Data Sheet—Virgin Orbit, AMD, Twitter Execs Coming To Brainstorm Tech

Department of self-serving comments. The CEO of digital currency developer

Ripple thinks

bitcoin may be headed for extinction. “Bitcoin is kind of the Napster of digital assets,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said on Thursday at the Code Conference.

No small move. Google’s self-driving project

Waymo is expanding its partnership with Fiat Chrysler, placing an order for up to 62,000 self-driving minivans for its driverless ride-hailing service.

Hurry up. The chip architecture behind mobile phone processors made by Apple and Qualcomm is getting a major update.

ARM, which produces designs that other companies customize and tweak, said its new A76 design is 35% faster and 40% more energy efficient than its current chips.


A few interesting longer reads I came across that are suitable for your weekend reading pleasure.

>The Problem With Buying Cheap Stuff Online

(The Atlantic)

The package came in a small black box, covered in tape. It had no return address. Under layers of packaging, there was a box labeled Smart Watch, with no brand name. Inside the box was the watch itself, which looked nothing like the inexpensive Apple Watch I’d hoped it would be. Instead, the large digital face featured icons for Twitter, Facebook, a pedometer, and a photo-taking app called “Camina” rather than “camera.” It was about what you’d expect for a smart watch that cost less than $20.

>Inside Cuba’s D.I.Y. Internet Revolution


You’ll be sitting in the magnificently beautiful ruin of Havana, surrounded by decaying stonework and pastel-colored Detroit rolling iron, and you’ll be ignoring it all to swipe down on your Facebook feed like a cocaine addict licking his snort mirror—which you are, of course: a depraved cokehead trying to get a hit. And you’ll scroll over the same content you swiped over 15 minutes ago, pretending that it might have refreshed and that it might provide the dopa­mine rush your brain is demanding. Yet it does not refresh. It will not refresh.

>How Reese Witherspoon Is Flipping the Script on Hollywood

(Fast Company)

When Reese Witherspoon was 17, she had already appeared in four films. Still, she took an unlikely part-time job, as an intern in Disney’s post-production department. “I wanted to learn about editing, visual correction, and sound mixing,” she tells me 25 years later. Not long after, she worked as a production assistant on the 1995 Denzel Washington film Devil in a Blue Dress, helping with casting, among other things. Also: “I parked Denzel’s Porsche!”

>Read This Story and Get Happier. The Most Popular Course at Yale Teaches How To Be Happy. We Took It For You.

(New York Magazine)

Professor Laurie Santos didn’t set out to create the most popular course in the history of Yale University and the most talked-about college course in America. She just wanted her students to be happy. And they certainly look happy as they file into a church—a literal church, Battell Chapel, that’s been converted to a lecture hall—on the Yale campus on a sunny April afternoon, lugging backpacks and chatting before taking their seats in the pews.


Digital currencies like bitcoin have some anti-fraud features built in by design. It’s virtually impossible to tamper with the public blockchain which records all transactions, for example. But University of North Carolina Professor Nir Kshetri has been thinking about ways crooks could still manipulate cryptocurrency markets. One big problem called “wash trading” occurs when one individual pushes prices up or down by trading with themselves:

Anyone can have as many cryptocurrency accounts as they wish to set up. And many blockchain-based systems keep users’ identities anonymous. The transactions themselves – if they actually happen – are recorded and publicly viewable, but the accounts involved are only identified with bitcoin addresses, which are long alphanumeric codes like “1ExAmpLe0FaBiTco1NADr3sSV5tsGaMF6hd.”

That anonymity can make it very hard to prove that wash trading is happening and challenges law enforcement to identify and catch fraudsters. At a June 2017 congressional hearing a former federal prosecutor told of cryptocurrency investigations revealing an account set up by a person claiming to be “Mickey Mouse” living at “123 Main Street.”


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Blasts Google for Linking California GOP to Nazism By Abigail Abrams

Why Roku Is the Internet Video Box Leader, While Google Is Slipping By Aaron Pressman

How Asus Hopes to Make Crypto Mining Easier By Monica Rodriguez

Zynga Buys Fellow Mobile Game Developer Gram Games for $250 Million By Lisa Marie Segarra

>Active Shooter Video Game May Still See the Light of Day, Developer Says By Chris Morris

Telegram CEO Says Apple Refuses to Update App After Russian Blockade By Don Reisinger

Tesla Denies Autopilot Is to Blame for Brussels Crash By Jonathan Sperling


Any basketball fans out there? The NBA finals started last night with the same two teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, facing off for the fourth straight year. Game 1 was a topsy-turvy mix of strange plays, strange calls, and a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman. Find past issues, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters.

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