Coinbase is growing up fast — or at least trying to.As an emblem of its current effort to accommodate the massive demand on its platform, the mainstream U.S. cryptocurrency exchange just added Facebook Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus to its board of directors.Coinbase announced the news in a post on Medium.Thrilled to join the @Coinbase Board!Looking fwd to doing my best to help @brian_armstrong and the amazing team he's assembled, continue to democratize access to cryptocurrencies, and deliver on the mission to create an open financial system for the world https://t.co/CDGPu4RhYOWith unprecedented trading volumes and bitcoin at an astronomical all-time high, it’s a critical — and challenging — time for Coinbase.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart announced he was resigning as the company’s CEO.“If you love something, set it free,” his goodbye post began, which may not be the standard way to announce one is stepping down, but is still one of the more grounded statements from a man whose oeuvre includes phrases like “grocery shopping is a multisensory living nightmare.”Rhinehart—whose personal achievements include giving up on the electrical grid, throwing out his fridge, and (to the chagrin of neighbors) attempting to live out of a shipping container which he dropped in LA without permits—wrote on the company website that he’s either grown bored with, or has been made obsolete by his contributions to the brand:Along the way I have seen my role as CEO evolve, especially enjoying the process of delegating my responsibilities to more skilled and experienced scientists, managers, and executives.These specialists are clearly better at their roles than I would be, especially if I were handling tons of other responsibilities simultaneously, which is the exciting early stage of a startup.Bryan Crowley, the president of Soylent’s parent company, will now take over the business of the meal replacement product that caused consumers to experience “uncontrollable diarrhoea” last year and was banned in Canada this year.
In July, US Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer held a press conference to denounce a chocolate-flavored energy powder meant for snorting, called Coco Loko.And though regulators didn’t come up with a description quite as catchy as Schumer’s, their assessment of Coco Loko was even more damning.Regulators determined that the powder was an unapproved new drug and that its maker, Legal Lean, was unlawfully marketing it, according to a Tuesday announcement.The syrup contained an undisclosed sedative, doxylamine, which is found in the over-the-counter sleep-aid Unisom.In a warning letter dated December 11, the FDA requested that Legal Lean “immediately cease marketing violative drug products to US consumers.” Legal Lean has 15 business days after the receipt of the letter to respond.In its warning letter, the FDA explained that Coco Loko and Legal Lean Syrup constituted unapproved drugs because they are marketed as being used to “affect the structure or function of the mind.”
OnePlus does a good job by keeping their phones updates in a constantly basis, the company has managed to bring updates for both the 2016 released OnePlus 3 and 3T even after a whole year, and is keeping the same form with OnePlus 5.The company took the wraps of today to release a new update for their half 2017 flagship the OnePlus 5.The update comes in the form of 4.5.15 and surprisingly does not bring Oreo for the handset owners, more shockingly it also lacks the Widevine Level 1 certification required for streaming HD content in apps like Netflix and other related services.What the update brings is a couple of fixes and tweaks for optimizing overall user’s experience.
A surprisingly big number of top-name websites—Facebook and PayPal among them—recently tested positive for a critical, 19-year-old vulnerability that allowed attackers to decrypt encrypted data and sign communications using the sites' secret encryption key.With enough specially formed queries, attackers could exploit the weakness in a way that allowed them to decrypt ciphertext even when they didn't have the secret decryption key.On Wednesday, a team of researchers said an Internet scan conducted last month found that 27 of the 100 most-visited websites—including Facebook and PayPal—were vulnerable to what was essentially the same attack.The researchers also identified developers of firewalls, load balancers, and other large-scale applications that made websites vulnerable to the decryption and impersonation attacks.The findings, the researchers said, underscore the inadequacy of current processes for securing transport layer security, the HTTPS-scheme that's a cornerstone of Internet security.In a blog post, the researchers were similarly blunt when they wrote:
Yesterday, Gizmodo and other outlets signal-boosted recent statements from former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya saying that social media sites are “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” Many of his incriminating assessments echoed analysis made a few days earlier by former Facebook president Sean Parker.Today, Facebook responded directly to what Palihapitiya said.In a statement with Gizmodo and other outlets, a Facebook spokesperson said:Chamath has not been at Facebook for over 6 years.When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world.We’ve done a lot of work and research with outside experts and academics to understand the effects of our service on well-being, and we’re using it to inform our product development.
YouTube’s live television service has expanded into an additional 34 markets, bringing streaming access to a bunch of cities like Fresno, CA and New Orleans.As with the markets that already had access, people in these new markets can get access to live TV channels over the Internet by subscribing to YouTube Live, a service similar to PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, DirecTV NOW, and Hulu Live TV.YouTube announced the new markets in a tweet yesterday, revealing that its live television service is now available in more than 80 markets throughout the US.Because YouTube has been heavily targeting large metro regions with its expansion, a large number of people throughout the US now have the option to sign up.However, the service isn’t perfect and some people are still waiting for YouTube to introduce better device support.As it stands, YouTube TV is available Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox One, and some smart TVs from both Samsung and LG.
In many ways, amber is nature's historian.As a tree resin, it starts as a sticky flowing substance that often traps flora and fauna in its path.Then, as volatile compounds in the resin evaporate and other chemical changes take place, it becomes fossilized, preserving its contents for millions of years.Not only is amber prized by jewelry makers, it's also valued by scientists, who can peer into it to look back at the past in a very real way.Perhaps one of the most striking examples of amber's ability to freeze time is this specimen of a harvestman spider, also known as a daddy long legs.This particular critter was about to have sex, as evidenced by its erect penis, which is normally hidden inside the body in its less excited state.
Force 1’s U34W Dragonfly is an entry-level drone advertised as being “easy to fly” and “for beginners.” I figured it would be the perfect drone for my family to try out, so we took one to the park.The Dragonfly is a fairly small drone, at only about 26 cm across, making it nearly palm sized.It ships with extra propellers, two batteries, a charging adapter, and a remote control.The controls are simple and, despite the fact it’s an entry-level device, it still has some nice features like headless mode (you can steer it without knowing what direction the ‘front’ is pointing) and one-button takeoff and landing.Black is fine, and at least here they add some bright blue racing stripes and props.I like the siderails, they look good and they work well.
Capable as the hardware is, robotic hands have the same sort of problem as every other robot: it's very tricky to make them do exactly what you want them to do.Some of them use toe switches.At Georgia Tech, Gil Weinberg, Minoru Shinohara, and Chris Fink have developed a completely new way of controlling prosthetic limbs.This has enabled intuitive, finger-level control of a robotic hand.It's so much better than any other control system that the researchers are already calling it “Luke Skywalker’s bionic hand.”Jason, a participant in the prosthetic experiment, lost part of his arm.
If you want to make a living creating white supremacist content, you’re probably not going to do it via sites like Kickstarter and Patreon, which prohibit hate speech.Tucows’ Ross Rader also replied to questions from Ryan Block (who was a valuable collaborator on this post) indicating that the company does not consider Hatreon a customer:a) they aren’t a customer – we work through resellers and b) even presuming we know in advance how someone will use a registration, should we also get to pick which startups we provide registrations to?I agree with Block that it is disingenuous to pretend that Hatreon is not a customer of Tucows — only the thinnest membrane separates them.There are plenty of regulations for complying with country code requirements and so on, but no section saying, for example, that Nazi publications aren’t welcome.Njalla, likewise, has prohibitions against “illegal activities” but nothing pertaining to hate speech, harassment, abuse, etc.
Trump signs defense law with No Eugenes clause, plenty more cyber stuffPresident Donald Trump has signed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, which includes a ban on products from Kaspersky Lab running in US government agencies.Section 1634 of the law specifies that:No department, agency, organization, or other element of the Federal Government may use, whether directly or through work with or on behalf of another department, agency, organization, or element of the Federal Government, any hardware, software, or services developed or provided, in whole or in part, by—(1) Kaspersky Lab (or any successor entity);(2) any entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with Kaspersky Lab; or
Lyft has officially opened for business in Toronto, its first market outside the U.S.The Canadian expansion was announced last month, and December 12 is the first day of official operations with ride hailing services available in the city.Lyft service in Toronto includes standard Lyft service, Lyft Plus, Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV rides.It can also be used to hail a ride to and from Toronto’s Pearson Airport for travelers.This has been a busy year for Lyft, which has more than doubled its total number of rides given, and managed to rack up its most recent 100 million rides in only three months, compared to taking four years to reach that number for its first 100 million.It’s also now offering service to around 95 percent of the U.S. population, having increased its coverage by around 76 percent year-over-year.
It's starting to sound a lot like "Jurassic Park" around here.An international team of scientists published a study Tuesday detailing the discovery of ticks in 99-million-year-old amber that suggests the parasites had a taste for dinosaur blood.The study covers several examples of ticks in amber, including an extinct species of tick called Deinocroton draculi ("Dracula's terrible tick"), fittingly named for Bram Stoker's blood-feasting vampire.Perhaps the most exciting specimen is a tick grasping a dinosaur feather found in Burmese amber dating to the Cretaceous period.The University of Oxford calls this the "first direct fossil evidence of ticks parasitizing dinosaurs."The scientists aren't sure exactly what kind of dinosaur the feather belonged to, but the age of the fossil means it couldn't belong to a modern bird.
Polyelectrolyte brushes look a bit like soft bushes, such as shoeshine brushes, but they are on the scale of large molecules and the "bristles" are made of polymer chains.Polyelectrolyte brushes have a backing, or substrate, and the polymer chains tethered to the backing like soft bristles have chemical properties that make the brush potentially interesting for many practical uses.But polymers are stringy and tend to get tangled or clumped, and keeping them straightened out, like soft bristles, is vital to the function of these micron brushes.Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, and the Argonne National Laboratory devised experiments that caused polyelectrolyte brush bristles to collapse and then recover from the collapse.Principal investigator Blair Brettmann from Georgia Tech and the study's first authors Jing Yu and Nicholas Jackson from the University of Chicago published their results on December 8, 2017, in the journal Science Advances.From faux DNA to lubricants
New South Wales TAFE's failed IT project will be a millstone around the organisation's neck for years, the state's Auditor-General warned yesterday.Terminated last year, the Learning and Management and Business Reform (LMBR) project has nonetheless managed to reach out of the grave and grab the dollars.The Auditor-General's report puts depressing numbers to the ongoing cost of the disastrous project: AU$89 million on system replacement, plus “extra costs each year to produce reliable financial information”.Since the Oracle-based replacement system won't be implemented until the 2018-2019 financial year, TAFE “again needed to implement significant compensating controls and procedures” to count student revenues, with 100 staff employed at a cost of $6 million, not counting contractors.The Department of Education launched the project in 2006, and in nine years, was only able to bring it to pilot by 2015.A NSW government committee recommended the project be scrapped in December 2015, but in a classic death-march it was still grinding on in April 2016.
Call them content creators, influencers, or maybe just fellow narcissists with a camera, but whether you like it or not, the people you follow on social media are how you get introduced to things like news, memes, or trends.But in an update scheduled to start rolling out later today, Instagram is trying to change that by letting people follow hashtags for the first time.Currently, there are two main ways to find photos and videos with a certain hashtag.One way is to search for them under the Explore tab, the other is to click on a hashtag in the body of post in hopes of finding more related content.But with the new update, Instagram will allow people to follow entire communities, instead of just singular entities.Let’s say, for example, that you like photos of cuddly critters.
As bezels on smartphones have gotten thinner, their designers are faced with a challenge that becomes more difficult with each passing model released: how do you make your phone stand out amongst the rest?Without bezels or a visible fingerprint biometrics on the phone’s front or back, there’s increasingly little to work with when it comes to crafting a phone’s identity.Sure, you might be thinking, the Samsung Galaxy S8, Essential Phone, iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 XL look fairly unique.But as I’m sure you’re aware, this aesthetic has since been adopted far and wide in the world of smartphone manufacturing, from the flagship price point down to the startlingly affordable Honor 7X and LG Q6.The honeymoon effect of design is getting shorterWhen the first smartphones with minimal bezels hit the market, the effect seemed revolutionary, an example of engineering mastery that’s was reserved only for the most elite of devices.
Sony today released its Stranger Things VR Experience on the PlayStation store.Don’t get too excited though.It’s shorter than Eleven’s Season 1 haircut, which is a crying shame.The game, first teased back in October, appears to take place during the first season of the show.Promotional images show the Byers’ light-festooned home and little else.From what I’ve been able to tell, the game consists of a few jump scares and an extended trailer for the show.
The plan is aimed at building an electric power system capable of surviving an “upper Category 4 event” (250-kilometer-per-hour winds) and heavy flood waters.Work continues to restore electric power service knocked out by high winds and flooding.In broad terms, the plan is modeled on work under way on Long Island, New York, in response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, Quiniones told IEEE Spectrum.From Microgrids to Tree TrimmingAmong the projects included in the newly released Puerto Rico recovery and enhancement plan are:Reinforcing existing direct-embedded poles with perimeter-injected concrete grout or other soil stabilization