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Bitcoin falls to three-week low as IRS seeks approval for reporting rules

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LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin fell to a three-week low on Tuesday amid signs of institutional investor caution, while the head of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service called for lawmakers to provide authority for tighter reporting rules on crypto transfers.

IRS chief Charles Rettig said on Tuesday that Congress needs to provide clear statutory authority for the tax agency to collect information on cryptocurrency transfers valued at over $10,000 that largely go unreported.

Rettig said before the Senate Finance Committee that cryptocurrency market capitalization is over $2 trillion, with more than 8,600 exchanges worldwide. “By design, most crypto virtual currencies are designed to stay off the radar screen, so we will be challenged right now.”

Earlier a spokesperson for British fund manager Ruffer Investment Management confirmed that it exited its bitcoin bet in April with a $1.1 billion profit amid worries over risk after quick gains in the cryptocurrency’s price.

Ruffer made its bitcoin bet in November, in what was then one of the largest signals of rising institutional interest in the digital currency. By mid-December it was worth around 550 million pounds ($745 million).

“Long term, we remain interested in digital assets and the role they can play in real wealth preservation,” the spokesperson said. “In the short term, following the sharp increase in the bitcoin price, we felt bitcoin was exhibiting more risk.”

Ruffer’s bitcoin profit was first reported by The Sunday Times.

Meanwhile, MicroStrategy Inc, a major bitcoin corporate backer, has increased the size of a junk-bond sale to help buy more bitcoin, now targeting $500 million, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

Bitcoin was last trading at $32,055.20, down 4.5% on the day. It bottomed at $31,025, the lowest price since a shakeout on May 19 dropped it to near $30,000 for the first time since January.

The cryptocurrency has slumped by half since hitting a record of almost $65,000 in April.

(Reporting by Tom Wilson, David Lawder and Alden Bentley; Editing by Tom Arnold and Cynthia Osterman)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/bitcoin-falls-three-week-low-irs-seeks-approval-reporting-rules/15284

Big Data

If you did not already know

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Self-Adaptive Discrete Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm With Genetic Algorithm Operators (GA-DPSO) google


Compared to traditional distributed computing environments such as grids, cloud computing provides a more cost-effective way to deploy scientific workflows. Each task of a scientific workflow requires several large datasets that are located in different datacenters from the cloud computing environment, resulting in serious data transmission delays. Edge computing reduces the data transmission delays and supports the fixed storing manner for scientific workflow private datasets, but there is a bottleneck in its storage capacity. It is a challenge to combine the advantages of both edge computing and cloud computing to rationalize the data placement of scientific workflow, and optimize the data transmission time across different datacenters. Traditional data placement strategies maintain load balancing with a given number of datacenters, which results in a large data transmission time. In this study, a self-adaptive discrete particle swarm optimization algorithm with genetic algorithm operators (GA-DPSO) was proposed to optimize the data transmission time when placing data for a scientific workflow. This approach considered the characteristics of data placement combining edge computing and cloud computing. In addition, it considered the impact factors impacting transmission delay, such as the band-width between datacenters, the number of edge datacenters, and the storage capacity of edge datacenters. The crossover operator and mutation operator of the genetic algorithm were adopted to avoid the premature convergence of the traditional particle swarm optimization algorithm, which enhanced the diversity of population evolution and effectively reduced the data transmission time. The experimental results show that the data placement strategy based on GA-DPSO can effectively reduce the data transmission time during workflow execution combining edge computing and cloud computing. …

Concrete Autoencoder google


We introduce the concrete autoencoder, an end-to-end differentiable method for global feature selection, which efficiently identifies a subset of the most informative features and simultaneously learns a neural network to reconstruct the input data from the selected features. Our method is unsupervised, and is based on using a concrete selector layer as the encoder and using a standard neural network as the decoder. During the training phase, the temperature of the concrete selector layer is gradually decreased, which encourages a user-specified number of discrete features to be learned. During test time, the selected features can be used with the decoder network to reconstruct the remaining input features. We evaluate concrete autoencoders on a variety of datasets, where they significantly outperform state-of-the-art methods for feature selection and data reconstruction. In particular, on a large-scale gene expression dataset, the concrete autoencoder selects a small subset of genes whose expression levels can be use to impute the expression levels of the remaining genes. In doing so, it improves on the current widely-used expert-curated L1000 landmark genes, potentially reducing measurement costs by 20%. The concrete autoencoder can be implemented by adding just a few lines of code to a standard autoencoder. …

Atom Responding Machine (ARM) google


Recently, improving the relevance and diversity of dialogue system has attracted wide attention. For a post x, the corresponding response y is usually diverse in the real-world corpus, while the conventional encoder-decoder model tends to output the high-frequency (safe but trivial) responses and thus is difficult to handle the large number of responding styles. To address these issues, we propose the Atom Responding Machine (ARM), which is based on a proposed encoder-composer-decoder network trained by a teacher-student framework.To enrich the generated responses, ARM introduces a large number of molecule-mechanisms as various responding styles, which are conducted by taking different combinations from a few atom-mechanisms. In other words, even a little of atom-mechanisms can make a mickle of molecule-mechanisms. The experiments demonstrate diversity and quality of the responses generated by ARM. We also present generating process to show underlying interpretability for the result. …

MLWeaving google


Learning from the data stored in a database is an important function increasingly available in relational engines. Methods using lower precision input data are of special interest given their overall higher efficiency but, in databases, these methods have a hidden cost: the quantization of the real value into a smaller number is an expensive step. To address the issue, in this paper we present MLWeaving, a data structure and hardware acceleration technique intended to speed up learning of generalized linear models in databases. ML-Weaving provides a compact, in-memory representation enabling the retrieval of data at any level of precision. MLWeaving also takes advantage of the increasing availability of FPGA-based accelerators to provide a highly efficient implementation of stochastic gradient descent. The solution adopted in MLWeaving is more efficient than existing designs in terms of space (since it can process any resolution on the same design) and resources (via the use of bit-serial multipliers). MLWeaving also enables the runtime tuning of precision, instead of a fixed precision level during the training. We illustrate this using a simple, dynamic precision schedule. Experimental results show MLWeaving achieves up to16 performance improvement over low-precision CPU implementations of first-order methods. …

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://analytixon.com/2021/06/17/if-you-did-not-already-know-1425/

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Biden tells Putin certain cyberattacks should be ‘off-limits’

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By Vladimir Soldatkin and Humeyra Pamuk

GENEVA (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that certain critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyberattacks, but analysts said his efforts were unlikely to be more successful than previous attempts to carve out safe zones online.

Biden wasn’t explicit about which areas he wanted out of bounds, but spoke of 16 kinds of infrastructure – an apparent reference to the 16 sectors designated as critical by the U.S. Homeland Security Department, including telecommunications, healthcare, food and energy.

“We agreed to task experts in both our countries to work on specific understandings about what is off-limits,” Biden said following a lakeside summit with Putin in Geneva. “We’ll find out whether we have a cybersecurity arrangement that begins to bring some order.”

A senior administration official said that the proposal was focused on “destructive” hacks, as opposed to the conventional digital espionage operations carried out by intelligence agencies worldwide.

Putin’s response to the idea wasn’t immediately clear. In a separate press conference, he said the two leaders had agreed to “begin consultations” on cybersecurity issues but didn’t directly refer to Biden’s proposal.

The threat of destructive hacks aimed at critical infrastructure, a staple of disaster movies where renegade hackers trigger blackouts and mayhem, have long worried experts.

The United States had its first serious taste of what that might mean last month, when ransom-seeking cybercriminals briefly triggered the closure of a major U.S. pipeline network, interrupting gasoline deliveries and sparking panic-buying up and down the East Coast.

Earlier cyberattacks aimed at the Ukrainian power grid and a Saudi petrochemical plant have also drawn concern.

In all those cases, the hackers involved are accused by the United States of either working directly for the Russian government or from Russian territory.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied carrying out or tolerating cyberattacks, and Putin on Wednesday made no concessions on the issue.

“We need to throw out all kinds of insinuations, sit down at the expert level and start working in the interests of the United States and Russia,” Putin told reporters.

He then made an insinuation of his own, saying that Russian officials had tracked malicious digital activity coming from the United States.

“We certainly see where the attacks are coming from. We see that this work is coordinated from U.S. cyberspace,” Putin said.

Experts were skeptical that Biden’s proposal would be taken seriously by Putin.

“There’s no indication at all that he actually went along with it,” said Keir Giles, a Russia expert with the London-based Chatham House think tank.

Giles said that grappling with the cyber threat emerging from Russia would require “an outbreak of honesty” on the Kremlin’s side.

“There’s no indication – at least from Putin’s public comments so far – that that outbreak has begun,” Giles said.

The fate of a similar agreement between former U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping is not encouraging, said Stefan Soesanto, a researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The 2015 agreement theoretically banned the theft of intellectual property for commercial gain, but many cyber experts that track Chinese hacking say Beijing eventually reneged on the deal.

“Will Biden fare better than Obama/Xi? I don’t think it will,” Soesanto said.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Steve Holland; writing by Raphael Satter, Andrey Ostroukh, Alexander Marrow and Christopher Bing; editing by Andrew Osborn, Mary Milliken and Sonya Hepinstall)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/biden-tells-putin-certain-cyberattacks-off-limits/15529

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Big Data

Biden tells Putin certain cyberattacks should be ‘off-limits’

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on

By Vladimir Soldatkin and Humeyra Pamuk

GENEVA (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that certain critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyberattacks, but analysts said his efforts were unlikely to be more successful than previous attempts to carve out safe zones online.

Biden wasn’t explicit about which areas he wanted out of bounds, but spoke of 16 kinds of infrastructure – an apparent reference to the 16 sectors designated as critical by the U.S. Homeland Security Department, including telecommunications, healthcare, food and energy.

“We agreed to task experts in both our countries to work on specific understandings about what is off-limits,” Biden said following a lakeside summit with Putin in Geneva. “We’ll find out whether we have a cybersecurity arrangement that begins to bring some order.”

A senior administration official said that the proposal was focused on “destructive” hacks, as opposed to the conventional digital espionage operations carried out by intelligence agencies worldwide.

Putin’s response to the idea wasn’t immediately clear. In a separate press conference, he said the two leaders had agreed to “begin consultations” on cybersecurity issues but didn’t directly refer to Biden’s proposal.

The threat of destructive hacks aimed at critical infrastructure, a staple of disaster movies where renegade hackers trigger blackouts and mayhem, have long worried experts.

The United States had its first serious taste of what that might mean last month, when ransom-seeking cybercriminals briefly triggered the closure of a major U.S. pipeline network, interrupting gasoline deliveries and sparking panic-buying up and down the East Coast.

Earlier cyberattacks aimed at the Ukrainian power grid and a Saudi petrochemical plant have also drawn concern.

In all those cases, the hackers involved are accused by the United States of either working directly for the Russian government or from Russian territory.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied carrying out or tolerating cyberattacks, and Putin on Wednesday made no concessions on the issue.

“We need to throw out all kinds of insinuations, sit down at the expert level and start working in the interests of the United States and Russia,” Putin told reporters.

He then made an insinuation of his own, saying that Russian officials had tracked malicious digital activity coming from the United States.

“We certainly see where the attacks are coming from. We see that this work is coordinated from U.S. cyberspace,” Putin said.

Experts were skeptical that Biden’s proposal would be taken seriously by Putin.

“There’s no indication at all that he actually went along with it,” said Keir Giles, a Russia expert with the London-based Chatham House think tank.

Giles said that grappling with the cyber threat emerging from Russia would require “an outbreak of honesty” on the Kremlin’s side.

“There’s no indication – at least from Putin’s public comments so far – that that outbreak has begun,” Giles said.

The fate of a similar agreement between former U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping is not encouraging, said Stefan Soesanto, a researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The 2015 agreement theoretically banned the theft of intellectual property for commercial gain, but many cyber experts that track Chinese hacking say Beijing eventually reneged on the deal.

“Will Biden fare better than Obama/Xi? I don’t think it will,” Soesanto said.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Steve Holland; writing by Raphael Satter, Andrey Ostroukh, Alexander Marrow and Christopher Bing; editing by Andrew Osborn, Mary Milliken and Sonya Hepinstall)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/biden-tells-putin-certain-cyberattacks-off-limits/15529

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U.S. push for self-driving cars faces union, lawyers opposition

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday again rejected attempts to lift regulations to allow for the deployment of thousands of autonomous vehicles as union groups and attorneys campaign against the legislative proposal.

The committee rebuffed the bid by Republican Senator John Thune to attach measures lifting regulations on autonomous vehicles to a $78 billion surface transportation bill after he sought last month to attach it in May to a bill on China tech policy.

Thune has proposed granting the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the power to grant exemptions for tens of thousands of self-driving vehicles per manufacturer from safety standards written with human drivers in mind.

The surface bill, which would boost funding for Amtrak and other transportation needs, was approved by the committee on a 25-3 vote.

Thune and other lawmakers have sought for nearly five years to win approval.

The senator argued autonomous vehicles could help eliminate numerous deaths due to human error like distracted or impaired drivers.

Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, cited recent Tesla crashes and other recent incidents involving driver assistance systems in her response.

“It seems like every other week we’re hearing about a new vehicle that crashed when it was on Autopilot” Cantwell said. “I do think this is legislation that we can complete by the end of this year… These last issues are very thorny as it relates to legal structure.”

“Democrats have yielded to pressure from special interests against the best interests of our economy and the American people,” Thune said. “Are we really going to continue to ignore the enormous safety benefits of these vehicles?”

Thune said that the “Teamsters and trial lawyers” are opposed to self-driving legislation and they “seem to own lock, stock and barrel the Democrats on this committee.”

The Teamsters did not immediately comment. The American Association for Justice, which represents plaintiffs lawyers said it “will continue to oppose any legislation that exempts the driverless car industry from basic safety standards, and allows auto and tech companies to avoid being held accountable through the use of forced arbitration clauses.”

The Self-Driving Coalition, which represents Ford Motor Co, Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, Volvo Cars and others said “the exclusion of AV legislation from current surface transportation reauthorization bills reflects yet another missed opportunity to save lives” but it vowed to work with lawmakers.

Last month, Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department for the AFL-CIO, told U.S. lawmakers that autonomous vehicles place “millions of jobs at risk” and any self-driving legislation should not apply to commercial trucks.

Reuters reported in May that Waymo and rival Cruise, a unit of General Motors, have applied for permits to start charging for rides and delivery using autonomous vehicles in San Francisco.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/us-push-self-driving-cars-faces-union-lawyers-opposition/15528

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