Coinbase ordered to give the IRS data on users trading more than $20,000

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Most digital currencies exist in a sort of twilight state just beyond the grasp of federal regulators, but the U.S. tax authority is starting to get savvy to this whole bitcoin thing. On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Coinbase must supply the IRS with identifying information on users who had more than $20,000 in annual transactions on its platform between 2013 and 2015. After noticing that the number of tax returns claiming gains from virtual currency didn’t line up with the emerging popularity of digital currencies like…

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Google Can Tell if Someone is Peeping at Your Phone

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Your days of peeking at someone else’s text conversations on the train might be numbered. At the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in Long Beach, California, next week, Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff will present a project they’re calling an electronic screen protector, where a Google Pixel phone uses its front-facing camera and eye-detecting artificial intelligence to detect whether more than one person is looking at the screen. An unlisted, but public video by Ryu shows the software interrupting a Google messaging app to display a camera…

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Flitto’s language data helps machine translation systems get more accurate

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Artificial intelligence-powered translation is becoming an increasingly crowded category, with Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook all working on their own services. But tech still isn’t a match for professional human translations and machine-generated results are often hit-and-miss. One online translation service, Flitto, is now focused on providing other companies with the language data they need to train their machine translation programs. Headquartered in Seoul, Flitto launched in 2012 as a translation crowdsourcing platform. It still provides translation services, ranging from a mobile app to professional translators, for about 7.5 million…

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UK drone users to sit safety tests under new law

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Drone users in the UK may have to take safety awareness tests under legislation planned by the government. Drones weighing more than 250g could also be banned from flying near airports, or above 400 ft, in a crackdown on unsafe flying. Police will also be given new powers to seize and ground drones which may have been used in criminal activity. The bill has been welcomed by the pilots’ union, which has warned of near misses involving drones and aircraft. Balpa said there had been 81 incidents so far this…

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People Playing Pokemon Go caused Millions in damages in 148 days in an Indiana County

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For a brief, shining period last summer, Pokémon Go reigned supreme. It brought obsession, joy, and, according to a new paper, injuries and death. This working paper, appropriately and evocatively titled “Death by Pokemon Go,” shows the darker side of the massively popular augmented reality game. Purdue University economists Mara Faccio and John McConnell combed through accident reports from Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in the first 148 days after the game was released in July 2016. In that county alone, the total value from injuries, damage, and the two lives lost…

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There are growing concerns that AltSchool is failing students

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Business Insider recently reported that numerous families have grown frustrated with the education their children are receiving at AltSchool, an ambitious San Francisco-based edtech company that four years ago began opening physical grade schools and promising a personalized learning approach that would far surpass the standardized education most kids receive. It’s not just parents who have growing concerns about AltSchool, however. Educators also question whether AltSchool is the next best thing in education, or whether instead the for-profit company could hamper the prospects of the children with whom it works,…

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Lightform raises $5M to turn old projectors into augmented reality machines

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In Blade Runner 2049, one of the more interesting stylistic choices was how the film imagined futuristic augmented reality. While the Microsofts and Googles of our real dystopian world are currently approaching AR tech with headsets and smart glasses, Blade Runner 2049 relied entirely on external projection to augment its world and the people in it. This vision of the future may still seem a tad concerning, but it’s good news for San Francisco-based AR startup Lightform. Lightform isn’t a hologram startup, but by capturing structured light, their projector-mounted computer…

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Uber Paid Hackers to Delete Stolen Data on 57 Million People

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Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers. Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world, the company told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The personal information…

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Alibaba Continues its Offline Retail Push by Investing in Hypermarket Operator

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Alibaba is continuing its expansion into offline retail after the Chinese e-commerce giant bought up more than one-third of one of Chinese most prolific operators of hypermarket stores. The firm announced today it has spent HK$22.4 billion (around US$2.88 billion) to acquire of 36.16 percent in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong-listed business that operates 446 hypermarkets across 224 cities in mainland China. The deal makes Alibaba the second largest shareholder in the business, which has a market cap of over US$10 billion. Ruentex, the shareholder that sold to Alibaba, will retain a 4.67…

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Managing software complexity through intent-based programming

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Software is losing its magic. We simply demand too much from the current approaches. As a result, software developers are losing the battle with complexity, often without realizing it. More often than not, little failures pile on top of other little failures, and life for the consumer, as well as the business, becomes more frustrating rather than easier. For example, Apple’s products have become buggy, travel is still a nightmare and call center experiences make us doubt both artificial and human intelligence. To bring the magic back into software, developers…

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