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 • NFT Conference Founder Predicts 97% of Current Projects Will Lose Value Through 2024
    "Serial entrepreneur" Gary Vaynerchuk launched a four-day conference "exploring digital ownership and the way emerging technologies could interact with art sports and entertainment" reports the Pioneer Press:It's billed as an event "featuring icons of business sports music arts Web3 and popular culture in conversation to build lasting relationships share ideas and connect with the community." VeeCon is expected to draw over 10000 visitors from around world who will hear from 150 speakers from New Age guru Deepak Chopra to filmmaker Spike Lee and the ubiquitous rapper Snoop Dogg. [Also speaking: Randi Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg's sister] Tickets were sold in the form of NFTs which are non-fungible tokens sold on the blockchain a digital ledger of transactions. Much of the conference will dive into the potential applications for NFTs. Ami Barzelay chief product officer of Crinkle a shopping rewards optimizer described NFT ownership as "digital bragging rights." An NFT which could be an image song or video can be copied and enjoyed by anyone in the world but it may have just one owner. The NFT market still in its infancy has seen wild swings in what people are willing to pay for digital assets which Barzelay has experienced first-hand. He said that for fun he paid $100 for a video clip of Tiger Woods and later sold it for $5000. There is inherent skepticism and fear around buying and selling things that don't exist in the physical world which VeeCon aims to address. The article quotes Vaynerchuk as saying "Education and communication solve everything" adding later that "NFTs are really fun for collectability but it is a tiny part of the consumer blockchain." CNBC points out that holders of the NFT-format tickets "also are given exclusive access to the annual event for three years after the NFT's purchase." Though they also end on a skeptical note:"Right now the overwhelming energy of the space is very short term. I would call it greed. Many are not spending their time on education" Vaynerchuk said. "The reality is that all that behavior is going to lead to 97-98% of these current projects losing value over the next 24-36 months because the supply and demand curves will not work out." The event's schedule included happy hours that were officially hosted by Johnnie Walker and Captain Morgan. On Twitter one attendee reported from the festival that digital artist Beeple "just got caked in the face in front of 7000 people by Steve Aoki and it was incredible." read more >>

 • Can Tech Firms Prevent Violent Videos Circulating on the Internet?
    This week New York's attorney general announced they're officially "launching investigations into the social media companies that the Buffalo shooter used to plan promote and stream his terror attack." Slashdot reader echo123 points out that Discord confirmed that roughly 30 minutes before the attack a "small group" was invited to join the shooter's server. "None of the people he invited to review his writings appeared to have alerted law enforcement" reports the New York Times. "and the massacre played out much as envisioned." But meanwhile another Times article tells a tangentially-related story from 2019 about what ultimately happened to "a partial recording of a livestream by a gunman while he murdered 51 people that day at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand."For more than three years the video has remained undisturbed on Facebook cropped to a square and slowed down in parts. About three-quarters of the way through the video text pops up urging the audience to "Share THIS...." Online writings apparently connected to the 18-year-old man accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo New York grocery store Saturday said that he drew inspiration for a livestreamed attack from the Christchurch shooting. The clip on Facebook — one of dozens that are online even after years of work to remove them — may have been part of the reason that the Christchurch gunman's tactics were so easy to emulate. In a search spanning 24 hours this week The New York Times identified more than 50 clips and online links with the Christchurch gunman's 2019 footage. They were on at least nine platforms and websites including Reddit Twitter Telegram 4chan and the video site Rumble according to the Times' review. Three of the videos had been uploaded to Facebook as far back as the day of the killings according to the Tech Transparency Project an industry watchdog group while others were posted as recently as this week. The clips and links were not difficult to find even though Facebook Twitter and other platforms pledged in 2019 to eradicate the footage pushed partly by public outrage over the incident and by world governments. In the aftermath tech companies and governments banded together forming coalitions to crack down on terrorist and violent extremist content online. Yet even as Facebook expunged 4.5 million pieces of content related to the Christchurch attack within six months of the killings what the Times found this week shows that a mass killer's video has an enduring — and potentially everlasting — afterlife on the internet. "It is clear some progress has been made since Christchurch but we also live in a kind of world where these videos will never be scrubbed completely from the internet" said Brian Fishman a former director of counterterrorism at Facebook who helped lead the effort to identify and remove the Christchurch videos from the site in 2019.... Facebook which is owned by Meta said that for every 10000 views of content on the platform only an estimated five were of terrorism-related material. Rumble and Reddit said the Christchurch videos violated their rules and they were continuing to remove them. Twitter 4chan and Telegram did not respond to requests for comment For what it's worth this week CNN also republished an email they'd received in 2016 from 4chan's current owner Hiroyuki Nishimura. The gist of the email? "If I liked censorship I would have already done that." But Slashdot reader Bruce66423 also shares an interesting observation from The Guardian's senior tech reporter about the major tech platforms. "According to Hany Farid a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley there is a tech solution to this uniquely tech problem. Tech companies just aren't financially motivated to invest resources into developing it."Farid's work includes research into robust hashing a tool that creates a fingerprint for videos that allows platforms to find them and their copies as soon as they are uploaded... Farid: It's not as hard a problem as the technology sector will have you believe... The core technology to stop redistribution is called "hashing" or "robust hashing" or "perceptual hashing". The basic idea is quite simple: you have a piece of content that is not allowed on your service either because it violated terms of service it's illegal or for whatever reason you reach into that content and extract a digital signature or a hash as it's called.... That's actually pretty easy to do. We've been able to do this for a long time. The second part is that the signature should be stable even if the content is being modified when somebody changes say the size or the color or adds text. The last thing is you should be able to extract and compare signatures very quickly. So if we had a technology that satisfied all of those criteria Twitch would say we've identified a terror attack that's being live-streamed. We're going to grab that video. We're going to extract the hash and we are going to share it with the industry. And then every time a video is uploaded with the hash the signature is compared against this database which is being updated almost instantaneously. And then you stop the redistribution. It's a problem of collaboration across the industry and it's a problem of the underlying technology. And if this was the first time it happened I'd understand. But this is not this is not the 10th time. It's not the 20th time. I want to emphasize: no technology's going to be perfect. It's battling an inherently adversarial system. But this is not a few things slipping through the cracks.... This is a complete catastrophic failure to contain this material. And in my opinion as it was with New Zealand and as it was the one before then it is inexcusable from a technological standpoint. "These are now trillion-dollar companies we are talking about collectively" Farid points out later. "How is it that their hashing technology is so bad? read more >>

 • Biggest Targets at Pwn2Own Event: Microsoft's Windows Teams and Ubuntu Desktop
    As Pwn2Own Vancouver comes to a close a whopping $1115000 has been awarded by Trend Micro and Zero Day Initiative. The 15th anniversary edition saw 17 "contestants" attacking 21 targets reports Hot Hardware — though "the biggest payouts were for serious exploits against Microsoft's Teams utility." While Teams isn't technically a part of Windows it does come bundled with all new installs of Windows 11 which means that these exploits are practically Windows exploits. Hector "p3rr0" Peralta Masato Kinugawa and STAR Labs each earned $150000 for major exploits of the utility. Windows 11 itself wasn't spared though. Marcin Wiazowski and STAR Labs each earned $40000 for privilege escalation exploits on Microsoft's operating system on day one and on day two TO found a similar bug for a $40000 payout of his own. Day three saw no less than three more fresh exploits against Windows 11 all in the serious privilege escalation category; all three winners pocketed another $40000.... Other targets attacked at Pwn2Own 2022 included Mozilla Firefox (hacked) Apple Safari (hacked) and Ubuntu Desktop (hacked)... Of course details of the hacks aren't made public because they're zero-days after all. That means that they haven't been patched yet so releasing details of the exploits could allow malicious actors to make use of the bugs. Details will be revealed 3 months from now during which time Microsoft Tesla Apple and others should have their software all sewn up. With all the points totalled the winner was Singapore-based cybersecurity company Star Labs which was officially crowned "Master of Pwn" on Saturday. "They won $270000 and 27 points during the contest" explains the official Twitter feed for Zero Day Initiative (the judges for the event). A blog post from Zero Day Initiative describes all 21 attacks including six successful attacks against Windows three successful attacks against Teams — and four against Ubuntu Desktop. read more >>

 • Wells Fargo Now Accused of Also Conducting Fake Job Interviews
    2016: "Wells Fargo Fires 5300 Employees For Creating Millions of Phony Accounts"2017: "Up To 1.4M More Fake Wells Fargo Accounts Possible" The headlines kept coming.... ("Wells Fargo Hit With 'Unprecedented' Punishment Over Fake Accounts..." "Wells Fargo Employee Informed the Bank of Fake Customer Accounts in 2006") But this week the New York Times reported a new allegation — involving fake job interviews:Joe Bruno a former executive in the wealth management division of Wells Fargo had long been troubled by the way his unit handled certain job interviews. For many open positions employees would interview a "diverse" candidate — the bank's term for a woman or person of color — in keeping with the bank's yearslong informal policy. But Mr. Bruno noticed that often the so-called diverse candidate would be interviewed for a job that had already been promised to someone else. He complained to his bosses. They dismissed his claims. Last August Mr. Bruno 58 was fired. In an interview he said Wells Fargo retaliated against him for telling his superiors that the "fake interviews" were "inappropriate morally wrong ethically wrong." Wells Fargo said Mr. Bruno was dismissed for retaliating against a fellow employee. Mr. Bruno is one of seven current and former Wells Fargo employees who said that they were instructed by their direct bosses or human resources managers in the bank's wealth management unit to interview "diverse" candidates — even though the decision had already been made to give the job to another candidate. Five others said they were aware of the practice or helped to arrange it... read more >>

 • Is Social Media Training Us to Please a Machine?
    A remarkably literary critique of the internet appeared recently in Damage magazine — a project of the nonprofit Society for Psychoanalytic Inquiry funded by the American Psychoanalytic Foundation. "There are ways in which the internet really does seem to work like a possessing demon..." argues writer Sam Kriss. "We tend to think that the internet is a communications network we use to speak to one another — but in a sense we're not doing anything of the sort. Instead we are the ones being spoken through."Teens on TikTok all talk in the exact same tone identical singsong smugness. Millennials on Twitter use the same shrinking vocabulary. My guy! Having a normal one! Even when you actually meet them in the sunlit world they'll say valid or based or say y'all despite being British.... Everything you say online is subject to an instant system of rewards. Every platform comes with metrics; you can precisely quantify how well-received your thoughts are by how many likes or shares or retweets they receive. For almost everyone the game is difficult to resist: they end up trying to say the things that the machine will like. For all the panic over online censorship this stuff is far more destructive. You have no free speech — not because someone might ban your account but because there's a vast incentive structure in place that constantly channels your speech in certain directions. And unlike overt censorship it's not a policy that could ever be changed but a pure function of the connectivity of the internet itself. This might be why so much writing that comes out of the internet is so unbearably dull cycling between outrage and mockery begging for clicks speaking the machine back into its own bowels.... The internet is not a communications system. Instead of delivering messages between people it simulates the experience of being among people in a way that books or shopping lists or even the telephone do not. And there are things that a simulation will always fail to capture. In the philosophy of Emmanuel Lévinas your ethical responsibility to other people emerges out of their face the experience of looking directly into the face of another living subject. "The face is what prohibits us from killing...." But Facebook is a world without faces. Only images of faces; selfies avatars: dead things. Or the moving image in a FaceTime chat: a haunted puppet. There is always something in the way. You are not talking to a person: the machine is talking through you to itself. As more and more of your social life takes place online you're training yourself to believe that other people are not really people and you have no duty towards them whatsoever. These effects don't vanish once you look away from the screen.... many of the big conflicts within institutions in the last few years seem to be rooted in the expectation that the world should work like the internet. If you don't like a person you should be able to block them: simply push a button and have them disappear forever. The article revisits a 2011 meta-analysis that found massive declines in young people's capacity for empathy which the authors directly associated with the spread of social media. But then Kriss argues that "We are becoming less and less capable of actual intersubjective communication; more unhappy; more alone. Every year surveys find that people have fewer and fewer friends; among millennials 22% say they have none at all. "For the first time in history we can simply do without each other entirely. The machine supplies an approximation of everything you need for a bare biological existence: strangers come to deliver your food; AI chatbots deliver cognitive-behavioral therapy; social media simulates people to love and people to hate; and hidden inside the microcircuitry the demons swarm..." So while recent books look for historical antecedents "I still think that the internet is a serious break from what we had before" Kriss argues. "And as nice as Wikipedia is as nice as it is to be able to walk around foreign cities on Google Maps or read early modern grimoires without a library card I still think the internet is a poison." read more >>

 • Avoiding Sanctions with Cryptocurrency? US Govt Files First Criminal Charges
    Last week America's Justice Department "launched its first criminal prosecution involving the alleged use of cryptocurrency to evade U.S. economic sanctions" reports the Washington Post. They cite a nine-page opinion from a federal judge approving the government's criminal complaint against an American "accused of transmitting more than $10 million worth of bitcoin to a virtual currency exchange in one of a handful of countries comprehensively sanctioned by the U.S. government: Cuba Iran North Korea Syria or Russia. "In the ruling the judge called cryptocurrency's reputation for providing anonymity to users a myth."He added that while some legal experts argue that virtual moneys such as bitcoin ethereum or Tether are not subject to U.S. sanctions laws because they are created and move outside the traditional financial system recent action taken by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control [OFAC] require federal courts to find otherwise. "Issue One: virtual currency is untraceable? WRONG ... Issue Two: sanctions do not apply to virtual currency? WRONG" Faruqui wrote... "The Department of Justice can and will criminally prosecute individuals and entities for failure to comply with OFAC's regulations including as to virtual currency" Faruqui said. In the opinion Faruqui wrote that he adopted guidance issued in October by OFAC which stated that sanctions regulations apply equally to transactions involving virtual currencies as those involving the U.S. dollar or other traditional fiat currencies. Ari Redbord who served in 2019 and 2020 as a senior adviser to the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence called the case the first U.S. criminal prosecution targeting solely the use of cryptocurrency in a sanctions case. He said the ruling made clear such conduct is traceable and "immutable — in other words transactions using cryptocurrency are forever.... What we are seeing is that the Department of Justice is going to actively go after actors that attempt to use cryptocurrency but also that it is hard to use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions" Redbord said. "It shows in many respects cryptocurrency is not a good tool for sanctions evasion or money laundering." In this case The Register reports "An unnamed American citizen allegedly used a US-based IP address to run an online payments platform" in a sanctioned country.The service advertised itself as being "designed to evade US sanctions" and claimed its transactions were untraceable it was alleged. We're told the defendant bought and sold Bitcoin using a US-based online currency exchange using fiat currency from a US bank account. The Post argues that this prosecution represents "a new U.S. criminal sanctions enforcement push targeting cryptocurrency transactions at a time of rising concern over the extent to which illicit actors can use or are using such methods to launder money or do business with countries the United States has cut off from the dollar..." read more >>

 • Mitsubishi Develops Technology for 3D Printing in Outer Space
    "Made In Space Redwire and Bigelow move over" writes long-time Slashdot reader Dr. Crash. "There's yet another 3D printing in space group — and it's not a startup."Mitsubishi Electric just went public with a UV-sensitive resin specially made to print in zero-G and in a hard vacuum — as in outside the airlock. The polymer is tuned to harden with solar ultraviolet light so no UV lasers needed (saving power and launch weight). Their first goal? Printing cubesat parabolic dishes in orbit so a 300mm cubesat could have what looks like a one-meter dish antenna — or anything else that can be freeform-printed. This "photopolymerization" technology "specifically addresses the challenge of equipping small inexpensive spacecraft buses with large structures such as high-gain antenna reflectors" according to Mitsubishi's announcement — arguing that it also ultimately "enables on-orbit fabrication of structures that greatly exceed the dimensions of launch vehicle fairings." read more >>

 • Why Gov.UK Stopped Using jQuery
    The head of the UK government's digital transformation unit recently announced a change to the nation's government services site gov.uk: they've "removed jQuery as a dependency for all frontend apps meaning 32 KB of minified and compressed JavaScript was removed" for everything from selecting elements to attaching event listeners.... Nearly 84% of mobile pages used jQuery in 2021 points out a new essay at Gov.UK — before explaining why they decided not to:jQuery was an instrumental tool in a time when we really needed a way to script interactivity in a way that smoothed over the differing implementations of stuff like event handling selecting elements animating elements and so on. The web is better because of jQuery — not just because it has such incredible utility but because its ubiquity led to making what it provided part of the web platform itself. Nowadays we can do just about anything jQuery can do in vanilla JavaScript... It really begs the question: Do we really need jQuery today? That's a question that GOV.UK has answered with a resounding "no".... This is a big deal when it comes to the user experience because GOV.UK provides services and information online for The United Kingdom at scale. Not everyone is tapping away on their 2022 MacBook Pro on a rip-roarin' broadband connection. GOV.UK has to be accessible to everyone and that means keepin' it lean.... dependencies matter when it comes to performance. Don't shortchange your users if the web platform can easily do the job a framework can. This level of commitment to the user experience from a institution that works at the scale GOV.UK does is commendable. I can only hope others follow in their footsteps. read more >>

 • How to Write Your Own Games - for the Amiga
    Mike Bouma (Slashdot reader #85252) writes: With the release of the A500 mini (which also supports A1200 games) and its side loading feature you may be interested to get started with Amiga Retro games development. This is why I collected some recent Amiga games development tutorials and added some additional information. A popular game programming language on the Amiga is Blitz BASIC or AmiBlitz as the freely available and open source version is called now. The latest version (v 3.9.2) was recently released. The best known game developed with Blitz Basic is Team 17's original Worms game for the Amiga 500 in 1995. Meanwhile the Worms franchise has sold over 75 million game units across many different platforms. Daedalus2097 has just started an AmiBlitz video tutorial series on Twitch.tv: Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3. An example AmiBlitz game currently under development is Super Metal Hero (A1200) and here's a shooter level in the game. REDPILL is a 2D game creation tool written in AmiBlitz by Carlos Peris and is designed to empower people to create many games for Amiga without programming knowledge. It's still early days but the first games are already being designed using this tool. An example game designed with this tool is Guardian — The legend of flaming sword. The "Scorpion Engine" developed by Erik 'Earok' Hogan is a closed source game engine with all software developed for it open source. It offers a modern Windows IDE for development. In this video Erik Hogan guides Micheal Parent from Bitbeam Cannon step by step as they create a legit retro video game from scratch. Various new games have and are being developed using this engine. An already released game is Amigo the Fox and an example game under development is Rick Dangerous (A1200 version). If you want to dig deeper into Amiga coding then here's a series of Assembly game development tutorials by Phaze101. An example game currently being written in assembler is RESHOOT PROXIMA 3 (A1200). If you are unexperienced with coding but would like to then here are some Amos (BASIC) tutorials for you: Rob Smith's How to program Wordle in AMOS on the AMIGA and Lets Code Santa's Present Drop Game. read more >>

 • Sid & Marty Krofft to Release NFTs Starting with 'Land of the Lost'
    Long-time Slashdot reader destinyland writes:Today sees an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1970s children's programming giants Sid & Marty Krofft. (Born in 1929 Sid Krofft will turn 93 in July). And reportedly Marty Krofft has now partnered with NFT producer Orange Comet "in a multiyear contract to release NFTs based on the often enigmatic and much-beloved television shows they have brought to us since 1969." The first one commemorates Land of the Lost — dropping sometime after September. Today I learned their big break in America came from making puppets for Dean Martin's show followed by designing and directing the Banana Splits and a string of successful children's shows on Saturday mornings. ( Land of the Lost H.R. Pufunstuf Lidsville Sigmund and the Sea Monsters...) Looking back Krofft muses that even today somewhere in New York City "some guy 50 years old remembers the damn theme songs. Because there were only three networks so basically every kid in America saw our shows." In the article Marty Krofft describes their style as "a nightmare and bizarre" — or more pragmatically as "Disney without a budget" (while crediting future Disney CEO Michael Eisner for being their mentor). Yet the article adds that "They were nearly unstoppable with styrofoam paint and cloth. In a digital universe of truly endless possibilities there is no telling where they could take their stories." read more >>

Philly Business:

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce:

 • More Than Money: Philly Chamber Reports on 10 Key Practices to Retain Young Talent
    The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia Shares Recommendations Based on 18-Month Research Initiative With Greater Philadelphia boasting top-tier education institutions excellent quality of life a thriving job market and the fastest-growing millennial population in the nation the talent here is more abundant than ever. But as expectations in the modern workplace continue to evolve […] >> read more or comment

 • Member Perspective: Uva Coles
    Guest Commentator: Uva Coles Vice President Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships Peirce College @PeirceCollege How can employers leverage their resources for community involvement in distressed neighborhoods? How does this improve Philadelphia’s economic and civic life? The conversation is changing.  Just a few years ago I found myself in meeting after meeting discussing Philadelphia’s economic disconnects […] >> read more or comment

 • Mayor Jim Kenney’s Third Annual Address to the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
    On February 6 2018 Mayor Jim Kenney addressed over 1700 members of the business community in his annual speech at the Mayoral Luncheon. Read his full remarks below: Thank you John for the introduction and for inviting me to be here today. I want to recognize Chamber President & CEO Rob Wonderling and this year’s […] >> read more or comment

 • 6 ways to team up with Philly’s schools
    On Monday January 29 2018 the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia hosted Roadmap for Growth: Exploring Business Engagement in Philadelphia’s Schools. It was a crowded room at Girard College that night with more than 200 business education and civic leaders with passionate ideas. Read on for a few takeaways from our education issue forum. […] >> read more or comment

 • CEO Council for Growth features iBreastExam’s health care breakthrough in Philadelphia region
    Hand-held breast cancer scanner highlights journey from university lab to marketplace PHILADELPHIA — A great innovation requires many things for it to work — the right idea with the perfect development team bringing it to life. It also requires funding. For the team behind the iBreastExam a hand-held breast cancer screening tool that last piece […] >> read more or comment

 • Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles
    The Philadelphia Eagles have been esteemed Chamber members since 1947. With a relationship spanning over 70 years the Chamber values the Eagles’ commitment to the Greater Philadelphia business community. From their participation as a host company for Future Ready where they help teach Philadelphia middle school students about future career opportunities to their President Don […] >> read more or comment

 • Members of Congress Advocate for Northeast Corridor Funding
    Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen Ranking Member Lowey Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price: On behalf of commuters and community stakeholders who rely on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) we respectfully request that any final Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations legislation include robust funding for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair a federally authorized grant program […] >> read more or comment

 • Energy Storage Advances Energy Systems and Consumption
    Submitted by: Holly White Marketing and Communications Specialist RETTEW A field covered in solar panels or a mountain ridge dotted with giant windmills have become more commonplace in today’s world. But did you know combined with battery storage systems they can save even more costs and help regulate energy supply for businesses and municipalities? Fluctuations in […] >> read more or comment

 • A New Year …and a New Leadership Role?
    Submitted by: Sharlene Goldfischer Owner and Principal Quintessence Coaching In many ways moving into a new leadership role is akin to welcoming a new year….looking back from where we came coupled with a futuristic view anticipation of the great opportunities that lie ahead and to maybe starting anew  formulating and setting plans into motion and perhaps […] >> read more or comment

 • Member Perspective: Maggie March
    Guest Commentator: Maggie March Philadelphia Director Arena Strategies Why is it important that employers encourage young professionals to pursue mentorship opportunities and how does this help them retain talent? Employers need to encourage young professionals to participate in a mentorship program for many reasons. Mentoring is an invaluable part of professional development that will ultimately […] >> read more or comment

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