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You can successfully hack a $2B cryptocurrency network with only $1.5M

Blockchains may be secure by design, but researchers continue to show that the same is not true for the thousands of motley cryptocurrencies based on the technology. Husam Abboud, a cryptocurrency researcher at FECAP University in Brazil, has demonstrated that it would take as little as $1.5 million to execute a network attack on Ethereum Classic (ETC) — with a market cap of over $2 billion — and still be in profit. If you have $55 million, you could even bankrupt the currency, making off with $1 billion in profit. The proof-of-work blockchains that use the same algorithms as larger…

This story continues at The Next Web

This car stereo has Android Auto and CarPlay for $137 – CNET

Wait, what? Aren’t these things usually $400 and up? Plus: The evil-R2-D2 droid you’ve been looking for.
Source: CNET

Rover’s epic raise, Uber’s Q1 results, and a trio of IPOs

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week was fun for a few reasons. First, it was our own Connie Loizos’s first time leading, and it was our very first regular episode that included us recording remotely. I mention that as Matthew Lynley and I were in different places, meaning that we had a bump or two to smooth out. Your patience is more than appreciated.

Happily, we didn’t have to adventure alone, as Jonathan Abrams of Founders Den was on hand to help us cart through the news.

Up first: A huge round for Rover, bringing even more money into the dog- and pet-focused space. As you’ll surely recall, this is not the first time that a tectonic sum has been disbursed into the pet-care vertical. Hell, Rover’s $155 in new capital, while impressive, still can’t touch Wag’s epic $300 million infusion that happened earlier in the cycle.

While we were on the subject, another Softbank-backed company made waves: Uber . Yes, our favorite and least favorite topic is back.

This time Uber released yet another grip of statistics relating to its financial performance in the first quarter. The big picture? More gross spend, more net revenue, smaller losses. But how you measure Uber’s pace of financial improvement depends on how you measure its losses and its remaining markets.

This being Equity, however, we couldn’t avoid the IPO topic. So, in order:

All that and we had a laugh. Thanks for listening in, and we are back next week.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.


Eric Schmidt says Elon Musk is ‘exactly wrong’ about AI

When former Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about Elon Musk’s warnings about AI, he had a succinct answer: “I think Elon is exactly wrong.”

“He doesn’t understand the benefits that this technology will provide to making every human being smarter,” Schmidt said. “The fact of the matter is that AI and machine learning are so fundamentally good for humanity.”

He acknowledged that there are risks around how the technology might be misused, but he said they’re outweighed by the benefits: “The example I would offer is, would you not invent the telephone because of the possible misuse of the telephone by evil people? No, you would build the telephone and you would try to find a way to police the misuse of the telephone.”

Schmidt, who has pushed back in the past against AI naysaying from Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking, was interviewed on-stage today at the VivaTech conference in Paris.

While he stepped down as executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet in December, Schmidt remains involved as a technical advisor, and he said today that his work is now focused on new applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Elon Musk speaks onstage at Elon Musk Answers Your Questions! during SXSW at ACL Live on March 11, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Saucedo/Getty Images for SXSW)

After wryly observing that he had just given the journalists in the audience their headlines, interviewer (and former Publicis CEO) Maurice Lévy asked how AI and public policy can be developed so that some groups aren’t “left behind.” Schmidt replied that government should fund research and education around these technologies.

“As [these new solutions] emerge, they will benefit all of us, and I mean the people who think they’re in trouble, too,” he said. He added that data shows “workers who work in jobs where the job gets more complicated get higher wages — if they can be helped to do it.”

Schmidt also argued that contrary to concerns that automation and technology will eliminate jobs, “The embracement of AI is net positive for jobs.” In fact, he said there will be “too many jobs” — because as society ages, there won’t be enough people working and paying taxes to fund crucial services. So AI is “the best way to make them more productive, to make them smarter, more scalable, quicker and so forth.”

While AI and machine learning were the official topics of the interview, Levy also asked how Google is adapting to Europe’s GDPR regulations around data and privacy, which take effect today.

“From our perspective, GDPR is the law of the land and we have complied with it,” Schmidt said.

Speaking more generally, he suggested that governments need to “find the balance” between regulation and innovation, because “the regulations tend to benefit the current incumbents.”

What about the argument that users should get some monetary benefit when companies like Google build enormous businesses that rely on users’ personal data?

“I’m perfectly happy to redistribute the money — that’s what taxes are for, that’s what regulation is for,” Schmidt said. But he argued that consumers are already benefiting from these business models because they’re getting access to free services.

“The real value is not the data but in the industrial construction of the firm which uses the data to solve a problem to make money,” he said. “That’s capitalism.”


Design Systems


The Physics of Accelerating Spacecraft in *The Expanse*

There are no pew-pew lasers or faster-than-light space travel here—just serious science.
Source: WIRED

Uber's Self-Driving Crash, Elon's Twitter Rage, and More Car News This Week

Plus: updates on Tesla Model 3 production, Porsche’s new Cayenne hybrid, and college kids make the Camaro into a tree-hugging muscle car.
Source: WIRED

'Meaty,' 'Broad Band' and 10 More Books You Must Read This Summer

Fiction. Nonfiction. Science! Looking for some beach reads? This list is a good place to start.
Source: WIRED

Facebook and Google targeted as first GDPR complaints filed

Companies have forced users into agreeing to new terms of service, says EU consumer rights organisation

Facebook and Google have become the targets of the first official complaints of GDPR noncompliance, filed on the day the privacy law takes effect across the EU.

Across four complaints, related to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Google’s Android operating system, European consumer rights organisation Noyb argues that the companies have forced users into agreeing to new terms of service, in breach of the requirement in the law that such consent should be freely given.

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