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February 23rd, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Once hailed as unhackable, blockchains are now getting hacked

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More and more security holes are appearing in cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms, and some are fundamental to the way they were built.

Early last month, the security team at Coinbase noticed something strange going on in Ethereum Classic, one of the cryptocurrencies people can buy and sell using Coinbase’s popular exchange platform. Its blockchain, the history of all its transactions, was under attack.

An attacker had somehow gained control of more than half of the network’s computing power and was using it to rewrite the transaction history. That made it possible to spend the same cryptocurrency more than once—known as “double spends.” The attacker was spotted pulling this off to the tune of $1.1 million. Coinbase claims that no currency was actually stolen from any of its accounts. But a second popular exchange, Gate.io, has admitted it wasn’t so lucky, losing around $200,000 to the attacker (who, strangely, returned half of it days later).

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February 23rd, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Lipstick in kindergarten? South Korea’s K-beauty industry now targets those barely able to read.

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PriPara Kids Cafe is one of the many beauty parlors in South Korea that cater to young girls. (Jean Chung/For The Washington Post)

Last year in kindergarten, Yang Hye-ji developed her morning routine. Uniform? Check. Homework? Check.

Makeup? Definitely.

“Makeup makes me look pretty,” the 7-year-old said on her second visit to the ShuShu & Sassy beauty spa in Seoul.

She was wrapped in a child-size pink robe and wearing a bunny hairband. Her face was gently touched up with a puff. Her lips got a swipe of pink gloss.

South Korea’s cosmetics industry, known as K-beauty, has become an Asian powerhouse and global phenomenon for its rigorous step-by-step regimens.

But exacting beauty norms also put enormous pressure on South Korean women, making the country one of the world’s centers for plastic surgery. And increasingly, the beauty industry is looking at younger and younger girls.

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February 23rd, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Gen Z : Is your business prepared for the future?

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Understanding what the next generation will bring to the workplace

Remarkably health-conscious, radically inclusive, highly entrepreneurial and competitive. These are just a few of the words used to describe Generation Z, which includes individuals born after 1995. These characteristics are important to recognize when considering Gen Z’s overall impact on the workforce, but it’s also important to consider what other traits they exhibit that could jolt an organization.

This generation is already larger in number than millennials, and therefore is truly the future of the global economy, an economy that is already at our doorstep. Is your business prepared to attract, retain, develop and engage them? What makes this population so unique, and what does this mean for your company?

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February 22nd, 2019 at 3:59 pm

The job market in year 2040

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As a futurist, I’m often asked about the future of jobs. It is a concern for policy-makers, employers and the general population alike. What I realized, however, is that no one cares about losing the job itself. What they are worried about is how they will make a living in a future where they have become obsolete.

And yes, the fear of artificial intelligence (AI) is real. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates AI can automate 50% of all paid tasks today. Our primitive machine learning AI can easily complete repetitive human tasks better than any human could, including recognizing speech, context, shapes, and images. These narrow AI can also complete tasks like navigating an unpredictable field of obstacles, play an instrument, analyze large amounts of unorganized data and more. In 2021, AI will safely complete repetitive tasks with random components, like driving vehicles on crowded streets better than any human driver.

The speed at which AI is improving is astounding. The smart software is improving at an exponential rate since our software engineers use older versions of AI to help them program AI software updates.

In fact, developments in AI is so impressive and there is so much money invested by major well-known multinationals right now that most AI experts expect a human-level AI to emerge before the year 2040.

What will happen to the job market between now and the year 2040?

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February 22nd, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Your health and where you live : Are these connected?

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Your health depends on many factors, such as the quality of food you eat, what you put on your body, what you breathe, what chemicals you are exposed to, how much exercise you get every day, and more. While there is a considerable amount of control that comes with each of these factors, there can also be an unfortunate lack of it — depending on where you live.

I live in the beautiful northwestern city, Boise, the capital of the state of Idaho. In the last few years, Boise has been listed as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. But that’s not all it’s known for. The City of Trees sits in the Treasure Valley, surrounded by mountains that offer skiing excursions, thousands of hiking routes of all levels, and rivers and lakes where you can go boating, kayaking, floating, swimming, and fishing.

The food culture is incredible. Local restaurants seem to pop up everyday, many prioritizing local and ethical sourcing, some fully vegan or vegetarian, and almost all serving high-quality, delicious foods that residents will not only enjoy but will feel great after eating.

These are just a few factors that make Boise a great home for its residents, not only for entertainment and happiness, but for their health as well.

Unfortunately, not every city in the U.S. is as wholesome and thriving as Boise. Where Boise has rivers and lakes, other towns have toxic water that cannot be played in and requires extensive treatment to be drinkable. Where Boise has many opportunities for hiking, biking, and walking, other cities don’t have access to trails or safe places to do them. Where Boise has high-quality restaurants and grocery stores, other towns have food deserts and only fast food options.

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February 22nd, 2019 at 3:50 pm

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

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Science-fiction author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke once observed that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. That certainly sums up the new Levia lamp, created by Italian designed studio Idea3Di. At first glance, the stylish lamp — which is mounted on a base made of either Carrara or Black Marquina marble — simply looks like an attractive piece of quasi-industrial chic design. Look closer, however, and the lamp’s oversized LED filament levitates below the lamp stem, creating an otherworldly effect that’s sure to wow visitors.

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February 21st, 2019 at 1:53 pm

DaVinci Speaker Series: The Future of Transportation

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February 21st, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Should we retire ‘Retirement’?

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As our lives have been getting longer and healthier – compared to prior generations – some people advocate doing away with the concept of retirement altogether. In support of that idea, increasing numbers of workers report in surveys that they expect never to retire, and not just because they can’t afford to but often because they like the idea of continuing to work.

While I celebrate people who are trying to break stereotypes, I respectfully disagree with those who advocate eliminating the concept of retirement altogether. Let’s take a look at recent trends that might have inspired the “no retirement” point-of-view and consider an alternative perspective.

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February 21st, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Amazon is hauling cargo in self-driving trucks developed by Embark

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Amazon is using self-driving trucks developed by Embark to haul some cargo on the I-10 interstate highway, CNBC has learned.

CNBC has learned that Amazon is hauling some cargo in self-driving trucks from Embark.

Embark and other firms working on autonomous systems aim to alleviate industry pains by making existing truck drivers safer and more efficient.

The trucks were previously noticed by a Reddit user, who photographed and shared images this week showing tractors emblazoned with the Embark logo and trailers painted with the Amazon Prime logo.

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February 21st, 2019 at 1:04 pm

I rode the 300-pound electric tricycle that could be the future of urban deliveries

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Piloting Rad Power Bikes’ hefty e-tricycle was intimidating at first, but it was quickly clear what an important tool it will be in replacing vehicles in cities.

One of the first things that Brian Rinckenberger, commercial sales director for Rad Power Bikes, tells me as I sit perched on the saddle of one of the company’s massive electric tricycles is that regular cyclists usually freak out at this point.

I am no exception. I’m in Golden Gardens, a waterfront park on the northwest edge of Seattle overlooking the Puget Sound. And I’m about to try to pedal 500 pounds–a 300-pound tricycle, piled with 200 pounds of cargo in the truck-bed attachment behind me–across the parking lot. For reference, my road bike, which I ride daily, is 22 pounds. I can’t stop moving my feet from the pedals to the ground in an unnecessary attempt to stop the tricycle from tipping over, as I’m convinced it will.

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