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 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.”
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:
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.
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.
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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.
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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
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
A new generation of Samsung’s Galaxy A-series phones are rumored for a release this January, as reported by Android Police.A user manual was uploaded online to Samsung’s website, which provides minimal details on what we can expect for next year’s new A-series phones.It appears that the phones’ big highlight feature will be dual front-facing cameras, with Live Focus available for selfies, but there’s no information yet on how many megapixels they are.The manual also confirms that the phones will have a 18:9 aspect ratio with slim bezels, like many other new phones released in the past year.The rear fingerprint sensor also looks like it’s located below the rear camera, for easier access than previous Samsung models like the Note 8.The naming of the phones is also rumored to change, with this year’s A5 and A7 becoming the A8 and A8 Plus of next year.
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Luxury automakers tend to roll out new technology on more expensive models before bringing it down to more affordable cars.But that's not the case with the latest Mercedes-Benz infotainment system.Mercedes-Benz announced this week that it plans to bring a new infotainment system to CES 2018 in Las Vegas this January.The new system, called Mercedes-Benz User Experience or MBUX for short, is promised to be a "pioneering in-car experience," but the company hasn't offered up any further details.While you might expect it to first arrive on something expensive, like a new G-Class or S-Class, that won't be the case.Instead, MBUX will make its production debut on Mercedes-Benz's new compact cars, which the automaker claims will arrive "as early as" 2018.
The Trump administration had previously signaled its intentions to send astronauts back to the Moon, but now that renewed space exploration objective is official.On Monday, the president signed Space Policy Directive 1, a document detailing a shift in U.S. policy that would reprioritize a mission to put American boots on the Moon for the first time in 45 years.While Mars is widely considered to be the primary goal of much current space exploration, a Moon mission would “establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars,” President Trump asserted during the signing.“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery.It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use.”This isn’t the first we’ve heard of the Trump administration’s Moon ambitions.
Harry Potter fans who have already finished reading The Cursed Child and A Journey Through the History of Magic from the past two years have a new chapter in the story of the wizarding boy to tide them over—one brought to us not by J.K. Rowling, but by AI-generated text prediction.Botnik Studios created the three-page chapter, titled “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash,” after training an algorithmic tool on all seven of the children’s fantasy novels.The end result is a tale with a plot that feels soulless and meandering but like any good fanfiction, still holds a faint imprint of Rowling’s usual lilting whimsical charm.Both the chapter and the predictive text program—available on GitHub—is the work of Jamie Brew, a former writer for Clickhole and The Onion.His predictively generated work previously appeared on objectdreams Tumblr and includes predictive text X-Files scripts, Craigslist ads, and Elements of Style-esque grammar rules.The aforementioned Harry Potter excerpt was constructed with the help of multiple writers, who helped construct the sentence through a combination of algorithmic suggestion and authorial discretion.
Bob Safian announced to his staff at Fast Company this afternoon that he would be leaving his 12-year tenure as editor near the end of January.“Fast Company is a franchise all about change, and I have reached a point where it’s become clear that it’s time for me to make a change, too,” Safian told Adweek.Adweek named Safian Editor of the Year in 2009 amid crisis in the publishing industry; since he started, he’s edited at least 110 issues—more than anyone else who’s held his position since the publication’s launch in 1995.Safian will stay with his team through the end of its upcoming issue, but will look into other opportunities that he’s continually turned down over the years.“I consistently told people I wasn’t looking to leave Fast Company,” he said, “but now it’s time for me to explore the opportunities I’d been deferring for so long.”That said, Safian doesn’t have an immediate plan; he’s been approached him with advisory boards, management consulting or media investment opportunities.
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Forget fingerprint scanners that live on the home button or on the back of the phone, why not put one directly into the screen?Fingerprint sensor manufacturer Synaptics just announced that it has begun mass production with a top five Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to produce its new Clear ID FS9500 in-display fingerprint sensor.The announcement doesn't reveal which phone OEM Synaptics is partnering with, but our money is on Samsung.The top five phone OEM's can reasonably be considered Samsung, Apple and a few Chinese phonemakers like Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi.Apple's SVP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio explained in an interview that Touch ID was never coming to the iPhone X, and rumors say that next year's iPhones will stick to Face ID.That narrows this list to four, and out of that list we think that Samsung is the most likely candidate.
It seems that the Chinese automotive behemoth BAIC has finally had enough of all our Blade Runner jokes and will move towards the elimination of internal combustion engine development by 2025."Our goal is to stop sales of self-developed conventional fuel-powered cars in Beijing by 2020 and stop their production and sales nationwide by 2025," said Xu Heyi, BAIC chairman, as reported by Reuters.If the name BAIC isn't ringing any bells for you, that's likely because it works primarily as a domestic production partner for electric vehicles and hybrids for Daimler AG and Hyundai, in addition to having several subsidiaries that produce heavy vehicles for military, transit and agricultural industries.This move toward electric cars and hybrids represents a sea change in the Chinese auto industry, one spurred by increasingly strict governmental regulations for air quality.With China now being home to the world's largest automotive market, this shift could signal changes for other global automakers that want to increase market share there.While China is one of the more recent countries to focus on cleaner air by phasing out internal combustion engines, they are by no means the only one with countries like the UK, Germany and France seeking to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles altogether in the coming decades.
SAN FRANCISCO—On the same day that the City by the Bay mourned the sudden passing of its tech-friendly mayor, Ed Lee, various tech leaders came together to discuss the current challenges that women and minorities face in Silicon Valley.One of the most bold suggestions on Tuesday morning at The Atlantic’s “Inclusion in Tech” conference came from Erica Joy Baker, a senior engineering manager at Kickstarter.“I don’t need to see Travis back,” she said, referring to the former Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, who resigned in June but remains on the board.“We don’t need them,” Kickstarter’s top engineer continued, referring to other powerful men who have been booted out of their positions, including Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein.They can go off—the rich ones can go off and play somewhere else.Other Silicon Valley luminaries who have been ousted this past year for alleged sexual misconduct include Shervin Pishevar, Robert Scoble, and Steve Jurvetson, among others.
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The 10,000-sq.-ft. space operates equipment ranging from small 3D printers to large industrial machining centers, such as precision measurement and laser cutting machines.Moshe Kam, dean of NJIT's Newark College of Engineering (NCE), said the move from computer simulation in the teaching of engineering to hands-on practice is essential, noting, "It's easy to teach engineering with simulators ... but it will only take you so far in becoming a successful practicing engineer."Plans to add electronic devices, a wood shop, a paint booth and soldering machines, among other equipment, and to double the space, are underway.The "industry-relevant" design, prototyping and practice skills that students will pick up in the facility constitute the "hands-on experience employers want to see," observed Robert Cohen '83, '84, '87, vice president and general manager of R for Stryker Orthopaedics' reconstructive division, chair of the NCE Board of Visitors and an enthusiastic backer of the Makerspace.Students also eagerly anticipate the edge the facility will provide to the university's competitive teams, such as the Baja SAE club, which experienced a dizzying ascent over the past three years from dormancy to a heady perch in global rankings this year: Number 6."I have great confidence and excitement for Baja and the other teams," said Matthew Emmerson '17, past captain of the SAE Baja Team, who will receive his B.S.
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The Thomas fire, the fifth largest in California's history, continues to creep towards Montecito and Santa Barbara, and is currently 234,200 acres in size.That is about 4,200 acres larger than yesterday.Reports today are citing the fire at 20 percent containment per Inciweb.Because the region was relatively cloud free last night, NOAA/NASA's Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) observed smoke over Santa Barbara using its Day Night Band.Using local weather information and combinations of the data from Suomi NPP's various instruments indicates that the weather phenomenon was smoke, and overcast at 4,800 ft.The scattering of light in Santa Barbara is due to a combination of smoke and clouds.
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