The quantum meltdown of encryption

The world stands at the cusp of one of the greatest breakthroughs in information technology. Huge leaps forward in all fields of computer science, from data analysis to machine learning, will result from this breakthrough. But like all of man’s technological achievements, from the combustion engine to nuclear power, harnessing quantum comes with potential dangers as well. Quantum computers have created a slew of unforeseen vulnerabilities in the very infrastructure that keeps the digital sphere safe.

The underlying assumption behind nearly all encryption ciphers used today is that their complexity precludes any attempt by hackers

Digital security key concept background with binary data code
Continue reading "The quantum meltdown of encryption"

The quantum meltdown of encryption

The world stands at the cusp of one of the greatest breakthroughs in information technology. Huge leaps forward in all fields of computer science, from data analysis to machine learning, will result from this breakthrough. But like all of man’s technological achievements, from the combustion engine to nuclear power, harnessing quantum comes with potential dangers as well. Quantum computers have created a slew of unforeseen vulnerabilities in the very infrastructure that keeps the digital sphere safe.

The underlying assumption behind nearly all encryption ciphers used today is that their complexity precludes any attempt by hackers

Digital security key concept background with binary data code
Continue reading "The quantum meltdown of encryption"

Redefining dilution

Everyone generally agrees that dilution should be avoided. VCs insist on pro-rata rights to avoid the dreaded “D” word. Executives often complain, after a new financing, that they should be “made whole” to offset the dilution that came with the new round. Founders work as hard as they can to maximize their valuation at each financing event to avoid painful dilution. Dilution = Bad.

And yet, entrepreneurs want to raise money. In many cases, they want to raise lots of money. There is great pride in the amount of money that is raised and a larger raise is typically celebrated as a greater success. This is a bit confusing given that a larger raise should also mean more of

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Walmart acquiring Shopify is no longer a laughable idea

As competition between Walmart and Amazon intensifies, the acquisition of Shopify’s merchant marketplace, may be the boost that the Walton family’s juggernaut needs to move ahead. In May this year, Amazon published its small business impact report in which it disclosed that there are 20,000 small and medium sized businesses that make a million dollars or more in sales on its platform Amazon boasts about 5 million third-party sellers on its marketplace today, with an estimated 100,000 sellers hopping onboard every month. At 100,000 sellers a month over the next 5 years, there could be an estimated 11 Million sellers on Amazon’s marketplace by 2023. E-commerce intelligence firm Marketplace Pulse estimates Amazon’s Gross Merchandise Volume or GMV for 2018 at $280B, set to triple over a 5-year
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Why self-regulation is better than legislative regulation

We are moving toward a society controlled by algorithms, but very few of us actually understand how they work. This asymmetry of information is a recipe for disaster. Case in point: Recently in the U.K., an algorithmic failure put the lives of 450,000 woman at risk through a technical error that inhibited their ability to detect breast cancer.

Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly, and if the tech industry doesn’t take the lead on imposing oversights to our algorithms, the government may create its own regulations — causing roadblocks to innovation.

We have seen time and time again the mistake of placing our blind trust in algorithms. Even our best intentions can go awry when we’re working with something we don’t always understand, which has the ability to scale globally almost instantly.

This isn’t a new concept.

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With new tech coming online, cities need a department of urban testing

The design and operation of cities is the province of urban planning. But an explosion of startups in cities means a lot of new products and services for urban areas. The problem is, we don’t really know how people are going to use these new products and services. “The company launched a trial service in Santa Monica just last year and when I first saw the scooters (parked literally outside of our office) I was convinced nobody would want to ride them…The volume grew so steadily that I finally hopped on one, rode down to Bird’s offices and pleaded with Travis to take money from us. I had literally never seen a consumer phenomenon take off so quickly,” says Mark Suster in All The Questions You Wanted Answered about
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The best Amazon Prime Day deals you can still grab

Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch may earn affiliate commissions. Read Wirecutter’s continuously updated list of deals here. Amazon Prime Day this year, despite its slow start, broke records and boosted the fortunes of its competitors. And now that it’s over, we found some deals you can still take advantage of. Asus ROG Swift PG279Q 27 Inch Street Price: $740; Deal Price: $690 A new low price on our gaming monitor pick for Nvidia graphics card users. While it only beats our previous low by a few bucks, this monitor has been stubborn about sticking to $740. The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q 27
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Russian indictments show that the U.S. needs federal oversight of election security

President Trump’s Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin, on the heels of twelve Russian intelligence officials indicted for hacking the 2016 election, made it clear that this administration has zero commitment to protect our elections from future Russian attacks.

These events should remind us of an alarming fact we can no longer afford to ignore: our elections are not secure.

As a nation, we underfund and neglect election security. So, much like our

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Tax robots and Universal Basic Income

Technological innovation is moving at an ever-accelerating pace, and this comes with vast benefits and inevitable changes to our way of life. One downside is that machine learning and automation are already replacing jobs, and this will increase rapidly. It also has the potential to replace much of that income with Universal Basic Income (UBI), or government cash handouts to all adult citizens, perhaps starting with covering some element of taxes and rising in the range of $100,000/year per citizen within the next 20 years. Sound ludicrous? Proponents of UBI
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EV startups Alta, Energica, and Zero could reboot the motorcycle industry

Three e-mobility startups are accelerating into the U.S. motorcycle market.

Italy’s Energica and California based Alta Motors and Zero Motorcycles have revved up promotion, distribution, and sales.

You may see their machines zip by on American roads before the big two-wheel gas powered companies get EVs to showroom floors.

These startups could reboot U.S. motorcycle sales while shifting the global motorcycle industry toward electric.

The market

Since the recession, America’s motorcycle sector has been in the doldrums. New bike sales have dropped roughly 50 percent since 2008—with sharp declines in ownership by everyone under 40. [Chart: MOTOSALES] Most of the market is

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In Q2 2018, late-stage deals led the world’s venture capital market

Here is what you should take away from the state of the global venture capital market: late-stage deals dominated Q2. Using projected data provided by Crunchbase, Crunchbase News reported that Q2 2018 marks new post-dot com highs for both VC deal and dollar volume around the world, the latter of which was propelled by a surge in late-stage deals (Series C and above). The chart below plots growth in projected late-stage deal and dollar volume over time. This remarkable growth in dollar volume — more than doubling since the same period in 2017 — has led to the late-stage deal market looming large over the venture landscape. For perspective, late-stage
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3D printed guns are now legal… What’s next?

On Tuesday, July 10, the DOJ announced a landmark settlement with Austin-based Defense Distributed, a controversial startup led by a young, charismatic anarchist whom Wired once named one of the 15 most dangerous people in the world. Hyper-loquacious and media-savvy, Cody Wilson is fond of telling any reporter who’ll listen that Defense Distributed’s main product, a gun fabricator called the Ghost Gunner, represents the endgame for gun control, not just in the US but everywhere in the world. With nothing but the Ghost Gunner, an internet connection, and some raw materials, anyone, anywhere
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Furniture startups skip the showroom and go straight to your door

Startups making delivery and transport easier than ever are a hit with venture capitalists, so it’s not a surprise that young tech companies delivering home staples — living room sets, dining room tables, couches and more — are raising big dollars. From 2010 through 2017, venture investors have outfitted U.S.-based furniture startups with a little over $1.1 billion in funding across 96 known rounds. But that funding has not been spread equally over time, as the following chart shows: Total dollars funneled into U.S.-based furniture startups, according to Crunchbase, hit an all-time high of $432.7 million across 12 rounds in 2011. Wayfair, an e-commerce site dedicated to selling furniture, raised a significant $165 million Series A that year, accounting for more than a third of the
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Television content creation in China

Content creation has seen immense growth in recent years, with a shift in focus from mainstream content providers such as traditional television studious to internet-era startups either seeking to expand their portfolios or seeking to increase premium user memberships through exclusive content introduction. In America, this scene has been predominately owned by Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, introducing critically acclaimed titles such as The Man in the High Castle, Orange Is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Tale, respectively, with many other industry giants scrambling to catch up (with Apple already signing a deal with Steven Spielberg to produce an Amazing Stories-reboot, Facebook spending as much as $1 billion on original content, Google announcing plans to potentially spend up to $3 million per drama episode and even Disney with their purported streaming service, among many others). Similarly, in China’s growing television industry, a select few, namely Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, continue to
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Gadgets and small appliances that will keep you in the kitchen

Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch earn affiliate commissions.                                                              When life gets busy, cooking is one of the first activities that many forego to get a bit more free time. However, after a while, ordering out and eating sub-par meals gets old. Kitchen gadgets that assist in quickly preparing meals and drinks are not only helpful but essential in creating balance — and time — to conquer the day. Whether it’s a cold
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These five trends are rocking the animation industry

I’ve been very lucky to have been in the animation industry since the mid-1980s, and I have lived through my share of big disruptions — most of them having to do with new technologies. What’s going on today is as significant as anything I’ve seen before, but it’s being driven by a whole new set of forces. Here’s a quick survey of trends in the animation landscape that have me pretty optimistic about the future.

Technology is vanishing

By “vanishing,” I don’t mean going away; I mean disappearing from view. I’ve always said, “When technology can disappear, that’s when creativity can really begin.” For the past 20 years, feature-film animation in particular has been an arms race of studios like Pixar and DreamWorks trying to out-engineer each other to deliver high-end character performances and visual effects that no one had ever seen. As a result, studios spent tens of
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Facial recognition software is not ready for use by law enforcement

Recent news of Amazon’s engagement with law enforcement to provide facial recognition surveillance (branded ‘Rekognition’), along with the almost unbelievable news of China’s use of the technology means that the technology industry needs to address the darker, more offensive side of some of its more spectacular advancements. Facial recognition technologies, used in the identification of suspects, negatively affects people of color — to deny this fact would be a lie. And clearly, facial recognition-powered government surveillance is an extraordinary invasion of the privacy of all citizens, and, a slippery slope to losing control of our identities, altogether. There’s really no ‘nice’ way to acknowledge these things. I’ve been pretty clear about the potential dangers associated with current racial biases in face recognition, and open in my opposition to the
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The future of AI relies on a code of ethics

Facebook has recently come under intense scrutiny for sharing the data of millions of users without their knowledge. We’ve also learned that Facebook is using AI to predict users’ future behavior and selling that data to advertisers. Not surprisingly, Facebook’s business model and how it handles its users’ data has sparked a long-awaited conversation — and controversy — about data privacy. These revelations will undoubtedly force the company to evolve their data sharing and protection strategy and policy. More importantly, it’s a call to action: We need a code of ethics. As the AI revolution continues to accelerate, new technology is being developed to solve key problems faced by consumers, businesses and the world at large. It is the next stage of evolution for countless industries, from security and enterprise to retail and healthcare. I believe that in the near future, almost all new technology will incorporate some form of AI
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Inside Atari’s rise and fall

By the first few months of 1982, it had become more common to see electronics stores, toy stores, and discount variety stops selling 2600 games. This was before Electronics Boutique, Software Etc., and later, GameStop . Mostly you bought games at stores that sold other electronic products, like Sears or Consumer Distributors. Toys ’R’ Us was a big seller of 2600 games. To buy one, you had to get a piece of paper from the Atari aisle, bring it to the cashier, pay for it, and then wait at a pickup window behind the cash register lanes. Everyone had a favorite store in their childhood; here’s a story about one of mine. A popular “destination” in south Brooklyn is Kings Plaza, a giant (for Brooklyn) two-story indoor mall with about 100 stores. My mother and grandmother
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The best home Wi-Fi and networking gear

Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch earn affiliate commissions. It’s safe to say that for many, a world without internet is hard to imagine. When you need a solid internet connection for work, studying or for catching up on your favorite shows, having a poor connection is almost as bad. While fast and reliable internet starts with having a good provider, owning the right gear helps to support it. From network storage to the best router, we’ve compiled picks for helping you set up and secure a dependable home Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi router: Netgear R7000P Nighthawk More than anything, when it comes to setting
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