDA approval before being sold to customers.

Meat and Greet

Behold, ethical omnivores: the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given a key go-ahead to what could be the first lab grown meat product bound for human consumption in the US.

The decision, a first for cultivated meat in the US, paves the way for Californian startup Upside Foods to start selling its lab-grown chicken product domestically — meaning that now, it only needs approval from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) before the ersatz chicken can hit restaurant menus.

"The world is experiencing a food revolution and the [FDA] is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply," FDA officials said in a statement. "The agency evaluated the information submitted by Upside Foods as part of a pre-market consultation for their food made from cultured chicken cells and has no further questions at this time about the firm’s safety conclusion."

Upside Foods' products were evaluated via a process in which manufacturers divulge the production process to the agency for review, along with a sample. If everything looks good after inspection, the FDA then sends back a "no further questions" letter to the company.

"We are thrilled at FDA's announcement," said Upside director of communications David Kay in an email to Reuters. "This historic step paves the way for our path to market."

Going Protein

Lab meat like Upside's aren't a plant-based imitation, unlike popular vegan alternatives such as Beyond Burgers. Instead, they're made from real animal cells grown in bioreactors, sparing the lives of actual livestock.

But while at a cellular level the meat may be the same, customers will definitely notice a difference in price. For now, cultivating meat remains an extremely expensive process, so pending USDA approval notwithstanding, it could still be a while before you see it hit the shelves of your local grocer.

To let eager, early customers try out the lab meat, Upside, which already announced its collaboration with Michelin star chef Dominique Crenn last year, will be debuting its chicken at specific upscale restaurants.

"We would want to bring this to people through chefs in the initial stage," CEO Uma Valeti told Wired. "Getting chefs excited about this is a really big deal for us. We want to work with the best partners who know how to cook well, and also give us feedback on what we could do better."

While the FDA's thumbs-up only applies to a specific product of Upside's, it's still a historic decision, signalling a way forward for an industry that's rapidly accruing investment.

Updated to clarify details regarding the FDA's evaluation of the product.

More on lab grown meat: Scientists Cook Comically Tiny Lab-Grown Hamburger

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FDA Gives First Go Ahead for Lab Grown Meat Product

Experts Baffled by Why NASA’s “Red Crew” Wear Blue Shirts

Red Crew, Blue Crew

Had it not been for the heroics of three members of NASA's specialized "Red Crew," NASA's absolutely massive — and incredibly expensive — Space Launch System (SLS) likely wouldn't have made it off the ground this week.

During the launch, the painfully delayed Mega Moon Rocket sprang a hydrogen leak. The Red Crew ventured into the dangerous, half-loaded launch zone to fix it live. Incredible work indeed, although in spite of their heroics, keen-eyed observers did notice something strange about the so-called Red Crew: they, uh, don't wear red?

"How is it we spent $20B+ on this rocket," tweeted Chris Combs, a professor at the University of Texas San Antonio, "but we couldn't manage to get some RED SHIRTS for the Red Team."

Alas, the rumor is true. Red shirts seemed to be out of the budget this year — perhaps due to the ungodly amount of money spent on the rocket that these guys could have died while fixing — with the Red Crew-mates donning dark blue shirts instead. Per the NYT, they also drove white cars, which feels like an additional miss.

A leftover from last night that’s still bothering me:

how is it we spent $20B+ on this rocket but we couldn’t manage to get some RED SHIRTS for the Red Team pic.twitter.com/FO10Y6mg3H

— Chris Combs (@DrChrisCombs) November 16, 2022

Packing Nuts

For their part, the Red Crew didn't seem to care all that much, at least not in the moment. They were very much focused on needing to "torque" the "packing nuts," as they reportedly said during a post-launch interview on NASA TV. In other words, they were busy with your casual rocket science. And adrenaline, because, uh, risk of death.

"All I can say is we were very excited," Red Crew member Trent Annis told NASA TV, according to the NYT. "I was ready to get up there and go."

"We were very focused on what was happening up there," he added. "It's creaking, it's making venting noises, it's pretty scary."

In any case, shoutout to the Red Crew. The Artemis I liftoff is historic, and wouldn't have happened if they hadn't risked it all. They deserve a bonus, and at the very least? Some fresh new shirts.

READ MORE: When NASA'S moon rocket sprang a fuel leak, the launch team called in the 'red crew.' [The New York Times]

More on the Artemis I launch: Giant Nasa Rocket Blasts off Toward the Moon

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Experts Baffled by Why NASA’s “Red Crew” Wear Blue Shirts

Celebrities Are Officially Being Sued by FTX Retail Investors

The first civil suit against the crypto exchange FTX was just filed, naming FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, and 11 of FTX's many celebrity ambassadors.

Welp, that didn't take long. The first civil suit against the still-imploding crypto exchange FTX was just filed in a Florida court, accusing FTX, disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and 11 of the exchange's many celebrity ambassadors of preying on "unsophisticated" retail investors.

The list of celeb defendants impressive — honestly, it reads more like an invite list to a posh award show than a lawsuit.

Geriatric quarterback Tom Brady and soon-to-be-ex-wife Gisele Bündchen lead the pack, followed by basketball players Steph Curry and Udonis Haslem, as well as the Golden State Warriors franchise; tennis star Naomi Osaka; baseballers Shoehi Ohtani, Udonis Haslem, and David Ortiz; and quarterback Trevor Laurence.

Also named is comedian Larry David — who starred in that FTX Super Bowl commercial that very specifically told investors that even if they didn't understand crypto, they should definitely invest — and investor Kevin O'Leary of "Shark Tank" fame.

"The Deceptive and failed FTX Platform," reads the suit," "was based upon false representations and deceptive conduct."

"Many incriminating FTX emails and texts... evidence how FTX’s fraudulent scheme was designed to take advantage of unsophisticated investors from across the country," it continues. "As a result, American consumers collectively sustained over $11 billion dollars in damages."

Indeed, a number of FTX promos embraced an attitude similar to the cursed Larry David commercial. In one, Steph Curry tells viewers that with FTX, there's no need to be an "expert," while a Naomi Osaka promotion pushed the idea that crypto trading should be "accessible," "easy," and "fun."

It's also worth noting that this isn't the first suit of its kind. Billionaire Mark Cuban, also of "Shark Tank" fame, was named in a class action lawsuit launched against the bankrupt lender Voyager in August, while reality TV star Kim Kardashian was recently made to pay a roughly $1.2 million fine for hawking the "EthereumMAX" token without disclosing that she was paid to do so.

The FTX suit, however, appears to be the most extensive — and high-profile — of its kind. And while a fine for a million or two is basically a one dollar bill to this tax bracket, $11 billion, even if split amongst a group of 11 exorbitantly wealthy celebs, is a more substantial chunk of change.

Of course, whether anyone actually ever has to pay up remains to be seen. Regardless, it's still a terrible look, and real people got hurt. If there's any defense here, though? At least they didn't promise to be experts.

READ MORE: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried hit with class-action lawsuit that also names Brady, Bündchen, Shaq, Curry [Fox Business]

More on the FTX crash: Experts Say Sam Bankman-fried's Best Legal Defense Is to Say He's Just Really, Really Stupid

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Celebrities Are Officially Being Sued by FTX Retail Investors

Celebrities’ Bored Apes Are Hilariously Worthless Now

The value of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs has absolutely plummeted, leaving celebrities with six figure losses, a perhaps predictable conclusion.

Floored Apes

The value of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have absolutely plummeted, leaving celebrities with six figure losses, in a perhaps predictable conclusion to a bewildering trend.

Earlier this year, for instance, pop star Justin Bieber bought an Ape for a whopping $1.3 million. Now that the NFT economy has essentially collapsed in on itself, as Decrypt points out, it's worth a measly $69,000.

Demand Media

NFTs, which represent exclusive ownership rights to digital assets — but usually, underwhelmingly, just JPGs and GIFs — have absolutely plummeted in value, spurred by the ongoing crypto crisis and a vanishing appetite.

Sales volume of the blockchain knickknacks has also bottomed out. NFT sales declined for six straight months this year, according to CryptoSlam.

According to NFT Price Floor, the value of the cheapest available Bored Ape dipped down to just 48 ETH, well below $60,000, this week. In November so far, the floor price fell 33 percent.

Meanwhile, the crypto crash is only accelerating the trend, with the collapse of major cryptocurrency exchange FTX leaving its own mark on NFT markets.

Still Kicking

Despite the looming pessimism, plenty of Bored Apes are still being sold. In fact, according to Decrypt, around $6.5 million worth of Apes were moved on Tuesday alone, an increase of 135 percent day over day.

Is the end of the NFT nigh? Bored Apes are clearly worth a tiny fraction of what they once were, indicating a massive drop off in interest.

Yet many other much smaller NFT marketplaces are still able to generate plenty of hype, and millions of dollars in sales.

In other words, NFTs aren't likely to die out any time soon, but they are adapting to drastically changing market conditions — and leaving celebrities with deep losses in their questionable investments.

READ MORE: Justin Bieber Paid $1.3 Million for a Bored Ape NFT. It’s Now Worth $69K [Decrypt]

More on NFTs: The Latest Idea to Make People Actually Buy NFTs: Throw in a House

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Celebrities' Bored Apes Are Hilariously Worthless Now

Panicked Elon Musk Reportedly Begging Engineers Not to Leave

According to former Uber engineer Gergely Orosz,

Elon Musk's Twitter operations are still in free fall.

Earlier this week, the billionaire CEO sent an email to staff telling them that they "need to be extremely hardcore" and work long hours at the office, or quit and get three months severance, as The Washington Post reports.

Employees had until 5 pm on Thursday to click "yes" and be part of Twitter moving forward or take the money and part ways. The problem for Musk? According to former Uber engineer Gergely Orosz, who has had a close ear to Twitter's recent inner turmoil, "far fewer than expected [developers] hit 'yes.'"

So many employees called Musk's bluff, Orosz says, that Musk is now "having meetings with top engineers to convince them to stay," in an  embarrassing reversal of his public-facing bravado earlier this week.

Twitter has already been rocked by mass layoffs, cutting the workforce roughly in half. Instead of notifying them, employees had access to their email and work computers revoked without notice.

Even that process was bungled, too, with some employees immediately being asked to return to the company after Musk's crew realized it had sacked people it needed.

According to Orosz's estimations, Twitter's engineering workforce may have been cut by a whopping 90 percent in just three weeks.

Musk has been banging the war drums in an active attempt to weed out those who aren't willing to abide by his strict rules and those who were willing to stand up to him.

But developers aren't exactly embracing that kind of tyranny.

"Sounds like playing hardball does not work," Orosz said. "Of course it doesn't."

"From my larger group of 50 people, 10 are staying, 40 are taking the severance," one source reportedly told Orosz. "Elon set up meetings with a few who plan to quit."

In short, developers are running for the hills — and besides, they're likely to find far better work conditions pretty much anywhere else.

"I am not sure Elon realizes that, unlike rocket scientists, who have relatively few options to work at, [developers] with the experience of building Twitter only have better options than the conditions he outlines," Orosz argued.

Then there's the fact that Musk has publicly lashed out at engineers, mocking them and implying that they were leading him on.

Those who spoke out against him were summarily fired.

That kind of hostility in leadership — Musk has shown an astonishing lack of respect — clearly isn't sitting well with many developers, who have taken up his to get three months of severance and leave.

"I meant it when I called Elon's latest ultimatum the first truly positive thing about this Twitter saga," Orosz wrote. "Because finally, everyone who had enough of the BS and is not on a visa could finally quit."

More on Twitter: Sad Elon Musk Says He's Overwhelmed In Strange Interview After the Power Went Out

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Panicked Elon Musk Reportedly Begging Engineers Not to Leave

NASA Drops Stunning New James Webb Image of a Star Being Born

The James Webb Space Telescope just released an image of a star being born, and it gives Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper a run for their money.

Birth Canal

The James Webb Space Telescope's latest mind-bending image just dropped — and this one is, in a word, splendid.

As NASA notes in a blog post about the finding, the telescope's Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) was put to incredible use when capturing the "once-hidden features" of the beginnings of a star.

Known as "protostars," celestial objects like this one — found inside an uber-absorbant "dark nebula" cloud — are not yet stars, but will be soon. In short, the Webb telescope capture imagery of a star being born.

As NASA notes, the fledgling star itself is hidden within the tiny "neck" disk of the spectacular, fiery hourglass shape in the image — which is, as NASA notes, "about the size of our solar system" — and the colorful lights seen below and above this neck are emitted by the protostar's birth.

Countdown to a new star ?

Hidden in the neck of this “hourglass” of light are the very beginnings of a new star — a protostar. The clouds of dust and gas within this region are only visible in infrared light, the wavelengths that Webb specializes in: https://t.co/DtazblATMW pic.twitter.com/aGEEBO9BB8

— NASA Webb Telescope (@NASAWebb) November 16, 2022

Stellar Anatomy

While this incredible capture is not the first time space telescopes have observed star birth, Webb's latest does provide an incredible look at the phenomenon.

"The surrounding molecular cloud is made up of dense dust and gas being drawn to the center, where the protostar resides," the post reads. "As the material falls in, it spirals around the center. This creates a dense disk of material, known as an accretion disk, which feeds material to the protostar."

Some of that material, NASA notes, are "filaments of molecular hydrogen that have been shocked as the protostar ejects material away from it," most of which the stellar fetus takes for itself. It continues to feed on that material, growing more massive and compressing further until its core temperature rises to the point that it kickstarts nuclear fusion.

This gorgeous peek at that process is extraordinary to witness — and a yet another testament to the power of the mighty James Webb.

More on Webb: NASA Fixes Months-Long Issue With Webb Telescope

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NASA Drops Stunning New James Webb Image of a Star Being Born

Ticketmaster May Have Finally Met Its Match: Furious Swifties

The notorious ticket selling service Ticketmaster botched the pre-sale of tickets for Taylor Swift's upcoming tour. Now, everyone's calling for its head.

The notorious ticket peddling service Ticketmaster has never been a fan favorite, and anyone who's ever bought a concert ticket there can attest to why. Preposterous prices, slimy junk fees, and terrible customer service are just a few of its mundane evils. In spite of how universally reviled it is, Ticketmaster has persisted as the king of the box office. But now, it's facing its worst PR nightmare in years — and that's saying something. Why? It made the fatal error of pissing off Taylor Swift fans, or "Swifties."

Swift's "Eras Tour," which will have her perform at over 50 venues in the US alone, is set to be one of the biggest music events on the planet. Biding their time, her fiercely loyal fanbase — probably the largest of any single artist and easily the most vocal online — have been waiting since 2018 for her next headlining tour. So, looking to guarantee a spot, many of them signed up for Ticketmaster's Verified Fans program, a system which was supposed to only allow a select amount of around 1.5 million real fans — as opposed to scalper bots — to buy tickets ahead of time.

It didn't work. Ticketmaster CEO Michael Rapino told The Hollywood Reporter that around 14 million users, some of them bots, rushed to buy pre-sale tickets this week, and it pretty much broke the service. Parts of the website immediately crashed, leaving millions either waiting for hours or suffering through a miserable, glitchy experience — only for some to be told they couldn't buy a ticket anyway even though they were verified. In total, Ticketmaster was barraged with 3.5 billion system requests, which is nearly half the population of the Earth and four times its previous peak.

Even with all the difficulties, it did manage to sell around two million tickets — but it's unclear how many of those went to actual, verified Swifties and how many went to scalpers.

And we suspect that Ticketmaster has made way more than that in the form of enemies. Search its name on social media right now, and you'll be returned with swarms of complaints from ardent Swifties and Ticketmaster haters crawling out of the woodwork.

To make matters worse, the maligned seller abruptly informed fans via Twitter that it would be canceling the sale of tickets to the general public originally planned for Friday, "due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand."

With Ticketmaster shutting its doors, vulturous resellers who gobbled up tickets during the presale pandemonium remain the only alternative for fans, selling them at outrageous amounts as high as $28,000, Reuters reports.

Exceptionally crummy service isn't exactly a scandal in itself, but the magnitude of Ticketmaster's mishandling of the situation — and the blatant scalping it's enabled — has brought significant attention to the company's nefarious practices and its stranglehold on the market.

Now, politicians are jumping on the Swifties' grievances to call for Ticketmaster's head.

"Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, [its] merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be [reined] in," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), in a tweet. "Break them up."

"It's no secret that Live Nation-Ticketmaster is an unchecked monopoly," echoed Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), the chair of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law.

"The merger of these companies should never have been allowed in the first place," Cicilline added, stating that he's joining others to call on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to "investigate LiveNation’s efforts to jack up prices and strangle competition."

Ticketmaster was already a behemoth in the 90s when Pearl Jam — then one of the biggest bands in the world — tried to take them on. Eddie Vedder and his bandmates certainly made the concert corporation sweat for a time, but since then, it's only grown. In 2010, it merged with LiveNation, once its largest competitor and now Ticketmaster's parent company. Critics, like AOC and Cicilline, argue that this merger was in blatant violation of antitrust laws.

Monopolistic behavior aside, as well as frequently bullying artists and venues to give into its tyrannical demands, consumers don't have to dig very far to realize Ticketmaster is ripping them off. Buy a ticket on there and it could charge you a significant portion of the ticket price in service and other junk fees.

Another culprit? Its dynamic pricing model, infamously used in other industries like airline tickets and hotels, in which prices are continuously adjusted in real time based on demand. As a result, ticket prices are not made public before a sale begins. In theory, dynamic pricing is meant to make predatory resellers obsolete by keeping prices competitive. But really, it's just a good excuse for Ticketmaster to match its prices with that of ludicrous resellers and pocket the extra cash.

Furthermore, at least one 2018 investigation by CBC found that Ticketmaster was quietly recruiting professional scalpers into its reseller program, and turned a blind eye to them using hundreds of fake accounts to sell tickets.

Bearing all that in mind, you'd think Swift would speak up about the most recent fiasco over her tour.

And for a while, she didn't, driving fans frantic over her silence — which she's finally broken.

On Friday, Swift spoke out in a carefully worded statement on her Instagram.

"Well, it goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans," she began. "It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and loyalties, and excruciating for me to just watch mistakes happen with no recourse."

Swift is clearly alluding to Ticketmaster here, and euphemistically summed up the situation as there being "a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets" — though she never specifically names the corporation.

Diplomatic as the words may be, they've dropped at the perfect moment, because The New York Times reports that the DOJ has opened an antitrust investigation over LiveNation's ownership of Ticketmaster (though at press time, official confirmation is still pending.)

Could this be the beginning of the end of the company's unfettered dominance? Maybe. Ticketmaster and LiveNation only seem to get stronger with the more bad PR they get. So taking them down? It'll take more than online outrage. However, with Swift looking poised to join the fight alongside the DOJ, maybe this time around the concert conglomerate will get a run for its money.

More on Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift Reportedly Threatened Microsoft Over Racist Chatbot

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Ticketmaster May Have Finally Met Its Match: Furious Swifties

Twitter Claims Video of Moon Rocket Launch Is Revenge Porn

A spaceflight photographer took to Twitter to post a mesmerizing video of the Artemis I launch, only to find himself the victim of an AI error.

Nice Rocket

Revenge porn is a horrible thing, and Twitter should definitely continue to ban anyone who attempts to post it on the app. That being said, a video of a rocket taking off — an actual rocket, you pervs — does not revenge porn make, and shouldn't be flagged as such.

It seems like a silly thing to have to say, but such is the exact situation that spaceflight photographer John Kraus found himself in earlier this week. Kraus, who was on site to photograph the historic Artemis I launch, took to Twitter to post a mesmerizing video of the liftoff — only to find himself kicked off of the app shortly thereafter, due to the fact that his post, for whatever inexplicable reason, had been marked as revenge porn.

"I’d like to acknowledge that our good friend and rocket photography extraordinaire, [John Kraus], has been completely locked out of twitter since yesterday, for an arbitrary and silly reason, the day of the biggest launch of his career," read an angry tweet from the Tim "Everyday Astronaut" Dodd. "Worst possible timing."

I’d like to acknowledge that our good friend and rocket photography extraordinaire @johnkrausphotos has been completely locked out of twitter since yesterday, for an arbitrary and silly reason, the day of the biggest launch of his career. Worst possible timing ???? pic.twitter.com/USNUajwPJ4

— Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) November 17, 2022

Let Freedom Ring

Twitter finally let Kraus back online today. But for a rocket photographer, getting kicked off of Twitter on the day of the Artemis I launch really is a nightmare scenario.

"Almost two days later, I'm back. Twitter just acknowledged that they falsely locked my account instantly after I posted a benign video/caption of the Artemis I launch," he tweeted upon his return. "This was an unfortunate error after one of the biggest launches of my career."

While there was some speculation that new Twitter owner Elon Musk — who fired waves of employees, then effectively forced a mass exodus of quitters, and has reportedly been begging employees to come back so the ship that is Twitter doesn't fully sink beneath the digital waves — was to blame for Kraus' unfortunately-timed ban, given the chaos that's ensued on the tech side since Musk's takeover. Kraus, however, denied that Musk had anything to do with it.

"Anyone speculating it had to do with [Elon Musk] / new Twitter policy / not wanting NASA content instead of SpaceX, or that it was an ITAR violation — you are WRONG," he clarified. "It was falsely auto-flagged by software/AI."

So, maybe not Musk's fault, but a screwup that now falls directly on his presumably still-full plate. Anyway. We're glad that Kraus is free. And, for the record, here's the video that led to the whole debacle:

For reference, this was the original, exact tweet that got my account falsely locked for almost two days. It is now visible. Enjoy! https://t.co/Rpnaqfw6yX

— John Kraus (@johnkrausphotos) November 18, 2022

More on Artemis I: Experts Baffled by Why Nasa's "Red Crew" Wear Blue Shirts

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Twitter Claims Video of Moon Rocket Launch Is Revenge Porn

Elon Musk Locks Twitter Employees Out Office, Then Asks Them to Meet Him on the 10th Floor

Elon Musk's ownership of Twitter is somehow going even worse than expected amid reports that he's locked employees out of the company's office buildings.

Worst Case Scenario

Elon Musk's Twitter-buying experiment is somehow going even worse than expected, amid reports that he's locked employees out of the company's office buildings.

As reported by Platformer's Zoë Schiffer, an email sent to Twitter staff yesterday evening informed them out of the blue that they wouldn't be able to get into their offices for the rest of the week.

"We're hearing this is because Elon Musk and his team are terrified employees are going to sabotage the company," Schiffer wrote. "Also, they're still trying to figure out which Twitter workers they need to cut access for."

Then, the saga somehow got even stranger today when Musk emailed staff asking them to come to the 10th floor of Twitter's headquarters — which, remember, they'd just been told they were locked out of — for a meeting on the 10th floor.


All told, the aura of chaos surrounding Twitter since Musk's acquisition late last month has deepened to a comical degree.

News of the office closure, you'll recall, comes not long after Musk issued an ultimatum to the staff who survived his first purge the company's employees, in which he said that if "tweeps" didn't come into the office, they would be effectively tendering their resignations.

Just before the office closure announcement, Musk gave his new employees another apparent threat: that if they are not prepared "to be extremely hardcore" and work long in-office hours, they can cut and run with three months severance.

Unsurprisingly, many Twitter employees have chosen the latter — a move that some described to CNN's Darcy as a "mass exodus."

And in the face of all this contradiction and whiplash, who could blame them?

More on Musk: Panicked Elon Musk Reportedly Begging Engineers Not to Leave

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Elon Musk Locks Twitter Employees Out Office, Then Asks Them to Meet Him on the 10th Floor

Experts Excoriate NASA Report Claiming James Webb Wasn’t Homophobic

A group of astronomers has clapped back at a NASA report claiming that it had found no evidence that the original James Webb was homophobic.

NASA says it can't find any record that James Webb, the State Department and NASA leader for whom the agency's groundbreaking new space telescope is named, was aware of homophobic government purges — but a bunch of astronomers are clapping back at the agency's claims.

"After an exhaustive search of U.S. government and Truman library archives," administrator Bill Nelson was quoted as saying in the agency's press release about its decision, "NASA’s historical investigation found, ‘To date, no available evidence directly links Webb to any actions or follow-up related to the firing of individuals for their sexual orientation.'"

In their own statement — which follows a 2021 Scientific American editorial and numerous other calls urging NASA to rename the telescope — astronomy experts Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Lucianne Walkowicz, Sarah Tuttle and Brian Nord are calling shenanigans in the strictest terms.

"NASA’s press release utilizes a practice of selective historical reading," the open letter reads, pointing to the agency's insistence that the original Webb was unaware of the firing of Clifford Norton, a NASA budget analyst who was canned in 1963 after being arrested for making a "homosexual advance" on someone. At the time, Webb was head of NASA.

The argument — which makes sense, if you think about it — is basically that Webb was either aware of the institutionalized homophobia in a way that didn't survive in existing documentation, or unaware of a key dynamic at the workplace he was in charge of. Neither option is flattering.

"Because we do not know of a piece of paper that explicitly says, 'James Webb knew about this,' they assume it means he did not," the experts wrote. "In such a scenario, we have to assume he was relatively incompetent as a leader: the administrator of NASA should know if his chief of security is extrajudicially interrogating people."

"We are deeply concerned by the implication that managers are not responsible for homophobia or other forms of discrimination that happens on their watch," they continued, noting that such a stance is "explicitly anti-equity, diversity and inclusion" that puts "responsibility on the most marginalized people to fend for ourselves, and it is in conflict with legal norms in many US jurisdictions."

It's "deeply unscientific," the astronomy luminaries added, that "NASA is engaging in historical cherry picking" with a figure who was, along with the state-sanctioned homophobia that occurred on his watch, accused of engaging in Cold War-era "psychological warfare," in which, as The Atlantic noted in 2018, then-Undersecretary of State Webb assembled a team of hard and soft scientists to figure out the best ways to conduct anti-Soviet propaganda.

NASA and the scientific community at large should, the astronomers wrote in Scientific American, "name telescopes out of love for those who came before us and led the way to freedom."

More on Webb: NASA Drops Stunning New James Webb Image of a Star Being Born

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Experts Excoriate NASA Report Claiming James Webb Wasn't Homophobic

NASA Orders Press Not to Photograph Launch Site After Moon Mission Takes Off

NASA apparently barred the press from photographing the Artemis moon rocket launch when it lifted its Orion capsule off to space earlier this week. 

No Photos, Please

NASA barred the press from photographing the launch site of its Space Launch System after it boosted the agency's Artemis I Moon mission into space earlier this week.

Multiple space reporters said on Twitter that the agency had sent them a message telling them they were prohibited from photographing the Artemis 1 launch tower after the liftoff.

"NASA did not provide a reason," Eric Berger, Ars Technica's senior space editor, tweeted. The reporter added that according to his sources, the ban was apparently an attempt to save face after the launch damaged the tower.

"So now sources are saying that yes, Launch Complex-39B tower was damaged during the Artemis I launch on Wednesday morning," Berger tweeted. "Basically, there were leaks and damage where there weren't supposed to be leaks and damage."

Damaging Reports

Later, Washington Post space reporter Christian Davenport posted a statement from NASA that seemed to corroborate Berger's sources, though he emphasized that there was "no word on damage" to the launch pad.

"Because of the current state of the configuration, there are [International Traffic in Arms Regulations license] restrictions and photos are not permitted at this time," the statement given to Davenport read. "There also is a launch debris around the pad as anticipated, and the team is currently assessing."

Whatever NASA's reasoning, it's pretty clear that the agency doesn't want unapproved photos of its expensive and overdue Space Launch System rocket going out to the public. NASA loves positive publicity, it seems — but not negative.

More on the Artemis 1 launch: NASA Says It's Fine That Some Pieces May Have Fallen Off Its Moon Rocket During Launch

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NASA Orders Press Not to Photograph Launch Site After Moon Mission Takes Off

Behind the Lawsuit Against Celebs Who Shilled FTX Before Its Spectacular Meltdown

Lawyer Explains Why He's Suing Celebs Who Shilled FTX Before Its Spectacular Meltdown

Above all else, FTX advertisements wanted you to know two things: that cryptocurrency is a force for good, and that you don't need to be an expert to buy and trade it. In fact, you don't even have to understand it at all. You just need to get involved, because if you don't, you'll get left behind.

If a bit cheesy then, those same promotions — an array of of television commercials, social media posts, and print ads featuring an impressive lineup of A-list celebrities and athletes, in addition to appearances by the now-bankrupt exchange's ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried — are surreal, if not troubling, to watch now, roughly a week after the exchange's spectacular collapse.

Bankman-Fried, widely believed to be the cryptosphere's alleged savior, is under investigation by both the SEC and the CFTC, having lost virtually all his personal wealth in a single day. Meanwhile, an estimated $11 billion's worth of user funds — including that of the retail investors targeted by those shiny ads, many of whom have lost their savings — have vanished. But just six or so months ago? Unretired Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was asking people if they were "in"; basketball star Steph Curry coolly told users that, like him, they didn't need to be a crypto "expert" to invest in digital assets; comedian Larry David told retail investors to ignore their crypto-skepticism; supermodel Gisele Bündchen, in a print campaign with Bankman-Fried, promised that she and FTX would save the world.

"The blood's on [Sam Bankman-Fried's] hands," Joseph Kaye, a Partner at the Moskowitz Law Firm in Florida, told Futurism. "And as far as we're concerned, it's on the hands of anybody who has been promoting this product."

Kaye's firm, alongside that of New York's David Boies, is representing thousands of dismayed FTX retail investors in a class action lawsuit filed this week against FTX, its founder, and its many celebrity sponsors, accusing those named of intentionally preying on low-information investors.

Of course, consuming a celebrity endorsement is like breathing air at this point. They're soaked into every corner of the culture, and most every public figure has their influencing hustle — makeup, clothes, shoes, cars, gummies and the like. And sure, a fair share of celebs have inspired rage over, say, Instagram posts touting diet suppressant lollipops.

FTX accounts, however, are a different story. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who bought a celeb-endorsed lollipop and woke up to find thousands — if not millions — of their savings gone, and a balance sheet marking an eight billion dollar hole to show for it.

Like the now-also-defunct Voyager Digital's Earn Program, FTX accounts were yield-bearing, promising its investors high returns for their investments — so, basically, the markings of a security, just without the actual label. (The Moskowitz firm is also representing plaintiffs in a class action suit brought against Voyager and Mark Cuban, billionaire of "Shark Tank" fame.)

"A lot of people get confused and think that 'oh, well, investing in cryptocurrency is inherently risky,'" Kaye said. "But the issue here is not so much 'did they make an investment in cryptocurrency. It's the function of the account."

And while that's risky enough to begin with, it now appears that FTX — which hasn't officially been charged with anything yet — was using its investors' cash like a piggy bank, funding its own lending activities with the user money with which it'd been trusted.

"When you make statements like [those celebrities did] — and you don't disclose how much you're making or what your arrangement with them is — and it ends up being an unregistered security," Kaye continued, "you're liable as a promoter to the same extent as if you're the FTX exchange."

No one's saying that Brady or Bündchen or anyone else knew that FTX was potentially involved in any malpractice. They were likely taken in by Bankman-Fried's efforts to build a reputation for himself as Mr. Trustworthy Crypto Man, which he admitted shortly after the collapse had largely been a "front." It's also unlikely that they knew, or even really understood, that they were or could be hawking what might just shake out to be an unregistered security.

That's exactly the point, though. We believe, as they told us, that they weren't "experts." Not in the slightest. There doesn't appear to have been much — if any — due diligence here, and a lot of real people have been badly hurt because of it. Did Curry stand on a street corner and hand out FTX accounts? No, but it can be argued that he and the other figures named in the suit played a serious role in FTX's adoption by the masses, downplaying the instability and messiness of the blockchain world while promising that FTX had their back.

And considering how central they may have been to FTX's rise, it would be heartening to see them take some kind of responsibility after its fall.

"I remember our first meeting and we were speaking to the FTX guys… They started to explain it to us and I said, 'I don't know if you can tell over Zoom when our eyes glazed over, but I still don't understand it," David told The Hollywood Reporter back in February, shortly after his Super Bowl commercial aired. "But that's OK. I don't have to know everything.'"

More on the FTX fallout: Politicians Refuse to Say Whether They'll Give Back Donations From Sam Bankman-Fried

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Behind the Lawsuit Against Celebs Who Shilled FTX Before Its Spectacular Meltdown

NASA Tells Astronauts That Tweeting Isn’t As Important as Staying Alive

NASA's astronaut social media handbook just dropped — and they've got some staunch guidelines for safely tweeting on the ISS.

Stayin' Alive

NASA's astronaut social media handbook just dropped — and they've got some staunch guidelines for space tweeting.

As part of a public records request, NASA released to Vox an almost entirely unredacted copy of its current social media handbook for astronauts, and it offers a fascinating look into the agency's policies for the online astronauts it sends to space.

Overall, it's a reasonable document. One particularly interesting detail? It advises astronauts to please lay off of posting when their lives are in jeopardy. Good advice for us all!


In a 2018 memo from the Johnson Space Center included in the records provided to Vox, NASA notes that along with not posting for personal or financial gain or exposing state secrets, "social media efforts should always be considered secondary to the safety of the crew and vehicle."

In another section of the guidelines, a slide reminds astronauts that "social media is voluntary and should be considered secondary to safety of mission and crew cohesion."


Beyond bodily safety, political discretion is also repeatedly advised in the guidelines — an important detail, given the past and current tensions between the ISS' main players, the United States and Russia.

While some have criticized NASA for doing a bit too much social networking — the agency operates a whopping 700 social media accounts, including on Reddit, Twitch, and LinkedIn — it clearly takes a backseat to onboard safety.

Given how much can go wrong on both a mortal and interpersonal level while floating above the Earth, that's definitely a good thing.

More on the ISS: Amazing Video Shows What the ISS Would Look Like If It Flew at the Height of a Jetplane

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NASA Tells Astronauts That Tweeting Isn't As Important as Staying Alive