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Exclusive: Oof, the Prospects of That Big New Privacy Bill In Congress Look Grim –



Oof, the Prospects of That Big New Privacy Bill In Congress Look Grim

#Oof #Prospects #Big #Privacy #Bill #Congress #Grim

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a member of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, accompanies House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outside for a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a member of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, accompanies House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outside for a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
Photo: Associated Press (AP)

House Republicans want to drastically change a federal privacy bill that Democrats in the Senate are also threatening to murder. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) is one of the few pieces of privacy legislation to get the time of day on Capitol Hill in the last few years—even if looks now like it’s being blindfolded and handed a last cigarette.

Subcommittee members in the House advanced the bill on Thursday with a unanimous vote, even though a couple of Republicans decided a few last minute changes were needed. Those proposals were ultimately tabled but hinted that the Republicans were potential deal-breaking votes down the line. ADPPA is now headed for a full vote by the Energy and Commerce Committee next month, and could see the House floor before August. If it passes there, though, it faces at least one powerful Senate Democrat who has made it known she’ll let it die on the vine.

Almost a half decade has passed since one of America’s largest credit reporting agencies lost control over 145 million people’s sensitive data. Even the most bloodied IT professionals, people who are fully aware of the preposterous amounts of data stolen and leaked each day, were sobered by the scale and magnitude of that breach. Just about anyone who’d heard anything about Equifax wanted to see the company strung up by its thumbs. And squandering all that juice, Congress did something entirely predictable: nothing.

Multiple comprehensive privacy bills have been introduced in the interim, and precisely zero of them have been put to a vote. The ADPPA represents the latest of these efforts. It is principally aimed at curtailing (somewhat) the sheer volume of personal information being amassed by tech companies, describing any data not “reasonably necessary” to provide a service as something that should go uncollected. It creates an opt-in requirement before companies are allowed to share sensitive data with third parties, which is something privacy hawks have been after for decades, and includes a number of provisions aimed at protecting kids online. It also says users have the right to access, correct, and delete the information collected about them.

My colleague, Shoshana Wodinsky, who’s an expert in corporate data policies, was unimpressed the bill when she reported on it two weeks ago. It contained what she described as a number of “large loopholes” ripe for abuse by “bad bosses and law enforcement officials,” adding that data brokers would be free to “continue buying and selling vast amounts of our personal data with impunity.”

That doesn’t sound great, but I’m of the opinion that the bar for most Americans when it comes to privacy protections is so low that even a mildly ineffective bill would likely improve society somewhat.


The ADPPA faced a markup session Thursday, which saw Republicans seek several changes. Firstly, ADPPA requires that large data holders that rely on algorithms in certain ways—think Meta or Google—divulge details annually about their methods and uses for such tools. This includes describing what the company is doing to combat harms to users related to “protected characteristics,” which include by name, “race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or disability.” One of the changes sought, introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona, would be to also include “political viewpoints” on this list.

Lesko is oddly specific about the placement. Instead of just making an addition to end of this sentence, “political viewpoints” needs to be snuggled in, for some reason, right after “religion” but before “national origin, sex, or disability.” The order of the words, in this context, does not confer legal preference, but it does imply different degrees of importance.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota offered up three amendments that he said Republicans could not do without. While framed as burdensome to small business owners, they mirror concerns raised earlier this month by industry groups backing some of tech’s biggest players. This is also an item of contention that’s sunk many previous efforts to pass a privacy law: Tech companies simply do not want people to be able to sue them.

Saying that, really, he’s opposed to any private right of action against companies caught violating the law, Armstrong is demanding instead something slightly more reasonable—a pretty old trick that will probably work. His amendment effectively bars anyone from suing a tech company for violating ADPPA so long as the federal government is considering bringing its own action. State authorities would be next in line, with the individuals whose privacy was actually violated falling very last in line.

Armstrong also wants to give tech companies what’s called a “right to cure,” meaning even if they’re caught breaking the law, they get a certain amount of time to stop breaking if. If they do, it’s basically like it never happened. Armstrong’s right to cure gives companies 45 days to fix a problem before any penalty can be levied. That’s a month and a half after someone informs them that they’re breaking the law, not a month and a half after they actually start breaking it.

Potentially a poison pill, another of Armstrong’s demands is that ADPPA not only override all existing state privacy laws, but prohibit any state from passing laws in the future that might offer greater protections than ADPPA, as several in California already do.

Like every privacy bill before it, ADPPA gets in trouble when it starts using words like “preempt.” One of the main reasons no comprehensive privacy law has been passed so far is that Congress seems incapable of passing one stronger than some existing state laws. Namely, California residents, who enjoy some of the strongest privacy safeguards in the country, don’t want those protections watered down by a federal law full of loopholes.

If ADPPA somehow passes the House next month, it’ll end up in the Senate Commerce Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington. According to the Washington Post, Cantwell dispelled any doubts that might be lingering on Thursday over whether she likes the bill.

“People who want to get a bill know that you can’t preempt states with a weak federal standard, so hopefully they’ll come back to the table,” she said, referring to ADPPA’s House Republican sponsors.

Cantwell added that Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, had said there’s “no way” ADPPA will ever be brought up.



Exclusive: Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows files for bankruptcy –




Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows files for bankruptcy

#Crypto #hedge #fund #Arrows #files #bankruptcy

Cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in a bid to protect its US assets from creditors in the country, as reported earlier by Bloomberg and CNBC. Representatives for the Singapore-based company made the filing in a Southern District New York court on Friday, which legally protects the US assets of insolvent foreign debtors from creditors in the US.

Founded in 2012 by Kyle Davis and Su Zhu, 3AC managed about $10 billion in assets as recently as March, later sinking to $3 billion in April. Like several other crypto firms, including the lending giants Celcius and Babel Finance, 3AC’s turn in fortunes is part of the so-called crypto “winter” that’s brought down stablecoins and sent Bitcoin’s value plunging.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that 3AC failed to pay a $670 million loan provided by crypto broker Voyager Digital, which has since halted all trades, deposits, and withdrawals as a result. Sky News later reported that a court in the British Virgin Islands has ordered 3AC’s liquidation and that the firm is reportedly working with business consulting company Teneo to oversee the process.

In May, Davies and Zhu admitted in an interview with the WSJ that the company lost out on a $200 million investment following the crash of Luna and its sister coin TerraUSD. At the time, the two remained optimistic about the prospects of crypto, telling the WSJ that they’ve “always been crypto believers” and “still are.”

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Exclusive: 'Doctor Strange 2': Post-Credits Scenes' Cameo and Classic Sam Raimi Nod Explained – CNET –




'Doctor Strange 2': Post-Credits Scenes' Cameo, Sam Raimi Nod Explained     - CNET

#039Doctor #Strange #PostCredits #Scenes039 #Cameo #Classic #Sam #Raimi #Nod #Explained #CNET

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which became available to stream on Disney Plus last month after landing in theaters in May, sends the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s charmingly grumpy sorcerer on an adventure that spans multiple realities. The 28th MCU movie brings director Sam Raimi back to Marvel for the first time since 2007’s Spider-Man 3 and leans hard into his signature horror style, with one of the two post-credits scenes riffing on a moment from early in his career.

The movie takes place after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which saw Strange offering Peter Parker some magical help as the teen dealt with the entire world knowing his secret identity.

Let’s step into a portal and explore a universe full of SPOILERS. We also have a separate ending explainer, a deep dive into the Illuminati and a list of WTF questions the movie left us with.


Another sorcerer

In a mid-credits scene, Strange is happily strolling through Manhattan’s streets, having seemingly accepted the corruption caused by his use of the Darkhold. He’s intercepted by a blonde sorcerer in a purple and pink costume (Charlize Theron). She opens a portal to the Dark Dimension, the hellish reality ruled by 2016 Doctor Strange big bad Dormammu.

Clea give Doctor Strange an intense look in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Charlize Theron makes her MCU debut as Clea.

Marvel Studios

“You created an incursion and we’re gonna fix it… unless you’re afraid?” she says.

“Not in the least,” he responds, his Darkhold-induced third eye opening.

Doctor Strange 14 cover

Clea has been among Doctor Strange’s most reliable allies in the comics.

Marvel Studios

What does it mean?

She isn’t named until the credits start rolling after this scene, but Theron’s character is Clea — a Dark Dimension magic wielder who’s been in the comics since the ’60s.


She’s the daughter of Dormammu’s sister Umar and Dark Dimension Prince Orini, and became fascinated by Strange during one of his early adventures in that reality. Their paths have crossed many times in the years since, with Clea becoming Strange’s student and later his wife.

Following the events of 2021’s Death of Doctor Strange miniseries (you can imagine the premise), Clea replaced Strange as Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. Stephen will undoubtedly be resurrected and return to the role soon though, since status quo shifts like this seldom last long in the comics.

You might have been too busy reeling or screaming with joy when Reed Richards (John Krasinski) explained what incursions were earlier in the movie, but they’re catastrophic events that occur when a multiversal reality crashes into another. In the comics, this happened in 2015 event Secret Wars.

It’s unclear how Strange caused an incursion — he jumped through a whole bunch of realities in Multiverse of Madness — or what this means for the MCU, but it could see elements from a different cinematic universe crossing into this one.

Such a crossover already created a dangerous scenario (filled with delightful cameos) in No Way Home, so it’s possible we’ll see characters from Fox’s X-Men reality next. The presence of Professor X (Patrick Stewart) may have been foreshadowing this.

Or maybe that’s just more wishful thinking.


Bruce Campbell’s cameo pays homage to his iconic Evil Dead character Ash Williams.


Poppa Pizza returns

In an alternate reality’s Manhattan, rude street vendor Pizza Poppa (Bruce Campbell) earlier accused America Chavez of stealing his precious dough balls. Strange hit the poor guy with a spell to get him off their backs, and they left him to be attacked by his own hand.

The post-credits scene brings us back to Pizza Poppa just as his meat hook’s campaign of violence ends.

“It’s over!” he says joyously.


What does it mean?

This scene is unlikely to have any MCU-scattering implications, since it’s more of an homage to Campbell and Raimi’s relationship. The pair have been friends since high school, and the actor played hero Ash Williams in Raimi’s 1981 breakout feature The Evil Dead. In that movie’s 1987 sequel, Ash’s hand is bitten by one of the undead, becomes possessed and tries to kill him.

Unlike Pizza Poppa, he tries to solve the problem by severing his hand and replacing it with a chainsaw (which is extremely metal). His former hand stalks him for the rest of the movie.

Campbell also shows up in Raimi’s non-MCU Spider-Man trilogy, seemingly playing three different characters. He was a wrestling announcer in the first movie, a snooty usher in the sequel and a French maître d’ in the third. If the scrapped Spider-Man 4 had come to fruition, the actor could have played Mysterio, Raimi confirmed to Rolling Stone.

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Exclusive: Intel starts shipping its Bitcoin mining rig as cryptocurrencies crash –




Intel starts shipping its Bitcoin mining rig as cryptocurrencies crash

#Intel #starts #shipping #Bitcoin #mining #rig #cryptocurrencies #crash

In a nutshell: Intel’s accelerated computing group has started shipping its second-gen Blockscale ASIC for SHA-256 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The launch is months ahead of schedule, but still too late to capitalize on the most recent cryptocurrency craze.

Intel announced that it was developing Blockscale ASICs in January when Bitcoin was worth twice as much as it is now and hardware was desperately in demand. Its second-gen is arriving after the market has satiated its need, which is usually when Intel starts shipping its hardware (I’m looking at you, Arc GPUs).

Despite that, the Blockscale ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is a great chip. It measures 7 mm by 7.5 mm and consumes just 4.8-22.7W but hashes Bitcoin at up to 580 GH/s (gigahash per second). It’s only capable of SHA-256 proof-of-work calculations, though.

Raja Koduri, executive VP and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) Group for Intel, tweeted the news at the end of last week…

Koduri seems to have forgotten about the first-gen Blockscale ASIC that was announced in February. Intel did say at the time that a second-gen model was in-development and then it announced it just two months later, so perhaps the first version doesn’t qualify as a fully-fledged product in Koduri’s eyes.

In any case, the second-gen model is much better than the first. It consumes just 26 J/TH (Jules per terahash) while its predecessor consumed 90 J/TH. It’s also more competitive with offerings from other companies. Intel’s system with 256 ASICs can hash at a rate of 148 TH/s with the consumption of 3,850 W, about on par with Bitmain’s S19 Pro at 110 TH/s and 3,250 W. Both systems cost between $5,000 and $6,000.

Koduri tagged GRIID Infrastructure, Hive Blockchain Technologies, and Argo Blockchain in his tweet, three companies that mine cryptocurrencies using renewable power sources. Intel markets the Blockscale ASIC as an environmentally-friendly product and it’s good to see it standing by those principles by partnering with like-minded companies.


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