13 May 2021

feedSlashdot

Binance Faces Probe By US Money-Laundering and Tax Sleuths

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Binance Holdings Ltd. is under investigation by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, ensnaring the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange in U.S. efforts to root out illicit activity that's thrived in the red-hot but mostly unregulated market. As part of the inquiry, officials who probe money laundering and tax offenses have sought information from individuals with insight into Binance's business, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the probe is confidential. Led by Changpeng Zhao, a charismatic tech executive who relishes promoting tokens on Twitter and in media interviews, Binance has leap-frogged rivals since he co-founded it in 2017. The firm, like the industry it operates in, has succeeded largely outside the scope of government oversight. Binance is incorporated in the Cayman Islands and has an office in Singapore but says it lacks a single corporate headquarters. Chainalysis Inc., a blockchain forensics firm whose clients include U.S. federal agencies, concluded last year that among transactions that it examined, more funds tied to criminal activity flowed through Binance than any other crypto exchange. [...] While the Justice Department and IRS probe potential criminal violations, the specifics of what the agencies are examining couldn't be determined, and not all inquiries lead to allegations of wrongdoing. The officials involved include prosecutors within the Justice Department's bank integrity unit, which probes complex cases targeting financial firms, and investigators from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle. The scrutiny by IRS agents goes back months, with their questions signaling that they're reviewing both the conduct of Binance's customers and its employees, another person said. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has also been investigating Binance over whether it permitted Americans to make illegal trades, Bloomberg reported in March. In that case, authorities have been examining whether Binance let investors buy derivatives that are linked to digital tokens. U.S. residents are barred from purchasing such products unless the firms offering them are registered with the CFTC. [...] Along with the CFTC, the Justice Department is likely to examine steps that Binance has taken to keep U.S. residents off its exchange. One person familiar with Binance's operations said that prior to the establishment of Binance.US, Americans were advised to use a virtual proxy network, or VPN, to disguise their locations when seeking to access the exchange. "We take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion," Binance spokeswoman Jessica Jung said in an emailed statement. "We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13 May 2021 8:48pm GMT

Extraterrestrial Plutonium Atoms Turn Up on Ocean Bottom

Scientists studying a sample of oceanic crust retrieved from the Pacific seabed nearly a mile down have discovered traces of a rare isotope of plutonium, the deadly element that has been central to the atomic age. From a report: They say it was made in colliding stars and later rained down through Earth's atmosphere as cosmic dust millions of years ago. Their analysis opens a new window on the cosmos. "It's amazing that a few atoms on Earth can help us learn about where half of all the heavier elements in our universe are synthesized," said Anton Wallner, the paper's first author and a nuclear physicist. Dr. Wallner works at the Australian National University as well as the Helmholtz Center in Dresden, Germany. Dr. Wallner and his colleagues reported their findings in Science on Thursday. Plutonium has a bad reputation, one that is well-deserved. The radioactive element fueled the world's first nuclear test explosion as well as the bomb that leveled the Japanese city of Nagasaki during World War II. After the war, scientists found the health repercussions of plutonium to be particularly deadly. If inhaled or ingested in minute quantities, it could result in fatal cancers. Small amounts also pack a bigger punch than other nuclear fuels, a quality that aided the making of compact city busters that nuclear powers put atop their intercontinental missiles. The element is often considered artificial because it is so seldom found outside of human creations. In the periodic table, it is the last of 94 atoms characterized as naturally occurring. Traces of it can be found in uranium ores. Astrophysicists have long known that it's also spontaneously created in the universe. But they've had a hard time pinpointing any exact sites of its origin.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13 May 2021 8:04pm GMT

feedArs Technica

New users can get 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1 today

Dealmaster also has deals on iPhone cases, Garmin watches, and robot vacuums.

13 May 2021 7:33pm GMT

feedSlashdot

Spencer Silver, an Inventor of Post-it Notes, Is Dead at 80

Spencer Silver, a research chemist at 3M who inadvertently created the not-too-sticky adhesive that allows Post-it Notes to be removed from surfaces as easily as they adhere to them, died on Saturday at his home in St. Paul, Minn. He was 80. From a report: His wife, Linda, said that he died after an episode of ventricular tachycardia, in which the heart beats faster than normal. Mr. Silver had a heart transplant 27 years ago. Since their introduction in 1980, Post-it Notes have become a ubiquitous office product, first in the form of little canary-yellow pads -- billions of which are sold annually -- and later also in different hues and sizes, some with much stickier adhesives. There are currently more than 3,000 Post-it Brand products globally. Dr. Silver worked in 3M's central research laboratory developing adhesives. In 1968, he was trying to create one that was so strong it could be used in aircraft construction. He failed in that goal. But during his experimentation, he invented something entirely different: an adhesive that stuck to surfaces, but that could be easily peeled off and was reusable. It was a solution to a problem that did not appear to exist, but Dr. Silver was certain it was a breakthrough. "I felt my adhesive was so obviously unique that I began to give seminars throughout 3M in the hope I would spark an idea among its product developers," he told Financial Times in 2010. Dr. Silver promoted his adhesive for several years within 3M, a company known for its innovative workplace, so assiduously that he became known as "Mr. Persistent."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13 May 2021 7:26pm GMT

feedArs Technica

New analysis confirms hypothesis for source of mysterious auroral “dunes”

Ongoing collaboration between physicists and amateur stargazers yields new insights.

13 May 2021 7:24pm GMT

Tesla owner who “drives” from back seat got arrested, then did it again

Man jailed for leaving driver seat empty says he feels safer in back seat.

13 May 2021 6:57pm GMT

19 Oct 2016

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

Who killed Cyanogen?

Well, it's hanging on in there, but why didn't it conquer the world?

Analysis Does European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager's team pay close attention to the tech news? If not, perhaps they should.…

19 Oct 2016 10:24am GMT

17 Oct 2016

feedThe Register - Software: Operating Systems

Bits of Google's dead Project Ara modular mobe live on in Linux 4.9

Linus Torvalds teaches devs a lesson with early rc1 release

Google may have killed off its modular smartphone Project Ara idea, but some of the code that would have made it happen looks like coming to the Linux Kernel.…

17 Oct 2016 6:58am GMT

BART barfs, racers crash, and other classic BSODs

Your weekly Windows entertainment large and small

This week's worldwide BSOD roundup starts with what looks to your writer like a virtualisation launch bug. Submitter Alexander tells us it came from Peterborough Station, in Cambridgeshire.…

17 Oct 2016 6:28am GMT

10 Nov 2011

feedEcoGeek

Turning Commercial Jets into Hybrids


A company called WheelTug has devised a way for commercial airplanes to run on electricity at slow speeds, much like a hybrid vehicle does.

The WheelTug system includes a pair of electric motors embedded in an airplane's nose wheel which provide power for backing the plane away from the gate and for taxiing up to 28 mph. The electricity for the motors is provided by the auxiliary power unit of the plane, a small engine located at the back of the aircraft used for running lights and the ventilation system when the main engines are off.

The auxiliary power unit uses only about half a gallon of fuel per minute compared to two gallons per minute for each of the main engines. The WheelTug allows a plane to taxi without use of the main engines and to back from the gate without the help of a diesel-fueled tug, cutting down significantly on fuel use while a plane is on the ground.

Another advantage to creating hybrid jets is that planes will spend less time on the ground since they won't have to wait for a tug. Also, by running the main engines less, engines will sustain less damage.

The company has just signed a deal to outfit 20 El Al jets with the system and hopes to get certification from European and American aviation regulators by early 2013.

via NY Times Green Blog

10 Nov 2011 6:29pm GMT

feedLifehacker

Today’s Lifehacker Workout: The Deck of Cards [Video]

Click here to read Today’s Lifehacker Workout: The Deck of Cards

It's Wednesday, which means another Deck of Cards workout, the fun yet challenging segment of our group exercise program, The Lifehacker Workout. More »


10 Nov 2011 1:15am GMT

iPad Home Screens, Remote Troubleshooting, and Gmail Tasks [From The Tips Box]

Click here to read iPad Home Screens, Remote Troubleshooting, and Gmail Tasks

Readers offer their best tips for previewing your iPad home screen from another app, troubleshooting your friends and family's computers from far away, and accessing Google Tasks in the new Gmail layout. More »


10 Nov 2011 1:00am GMT

Facebook Brings Back the Old "Most Recent" News Feed Option (But It's Kind of Hidden) [Updates]

Click here to read Facebook Brings Back the Old "Most Recent" News Feed Option (But It's Kind of Hidden)

Facebook recently changed its layout, no longer allowing you to choose between "top stories" and "most recent" stories. Due to user outcry, however, they announced today that they'll be changing it back, though you might not notice it at first. Here's how it works. More »


10 Nov 2011 12:30am GMT

09 Nov 2011

feedEcoGeek

California Hits 1 Gigawatt of Rooftop Solar


According to a new report by Environment California, a major solar power milestone has been reached in the state: it is now home to 1 gigawatt's-worth of rooftop solar power. To put that into perspective, only five countries have hit the 1 GW mark in solar power so far: Germany, Spain, Japan, Italy and the Czech Republic.

The electricity produced by rooftop solar power installations in California now equals two coal-fired power plants and could power 750,000 homes.

The solar installations include new and existing homes and commercial buildings, and panels connected to the grid by both large utilities and smaller municipal utilities.

The report gives most of the credit to a statewide rooftop solar incentive program called the California Solar Initiative. The initiative is responsible for 600 MW of installed solar power in the state.

via Mercury News

09 Nov 2011 7:59pm GMT

feedOSNews

Barnes & Noble Asks DoJ to Investigate Microsoft's Patent Trolling

To anyone who has been reading anything on the web over the past few months, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Barnes & Noble is currently embroiled in a patent lawsuit started by Microsoft, after the bookseller/tablet maker refused to pay protection money to Redmond. Barnes & Noble has now openly said what we already knew, and has filed an official complaint at the US Department of Justice: Microsoft is engaging in anticompetitive practices.

09 Nov 2011 4:13pm GMT

Adobe: HTML5 > Mobile Flash

"Sources close to Adobe that have been briefed on the company's future development plans have revealed this forthcoming announcement to ZDNet: Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations.. . ."

09 Nov 2011 6:34am GMT

08 Nov 2011

feedOSNews

Fedora 16 Released

"The following are major features for Fedora 16: enhanced cloud support including Aeolus Conductor, Condor Cloud, HekaFS, OpenStack and pacemaker-cloud; KDE Plasma workspaces 4.7; GNOME 3.2; a number of core system improvements including GRUB 2 and the removal of HAL; an updated libvirtd, trusted boot, guest inspection, virtual lock manager and a pvops based kernel for Xen all improve virtualization support."

08 Nov 2011 10:45pm GMT

feedEcoGeek

Facebook Adding Solar Power to New Headquarters


Facebook, a company that so far hasn't done much in the "green" arena, is incorporating a nice-sized solar power system into their new headquarters.

The cogeneration system, which is being built by Cogenra Solar, will include both solar PV and solar hot water heating and have far greater efficiency than just a solar PV system alone. The 24-module system will reside on the roof of a 10,000 square foot fitness center, providing electricity for the fitness machines and hot water for the showers. The system will have a capacity of 10 kW of electricity and about 50 kW of thermal energy.

Facebook sees this as their initial investment in solar power and hopes to expand the system later on to include powering and heating other parts of the campus, like the cafes.

via Crisp Green

08 Nov 2011 8:34pm GMT

06 Nov 2011

feedPlanet Arch Linux

Tyrs a Microblogging Client based on Ncurses

Tyrs is a microblogging client, supporting Twitter and Status.net (identi.ca), it's based on console using the NCurses module from Python. The release of the 0.5.0 version is a good excuse to introduce Tyrs. Tyrs aims to get a good interaction with a fairly intuitive interface that can provide support ncurses. Tyrs tries also not to [...]

06 Nov 2011 9:43pm GMT

05 Nov 2011

feedPlanet Arch Linux

Pulling strings

After one year of managing a network of 10 servers with Cfengine I'm currently building two clusters of 50 servers with Puppet (which I'm using for the first time), and have various notes to share. With my experience I had a feeling Cfengine just isn't right for this project, and didn't consider it seriously. These servers are all running Debian GNU/Linux and Puppet felt natural because of the good Debian integration, and the number of users whom also produced a lot of resources. Chef was out of the picture soon because of the scary architecture; CouchDB, Solr and RabbitMQ... coming from Cfengine this seemed like a bad joke. You probably need to hire a Ruby developer when it breaks. Puppet is somewhat better in this regard.

Puppet master needs Ruby, and has a built-in file server using WEBrick. My first disappointment with Puppet was WEBrick. Though PuppetLabs claim you can scale it up to 20 servers, that proved way off, the built-in server has problems serving as little as 5 agents/servers, and you get to see many dropped connections and failed catalog transfers. I was forced to switch to Mongrel and Nginx as frontend very early in the project, on both clusters. This method works much better (even though Apache+Passenger is the recommended method now from PuppetLabs), and it's not a huge complication compared to WEBrick (and Cfengine which doesn't make you jump through any hoops). Part of the reason for this failure is my pull interval, which is 5 minutes with a random sleep time of up to 3 minutes to avoid harmonics (which is still a high occurrence with these intervals and WEBrick fails miserably). In production a customer can not wait on 30/45 minute pull intervals to get his IP address whitelisted for a service, or some other mundane task, it must happen within 10 minutes... but I'll come to these kind of unrealistic ideas a little later.

Unlike the Cfengine article I have no bootstrapping notes, and no code/modules to share. By default the fresh started puppet agent will look for a host called "puppet" and pull in what ever you defined to bootstrap servers in your manifests. As for modules, I wrote a ton of code and though I'd like to share it, my employer owns it. But unlike Cfengine v3 there's a lot of resources out there for Puppet which can teach you everything you need to know, so I don't feel obligated to even ask.

Interesting enough, published modules would not help you get your job done. You will have to write your own, and your team members will have to learn how to use your modules, which also means writing a lot of documentation. Maybe my biggest disappointment is getting disillusioned by most Puppet advocates and DevOps prophets. I found articles and modules most of them write, and experiences they share have nothing to do with the real world. It's like they host servers in a magical land where everything is done in one way and all servers are identical. Hosting big websites and their apps is a much, much different affair.

Every customer does things differently, and I had to write custom modules for each of them. Just between these two clusters a module managing Apache is different, and you can abstract your code a lot but you reach a point where you simply can't push it any more. Or if you can, you create a mess that is unusable by your team members, and I'm trying to make their jobs better not make them miserable. One customer uses an Isilon NAS, the other has a content distribution network, one uses Nginx as a frontend, other has chrooted web servers, one writes logs to a NFS, other to a Syslog cluster... Now imagine this on a scale with 2,000 customers and 3 times the servers and most of the published infrastructure design guidelines become laughable. Instead you find your self implementing custom solutions, and inventing your own rules, best that you can...

I'm ultimately here to tell you that the projects are in a better state then they would be with the usual cluster management policy. My best moment was an e-mail from a team member saying "I read the code, I now understand it [Puppet]. This is fucking awesome!". I knew at that moment I managed to build something good (or good enough), despite the shortcomings I found, and with nothing more than using PuppetLabs resources. Actually, that is not completely honest. Because I did buy and read the book Pro Puppet which contains an excellent chapter on using Git for collaboration on modules between sysadmins and developers, with proper implementation of development, testing and production (Puppet)environments.

05 Nov 2011 11:17pm GMT

Jshon

Creating json is now ten times easier.

05 Nov 2011 3:10am GMT

01 Jan 2009

feedLinux.com :: Features

A new year, a new Linux.com

Many of you have commented that our NewsVac section hasn't been refreshed since the middle of last month. Others have noticed that our story volume has dropped off. Changes are coming to Linux.com, and until they arrive, you won't see any new stories on the site.

01 Jan 2009 2:00pm GMT

31 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Android-powered G1 phone is an enticing platform for app developers

The free and open source software community has been waiting for the G1 cell phone since it was first announced in July. Source code for Google's Android mobile platform has been available, but the G1 marks its commercial debut. It's clearly a good device, but is it what Linux boosters and FOSS advocates have long been anticipating?

31 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

30 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Municipalities open their GIS systems to citizens

Many public administrations already use open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to let citizens look at public geographic data trough dedicated Web sites. Others use the same software to partially open the data gathering process: they let citizens directly add geographic information to the official, high-quality GIS databases by drawing or clicking on digital maps.

30 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT