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This Tesla key fob looks like, you guessed it, a mini Tesla Model 3

Tesla likes to do things differently. 

So when Electrek reported last month that the electric car company was allegedly working on a new key fob for its Model 3, we should have known it wouldn’t be just your standard blob of a BLE device. Thanks to newly released documents filed to the FCC, we now know that’s exactly right. 

According to the filing, the as-of-yet-unreleased fob is actually shaped like a mini Model 3. Basically, it looks like the most expensive Hot Wheels car you never owned. 

Vroom.

Vroom.

Image: tesla / fcc

A photo of the fob’s underside clearly shows that the design is an explicit call out to the Model 3. 

Belly up.

Belly up.

Image: tesla / fcc

As Engadget notes, the Model 3 does not currently come with a fob at all. Instead, car owners rely on their smartphones or a keycard to unlock and start the ride. 

Interestingly, the Model S, unlike the Model 3, does have a key fob. Unfortunately though, that key fob was recently shown to be vulnerable to hackers. Thankfully, Tesla provided owners an easy fix — the ability to set a PIN code on the car — that we imagine could also be used to protect the Model 3 from any potential vulnerabilities in the fob.  

There’s no word yet on when the new key fob will be released, but when it does expect to see lots of annoying people pushing them across their desks while making “vroom” sound effects. 

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Pornhub now accepts a cryptocurrency you’ve never heard of

Image: PORNHUB


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PornHub now accepts an open source blockchain-based payment solution called PumaPay.

Developed by Cyprus-based blockchain company Decentralized Vision, PumaPay offers a “PullPayment protocol,” which it says allows for transactions that have never been possible on the blockchain until now. That includes recurring payments and pay-per-use transactions.

“PumaPay’s technological solution, the PullPayment protocol, reverses the mechanics of a transaction, enabling merchants to ‘pull’ crypto funds from their customers’ account,” PumaPay CEO Yoav Dror explained in a statement. “With PumaPay, merchants avoid the drawbacks of the current banking systems, such as high transaction costs, the insecurity of chargebacks (reverse transactions) and associated fines, and the lack of customer anonymity.”

In other words, with PumaPay, you can set up a recurring Pornhub Premium payment to ensure you’ll never lose access to the HD, on-demand porn streaming service.

Related coverage from PCMag:

Besides PumaPay, Pornhub’s list of accepted cryptocurrencies also includes Verge, Tron, and ZenCash.

“As one of the most viewed websites in the world with over 90 million daily visitors, it is our duty to stay at the forefront of innovation and ensure the privacy of our users,” Pornhub VP Corey Price said in a statement. “As decentralized payment systems continue to grow in popularity, cryptocurrencies are especially viable in the adult entertainment industry because they incorporate more anonymity tools than traditional tender.”

Meanwhile, Pornhub recently started offering a free VPN service so you can keep your porn-browsing activities private. The service, VPNhub, is available on iOS and Android. Last year, Pornhub officially switched to HTTPS, so you can access the site over an encrypted channel.

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There’s now a terrifying Ethereum-based ‘assassination market’ for Donald Trump

The future of the blockchain is dark. 

A new protocol has launched on the Ethereum blockchain that allows people to create and place bets on real-world events — i.e., prediction markets. And you better believe that a so-called “assassination market” for Donald Trump has already popped up. 

Created by the non-profit Forecast Foundation, the open-source Augur protocol launched on July 9 and promised a revolution in the world of prediction markets. While the idea of a prediction market is itself not new, creating a decentralized version of that market on the Ethereum blockchain is. Theoretically, it means that whatever markets users decide to create are out of the control of any one organization. 

In other words, once the markets are up, they’re up. 

“Decentralized technology means decentralized control,” explains the Augur site, “no one person can single-handedly change Augur or shut it down.”

It still potentially incentivizes a crime, as anyone who could accurately predict the president’s death would stand to gain financially. 

So, you can place bets on, say, “Will SpaceX successfully complete a manned flight beyond Earth orbit by the end of 2018?” If you think the answer to that question is “yes,” you can buy shares with ether to that effect. If you don’t think it’s going to happen, you can short the bet by selling shares. If your prediction comes true, you stand to profit. 

Enter the assassination market. We saw an early incarnation of this idea back in 2013, when, Forbes reports, an online marketplace was created to crowdfund the deaths of Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke with bitcoin. The latest version is different in that it’s simply a bet on whether Donald Trump will be killed by a certain date. Slightly less ghastly, but it still potentially incentivizes a crime, as anyone who could accurately predict the president’s death would stand to gain financially. 

Looking at the marketplace on July 23, there was one specific market created on this very topic. the market “Will Donald Trump ( President of The USA) be killed at any point during 2018” had some takers at the time this reporter came across it. 

Not good.

Image: screenshot/augur

Notably, that market has since been removed — a fact that seemingly flies in the face of the decentralized claims of Augur. It’s not clear how the removal was accomplished; we reached out to the Augur team and will update this when we hear back. 

However, at the time of this writing, a similar market had sprung up in its place. Although no trades have yet to be completed on “Will DJT survive 2018,” one person had put in a “yes” bid. 

Also not good.

Image: Screenshot/augur

Keep in mind, the Forecast Foundation explicitly says that the specific markets are out of its control. 

“The Forecast Foundation and the people who’ve written the Augur protocol code don’t create markets on the Augur protocol itself, they do not perform trades, or have the ability to monitor, control, censor, or modify any actions performed on the Augur protocol,” reads the project’s FAQ page

We emailed the Augur team in an attempt to determine what, if anything, it could or would do to remove these kinds of markets going forward, and whether the Augur protocol would pay out on assassination markets. Unfortunately, we did not receive answers as of press time.  

But this problem likely didn’t catch the Forecast Foundation by surprise. There is a mechanism built into Augur which allows so-called “reporters” (people who are designated to officially say how the predicted event turned out, and are incentivized to tell the truth via the Augur REP token) to call a market “invalid.” If that happens, then, at least in theory, no money will be paid out. 

No trades yet.

No trades yet.

Image: screenshot/augur

In other words, you wouldn’t be able to collect on an assassination market — even if you called the death accurately. This should, in theory, render the assassination market aspect of Augur void. That is, if would-be killers understand the complexities of Augur’s reporting mechanisms. 

Which, well, maybe that’s not something we should be betting lives on. 

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Poorly attended blockchain conference offers much-needed reality check

It’s 8:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco, and the emcee is stoked

A booming welcome worthy of a Vegas boxing match is being delivered over the PA as attendees at the Distributed blockchain conference gather to hear the gospel of “unlocking the global power of decentralized business.” 

However, if the half-full auditorium is any indication, it’s a message that needs a few more converts. 

Distributed lacked the over-the-top hysterics and flash of Consensus, the major blockchain event held in New York City this past May. There were no Lamborghinis parked outside, no fake protests, and no blockchain-based beer vending machine. Instead, Distributed presented a sober and cautious evaluation of the cryptocurrency, ICO, blockchain, and token space as it now exists. 

“Blockchains are not a faster way to do anything.”

Frankly, it was refreshing. To not have a thousand different confused voices yelling about a society remade in Satoshi’s image while simultaneously shilling useless tokens felt like a luxury. 

But before the speakers delivered their words of caution, we were treated to what could only be described as a trailer for the wanna be action movie that is the world of cryptocurrency. Because in this industry, even serious projects need a hype track.  

And, to be fair, when you’re talking billions of dollars in market cap, apparent irrational exuberance may not be so irrational after all. 

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Thankfully, however, we were soon brought back down to earth. 

“Blockchains are not a faster way to do anything,” Brian Behlendorf of Hyperledger told the crowd gathered for a panel discussion covering the “global state of blockchain.” He doubled down, adding that “they’re a technical solution to what is really a market structure problem.”

So, no, blockchains aren’t going to save the world — no matter what PR firms tell you.

Behlendorf wasn’t the only one attempting to manage the expectations of any cryptocurrency true believers in the audience. Emmanuel Abiodun, of Oracle’s Autonomous BlockchainCloud Service, dumped some water on those trying to tokenize the universe. 

In need of some suggestions.

In need of some suggestions.

Image: jack morse/mashable

“I don’t think a lot of these tokens are solving fundamental problems,” he observed. “It’s actually creating a more complex society than I can envisage.”

And yeah, requiring the purchase of a 21st century Itchy and Scratchy Money equivalent as a prerequisite to participating in society does sound like a rather inefficient way to go about things.  

To hammer it home, Abiodun emphasized that Oracle’s goal is to stay away from cryptocurrencies altogether. It’s probably a smart move — though IBM and its blockchain socks may disagree.

Keep those toekens warm.

Keep those toekens warm.

Image: jack morse/mashable

Overall, day one of the two-day Distributed conference managed to accomplish something most in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space would never dream of: communicate realistic expectations. 

The conference organizers, presenters, and attendees all appeared genuinely interested in exploring what blockchains could mean for their respective businesses — without all the false promises and bullshit so endemic to industry. 

Good for them. And who knows, maybe in the end a cool head is what it takes to get to the moon.  

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