‘Apex Legends’ will make it easier to report cheaters

‘Apex Legends’ will make it easier to report cheaters


Respawn/EA

Apex Legends already has cheaters just two weeks into its existence, and Respawn wants to be sure they don’t become too much of a problem. The studio has dropped not-so-subtle hints that it’s incorporating a cheat reporting tool in its battle royale shooter, calling it a “very good idea” in a community update. Right now, anyone spotting a cheat has to go through a website and, if possible, record their own evidence. If they can’t, they have to report someone’s ID and hope for the best.

The company hasn’t been waiting for those tools to take action — it had already banned 16,000 cheaters as of February 15th. That’s not enough to make a major dent when there are more than 25 million total players. With that in mind, it’s not willing to let the issue get out of hand. Significant numbers of cheaters can sour a battle royale game and potentially hurt its long-term prospects, and that could be a major problem for Apex when it’s not even a month old.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Advertisements

NASA backs tiny 3D-printed sensors for planetary rovers

NASA backs tiny 3D-printed sensors for planetary rovers


NASA/W. Hrybyk

Nanomaterials might just prove the key to the next wave of planetary rovers. NASA has poured $2 million into a Goddard Space Flight Center team developing 3D-printed sensors whose nanomaterials make them tiny, ultra-sensitive and resistant to radiation. The aim is to build a device that can detect minuscule (on the parts-per-billion-level) amounts of life-supporting chemicals like ammonia, hydrogen, methane and water.

Current sensor manufacturing methods involve building one sensor at a time and then combining them with other elements. They’re relatively bulky and inefficient, and they tend to rely on mass spectrometers that have trouble spotting materials like methane and water. This new approach 3D-prints all the sensors and some of the circuitry on one substrate, and could detect those previously elusive substances.

The initiative is expected to take two years. If it works as planned, it could help future rovers find places that support (or once supported) life. They could also be used as safety systems that warn about changes to air conditions inside spacecraft and habitats. As small as this technology is, it could be vital for long-term space exploration.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Ripple CEO Says JPMorgan’s ‘Cryptocurrency’ Misses The Point – Bitcoinist.com

Ripple CEO Says JPMorgan’s ‘Cryptocurrency’ Misses The Point – Bitcoinist.com

JPMorgan is already facing severe criticism from the cryptocurrency industry just a day after it announced it would launch its own token, ‘JPM Coin.’


Garlinghouse: JPM Coin ‘Misses The Point’

The plan, which would ostensibly make JPMorgan the first US bank to issue a token with a verifiable use case, surprised commentators when executives revealed it to the press this week.

“The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this,” Umar Farooq, head of JPMorgan’s blockchain operations told CNBC.

JPM Coin, Farooq said, would see testing in the coming months, rolling out to applications in international settlement, securities and treasury services.

Little technical details have surfaced about the token, with Farooq’s comments suggesting it would be a closed private blockchain with a wholly-centralized issuance.

It would be tied to the US dollar, he added, and exchangeable for cash within the ecosystems it serves.

JPMorgan

Reacting to the reveal, however, others were less than impressed. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of payment network Ripple, likened JPM Coin to previous plans from banks elsewhere, arguing it was a case of ‘too little, too late’ in the age of public blockchains.

“… [T]his JPM project misses the point – introducing a closed network today is like launching AOL after Netscape’s IPO,” he added in social media comments.

Garlinghouse has faced skepticism of his own over the past year amid centralization concerns that continue to swirl around Ripple and its associated cryptocurrency, XRP.

Not A Cryptocurrency?

Continuing on JPM Coin meanwhile, Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, said the industry shouldn’t call it a cryptocurrency at all.

“It’s not a cryptocurrency,” he told MarketWatch.

A cryptocurrency is one that is open and permissionless, if you want to download it, you don’t need permission; you just need some software.

Others went beyond definitions, arguing JPMorgan would help cryptocurrency gain wider publicity.

“They’ve finally figured out there’s a lot of money to be made in this business,” Bubba Trading strategist Todd Horwitz added to CNBC Thursday.

Bitcoin pioneer, Nick Szabo, meanwhile likened JPM Coin to Venezuela’s virtual currency, the Petro, pointing out that both require trust, thus deafeating the entire purpose of using a blockchain.

What do you think about JPM Coin? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Getty images

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://news.google.com/news/rss/headlines/section/q/cryptocurrency/cryptocurrency?ned=us&hl=en&gl=US

“cryptocurrency” – Google News
Google News

Amazon Moments makes it easy for apps to give physical gift bonuses

Amazon Moments makes it easy for apps to give physical gift bonuses


NurPhoto via Getty Images

Stick around for long enough in your favorite app and you just might have a gift arrive at your doorstep. Amazon announced today a new service called Amazon Moments that will allow app developers to reward users for engaging with their services with both digital and physical gifts. The service will launch in 100 countries starting today and Amazon will handle fulfilling the gifts sent to loyal customers.

Amazon Moments works by allowing app developers to create certain actions, called “moments,” for users to perform. If it’s a streaming service, it may be watching several episodes of an original series. If it’s a newspaper, it may be purchasing a subscription. When that action is completed, the user will be given a reward. It can be something as simple as virtual currency or another digital gift, but Amazon Moments also allows companies to send physical rewards for completing the tasks. Amazon has created a catalog of “millions” of products — everything from plush toys to Amazon devices to headphones — that developers can choose from to incentivize customers.

A number of apps have already run pilot programs with Amazon Moments, including TikTok, Sony Crackle, Bell Canada, Sesame Workshop, USA Today and the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post. Amazon claims Moments made it two to three times more likely that a user completes a specific task. It isn’t the first company to try rewarding people for more engagement. Earlier this year, Nike began rewarding people with shoes and other gifts for working out and NBC incentivized people to watch certain shows by offering gift cards to popular shopping sites.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Now your Beats headphones can match your NBA fandom

Now your Beats headphones can match your NBA fandom

We don’t get too excited about new colors of existing products here at Engadget, but hey, Dr. Dre is full of surprises. Just ahead of this weekend’s All-Star Game in Charlotte, Beats revealed its first collection as a partner of the NBA: The Studio3 Wireless NBA Collection. The new colorways of the over-ear Bluetooth headphones are painted in the appropriate colors for six teams: Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors. Each set also features a color-on-color pattern of the team logo so it’s clear where your allegiance lies.

Since the Studio3 debuted in 2017, Beats has regularly rolled out new colors and collaborations — including a Neymar Jr. edition for soccer fans. Though the overall look has changed, the key features that make these headphones a compelling option remain. Things like adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC), Apple’s W1 chip for quick pairing, a quick-charge option and over 20 hours of battery life are still part of these team-specific headphones. The NBA Collection is also priced at $350, which is the same as the Studio3 was originally, and you can pick them up from Apple, Fanatics and NBA via their respective online stores. However, if you happen to be a fan of one of the other 24 teams in the league, you can purchase the regular Studio3 from Apple right now for $280.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

North chops $400 from the price of its Focals smart glasses

North chops $400 from the price of its Focals smart glasses


North

The jury is still out on just how useful the recently-released Focals “smart glasses” are, but if you’re the kind of person who’s wanted to give head-mounted AR a shot, they at least are now a lot cheaper. Focals creator North just announced a big price cut: the glasses now cost $599, down from the $999 the company was originally asking.

Additionally, North says that you can now get Focals with prescription lenses — so those of us who have to wear glasses every day can get in on the fun. The glasses work by utilizing a tiny project in the right “arm” that reflects off a lens element that then focuses the image back onto your eye. The end result is that the glasses can project things into the real world without needing a little screen, which adds bulk and — if Google Glass taught us anything — looks super strange.

The only downside to this price cut is that those who need prescription lenses will have to pay $200 extra, but that’s not unreasonable given how much custom lenses generally cost. If you want to buy them, though, you’ll need to visit a North shop. Right now, they’re only in Brooklyn and Toronto, but pop-up shops are coming to Seattle and the Bay Area soon. It’s clearly still early says for Focals, but them being cheaper and available with prescriptions should help widen their appeal.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

iOS pirates are using Apple’s developer certificates to share hacked apps

iOS pirates are using Apple’s developer certificates to share hacked apps


Shutterstock

Just days after it was revealed that dozens of gambling and pornographic apps have been abusing enterprise certificates to distribute apps outside of Apple’s app store, Reuters has found that software pirates have been using the same process to distribute hacked versions of popular apps such as Spotify, Minecraft and Pokemon Go. The apps have been modified to block in-app advertising and make paid-for features available for free.

The illicit software distributors, which include TutuApp, Panda Helper and AppValley, are able to provide these hacked apps — which are otherwise tightly controlled within Apple’s App Store ecosystem — by using enterprise developer certificates which act as digital keys that tell an iPhone if a piece of software can be trusted and opened. According to TechCrunch, these certificates are relatively easy to obtain and cost a one-off payment of $299. Distributors make money by charging a small yearly fee — around $13 — for access to “VIP” versions of their services.

Apple initially banned some of the pirates, but within days they were operational again having simply obtained another certificate. Apple says it’s now working on implementing two-factor authentication — a code sent to a phone as well as a password — to log into developers accounts, which should be in place by the end of the month. It’s not clear how much revenue these apps have siphoned away from the App Store and genuine app providers, nor how much these pirates have made from their activity, but Reuters reports that these distributors combined have more than 600,00 followers on Twitter, so it’s safe to assume there are significant figures at play.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

The puzzling chaos of ‘Human: Fall Flat’ is coming to phones

The puzzling chaos of ‘Human: Fall Flat’ is coming to phones


No Brakes Games

Soon it won’t just be Switch owners who get to play indie platform-puzzler Human: Fall Flat on the go. After shifting five million copies across PC, Mac and consoles, the game is heading to mobiles. For the uninitiated, Human stars a claymation-style character named Bob, who walks like he’s drunk. Your job is to steer him across a series of floating levels, each with increasingly difficult physics-based puzzles. But if you’re easily distracted, chances are you’ll use the props on-hand (think catapults, forklifts, and wrecking balls) to cause happy accidents.

Online play, meanwhile, lets you conduct even more mayhem with up to seven extra players. And if you thought the game was hard to control with a keyboard or pad, just imagine what it will be like on touchscreens.

Though it was created by a lone developer — Tomas Sakalauskas of one-man studio No Brakes Games — Human‘s mobile port is being overseen by a bunch of indie stalwarts, including developer Codeglue and publisher 505 Games, who previously teamed up to port Terraria to mobiles, and Britain’s Curve Digital (Stealth Inc 2). There’s no word on a release date, but we do know that Human is heading to smartphones and tablets.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Ripple (XRP) isn’t a Real Cryptocurrency, Claims Exchange that Just Listed the ‘Heavily Centralized’ Token

Ripple (XRP) isn’t a Real Cryptocurrency, Claims Exchange that Just Listed the ‘Heavily Centralized’ Token

Ripple (XRP) is not a cryptocurrency, and it is heavily centralized in the hands of the corporate entity known as Ripple. That’s the opinion of a cryptocurrency exchange which listed XRP on its platform just one day ago.

‘XRP Is Not a Cryptocurrency’

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse XRP

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse claims that XRP is “very clearly decentralized,” but many others disagree. | Source: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

The Coinmotion exchange, based in Finland, released this blog post just hours after listing Ripple on its trading platform, titled: “XRP is a Centralized Virtual Currency.”

The post details the opinion of the exchange operators that XRP is not a typical cryptocurrency, is not backed up by a traditional blockchain, and that it is heavily centralized in the hands of parent company, Ripple Labs.

“What one needs to know about XRP is that it is not cryptocurrency in the strict meaning of the word… What differentiates XRP from cryptocurrencies is that it is not based on blockchain, it is not mined and it is heavily centralized. Ripple network is a suite of different applications by Ripple Labs. XRP, is the currency of Ripple network, which the apps use.”

That’s an opinion that’s been doing the rounds for a long time in crypto circles. Every few months another voice pops up to reveal the “shady truth” that XRP is actually a centralized product.

But the difference is, this time it’s coming from a voice with something to lose by making that allegation. Coinmotion has absolutely nothing to gain by spreading FUD about XRP, and the fact that the release of this blog post coincides with its listing of XRP (after huge demand from Finnish consumers), only demonstrates how concerned they must be.

‘Ripple Labs Controls XRP’

ripple xrp cryptocurrency

The Finnish crypto exchange claims that Ripple Labs controls XRP. | Source: Shutterstock

The article claims that Ripple (the network) doesn’t use a blockchain to secure transactions, but instead uses a method known as HashTree which is patented by Ripple Labs (the company). From the post:

“In HashTree all the transactions and balances are combined to a single number, which servers compare to each other to reach consensus. This kind of system is faster than blockchain, but far more centralized.”

Coinmotion also details the particulars of XRP’s (the currency) supply statistics, noting:

“XRP isn’t mined like typical cryptocurrencies. All 100 billion ripple coins have already been created. Ripple plans to release about half of them on to the markets while keeping the other half. Currently there are about 39% of ripple in the open markets, while 61% are kept by Ripple Labs.”

According to Coinmotion, the control of XRP in the hands of a single company amounts to a monopoly – one which is antithetical to the standard principles of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin:

“Ripple Labs has also the control on how and when to release new ripple on the markets. This is strackly (sic) in contrast to how decentralized cryptocurrencies work: with Bitcoin everybody knows and agrees on how new bitcoin are minted. With Ripple it is the monopoly of Ripple Labs to make the decisions.”

Why Ripple (XRP) Could Succeed Anyway

The article rounds off by suggesting that XRP could still succeed despite the points detailed above. Even if Coinmotion doesn’t consider XRP to be a pure crypto or blockchain solution, it still qualifies as a modern fintech solution. The article notes:

“As a centralized system it could also be easier to jump on than decentralized blockchain systems. Grand institutions such as large scale companies and banks are often quite conservative in adapting new systems. Centralized system might seem less intimidating than a decentralized one.”

That’s a sentiment I’ve expressed myself, and it’s one that was easy to come by towards the end of last year, when every week in September and October seemed to be about financial institutions adopting one of Ripple Labs’ products.

By January of this year, Ripple Labs announced the addition of thirteen more financial institutions to its RippleNet, taking the total to over 200. Round about the same time, co-founder Jed McCaleb – now of Stellar – found time to fire his own shots at cryptocurrency competitors, alleging that Tron (TRX) was “just garbage.”

Brad Garlinghouse Claims XRP is ‘Very Clearly Decentralized’

As for criticism of XRP, the CEO of Ripple Labs, Brad Garlinghouse, has never shied away from the debate, and made the case in 2018 that even he had no control over XRP’s ledger:

“It is very clearly decentralized. I, as CEO of the company, can’t control the XRP ledger.”

Coinmotion ends with a rather ominous statement which appears to translate roughly as “If this goes wrong, it’s on you!”

“Nonetheless since You, our dear customer, have asked for it, we have offered you the possibility to buy and sell XRP on Coinmotion.”

Featured Image from Shutterstock

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://news.google.com/news/rss/headlines/section/q/cryptocurrency/cryptocurrency?ned=us&hl=en&gl=US

“cryptocurrency” – Google News
Google News

Twitter’s profile preview test makes it easier to spot creeps

Twitter’s profile preview test makes it easier to spot creeps


Twitter

Twitter might just make it a little easier to silence unwanted attention from strangers — or to forge a new friendship. It’s testing profile previews in its iOS app that show more about a user without taking you away from your timeline. If you’re included in the test, tapping on a user’s @ handle in a tweet will show a card with their basic details and give you an option to follow or mute them. You can either return to your usual browsing or view their full profile if you need more details.

The company’s safety team elaborated on just why it’s experimenting with these previews: they make it that much easier to figure out who’s involved with an account. You may have a better sense of who’s a bot or creep and deal with them accordingly. This could add an extra step to viewing full profiles, but it could also encourage more people to check profiles before they respond to unfamiliar people.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Just got some Bitcoin: how to choose your first cryptocurrency wallet

Just got some Bitcoin: how to choose your first cryptocurrency wallet

So you’ve entered the world of crypto, have bought your first Bitcoin BTC and want to know how you should choose your first cryptocurrency wallet.

For seasoned cryptocurrency investors this may seem obvious, but for a newbie who’s keen to get involved, it can seem like a daunting task. With so many options available, what’s the best answer? There is no hard and fast rule. At the end of the day it simply comes down to personal preference, but here are some tips to bear in mind.

A cryptocurrency wallet is, essentially, a software program that stores private and public keys, enabling users to send and receive cryptocurrency at the press of a button. It can be considered a misnomer as the coins aren’t stored in the wallet, but permit a person to interact with the blockchain when transactions are being made.

The first thing to understand is that there are three ways a person can store their cryptocurrency: hardware wallets, software wallets, and custodial wallets.

There’s also storage to think about, which can either be hot or cold. Hot storage is when a user’s coins are stored online and may be susceptible to hacking, whereas cold storage is taking a person’s coins and maintaining the security of them offline.

So let’s take a look at the three different types of wallets available.

Custodial wallets

These types of wallets store the private keys of its users through a third party. If someone is first starting out in crypto they are likely to use a custodial wallet.

San Francisco-based crypto exchange Coinbase and Hong Kong-based Bitfinex, a crypto trading platform, are examples of custodial wallets. If you buy crypto on these platforms they also provide users with a wallet in which to store your funds.

A few advantages to custodial wallets is that a user doesn’t need to worry about remembering their private key; all they have to do is remember their login details to the platform. Another benefit is that a person can manage their funds quickly and simply.

However, while they may be easy to use, a person doesn’t have full control over their funds, as the exchange manages them. Custodial wallets are also typically hot wallets.

Yet, while these wallets don’t give full control to users, they can offer a high level of security compared to others. That being said, if a large amount of crypto is stored in these wallets they can be a magnet to hackers. If such a hack takes place and your funds are stolen then there’s no way to retrieve them.

Software wallets

Based on computer software, software wallets are largely accessible anywhere. Available in three formats: desktop, mobile, and online, they are simple to use and provide an array of options depending on the device you use the most.

Let’s break software wallets down even further.

Desktop wallets: These are, essentially, wallets that are solely stored on a person’s laptop or PC. One of the main benefits to desktop wallets is that they don’t rely on a third party and a user has complete control of their funds.

However, on the flip side, security is down to each individual person. So, if the device doesn’t have the latest security procedures in place or isn’t protected against viruses or hacking then the computer may be hacked or compromised, resulting in the loss of a person’s coins forever.

Similar to custodial wallets, desktop wallets are a type of hot wallet.

Examples of software wallets include ArcBit, BitGo, Electrum, and Exodus.

Mobile wallets: These function through an app on your phone, and deliver quick and easy access when needed.

A person’s private keys are stored on the app, enabling purchases to be made through the phone. With more people using their smartphones for day-to-day expenses, the use of mobile wallets may see a steady increase.

For some, smartphones provide the best security for cryptocurrency. However, if a person’s phone is stolen and access is gained then their funds may be at risk of theft. Similar to a desktop wallet, they are only secure as long as steps have been taken to ensure this is the case.

One example of a mobile wallet is eToro’s crypto wallet. Rolled out last November for Android and iOS, it initially provides support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. It’s planning to support more in the near future.

Other examples of mobile wallets include Airbitz, Breadwallet, eToro, Jaxx, and Mycelium.

Online: As these are web-based wallets, they can be accessed anywhere and on any device.

These are another convenient source to use; however, one disadvantage to these is that a person’s private keys are stored by a third party rather than on the device used. As such, a level of trust is required in the owners as well as their level of security. This, in turn, could make them vulnerable to hacking.

Examples of online wallets include BTC Wallet, Coinbase, OpenLedger, and Xapo.

Hardware wallets

With a person’s cryptocurrency stored offline, hardware wallets provide the most secure way to store funds.

A hardware wallet is a physical device with the sole purpose of storing a person’s private and public keys. This is similar to a USB device. As it’s never connected to the internet (unless a transfer needs to be made) there’s no way that it will become vulnerable to potential hackers.

In order to use a hardware wallet, a user simply plugs it into their computer, enters a pin, sends the required currency, and confirms the amount they want to transfer. By entering a person’s private key into the device they never have to reveal it on their computer.

What’s more, if the hardware is broken or lost, a person can upload their funds to a new device with the use of seed words received with the hardware wallet that restores their funds.

Examples of hardware wallets include KeepKey, Ledger Blue, Ledger Nano S, and Trezor.

When it comes to choosing your first cryptocurrency wallet there is no clear answer. At the end of the day, it will come down to what you require the most: security, convenience or ease of use.

Depending on how you use your cryptocurrency, how much you own, and how you plan on storing it will play a major role. If you think you’ll eventually own a significant amount then a hardware wallet may be the ideal choice, but if you want something to spend as and when needed then maybe a mobile wallet is the answer.

Before choosing one, though, make sure to conduct your own research to make sure the one you pick is the right choice.

This post is brought to you by eToroeToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies, as well as trading CFD assets.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptocurrencies can fluctuate widely in price and are, therefore, not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. This is not investment advice. Your capital is at risk.

Published February 13, 2019 — 17:18 UTC

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://news.google.com/news/rss/headlines/section/q/cryptocurrency/cryptocurrency?ned=us&hl=en&gl=US

“cryptocurrency” – Google News
Google News

Neanderthal footprints found in Gibraltar

Neanderthal footprints found in Gibraltar

The  international journal Quaternary Science Reviews has just published a paper which has involved the participation of Gibraltarian scientists from The Gibraltar National Museum alongside colleagues from Spain, Portugal and Japan. The results which have been published come from an area of the Catalan Bay Sand Dune.

This work started ten years ago, when the first dates using the OSL method were obtained. It is then that the first traces of footprints left by vertebrates were found. In subsequent years the successive natural collapse of sand has revealed further material and has permitted a detailed study including new dates.

The sand sheets in the rampant dunes above Catalan Bay are a relic of the last glaciation, when sea level was up to 120 metres below present levels and a great field of dunes extended eastwards from the base of the Rock. The identified footprints correspond to species which are known, from fossil material, to have inhabited Gibraltar. The identified footprints correspond to Red Deer, Ibex, Aurochs, Leopard and Straight-tusked Elephant. In addition the scientists have found the footprint of a young human (106-126 cm in height), possibly Neanderthal, which dates to around 29 thousand years ago. It would coincide with late Neanderthal dates from Gorham’s Cave.

If confirmed to be Neanderthal, these dunes would become only the second site in the world with footprints attributed to these humans, the other being Vartop Cave in Romania. These findings add further international importance to the Gibraltar Pleistocene heritage, declared of World Heritage Value in 2016.

The research was supported by HM Government of Gibraltar under the Gibraltar Caves Project and the annual excavations in the Gibraltar Caves, with additional support to the external scientists from the Spanish EU project MICINN-FEDER: CGL2010-15810/BTE.

Minister for Heritage John Cortes MP commented, “This is extraordinary research and gives us an incredible insight into the wildlife community of Gibraltar’s past. We should all take a moment to imagine the scene when these animals walked across our landscape. It helps us understand the importance of looking after our heritage. I congratulate the research team on uncovering this fascinating, hidden evidence of our Rock’s past.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Seville. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.sciencedaily.com/rss/top/environment.xml Top Environment News — ScienceDaily

Top stories featured on ScienceDaily’s Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, and Fossils & Ruins sections.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/scidaily-logo-rss.png

New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters

New deep sea animal discoveries warrant expanded protections in Costa Rican waters

A three week expedition off the coast of Costa Rica has just expanded our knowledge of deep sea ecosystems in the region. Led by Dr. Erik Cordes, Temple University, the scientists aboard research vessel Falkor surveyed the continental margin for seamounts and natural gas seeps, where specialized biological communities are found. The seamounts extending from the mainland to the Cocos Islands National Park provide an important corridor for the animals occupying the area.

Investigating these systems on all biological size scales, the team focused on relationships between species, from microbes to fauna like fish and corals. At least four new species of deep-sea corals and six other animals that are new to science were found. This expedition represents the first time that seven of the seamounts in the area have been surveyed. The survey results, including description of the coral communities that they host, will support the effort to create a new marine protected area around these seamounts ensuring that they are not impacted by fishing or potential mining activities.

“This research will support Costa Rica’s efforts to conserve these important habitats by providing a baseline of the incredible species and ecosystems found in the deeper areas that don’t always attract the attention that they deserve,” said Schmidt Ocean Institute Cofounder Wendy Schmidt. “One of the most important things we can do now is understand how these communities work, so if there are changes in the future we can measure human impact.”

Even in deep waters, humans pose a threat to these fragile ecosystems. During one of the 19 remotely operated vehicle dives the accumulation of trash at 3,600 meters depth (more than 2 miles) was discovered. Threats to the deep sea already exist, including fishing and energy industries that are moving into deeper water, and the persistent risk of climate change. There are rare organisms and spectacular habitats on the seamounts; it is important to preserve them before they are impacted by these and other threats.

One unique discovery during the expedition was the consistent zonation of seamounts related to the amount of oxygen present. Decreasing oxygen in the ocean due to a warming planet may eventually affect these zones dominated by corals, sea fans, sponges, brittle stars and small oysters. “Every dive continues to amaze us,” said Cordes. “We discovered species of reef-building stony corals at over 800 meters depth on two different seamounts. The closest records of this species are from the deep waters around the Galapagos Islands. The deep sea is the largest habitat on Earth. Understanding how that habitat functions will help us to understand how the planet as a whole works.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Schmidt Ocean Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.sciencedaily.com/rss/top/environment.xml Top Environment News — ScienceDaily

Top stories featured on ScienceDaily’s Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, and Fossils & Ruins sections.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/scidaily-logo-rss.png

Cryptocurrency Was Their Way Out of South Korea’s Lowest Rungs. They’re Still Trying.

Cryptocurrency Was Their Way Out of South Korea’s Lowest Rungs. They’re Still Trying.

SEOUL, South Korea — Kim Ki-won is keeping a secret from his parents.

It isn’t just that he has bought and sold an immense number of digital coins. Mr. Kim, who is 27 and lives with his parents, once made so much money trading cryptocurrencies that he was spending $1,000 a month on whatever he wanted. He quit his job. He borrowed to buy more. He planned to buy a house.

Today he sits slumped over, at times hiding his eyes behind his hair. Which brings us back to Mr. Kim’s secret: He has lost a lot of money, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars.

“I don’t think it’s fair that people call it gambling,” he said of his cryptocurrency obsession. “But there are elements of truth here and there.”

A generation of young South Koreans like Mr. Kim, looking for a way out of their dead-end prospects, has helped turn the country into a capital of the wild world of cryptocurrencies. Now that the market has virtually collapsed, many people young and old are mired in debt and losses. Still, many young South Koreans continue to see digital money as a way break out.

South Korea remains the third-largest market for virtual currency, behind the United States and Japan. A total of $6.8 billion in cryptocurrencies changed hands in January, according to the data provider Messari. South Korea is a major trading hub for Bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency, as well as a wide variety of other virtual currencies that exist without the backing of any country’s central bank.

Cryptocurrencies have become a cultural phenomenon in the country.

Coffee shops print their own digital coins. A national television network made a game show called “Block Battle,” in which contestants — one named “Kimchi Powered” — battled to build a company based on cryptotechnology.

On a recent evening in Seoul, a group of women and men in their 60s and 70s gathered at an event lit by strobe lights for the start of a new digital coin.

Image
The winning team and other contestants on the set of “Block Battle,” a television show in which contestants competed to build a business based on blockchain technology.CreditJean Chung for The New York Times

But it was millennials like Mr. Kim who led the charge. Many call themselves “dirt spoons,” a reference in South Korea to economic and social status, with gold and silver spoons being the best off and dirt spoons being the worst.

Cryptocurrencies seemed to be a way to disrupt that social order.

“There is no true opportunity in South Korea for the average young person,” said Kim Han-gyeol, 23, who graduated from a vocational school and became a part-time software developer for an e-book company.

She lives with her parents and works part time at Dunkin’ Donuts, studying English online at night.

At first, she made a lot of money investing in cryptocurrencies. She used a few thousand dollars she made to buy nice clothes for herself and her mother, and dreamed of starting a coffee shop with her loot. Then, she lost nearly all of it.

“I felt a sense of shame when I lost money on my Bitcoin investments, not once but twice because of my greed to make a fortune in one go,” she said. Even still, she added, she’ll stick to digital coins.

“There is nowhere else to go to recover my losses anyway,” she said.

Being young in South Korea can be defeating and stifling. To succeed is to get either a government position or a job at one of a small but powerful group of family-owned conglomerates that control most of the products Koreans use. This requires getting into one of a handful of exclusive universities, a feat that has become so difficult that many young people delay applying for several years.

Income inequality is among the worst in Asia. Youth unemployment is 10.5 percent and has hovered near that figure for the past five years even as overall unemployment is 3.4 percent.

Young Koreans are called the “sampo generation,” a portmanteau referring to the three things they have given up on: courtship, marriage and family.

Adding to their sense of disillusionment are a string of political scandals, including one that led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, that exposed the deeply entrenched ties between South Korea’s powerful conglomerates and politicians.

When cryptocurrency came along, it set off discussions in chat rooms, weekly hangouts and even intellectual salons created just for digital coins: Could this new system uproot South Korea’s rigid social order?

Buying digital coins was a lot easier than buying stocks or getting a loan to start a business. Kim Ki-won needed to invest only a small amount in the early days. “It was an opportunity for me to make big money,” he said, his eyes wide with excitement even now thinking about the prospect.

For Remy Kim, a 29-year-old who is host to several cryptocurrency channels on the social media app Telegram, digital money could mean nothing short of revolution.

Image

Remy Kim, a 29-year-old cryptocurrency investor, believes he is the youngest person in South Korea to own a Rolls-Royce.CreditJean Chung for The New York Times

Online he goes by “Les Mis,” after “Les Misérables,” the Victor Hugo tale of the poor rising up in revolution. Mr. Kim writes about Cryptopia, a future where everyone is equal and the social constructs that money creates don’t exist.

“Crypto played a role in shifting wealth from one group in society to another,” he said. “It has affected Korean society tremendously.”

Mr. Kim discovered cryptocurrencies after his computer was hacked by a person who demanded Bitcoin in ransom. In the end, he paid the hacker 1.2 Bitcoins — which at the time was worth nearly $800.

Soon he was buying digital coins for himself, riding a Bitcoin bubble that peaked at more than $19,000 for a single Bitcoin.

He made enough to buy himself a half-million-dollar navy blue Rolls-Royce. As far as he knows, “I’m the youngest person in Korea with a Rolls-Royce,” he said.

Mr. Kim said he had since lost much of what he made, but he doesn’t like to dwell on this. (He still has the Rolls.)

Last year, South Korea’s government mulled shutting down virtual currency exchanges where investors buy and sell, saying that it was starting to look a lot like gambling.

At the time, some exchanges were processing transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But the news caused an outcry, and the government merely barred cryptocurrency investors from opening new anonymous accounts linked to banks in an attempt to crack down on money laundering.

Even some former cryptocurrency evangelists warn that the best days are over. They include Kimchi Powered, the contestant on the “Block Battle” television show.

Kimchi Powered, whose real name is Jung Ki-young, made it all the way to the show’s finals, in part by entertaining the judges with silly costumes. On the night of the final round, Mr. Jung, 36, wore a shimmering suit jacket.

Image

Jung Ki-young, a one-man team called Kimchi Powered, made it to the finals of “Block Battle.”CreditJean Chung for The New York Times

He still invests in cryptocurrencies, but warns others that there aren’t as many opportunities to make money as before.

“Many people are very depressed these days because the price of Bitcoin has dropped,” he said in an interview. “It was my intention to give people a reason to laugh rather than trying to win the competition.”

Falling prices aren’t the only reason South Koreans can’t make money as they did before.

Big companies increasingly overshadow small investors. Hyundai, a major conglomerate, created a blockchain platform called HDAC and advertised the technology at the World Cup. A unit of Lotte, a conglomerate that became embroiled in a corruption scandal in 2017, has worked with blockchain start-ups.

A number of South Koreans have also been hit by scams.

“Koreans lack knowledge about finance,” said Remy Kim, the investor who goes by Les Mis and who gives tips and information on how cryptocurrencies work. “They are stingy at the store, but then they poured everything into cryptocurrencies.”

Still, many dirt spoons hold on to the hope that cryptocurrencies will turn back around.

Kim Ki-won said he would tell his parents about his cryptocurrency obsession soon. But first, he wants to make enough to start a business. He is sure that the market will turn around.

“I have nothing to lose,” he said. “I always wanted to be rich.”

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://news.google.com/news/rss/headlines/section/q/cryptocurrency/cryptocurrency?ned=us&hl=en&gl=US

“cryptocurrency” – Google News
Google News

Amazon revives its live shopping stream with a larger scope

Amazon revives its live shopping stream with a larger scope


Amazon

Amazon isn’t giving up on live shopping streams just because its first attempt fell flat. The internet giant recently launched Amazon Live, a streaming channel with a much larger scope. Where the old Style Code Live was a single show devoted to beauty and fashion, Live encompasses a variety of shows that showcase products ranging from technology to household items. There are some shows with dedicated hosts, but some are run by the brands themselves — the beauty brand Grace & Stella was hosting a segment as we wrote this.

Interaction plays a large role. You can ask hosts questions much like you would through an app like Instagram, whether you’re on the web or using the Amazon mobile app. The brands themselves, meanwhile, have access to a new (and currently iOS-only) Live Creator app to broadcast, chat and track the success of their shows.

It currently has a limited reach. The dedicated Live section only appeared in the mobile app this week, for instance. While many people worldwide can watch, companies have to be US Professional Sellers who’ve signed up for the Amazon Brand Registry. It explicitly forbids livestreams from Hong Kong and mainland China.

There’s no guarantee this will succeed, although the more inclusive strategy could rope in more viewers. If nothing else, it illustrates Amazon’s recent focus on shopping recommendations — the company knows its vast catalog can be intimidating, and it’s betting that a nudge in the right direction might get you to buy things you’d otherwise miss.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true