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Coronavirus-hit Arizona reverses course on reopening

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Arizona has abruptly reversed course on reopening its economy as coronavirus cases spike there and nationwide.

The state’s governor has ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas and water parks.

Florida and Texas have also performed U-turns on relaxing restrictions as the whole US Sun Belt region becomes a new virus epicentre.

At least 16 US states have paused or rolled back reopenings as their infection caseloads balloon.

Some jurisdictions are shutting down for the looming Independence Day weekend amid fears that packed beaches and bars could fuel new outbreaks.

Governor Doug Ducey’s directive – which will apply until at least 27 July – also prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people in Arizona.

The order came a day after the state set a single-day record for new coronavirus cases at 3,858.

“Our expectation is that our numbers next week will be worse,” Governor Ducey, a Republican, told a press briefing.

“We’re not going back to normal any time soon.”

Arizona’s stay-at-home orders were lifted in mid-May in line with criteria set by the White House, allowing businesses to reopen.

What action is being taken elsewhere?

The Republican governors of Texas and Florida slammed the brakes on reopening last Friday when they shut bars and imposed other restrictions as their virus caseloads surged to record levels.

On Monday, Kansas and Oregon joined a growing number of US states that are requiring everyone to wear masks in public.

New Jersey on Monday announced it would postpone the restart of indoor dining because people had been flouting social-distancing guidelines and not wearing masks.

The city of Jacksonville, Florida, where the mask-shunning President Donald Trump plans to accept the Republican nomination in August, on Monday announced face coverings must be worn indoors.

Los Angeles County – the most populous county in California, which has seen a significant spike in virus cases recently – banned all fireworks displays for the 4 July weekend and said it would close down beaches.

Meanwhile, New York – formerly the US epicentre of the virus – announced its lowest number of hospital admissions and deaths since the pandemic began.

“You remember at one time we had 800 deaths per day,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Today we have eight.”

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53229560

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Salty reception

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Plans by Southern Water to build a £600 million desalination plant in the New Forest have come under fire from conservationists and other local groups.

The proposed plant is to be built on land near the utility’s wastewater treatment works at Ashlett Creek, near Fawley in Hampshire. If completed, it will extract salt water from the Solent and discharge brine back into the sea. Around 75 million litres of sea water per day will be processed, according to the utility, and the resultant drinking water will be pumped 25km underground to water supply works at Testwood.

Intended to supply residents in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the plan is presented as part of the utility’s response to climate change and population growth. Alternative sources need to be found to the Test and Itchen rivers, “two of the fines chalk streams in the world” as the firm’s Toby Wilson put it, in comments made to the BBC.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) has expressed concern that the plant could threaten wildlife habitats in the area. In a letter to Southern Water, the group’s Dr Tim Ferrero said: “The increased salinity of the brine could cause changes to the chemical composition of the surrounding water, impacting a wide range of marine species and potentially impacting the passage of migratory fish species into nearby river catchments.”  He also raised the issue of potential algae build-ups.

A local petition had received over 1,800 signatures in early May, which expressed the view that it would be better to invest in improvements to the collection and storage of rainwater.

Opponents also criticised the energy-hungry nature of the technology, as well as the huge cost. Desalination remains a more familiar fixture in parts of the world where water is scarce, such as Saudi Arabia, although Thames Water constructed a plant in East London in 2010.

The plans also received a formal objection from The New Forest National Park Authority, which complained that it had not been consulted sooner – the proposal was selected as part of the utility’s Water Resources Management Plan in 2019.

The firm told the local Hampshire newspaper the Daily Echo: “We are working with our environmental regulators to understand any environmental impact of the proposals and ways we can mitigate them.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://envirotecmagazine.com/2021/05/07/salty-reception/

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Could NFT auctions be moving away from Ethereum? One new group is betting they will

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NFTs were arguably already taking off when Beeple sold his NFT artwork for $69m. But another crypto project attracted attention when it bought an original Banksy artwork for $95,000.

The group literally burnt the artwork and sold its NFT on the OpenSea platform for $400,000. Although the stunt was covered by CBS News, BBC News, The Guardian, and others, it did actually make a significant point.

By removing the physical piece, the group – calling itself “Burnt Banksy” – proved that the value of the piece wasn’t affected by being destroyed, given that the NFT went up so much in value.

Now that project is turning that stunt into an actual blockchain platform for art auctions.

Burnt Finance says it has raised $3 Million for a decentralized auction protocol built on the Solana blockchain.

The project is being incubated by Injective Protocol (which recently raised $10 from investors and Mark Cuban, as well as Multicoin, DeFiance, Alameda, Mechanism, Vessel Capital, Hashkey, Spartan, Do Kwon (CEO of Terra), Sandeep (COO of Polygon), and others.

The reason why it’s worth mentioning all this is that in trying to auction the painting, the Burnt Banksy group stumbled on an increasing problem in the world of NFTs: the rising congestion on the Ethereum network is leading to larger and larger gas fees. This is making both the creation and bidding on NFTs increasingly expensive, just from a baseline.

As a result, team decided to build the Burnt Finance NFT auction platform away from Etherum and hit upon the Solana blockchain, which has comparatively good speed, performance, and lower transaction costs. It will use ‘Solana Wormhole’ which connects ETH and ERC20 tokens to SPL Tokens.

A spokesperson for Burnt Finance, ‘Burnt Banksy’ told me: “Most auctions are Ethereum based, and currently the Ethereum gas fees are extremely high. It can cost you up to $70 to make an artwork, which doesn’t work if you’re selling an NFT for $50. We chose Solana mainly because of the ecosystem. It’s fast-growing, in addition to the technical aspect of it.”

There’s another reason why we may see other Crypto projects move away from Ethereum as ETH rises in price and as gas fees increase: the potential for bad faith actors in NFT auctions.

If a bad actor tries to leverage the congestion on Ethereum and manipulate the transaction fee, they might sway the results of an auction. This would be quite something, if the auction was for, say, $69 million…

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/06/could-nft-auctions-be-moving-away-from-ethereum-one-new-group-is-betting-they-will/

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Ledger Acknowledges Data Breach; Grayscale Hits ATH Numbers; Missing Cryptoqueen Podcast Returns!

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TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. Ledger acknowledges customer data breach. Grayscale reaches ATH numbers. Coinbase to offer interest on Dai savings. Ethereum price hike causes GPU shortage. BBC podcast The Missing Cryptoqueen to continue, and Central Bank of Philippines considers issuing a digital currency.

Ledger Acknowledges Customer Data Breach

Ledger

Ledger, one of the leading hardware wallet manufacturers, acknowledged it suffered a recent data breach that compromised customer information. The company announced this was the result of an exploit previously patched that was leveraged by an attacker to obtain customer’s email addresses, also first and last names, postal addresses, and phone number in some cases. More than 9,500 customers were affected, but Ledger claims neither payment information nor credentials were leaked.

Grayscale Hits ATH Numbers in Assets Under Management

The latest cryptocurrency market pump made institutional holders aware of the importance of it, and institution focused exchanges are profiting. Grayscale, the biggest cryptocurrency investment fund, reached ATH numbers of assets under management, $5.1 billion. This is in part because investors are paying premiums to enjoy these kinds of instruments. In just one day, the number of assets under management rose $300 million, according to updates offered by Grayscale’s Twitter account daily.

Coinbase to Offer Interest on Dai Savings

Ledger

Coinbase, a normie friendly cryptocurrency exchange, announced it will start paying its customers 2% APY for saving in Dai, an Ethereum-based stablecoin. The company is rolling these changes in US, UK, Netherlands, Spain, France, and Australia. With interests offered by banks at absolute lows all around the world, Coinbase introduces these instruments as an attractive way of generating passive income with cryptocurrency assets. Coinbase also offers this kind of instrument for USDC, another stablecoin issued by the same exchange.

Ethereum Price Rise Creates GPU Shortages

Ledger

The recent price hike experienced by Ethereum made people consider Ethereum mining as a considerable source of income, creating shortages in the availability of GPUs in the market. Nvidia, one of the leading GPU manufacturers, is also being blamed, in part because it is phasing out its latest graphics product (RTX 20 series) at the wrong time, among coronavirus pandemic woes. A miner manufacturer stated GPU companies “limit the mining industry’s procurement to avoid the impact on the subsequent consumer market.”

BBC Announces “The Missing CryptoQueen” Podcast Will Continue

BBC Sounds and Jamie Bartlett, the producer of The Missing Cryptoqueen podcast, that deals with the scam scheme of OneCoin, announced there will be a continuation of this podcast in the near future. “You didn’t think we were going to stop, did you?,” declares the new teaser posted on BBC Sounds. It that promises to reveal more of the secrets the OneCoin scam and its leader Ruja Ignatova, who took approximately $4 billion from investors all over the world, and disappeared without a trace back in 2017.

Philippines Considers to Issue Official Central Bank Digital Currency

The Central Bank of Philippines is considering issuance of an official central bank digital currency, according to reports from Bloomberg. The institution created a committee to research the feasibility of this idea and how it could be executed. “We have to first look at the findings of the group before making a decision,” declared Governor Benjamin Diokno in a virtual briefing. Philippines is just the last country to examine the possibility of the creation of a digital currency, while China is already in the testing stages.

LedgerCONTINUE THE SPICE and check out our piping hot VIDEOS. Our podcast, The CoinSpice Podcast, has amazing guests. Follow CoinSpice on Twitter. Join our Telegram feed to make sure you never miss a post. Drop some BCH at the merch shop — we’ve got some spicy shirts for men and women. Don’t forget to help spread the word about CoinSpice on social media.

DYOR: CoinSpice is your home for just spicy crypto things. We’re not affiliated with any cryptocurrency project or token. Each published piece is intended for information purposes only, not investment advice and not in the hope of impacting speculative markets. There are plenty of trading sites and coin-specific advocacy journals out there, we’re neither. CoinSpice strives for rigorous accuracy in our reporting. Information presented here is contingent usually on a host of factors, and the ecosystem moves fast — prices change, projects change, and at warp speed. Do your own research.

Source: https://coinspice.io/news/ledger-acknowledges-data-breach-grayscale-hits-ath-numbers-missing-cryptoqueen-podcast-returns/

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News outlets will digitally watermark content to limit misinformation

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BRAZIL - 2020/06/15: In this photo illustration the Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone and a red alerting word "FAKE NEWS" on the blurred background. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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In the run-up to the 2020 US election, a group of major media organizations will once again work together to try and clamp down on fake news. The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) is a coalition of blue-chip publishers and Microsoft which have pledged to work together to tackle disinformation. And, this year, the team will try using a new verification technology, dubbed Project Origin, to try and watermark legitimate content. That way, it’s hoped, scammers can’t mock up a headline and pass it off as real news as easily as they once did.

“Brand marks, styles and other traditional indicators of trust,” says the BBC in a statement, “they are no longer enough to ensure content legitimacy.” That’s why Project Origin will attach a “digital watermark” to stories from TNI partners that shows them that the news has come from an official source. The idea is both to help people find trusted news, but also to filter out faked content. Unfortunately, there’s no word on how this will work yet — the standards for Project Origin have yet to be published.

TNI Members include the BBC, NYT, CBC and the WSJ as well as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, with the AP and Washington Post joining this year. It’s likely that Google and Facebook will have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility after being willing incubators of fake news for so long. Sadly, Project Origin isn’t going to be standard from now on, and instead will run in the month just before the 2020 election. That means that malign actors have got from now until early October to get their material in front of people. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/bbc-fake-news-111000601.html

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