Bitcoin Miners Are Shifting Outside China Amid State Clampdown

Bitmain, which runs China’s two largest bitcoin-mining collectives, is setting up regional headquarters in Singapore and now has mining operations in the U.S. and Canada, Wu Jihan, the company’s co-founder, said in an interview. BTC.Top, the third-biggest mining pool, is opening a facility in Canada and ViaBTC, ranked No. 4, has operations in Iceland and America, their founders said.

Source: Bitcoin Miners Are Shifting Outside China Amid State Clampdown – Bloomberg

More news on Bitcoin today.

From:  Microsoft Halts Bitcoin Transactions Because It’s An “Unstable Currency

While Bitcoin price has always fluctuated, it never swung like it did in the past three months. To be widely adopted by the financial sector, a digital or fiat currency must be stable in order to be useful, something that Bitcoin is definitely not.


China orders bitcoin exchanges to shut down

Bitcoin is created and exchanged without the involvement of banks or governments. Transactions allow anonymity, which has made bitcoin popular with people who want to conceal their activity. Bitcoin can be converted to cash when deposited into accounts at prices set in online trading.

Source: Reports: China orders bitcoin exchanges to shut down – ABC News

EU Presidency calls for massive internet filtering

A Council of the European Union document leaked by Statewatch on 30 August reveals that during the summer months, that Estonia (current EU Presidency) has been pushing the other Member States to strengthen indiscriminate internet surveillance, and to follow in the footsteps of China regarding online censorship.

Source: Leaked document: EU Presidency calls for massive internet filtering – EDRi

According to the leaked document, the text suggests two options for each of the two most controversial proposals: the so-called “link tax” or ancillary copyright and the upload filter.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant just went online in China

Floating solar farms are becoming increasingly popular around the world because their unique design addresses multiple efficiency and city planning issues. These floating apparatuses free up land in more populated areas and also reduce water evaporation. The cooler air at the surface also helps to minimize the risk of solar cell performance atrophy, which is often related to long-term exposure to warmer temperatures.

Source: The world’s largest floating solar power plant just went online in China

How China Took Center Stage in Bitcoin’s Civil War

Yet despite the talk of a borderless currency, a handful of Chinese companies have effectively assumed majority control of the Bitcoin network. They have done so through canny investments and vast farms of computer servers dispersed around the country. The American delegation flew to Beijing because that was where much of the Bitcoin power was concentrated.

Source: How China Took Center Stage in Bitcoin’s Civil War – The New York Times

Mr. Ng, 36, said he had become an expert in finding cheap energy, often in places where a coal plant or hydroelectric dam was built to support some industrial project that never happened. The Bitcoin mining machines in his facilities use about 38 megawatts of electricity, he said, enough to power a small city.

Chinese hack compromised security-clearance database

Last week, the OPM announced that a database containing the personal information of about 4 million current and former federal employees was hacked. Privately, U.S. officials said the Chinese government was behind the breach. The administration has not publicly pointed a finger at Beijing.

Source: Chinese hack compromised security-clearance database – The Washington Post

I’m surprised the Washington Post continues with this Chinese narrative as there has been no official condemnation of China over this and determining the true source of an intrusion is extremely difficult if not impossible in many cases.  They still haven’t caught the culprits in the Target and Home Depot data breaches.  The list of suspects with motive to obtain this kind of data is probably quite long so it’s irresponsible to assume a guilty party before any evidence has been leaked.  No doubt consultants are working furiously tracing log records but at least wait until there is something concrete.  The Washington Post is an institution with top notch journalists so they should know better.

And here’s the blurb that made me laugh.

Offensive actions might include directing a U.S. agency to locate the servers holding the stolen data and deleting or altering the data, the former official said.

Haha.  Like whoever did this wouldn’t have backups 6 ways to Sunday of every bit gathered.  There’s no way to delete anything digital once it’s out in the ether.  Why would anyone publish a statement like that?  The only thing an offensive cyber attack can accomplish is making the US government behave like the criminals who they denounce.

Don’t Be Fodder for China’s ‘Great Cannon’

“It only intercepts traffic to a certain set of Internet addresses, and then only looks for specific script requests. About 98 percent of the time it sends the Web request straight on to Baidu, but about two percent of the time it says, ‘Okay, I’m going to drop the request going to Baidu,’ and instead it directly provides the malicious reply, replying with a bit of Javascript which causes the user’s browser to participate in a DOS attack, Weaver said.

via Don’t Be Fodder for China’s ‘Great Cannon’ — Krebs on Security.

Interestingly, this type of attack is not unprecedented. According to documents leaked by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA and British intelligence services used a system dubbed “QUANTUM” to inject content and modify Web results for individual targets that appeared to be coming from a pre-selected range of Internet addresses.

Counting Legal Positions in Go

The computation uses dynamic programming to count the number of paths through a graph consisting of 18^2=324 layers with up to 81 billion nodes each. Each node corresponds to a set of partial board (e.g. the top 7 rows plus 6 points on the 8th row) positions that are equivalent in their set of valid completions. Our paper explains the algorithm in detail, and also explains how the resulting exact counts allow derivation of the approximation formula

L(m,n) ~ 0.850639925845714538 * 0.96553505933837387^{m+n} * 2.97573419204335724938^{m*n}

which gives us the approximate number of legal positions on a standard board size

L(19,19) ~ 2.08168199381982*10^170

via Counting Legal Positions in Go.

Thanks to the Chinese Remainder Theorem, the work of computing L(19,19) can be split up into 9 jobs that each compute 64 bits of the 566-bit result. Allowing for some redundancy, we need from 10 to 13 servers, each with at least 8 cores, 512GB RAM, and ample disk space (10-15TB), running for about 5-9 months.

Why would Chinese hackers want hospital patient data?

people without health insurance can potentially get treatment by using medical data of one of the hacking victims.Halamka, who also runs the “Life as a healthcare CIO” blog, said a medical record can be worth between US$50 and $250 to the right customer — many times more than the amount typically paid for a credit card number, or the cents paid for a user name and password.

via Why would Chinese hackers want hospital patient data? | ITworld.

China: The Next Space Superpower

“They are having launches, and in the United States we’re in gridlock,” says Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, in Newport, R.I. “The Chinese will have a rover onthe moon, and we’re still developing PowerPoints for programs that don’t get approved by Congress.” That rover is rolling over the regolith right now.

via China: The Next Space Superpower – IEEE Spectrum.

NASA has a couple rovers on Mars.