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Tyler Winklevoss Pitches Paying Elon Musk in BTC to See Your Email

Tyler Winklevoss Pitches Paying Elon Musk in BTC to See Your Email

Tyler Winklevoss Pitches Paying Elon Musk in BTC to See Your EmailTyler Winklevoss would like to see Google add a crypto-payment requirement for emails to reach your inbox. | Source: ShutterstockBy CCN: Have you ever wanted to send Elon Musk an email, only to abandon the idea because he would probably never see it? Tyler Winklevoss has an idea that could increase the chances not only that the email will arrive in the Tesla CEO’s inbox but also that he’ll read it. Winklevoss envisions a crypto-fueled market-based email system, one that charges a “digital postal fee” to keep moonshot ideas in and spam out. He tweeted:“Sending an email to Elon Musk and effectively renting his time to read it would have a price, sending an email to someone else would have another price, and so on.”I can’t wait until crypto makes email market-based. Sending an email to @elonmusk and effectively renting his time to read it would have a price, sending an email to someone else would have another price, and so on.— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) May 12, 2019Winklevoss’ Idea Isn’t too FarfetchedElephant Grass was a side-project by Kraken CEO Jesse Powell and one of his friends inspired by “Magic: The Gathering.” It dates back to 2015 and it had a concept similar but not identical to Winklevoss’. While the Gemini founder pitches his idea as a way to get emails read, Powell seemed to be inspired by blocking unwanted emails from reaching him.Powell complained about receiving both non-targeted and targeted spam, which was a disruption to his workflow. He stated at a Scaling Bitcoin conference back then:“I have a problem with this. I get 10s to 20 of these emails a day with some guy trying to sell me something. And it’s targeted and it’s not caught by the spam filters. So what do i do about that? So, make them pay was the answer. And the only way I could think of that was legal was to try to whitelist my contacts and then make anybody else whose sending me mail who is not in my contacts pay me just some nominal amount of bitcoin just to show me that they took a little bit of effort to do it.”At the time, Powell suggested whitelisting contacts and charging everybody else 0.0005 bitcoin to send him an email. But if you’re someone very popular like Kim Kardashian charge something like 5 bitcoins.Put Your Money Where Your Mouth IsEarn.com plays in this arena as well. They give users the ability to “earn bitcoin by replying to emails and completing tasks.”Tyler Winklevoss, however, is not surprisingly thinking much bigger.“They are doing this, but I’m talking about large email providers like Google giving you the option to require someone to send you crypto in order for their email to reach you. It could be a simple setting in the Gmail app and wouldn’t require switching costs,” stated Tyler Winklevoss in the Twitter thread.The idea is that it would become too pricey for third-parties to spam a user’s inbox, and it would give others a moonshot chance of having their email read by somebody like Musk. Winklevoss stated:“Spam would be decimated and you would be one click away from anyone in the world as long as you were willing to put your money were your mouth was.”We’re sending @tylerwinklevoss and @winklevoss their first @CryptoKitties! 😻😇🎁 pic.twitter.com/oxxqvmzKba— CryptoKitties (@CryptoKitties) May 13, 2019Getting Elon Musk to Read Your EmailTyler’s Twitter thread generated hundreds of comments, some of which wanted to know how one could be sure that someone like Elon Musk would read their email. For instance, how would one get through Musk’s gatekeeper office assistant, who may be opening emails on the Tesla CEO’s behalf?“Perhaps, but then he might miss a gem. He is more likely to read this type of email than the same email hidden like a needle in a haystack of spam. This could change how people actually viewed email…Also, if he wasn’t reading emails in earnest people would stop sending them and he’d stop earning fees. Perhaps you could integrate a reputation system to this as well.”If Winklevoss wants someone to test his idea, we probably have a question or two for Elon Musk up our sleeve. About The AuthorGerelyn TerzoGerelyn is Assistant Editor at CCN. Before crypto, she was covering institutional investing on Wall Street but caught the bitcoin bug soon after. She resides 13 miles outside of New York, close enough but also far enough away to escape it all. Follower her on Twitter (@cryptogerelyn) or email [email protected] Disclosure, she “hodls” bitcoin.This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.
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Register Lecture: Hidden heroes of Alan Turing’s Enigma

Live code-breaking and beer A curse follows Enigma, the cryptography device deployed by Adolf Hitler’s military during the WWII to protect their Morse communications from the Allies. That curse? Invisibility. Alan Turing has – now – become intrinsically linked with cracking Enigma, a machine of fiendish complexity capable of 159 million, million, million (1.59×1020) settings…

Register Lecture: Hidden heroes of Alan Turing’s Enigma

Live code-breaking and beer

A curse follows Enigma, the cryptography device deployed by Adolf Hitler’s military during the WWII to protect their Morse communications from the Allies. That curse? Invisibility.

Alan Turing has – now – become intrinsically linked with cracking Enigma, a machine of fiendish complexity capable of 159 million, million, million (1.59×1020) settings that demanded the perfect marriage of mathematics and engineering to break. Turing’s work would blow open secrets that helped alter the war – for example, alerting the RAF to Luftwaffe raids during the Battle of Britain. And yet, Turing received little by way of the recognition he deserved for decades – quite the opposite, in fact.

But Turing is not the only one to have suffered Enigma’s curse of invisibility. Join The National Museum of Computing on June 26 for a special Register lecture journey back 80 years to the eve of the Second World War, to hear the stories of those behind Turing.

Hear about who provided a critical leg-up to the struggling English in cracking Enigma and who helped build the Bombe – the device to mechanise the mathematics of code breaking. Eight decades after the start of the War, TNMOC will go inside the pioneering work of the Polish General Staff Cipher Bureau in Warsaw and shine a light on the roles of Gordon Welchman and Doc Keen, the long-overlooked Bombe engineering team lead, at Bletchley. Together, they helped put code-breaking at Bletchley Park on an industrial footing.

Your guide for this crypto history trip will be Paul Kellar MBE, a leading member of the Bombe Rebuild project – based at TNMOC as a working tribute to those who contributed to breaking the Enigma.

Starring with Paul will be a working Enigma to help demonstrate “knowing your enemy” and illustrate how the Bombe could attack and break the Enigma on a daily basis. You will get the opportunity, too, to participate in a live code-cracking exercise with Checking Machine – the last stage in recovering the Key of the Day after the Bombe had found the crucial settings.

Join fellow Reg readers with the TNMOC crypto historians and their machines at the Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James St, London, WC1N 3ES. Doors open at 18:30 BST with Paul taking the mic at 19:00. An audience question-and-answer session will follow a break to re-charge mind and grey matter. Get your ticket here. ®

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Breaking Up Facebook ‘Won’t Be Enough,’ Says Morgan Stanley Boss. Here’s His Proposal.

Breaking Up Facebook ‘Won’t Be Enough,’ Says Morgan Stanley Boss. Here’s His Proposal.

New York City’s just-concluded “blockchain week” was palpably more subdued than it has been in years past. (Or maybe I was just not invited back to the parties after my 2018 travelogue.)
In any case, I took a brief break from the madness of the Fortune 500 issue close to drop by the Consensus conference, the week’s marquee event, where I moderated a security-themed panel on Monday. My panelists were Tom Glocer, the lead board director of Morgan Stanley and former chief executive of Thomson Reuters, and Nadav Zafrir, the CEO of startup foundry Team8 and former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Cyber Command and Unit 8200, Israel’s equivalent of the U.S.’s National Security Agency. (For a recording, see video No. 15 here.)

Below are some soundbites from our conversation. I asked Glocer about a post he had published in the fall on his excellent personal blog in which he pondered who, or what, should own people’s data. His response imagined a world in which people might own their own information and where they would, using individual digital wallets, license the rights to corporations.

Rather than the current situation where we just weren’t paying attention and Google and Facebook, etc., built up huge caches of our private information, you would have the choice to sell Google your search history in return for a micropayment. Or you would sell Apple your photos in return for a micropayment, etc. I think it’s an interesting way of turning the current model on its head. But we’re not going to get there without some very significant government intervention along the lines of the debate that’s been raging about Facebook. Tech alone won’t achieve this jiu-jitsu move.

Since he brought it up, I asked Glocer for his thoughts on breaking up Facebook.

Just breaking up Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp won’t be enough. Facebook has over 2.5 billion folks. If you really wanted to go after them, I think you would have to go deeper and essentially declare a date by which they’d have to erase all of the data they’ve achieved to date and start fresh with what I’d call an informed consent and maybe, yes, micropayments. There’s no intrinsic reason why it’s awful that [Facebook] owns Instagram and WhatsApp…. If Mark [Zuckerberg] came out and just declared that on June 30th of next year we’re going to wipe out our histories—here’s your chance to download your own, in case you want to keep it, and here are the new rules of the road that you get to explicitly opt into—I would leave all those companies in his world.

The audience tended to agree. When I asked them whether Facebook should get the Sherman Anti-Trust treatment, only about a third of the crowd raised their hands.

Facebook, through the malicious hijacking of its targeted marketing machinery, has greatly contributed to an erosion of faith in traditional institutions. Nadav Zafrir summed up the predicament well. When I asked him what is the most pressing, most frightening threat the world faces, he replied without hesitation.

In one word: Trust. We are now in a world where it’s very hard for us to trust the simple things that, as my generation grew up, we were accustomed to trusting—our democracies. Our voting systems…. The irony is that the blockchain has a great potential to offer that [trust], yet it has become synonymous almost with the opposite…. At the end of the day attackers are human. They’re ROI [return on investment]-driven. They’re not super-ninjas or super-humans. They have their limitations. They have their vulnerabilities…. It’s an asymmetric battle when the attackers only need to find one single point of failure in the whole system and it’s game over. Hence, if we take that single point of failure and distribute it in a way where attackers need to hack everybody simultaneously and get everybody’s consensus, we’re flipping the asymmetry and taking control of the situation.

Of course, retaking control of the situation is no simple task, even with the advent of blockchain technology. Zuckerberg is, for his part, exploring how he might reestablish the foundations of his media empire on the footing of blockchains, cryptography, and private messaging. With all the consumer backlash and heat from regulators, it will no doubt take expert jiu-jitsu to pull off.
May the groundwork commence.
A version of this article first appeared in Cyber Saturday, the weekend edition of Fortune’s tech newsletter Data Sheet. Sign up here.

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