Russian c.bank proposes banning cryptocurrencies, crypto mining

crypto currency
Representations of virtual cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration taken November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Russia’s central bank on Thursday proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability, citizens’ wellbeing and its monetary policy sovereignty.

The move is the latest in a global cryptocurrency crackdown as governments from Asia to the United States worry that privately operated highly volatile digital currencies could undermine their control of financial and monetary systems.

Russia has argued for years against cryptocurrencies, saying they could be used in money laundering or to finance terrorism. It eventually gave them legal status in 2020 but banned their use as a means of payment.

In December, the price of bitcoin fell after Reuters reported, citing sources, that Russia’s regulator was in favour of a complete ban on cryptocurrencies.

In a report published on Thursday, the central bank said speculative demand primarily determined cryptocurrencies’ rapid growth and that they carried characteristics of a financial pyramid, warning that bubbles in the market could form, threatening financial stability and citizens.

The bank proposed preventing financial institutions from carrying out any operations with cryptocurrencies and said mechanisms should be developed to block transactions aimed at buying or selling cryptocurrencies for fiat, or traditional currencies. The proposed ban includes crypto exchanges.

Russians are active cryptocurrency users, the central bank said, with an annual transaction volume of about $5 billion.

CRYPTO MINING

Russia is the world’s third-largest player in bitcoin mining, behind the United States and Kazakhstan, though the latter may see a miner exodus over fears of tightening regulation following unrest earlier this month. read more

The central bank said crypto mining created problems for energy consumption. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “mined” by powerful computers that compete against others hooked up to a global network to solve complex mathematical puzzles. The process guzzles electricity and is often powered by fossil fuels.

“The best solution is to introduce a ban on cryptocurrency mining in Russia,” the bank said.

In August, Russia accounted for 11.2% of the global “hashrate” – crypto jargon for the amount of computing power being used by computers connected to the bitcoin network.

A healthcare worker administers…

A healthcare worker administers the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to a pregnant woman, amidst the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron, in Johannesburg, South Africa, December 9, 2021. REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham
A healthcare worker administers the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to a pregnant woman, amidst the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron, in Johannesburg, South Africa, December 9, 2021. REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham

Unvaccinated people infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus may be less prone to severe illness and requiring hospital care or dying than was the case with previous variants, a South African study showed on Friday.

The study, by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in the Western Cape region, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, concluded.compared about 11,600 patients from the first three COVID-19 waves with about 5,100 from the Omicron-driven wave that began in November.

Omicron globally has tended to cause less severe disease, and proportionally fewer hospital admissions and deaths, than previous variants.

Scientists are trying to determine the extent to which this is because of higher immunity rates engendered by vaccination or past illness, or Omicron is intrinsically less nasty.

The study concluded that about a quarter of the reduced risk of severe disease with Omicron was attributable to characteristics of the virus itself.

“In the Omicron-driven wave, severe COVID-19 outcomes were reduced mostly due to protection conferred by prior infection and/or vaccination, but intrinsically reduced virulence may account for an approximately 25% reduced risk of severe hospitalisation or death compared to Delta,” the study said.

SpaceX’s Starlink internet service has more than 145,000 users so far

StarLink

A Starlink user terminal, also known as an antenna or satellite dish, on the roof of a building.(Photo:-SpaceX)

Elon Musk’s SpaceX provided an update on its Starlink internet service on Thursday, as the company launched more satellites into orbit. 

SpaceX engineer Jessie Anderson said during a webcast of the company’s first launch of the year that Starlink now has more than 145,000 users in 25 countries around the world. It fell from 140,000 users in early November, but represents a slowdown in user growth. 

On Thursday, the company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida, carrying 49 Starlink satellites into orbit. 

Starlink is the company’s plan to build an interconnected Internet network with thousands of satellites – known in the space industry as a constellation. 

It is designed to provide high speed Internet access to consumers all over the planet. SpaceX has approximately 1,800 Starlink satellites in orbit.

The increase of 5,000 users in two months represents slower growth. As of November, SpaceX had added about 11,000 users per month since the service began in October 2020.

 Late last year, SpaceX noted on its website that the “silicon shortage has delayed production” of Starlink user terminals, “which  impacted our ability to fulfill orders. 

SpaceX’s valuation has reached over $100 billion, which industry analysts attribute largely to the market potential of its Starlink service.

WATCH: WORLD RINGS IN NEW YEAR UNDER COVID CLOUD

Happy New Year İn Advance To Everyone

The world began  on Friday with the inauguration of 2022 after another turbulent and pandemic-ridden year, limited by new restrictions, a rising number of cases, and a slight glimmer of hope for better times.

 The first Olympic Games without spectators and  the  dreams of democracy from Afghanistan to Myanmar to Hong Kong are being smashed by authoritarian regimes.

But it was the pandemic, now entering its third year, that once again dominated  most people’s lives. More than 5.4 million people have died since the coronavirus was first reported in central China in December 2019, and countless more have fallen ill, exposed to outbreaks, bans, bans and an alphabetical spaghetti of PCR testing, LFT and RAT.

The year 2021 began with hope when life-saving vaccines were used in around 60 percent of the world’s population, though many of their poor still have limited access and some of the rich believe the coups are part of an unclear plot.

When it came to an end, the appearance of the Omicron variant caused the number of  new cases of Covid-19 to rise to more than a million for the first time, according to an AFP balance sheet.

France became the last country to announce on Friday that Omicron is now its dominant coronavirus strain. In the UK, the US and even Australia, a long-standing haven from the pandemic, the variant’s prominence is generating new record cases.

Parts of the Pacific nation of Kiribati were the first to greet the New Year from 1000 GMT.

In San Francisco, the festivities have been canceled or reduced again  as infections increase.

One notable exception, however, was South Africa, which was the first country to report Omicron  in November, where the curfew was lifted to allow the festivities.

Health officials said  a drop in infections over the past week shows the current wave has peaked, crucially without a significant increase in deaths. Sydney, Australia’s largest city, has also opted for fireworks that will light up the city, port, despite being one of the fastest growing cases in the world.

The country’s Conservative government says its decision to abandon a “Covidzero” approach was based on vaccination rates and increasing evidence that Omicron is less lethal.

Tens of thousands of night owls were expected to populate Sydney Beach, although AFP journalists said the city was quieter than normal at nightfall.

“I’m just trying to focus on the positive things that happened this year instead of thinking about all of the bad things that happened,” said Melinda, a 22-year-old medical student.

Howard, part of an enthusiastic but smaller than usual crowd waiting at the Opera House for the show to begin.

Despite numerous infections in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is planning fireworks at the Burj Khalifa, the  tallest tower in the world.

Meanwhile, the northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is trying to break two world records with  huge fireworks.

“Just a wish” In Rio, the celebrations on Copacabana Beach will take place in a reduced format, although many night owls are still expected.

“People have only one wish to leave their homes, to celebrate life,” said a 45-year-old waiter on Copacabana Beach said Francisco Rodrigues.

Some Brazilians are more careful, like Roberta Assis, a 27-year-old lawyer. “This is not the time for big meetings,” he said. The authorities in Seoul are showing similar caution and instead prohibit viewers from ringing the traditional midnight bell.

In India, fearing a repetition of the devastating surge in the virus  that overwhelmed the country in April and May, cities and states have imposed assembly restrictions and Delhi put a curfew at 10 p.m. Mumbai police put nighttime bans on people on Friday Enact visiting public places such as city beaches and boardwalks, which are usually popular attractions in the New Year, with two-week restrictions.

The health organization warned of difficult times, saying Omicron could lead to “a tsunami of cases”.”This … will continue to put immense pressure on exhausted health workers and health systems that are on the verge of collapse,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

But the restrictions have again led to frequent, loud and sometimes violent protests against the blockade, vaccinations and the government. Experts and non-experts alike hope that 2022 will be remembered as the new, less deadly phase of the pandemic.

“Be better for everyone,” said  Oscar Ramirez, a 31-year-old Sydney night owl. “Everyone in the world needs a big change.

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A Sinister Six Movie Should Copy Spider-Man: No Way Home & Bring In Miles

Sony’s upcoming Sinister Six movie should take some inspiration from Spider-Man: No Way Home and introduce a new version of Miles Morales. Sony has had plans for a Sinister Six film since The Amazing Spider-Man film franchise was in progress. The second film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, ended with a clear setup for the villain team, with the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) and The Gentleman (Gustav Fiers) equipping allies (and possibly members) of Oscorp with advanced weapons and devices. The plans, unfortunately, never came to fruition, but Sony’s new villain-focused Spider-Man universe, which began with 2018’s Venom, has led to new plans for the iconic team.

Miles Morales – whose comic debut was in 2011’s alternate universe Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man – is his reality’s second web-slinger, taking Peter Parker’s place after his apparent death in a final confrontation with the Green Goblin. Miles and his stories were well-received, quickly growing in popularity among readers, and he made his cinematic debut in 2018’s animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As the star of numerous comics, an animated film, and a recent video game, it won’t be long before Miles has his long-awaited live-action debut.

With Sinister Six reportedly being the endgame of Sony’s Spider-Man films, it’s reasonable to assume that the movie will be a crowd-pleasing epic with more than one payoff. Sony will reportedly work alongside Marvel Studios to tie their film in with the MCU, meaning that Tom Holland’s classic Peter Parker Spider-Man may face off against the six villains. Although Spider-Man was often on his own against the six in the comics, the film can easily justify introducing a second Spider-Man to even the odds and give viewers a live-action Miles Morales simultaneously.

Not only is Sony and Marvel Studious working together on the Sinister Six film, but the multiverse will be unleashed in the upcoming No Way Home. While the Miles Morales who appears in the Sony film could be their iteration, he might alternatively be from the MCU, creating a new kind of character dynamic for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who’s typically mentored by characters like Iron Man or Doctor Strange.

The Sinister Six’s villain roster can be comprised of characters from multiple realities as well. In addition to introducing the first live-action iteration of Miles Morales, the film can bring back actors like Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, and Willem Dafoe for yet another performance. With No Way Home bringing the iconic villains back, Sony could take advantage of their fan-favorite status, adding to the already crowd-pleasing introduction of Miles.

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the first live-action Spider-Man movie to use the multiverse for crossovers. In addition to bringing back characters from bygone film eras, they’ve also allowed for interaction with Sony’s Spider-Man universe. If Sony intends to make the Sinister Six film their franchise’s endgame, they’d make it an even more effective grand finale by bringing in Miles Morales.

China Could Be Exploiting Internet Security Process to Steal Data, Cyber Experts Warn

Gaming keyboard-chinese hacking group

To access the data of unsuspecting users, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could take advantage of a universal authentication process that is believed to be secure but may not actually be, cybersecurity experts warned, although encryption is still the preferred method of protecting digital data and Protection of computers – in some cases, the same digital certificates used for internet authentication allow the Chinese regime to infiltrate and wreak havoc on various computer networks, they said. 

Digital certificates that verify the identity of a digital entity on the Internet. A digital certificate can be compared to a passport or driver’s license, according to Andrew Jenkinson, CEO of cybersecurity company Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and author of the book Stuxnet to Sunburst: 20 Years of Digital Exploitation and Cyber ​​Warfare. 

“Without it, the person or device you are using may not meet industry standards, and the encryption of critical data could be bypassed so that what should be encrypted remains in plain text,” Jenkinson told The Epoch Times Used to Encrypt internal and external communications that prevent a hacker, for example, from intercepting and stealing data. But “fake certificates” or invalid certificates can tamper with any data. 

Sense of security, “said Jenkinson. Cybersecurity firm Global Cyber ​​Risk LLC said digital certificates are generally issued by trusted CAs and then the same level of trust is passed on to intermediaries However, there are opportunities for a communist entity, malicious actor, or other untrustworthy entity to issue certificates to other “hideous people” who appear trustworthy but are not, he said.

“If you issue a certificate from a trusted authority, you will trust it,” said Duren. “But what the issuer could actually do is pass that trust on to someone who shouldn’t be trusted. Duren said he would never trust.” a Chinese certification authority for this reason, stating that it is aware of a number of companies that have banned Chinese certificates because they were issued to untrustworthy agencies. 

Jenkinson said that Chinese certification bodies make up a small portion of the overall industry and the certificates they issue are generally limited to Chinese companies and products.

prince a member of chinese hacking group

Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who declined to give his real name, uses his computer at their office in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China, on Aug. 4, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images).

 In 2015, certificates from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state agency overseeing domain name registration in China, were challenged. Mozilla revoked CNNIC certificates because it knew of unauthorized digital certificates associated with multiple domains. Both Internet companies opposed CNNIC delegating its authority to issue certificates to an Egyptian company that issued the unauthorized certificates. According to Jenkinson, CNNIC certificates were banned because they had “back doors”. 

A back door means that [the Chinese certification body] could literally take administrative access and send data back to the mothership, ”he said. Since 2016, Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft have also blocked the Chinese certification authorities WoSign and their subsidiary StartCom due to unacceptable security practices.Vulnerability Despite these bans on Chinese digital certificates in recent years, the CCP has not been deterred and has long-term gambling, Jenkinson said, referring to an alarming discovery by his cybersecurity firm two years ago that it was a multinational consulting firm. 

Digital certificates are typically valid for a few years depending on the certification authority, and a renewal is required to keep them valid and keep the data they are supposed to protect secure, he said. “But in 2019, CIP Chinese discovered certificates that had been valid for 999 years,” Jenkinson said. His company made this discovery by researching the laptops of a leading global consulting firm. 

Jenkinson made the company aware of the vulnerability and offered, “They are either incredibly accommodating or complicit,” he said, noting that the company’s customers include government agencies.This multi-billion dollar company’s failure to fix this problem means hundreds of thousands of people could be exposed to Chinese infiltration through the company’s lax safeguards, Jenkinson said. The company engages its customers every time someone uses one of its laptops, he said. 

Companies or customers who use the company’s services could be held for ransom, they have their intellectual advantages

Watch Apple’s ‘Unleashed’ event live right here

apple october event

Apple is set to announce new hardware today. The company is holding a (virtual) keynote at 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris). And you’ll be able to watch the event right here as the company is streaming it live.[embedded content]

Rumor has it that the company is set to announce some new Macs. Over the past year, Apple has updated its entry-level computers with new custom-designed M1 chips. And now, the company could bring its own chips to higher-end computers, such as a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, a new Mac Mini and a 27-inch iMac.

Apple could use this opportunity to redesign its laptops from the ground up with new display technologies, a new array of ports and a new form factor in general. But that’s not all. Apple has also been working on an updated version of its entry-level AirPods.

You can watch the livestream directly on this page, as Apple is streaming its conference on YouTube.

If you have an Apple TV, you can open the TV app and look for the ‘Apple Special Event’ section. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old ones.

And if you don’t have an Apple TV and don’t want to use YouTube, the company also lets you livestream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed now works in all major browsers — Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Source: Tech crunch

HarmonyOS 2 vs Android 12

harmony os vs android 12

image credit :huawei central


 Google Android 12 is the next operating system that comes with various new features. Android is open source and provides different types of customizations for the smartphone makers to customize Android and make it as a base of their custom software skin just like the Huawei EMUI.

However, if you are coming from any phone such as Huawei, Samsung, and others, you may find that Pixel device has minimized and a limited amount of apps, that solely launched by Google. This clean and Google apps only user experience is called – Stock Android.

But HarmonyOS is the next operating system that has entered on Huawei phones in China with the version HarmonyOS 2. Therefore, more and more device owners continue to upgrade over this new open-source operating system to ramp up HarmonyOS numbers to stand up against Android.

harmony os vs androdi 12

Image Credit:huawei central

In the past, we’ve compared different Android software including numerous types of software skins but this time, we’ll compare stock Android 12 vs HarmonyOS 2. For this HarmonyOS 2 vs Android 12 comparison, we’ll first dive into the quick settings feature of both of the software and see which one is the best.

Stock Android 12 Quick Setting:

Android 12 is powered by Material You, a new user interface design specially designed for the Android ecosystem. The Android 12 Quick Settings panel shows the same integrations. Once shipped downwards, you can access the quick settings and there are various tiles (quick tap buttons), that have a good amount of width to make sure that you don’t miss a tap.

The brightness control and volume sliders also have now bigger sliders. However, the position of the brightness slider at the top should have been at the bottom side. You can also edit the Quick Settings options and add more into them or remove any if you want.

harmony os vs android 12

image credit:HC

However, a virtual power button is a lifesaver, and it’s presented on the Android 12, from which, you can tap on emergency, initiate a lockdown, turn off the device or restart it. You don’t have to press the physical key to do such actions.

HarmonyOS:

HarmonyOS comes with a new Control Panel, that has different types of mobile services in a single place, such as media controllers, connectivity, quick settings, super device, and smart connected device. You can manage these from a single place without a hassle.

harmony os

Image credit:HC

Talking specifically about the quick settings, the HarmonyOS carries forward the EMUI 11 icons but polished them with better visibility and the design scheme of the HM OS software. Compared to the Android 12, you can check more of the quick switches on the same screen without any issues.

The design of the HarmonyOS quick settings is very simple and subtle, which makes it easy to use. However, that power switch is also a required feature that Huawei should use to this new operating system, to save the phone’s physical power key.

Source:HC

Responsible Tech Playbook

Those of us developing software don’t need to be told what a big impact it’s had on humanity this century. I’ve long maintained that this places a serious responsibility on our profession. Whether asked to or not, we have a duty to ensure our systems don’t degrade our society. But in the tumult of so many software projects, it can be difficult to step back and understand the implications of our work. In the last few months my colleagues at Thoughtworks have been putting together a catalog of techniques that we can use to address this problem, which they published as the Responsible Tech Playbook.

The playbook is a free PDF download of about 50 slides, the bulk of which is a summary of a dozen tools and methods that teams can use to better understand their responsibilities. Each summary is a couple of slides outlining the basics of the technique: what is it, who created it, when we should use it, how it works, and our perspective on its place in our development efforts.

My colleagues highlighted three techniques that are particularly well-suited as first steps into this collection:

  • Ethical Explorer is a set of cards that use a metaphor of an explorer and risk zones to help a team discuss and understand potential dangers in their product plans.
  • Consequence Scanning is some workshop activities and materials to uncover the unexpected consequences associated with a technology. It encourages teams to uncover these consequences and develop plans to mitigate any problems that they find.
  • Tarot Cards of Tech are cards describing “provocations” such as: how a product could be used in unexpected ways, what users may be excluded, and what might happen if the product is over-used.

As these example suggest, these techniques are mostly ways to conduct structured workshops that help people explore different perspectives on their product. They also encourage engaging a wider range of stakeholders into the discussion and coming up with ways to monitor for bad outcomes and deal with them should they show up.

As professionals, we must take responsibility for the outcomes of our work – whether or not it matches our intention. We can’t avoid that responsibility by saying we are following our manager’s instructions, nor can we avoid the necessity of considering how our algorithms may lead to malignancies. Techniques like this help us explore our responsibilities and take thoughtful action to live up to them.

Further Reading

You can download the Responsible Tech Playbook as a PDF from the Thoughtworks web site.

Last year my colleague JoJo Swords wrote an article that explains more about why it matters that we understand our responsibility for our technology. In conjunction with that, Rebecca Parsons and Chad Wathington addressed the topic in a webinar.

MH What Happened To The Professor?

The Professor has gone missing in a trailer for the final season of Money Heist, and there are a few likely possibilities for his whereabouts.

Money heist season 5 professor missing

In a trailer for the Money Heist final season, the Professor has gone missing, and there are a few options for his whereabouts. In the first look at Money Heist season 5, part 2, also known as La Casa de Papel, Lisbon (Itziar Ituño), Palmero (Rodrigo de la Serna), Denver (Jaime Lorente), and the rest of the gang contemplate the Professor’s (Álvaro Morte) disappearance and what to do with their melted gold inside the Bank of Spain. Palmero wants to get the gold out, but the others don’t seem sure, thinking the police could be privy to the escape route. Unfortunately, Palmero isn’t interested in “democracy” and insists their scheme goes ahead as planned. The first part of Money Heist season 5 included several shocking twists and lingering questions. Inspector Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) captures the Professor in the season 5 premiere, but her pregnancy changes her plans. She eventually lets the Professor go to help deliver her baby, leaving her allegiance to the Professor or her government up in the air. Additionally, Money Heist seemingly killed off a significant character in the first part of its final season. However, the true fate of the individual could still be a mystery.
The Professor’s disappearance is surprising in the Money Heist trailer. Lisbon hears about the Professor’s disappearance off-camera (or he doesn’t respond to her call), and then she delivers the news matter-of-factly in the season 5 video. According to her, the Professor is missing, and the big question is what to do with the gold. While the others looked shocked, Denver is the only one who speaks up, questioning where the professor could’ve gone. However, Lisbon offers no solid explanations. Though the Professor’s disappearance is odd, there could be an obvious reason.

money heist season 5 part 2 professor

If the Professor is missing, there is one likely saboteur. At the end of part 1 of the final season, there are questions about Alicia Sierra’s loyalty. Though her government disgraced her name and she let the Professor help deliver her baby, she also slips into the restroom and seemingly hides a small pair of scissors in her sleeve as a weapon. Before her baby’s birth, she wanted to bring the Professor and his accomplices to justice. But instead, she let him go out of necessity. So if the Professor is in trouble, Sierra has to be the prime suspect.

Alternatively, there could be more to the Professor’s disappearance than meets the eye. It’s unknown if the Professor is actually missing in the first look for part 2. For instance, the disappearance could be part of the plan. If Money Heist has taught fans anything, it’s that the Professor is always planning. Also, the trailer has Denver question if the Professor is in the “Bermuda Triangle.” The Professor previously mentioned the Bermuda Triangle in part 1 of the final season. “Madrid isn’t the Bermuda Triangle,” he said while discussing how to hide Marseille (Luka Peroš) and a helicopter from the police. That plan involved significant deception, and the Professor’s disappearance likely does too.

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