New York Governor Signs Partial Cryptocurrency Mining Ban



New York will instate a two-year moratorium on new fossil fuel-powered cryptocurrency mining operations as the state works to balance its economic development and climate goals, Politico reported.

According to Politico, Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed the controversial measure into law that would create the first-in-the-nation temporary pause on new permits for fossil fuel power plants that house proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, which is a process used in the transaction of digital money. Hochul, who had punted on the issues for months after the Legislature passed the bill in June, was elected to a full term Nov. 8.

Upstate New York has become attractive to companies that “mine” digital currencies, including Bitcoin, because of the availability of former power plants and manufacturing sites with unused electrical infrastructure, Politico reported. But, Governor Hochul said that the moratorium is an important step to avoid increased emissions from the industry restarting old power plants as she guides the state toward ambitious climate goals.

Politico also reported that the new law will trigger a study by state Department of Environmental Conservation to study the impacts of the cryptocurrency mining industry on the environment.

The bill is narrow in scope, Politico reported, despite its groundbreaking steps. The state’s roughly dozen operations that draw power from the grid would not be affected, nor would individuals purchasing or mining for cryptocurrency or other blockchain activities. And the moratorium on new or renewed permits doesn’t apply if the company has already filed paperwork to operate in New York.

The Wall Street Journal reported that New York has become the first state to restrict cryptocurrency mining after Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed a two-year moratorium, calling the move necessary to help protect the environment.

According to The Wall Street Journal, sustainability groups generally object to cryptocurrency mining because of its intensive energy use and resulting environmental impacts. Business groups – including cryptocurrency companies – lobbied Ms.Hochul to veto the bill, which lawmakers approved in June. The groups argued it would have an effect on the industry’s growth in the state, and said the power plants are also a source of jobs in upstate communities.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that more than 160 crypto-related bills are up for consideration this year in 37 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Hill reported that the restrictions came after the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which has led to growing scrutiny of the industry.

According to The Hill, the New York law takes aim at the technology’s environmental impact, establishing a two-year moratorium on permits for fossil fuel plants used for cryptocurrency mining that requires “proof-of-work authentication.”

The law has been described as a first-of-its kind. To me, this indicates that other state governors could potentially sign a similar bill (assuming their state legislature creates one that is similar to the New York law). I suspect that the FTX situation could influence legislation that would move to prevent that sort of thing from happening again.


Elon Musk Cuts Costs At Twitter



The New York Times reported that Mr. Musk has embarked on an enormous cost-cutting campaign since closing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. He initially slashed half of the company’s 7,500-person work force, fired workers, and continued with layoffs as recently as Monday. But he has also conducted a sweeping examination of all types of other costs at the company, instructing staff to review, renegotiate and in some cases not pay Twitter’s outside vendors at all, eight people with knowledge of the matter said.

According to The New York Times, Mr. Musk’s actions reflect the financial pressure that Twitter is under. The company took on $13 billion in loans for his buyout of the social network, The interest payments for that debt totals more than $1 billion annually. And Twitter has long faced financial difficulties, often losing money and struggling keep up with rivals like Facebook and Google that effectively monetized their advertising products. Some advertisers have paused spending on Twitter as they evaluate Mr. Musk’s ownership.

Mr. Musk has told Twitter employees that “the economic picture ahead is dire” and that bankruptcy might be in the cards for the company.

Business Insider reported that with Monday’s evening email, many changes speculated on by employees or briefly alluded to by Musk are being formalized. Twitter will no longer be covering several costs or paying for a number of perks made available to employees, some for many years, for example. And the maximum amount allotted for work-related trips has been limited, as those trips are also set to become rarer.

According to Business Insider, there were other changes detailed in the email. Twitter employees are expected to work in the office every day as of Monday, the day the email was sent. “Exceptions” will be allowed to allow people to remain working from home on a case by case basis, as Musk has said in previous emails. Musk previously softened his stance on working from home, which was offered to anyone working at Twitter under a decision made by previous CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey is now an investor in Musk’s new version of Twitter.

Business Insider also reported that perks, or “allowances” that are being “discontinued” per the memo include all costs associated with “wellness,” “productivity,” and “new hire productivity,” along with home internet or WiFi costs, training and development or “learning,” Camp Twitter, which was a company-wide group activity, and any smaller team activities which were previously expected to happen quarterly. A temporary allowance to cover daycare costs related to COVID is also discontinued.

In addition, the food and beverage situation at the company is also in the process of transition to a “partially paid” offering, according to the email. This means Twitter employees will now have to pay for much of the food the company will offer, where before everything was free.

To me, it sounds as though Mr. Musk has done his very best to encourage current workers to seek out a different company to work at. They might want to find one that provides the perks that are being discontinued at Twitter. This situation could also make people decide not to apply to work at Twitter.

Overall, I don’t see how Twitter can last as a company after so many workers were fired. I’ve seen a whole lot of the people that I follow on Twitter announcing that they have made an account at Hive.


Satoshi Per Minute Value 4 Value V4V #1635



You can now support this show by the minute while using the fountain podcast app and its ability to stream Satoshi to the show at an amount you set by the minute. V4V is a model I hope you all start to embrace in all of the Podcasting 2.0 shows you support. Meanwhile, at Tesla, many prior employees are looking for a job. Considering how the job market has tightened up, we will see how that works out.

It’s time to consider becoming a GNC Podcast Insider. Contribute $2, $5, $10, $15, $20, $25 a month, or make a one-time donation. You can also boost the show V4V and have your boost read live; the easiest way to support the podcast is through a new podcasting 2.0 app at NewPodcastApps.com You can also contribute by Bitcoin/Satoshis with GetAlby

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CBS News Suspends Twitter Posting Due To “Uncertainty”



CBS News is halting its activity on Twitter over Elon Musk’s turbulent and potentially devastating moves following his takeover of the company, Variety reported.

“In light of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform,” Johnathan Vigliotti, CBS News national correspondent, said in a report about the latest chaos at the company on “CBS Evening News” Friday.

A statement with nearly identical wording was shared Friday by the Twitter account of KPIX, the CBS-owned station in San Francisco.

@KPIXtv tweeted: In light of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News Bay Area is pausing its activity on the social media site as we continue to monitor the platform.

According to Variety, the most recent post on @CBSNews is a retweet of a segment shared at 3:38 p.m. ET about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of a special council to oversee investigations into Donald Trump. On @CBSEveningNews, the most recent tweet is a story about a dog that “turned itself in to police after getting lost during a walk,” which was posted at 5 p.m. ET. @CBSMornings last posted at 3:30 p.m. ET, linking to an article about users speculating about “whether Twitter will live or die”.

Rolling Stone reported that while CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago, CBS Dallas and CBS New York didn’t tweet the statement, none of those affiliates have tweeted anything over the past 20 hours. CBS’ main Twitter account also hasn’t posted anything since Thursday.

According to Rolling Stone, the Twitter accounts for shows like CBS Evening News, CBS Mornings, and CBS News itself also stopped tweeting since midday Friday, and many of their correspondents – including Vigliotti, Scott MacFarlane, and Vladimir Duthiers – have refrained from tweeting since the statement was put out.

The Hill reported that the statement that CBS News tweeted came after Twitter employees resigned en mass on Thursday night, in response to Musk’s ultimatum to either get on board with a “hardcore” work environment or leave.

This is the first time I’ve heard of a news organization choosing to stop posting information on Twitter due to “the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution”. It is unclear to me exactly why they made that decision, but it could potentially be due to the chaos that Elon Musk’s decision making has brought to Twitter.

I wonder if other news sites will also stop posting on Twitter? If so, that could potentially result in lack of news sources available on Twitter. We could be going back to seeking out the news websites instead of their Twitter accounts – like we did before Twitter existed.


Epic Claims Google Paid $360M To Stop Activision From Launching App Store



Activision Blizzard and Riot Games at one point told Google they might launch their own mobile app stores, according to new documents filed in Epic’s antitrust lawsuit against the search giant. The details came to light as part of allegations about major deals signed with the two companies. The Verge reported that Google allegedly agreed to pay Activision about $360 million over three years and Riot about $30 million for a one-year deal.

According to The Verge, in one document Google exec Karen Aviram Beatty is reported back from a conversation with Activision Blizzard’s now-CFO Admin Zerza one month before the two companies signed the huge deal.

“If this deal falls through [Zerza] claims that they will launch their own mobile distribution platform (partnering with another “major mobile company” – presume Epic), double down with Amazon / Twitch (or MSFT) for Cloud / eSports [sic], and pull away from Stadia,” Beatty wrote.

Also according to The Verge: While Zerza may have just been doing hardline negotiating Activision has not yet launched its own app store on mobile, so it seems the company was happy with how the deal eventually turned out.

The Verge also reported about another document from an unnamed witness who may have been involved with “Project Hug,” Google’s program designed to incentivize and support Play Store developers. In the deposition, the witness says that Riot Games told Google it was considering launching a competing Android app store. Later, the witness says that “Riot and Activision Blizzard King were the ones that were the most direct with us” about considering starting their own app stores.

Engadget reported that the financial details of Project Hug – later known as the Apps and Games Velocity Program – are at the center of the ongoing antitrust lawsuit between Epic Games and Google. In 2020, the studio alleged Google had spent millions of dollars in incentives to keep big app developers on the Play Store.

According to Engadget, this week, a newly unreacted version of Epic’s complaint was made public, providing previously unknown details about the scope of the Apps and Games Velocity Program.

According to court documents, Engadget reported, Google also signed deals with Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Riot games. In the case of Riot, Google paid about $30 million to “stop” the League of Legends studio from pushing forward with its own “in-house ‘app store’ efforts,” Epic alleges.

“Programs like Project Hug provide incentives for developers to give benefits and early access to Google Play users who they release new or updated content; it does not prevent developers from creating competing app stores, as Epic falsely alleges,” a Google spokesperson told Engadget. “In fact, the program is proof that Google Play competes fairly with numerous rivals for developers, who have a number of choices for distributing their apps and digital content.”

To me, this feels like yet another round of lawsuits in which Google and Epic try to fight each other in court about something that they probably could have worked out together. This situation also explains why Activision Blizzard King doesn’t have much of a mobile game platform, outside of Candy Crush and Diablo Immortal.


Elon Musk Reinstates Trump’s Twitter Account



Elon Musk said he would reinstate Donald Trump’s account on Twitter Inc. after polling users on the platform, broadening the former president’s potential reach days after he declared another run for the White House, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The move also underscored how Mr. Musk has made himself the principal decider on all things Twitter after buying the platform for $44 billion late last month. Mr. Musk had previously said he would establish a content council to weigh in on account reinstatements.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Twitter poll that Mr. Musk launched Friday recorded 51.8% of votes in favor of reinstating Mr. Trump’s account and 48.2% against. Minutes later, Mr. Trump’s Twitter account was restored, though he hadn’t tweeted. His most recent tweet was dated Jan. 8, 2021.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that hours before the poll closed, Mr. Trump, at an event, said he saw no reason to rejoin Twitter and would stay on the social-media platform he set up since. He posted there Saturday evening to encourage followers to vote in Mr. Musk’s poll “with positivity,” but said he planned to remain on his platform.

The New York Times reported that Mr. Trump, who did not immediately return a request for comment, had announced on Tuesday that he planned to seek the White House again in 2024.

According to The New York Times, Mr. Trump is obligated to make his posts available exclusively on Truth Social for six hours before sharing them on other sites, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He can post to any site immediately if the messages pertain to political messaging, fund-raising, or get-out-the-vote initiatives. Truth Social did not return a request for comment.

Reuters reported that Trump’s Twitter account, which had over 88 million followers before he was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, began accumulating followers and had nearly 100,000 followers by 10pm ET Saturday. Some users initially reported being unable to follow the reinstated account on Saturday evening.

According to Reuters, Trump, who on Tuesday launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024, praised Musk and said he had always liked him. But Trump also said Twitter suffered from bots, fake accounts, and the problems that it faced were “incredible”.

Personally, I think Elon Musk is struggling to make Twitter work. He’s fired a lot of workers, and saw others opt-out of experiencing what Musk described as “extremely hardcore” Twitter. He closed Twitter’s offices recently. Mr. Musk reinstated Trump’s account and Trump declined to return to Twitter. Elon Musk has really made a mess of things.


Facebook To Remove Topics From User’s Profiles



Facebook quietly announced it will remove several categories of information from user profiles, including religious views, political views, addresses and the “Interested in” field, which indicates sexual preference. The change goes into effect on December 1, Gizmodo reported.

“As part of our efforts to make Facebook easier to navigate and use, we’re removing a handful of profile fields: Interested In, Religious Views, Political Views, and Address,” said Emil Vazquez, a Meta spokesperson. “We’re sending notifications to people who have these fields filled out, letting them know these fields will be removed. This change doesn’t effect anyone’s ability to share this information about themselves elsewhere on Facebook.”

According to Gizmodo, the shift reflects Meta’s broader public relations efforts. As a whole, the tech industry wants the public to differentiate between “sensitive” data and what you might call “regular” data. Meta will tell you that Instagram and Facebook don’t use sensitive data for advertising, for example, though that change only came after researchers uncovered serious problems.

Gizmodo also reported: Facebook earned a poor reputation, not just for causing societal problems but because it’s just not cool anymore. Users have been leaving the platform in droves, and even Instagram, Facebook’s younger and slightly hipper sibling, has seen its cache decline.

The company is in dire financial straits as a result, Gizmodo reported. It laid off 11,000 employees just last week. CEO Mark Zuckerberg shifted the entire future of the company, moving away from social media and towards a moonshot goal of building a mixture of virtual and augmented reality he calls “the metaverse”. But in the meantime, Facebook and Instagram are still Meta’s only source of income.

TechCrunch reported that Facebook’s change was first spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra, who tweeted a screenshot of the notice being sent to users who have these fields filled out. The notice indicates that users’ other information will remain on their profiles along with the rest of their contact and basic information.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s decision to get rid of these specific profile fields is part of its efforts to streamline its platform, which currently consists of several features that are somewhat outdated.

It’s worth noting that the information fields that Facebook is choosing to remove are ones that other major social networks don’t offer. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have simple bios that let users share a little bit about themselves without going into specific details, such as political or religious views.

Engadget reported that other details that you provide Facebook, such as your contact information and relationship status, will persist. You can download a copy of your Facebook data before December 1st if you’re determined to preserve it, and you still have control over who can see the remaining profile content.

I’m seeing what might be a pattern. Facebook is removing information from the profile’s of its users, making it harder for users to have an easy way to self-identify. Twitter is losing employees by the hundreds, which I assume would make it harder for the company to implement new features or enforce its terms of service. Could this be the end of social media as we know it?