If, in 2017, you had taken a gamble and purchased a comparatively new digital currency called Bitcoin, today you would be a millionaire many times over. But while the industry has provided windfalls for some, local communities have paid a price.
Cryptocurrency is created by computers solving complicated mathematical equations—a process that took off after a Chinese company called Bitmain started selling a machine in 2016 with application-specific integrated circuits that made it possible to do this specialized computing much more quickly. “Almost overnight,” says Colin Read, a professor of economics and finance at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, “a crypto-mining arms race began.”
Each Bitcoin transaction consumes 1,173 kilowatts
People began scouring the world for cheap sources of energy to run large Bitcoin-mining farms using these circuits. Cryptocurrency notoriously devours electricity; each Bitcoin transaction consumes 1,173 kilowatts—more than the average American uses in a month. In 2020, the world’s crypto mining required more energy than the whole of Switzerland. At the time, Plattsburgh had some of the least expensive power anywhere in the United States, thanks to cheap hydroelectricity from the Niagara Power Authority.
It didn’t take long for a subsidiary of the popular mining firm Coinmint to lease a Family Dollar store in Plattsburgh. The city’s building inspector, Joe McMahon, remembers that the man who signed the lease, Prieur Leary, wanted everything done quickly. “Overnight, he wanted power on,” McMahon says. “We were all uneasy about it but didn’t know the harm.”
Coinmint filled the building with servers, running them 24 hours a day. When the miners wanted to expand into a nearby shopping center, Bill Treacy, the manager of the Plattsburgh municipal lighting department, told them that they would have to invest $140,000 in new infrastructure. He was surprised when they weren’t discouraged. Soon, the company was regularly drawing over 10 megawatts, enough power for about 4,000 homes.
Other miners were quick to follow. Treacy recalls one prospector calling to see if he could get five gigawatts—“I said, ‘Excuse me. That’s a quarter of what New York state uses on a given day!” Plattsburgh was soon receiving a major mining application every week.
In 2018, Plattsburgh was
receiving a major crypto-mining
application every week.
“I’m pro–economic development,” says Colin Read, professor of economics and finance at SUNY Plattsburgh, “but the biggest mine operation has fewer jobs than a new McDonald’s.”
In January 2018, there was a cold snap. People turned up their heat and plugged in space heaters. The city quickly exceeded its quota of hydropower, forcing it to buy power elsewhere at much higher rates. McMahon says his Plattsburgh home’s energy bill jumped by $30 to $40 a month. “People felt there was a problem but didn’t know what to attribute it to,” he says.
As the long winter began to thaw, neighbors noticed a new disturbance: mining servers generate an extreme amount of heat, requiring extensive ventilation to avert shutoffs. Those fans generated a constant, high-frequency whine, McMahon says, “like a small-engine plane getting ready to take off.” It wasn’t just the decibels, but the pitch: “It registers at this weird level, like a toothache that won’t go away.” Carla Brancato lives
By: Lois Parshley
Title: How Bitcoin mining devastated this New York town
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/04/18/1049331/bitcoin-cryptocurrency-cryptomining-new-york/
Published Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2022 09:00:00 +0000
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Advancing AI innovation with cutting-edge solutions
AI is helping organizations in nearly every industry increase productivity, engage customers, realize operational efficiencies, and gain a competitive edge. Advances in supercomputing in the cloud and the ability to achieve processing at an exascale level are major catalysts for this new era of AI innovation.
Common AI use cases today include personalized healthcare and targeted therapies, virtual assistants and chatbots, financial fraud detection, predictive maintenance, autonomous cars and machinery, energy management, and accelerated scientific discoveries.
Some companies are deep into their AI journey, delivering advanced AI-enabled products and services, but many businesses are at the early stages and are struggling with where and how to best apply AI in their business. AI is complex, requiring new skills, tools, and technologies.
To accelerate AI development and integration, organizations can benefit from a trusted partner that has AI expertise across the complete technology stack. The right AI solution provider can help determine the best AI strategy for a company’s specific business model and provide comprehensive, unified services, advanced infrastructure, and tools specifically designed for AI.
Discover the latest AI technologies. Join Microsoft at the NVIDIA GTC AI Conference March 18–21. Learn more.
Companies across the world are turning to Microsoft to help them transform their business with innovative, secure, and responsible AI. At the forefront of artificial intelligence, Microsoft has delivered cutting-edge advances in vision, speech, language, decision-making, machine learning, and supercomputing infrastructure for more than 30 years. Hear how Microsoft AI solutions are helping organizations around the world achieve more in the video below.
ccelerating AI application development
Microsoft recently unveiled yet another round of AI services that can help businesses accelerate AI production, whether by adding intelligence to existing applications and processes or creating new ones from scratch. These new services include the following:
Azure AI Studio, now in preview, empowers organizations and developers to innovate with AI. The platform, accessibly and responsibly designed, provides a one-stop shop for developers to seamlessly explore, build, test, and deploy AI solutions using state-of-the-art AI tools and machine learning models, all grounded in responsible AI practices. Developers can build generative AI applications, including copilot experiences, using out-of-the-box and customizable tooling and models with built-in security and compliance.Azure OpenAI Service offers industry-leading coding and language AI models and the latest advancements in generative AI for content creation, conversational AI, and data grounding.New GPT-4 Turbo in Azure OpenAI provides a leap forward with lower pricing, extended prompt length, and structured JSON formatting, delivering improved efficiency and control.GPT-4 Turbo with Vision is a new large multimodal model (LMM) developed by OpenAI that can analyze images and videos and provide textual responses to questions about them.DALL·E 3is the latest image generation model from OpenAI, featuring enhanced image quality, more complex scenes, improved performance when rendering text in images, and more aspect ratio options.
Powering AI workloads
Microsoft is also reimagining every aspect of their data centers to deliver the agility, power, scalability, and efficiencies AI workloads demand. Microsoft’s pioneering performance for AI has ranked them as the number-one cloud in the Top500 List of the world’s supercomputers and powered innovations like a new battery material. AI trailblazers are building and training the most sophisticated models in the world on Microsoft Azure AI infrastructure.
Here are some of Microsoft’s latest infrastructure advancements:
Custom-built silicon tailored for the Microsoft cloud offers optimized performance for AI and enterprise workloads. Azure Maia, an AI accelerator chip, is specifically designed to run cloud-based training and inferencing for AI workloads, such as OpenAI models, Bing, GitHub Copilot, and ChatGPT. Azure Cobalt is a cloud-native chip optimized for performance, power efficiency, and
By: Lachlan Ainley
Title: Advancing AI innovation with cutting-edge solutions
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/03/04/1089020/advancing-ai-innovation-with-cutting-edge-solutions/
Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 14:00:00 +0000
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The Download: the mystery of LLMs, and the EU’s Big Tech crackdown
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.
Large language models can do jaw-dropping things. But nobody knows exactly why.
Two years ago, Yuri Burda and Harri Edwards, researchers at OpenAI, were trying to find out what it would take to get a large language model to do basic arithmetic. At first, things didn’t go too well. The models memorized the sums they saw but failed to solve new ones.
By accident, Burda and Edwards left some of their experiments running for days rather than hours. The models were shown the example sums over and over again, and eventually they learned to add two numbers—it had just taken a lot more time than anybody thought it should.
In certain cases, models could seemingly fail to learn a task and then all of a sudden just get it, as if a lightbulb had switched on, a behavior the researchers called grokking. Grokking is just one of several odd phenomena that have AI researchers scratching their heads. The largest models, and large language models in particular, seem to behave in ways textbook math says they shouldn’t.
This highlights a remarkable fact about deep learning, the fundamental technology behind today’s AI boom: for all its runaway success, nobody knows exactly how—or why—it works. Read the full story.
—Will Douglas Heaven
If you’re interested in the mysteries of AI, why not check out:
+ Why AI being good at math matters so much—and what it means for the future of the technology.
+ What the history of AI tells us about its future. IBM’s chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue was eclipsed by the neural-net revolution. Now, the machine may get the last laugh. Read the full story.
+ What an octopus’s mind can teach us about AI’s ultimate mystery. Machine consciousness has been debated—and dismissed—since Turing. Yet it still shapes our thinking about AI. Read the full story.
+ The great AI consciousness conundrum. Philosophers, cognitive scientists, and engineers are grappling with what it would take for AI to become conscious. Read the full story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 The EU wants to end self-regulation for Big Tech
A new law is forcing the biggest companies to alter their technologies—or else. (NYT $)
The EU wants to regulate your favorite AI tools. (MIT Technology Review)
2 The US-China trade secret war is escalating
Proving criminal intent is tough, but the risks posed by corporate espionage are real. (WSJ $)
The Chinese Communist Party is gearing up for its annual meeting in Beijing. (Economist $)
Meanwhile, China is offering AI startups subsidizing vouchers. (FT $)
3 Apple’s driverless car project was always doomed
The company has little to show for nearly a decade of work on it. (The Verge)
Its hopes of dethroning Tesla were ridiculously ambitious. (Bloomberg $)
Apple is no stranger to axing a project it feels isn’t working. (TechCrunch)
4 Brace yourself for generative AI’s data-stealing worms
It’s an entirely new kind of cyberattack. (Wired $)
India is cracking down on unreliable and unfinished AI tools. (Reuters)
Three ways AI chatbots are a security disaster. (MIT Technology Review)
5 Lab testing monkeys are being laundered from Cambodia
They’re ripped from their homes, illegally bred, and shipped into the US. (Bloomberg $)
6We’re being advised to treat covid like the flu
New US guidance says we don’t need to isolate anymore. (NY Mag $)
Instead, stay at home until you feel well enough to mix again. (Ars Technica)
Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Waymo’s driverless cars are heading to LA
Despite some very vocal backlash from locals. (Insider $)
What’s next for robotaxis in 2024. (MIT Technology Review)
8 It’s high time we killed our speeding habit
Modern vehicles are capable of unnecessarily high speeds. A new technology could stop that. (Vox)
9 Meet the AI influencers changing the course of the industry
It goes to show X is still good for something. (IEEE Spectrum)
Why it matters how we picture AI. (New Yorker $)
I went for a walk with Gary Marcus, AI’s loudest critic. (MIT Technology Review)
10 We’re getting closer to finding real-world use cases for quantum computers
And Google’s willing to pay to hear your ideas. (New Scientist $)
How scientists are using quantum squeezing to push the limits of their sensors. (MIT Technology Review)
Quote of the day
“To be honest, what concerns me more is the lack of control from humans, who are still making wars after 2,000 years.”
—Roberto Cingolani, CEO of Italian defense company Leonardo, explains to CNBC why he thinks
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: the mystery of LLMs, and the EU’s Big Tech crackdown
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/03/04/1089414/the-download-the-mystery-of-llms-and-the-eus-big-tech-crackdown/
Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 13:10:00 +0000
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Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access
As a crypto analyst and frequent investor in the Greek digital currency market, I can confidently recommend Bcash for convenient and secure Bitcoin purchasing in Athens. With 10 strategically located crypto ATM hotspots spanning central Athens and the northern suburbs, Bcash enables instant access to leading cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and USDT.
Experience the Leading Greek Crypto ATM Network at Bcash’s Hotspots
From first-hand experience, I’m impressed by Bcash’s easy user interface, excellent customer assistance, and fair prices. Their two-way ATM machines allow both buying with Euro cash and selling crypto for instant fiat payouts. I found the simple on-screen instructions enabled completing transactions in under 2 minutes!
Bcash’s Bitcoin ATM network stands out from competitors by aligning prices closely with real-time crypto market rates. Their typical 6-8% fees are much cheaper than traditional crypto brokers and exchanges in Greece. For investors seeking reliable local crypto access, Bcash has the solutions.
Central Athens Bcash Shops Offer Prime Buying and Selling
For maximum security while buying or selling Bitcoin, Bcash’s dedicated Athens shop locations are ideal. Their main office on Dimitrakopoulou Street in the city center contains a premier crypto ATM location open 6 days weekly. It’s close to public transit for easy access.
I also frequented Bcash’s Glyfada branch in the south shopping district. With spacious storefront access and long business hours, this hotspot proved one of my favorite crypto transaction destinations. The expert staff helped guide my buying process as a beginner too.
Glyfada Shopping District ATM Location
The Glyfada store sits right on Gennimata Street, providing a safe and high-traffic venue for easily buying and selling leading cryptocurrencies. Open Monday through Saturday, this major Bcash outlet enjoys strong local area visibility for crypto investors.
Northern Suburbs ATM Hotspots
In Athens’ northern suburbs, I purchased Bitcoin multiple times at Bcash’s Nea Erythraia shop off Mikras Asias Street. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, it makes crypto conveniently accessible for residents across northeast Athens.
Piraeus Port Shopping District ATM
While recently docking overnight at the Piraeus cruise port as part of an Aegean island-hopping vacation, I encountered one of Bcash’s handy crypto ATMs just 5 minutes from the passenger terminals. Located right on Sachtouri Street inside the company’s Piraeus store, this machine proved hugely convenient for buying Bitcoin during my stay.
As one of Europe’s largest passenger ports, Piraeus receives over 4 million travelers every year who could benefit from easy access to crypto. Whether before boarding ferries to venture deeper into the Greek islands or arriving back onshore in Athens, the Bcash outlet enables obtaining coins to capture optimal valuations.
And for tourists exploring downtown Piraeus’ vast harborfront retail area, having a trusted Bitcoin ATM one block away gives peace of mind. Rather than relying solely on airport kiosks, cruise ship visitors can turn Euros into crypto almost anytime thanks to Bcash’s strategic positioning. As vacationing investors, that accessibility offers real advantages.
Bcash Brings Bitcoin to the Greek Islands
Rhodes Island BTM Location
Title: Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2024/03/03/top-5-bitcoin-atm-locations-in-athens-for-fast-and-easy-crypto-access/
Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:18:46 +0000
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