Crypto Currency

StreetCred Is Challenging Google Maps—and It Wants Your Help

New York City, and Christiana Ting didn’t realize just how many urgent care facilities there were until the app told her to start looking for them. “They were giving extra points for medical offices, and I found them, I think, on every block,” she says. “I’m not sure what that says about the neighborhood where…


New York City, and Christiana Ting didn’t realize just how many urgent care facilities there were until the app told her to start looking for them. “They were giving extra points for medical offices, and I found them, I think, on every block,” she says. “I’m not sure what that says about the neighborhood where I work.”

Ting was one of 761 New Yorkers who downloaded, played with, and occasionally became obsessed with an app called MapNYC this fall, vying for their share of an 8-bitcoin prize (worth about $50,000 at the time). The month-long contest, run by a new mapping startup called StreetCred, was really an experiment. StreetCred’s main research question: How do you convince regular people to build and verify mapping data?

It turns out that the maps that guide you to the nearest Arby’s, or help your Lyft driver find your house, don’t just materialize. “I took mapping for granted until I started the competition,” Ting says, even though she pulls up Google Maps at least twice a day. “But it’s such an inconvenience if the info on the map is wrong, especially in a place like New York, that’s changing all the time.”

For regular folk, detailed, reliable mapping info is helpful. For businesses, it can be crucial. Some want to be found when a map user searches for the nearest sandwich shop. Others use products that rely on base maps—think Uber, the Weather Channel, your car’s navigation system—and require up-to-date location data. “One of the huge challenges to any geographic database is its currency,” says Renee Sieber, a geographer who studies participatory mapping at McGill University. That is to say, yesterday’s map is no good to anybody doing business today.

Validated and unvalidated data points in Queens, New York, a few weeks before the conclusion of the MapNYC contest. StreetCred CEO Randy Meech says he suspects Uber and Lyft drivers were adding this data as they picked up, dropped off, and waited for fares near John F. Kennedy International Airport.

StreetView

StreetCred sees that as an opportunity. “There’s a lot of companies, none of whom I can name, who have location data, and that data needs improvement,” says

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Crypto Currency

‘Fortnite’ vulnerability put millions of accounts at risk

It turns out that for the millions of people playing Fortnite, there was more than just a Victory Royale at stake.  On Jan. 16, internet security firm Check Point Research disclosed a vulnerability in the popular online video game that could have allowed malicious actors to take over practically any Fortnite account — all a…


It turns out that for the millions of people playingFortnite, there was more than just a Victory Royale at stake. 

On Jan. 16, internet security firm Check Point Research disclosed a vulnerability in the popular online video game that could have allowed malicious actors to take over practically anyFortniteaccount — all a player had to do was click a malicious link. 

“By discovering a vulnerability found in some of [Fortnite owner] Epic Games’ sub-domains, an XSS attack was permissible with the user merely needing to click on a link sent to them by the attacker,” explains the report. “Once clicked, with no need even for them to enter any login credentials, their Fortnite username and password could immediately be captured [by] the attacker.”

Epic Games confirmed the now-patc

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Crypto Currency

The sad story of a lonely alleged SIM swapper who stole millions

You probably shouldn’t feel sorry for Nicholas Truglia. It’s just that his story is so pathetic. The 21-year old Manhattan resident was arrested last November and extradited to California in December. There, he’d face 21 felony counts relating to accusations of SIM swapping his way to a million dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency. While Truglia’s…


You probably shouldn’t feel sorry for Nicholas Truglia. It’s just that his story is so pathetic.

The 21-year old Manhattan resident was arrested last November and extradited to California in December. There, he’d face 21 felony counts relating to accusations of SIM swapping his way to a million dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency. While Truglia’s fate remains unclear, details of his life leading up to the arrest have begun to emerge thanks to a lawsuit filled by a separate alleged victim, and oh man is it a wild ride. 

As Krebs on Security reports, a lawsuit filed by Michael Terpin — a cryptocurrency investor and self-described “thought leader” — against Truglia claims he lost over $23 million after Truglia SIM swapped him and drained his crypto accounts in January of 2018. That document, and a supporting affidavit by one of Truglia’s former friends, tells the story of a cash-flush young man who saw himself as untouchable. 

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they also paint Truglia as kind of an asshole. 

The now-deleted Twitter profile pic of @erupts, the account allegedly once belonging to Truglia.

The now-deleted Twitter profile pic of @erupts, the account allegedly once belonging to Truglia.

Image: twitter / waybackmachine

“Nick likened himself to Robin Hood who robs from the rich but did not give to the poor,” explained Chris David, former associate of Truglia’s, in the aforementioned affidavit. 

Instead, the documents paint a picture of someone who delighted in giving to himself — in the form of a Rolex, a $6,000-a-month apartment, and a $100,000 stack of cash he kept on his credenza. But that clearly wasn’t enough for him.

According to David, Truglia operated the now-suspended Twitter account @erupts, where he lamented that his wealth didn’t bring him friends, and even bra

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Crypto Currency

Ethereum is about to get a big upgrade. Here’s what you need to know.

Ethereum, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the most popular platform for decentralized applications (dApps), is getting an upgrade on (roughly) Jan. 16.  The upgrade is called Constantinople and it makes the Ethereum network a bit more efficient, paving the way for bigger changes further ahead. It also brings some important changes for miners…


Ethereum, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the most popular platform for decentralized applications (dApps), is getting an upgrade on (roughly) Jan. 16. 

The upgrade is called Constantinople and it makes the Ethereum network a bit more efficient, paving the way for bigger changes further ahead. It also brings some important changes for miners on the network. 

Here’s an overview of what, exactly, is happening, and the steps owners of ether should undertake ahead of the fork. 

The answer to the second question is really easy: There’s no need to do anything. The upcoming upgrade, while technically a fork, will very likely be non-contentious, meaning there’s no disagreement on whether it should happen. This means Ethereum won’t split into two separate coins next Wednesday. If everything goes well — and chances are good that it will — your ether holdings will be exactly the same before and after the fork, regardless of whether your ether is located on a private wallet or an exchange. 

And no, ether holders will not be getting a new coin; if you see info about it anywhere, it’s either a scam or a mostly-irrelevant project that’s just trying to get some attention out of the confusion that surrounds every cryptocurrency fork (which is why I’m primarily calling Constantinople an upgrade and not a fork). 

Ethereum node operators and miners will have to update their software ahead of the upgrade; the links can be found here. 

Note that the January 16th date for the upgrade is approximate. The upgrade should happen when block 7,080,000 on the Ethereum blockchain is mined, which is currently approximately Wednesday, Jan, 16, 8pm UTC, but the exact time will shift a little as new blocks aren’t always found in the same amount of time. 

Paving the way for a faster future

With that out of the way, there are still a few things you should know about this upgrade. 

Constantinople consists of five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which are documents explaining a new feature or change in Ethereum’s code. Explaining them in detail might

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Crypto Currency

Attack on Ethereum Classic Highlights a Crypto Weakness

bitcoin is that you don't need to trust the people to whom you send or receive money, because the software makes it technically impossible for anyone to cheat the system. Instead of relying on humans and their flawed judgment, you rely on the laws of mathematics. But a recent attack on the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic—not…


bitcoin is that you don’t need to trust the people to whom you send or receive money, because the software makes it technically impossible for anyone to cheat the system. Instead of relying on humans and their flawed judgment, you rely on the laws of mathematics. But a recent attack on the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic—not to be confused with the original Ethereum project—shows once again how hard it is to remove human frailty from digital systems.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum Classic relies on a decentralized ledger known as a blockchain created and shared by the machines that process transactions on the network. This ledger ensures that no one can spend their virtual tokens twice. Unless, that is, someone could take over at least 51 percent of the machines in the network. That’s what appears to have happened last weekend.

Currency exchange Coinbase said Monday it had detected double spends on the Ethereum Classic platform on Saturday and that it had suspended transactions involving Ethereum Classic. Kraken, another exchange, followed suit with a similar announcement. Coinbase security engineer Mark Nesbitt wrote in a blog post that the company had spotted 12 instances of double spending Ethereum Classic tokens, involving a total value of about $1.1 million.1Ethereum Classic is not as popular as some other cryptocurrencies: It had a total market value of $553.5 million on Friday, according to CoinMarketCap; by comparison, ether, the currency created by the original Ethereum project, had a value of $16.3 billion, and bitcoin a value of $67.5 billion.

Nesbitt told WIRED that Coinbase is “very confident” that the d

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