Johnathan Owen

Johnathan Owen

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UK
Amir Golestan, 36, of Charleston, South Carolina, was charged [PDF] on Wednesday with 20 counts of wire fraud, each punishable by up to 20 years in jail: he is accused of grabbing the internet addresses worth between $9.8m and $14.4m through an elaborate series of shell companies.The criminal indictments come after the organization that provided Golestan with the addresses – American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) – ran checks on a transfer of network addresses he had already acquired after he made a paperwork error.The scheme started in 2014 and over the next four years Golestan used 11 companies – with names varying from Cloudiac to Univera Network – to acquire a total of 757,760 IPv4 addresses, it is claimed.Despite their current market value of between $13 and $19 per IP addresses, ARIN continues to provide IP addresses to its "members" for no direct cost, a holdover from the early days of the internet when IP allocation was literally a free-for-all.As IPv4 addresses have grown more scarce, the process has been tightened up, though Golestan allegedly figured out how to game the system by setting up small companies with different directors and putting in repeat requests for as little as 8,000 addresses at a time.It does, however, scrutinize transfers, and in this case an error in one of Golestan's transfer requests caused ARIN to take a closer look.
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Microsoft and Sony, makers of the eternally-competing Xbox and PlayStation consoles, respectively, today announced they were partnering up to find “joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.” Basically, the Hatfields and McCoys of the gaming world are burying at least part of the hatchet.The press release opens with this line, which makes it sound like a peace treaty: “Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties…” And you agree not to run ads sniping at each other, a la SEGA and Nintendo in the 90s, right children?Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida did take a little sly dig at Microsoft which his counterpart, Satya Nadella, did not: “For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas.”According to Microsoft, the two companies will be collaborating on more than just clouds — Microsoft also offered its Azure datacenters to Sony.Presumably this will allow Sony to expand on its existing streaming service, PlayStation Now, into something comparable to the likes of Google Stadia.But what does Microsoft get out of teaming up with its blood enemy?
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Synthetic proteins have been created that move in response to their environment in predictable and tunable ways.These motile molecules were designed from scratch on computers, then produced inside living cells.To function, natural proteins often shift their shapes in precise ways.The May 17 issue of Science reports the successful design of molecules that change shape in response to pH changes.The Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington School of Medicine led the multi-institutional research.The researchers set out to create synthetic proteins that self-assemble into designed configurations at neutral pH and quickly disassemble in the presence of acid.
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Athens, Ga. - Instead of searching for a needle in a haystack, what if you were able to sweep the entire haystack to one side, leaving only the needle behind?That's the strategy researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering followed in developing a new microfluidic device that separates elusive circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a sample of whole blood.The isolation of CTCs from the blood provides a minimally invasive alternative for basic understanding, diagnosis and prognosis of metastatic cancer.But most studies are limited by technical challenges in capturing intact and viable CTCs with minimal contamination."A typical sample of 7 to 10 milliliters of blood may contain only a few CTCs," said Leidong Mao, a professor in UGA's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the project's principal investigator.Circulating tumor cells are also difficult to isolate because within a sample of a few hundred CTCs, the individual cells may present many characteristics.
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Research chemist Ed Dlugokencky and his colleagues in the Global Monitoring Division catalog the canisters and then use a series of high-precision tools—a gas chromatograph, a flame ionization detector, sophisticated software—to measure how much carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane each flask contains.These air samples—collected at observatories in Hawaii, Alaska, American Samoa, and Antarctica, and from tall towers, small aircraft, and volunteers on every continent—have been coming to Boulder for more than four decades, as part of one of the world’s longest-running greenhouse gas monitoring programs.“And then, boom, look at how it changes here,” Dlugokencky says, pointing at a graph on his computer screen.Methane levels have been climbing more steeply than climate experts anticipated, to a degree “so unexpected that it was not considered in pathway models preparatory to the Paris Agreement,” as Dlugokencky and several coauthors noted in a recently published paper.The balance comes from natural sources—wetlands, rivers and lakes, wildfires, termites, geological seeps, thawing permafrost.The first theory to gain traction pinned the blame on fossil fuels, based on some suspicious timing: The use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—a method of harvesting buried hydrocarbons that involves blasting deep layers of rock with a cocktail of water, sand, and chemicals—surged in the US oil and gas industry right around the time atmospheric methane levels shot up.
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While the US led the rankings by a considerable margin, the UK managed to attract 5% of global high-tech scaleup investment, with capital investments in UK firms topping £6.3 billion for 2018.“This report shows how the UK is a critical hub when it comes to global technology developments, with scale-up tech investment being the highest in Europe, and only surpassed by the US, China and India.This is a testament to the innovation, ambition and tenacity of tech entrepreneurs across the UK.”The claim itself is based on various datasets, including information from PitchBook.Scale-up companies are identified as those which have either achieved employment or revenue growth of 20% for two consecutive years and have a minimum of 10 employees.The US is leading the rankings, which will come as a surprise to few considering the dominance of Silicon Valley on the technology industry, with China coming in second and India coming in third.
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Thomas Metzinger, a philosopher from the University of Mainz, in Germany, says too many of the experts who created the guidelines came from or were aligned with industry interests.But Metzinger alleges tech’s allies later convinced the broader group that it shouldn’t draw any “red lines” around uses of AI.The company didn’t have its own seat on the EU expert group, but like Facebook, Apple, and others, was represented via trade group DigitalEurope.“We need to get it right, not to stop European innovation and welfare, but also to avoid the risks of misuse of AI.”The brouhaha over Europe’s guidelines for AI was an early skirmish in a debate that’s likely to recur around the globe, as policymakers consider installing guardrails on artificial intelligence to prevent harm to society.Harvard law professor Yochai Benkler warned in the journal Nature this month that “industry has mobilized to shape the science, morality and laws of artificial intelligence.”
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What happened: A WeChat mini program named “Dad Sharing” has gone viral on the mega chatting app after its release on Tuesday.An accompanying five-minute video advertises a service that allows busy users to rent another, more “professional,” father figure when the actual parent can’t be there for important family moments.Key moments shown in the video include childbirth and parent-teacher meetings.Chinese furniture maker Oppein, the company behind the mini-program, clarified later that this is only a “well-intended” marketing tactic aimed at promoting family values.It sparked online controversy and at present the mini-program cannot be accessed.Why it’s important: The ride-sharing boom in China has triggered a “sharing economy” craze in the country where nearly everything became shareable from bikes to basketballs, washing machines, umbrellas, and even beds.
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Despite the excitement currently surrounding blockchain, it seems supply chain managers are falling out of love with the decentralized technology.Procurement industry leaders discussed blockchain at the Supply Management Forum in London last week and spoke of how they are still waiting for the value of blockchain adoption to be proven.Organizations aren’t investing in blockchain technology yet because “It lacks practical application,” Supply Management Magazine (SMM) reports.Jaguar Land Rover’s global purchasing transformation director, Richard Harding, even said that he has not yet seen a blockchain use case enticing enough to make him invest his time into it.Some might find that surprising, given headlines at the end of April were awash with the news that Jaguar Land Rover was working with IOTA to reward drivers with cryptocurrency.A spokesperson recently told Hard Fork in an email that JLR’s relationship with IOTA is currently a “research project.” Whether it will be deployed or not remains to be seen.
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Tokopedia, the Jakarta-headquartered ecommerce unicorn, is in talks to acquire Indonesian wedding marketplace Bridestory, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Tech in Asia.The deal, which is in the final stages, values Bridestory at between US$30 million to US$35 million.Tech in Asia has reached out to both companies about this story, but Tokopedia declined to comment.Bridestory was founded in 2014 to cater to the country’s sizable wedding industry, a market valued at US$7 billion at the time.Founder Kevin Mintaraga got the idea while planning his own wedding.Instead of just creating Pinterest boards, as many couples do, Bridestory users can plan their big day by using the platform.
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Shares in cybersecurity firm Sophos soared after it posted double-digit revenue growth for the full year, despite reporting “challenging” trading over the period.Revenue rose 11.2 per cent to $710.6m (£554m) in the year to the end of March.Pre-tax profit hit $53.6m, up from a $41m loss the previous year.The robust full-year revenue growth will come as a pleasant surprise to Sophos investors, who have been rattled by warnings from management.Earlier this year the firm warned of “subdued performance” in the third quarter, sparking a sharp sell-off.The Abingdon-headquartered company today confirmed billings had been flat year-on-year, largely due to a reduction in the number of large transactions compared to the year before.
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And that’s before the Russo Brothers started to further complicate things with their post-hoc musings.The way Endgame ended up killing off Black Widow in order to give the remaining Avengers the key to defeating Thanos is one of the most controversial elements of the film.It’s part of Endgame’s larger problem with paying lip service to the idea of female character development rather than actually going for it, full stop.After turning Widow into the Avengers’ newest leader, the movie does away with her entirely when she sacrifices herself to retrieve the Soul Stone so that Hawkeye doesn’t have to – and the choice raises a number of questions, considering how, presumably, Scarlet Johansson’s set to return to the MCU in her own solo movie.That sounds interesting until Anthony Russo spells out exactly what the directing duo mean:One thing that we talked about a lot – and I thought was really profound, but it was almost too large of an idea for us to wrangle, but we did try for a while – is just the idea that one-quarter of all children have no parents.
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Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has said it is willing to work with the Trump administration after it was slapped with a ban on buying components from US firms without special approvals.US President Donald Trump yesterday also signed an executive order which bans US companies from using telecoms equipment made by firms believed to threaten national security.While not directly mentioning Huawei, the order was seen as another assault on the Chinese giant, which has faced accusations that its equipment could be used for spying.Huawei said it is “ready and willing to engage with the US government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security”.It added: "Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers."In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei's rights and raise other serious legal issues."
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The latest would-be air taxi of the future has taken to the sky: Lilium’s new vertical-takeoff-and-landing prototype made its first flight on May 4, the Munich-based startup revealed today.Though Lilium says the gleaming five-seat electric can fly 186 miles in an hour, its first flight, like most such tests, was modest.Lilium has been quiet since sowing a subscale, two-seat prototype two years ago, but it has one of the more interesting—and contested—technological approaches in this burgeoning field.The “Lilium Jet” uses 36 electric-powered ducted fans.Inside each, a small rotor ingests air from the front and pushes it out of the rear at higher speeds.The lack of spinning blades improves efficiency, reduces noise, and eliminates the risk of turning passing birds into chop suey.
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The grant will fund the renewal of the 18-year-old Maine INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) program for another five years.The MDI Biological Laboratory, located in Bar Harbor, is the founder and leader of the statewide collaborative network of 13 educational and research institutions.Other INBRE members include the University of Maine and The Jackson Laboratory, as well as partner undergraduate institutions Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, College of the Atlantic, Southern Maine Community College, the University of Maine Honors College, and the Universities of Maine at Farmington, Fort Kent, Machias and Presque Isle."The renewal will allow us to continue a very successful program to create biomedical research and research training opportunities across the state, and especially among our undergraduate partner institutions," said James A. Coffman, Ph.D., director of the Maine INBRE and associate professor at the MDI Biological Laboratory.The aim of the NIGMS IDeA (Institutional Development Award) program is to build research capacity in the 23 states and Puerto Rico that have historically low levels of NIH funding and lack a strong biomedical research infrastructure.The INBRE program focuses on creating a technically skilled workforce by providing biomedical research experiences and training to undergraduates and research support and mentorship to young faculty members to increase their competitiveness for independent NIH funding, and by improving the research infrastructure of the INBRE network through core facilities that provide state-of-the-art technology and technical expertise.
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The Pokemon Company is rolling out a new game for mobile.Pokemon Rumble Rush, the latest in the Pokemon Rumble series, launched on Android in Australia on Monday.It'll be available globally and on iOS soon, according to the game's site.Rush is the fourth Pokemon Rumble game, and features beat-'em-up gameplay wherein you collect Pokemon, brawl your way through islands and battle against Super Bosses.Pokemon earn two different types of gears as they explore each island.Power gears raise a Pokemon's stats and help it with battles, and summon gears let a Pokemon temporarily summon another Pokemon for battle.
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Tesla issues battery software update after Hong Kong vehicle fire – TechCrunchWhat happened: American electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla is issuing an over-the-air software update to change the battery charge settings in its Model S and Model X vehicles after one of its cars caught fire while parked in Hong Kong.Tesla said the update is being done out of “an abundance of caution,” though it will not be applied to the Model 3.Why it’s important: Tesla has yet to identify the cause of the Model S fire in Hong Kong, which occurred just weeks after one of the company’s vehicles self-ignited while parked in a Shanghai parking garage.The incidents come as Tesla attempts to deal with flagging sales and challengers in the Chinese market.Chinese EV maker Nio reported a similar incident in which one of its SUVs caught fire while being repaired in central China.
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If a 60-inch 4K TV is a little too large for your living room, and a 55-inch a tad too small, then look no further than this 58-inch Samsung (it’s a bit of an unconventional size, we know), which is on sale for under $450 for a limited time — a total savings of $200.Strange screen size aside, the 58-inch Samsung 4K TV on offer is one of the best in the cost-conscious sub-$500 market.But that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise; it wasn’t designed to sit in the budget sector after all, hence the usual $650 price tag.For that reason, expect the UN58MU6070 to excel in a number of departments when compared to other TVs at the $450 price point, like upscaling HD and Full HD content to 4K Ultra HD, which is handled with aplomb, even during intense action movies.Akin to most 4K TVs, this particular model is smart.If $450 is still a little steep, Walmart is offering customers the option to take that figure, with the local sales tax and a few bucks’ worth of interest thrown in, and stretch it over twelve months, balancing out at a more manageable $44 per month.
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Following growing international concerns over the security of its networking hardware, Huawei's chairman Liang Hua said that the Chinese firm is “willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments”.At a recent business conference in London, Liang explained that the company is more than willing to work together with governments including the UK to ensure its devices are secure, saying:"We are willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments, including the UK government, to commit ourselves to making our equipment meet the no-spy, no-backdoors standard."Huawei revenue soars despite US allegations and restrictionsThis could help improve relations between the company and some governments but for others, it may already be too late to trust the Chinese company.Australia and New Zealand have already blocked the firm's equipment from being used in their 5G networks while the US has restricted federal agencies from using its products and has even encouraged its allies to shun the company.
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On Wednesday, the White House launched a website that lets you share if you think your social media account has been suspended, banned or reported because of political bias.The online form asks a series of questions, including what social media platform took action against your account.It also asks for contact information, a link to your social media account and screenshots."No matter your views, if you suspect political bias has caused you to be censored or silenced online, we want to hear about it!," The White House said in a tweet about the new website.No matter your views, if you suspect political bias has caused you to be censored or silenced online, we want to hear about it!— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 15, 2019
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