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Gizmodo's Photos from the Massive iPhone 4 Leak Have Disappeared

3시간 32분 지남
Photographs from a historic moment in tech news history, the day a Gizmodo reporter published hands-on pics of the then-not-yet-announced iPhone 4, are now missing. From a report: And they're not alone -- vast quantities of pictures from G/O Media sites like The Onion, Jalopnik, and Deadspin (as well as Gizmodo) have been removed, reportedly intentionally, according to Gawker. A recent Gawker report highlights that Buzzfeed has also been wiping many older images from the web. Still, Buzzfeed's reason for doing so is relatively apparent after management explained the copyright claims on old photos deemed some of them "high-risk." Both cases are examples of "link rot," where content on the internet is drastically changed because it either disappears entirely or because essential pieces have gone missing.

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Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks Giving Away Bitcoin for 48 Hours

4시간 14분 지남
Mark Cuban's basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, announced a five-year partnership with Voyager Digital yesterday that makes the company the team's first cryptocurrency brokerage. A report adds: The agreement also includes free Bitcoin for fans that sign up in the initial two days of the partnership, as explained by the Mavericks's digital content manager on Twitter.

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Google Warns Customers About Antitrust Bills

4시간 48분 지남
Google on Thursday warned some customers that antitrust bills targeting the tech giant could jeopardize the services small businesses rely on. From a report: By turning to its customers, Google could drum up opposition from small businesses that may give lawmakers pause in advancing legislation. Google is emailing small and medium sized businesses that use its advertising, analytics and free business profile tools, to tell them antitrust bills in the House and Senate could "cost your business time and money." Google said the dangers could include: Making it harder for customers to find businesses because listings, including address and business hours, may no longer appear in Google Search results or on Google Maps, and hurting the effectiveness of digital marketing if Google Ads products were broken up and disconnected from Google Analytics. "[W]e're concerned that Congress' controversial package of bills could have unintended consequences, especially for small businesses who have relied on digital tools to adapt, recover and reach new customers throughout the pandemic," a Google spokesperson told Axios. Google declined to say how many businesses it contacted. Customers using some Google products will also see a prompt encouraging them to opt in to receive more information about the bills.

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Counting CO2 is Hard and Expensive, But Tech Firms Think They Have a Solution

목, 2021/10/28 - 11:53오후
An anonymous reader shares a report: After spending nearly half a year, every year, gathering and calculating carbon emissions data on spread sheets, Salesforce.com's climate team was fed up. So in 2017 they built an app to crunch the numbers -- and now they sell it for $4,000 a month. As global companies prepare pledges to help stop climate change, one of the first problems they face is quantifying their emissions. The second is understanding if their solutions work. That need is fueling a boom in carbon accounting software by big companies like Salesforce and startups as well, along with some skepticism of parts of the process. Microsoft Corp is previewing a tool for calculating emissions called Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability, aiming to make it available by mid-2022. On Thursday, Arizona-based carbon accounting startup Persefoni said it raised over $100 million, the biggest venture capital funding round so far in the field. That takes total fundraising this year to nearly $300 million, six times the total for 2020 and over 21 times the funds raised in 2019, according to a Reuters review of data from PitchBook and Climate Tech VC. Carbon accounting is complex, especially when including emissions beyond a company's direct control, such as suppliers and use of products, which many companies are trying to do. How does, for example, an automaker account for the steel it buys and the miles driven by its customers? Some in the accounting business call these indirect emissions, often the bulk of a firm's emissions, the "Pandora's box" of carbon accounting. "You have a massive problem in our world of companies that are creating their own methodologies and then black-boxing them. Those are not auditable. In the worst cases, they're helping companies greenwash," said Kentaro Kawamori, CEO of Persefoni, which uses a system called the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to compute numbers that get added up into total emissions.

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A Security Bug in Health App Docket Exposed COVID-19 Vaccine Records

목, 2021/10/28 - 11:14오후
A security bug in the health app Docket exposed the private information of residents vaccinated against COVID-19 in New Jersey and Utah, where the app received endorsements from state officials. From a report: Docket lets residents download and carry a digital copy of their immunizations by pulling their vaccination records from their state's health authority. The digital copy has the same information as the COVID-19 paper card, but is digitally signed by the state to prevent forgeries. Docket is one of several so-called vaccine passports in the U.S., allowing residents to show their vaccination records -- or a scannable QR code -- for getting into events, restaurants or crossing into countries where vaccines are required. But for a time, the app allowed anyone access to the QR codes of other vaccinated users -- and all the personal and vaccine information encoded within. That included names, dates of birth and information about a person's COVID-19 vaccination status, such as which type of vaccine they received and when. TechCrunch discovered the bug on Tuesday and immediately contacted the company. Docket chief executive Michael Perretta said the bug was fixed at the server level a few hours later. The bug was found in how the Docket app requests the user's QR code from its servers. The user's QR code is generated on the server in the form of a SMART Health Card, a widely accepted standard for validating a person's vaccination status across the world. That QR code is tied to a user ID, which isn't visible from the app, but can be viewed by looking at its network traffic using off-the-shelf software like Burp Suite or Charles Proxy.

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Cheap Antidepressant Shows Promise Treating Early COVID-19

목, 2021/10/28 - 10:00오후
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Associated Press: A cheap antidepressant reduced the need for hospitalization among high-risk adults with COVID-19 in a study hunting for existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat coronavirus. Researchers tested the pill used for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder because it was known to reduce inflammation and looked promising in smaller studies. They've shared the results with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which publishes treatment guidelines, and they hope for a World Health Organization recommendation. The pill, called fluvoxamine, would cost $4 for a course of COVID-19 treatment. By comparison, antibody IV treatments cost about $2,000 and Merck's experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 is about $700 per course. Researchers tested the antidepressant in nearly 1,500 Brazilians recently infected with coronavirus who were at risk of severe illness because of other health problems, such as diabetes. About half took the antidepressant at home for 10 days, the rest got dummy pills. They were tracked for four weeks to see who landed in the hospital or spent extended time in an emergency room when hospitals were full. In the group that took the drug, 11% needed hospitalization or an extended ER stay, compared to 16% of those on dummy pills. The results, published Wednesday in the journal Lancet Global Health, were so strong that independent experts monitoring the study recommended stopping it early because the results were clear. Questions remain about the best dosing, whether lower risk patients might also benefit and whether the pill should be combined with other treatments.

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China's New Quantum Computer Has 1 Million Times the Power of Google's

목, 2021/10/28 - 7:00오후
Physicists in China claim they've constructed two quantum computers with performance speeds that outrival competitors in the U.S., debuting a superconducting machine, in addition to an even speedier one that uses light photons to obtain unprecedented results, according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journals Physical Review Letters and Science Bulletin. Interesting Engineering reports: The supercomputer, called Jiuzhang 2, can calculate in a single millisecond a task that the fastest conventional computer in the world would take a mind-numbing 30 trillion years to do. The breakthrough was revealed during an interview with the research team, which was broadcast on China's state-owned CCTV on Tuesday, which could make the news suspect. But with two peer-reviewed papers, it's important to take this seriously. Pan Jianwei, lead researcher of the studies, said that Zuchongzhi 2, which is a 66-qubit programmable superconducting quantum computer is an incredible 10 million times faster than Google's 55-qubit Sycamore, making China's new machine the fastest in the world, and the first to beat Google's in two years. The Zuchongzhi 2 is an improved version of a previous machine, completed three months ago. The Jiuzhang 2, a different quantum computer that runs on light, has fewer applications but can run at blinding speeds of 100 sextillion times faster than the biggest conventional computers of today. In case you missed it, that's a one with 23 zeroes behind it. But while the features of these new machines hint at a computing revolution, they won't hit the marketplace anytime soon. As things stand, the two machines can only operate in pristine environments, and only for hyper-specific tasks. And even with special care, they still make lots of errors. "In the next step we hope to achieve quantum error correction with four to five years of hard work," said Professor Pan of the University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei, which is in the southeastern province of Anhui.

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Giant, Free Index To World's Research Papers Released Online

목, 2021/10/28 - 4:03오후
In a project that could unlock the world's research papers for easier computerized analysis, an American technologist has released online a gigantic index of the words and short phrases contained in more than 100 million journal articles -- including many paywalled papers. Nature reports: The catalogue, which was released on October 7 and is free to use, holds tables of more than 355 billion words and sentence fragments listed next to the articles in which they appear. It is an effort to help scientists use software to glean insights from published work even if they have no legal access to the underlying papers, says its creator, Carl Malamud. He released the files under the auspices of Public Resource, a non-profit corporation in Sebastopol, California that he founded. Malamud says that because his index doesn't contain the full text of articles, but only sentence snippets up to five words long, releasing it does not breach publishers' copyright restrictions on the re-use of paywalled articles. However, one legal expert says that publishers might question the legality of how Malamud created the index in the first place. Some researchers who have had early access to the index say it's a major development in helping them to search the literature with software -- a procedure known as text mining. [...] Computer scientists already text mine papers to build databases of genes, drugs and chemicals found in the literature, and to explore papers' content faster than a human could read. But they often note that publishers ultimately control the speed and scope of their work, and that scientists are restricted to mining only open-access papers, or those articles they (or their institutions) have subscriptions to. Some publishers have said that researchers looking to mine the text of paywalled papers need their authorization. And although free search engines such as Google Scholar have -- with publishers' agreement -- indexed the text of paywalled literature, they only allow users to search with certain types of text queries, and restrict automated searching. That doesn't allow large-scale computerized analysis using more specialized searches, Malamud says.

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Neutrino Result Heralds New Chapter In Physics

목, 2021/10/28 - 12:30오후
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: A new chapter in physics has opened, according to scientists who have been searching for a vital building block of the Universe. A major experiment has been used to search for an elusive sub-atomic particle: a key component of the matter that makes up our everyday lives. The search failed to find the particle, known as the sterile neutrino. This will now direct physicists towards even more interesting theories to help explain how the Universe came to be. Prof Mark Thomson, the executive chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which funds the UK's contribution to the Microboone experiment, described the result as ''pretty exciting'." That is because a sizeable proportion of physicists have been developing their theories on the basis that the existence of the sterile neutrino was a possibility. Dr Sam Zeller from Fermilab says that the non-detection does not have to contradict previous findings. "The earlier data doesn't lie," she said. "There's something really interesting happening that we still need to explain. Data is steering us away from the likely explanations and pointing toward something more complex and interesting, which is really exciting." Prof Justin Evans, from the University of Manchester, believes that the puzzle posed by the latest findings marks a turning point in neutrino research. "Every time we look at neutrinos, we seem to find something new or unexpected," he said. "Microboone's results are taking us in a new direction, and our neutrino program is going to get to the bottom of some of these mysteries."

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Immunocompromised May Need a Fourth COVID-19 Shot, CDC Says

목, 2021/10/28 - 11:10오전
According to updated CDC guidelines, people with compromised immune systems may get a fourth mRNA COVID-19 shot. CNN reports: The CDC authorized a third dose for certain immunocompromised people 18 and older in August. It said a third dose, rather than a booster -- the CDC makes a distinction between the two -- was necessary because the immunocompromised may not have had a complete immune response from the first two doses. A study from Johns Hopkins University this summer showed that vaccinated immunocompromised people were 485 times more likely to end up in the hospital or die from Covid-19 compared to most vaccinated people. In small studies, the CDC said, fully vaccinated immunocompromised people accounted for about 44% of the breakthrough cases that required hospitalization. People who are immunocompromised are also more likely to transmit the virus to people who had close contact with them. The US Food and Drug Administration has also authorized booster shots of all three available vaccines for certain people and that would include the immune compromised, the CDC says. Research showed that a booster dose enhanced the antibody response to the vaccine in certain immunocompromised people. That would make for a fourth shot at least six months after completing the third mRNA vaccine dose. At this time, the CDC does not have a recommendation about the fourth shot. People should talk to their doctors to determine if it is necessary, the CDC says. People who are immunocompromised who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot should get a booster at least two months after their initial vaccine. People who choose a Moderna vaccine as a booster, even if they received a different vaccine as the first dose, should get the half-dose sized shot that was authorized as a booster for Moderna's vaccine, the CDC said.

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Anonymity No More? Age Checks Come To the Web

목, 2021/10/28 - 10:30오전
In response to mounting pressure from activists, parents and regulators who believe tech companies haven't done enough to protect children online, businesses and governments around the globe are placing major parts of the internet behind stricter digital age checks. The New York Times reports: People in Japan must provide a document proving their age to use the dating app Tinder. The popular game Roblox requires players to upload a form of government identification -- and a selfie to prove the ID belongs to them -- if they want access to a voice chat feature. Laws in Germany and France require pornography websites to check visitors' ages. The changes, which have picked up speed over the last two years, could upend one of the internet's central traits: the ability to remain anonymous. Since the days of dial-up modems and AOL chat rooms, people could traverse huge swaths of the web without divulging any personal details. Many people created an online persona entirely separate from their offline one. But the experience of consuming content and communicating online is increasingly less like an anonymous public square and more like going to the bank, with measures to prove that you are who you say you are. [...] Critics of the age checks say that in the name of keeping people safe, they could endanger user privacy, dampen free expression and hurt communities that benefit from anonymity online. Authoritarian governments have used protecting children as an argument for limiting online speech: China barred websites this summer from ranking celebrities by popularity as part of a larger crackdown on what it says are the pernicious effects of celebrity culture on young people. "Are we going to start seeing more age verification? Of course," said Hany Farid, a professor of engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, who has called for more child safety measures. "Because there is more pressure, there's more awareness now, on how these technologies are harming kids." But, Mr. Farid said, regulators and companies need to proceed with caution. "We don't want the solution to be more harmful than the problem," he said. Further reading: 'Banning Anonymous Social Media Accounts Would Only Stifle Free Speech and Democracy'

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A Cyberattack Paralyzed Every Gas Station In Iran

목, 2021/10/28 - 9:50오전
Iran's president said Wednesday that a cyberattack which paralyzed every gas station in the Islamic Republic was designed to get "people angry by creating disorder and disruption," as long lines still snaked around the pumps a day after the incident began. NPR reports: Ebrahim Raisi's remarks stopped short of assigning blame for the attack, which rendered useless the government-issued electronic cards that many Iranians use to buy subsidized fuel at the pump. However, his remarks suggested that he and others in the theocracy believe anti-Iranian forces carried out the assault. "There should be serious readiness in the field of cyberwar and related bodies should not allow the enemy to follow their ominous aims to make problem in trend of people's life," Raisi said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack that began Tuesday, though it bore similarities to another months earlier that seemed to directly challenge Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the country's economy buckles under American sanctions. On Wednesday morning, IRNA quoted another official who claimed 80% of Iran's gas stations had begun selling fuel again. Associated Press journalists saw long lines at multiple gas stations in Tehran. One station had a line of 90 cars waiting for fuel. Those buying ended up having to pay at higher, unsubsidized prices. Tuesday's attack rendered useless the government-issued electronic cards that many Iranians use to buy subsidized fuel at the pump. The semiofficial ISNA news agency, which first called the incident a cyberattack, said it saw those trying to buy fuel with a government-issued card through the machines instead receiving a message reading "cyberattack 64411." While ISNA didn't acknowledge the number's significance, that number is associated with a hotline run through Khamenei's office that handles questions about Islamic law. ISNA later removed its reports, claiming that it too had been hacked. Such claims of hacking can come quickly when Iranian outlets publish news that angers the theocracy.

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Indian Supreme Court Orders Inquiry Into State's Use of Pegasus Spyware

목, 2021/10/28 - 9:10오전
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: India's supreme court has ordered an independent inquiry into whether the government used the surveillance software Pegasus to spy illegally on journalists, activists and political opponents. The decision on Wednesday to create an independent committee to investigate whether and how the Indian state had used the Israeli spyware tool was a significant victory for privacy campaigners after years of stonewalling by Narendra Modi's government. The order was a response to cases lodged by several Indian journalists and activists, including some revealed by the Guardian and a consortium of reporting partners to have been victims of Pegasus -- a cyber-weapon capable of hacking a target's smartphone, extracting its contents and turning on the device's microphone and camera. Pegasus is a cyber-weapon capable of hacking a target's smartphone, extracting its contents and turning on the device's microphone and camera. Analysis by the media outlets of infected phones, and of a wider list of more than 50,000 phone numbers believed to have been selected as persons of interest by clients of Pegasus' manufacturer, NSO Group, strongly indicated the Indian government was using the tool. Delhi has consistently declined to confirm if it has access to it. The committee will comprise three cybersecurity experts and its work will be overseen by a retired supreme court judge. It will submit its report in two months. The expert group will have powers to call witnesses and seek documents as part of its fact-finding mission, and can issue adverse findings against individuals or the government if they decline to cooperate. The court listed another hearing date for after the committee's reporting deadline, indicating it intended to continue pursuing the issue.

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LinkedIn Rolls Out Its Freelance Marketplace To Compete With Fiverr and Upwork

목, 2021/10/28 - 8:30오전
LinkedIn is rolling out a new platform for freelancers to help it better compete against the likes of Fiverr and Upwork. TechCrunch reports: Today it is taking the wraps off its Service Marketplace, a new feature that will let people advertise themselves for short-term engagements to those looking to hire people for such roles, competing against the likes of Fiverr and Upwork for sourcing skilled knowledge workers. The launch of its freelancer platform is coming alongside a few other key updates from LinkedIn around other job-hunting tools, underscoring how the company is looking to adapt to new currents in the job market and how we work. They include new search filters to find jobs (permanent jobs, that is) that are remote, hybrid or on-site; and these can also now be indicated on your "Open to Work" indicator if you have that turned on to invite recruiters to contact you. Alongside this, you can now also check out companies' vaccination requirements as part of how you evaluate jobs (if the employer has indicated those details itself). Service Marketplace was first leaked out as a small test in February this year. Since then LinkedIn has been running a quiet beta of the service in the U.S., which has already picked up 2 million users from among the nearly 800 million users (as of yesterday's earning report) that LinkedIn now has globally. As of today, Service Marketplace is going to be turned on for everyone globally: to set up a freelancer profile, you go to your own profile page, find the button near the top and follow the script to set it up and flag what you might be interested in working on. [...] Although Service Marketplace is not currently charging any fees, as it does for its other recruiting products, this will lay the groundwork for how over time LinkedIn can. The Service Marketplace is launching with 250 job categories, and the plan is to expand that to 500, product manager Matt Faustman told me in an interview. "We are barely scratching the surface," he said. Marketing has been one of the stronger categories to date, he added. "Barely scratching the surface" may be the operative phrase here: For now, there is no way of negotiating a fee for work, nor for invoicing, and those looking to find people are not required to give any specific guidance on fees until they get into a deeper conversation with a candidate. When it comes to reviews, clients can review those they have engaged, but the individuals cannot leave a review for the clients. And, those listing themselves on the Marketplace have no way of finding jobs themselves: they are there to be discovered, not to search for work themselves.

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DeFi Protocol Cream Finance Loses $130 Million in Latest Crypto Hack

목, 2021/10/28 - 7:50오전
DeFi protocol Cream Finance suffered yet another hack this year after an exploit stole at least $130 million in what could be one of the largest thefts in decentralized finance. From a report: The attack on the Ethereum-based lending protocol was first reported by The Block Crypto, which cited a tweet by PeckShield highlighting a large flash-loan transaction that carried out the theft. The burgeoning DeFi landscape has drawn in billions of dollars in investor funds, but it has been a frequent target by hackers, with many using flash loans -- a type of uncollateralized lending -- as a way to exploit poorly protected protocols. Cream was involved in similar attacks that stole nearly $38 million in February and almost $19 million in August, according to The Block. Meanwhile, a hacker stole $600 million worth of crypto tokens from the PolyNetwork protocol in August in what is considered to be the largest DeFi hack ever.

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McDonald's Partners With IBM To Automate Drive-Thru Lanes

목, 2021/10/28 - 7:10오전
McDonald's said Wednesday it has entered a strategic partnership with IBM to develop artificial intelligence technology that will help the fast-food chain automate its drive-thru lanes. CNBC reports: As part of the deal, IBM will acquire McD Tech Labs, which was formerly known as Apprente before McDonald's bought the tech company in 2019. McDonald's didn't disclose financial terms for either transaction. "In my mind, IBM is the ideal partner for McDonald's given their expertise in building AI-powered customer care solutions and voice recognition," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said on the earnings call with analysts Wednesday. The Apprente technology uses AI to understand drive-thru orders. This summer, McDonald's tested the tech in a handful of Chicago restaurants. Kempczinski said that the test showed "substantial benefits" to customers and employees. In June, at the same conference where he disclosed the Chicago test, Kempczinski shared McDonald's strategy for tech acquisitions. "If we do acquisitions, it will be for a short period of time, bring it in house, jumpstart it, turbo it and then spin it back out and find a partner that will work and scale it for us," he said. CFO Kevin Ozan said that less than 100 employees will leave McDonald's to work for IBM.

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Payments Company Stripe Is Kick Starting Market For Carbon Removal

목, 2021/10/28 - 6:30오전
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Stripe is signing up to pay for carbon-removal technologies that haven't been invented yet. The payments company has formed a partnership with Deep Science Ventures, a London investment firm that specializes in building technology companies from the ground up. DSV will recruit scientists to develop ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If they come up with viable concepts, Stripe will be their first customer. It will pay DSV startups $500,000 each up front to capture and store carbon, then a further $1 million if they meet performance milestones. The new partnership marks an expansion of Stripe's effort to provide a market for unproven technology that could potentially help limit the damage of global warming. The United Nations' scientific panel on climate change says the least-bad global-temperature scenarios depend on people removing billions of tons of planet-warming gases from the atmosphere. It also cautions that companies and governments may never be able to deploy the technology on the scale required to make that happen. Since August 2019, when it promised "to pay, at any available price, for the direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its sequestration in secure, long-term storage," Stripe has committed $9 million to 10 carbon-removal projects. Stripe's carbon-removal procurement is led by Ryan Orbuch, who was a product manager before focusing on climate, and the team's projects are vetted by a panel of industry experts. Costs vary, with the most expensive service costing more than $2,000 per ton of carbon removed. Scalability is more important than current pricing. Stripe says technologies should have the potential to remove half a gigaton of carbon dioxide a year by 2050 at a cost of $100 per ton, and store it for at least 1,000 years. Stripe has tethered its core business of operating payment infrastructure to its side project. Stripe Climate, a tool introduced in October 2020, lets Stripe's customers divert a percentage of revenue to the carbon-removal pot. Roughly 9,000 of Stripe's millions of business users have enrolled contributing nearly $3 million a year collectively, and roughly 8% of new Stripe users sign up [...].

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The 50-year-old Problem That Eludes Theoretical Computer Science

목, 2021/10/28 - 5:50오전
A solution to P vs NP could unlock countless computational problems -- or keep them forever out of reach. MIT Technology Review: On Monday, July 19, 2021, in the middle of another strange pandemic summer, a leading computer scientist in the field of complexity theory tweeted out a public service message about an administrative snafu at a journal. He signed off with a very loaded, "Happy Monday." In a parallel universe, it might have been a very happy Monday indeed. A proof had appeared online at the esteemed journal ACM Transactions on Computational Theory, which trades in "outstanding original research exploring the limits of feasible computation." The result purported to solve the problem of all problems -- the Holy Grail of theoretical computer science, worth a $1 million prize and fame rivaling Aristotle's forevermore. This treasured problem -- known as "P versus NP" -- is considered at once the most important in theoretical computer science and mathematics and completely out of reach. It addresses questions central to the promise, limits, and ambitions of computation, asking: Why are some problems harder than others? Which problems can computers realistically solve? How much time will it take? And it's a quest with big philosophical and practical payoffs. "Look, this P versus NP question, what can I say?" Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote in his memoir of ideas, Quantum Computing Since Democritus. "People like to describe it as 'probably the central unsolved problem of theoretical computer science.' That's a comical understatement. P vs NP is one of the deepest questions that human beings have ever asked." One way to think of this story's protagonists is as follows: "P" represents problems that a computer can handily solve. "NP" represents problems that, once solved, are easy to check -- like jigsaw puzzles, or Sudoku. Many NP problems correspond to some of the most stubborn and urgent problems society faces. The million-dollar question posed by P vs. NP is this: Are these two classes of problems one and the same? Which is to say, could the problems that seem so difficult in fact be solved with an algorithm in a reasonable amount of time, if only the right, devilishly fast algorithm could be found? If so, many hard problems are suddenly solvable. And their algorithmic solutions could bring about societal changes of utopian proportions -- in medicine and engineering and economics, biology and ecology, neuroscience and social science, industry, the arts, even politics and beyond.

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Teen Bought Google Ad for His Scam Website and Made 48 Bitcoins Duping UK Online Shoppers

목, 2021/10/28 - 5:10오전
A "sophisticated" teenager has had $2.88m in cryptocurrency confiscated after he set up a phishing site and advertised it on Google, duping consumers into handing over gift voucher redemption codes. From a report: The schoolboy set up a website impersonating gift voucher site Love2Shop. Having done that he then bought Google ads which resulted in his fake site appearing above the real one in search results, Lincoln Crown Court was told. Crown prosecutor Sam Skinner told Her Honour Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight that the boy, whose identity is protected by a court order, harvested $8,931 worth of vouchers in the week his site was active. Love2shop began investigating in April 2020 after a customer complained, at which point the boy took down his fake site. The stolen vouchers were converted into Love2Shop vouchers on the A-level student's own account. A later police investigation discovered 12,000 credit card numbers on his computer along with details for 197 Paypal accounts. On top of that, he had 48 Bitcoins: when police arrested him in August last year these were worth $275,000 but their value has risen tenfold since. Sentencing the boy earlier this week, HHJ Knight commented in court: "If he was an adult he would be going inside."

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COBOLing Together Unemployment Insurance Benefits: How Delays in Fiscal Stabilizers Impact Aggregate Consumption

목, 2021/10/28 - 4:25오전
Abstract of a paper written by Michael Navarrete of University of Maryland: The United States experienced an unprecedented increase in unemployment insurance (UI) claims starting in March 2020, mainly due to layoffs caused by COVID-19. State unemployment insurance systems were inadequately prepared to process these claims. Those states using an antiquated programming language, COBOL, to process UI claims experienced longer delays in benefit disbursement. Using daily card consumption data from Affinity Solutions, I employ a two-way fixed effects estimator to measure the causal impact of COBOL-induced delays in UI benefits on aggregate consumption. The delays caused a 4.4 percentage point relative decline in total card consumption in COBOL states relative to non-COBOL states. Performing a back-of-the-envelope calculation using 2019 data, I find that real GDP declined by $181 billion (in 2012 dollars).

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