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Bison Trails, a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service company, today announced that it will be supporting Acala, a DeFi hub for Polkadot, as well as Karura, Acala’s sister protocol providing a DeFi network for the Kusama community.

Acala will come to market with its own built-in protocols. These include a trustless liquid-staking derivatives protocol, a multi-collateralized stablecoin (aUSD) backed by cross-chain assets, and a decentralized AMM exchange. Acala is also Ethereum-compatible, with gas fees payable in any token.

This month, Bison Trails will launch support for Karura. It will operate the boot nodes used to bootstrap the Karura network in its early launch stages. Next, support for Acala will be added once the protocol launches on mainnet after winning a parachain slot auction on Polkadot later in 2021.

Bison Trails will offer enterprise-grade collator infrastructure for Karura and Acala. This will help secure the network in the early stages of its launch.

As the network matures, there will be openings for Acala ecosystem partners to run collator infrastructure on Bison Trails. Collators pass Acala’s blocks to a randomly selected subset of Polkadot’s relay chain validators; who then validate and finalize the blocks for inclusion in the shared state of Polkadot.

“Bison Trails has deep expertise in the Polkadot ecosystem and Substrate-based chains; that make us uniquely positioned to support Karura and Acala. These new networks represent an inflection point for the growing suite of DeFi apps and services on the Polkadot ecosystem. We are excited to work with Acala and Karura, supporting their security and growth in these early stages.”
– Joe Lallouz, CEO of Bison Trails

Launch Plan of Acala

Acala will be launching with 15-20 collators permissioned by the Acala Foundation. The advancement of both networks during their early stages will be overseen by the Acala Foundation.

Down the line, Acala aims to transition from an authorized collator set to a public collator-based model. It plans to offer interested parties an opportunity to run Acala collators, stake ACA to secure them, attract community delegations, and earn ACA rewards.

Participating early in Acala as a collator operator helps make the network more robust and decentralized. It also helps establish credibility as a collator operator and trusted ecosystem partner and paves the way for a successful transition from an authorized collator set to a public collator form.

Ruitao Su, Acala Co-Founder

“This month, Karura’s global network of supporters contributed over 500,000 KSM tokens, equivalent to over $100M, in a crowdloan; representing community demand for interoperable, decentralized finance products. We are excited to work with Bison Trails to help grow Karura and Acala and enable us to bring an ever-growing suite of DeFi services to our community members. Working with Bison Trails to support the top parachain projects will enable network participants to bypass years of learning how to operate successfully within the Polkadot ecosystem.”
Ruitao So, Co-Founder & CEO of Acala and Karura

The post Blockchain platform Bison Trails to support Acala and Karura for the Polkadot DeFi ecosystem appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Blockchain platform Bison Trails to support Acala and Karura for the Polkadot DeFi ecosystem
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2021/07/01/blockchain-platform-bison-trails-to-support-acala-and-karura-for-the-polkadot-defi-ecosystem/
Published Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2021 21:48:30 +0000

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The Download: Uber’s flawed facial recognition, and police drones

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This is today’s edition of The Download our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.

Uber’s facial recognition is locking Indian drivers out of their accounts

One evening in February last year, a 23-year-old Uber driver named Niradi Srikanth was getting ready to start another shift, ferrying passengers around the south Indian city of Hyderabad. He pointed the phone at his face to take a selfie to verify his identity. The process usually worked seamlessly. But this time he was unable to log in.

Srikanth suspected it was because he had recently shaved his head. After further attempts to log in were rejected, Uber informed him that his account had been blocked. He is not alone. In a survey conducted by MIT Technology Review of 150 Uber drivers in the country, almost half had been either temporarily or permanently locked out of their accounts because of problems with their selfie.

Hundreds of thousands of India’s gig economy workers are at the mercy of facial recognition technology, with few legal, policy or regulatory protections. For workers like Srikanth, getting blocked from or kicked off a platform can have devastating consequences. Read the full story.

—Varsha Bansal

I met a police drone in VR—and hated it

Police departments across the world are embracing drones, deploying them for everything from surveillance and intelligence gathering to even chasing criminals. Yet none of them seem to be trying to find out how encounters with drones leave people feeling—or whether the technology will help or hinder policing work.

A team from University College London and the London School of Economics is filling in the gaps, studying how people react when meeting police drones in virtual reality, and whether they come away feeling more or less trusting of the police.

MIT Technology Review’s Melissa Heikkilä came away from her encounter with a VR police drone feeling unnerved. If others feel the same way, the big question is whether these drones are effective tools for policing in the first place. Read the full story.

Melissa’s story is from The Algorithm, her weekly newsletter covering AI and its effects on society. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Monday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Twitter won’t be able to cope with the next natural disaster
Its looser moderation and verification make it harder to sift out reliable information. (Wired $)
The platform is now poorly equipped to fend off bad actors too. (Slate $)
There’s still no clear viable alternative to Twitter. (The Verge)
Twitter’s potential collapse could wipe out vast records of recent human history. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Crypto’s staunchest defenders are trying to rewrite history 
The same people who lobbied against regulations are now criticizing the US government for not reigning in Sam Bankman-Fried. (The Atlantic $)
FTX’s collapse was triggered by its reliance on four tokens. (WSJ $)
Goldman Sachs is planning a crypto spending spree. (Reuters)

3 Neuralink is being investigated for animal cruelty
The number of deaths is higher than it needs to be, according to staff complaints. (Reuters)

4 Women are suing Apple after their exes used AirTags to stalk them
Despite the company’s claim the device is “stalker-proof.” (Bloomberg $)

5 Facebook is threatening to pull news from its platform in the US
If Congress passes new pro-publisher legislation. (WSJ $)

6 America’s drug shortages are getting worse
Essential drug shortages are becoming more frequent, and longer-lasting. (Vox)
The pandemic has likely changed children’s microbiomes. (The Atlantic $)
The next pandemic is already here. Covid can teach us how to fight it. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Who should pay for gene therapy?
While it’s possible the cost will drop over time, we don’t know how long the effects of the therapies will last. (Wired $)
This family raised millions to get experimental gene therapy for their children. (MIT Technology Review)

8 A spirituality influencer’s fans keep getting arrested 
Rashad Jamal’s followers have been accused of killing several people. (Motherboard)

9 How TikTok makes, and breaks, aspiring singers
Wannabe artists can perform to online audiences of millions before they’ve played a single in-person show. (New Yorker $)
TikTok is expected to ride out the social media advertising freeze. (FT $)

10 Microscopic replicas of famous paintings could help to foil forgers
🖼
Thanks to a bit of inspiration from butterflies. (New Scientist $)

Quote of the day

“Do we really need to say,

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By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Uber’s flawed facial recognition, and police drones
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/12/06/1064334/download-uber-flawed-facial-recognition-police-drones/
Published Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2022 13:10:00 +0000

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I met a police drone in VR—and hated it

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This story originally appeared in The Algorithm, our weekly newsletter on AI. To get stories like this in your inbox first, sign up here.

I’m standing in the parking lot of an apartment building in East London, near where I live. It’s a cloudy day, and nothing seems out of the ordinary.

A small drone descends from the skies and hovers in front of my face. A voice echoes from the drone’s speakers. The police are conducting routine checks in the neighborhood.

I feel as if the drone’s camera is drilling into me. I try to turn my back to it, but the drone follows me like a heat-seeking missile. It asks me to please put my hands up, and scans my face and body. Scan completed, it leaves me alone, saying there’s an emergency elsewhere.

I got lucky—my encounter was with a drone in virtual reality as part of an experiment by a team from University College London and the London School of Economics. They’re studying how people react when meeting police drones, and whether they come away feeling more or less trusting of the police.

It seems obvious that encounters with police drones might not be pleasant. But police departments are adopting these sorts of technologies without even trying to find out.

“Nobody is even asking the question: Is this technology going to do more harm than good?” says Aziz Huq, a law professor at the University of Chicago, who is not involved in the research.

Screenshot from VR experiment
UCL DEPT OF SECURITY AND CRIME SCIENCE

The researchers are interested in finding out if the public is willing to accept this new technology, explains Krisztián Pósch, a lecturer in crime science at UCL. People can hardly be expected to like an aggressive, rude drone. But the researchers want to know if there is any scenario where drones would be acceptable. For example, they are curious whether an automated drone or a human-operated one would be more tolerable.

If the reaction is negative across the board, the big question is whether these drones are effective tools for policing in the first place, Pósch says.

“The companies that are producing drones have an interest in saying that [the drones] are working and they are helping, but because no one has assessed it, it is very difficult to say [if they are right],” he says.

It’s important because police departments are racing way ahead and starting to use drones anyway, for everything from surveillance and intelligence gathering to chasing criminals.

Last week, San Francisco approved the use of robots, including drones that can kill people in certain emergencies, such as when dealing with a mass shooter. In the UK most police drones have thermal cameras that can be used to detect how many people are inside houses, says Pósch. This has been used for all sorts of things: catching human traffickers or rogue landlords, and even targeting people holding suspected parties during covid-19 lockdowns.

Virtual reality will let the researchers test the technology in a controlled, safe way among lots of test subjects, Pósch says.

Even though I knew I was in a VR environment, I found the encounter with the drone unnerving. My opinion of these drones did not improve, even though I’d met a supposedly polite, human-operated one (there are even more aggressive modes for the experiment, which I did not experience.)

Ultimately, it may not make much difference whether drones are “polite” or “rude” , says Christian Enemark, a professor at the University of Southampton, who specializes in the ethics of war and drones and is not involved in the research. That’s because the use of drones itself is a “reminder that the police are not here, whether they’re not bothering to be here or they’re too afraid to be here,” he says.

“So maybe there’s something fundamentally disrespectful about any encounter.”

Deeper Learning

GPT-4 is coming, but OpenAI is still fixing GPT-3

The internet is abuzz with excitement about AI lab OpenAI’s latest iteration of its famous large language model, GPT-3. The latest demo, ChatGPT, answers people’s questions via back-and-forth dialogue. Since its launch last Wednesday, the demo has crossed over 1 million users. Read Will Douglas Heaven’s story here.

GPT-3 is a confident bullshitter and can easily be prompted to say toxic things. OpenAI says it has fixed a lot of these problems with ChatGPT, which answers follow-up questions, admits its mistakes, challenges

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By: Melissa Heikkilä
Title: I met a police drone in VR—and hated it
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/12/06/1064323/police-are-rolling-out-new-technologies-without-knowing-their-effects-on-people/
Published Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2022 11:05:42 +0000

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The Download: China’s EV success in Europe, and ClimateTech is coming

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This is today’s edition of The Download our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.

Meet Europe’s surprising best-selling Chinese EV maker

China’s electric vehicle sector has been lavished with fame and attention. But its global ambitions hit a roadblock this month when the European Commission launched an investigation into whether Chinese-made EVs benefit from excessive government subsidies.

If the inquiry finds evidence for this claim, which experts say is very likely, it could result in increased import duties for Chinese-made EVs, which would likely make them less competitive in European markets.

Many of the Chinese brands that are causing concern are well-known names in China, like the established giant BYD and the promising startup Nio. But there’s one name in the mix you might not expect—former British luxury sports car maker MG. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

Zeyi’s story is from China Report, MIT Technology Review’s weekly newsletter giving you the inside track on all things happening in tech in China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.

If you’re interested in reading more about China’s car sector, why not check out:

+ Europe is about to crack down on Chinese electric cars. The European Commission is set to launch an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese automakers. Here’s what you need to know about the likely impact.

+ From generous government subsidies to support for lithium batteries, here’s how China managed to build a world-leading industry in electric vehicles.

China’s car companies are turning into tech companies. China has already won the race to electrify its vehicles. Now it’s pushing ahead and adding more features and services to attract new customers. Read the full story.

+ A race for autopilot dominance is giving China the edge in autonomous driving. Electric vehicle makers and AI companies are taking Tesla FSD-like systems to China, but it’s still out of reach for most consumers. Read the full story.

ClimateTech is coming

How can we build a sustainable, greener future? Next week, MIT Technology Review is holding our second annual ClimateTech conference to discuss the innovations accelerating the transition to a green economy.

ClimateTech is taking place at the MIT Media Lab on MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 4-5. You can register for the event and either attend in-person or online, here—before it’s too late!

MIT Technology Review flash sale!

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to MIT Technology Review to read more of our incisive reporting. We’re holding a flash sale for just 48 hours, allowing you to subscribe from just $8 a month.

Even better, you’ll receive a free print copy of our 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2023 issue as well. Sign up today and save 17% off the full price.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Amazon is being sued by the FTC in a landmark monopoly case
It’s accused of using illegal tactics to stifle online competition. (Wired $)
Head honcho Andy Jassy is facing an uphill climb. (NYT $)
The Federal Trade Commission avoided calling to break Amazon up. (Bloomberg $)

2 OpenAI is seeking a new valuation
To the tune of between $80 billion and $90 billion, to be exact. (WSJ $)
ChatGPT is about to revolutionize the economy. We need to decide what that looks like. (MIT Technology Review)

3 An astronaut has touched down on Earth after 371 days in space
That’s a new US record. (CBS News)
Traveling to space should teach us how to better accommodate disabled people. (Wired $)

4 Linda Yaccarino’s first 100 days at X have been a wild ride
Forget pressure from advertisers: managing Elon Musk is her biggest challenge. (FT $)
X appears to have disabled an election misinformation reporting measure. (Reuters)

5 YouTube rewarded a creator who livestreamed attacks on Indian Muslims
Hindu nationalist Monu Manesar has been linked to multiple killings this year. (WP $)

6 Microsoft wants to use nuclear energy to power its AI data centers
It’s looking to nuclear fission to keep those expensive centers ticking over. (CNBC)
We were promised smaller nuclear reactors. Where are they? (MIT Technology Review)

7 Maybe we didn’t need to learn to code after all
Generative AI is making it easier than ever to write code, even if it’s far from perfect. (The Atlantic $)
Learning to code isn’t enough. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Inside China’s brave online feminist revolution
The country’s burgeoning women’s rights movement is fighting back against a conservative society. (Rest of World)

9 Attempting to reverse your age is

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————

By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: China’s EV success in Europe, and ClimateTech is coming
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/09/27/1080342/the-download-chinas-ev-success-in-europe-and-climatetech-is-coming/
Published Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 12:10:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/the-metaverse-fashion-stylists-are-here/

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