Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for December 21, 2019

in rsslog •  2 months ago 

Mathematicians say only 2 confirmations are needed to make bitcoin double-spends unprofitable; Wawa data breach effects all customers; Facebook data breach effects 267 million facebook accounts; Facebook is creating its own operating system; and a Steem essay reviewing the topic of acute appendicitis in pediatrics

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  1. Math Research Suggests Six Confirmations Aren’t Really Needed for Bitcoin Transactions - A new paper has been published to arXiv by Cyril Grunspan and Ricardo Perez-Marco that looks at the incentives around Bitcoin double-spending attacks. Building on previous results that calculate the probability of double-spend attacks and the profitability of selfish mining, the pair used calculus and game theory to compare the profitability of honest mining and double-spending and to determine that only two confirmations are needed in order to make double-spending attacks unprofitable. The habit of requiring six transactions was inherited from Satoshi, but it is not part of the Bitcoin protocol. Merchants are free to set their own standards. This paper has not yet received scrutiny by the math community, so it may be some time before merchants revise their criteria for acceptance, and it may never happen.

  2. Wawa reveals massive data breach and says all of its hundreds of thousands of customers may have had info stolen over 9 months - So this is like every single person in the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. According to the article, "The data breach affected credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names for potentially all purchases made in Wawa locations and at fuel dispensers. No other personal information was accessed, including PIN numbers, credit card CVV2 numbers, and driver's license information. ATM cash machines located in Wawa locations were also not impacted." The firm is recommending that customers review bank and credit card statements and offering a year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection from Experian.

  3. Over 267 million Facebook users had their names, phone numbers, and profiles exposed thanks to a public database, researcher says - There are two kinds of businesses, those that have had data breaches, and those that don't know they've been breached. In an own-goal security exposure, Facebook demonstrated - again - that it's in the first group. The company left a database exposed to the public with no password protection for a period of about two weeks. A company representative said that data from about 267,140,436 users - mostly in the US - was included. The data included names, Facebook IDs, and phone numbers.

  4. Facebook is working on its own OS that could reduce its reliance on Android - The person leading the effort is Mark Lucovsky, who was on the team that designed the Windows NT operating system, worked on VMware, and apparently was also part of the VMS operating system group at Digital Equipment Corp. Facebook's Occulus and Portal devices currently rely on Google's Android operating system. The article suggests that Facebook is pursuing Apple's model by creating their own operating system, but also that a previous Facebook attempt to create their own operating system was not well-received by the market place. h/t OSnews

  5. STEEM Acute Appendicitis in Pediatrics: Review of the topic + Clinical Case. - This article by @iradyjr describes a medical condition known as "acute apependicitis" - inflammation of the appendix, which is a medical condition that occurs most often in children, and usually requires emergency surgery. The article begins with the state of a normal kidney, then moves on to describe risk factors, including: family history, age, infectious processes, and others. Next, it describes the infectious process along with signs and symptoms of the condition, and also describes treatment protocols. Finally, the article concludes with a case study from a 6-year old female patient and a closing discussion. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @iradyjr.)

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