Global Crypto Frenzy, Chipageddon And More In This Week’s Top News

On Thursday, Bitcoin hit a record  $48,000 mark after America’s oldest bank, New York Mellon announced that they will provide custody for digital assets. BNY Mellon said that it would begin financing cryptocurrencies and will eventually allow crypto assets to pass through the same financial network it currently uses for more traditional holdings like the U.S. Treasury bonds and equities. Even Mastercard flaunted its interest in crypto. On Wednesday, Mastercard released a statement. BTC’s unprecedented rallying– up more than 60% this year– also comes after Elon Musk’s Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would soon accept it as a form of payment.

Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, was also among the big names who have backed crypto. Jack announced that he would be funding Bitcoin development in countries like India and Africa. Last week we read that India’s Reserve Bank is reportedly in plans to introduce an official digital currency for the country. According to the rumored Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, Indian government can ban private cryptocurrencies in India. 


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Whatever your opinions on cryptocurrencies, wrote Raj Dhamodharan of Mastercard, from a dyed-in-wool fanatic to utter skeptic — the fact remains that these digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world.

After Canada, Sweden Slams Clearview AI

Controversial facial recognition tech maker Clearview AI was slammed by the Canadian regulators for unlawful practices who found that Clearview AI scraped billions of images of people from across the Internet, which according to Canada, represented mass surveillance and was a clear violation of privacy rights. This week, the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection concluded that Clearview AI has been used by the Police on a number of occasions.  The Swedish watchdog concluded that the law enforcers have failed to fulfill its obligations as a data controller on a number of accounts with regards to the use of Clearview AI. “The Police have failed to implement sufficient organisational measures to ensure and be able to demonstrate that the processing of personal data in this case has been carried out in compliance with the Criminal Data Act,” read the press release. Clearview AI had been used unlawfully by the police to process biometric data for facial recognition.

Automakers Hit By Chip Shortage

There is a global chip shortage and the auto industry is bearing the brunt. Semiconductor industry is struggling to compensate for the unforeseen delays caused by the pandemic along with other factors. Remote work, rise in 5G demand and the obvious lengthy process of making chips have halted the efforts of automakers who are trying to make up for all the losses of 2020. Chipageddon aka the global chip shortage is now also being acknowledged by the US lawmakers as they wrote to the National Economic Council to take necessary steps. This shortage, wrote the senators, threatens post-pandemic economic recovery.

Also Read: Global Chip Crisis Just Got Real

The senators urged the economic council to treat the auto industry as the significant semiconductor consumer. “We also strongly urge you to support efforts to secure the necessary funding to swiftly implement the semiconductor-related provisions in the most recent National Defense Authorization Act, which would boost the production of semiconductor manufacturing and incent the domestic production of semiconductors in the future,” wrote the senators. So don’t be surprised if booking your new car is taking more time!

Google Cloud Boosts Python Community Efforts

This week, with a focus on improving the supply-chain security of the Python ecosystem, Google Cloud announced a donation of more than $350,000 to support three specific PSF projects:

  • Productionized malware detection for PyPI
  • Improvements for foundational Python tools and services
  • A CPython Developer-in-Residence for 2021 to help the CPython project prioritize maintenance and address its backlog

“Python is critically important to both Google Cloud and our customers. It serves as a popular runtime for many of our hosted services, from the launch of App Engine more than a decade ago, to modern serverless products like Cloud Functions,” wrote Dustin Ingram of Google Cloud.

Convict To Review Source Code

A convict in the United States is facing charges for murder and his best chance to prove his innocence has boiled down to code review! According to reports, a court in the US  has ruled that this man who is accused of murder is entitled to review proprietary genetic testing software to challenge evidence presented against him. However, the software maker argued that this ruling can jeopardise their product by revealing many trade secrets. “The program consists of 170,000 lines of MATLAB code, is so dense it would take eight and a half years to review at a rate of ten lines an hour,” argued Mark Perlin, the co-founder of Cybergenetics.

The court ruled that scrutinizing software’s source code is essential to validate the software. This ruling adds a new chapter in the ‘man vs machine’ debate as AI is poised to take over the world.

No More Cookies On Chrome?

Google is rewiring its online strategies by deciding to ditch third-party cookies on Google Chrome. These cookies are used for targeted advertisements but puts user’s privacy at risk. According to the WIRED, Google will deploy browser based machine learning that will skim through browser history and will weave a network of people’s interest(think: recommendation engine), which will be used for advertisement. Google Chrome is one the most widely used browsers in the world and this move to eliminate cookies can put many smaller advertising firms out of business. 

Big Tech To Get Taxed

According to reports, the US lawmakers in many states are making moves to tax the big tech. The plan is to tax the revenue from digital advertisements sold by companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. If materialised, this tax will generate as much as an estimated $250 million in the first year after enactment.

More Great AIM Stories

Ram Sagar
I have a master's degree in Robotics and I write about machine learning advancements.

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