A Crypto Wallet Crack Recovered $2 Million in Tokens

The Verge had a fascinating story out yesterday about a crypto wallet crack that helped two friends get their tokens back. It’s a long-ish read but not overly technical.

Reich gave up and wrote off the money in his mind. He was willing to take the loss — until the price started to rise again. From a low of around $12,000, the value of their tokens started to skyrocket. By the end of 2020, it would be worth more than $400,000, rising briefly to over $3 million. It would be hard to get into the wallet without the PIN — but it wasn’t impossible. And with potentially millions on the line, Reich and his friend vowed to find a way inside.

Google Topics Will Categorize Your Browsing for Advertising

Google Topics will track your browsing and divvy it up into 300 categories for advertising. It replaces Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).

When you hit upon a site that supports the Topics API for ad purposes, the browser will share three topics you are interested in — one for each of the three last weeks — selected randomly from your top five topics of each week. The site can then share this with its advertising partners to decide which ads to show you. Ideally, this would make for a more private method of deciding which ad to show you — and Google notes that it also provides users with far greater control and transparency than what’s currently the standard. Users will be able to review and remove topics from their lists — and turn off the entire Topics API, too.

 

Cooking Over FaceTime? New Recipe App 'Pestle' Can Help

Sarah Perez writes about a new app called Pestle that helps with cooking over FaceTime. It makes use of SharePlay released with iOS 15.1.

The result is a well-built recipe app that provides a better experience for the end user, and one which tries to respect the creator content it organizes by offering source links, tools to discover more recipes from the same creator as they’re published, and a feature that encourages repeat visits to recipe sites. But some of Pestle’s other features make it almost too easy to bypass creators’ websites, which could cause concerns.

Coinbase Creates Center to Help With Crypto Taxes

Worried about crypto taxes? Coinbase has created a tax center on its platform to help.

Customers will see all of their taxable activity in one place to determine if they owe taxes, and how much. If they’ve taken more advanced steps like sending or receiving crypto from Coinbase Pro or external wallets, they can receive free tax reports for up to 3,000 transactions from our crypto tax partner CoinTracker. The most complicated time of the year just became more clear.

Do You Use Coinbase or Venmo? Join the Plaid Lawsuit

Join the Plaid lawsuit if you’ve ever used Coinbase, Venmo, Robinhood, or dozens of other apps.

Plaid, a middleman connecting bank accounts to other fintech services, says it’s been used by tens of millions in North America. According to the settlement website, Plaid allegedly obtained “more financial data than was needed” and set up log-in pages that deceptively mimicked those of the user’s own bank account, but fed the credentials directly to itself. For its part, Plaid has denied any wrongdoing and argued it was transparent about its practices.

I filed a claim and look forward to getting my US$5.00.

Someone Reverse Engineered 'Wordle', Here are the Secrets

Robert Reichel has reverse engineered Worldle and posted a write-up on his blog. It includes a list of words the game uses.

At this point, we’ve done enough digging to know how Wordle is choosing the word of the day. We know that Wordle uses a client-side date-based algorithm to determine which word to use from a static wordlist. Each day is predictable so long as we have all of the code pieced together.

YouTuber Ruben Sim Must Pay Roblox Over 'Cybermob'

The Roblox Corporation sued YouTuber Ruben Sim over leading a “cybermob” on its platform and terrorizing players, many of whom are kids.

The original ban, according to Roblox’s lawyers, was issued after the YouTube creator harassed other players using racist and homophobic slurs, allegedly sexually harassed users, and uploaded photos of Adolph Hitler to Roblox. Sim disputed this characterization in a YouTube video uploaded last week.

Congress Explores Blockchain Energy Usage From Mining

On January 20, the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the U.S. Congress House Energy and Commerce Committee discussed blockchain energy usage and other concepts related to mining and consensus.

Representatives then took to the floor with statements and questions. A few used their time for partisan attacks and political grandstanding, yet most made an honest effort to ask questions that either tackled the energy-related issues at the core of the hearing or sought broader context on the uses and potential applications of blockchain technology.

Federal Reserve Releases Paper on Digital Dollar, Seeks Public Comment

The Federal Reserve has released a 40-page paper [PDF] on its study of a digital dollar. It seeks public comment as it takes no position at this time.

Instead, it provides an exhaustive look at benefits such as speeding up the electronic payments system at a time when financial transactions around the world already are highly digitized. Some of the downside issues the report discusses are financial stability risks and privacy protection while guarding against fraud and other illegal issues.

Peloton Pauses Production of Bikes, Treadmills Over Decreasing Demand

Peloton is pausing production of its bikes and treadmills in February-March, according to internal documents obtained by CNBC.

Peloton has essentially guessed wrong about how many people would be buying its products, after so much demand was pulled forward during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s now left with thousands of cycles and treadmills sitting in warehouses or on cargo ships, and it needs to reset its inventory levels.