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Re: Bitcoin-Denominated Poker Chips

Bitcoin feeds -

We decided to make a range of chips mostly for fun and for collectors.

It started purely as an inspired by Satori chip project but blossomed into something slightly larger as you can see.

there will be another series due that will "conform" to Poker st...

Blockchain tech could fight voter fraud — and these countries are testing it

Bitcoin feeds -


Cybersecurity issues continue to remain one of the hottest topics of the 2016 U.S. presidential elections as the November 8 showdown draws near. And fears have been raised that domestic or foreign actors could try to skew the results of the election.

While many see a solution in dumping all forms of electronic voting and defaulting back to offline, paper-based systems — especially as electronic voting machines have proven to be extremely vulnerable — others are hoping new technologies can make elections more secure. Blockchain technology, especiailly, is drawing a lot of interest on this front.

Because a blockchain is a distributed ledger of transactions — in other words, the information it records isn\'t stored once in a single system but many times across many independent nodes — it could store votes in an immutable and tamper-proof way. Once a vote has been secured and linked with hashing algorithms and stored across thousands, millions, or perhaps one day billions of nodes, modifying it is theoretically impossible and would require a huge amount of resources and computation power that no single party could effectively bring together.

While blockchain was invented with monetary transactions in mind, its characteristics make it an ideal solution to support voting systems and register votes. Its provisions for preventing double spending of digital currencies can also ensure there is no double voting, and its transparency and public availability make it auditable.

To use the digital currency analogy, the blockchain model of voting would issue each voter a “wallet” (a user credential) and a single “coin” (one opportunity to vote) and have them cast their vote by transferring their coin to the wallet of their candidate of choice. Voters can only spend their coin — or cast their vote — once, although they would have the flexibility to change their vote before the deadline.

As for security, the decentralized nature of blockchains and the fact that they have no single point of failure makes them extremely resistant to denial of service attacks and other types of threats that are usually conducted against client/server architectures.

Moreover, blockchain-based voting can eliminate some of the fraud scenarios that are possible in paper-based voting systems, such as switching or replacing ballot boxes with fraudulent ones.

Who are the players?

Many blockchains currently exist, and a number of these could serve as possible platforms for voting services. Follow My Vote is a Virginia-based startup hoping to move people toward blockchain-based voting. The firm\'s platform, based on the BitShares blockchain, will enable voters to cast their votes online using a unique voter ID and their private key; they will use webcams and government-issued IDs to authenticate themselves. The system uses cryptography and end-to-end encryption to keep votes anonymous and immutable. A publicly available ledger will make it viable for everyone to directly follow the results as the election unfolds, and at any stage of the voting process, voters will be able to verify their own votes and make sure they haven\'t been modified.

Follow My Vote will be testing its platform in a mock online election that will run in parallel with the U.S. presidential election.

There\'s also NYC-based Blockchain Technologies Corp., which is taking a hybrid approach of a blockchain-powered voting system coupled with paper ballots that use QR codes to ensure each vote is only cast once.

But we\'re seeing more movement in blockchain voting outside the U.S.

The government-owned Australian Post service, for example, is using blockchain technology to create a location agnostic, tamper-proof voting system that is traceable and anonymous, and would prove to be resilient against denial of service attacks.

The system grants users permission to vote through secure digital access keys, and “voting credits” are doled out, which users can “spend” to cast their votes. It preserves voter privacy through encryption and digital signatures.

Counting votes would be as simple as compiling the results of the blockchain.

For the moment, the service is testing the waters with corporate and community elections. But the directors of the project hope to one day be able to handle full parliamentary elections.

Russia\'s central securities depository, NSD, is also dabbling in blockchain with a fully functional e-proxy voting system, a ledger on which voting instructions are transmitted and counted. The technology has already been used at bondholder meetings and will be extended to other business areas of the NSD.

Another country looking to leverage blockchain technology for voting is Estonia, which is already a leader in politics technology with its e-residency program, an electronic identity platform that enables foreigners to do business and access government services. The country is now complementing previous efforts with a blockchain-based e-voting system that enables both Estonian nationals and e-residents to securely vote in company shareholder meetings.

Blockchain voting is also making its debut in the Middle East at Abu Dhabi\'s Stock Exchange, which just this week announced it has started using blockchain to enable stakeholders to participate and observe votes in their general annual meetings.

And in Denmark, the Liberal Alliance political party chose to use blockchain for its internal voting back in 2014.

Other efforts are in the works around the world. Ukraine-based e-Vox, for example, offers blockchain-based voting services.

Blockchain isn\'t yet a perfect solution

While a promising technology, blockchain isn\'t infallible and still has a ways to go and obstacles to overcome before it can fully manifest its potential.

For instance, while the blockchain itself is very secure, the private keys and passcodes that ensure the security of user accounts (or wallets) can become a point of compromise if they are lost or if they fall into the hands of malicious users.

Ease of use and convenience can also be a point of contention. Voting must be accessible to an entire nation, not just a tech-savvy minority, so election technology will have to be intuitive and easy to use. The concept of blockchain and private key handling might yet be too much to stomach for many users.

And then there\'s the question of government involvement in setting up blockchain voting. The premise of blockchain is that no third party is involved and every user is anonymous. Trying to tie that technology to voting, where identities must be confirmed, could present fundamental problems.

If those obstacles can be overcome, perhaps we\'ll eventually move to blockchain voting the same way so many of us have moved to online banking and mobile payments, despite all our fears 20 years ago.

What\'s for sure is that the electoral process is lagging far behind technological advances. Sticking to paper-based ballots isn\'t the strategic and long-term answer to cyberthreats against the elections. Will blockchain evolve to become the answer?

Ben Dickson is a software engineer and the founder of TechTalks, a blog that explores the ways technology is solving and creating problems. He writes about technology, business and politics. Follow him on Twitter: @BenDee983.

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Get Ready to Ignore Donald Trump Starting on November 9, or He’ll Never Go Away

The Intercept -

Donald Trump’s true gift is his uncanny ability to capture the attention of the news media.

His declaration during Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate that he may not accept defeat in three weeks captured global headlines, once again making him the lead story in the world, even as his chances of winning are essentially vanishing.

But this is nothing new. There are countless other examples of successful attention-getting in Trump’s past, including his crusade against the Central Park Five in 2005, and the six weeks in 2011 where he monopolized TV news with his quest to find Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

In fact, one way to look at Trump’s run for the presidency is as an attention-getting, brand-building exercise from start to finish. And in that context, this latest twist makes even more sense:  It turns his otherwise sputtering campaign into a sort of dystopian season of “The Apprentice” where viewers watch for the cliffhanger: Will Trump bow out gracefully, or will he rally his supporters to declare his loss the result of a grand conspiracy?

Not coincidentally, a half hour before the start of Wednesday’s debate, his campaign launched #TrumpTV, a livestream on his Facebook featuring Trump surrogates — leading to speculation that this served as a sort of a beta test for a rumored Trump-helmed television network. With that network, Trump could seek to monetize a panicked support base.

On November 9, when Trump likely loses the presidential election in a big way, the news media will face a moment of truth: Will they continue to obsessively cover him and his post-election antics? Or will they ignore him?

They should ignore him.

And ignore means ignore. It doesn’t mean giving him half the air time he received during the campaign, or a quarter.  It doesn’t mean covering his crazed claims and conspiracy theories and bringing on a panel of guests to debate them or fact-check them.

It’s appropriate to talk about the legitimate grievances Trump co-opted — such as the flaws of the global trade regime or excessive Washington, D.C., coziness. It’s also appropriate to talk about the strains of nativism in the United States that he sought to tap into. But those discussions should be about the issues, not about Trump.

Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Al Gore all saw their media coverage plummet to almost nonexistence following their defeats — so why should Trump be treated any differently?

Throughout the campaign, the media has been Trump’s best ally. From the start of primary season through February 2016, Trump received an estimated $2 billion of free media  from network executives. (By comparison, John McCain spent around $400 million for his entire 2008 campaign).

For the corporate media, Trump provided gripping TV and easy ratings with next to no work — just set up cameras in front of his events and let him talk. “Go Donald! Keep getting out there!” CBS chief executive Les Moonves told investors last year.

Trump’s actual political operation, on the other hand, has been barely existent. In July, his campaign spent more money on t-shirts and hats than it did on campaign staff. Without willing media coverage, Trump is little more than a moment, not a movement. Without cameras pointed at him, his relevance has a far shorter half-life than an actual political insurgency. Trump is far more Groucho Marx than Karl Marx.

And some in the media have come to realize that offering nonstop — and unfiltered — coverage of Trump for the past year and a half was a mistake. CNN President Jeff Zucker — who previously elevated Trump by airing “The Apprentice” when he was NBC president — admitted as much during a recent talk at Harvard.

“If we made any mistake last year, it’s that we probably did put on too many of his campaign rallies in those early months and let them run,” he said. “Listen, because you never knew what he would say, there was an attraction to put those on air.”

By the time Trump had secured the Republican presidential nomination, journalists had no choice but to cover the spectacle as news. But come November 9, Zucker and other media bigwigs will have a chance to make the right call.

Trump’s campaign has been crafted around a man who transformed his Twitter trolling into real-life trolling. Trolls thrive on attention. They wither without it.

And think of all the time the news media would suddenly have to spend on matters that are actually in the public interest.

By contrast, every additional second of attention the media gives him after the election will be that much more free publicity.

If Trump decides to build a media empire, he can do it without the willing assistance of the media we already have. They’ve done him enough favors already.

Top photo: The stage is set before a rally for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Oct. 10, 2016, in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.

The post Get Ready to Ignore Donald Trump Starting on November 9, or He’ll Never Go Away appeared first on The Intercept.

Will Tesla Install Home Solar Panels To Charge Cars?

Slashdot -

Earlier this week, Tesla signed a non-binding agreement to buy solar cells from a new Panasonic factory in Buffalo, New York -- but it's part of a much bigger maneuver. An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: "If all goes to plan, Tesla will be supplying customers with the solar panels that generate electricity that could then be used to charge the battery in their Tesla car or the battery in the Tesla Powerwall home energy storage system," reports the Christian Science Monitor. The Wall Street Journal reports that Musk's SolarCity "will sell, finance and install the panels." But the Buffalo News suggests the deal is really "aimed squarely at skeptical shareholders" who may be leary of a proposed merger between Tesla and SolarCity," which one analyst calculates will require nearly $6 billion in extra capital. Panasonic could help shoulder the costs of the Buffalo factory, while also putting a more experienced manufacturer in charge of producing high-efficiency solar modules. The Stack reports some shareholders have actually filed a lawsuit against the merger.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Trump hotels, faced with massive declines in bookings, rebrand as "Scion Hotels"

Boing Boing -

When estimating his net worth, Pepe the Cheeto is apt to include a multibillion dollar valuation for the "Trump" brand-name; but new Trump Hotels will be called "Scion" hotels, "a nod to the Trump family and to the tremendous success it has had with its businesses, including Trump Hotels, while allowing for a clear distinction between our luxury and lifestyle brands." (more…)

'Anonymous' Hacker Indicted As His Hunger Strike Continues

Slashdot -

Eight months after being rescued at sea near Cuba and then arrested, Anonymous hacker Martin Gottesfeld now faces prosecution as well as death by hunger. Newsweek reports: A member of Anonymous has been indicted on hacking charges while on the third week of a prison hunger strike protesting perceived institutionalized torture and political prosecutions. Martin Gottesfeld, 32, was charged this week in relation to the hacking of Boston Childrenâ(TM)s Hospital in 2014 following the alleged mistreatment of one of its patients. Gottesfeld has previously admitted to targeting the hospital, though says he did it in defense of "an innocent, learning-disabled, 15-year-old girl"... Since beginning his hunger strike on October 3, Gottesfeld tells Newsweek from prison he has lost 16.5 pounds. He says he will continue his hunger strike until two demands are met: a promise from the presidential candidates that children are not mistreated in the way he claims Pelletier was; and an end to the "political" style of prosecution waged by Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts. The indictment claims that the hospital spent more than $300,000 to "mitigate" the damage from the 2014 attack.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Some Intel Kaby Lake-Y benchmarks (4.5 watt Core i5-7Y54)

Liliputing -

Intel’s 7th-Gen Core processor family for laptops can be divided into two categories: there are 15 watt Kaby Lake-U series chips that offer higher performance, and 4.5 watt Kaby Lake-Y chips that are designed for use in thin and light computer, often with fanless designs.

For the past few chip generations, Intel has branded its Y series processors as “Core M,” but with the introduction of 7th-gen “Kaby Lake” chips, the company took a different approach.

Continue reading Some Intel Kaby Lake-Y benchmarks (4.5 watt Core i5-7Y54) at Liliputing.

Yocto driven camera design taps octa-core Snapdragon

LXer -

Qualcomm and Thundercomm unveiled a Linux-supported, 4K camera reference design with an octa-core Snapdragon 625 and video analytics software. Qualcomm and hardware partner Thundercomm Technology announced an IP Connected Camera reference design called the Snapdragon 625 IP Camera built around its 14nm-fabricated, octa-core Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip. This is Qualcomm’s first Connected Camera design to […]


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