43 – The Almighty Libra – Facebook’s World Dominating Cryptocurrency

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

  • Named Libra
  • Will be a “Stable Coin” = Backed by “Stable Financial Assets”.
    • “Bank deposits and government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks”.
    • Apparently the Winklevoss Twins, after a 15 year feud, have “buried the hatchet” and are at the table with Facebook for Libra.
      • “There’s so much pie to grow, imean, at this point we need to be frenemies” Cameron Winklevoss.
  • Will be built into  messenger and WhatsApp (no instagram… for now).
  • First half of 2020
  • Facebook won’t manage it???
    • Libra Association = Nonprofit headquartered in Switzerland
      • 28 founding members (PayPal, Visa, Uber, Coinbase…) 100 by 2020
      • Each member invests $10m, maintaine a “node” (processes, powers & transfers Libra), have one vote.
  • Will it be more PayPal or BitCoin?
    • BitCoin is seen more as a financial asset (gold, silver).
    • Libra wants to be a currency.
  • Chinease WeChat uses credit cards to make purchases and send money.
  • Facebook has 2.38 billion users and gives them a huge advantage.
    • 1.7b people reportedly don’t have access to a bank account but most do have access to mobile phones and facebook.
  • Of course, it’s no secret that Facebook doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to protecting people’s privacy

AMD Ryzen 64-Core Threaddripper

  • 64 cores & 128 threads.

Google Leaks Again! – 3 Cameras in a Square

  • Google’s Pixel 3 was so full of Leaks, we were wondering if it was orchestrated by Google themselves.
  • The Pixel 4 has taken leaks even further.  They have released a press image.
  • The image shows a square “camera bump” with 3 cameras + LED.
  • Why?
    • Apple will have their square bump and Google doesn’t want to be accused of copying.
    • Google is trying to keep its throne as the camera king.

Is NVIDIA Working on a new Shield TV?

  • Android Police spotted a Google Play Developer Console listing with the codename “mdarcy” (mr. darcy?Jane Austen Pride + Prejudice).
    • The original Shield TV is codenamed “darcy”
  • “Mdarcy” will apparently be Android 9 Pie (darcy is just oreo).
  • Same Tegra X1 T210 system on the current system (and nintendo switch).
    • Is some evidence that it will be built on the new t210B01 chipset.
  • Already found evidence of new remote and controller.
  • Minor refresh for the best Android TV around.

Exposed database reveals personal information of 1.6 million job seekers

  • Unsecured recruitment database in India – Talanton AI
  • Personal information on 1.6m job seekers from around the world (US, Australia, Japan).
    • High Profile roles = Austrailian Gov, Tommy Hilfiger, FBI’s Domestic Security Alliance Council (ironic)
  • Plain text – Anyone with a web browser can access it if they have the address.

The internet Blame E3 for Game of Thrones Delay

  • George RR Martin is busy at work on a new game “Elden Ring” instead of writting his books (which are already 2 books behind the TV series which wrapped up in May).
  • RPG – “Vast fully fledged fantasy world”
  • Twitter and Reddit are angry
    • “Are the last two books hidden in this game?”

Huawei Says US Ban Hurting More Than Expected, To Wipe $30 Billion Off Revenue

  • China’s Huawei has taken a harder-than-expected hit from a U.S. ban, the company’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said, and slashed revenue expectations for the year.
  • Ren’s downbeat assessment that the ban will hit revenue by $30 billion, the first time Huawei has quantified the impact of the U.S. action, comes as a surprise after weeks of defiant comments from company executives who maintained Huawei was technologically self-sufficient.
  • Huawei had not expected that U.S. determination to “crack” the company would be “so strong and so pervasive,” Ren said, speaking at the company’s Shenzhen headquarters on Monday.
  • Two U.S. tech experts, George Gilder and Nicholas Negroponte, also joined the session. “We did not expect they would attack us on so many aspects,” Ren said, adding he expects a revival in business in 2021.
  • I saw lots of Huawei ads in Mexico.

New Deepfake Algorithm Allows You To Text-Edit the Words of a Speaker In a Video

  • It is now possible to take a talking-head style video, and add, delete or edit the speaker’s words as simply as you’d edit text in a word processor.
  • A new deepfake algorithm can process the audio and video into a new file in which the speaker says more or less whatever you want them to.
  • It’s the work of a collaborative team from Stanford University, Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Princeton University and Adobe Research, who say that in a perfect world the technology would be used to cut down on expensive re-shoots when an actor gets something wrong, or a script needs to be changed.
  • In order to learn the face movements of a speaker, the algorithm requires about 40 minutes of training video, and a transcript of what’s being said, so it’s not something that can be thrown onto a short video snippet and run if you want good results.
  • That 40 minutes of video gives the algorithm the chance to work out exactly what face shapes the subject is making for each phonetic syllable in the original script. From there, once you edit the script, the algorithm can then create a 3D model of the face making the new shapes required. And from there, a machine learning technique called Neural Rendering can paint the 3D model over with photo-realistic textures to make it look basically indistinguishable from the real thing. Other software such as VoCo can be used if you wish to generate the speaker’s audio as well as video, and it takes the same approach, by breaking down a heap of training audio into phonemes and then using that dataset to generate new words in a familiar voice.

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