Trending December 2023 # Robert Cruz Of Smarsh Talks About Biden’s Incoming Crypto Regulations # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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Cryptocurrency regulations can be a controversial topic, but experts and policymakers say that investors and crypto businesses should accept them wholeheartedly. More regulations would mean more stability in the volatile cryptocurrency market. Countries like UK, USA, and India have openly discussed their ideas and prospects regarding how the governments would like to introduce digital assets into their economic and financial markets. Still, there are several cryptocurrency enthusiasts who believe that the introduction of regulations might directly interfere with the very concept of blockchain and cryptocurrency, hence, they fervently oppose cryptocurrency regulations. Recently, the executive crypto order issued by the Biden government ensures the development of digital assets, but it was more like a call of action than a specific game plan.  

How does Biden’s new executive order impact cryptocurrency regulation?

At a minimum, if there had been any doubt about the legitimacy and future of cryptocurrency, it should no longer be uncertain. This order simply adds to similar moves by other countries around the world in calling for the legal structure, definition of oversight responsibility, and due diligence required to manage the impact.    

What impact will upcoming cryptocurrency regulation have on recent crypto crime and hacks? What challenges will cryptocurrency regulation face?

First and foremost is regulatory overlap and underlap, and agreement upon the ultimate authority for crypto oversight. This has now been made more complex by the involvement of US government hearings, and the introduction of politics in a deeply divided Congress. Secondly, the challenge of regulation will be education – where many fintech entrants remain underinvested in compliance processes and internal expertise in relation to their investments in market-facing innovations. Recent fines would indicate some firms remain in catch-up mode even in relation to registration requirements (outlined in the 1930 Securities Act and 1940 Investment Advisor Act), as well as in record keeping and supervisory oversight obligations.  

Can cryptocurrencies co-exist with a Central Bank Digital Currency if the Federal Reserve designs one?

It’s unclear how this coexistence will work, although it should help to rationalize investment offerings, separating those that have valuation tied to a central digital currency from those that don’t. Many countries around the world are studying this closely at this moment, to understand how the positive benefits of reducing the ‘unbanked’ population will be accompanied by an unknown impact on financial market stability. At a minimum, CBDCs would enable some degree of control over cryptocurrency using the normal set of financial policy controls, as well as a basis of exchange between CBDCs across countries.  

How can organizations and financial institutions best prepare for upcoming cryptocurrency regulation? Can you give me an overview of your company? What challenges does your organization seek to solve?

Smarsh helps our customers to leverage the communications and collaborative content sources that they use to interact with the public and use to get work done internally. We do so by providing solutions to capture, store, and enable control over those information sources in order to meet regulatory compliance obligations, identify risk, and leverage information as an asset of their business. As stated by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, “the most strategic database in a company is the knowledge repository of all communications within the enterprise”. Our job is to help firms tap into that information to drive business growth and new opportunities, such as the case of supporting services around cryptocurrency securities while ensuring that appropriate controls are in place and effective to identify and mitigate information risks.  

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Netflix Remains Unfazed About Incoming Launch Of Apple Tv+ And Disney+

When November rolls around both Apple and Disney are going to launch their own streaming services, which, to some, will serve as direct competitors to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Some folks agree with that sentiment. Others, like Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, do not. But the short of it is that there is only so much money to go around from subscribers, and with so many different streaming services out there –and with more on the way– some services are going to fare better than others. It doesn’t mean that there will be “one winner and one loser”, but the streaming wars are definitely coming.

Netflix remains unfazed about the whole thing, though, according to a report from Variety citing a letter to investors from the streaming giant following the company’s latest quarterly earnings report. The confidence comes in part from the company being able to add 6.8 million subscribers over the last three months, along with $5.2 billion in revenue over the same period of time.

Still, Netflix is trying to downplay the incoming launches of Apple TV+, Disney+, Peacock, and HBO Max, among others, by saying it has been fighting off “competitors” for a long time already.

It’s battle-tested, essentially, and Netflix believes the new streaming services will simply cause “modest headwind to (the company’s) near-term growth”. Netflix does admit that these new services will, technically, increase competition, but that does not appear to be a big deal to the company:

Many are focused on the ‘streaming wars,’ but we’ve been competing with streamers (Amazon, YouTube, Hulu) as well as linear TV for over a decade,” the company wrote in the Q3 earning shareholder letter. “The upcoming arrival of services like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock is increased competition, but we are all small compared to linear TV.

Netflix actually points out that its expansion into Canada, where Hulu does not exist, was similar to its continued growth in the United States, where Hulu is a major presence. To Netflix this suggests that it will continue to create worthwhile content and therefore gain new subscribers, even as these other services launch their own offerings.

Streaming video services have mostly exclusive content libraries that make them highly differentiated from one another,” the company declared in its shareholder letter. “In our view, the likely outcome from the launch of these new services will be to accelerate the shift from linear TV to on demand consumption of entertainment.

A recent survey suggested that the majority of current Netflix subscribers do not plan on forking money over to Apple TV+ or Disney+. And even those who do plan on giving the new subscription services a shot, they do not plan on ditching Netflix. So at least in this regard it sounds like Netflix has a reason to be so adamant that the service will be fine even as the “streaming wars” heat up.

And indeed, Netflix did not appear to be worried about Apple TV+ or Disney+ earlier this year, so it is simply continuing a trend here.

Along with Disney+ and Apple TV+, the streaming field will also welcome NBCUniversal’s Peacock and AT&T/WarnerMedia’s upcoming HBO Max. There will be others, but for now those are the biggest of the bunch.

It’s hard to argue the fact that Netflix has managed to do well for itself even as other services have popped up. However, it should absolutely be noted here that one of the strengths of the streaming service was access to third-party content, things like The Office and Friends — two hugely popular shows that are not going to be on Netflix for much longer.

Netflix believes its slate of original programming will help stem that tide, though, and as these services continue to pop up, and mature in their own right with their own original content, it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out for Netflix (and the others).

Apple TV+ is set to launch on November 1. It will cost $4.99 per month (unless you buy a new Apple product that can stream the service, then you can get one year of Apple TV+ for free). Meanwhile, Disney+ will launch on November 12 for $6.99 per month. There have been no launch dates announced for Peacock or HBO Max just yet.

Do you plan on keeping your Netflix subscription even as you try out these other options?

Jane The Virgin Writer Talks About Her Path To Success

Jane the Virgin Writer Talks about Her Path to Success COM alum on what it’s like to write for hit TV comedy

Corinne Brinkherhoff (COM’04) was a personal assistant to David E. Kelley (LAW’83), the creator of such hit series as Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, and Boston Legal. Her career in television was launched from there. Photo by Noah Webb

Wrapping up the annual Cinematheque series in May was alum Corinne Brinkerhoff, who has written and produced for a series of hit network TV shows in the decade since she graduated. Among the shows are the legal dramas Boston Legal and The Good Wife and the contemporary Sherlock Holmes crime drama Elementary.

Brinkerhoff visited campus to talk about and show an episode of Jane the Virgin as part of the Cinematheque series, a College of Communication program that brings accomplished filmmakers to campus to screen and discuss their work.

The COM alum spoke to BU Today about her career path, what it’s like to be in the writers’ room, and when we might expect to see her new Boston-based murder mystery American Gothic (not based on the painting), currently in development at CBS TV Studios.

BU Today: I understand your path to becoming a TV writer and executive producer started during a BU alumni-networking trip to Los Angeles.

Brinkerhoff: It was exciting and encouraging to meet so many BU alums working in the industry. But the most serendipitous day was the visit to DEK Productions, the production company started by David E. Kelley (LAW’83). They had an actual internship program to apply to, so it was more than just an “industry contact” to have. It was a potential foot in the door. That summer, I did everything I could to get that internship. I called, emailed, faxed….It was bordering on harassment, but people say you have to be persistent, right? Finally someone got back to me and said they weren’t ignoring me; their internship coordinator was on vacation, so could I maybe cool my jets a little? Eventually, they brought me in for an interview. I remember I got points for stating on my résumé that I could make “a mean cup of coffee,” which was not necessarily true, but it at least signaled to them that I knew my place on the ladder (read: bottom rung).

In what ways did your COM master’s degree prepare you for writing for television?

I had very little grasp of the practical parts of the industry. I knew what TV I liked, the kind of writing I liked, but I had no concept of how it got to the screen. So it was enormously helpful to get a handle on the various parts of production and producing.

You cut your teeth on Boston Legal, writing a spec script you gave to Kelley. Your agent later suggested you interview for a writer’s job on The Good Wife. Did you have to immerse yourself in legalese for the job?

Not really. You very quickly develop a parlance in that kind of thing. My best friend is a lawyer, so I called her a lot at first—“What happens at an arraignment?” “What’s summary judgment?”—and then it all becomes part of your vernacular.

Plus, we always had writers on staff who were also lawyers—and we took a lot of creative license with the law. A good story always trumps what is technically correct. I wrote a chapter about this in a book called Lawyers in Your Living Room: Law on Television, which, not to brag, is currently the number 1,758,284th ranked book on Amazon. That suggests as many as six different people have read it.

How did you come to work on Jane the Virgin? Why did the show appeal to you?

When I heard the logline, I thought, how in the world can they pull that off? And then I read the script by Jennie Snyder Urman, whose writing I’d always admired. She had taken a pretty wacky premise and turned it into something hilarious and heartfelt and inventive, and I completely loved it. I had a pilot in contention at the same time and on the same network. I got the no on my pilot the same day Jennie got the yes, and luckily it worked out for me to hop over to her show.

Jane the Virgin fans might not know it’s based loosely on a Venezuelan telenovela. Have you watched the original series, and has it influenced your show’s plotline?

I’ve never seen the original. From what I understand, they’re wildly different on every level. Our Jane is 23; the original Juana is in high school, etc. The original is an actual telenovela. Jane is sort of a loving send-up of the telenovela. We get to use all the fun tropes, but we’re winking at the audience the whole time.

The show is known for fast dialogue and multiple subplots. What’s it like in the writer’s room and how do you keep track of it all?

It’s a really fun writers’ room. With these characters and these scenarios, you can pitch whatever insane idea you can dream up, and it’s almost never too out-there to be considered. That’s incredibly fun as a writer.

But it’s organized. We sit down and plot out the major arcs at the beginning of the season, and that gives us a blueprint to build on all year. As we’re building an individual episode, it does look chaotic. We shorthand the scenes on the board, and every story is in a different color, and by the time it’s ready to pitch, it looks very Beautiful Mind in there.

What was your reaction when you heard that the show had received a Peabody Award?

Thrilled! We all continue to be thrilled with the accolades the show is receiving. I’m especially happy for Gina on her Golden Globe. That girl is a national treasure. The whole cast is wonderful, and so is the crew. It’s an amazing group. And any recognition for the show is recognition for Jennie, who has brilliantly steered the ship all along. If it sounds like I’m fawning, I swear it’s sincere. I truly adore these people and this show.

When can we expect to see American Gothic, which is currently in development, on CBS?

It’s still in development, so there’s no order yet. Time will tell.

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Google Ceo Sundar Pichai Talks Bard & The Future Of Search

In a recent episode of the New York Times “Hard Fork” podcast, hosts Kevin Roose and Casey Newton sat down with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to discuss the company’s latest AI chatbot, Bard, and its potential impact on the digital landscape.

This article summarizes the key highlights from their discussion.

Launch Of Bard

Pichai shared that Bard, a lightweight version of Google’s AI model LaMDA, was released to gather user feedback and build trust.

Although the public response has been somewhat muted, Pichai assured listeners that a more capable version of Bard would be released soon.

Generative AI tools like Bard and LaMDA are envisioned to become powerful personal assistants in people’s daily lives.

Pichai recounted his own experiences with LaMDA, describing engaging and anthropomorphic conversations with the AI model.

Integration of Bard Into Gmail

Bard is being tested in Gmail with a limited number of trusted users. Pichai confirms:

“You can go crazy thinking about all the possibilities, because these are very, very powerful technologies. I think, in fact, as we are speaking now, I think today some of those features in Gmail is actually rolling out now externally to trusted testers — a limited number of trusted testers.”

AI Chatbots vs. Traditional Search Queries

When asked about the differences between AI chatbots and traditional search queries, Pichai explained that the technology expands possibilities and that users will likely adjust their behavior based on what the AI models can do.

He anticipates a back-and-forth process with users to refine and improve the AI models.

The AI Race and Competitor OpenAI

Pichai acknowledged that although Google was aware of OpenAI’s progress and the team’s capabilities, the user reception of ChatGPT was surprising.

He commended OpenAI for releasing ChatGPT, as it allows society to adapt to and understand the technology.

Addressing Microsoft’s Challenge In Search

Pichai states:

“I would say we’ve been incorporating AI in search for a long, long time.

When we built transformers here, one of the first use cases of Transformer was birthed, and later, MUM. So we literally took transformer models to help improve language understanding and search deeply. And it’s been one of our biggest quality events for many, many years.

And so I think we’ve been incorporating AI in search for a long time. With LLMs, there is an opportunity to more natively bring them into search in a deeper way, which we will. But search is where people come because they trust it to get information right.”

The Urgency to Innovate With LLMs & Generative AI

Pichai denied issuing a “code red” within Google.

However, he did confirm that he’s encouraging teams to move urgently and harness resources to innovate with large language models (LLMs) and generative AI.

Google’s founders, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, remain actively involved as board members and are enthusiastic about AI’s potential.

Pichai states:

“I’m laughing, because first of all, I did not issue a code red…

To be very clear, there are people who have probably sent emails saying there is a code red. So I’m not quibbling with — all I’m saying is, did I issue a code red? No.”

Balancing Innovation & Responsibility

Addressing concerns about AI development’s risks and potential dangers, Pichai emphasized that Google aims to be bold yet responsible.

He cited Bard as an example, explaining that they have not yet connected it to their most capable models and plan to do so deliberately.

Pichai stressed the importance of finding a balance between innovation and responsibility.

AI’s Impact on Jobs & The Publisher Ecosystem

Pichai acknowledged that new technologies like AI will require societal adaptation and possible course corrections, including in the job market.

He envisions a future where AI makes programming more enjoyable and accessible, akin to how technology has democratized fields like podcasting.

Regarding the potential impact of AI chatbots on web publishers, Pichai reassured listeners that Google is committed to working with the publisher ecosystem and evolving thoughtfully in this area.

Pichai states:

“Part of the reason we are also being careful with things like Bard, amongst many reasons, we do want to engage with the publisher ecosystem, not presume how things should be done. And so you will see us thoughtfully evolve there as well.”

Future Of Google Search

Discussing the future of Google Search, it was suggested that the search bar could evolve into a more command-line-like interface for users to perform various tasks.

Pichai explained that Google aims to assist users in ways that make sense to them without becoming the ultimate solution for every interaction.

He states:

“I think I want to be careful where Google has always been about helping you the way that makes sense to you. We have never thought of ourselves as the be-all and end-all of how we want people to interact.

So while I think the possibility space is large, for me, it’s important to do it in a way in which users use a lot of things, and we want to help them do things in a way that makes sense to them.”

In Summary

The interview with Sundar Pichai offered valuable insights into the future of AI chatbots, search, and the digital landscape.

Pichai’s cautious yet ambitious approach to AI development reflects Google’s commitment to balancing rapid innovation and responsible implementation.

As large language models become more capable, Pichai emphasizes the importance of vigilance and industry-wide cooperation to ensure that AI development remains beneficial for society.

The revelation that Bard will be upgraded soon leaves us all curious about how the AI chatbot’s capabilities will evolve.

Featured Image: JRdes/Shutterstock

Source: The New York Times

How Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ Knocks Almost Every Incoming Missile Out Of The Sky

The clash between Israel and Hamas-backed fighters in the Gaza Strip continued over the weekend and into today, with the death toll in Gaza inching toward 100 (there were 91 recorded deaths as of Monday morning). But amid the troubling images and stark numbers trickling out of the conflict there, one set of numbers represents a rare bright spot: the number of Hamas rockets that Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile-defense shield is knocking out the sky. Scattered reports from various Israeli officials and news media suggest that Iron Dome has intercepted more than 300 rockets fired at Israeli population centers since hostilities began, or between 80 and 90 percent of rockets targeted.

As missile defense goes, these success rates are more or less unprecedented. One of the five Iron Dome batteries deployed to southern Israel reportedly intercepted a full 100 percent of incoming rockets fired during one Hamas salvo. The overall success rate has been described by various officials at anywhere between 75 and 95 percent. Calling it a conservative 85 percent success rate still puts Iron Dome in a class by itself where missile defense systems are concerned. Hitting a screaming rocket with a screaming rocket is, after all, really, really difficult.

So how is Israel pulling it off with such unmitigated success? Intercepting Soviet-designed Scuds and the much smaller Grad and Qassam rockets largely fielded by Hamas are in some ways very different, but the primary problem is fairly universal. Any ballistic missile interceptor system needs to meet at minimum three requirements: it must have a way to detect and track an incoming projectile, it must be able to use that tracking data to predict the future course of that projectile, and it must be able to accurately be able to get in the way of that projectile. In Israel’s case there’s a further requirement. Because most of Hamas’ arsenal has a range of just two to 20 miles, it has to do all of this very, very quickly.

Iron Dome satisfies all three of these requirements remarkably well. It starts with radar stations that detect a missile or artillery shell moving toward Israeli airspace. Trajectory data on the missile are beamed to a battle control system, which quickly assembles a ballistic profile of the missle–where it is now, how fast it is moving, and where it is going to be. The system and its overseers then make a decision; Is this projectile a threat to a populated area, or is it destined for a rural field or some place where people are not likely to be harmed. Roughly two-thirds of the rockets fired thus far from Gaza have fallen into the latter category, and Iron Dome lets those rockets fall harmlessly.

But if an incoming rocket is perceived to be a threat, that radar data is quickly transferred to a fixed or mobile missile battery–each of which packs 20 radar-guided Tamir interceptor missiles. Those missiles have thus far proven adequately effective in tracking down Hamas missiles in flight and destroying them before they can reach their targets. Moreover, they seem to have grown even more effective since the system was first deployed last year. In three separate (but much smaller) engagements last year, Iron Dome experienced success rates ranging from 80 percent in a short April conflict to a low of roughly 30 percent last October, when it stopped just three of nine incoming missiles. An inquiry into that October event found that a radar failure caused some of the interceptors to deviate from their marks. That, quite apparently, has been fixed.

Yahoo Wants Collective Action Against Chinese Web Regulations

Yahoo Wants Collective Action Against Chinese Web Regulations

A report in today’s Financial Times says, “Yahoo has called for broad co-operation among internet, media and communication companies and the US government to counter Chinese censorship on the web.”

The company is calling on the other tech giants, along with the US Government to take a harder, collective stand against Chinese Government censorship of the web.

Along with rivals Google, MSN and Cisco Systems, Yahoo has drawn a lot of flak from human rights activists and values based western businesses for appearing to give in to Chinese Government demands regarding the censoring of information and for providing information on China based users.

Yahoo has faced a great deal of criticism after information it gave the Chinese Government in at least two instances resulted in prison terms for Chinese bloggers. Last week, the press freedom organization Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) called on Yahoo to supply a list of all cyber dissidents it has provided various governments data on, starting with 81 people in China.

In its release, RSF said, “The firm (Yahoo) says it simply responds to requests from the authorities for data without ever knowing what it will be used for. But this argument no longer holds water. Yahoo certainly knew it was helping to arrest political dissidents and journalists, not just ordinary criminals. The company must answer for what it is doing at the US congressional hearing set for February 15.”

Michael Callaghan, Yahoo’s general counsel told the Financial Times, “This is everyone’s dilemma, operate in a country and comply with laws that lack transparency, or withdraw. No one company, no one industry can tackle this on its own. We very much look forward to taking this to Washington.”

Yahoo’s basic dilemma is this. They are required to follow the law of the land in which they operate or leave. Leaving is, of course, not an option, especially with direct rivals Google and MSN competing their way into the Chinese space. Yahoo is not going to make sacrifices on its own unless every other player agrees to make similar sacrifices. That seems natural. Would you want to be on the management team explaining to shareholders the details of a sudden, unilateral exit from the fastest growing market in the world?

Yahoo appears to be taking a moral stand, one that is a long time in coming. It will be very interesting to hear their Congressional testimony on Wednesday February 15. It will also be interesting to see if other western businesses who profess to value freedom of speech and freedom of information heed Yahoo’s call for collective action.

Jim Hedger, Search Engine News Writer – Jim Hedger is a writer, speaker and search engine marketing expert working for StepForth Search Engine Placement in Victoria BC. He has worked as an SEO for over 5 years and welcomes the opportunity to share his experience through interviews, articles and speaking engagements.

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