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The Morning After: Is it Amazon vs. AirPods or Assistant?

It’s unlikely they’ll make a dent against AirPods, but what about the Pixel Buds?Amazon’s earbuds are a shot at Google, not AppleIncorporating Alexa in a pair of inexpensive wireless earbuds could finally be the ticket Amazon needs to get its assistant on mobile in a more widespread manner.R.I.P. Inbox.Gmail continues to define email 15 years…

The Morning After: Is it Amazon vs. AirPods or Assistant?

It’s unlikely they’ll make a dent against AirPods, but what about the Pixel Buds?Amazon’s earbuds are a shot at Google, not Apple

Incorporating Alexa in a pair of inexpensive wireless earbuds could finally be the ticket Amazon needs to get its assistant on mobile in a more widespread manner.


R.I.P. Inbox.Gmail continues to define email 15 years on

On April 1st, 2004, Google debuted a product that was decidedly not a joke: Gmail. It was a service that revolutionized web mail, so much so that it has become an integral part of our daily lives. Nicole Lee takes a look at where it’s been (remember the invites?) and where it might go, beyond upgrades like scheduled send times for emails.


Not the update owners were looking for.Google surprises Android TV owners with unwanted advertisements

Software updates delivered months or years after a TV is purchased could change the interface for the worse, or add “features” that are really just revenue-generating opportunities. A new Android TV update combines both of those issues by inserting a new row of Sponsored content.

Google said: “Android TV is committed to optimizing and personalizing the entertainment experience at home. As we explore new opportunities to engage the user community, we’re running a pilot program to surface sponsored content on the Android TV home screen.”


You can probably jump higher on your own, but that’s not the point.Get an up-close look at SpaceX’s latest Starhopper test

On Friday night Elon Musk — apparently unbothered by an internal investigation or ongoing wrangling with the SEC — tweeted a two-second clip of the snub-nosed “Starhopper” test vehicle that’s on a short tether with one of the company’s Raptor rocket engines mounted underneath.


Produced in partnership with Point, a YouTube channel for investigative journalism.Burned alive for using a smartphone

Mosul — Iraq’s second-largest city — was a relatively easy acquisition for ISIS. But there was a problem. Most people in Mosul were connected to the internet by their phone’s 3G signal rather than a broadband modem, and those phones could still get reception from the cell towers on the other side of the front line.

The answer was confiscation, and to severely punish anyone who disobeyed.


One of the best Windows PCs gets even better.Dell XPS 13 review: A perfect ultraportable

Dell did it again. Its XPS 13 is still one of the best Windows ultraportables around. The design? Better than ever. The screen supports Dolby Vision HDR and Dell has finally returned the webcam to the proper position. Devindra Hardawar says there aren’t many downsides — unless you’re looking for a bit more gaming oomph.


Here’s the Impossible Whopper, coming to St. Louis.The Impossible Burger is coming to Burger King

If you’re not a fan of White Castle sliders, then how about a Whopper with a plant-based patty? That’s the latest project from Impossible Burger, which is debuting the Impossible Whopper in Missouri. Will it go elsewhere? I hope so.


Would you cancel before ‘Stranger Things’ season three arrives in July?Netflix’s price increases will hit US subscribers in May

The basic plan is rising from $8 to $9, while the standard package (which offers HD streaming on two devices simultaneously) is jumping from $11 to $13. The premium plan, which offers UHD streaming on up to four devices at once, will cost $16 instead of $14.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Tesla investigated Elon Musk after he reportedly pushed a former employee
  • Microsoft may combine Xbox Live and Game Pass into a single subscription
  • Netflix abruptly loses support for Apple AirPlay
  • Amazon signs nine-figure deal with ‘Westworld’ creators
  • ‘No Man’s Sky VR’ is the purest way to explore the universe
  • Kia crammed a lot of range and tech into its Soul EV
  • ‘Iron Man VR’ is as close to being Tony Stark as you’re likely to get
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review: Basic doesn’t mean bad
  • Apple AirPods review (2019): More of the same, but that’s OK

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.

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Moonday Mornings: Binance to resume deposits and withdrawals after $40M Bitcoin hack

It’s time for Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines. Here’s what happened. 1. Binance says it will resume deposits and withdrawals on its platform on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency exchange had suspended the functions following an attack in which hackers stole over $40 million worth of Bitcoin. 2. The…

Moonday Mornings: Binance to resume deposits and withdrawals after $40M Bitcoin hack

It’s time for Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines.

Here’s what happened.

1. Binance says it will resume deposits and withdrawals on its platform on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency exchange had suspended the functions following an attack in which hackers stole over $40 million worth of Bitcoin.

2. The figureheads of the fake cryptocurrency scheme, OneCoin, are being sued. Brother and sister duo, Konstantin Ignatov and Ruja Ignatova are facing a class action law suit for their involvement in the scam which was “based completely on lies and deceit,” ZDNet reports.

3. A Bitcoin BTC fueled ransomware attack hit the Baltimore City government last week. Despite being cleaned of the ransomware, hackers are allegedly still accessing the infected computers, ZeroHedge reports. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the attack.

4. The creator of the Bitcoin treasure hunt Satoshi’s Treasure is claiming nearly 60,000 people are following the global challenge, CoinDesk reports. One player has already claimed the first prize, and didn’t even have to go anywhere to claim it.

And finally.

5. William Shatner is putting William Shatners on the blockchain. The former Star Trek actor is joining Mattereum, a legaltech firm, to document the authenticity of science collectibles and memorabilia from a range of franchises on the blockchain.

That’s another weekend’s headlines for you. Live long and prosper.

Published May 13, 2019 — 07:58 UTC

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Amazon granted patent for Bitcoin-style system to fight DDoS attacks

Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments. Despite first being filed in December 2016, Amazon’s patent application was granted earlier this…

Amazon granted patent for Bitcoin-style system to fight DDoS attacks

Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments.

Despite first being filed in December 2016, Amazon’s patent application was granted earlier this week and appears to outline a system that uses Proof-of-Work to prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

“One way to mitigate against such attacks is to configure a service such that requests to the service incur some sort of expense, thereby providing a disincentive to participating in the attack,” the application reads.

Planting a Merkle Tree

Amazon proposes to use Merkle Trees to present a Proof-of-Work challenge and make it too costly for a series of computers to perform a DDoS attack.

But what’s a Merkle Tree? In short, Merkle Trees are cryptographic tools where blocks of data are manipulated to give them a unique identifier also known as a hash.

These hashes are then manipulated again to create a parent hash. Parent hashes are always a combination of two or more child hashes. It’s layers on layers of hashed data.

Since computing power is required to build a Merkle Tree, performing such hashes could get very costly in terms of time, electricity, and resources. In turn, this makes DDoS attacks economically unfeasible.

In the case of Amazon’s patent, imagine having to construct a Merkle Tree before you’re allowed to access a website hosted on one of its servers. To an individual the cost might be insignificant, but to an organization trying to carry out a DDoS attack – which might involve many hundreds of computers – it could become prohibitively expensive.

Amazon’s Merkle Tree

Merkle Trees are also used in Proof-of-Work blockchains like Bitcoin as part of its consensus mechanism. But for now that’s as close as Amazon will get to Bitcoin.

Indeed, with this news it seems Amazon is still of the “blockchain, not Bitcoin” mantra. Earlier this month, the web giant said that AT&T, Accenture, and Nestlé are all using its cloud-based blockchain tools.

Read next:

South African voters fear mobile political campaigns will steal their personal info

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