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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

The brain processes sights, sounds and other sensory information—and even makes decisions—based on a calculation of probabilities. At least, that’s what a number of leading theories of mental processing tell us: The body’s master controller builds an internal model from past experiences, and then predicts how best to behave. Although studies have shown humans and other animals make varied behavioral choices even when performing the same task in an identical environment, these hypotheses often attribute such fluctuations to “noise”—to an error in the system. But not everyone agrees this provides the complete picture. After all, sometimes it really does pay off for randomness to enter the equation. A prey animal has a higher chance of escaping predators if its behavior cannot be anticipated easily, something made possible by introducing greater variability into its decision-making. Or in less stable conditions, when prior experience can no longer provide an accurate gauge for how to act, this kind of complex behavior allows the animal to explore more diverse options, improving its odds of finding the optimal solution. One 2014 study found rats resorted to random behavior when they realized nonrandom behavior was insufficient for outsmarting a computer algorithm. Perhaps, then, this variance cannot simply be chalked up to mere noise. Instead, it plays an essential role in how the brain functions. Now, in a study published April 12 in PLoS Computational Biology, a group of researchers in the Algorithmic Nature Group at LABORES Scientific Research Lab for the Natural and Digital Sciences in Paris hope to illuminate how this complexity unfolds in humans. “When the rats tried to behave randomly [in 2014],” says Hector Zenil, a computer scientist who is one of the study’s authors, “researchers saw that they were computing how to behave randomly. This computation is what we wanted to capture in our study.” Zenil’s team found that, on average, people’s ability to behave randomly peaks at age 25, then slowly declines until age 60, when it starts to decrease much more rapidly. To test this, the researchers had more than 3,400 participants, aged four to 91, complete a series of tasks—“a sort of reversed Turing test,” Zenil says, determining how well a human can outcompete a computer when it comes to producing and recognizing random patterns. The subjects had to create sequences of coin tosses and die rolls they believed would look random to another person, guess which card would be drawn from a randomly shuffled deck, point to circles on a screen and color in a grid to form a seemingly random design. The team then analyzed these responses to quantify their level of randomness by determining the probability that a computer algorithm could generate the same decisions, measuring algorithmic complexity as the length of the shortest possible computer program that could model the participants’ choices. In other words, the more random a person’s behavior, the more difficult it would be to describe his or her responses mathematically, and the longer the algorithm would be. If a sequence were truly random, it would not be possible for such a program to compress the data at all—it would be the same length as the original sequence. After controlling for factors such as language, sex and education, the researchers concluded age was the only characteristic that affected how randomly someone behaved. “At age 25, people can outsmart computers at generating this kind of randomness,” Zenil says. This developmental  trajectory, he adds, reflects what scientists would expect measures of higher cognitive abilities to look like. In fact, a sense of complexity and randomness is based on cognitive functions including attention, inhibition and working memory (which were involved in the study’s five tasks)—although the exact mechanisms behind this relationship remain unknown. “It is around 25, then, that minds are the sharpest.” This makes biological sense, according to Zenil: Natural selection would favor a greater capacity for generating randomness during key reproductive years. The study’s results may even have implications for understanding human creativity. After all, a large part of being creative is the ability to develop new approaches and test different outcomes. “That means accessing a larger repository of diversity,” Zenil says, “which is essentially randomness. So at 25, people have more resources to behave creatively.” Zenil’s findings support previous research, which also showed a decline in random behavior with age. But this is the first study to employ an algorithmic approach to measuring complexity as well as the first to do so over a continuous age range. “Earlier studies considered groups of young and older adults, capturing specific statistical aspects such as repetition rate in very long response sequences,” says Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, a computer scientist at Mälardalen University in Sweden, who was not involved in the research. “The present article goes a step further.” Using algorithmic measures of randomness, rather than statistical ones, allowed Zenil’s team to examine true random behavior instead of statistical, or pseudorandom, behavior—which, although satisfying statistical tests for randomness, would not necessarily be “incompressible” the way truly random data is. The fact that algorithmic capability differed with age implies the brain is algorithmic in nature—that it does not assume the world is statistically random but takes a more generalized approach without the biases described in more traditional statistical models of the brain. These results may open up a wider perspective on how the brain works: as an algorithmic probability estimator. The theory would update and eliminate some of the biases in statistical models of decision-making that lie at the heart of prevalent theories—prominent among them is the Bayesian brain hypothesis, which holds that the mind assigns a probability to a conjecture and revises it when new information is received from the senses.  “The brain is highly algorithmic,” Zenil says. “It doesn’t behave stochastically, or as a sort of coin-tossing mechanism.” Neglecting an algorithmic approach in favor of only statistical ones gives us an incomplete understanding of the brain, he adds. For instance, a statistical approach does not explain why we can remember sequences of digits such as a phone number—take “246-810-1214,” whose digits are simply even counting numbers: This is not a statistical property, but an algorithmic one. We can recognize the pattern and use it to memorize the number. Algorithmic probability, moreover, allows us to more easily find (and compress) patterns in information that appears random. “This is a paradigm shift,” Zenil says, “because even though most researchers agree that there is this algorithmic component in the way the mind works, we had been unable to measure it because we did not have the right tools, which we have now developed and introduced in our study.” Zenil and his team plan to continue exploring human algorithmic complexity, and hope to shed light on the cognitive mechanisms underlying the relationship between behavioral randomness and age. First, however, they plan to conduct their experiments with people who have been diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases and mental disorders, including Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. Zenil predicts, for example, that participants diagnosed with the latter will not generate or perceive randomness as well as their counterparts in the control group, because they often make more associations and observe more patterns than the average person does. The researchers’ colleagues are standing by. Their work on complexity, says Dodig-Crnkovic, “presents a very promising approach.”


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New Apress book explains technical foundations of the Ethereum project -- view to new products and services Cryptocurrencies are on the rise, and blockchain protocols are taking the world by storm. Ethereum is an open-source public blockchain featuring smart contracts and which uses the Turing-complete scripting language Solidity. The open source Ethereum protocol was first proposed in 2013, along with its native cryptocurrency ether. Since then ether has grown to become the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after bitcoin. Introducing Ethereum and Solidity, written by Chris Dannen and published by Apress, compiles the basic technical principles underlying Ethereum and situates the project within the existing world of hardware and software. The book familiarizes readers with blockchain programming paradigms, and introduces the programming language Solidity. With this book as their guide, readers will be able to learn the foundations of smart contract programming and distributed application development. The author starts out by reviewing the fundamentals of programming and networking, and describing how blockchains can solve long-standing technology challenges. The book also outlines the new discipline of crypto-economics, the study of game theoretical systems written in pure software. Readers are then guided into deploying smart contracts of their own, and learning how those can serve as a back-end for JavaScript and HTML applications on the web. "Unlike other tutorials, Introducing Ethereum and Solidity is written for both technology professionals, financial services professionals, and enthusiasts of all levels. It provides creative technologists with a gateway from concept to deployment," says the author. Chris Dannen graduated from the University of Virginia. He is founder and partner at Iterative Instinct, a hybrid investment fund focused on cryptocurrency trading and seed-stage venture investments. He worked previously as a business journalist and corporate strategist. A self-taught programmer, he holds one computer hardware patent. Chris Dannen was formerly a Senior Editor at Fast Company and today consults on technical content for major publishers. Chris Dannen Introducing Ethereum and Solidity Foundations of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Programming for Beginners 2017, 206 p. 34 illus. 31 illus. in colour Softcover € 36.99 (D) | £ 27.99 | $ 39.99 ISBN 978-1-4842-2534-9 Also available as an eBook


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

VIDEO:  This is an attempt to explain what we think are some of the most salient results of our research packed in a 4-minute video. People's ability to make random choices or mimic a random process, such as coming up with hypothetical results for a series of coin flips, peaks around age 25, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology. Scientists believe that the ability to behave in a way that appears random arises from some of the most highly developed cognitive processes in humans, and may be connected to abilities such as human creativity. Previous studies have shown that aging diminishes a person's ability to behave randomly. However, it had been unclear how this ability evolves over a person's lifetime, nor had it been possible to assess the ways in which humans may behave randomly beyond simple statistical tests. To better understand how age impacts random behavior, Nicolas Gauvrit and colleagues at the Algorithmic Nature Group, LABORES for the Natural and Digital Sciences, Paris, assessed more than 3,400 people aged 4 to 91 years old. Each participant performed a series of online tasks that assessed their ability to behave randomly. The five tasks included listing the hypothetical results of a series of 12 coin flips so that they would "look random to somebody else," guessing which card would appear when selected from a randomly shuffled deck, and listing the hypothetical results of 10 rolls of a die--"the kind of sequence you'd get if you really rolled a die." The scientists analyzed the participants' choices according to their algorithmic randomness, which is based on the idea that patterns that are more random are harder to summarize mathematically. After controlling for characteristics such as gender, language, and education, they found that age was the only factor that affected the ability to behave randomly. This ability peaked at age 25, on average, and declined from then on. "This experiment is a kind of reverse Turing test for random behavior, a test of strength between algorithms and humans," says study co-author Hector Zenil. "25 is, on average, the golden age when humans best outsmart computers," adds Dr. Gauvrit. The study also demonstrated that a relatively short list of choices, say 10 hypothetical coin flips, can be used to reliably gauge randomness of human behavior. The authors are now using a similar approach to study potential connections between the ability to behave randomly and such things as cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. The authors have produced a video to summarize the key results of their research, which can be found, with a caption and further details, here: https:/ In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Computational Biology: http://journals. Funding: HZ received partial funding the Swedish Research Council (VR). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SubscriberWise, the nation’s largest issuing CRA for the communications industry and the leading advocate for children victimized by identity fraud, announced today the appearance by company founder and CEO David Howe at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress. The preeminent bowling event widely is recognized as the largest participatory sporting event in the world. This year the tournament event is held at the $30 million South Point Bowling Plaza, located inside the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in beautiful Las Vegas, NV. "Last week I had the privilege to witness one of the most prestigious bowling events in this nation," said David Howe, SubscriberWise founder, national child protector, and FICO mega-star global MVP all-time worldwide highest achieving supreme master champion. "The 2017 USBC Open Championship was truly an unforgettable event – with the excitement and energy so dynamic neither could be contained. “Watching the pros striking down the pins with style and precision, I could hardly believe that I was part of a squad as a small-town-novice-bowler more than 30 years ago,” Howe recalled. “Although I was far from a stand-out on the lanes, it never mattered because I always had fun and I was part of the team. “But one thing is remarkably evident today,” Howe added. “I don't know how I ever lifted those heavy balls. I also don’t know how I rolled them so hard and fast down the alley. “Nevertheless, this event will not be marked by the thunder of the balls or the strike of the pins,” Howe continued. “It will not be marked by the accolades, awards, or the 300-pin-perfect-rolls. And it will certainly not be marked by a visit from the FICO GOAT (https://youtu.be/uxYIFMlkzFM). “Rather, this event will be marked by the friendship, camaraderie, sportsmanship - and most of all - the respect for all -- which were on full display during the 2017 USBC Open Championship in beloved Las Vegas, NV. “In addition to this amazing SubscriberWise sponsorship honor, the other special privilege to mark the occasion was the opportunity to cheer my cousin -- Joseph S. Paul -- also a team member and a 21-year-USBC-bowling-championship-participant. “Congratulations, Joe! The 2018 SubscriberWise® sponsorship check is in the mail. See you on the lanes next year. “Yes, the event was an incredible success,” concluded Howe. “Meeting each of the team members individually, including several of their family and significant others, was a particular highlight. Of course, the same must be said about the other bowlers that Credit Czar met – including their lovers, family, and friends – all who made the experience an unforgettable and most joyful event.” About SubscriberWise and U.S. Credit Czar David Howe SubscriberWise® launched as the first issuing consumer reporting agency exclusively for the cable industry in 2006. The company filed extensive documentation and end-user agreements to access TransUnion’s consumer database. In 2009, SubscriberWise and TransUnion announced a joint marketing agreement for the benefit of America’s cable operators. Today SubscriberWise is a risk management preferred-solutions provider for the National Cable Television Cooperative. SubscriberWise was founded by David Howe, who is a consultant and credit manager for MCTV, where he has remained employed for two decades. At MCTV, Howe manages the bad debt and equipment losses on annual sales in excess of $65 million. His interest in credit began in 1986 as a 17-year-old student in high school. Today, Howe is the highest FICO and Vantage Achiever in the worldwide financial history since Alan Turing invented the computer. SubscriberWise contributions to the communications industry are quantified in the billions of dollars annually. SubscriberWise is a U.S.A. federally registered trademark of the SubscriberWise Limited Liability Co.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

From the clown fish to leopards, skin colour patterns in animals arise from microscopic interactions among coloured cells that obey equations discovered by the mathematician Alan Turing. Today, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics report in the journal Nature that a southwestern European lizard slowly acquires its intricate adult skin colour by changing the colour of individual skin scales using an esoteric computational system invented in 1948 by another mathematician: John von Neumann. The Swiss team shows that the 3D geometry of the lizard's skin scales causes the Turing mechanism to transform into the von Neumann computing system, allowing biology-driven research to link, for the first time, the work of these two mathematical giants. A multidisciplinary team of biologists, physicists and computer scientists lead by Michel Milinkovitch, professor at the Department of Genetics and Evolution of the UNIGE Faculty of Science, Switzerland and Group Leader at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, realised that the brown juvenile ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) gradually transforms its skin colour as it ages to reach an intricate adult labyrinthine pattern where each scale is either green or black. This observation is at odd with the mechanism, discovered in 1952 by the mathematician Alan Turing, that involves microscopic interactions among coloured cells. To understand why the pattern is forming at the level of scales, rather than at the level of biological cells, two PhD students, Liana Manukyan and Sophie Montandon, followed individual lizards during 4 years of their development from hatchlings crawling out of the egg to fully mature animals. For multiple time points, they reconstructed the geometry and colour of the network of scales by using a very high resolution robotic system developed previously in the Milinkovitch laboratory. The researchers were then surprised to see the brown juvenile scales change to green or black, then continue flipping colour (between green and black) during the life of the animal. This very strange observation prompted Milinkovitch to suggest that the skin scale network forms a so-called 'cellular automaton'. This esoteric computing system was invented in 1948 by the mathematician John von Neumann. Cellular automata are lattices of elements in which each element changes its state (here, its colour, green or black) depending on the states of neighbouring elements. The elements are called cells but are not meant to represent biological cells; in the case of the lizards, they correspond to individual skin scales. These abstract automata were extensively used to model natural phenomena, but the UNIGE team discovered what seems to be the first case of a genuine 2D automaton appearing in a living organism. Analyses of the four years of colour change allowed the Swiss researchers to confirm Milinkovitch's hypothesis: the scales were indeed flipping colour depending of the colours of their neighbour scales. Computer simulations implementing the discovered mathematical rule generated colour patterns that could not be distinguished from the patterns of real lizards. How could the interactions among pigment cells, described by Turing equations, generate a von Neumann automaton exactly superposed to the skin scales? The skin of a lizard is not flat: it is very thin between scales and much thicker at the center of them. Given that Turing's mechanism involves movements of cells, or the diffusion of signals produced by cells, Milinkovitch understood that this variation of skin thickness could impact on the Turing's mechanism. The researchers then performed computer simulations including skin thickness and saw a cellular automaton behaviour emerge, demonstrating that a Cellular Automaton as a computational system is not just an abstract concept developed by John von Neumann, but also corresponds to a natural process generated by biological evolution. However, the automaton behaviour was imperfect as the mathematics behind Turing's mechanism and von Neumann automaton are very different. Milinkovitch called in the mathematician Stanislav Smirnov, Professor at the UNIGE, who was awarded the Fields Medal in 2010. Before long, Smirnov derived a so-called discretisation of Turing's equations that would constitute a formal link with von Neumann's automaton. Anamarija Fofonjka, a third PhD student in Milinkovitch's team implemented Smirnov new equations in computer simulations, obtaining a system that had become un-differentiable from a von Neumann automaton. The highly multidisciplinary team of researchers had closed the loop in this amazing journey, from biology to physics to mathematics ... and back to biology.


FORT MYERS, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SubscriberWise, the nation’s largest issuing CRA for the communications industry and the leading advocate for children victimized by identity fraud, announced today the mutually satisfactory conclusion of the civil lawsuit filed by SubscriberWise founder and FICO savant David E. Howe. The case was filed in the State of Florida, Lee County Clerk of Courts, Fort Myers, Florida, on March 24, 2017 (Civil Case No. 17-SC-001065). “Today the defendant and I amicably resolved all differences in the State of Florida, Lee County Justice Center, Fort Myers, Florida. Although I’m prevented by today’s agreement from disclosing the specific terms of the settlement, I can unequivocally confirm that I’ve been made completely whole following the civil lawsuit that I filed last March. “I appreciate Regions Bank for their good-faith and prudent decision to immediately conclude this case through this mutual agreement today,” Howe continued. “For the record, we’ve enjoyed a 10-year relationship that’s been mutually beneficial. I’m confident that we can fully resume this otherwise long-standing and positive relationship. “I also want to thank the Lee County Justice Center for helping to facilitate the fully compensatory and satisfactory outcome,” Howe added. “Departing the Justice Center this morning, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the powerful words eloquently stated by Dr. King that ‘An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” acknowledged the Credit Czar. “Today I honor Dr. King. I thank him for these profound words that have motivated and inspired me for most of my life. “Yes, Dr. King’s message is forever true and must never be ignored. Due process is within reach and the pursuit is worth the effort, regardless of the outcome,” promised Howe. “I hope that my decision to obtain justice also motivates my sisters and brothers everywhere.” About SubscriberWise and U.S. Credit Czar David Howe SubscriberWise® launched as the first issuing consumer reporting agency exclusively for the cable industry in 2006. The company filed extensive documentation and end-user agreements to access TransUnion’s consumer database. In 2009, SubscriberWise and TransUnion announced a joint marketing agreement for the benefit of America’s cable operators. Today SubscriberWise is a risk management preferred-solutions provider for the National Cable Television Cooperative. SubscriberWise was founded by David Howe, who is a consultant and credit manager for MCTV, where he has remained employed for two decades. At MCTV, Howe manages the bad debt and equipment losses on annual sales in excess of $65 million. His interest in credit began in 1986 as a 17-year-old student in high school. Today, Howe is the highest FICO and Vantage Achiever in the worldwide financial history since Alan Turing invented the computer. SubscriberWise contributions to the communications industry are quantified in the billions of dollars annually. SubscriberWise is a U.S.A. federally registered trademark of the SubscriberWise Limited Liability Co.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.techradar.com

It's far from clear what the UK's immigration policy will look like post-Brexit, but it's almost certain that stricter controls will come into force in the not-too-distant future. There's been much talk in the news recently about how changes to immigration policy can affect the technology sector, with leading tech figures in the US penning a letter to president Trump about the impact of his ‘travel ban’ on the industry there. Now The Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, has released a report looking at what these uncertain times might mean for the machine learning industry in the UK, and what steps need to be taken to ensure we remain a world leader in this field. Put simply, machine learning is a process by which a computer can learn to complete a task by looking at previously entered data, rather than by being given a specific set of instructions. Facebook’s facial recognition software is a good example. The computer doesn’t need to be given individual instructions to identify people in the picture, then facial features, then compare those facial features against a database, then ask if that person is you. It knows it has to identify a person, and runs a system of checks based on previous results to reach the desired result. The UK has a strong track record in the field of machine learning, dating back to the 1950s when the computer scientist and former Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing created the Turing test, a test that's still used today as a marker of machine intelligence. More recently there have been some hugely successful UK startups dedicated to machine learning, including the now-Google-owned DeepMind, speech recognition company VocalIQ, which is now owned by Apple, and the now-Twitter-owned Magic Pony, which works to process visual data. With the shifts in the current political climate, The Royal Society is keen for the UK not to lose any ground in the world of machine learning, which is a rapidly developing industry. The report says: “As it considers its future approach to immigration policy, the UK must ensure that research and innovation systems continue to be able to access the skills they need. The UK’s approach to immigration should support the UK’s aim to be one of the best places in the world to research and innovate, and machine learning is an area of opportunity in support of this aim.” The future of the UK's tech sector fits into a larger conversation about how  changes in the digital landscape are going to affect the job market. One of the major fears the study identified during 60,000 digital interactions and 15,000 face-to-face encounters was that machines would replace humans in many jobs. The report seems to conclude that rather than being a job-taker, this industry is capable of creating jobs, as long as adequate funding is put into education in the field. “Because of the substantial skills shortage in this area, near-term funding should be made available so that the capacity to train UK PhD students in machine learning is able to increase with the level of demand for candidates of a sufficiently high quality,” the report adds. “This could be supported through allocation of the expected 1,000 extra PhD places.” One of the interesting discrepancies highlighted in the study was the vast difference between the amount of people who knew what machine learning was and those who use machine learning. Only 9% of all the people asked knew what machine learning was, whereas almost all of them used machine learning in one form or another.


VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 26, 2017 / CoinQx Exchange LIMITED, a wholly owned subsidiary of FIRST BITCOIN CAPITAL CORP (OTC PINK: BITCF or "Company", "We", "Us" or "Our") is the world's first underwriter of Initial Coin Offerings. The emerging proliferation of altcoins is rife with unverifiable ICOs which some say could result in the next South Seas Company Bubble not unlike that of the 16 th Century that resulted in Great Britain enacting the Bubble Act. What makes cryptocurrencies unlike that bubble is that cryptocurrencies have a new type of value and usage unknown to the 1700s. Comparisons were early made of Bitcoin to the Tulip frenzy of 15th Century Holland which turned out to be unfounded as well. Undoubtedly there will be many bubbles popping in most altcoins along the path to weeding out the fly-by-nights and perhaps a final bubble like that of the Internet when the stock market boom peaked on March 10 2000. This has presented First Bitcoin Capital with a unique opportunity to act as an underwriter of ICOs which will make us also a gatekeeper to weed out undesirable coin offerings. We envision that by acting as underwriter it will help differentiate the fly-by-night operators so that many potential speculators will avoid those that do not pass through our due diligence gateway. We believe that we are uniquely suited for this endeavor in as much as being a transparent public company; filing reports with OTC Markets; the trading of our shares regulated by FINRA; our CoinQx exchange registered with FINCEN; experienced in peer-to-peer cryptocurrency creation; having launched our own ICO; as well as the first pubco dedicated to this space. We are currently negotiating several underwritings including "Bonanza" now being offered as symbol "XZA" which has undergone our due diligence process sufficient to have agreed to act as best efforts underwriter at this point. As another way to ferret out the less credible coin offerings that are already trading on cryptocurrency exchanges our www.altcoinmarket.com web site (under development) will give the altcoin community access to up and down vote all altcoins covered therein. There also lacks conformity in this new space, therefore, First Bitcoin Capital Corp is in the process of developing systems like FINRA and CUSIP developed for identifiers including numbering and symbols generation yet to be placed on an open source blockchain. Another aspect of peer to peer coins that makes it unlike the South Seas Company Bubble is the emergence of Decentralized Autonomous States and Organizations (DAS or DAO) brining the world into a previously unknown legal structure opening new horizons. What makes this brave new world like the South Seas Bubble is the rampant speculation in new ICOs that may also similarly be seen as gambling. A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), sometimes labeled a decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization that is run through rules encoded as computer programs called smart contracts.A DAO's financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain. There are several examples of this business model. The precise legal status of this type of business organization is unclear. The best-known example was The DAO, a DAO for venture capital funding, which was launched with $150 million in crowdfunding in June 2016 and was immediately hacked and drained of US$50 million in cryptocurrency. Decentralized autonomous organizations have been seen by some as difficult to describe. Nevertheless, the conceptual essence of a decentralized autonomous organization has been typified as the ability of blockchain technology to provide a secure digital ledger that tracks financial interactions across the internet, hardened against forgery by trusted timestamping and by dissemination of a distributed database. This approach eliminates the need to involve a bilaterally accepted trusted third party in a financial transaction, thus simplifying the sequence. [2]The costs of a blockchain enabled transaction and of making available the associated data may be substantially lessened by the elimination of both the trusted third party and of the need for repetitious recording of contract exchanges in different records: for example, the blockchain data could in principle, if regulatory structures permitted, replace public documents such as deeds and titles. In theory, a blockchain approach allows multiple cloud computing users to enter a loosely coupled peer-to-peer smart contract collaboration. Buterin proposed that after a DAO was launched, it might be organized to run without human managerial interactivity, provided the smart contracts were supported by a Turing complete platform. Ethereum, built on a blockchain and launched in 2015, has been described as meeting that Turing threshold, thus enabling DAOs. Decentralized autonomous organizations aim to be open platforms where individuals control their identities and their personal data. Examples of DAOs are Dash, The DAO and Digix.io.[12] A value token called DigixDAO finished its crowdfunding campaign and the token began trading on exchanges on 28 April 2016. Shareholder participation in DAOs can be problematic. For example, BitShares has seen a lack of voting participation, because it takes time and energy to consider proposals. The precise legal status of this type of business organization is unclear;some similar approaches have been regarded by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as illegal offers of unregistered securities.Although unclear, a DAO may functionally be a corporation without legal status as a corporation: a general partnership.This means potentially unlimited legal liability for participants, even if the smart contract code or the DAO's promoters say otherwise.Known participants, or those at the interface between a DAO and regulated financial systems, may be targets for regulatory enforcement or civil actions. The code of a given DAO will be difficult to alter once the system is up and running, including bug fixes that would be trivial in centralised code. Corrections for a DAO would require writing new code and agreement to migrate all the funds. Although the code is visible to all, it is hard to repair, thus leaving known security holes open to exploitation unless a moratorium is called to enable bug fixing. In 2016, a specific DAO, The DAO, set a record for the largest crowdfunding campaign to date. However, researchers pointed out multiple issues in the code of The DAO. The operational procedure for The DAO allows investors to withdraw at will any money that has not yet been committed to a project; the funds could thus deplete quickly. Although safeguards aim to prevent gaming the voting of shareholders to win investments, there were a "number of security vulnerabilities". These enabled an attempted large withdrawal of funds from The DAO that was initiated in mid-June 2016. However, after much debate, on the 20th July 2016, the Ethereum community arrived at a consensus decision to hard fork the Ethereum blockchain to bailout the original contract and thus $ETC was a result. First Bitcoin Capital Corp is planning to launch a series of DAOs in 2017. The Company continues to actively offer AltCoin (ALT), its first ICO as it approaches completion via http://www.altcoinmarketcap.com We are proud to report that ALT is now listed on 4 exchanges including CCEX.com, Cryptopia, OMNIDEX, and our own CoinQX.com. Altcoin (symbol ALT) was added to our competitor's website today, coinmarketcap.com. We have also listed the recently launched 6 (see list below) indicative Bitcoin hard fork outcomes for speculators to predict the successful one(s) on www.CoinQX.com as well as adding "Bond." First Bitcoin Capital is engaged in developing digital currencies, proprietary Blockchain technologies, and the digital currency exchange- www.CoinQX.com. We see this step as a tremendous opportunity to create further shareholder value by leveraging management's experience in developing and managing complex Blockchain technologies, developing new types of digital assets. Being the first publicly-traded cryptocurrency and blockchain-centered company (with shares both traded in the US OTC Markets as [BITCF] and as [BIT] in crypto exchanges) we want to provide our shareholders with diversified exposure to digital cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. At this time the Company owns and operates more than the following digital assets. List of Omni protocol coins issued on the Bitcoin Blockchain owned by the Company: http://omnichest.info/lookupadd.aspx?address=1FwADyEvdvaLNxjN1v3q6tNJCgHEBuABrS Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors as may be disclosed in company's filings. In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic conditions, and governmental and public policy changes. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of the press release .Such forward-looking statements are risks that are detailed in the Company's filings, which are on file at www.OTCMarkets.com. Contact us via: info@bitcoincapitalcorp.com or visit http://www.bitcoincapitalcorp.com VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / April 26, 2017 / CoinQx Exchange LIMITED, a wholly owned subsidiary of FIRST BITCOIN CAPITAL CORP (OTC PINK: BITCF or "Company", "We", "Us" or "Our") is the world's first underwriter of Initial Coin Offerings. The emerging proliferation of altcoins is rife with unverifiable ICOs which some say could result in the next South Seas Company Bubble not unlike that of the 16 th Century that resulted in Great Britain enacting the Bubble Act. What makes cryptocurrencies unlike that bubble is that cryptocurrencies have a new type of value and usage unknown to the 1700s. Comparisons were early made of Bitcoin to the Tulip frenzy of 15th Century Holland which turned out to be unfounded as well. Undoubtedly there will be many bubbles popping in most altcoins along the path to weeding out the fly-by-nights and perhaps a final bubble like that of the Internet when the stock market boom peaked on March 10 2000. This has presented First Bitcoin Capital with a unique opportunity to act as an underwriter of ICOs which will make us also a gatekeeper to weed out undesirable coin offerings. We envision that by acting as underwriter it will help differentiate the fly-by-night operators so that many potential speculators will avoid those that do not pass through our due diligence gateway. We believe that we are uniquely suited for this endeavor in as much as being a transparent public company; filing reports with OTC Markets; the trading of our shares regulated by FINRA; our CoinQx exchange registered with FINCEN; experienced in peer-to-peer cryptocurrency creation; having launched our own ICO; as well as the first pubco dedicated to this space. We are currently negotiating several underwritings including "Bonanza" now being offered as symbol "XZA" which has undergone our due diligence process sufficient to have agreed to act as best efforts underwriter at this point. As another way to ferret out the less credible coin offerings that are already trading on cryptocurrency exchanges our www.altcoinmarket.com web site (under development) will give the altcoin community access to up and down vote all altcoins covered therein. There also lacks conformity in this new space, therefore, First Bitcoin Capital Corp is in the process of developing systems like FINRA and CUSIP developed for identifiers including numbering and symbols generation yet to be placed on an open source blockchain. Another aspect of peer to peer coins that makes it unlike the South Seas Company Bubble is the emergence of Decentralized Autonomous States and Organizations (DAS or DAO) brining the world into a previously unknown legal structure opening new horizons. What makes this brave new world like the South Seas Bubble is the rampant speculation in new ICOs that may also similarly be seen as gambling. A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), sometimes labeled a decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization that is run through rules encoded as computer programs called smart contracts.A DAO's financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain. There are several examples of this business model. The precise legal status of this type of business organization is unclear. The best-known example was The DAO, a DAO for venture capital funding, which was launched with $150 million in crowdfunding in June 2016 and was immediately hacked and drained of US$50 million in cryptocurrency. Decentralized autonomous organizations have been seen by some as difficult to describe. Nevertheless, the conceptual essence of a decentralized autonomous organization has been typified as the ability of blockchain technology to provide a secure digital ledger that tracks financial interactions across the internet, hardened against forgery by trusted timestamping and by dissemination of a distributed database. This approach eliminates the need to involve a bilaterally accepted trusted third party in a financial transaction, thus simplifying the sequence. [2]The costs of a blockchain enabled transaction and of making available the associated data may be substantially lessened by the elimination of both the trusted third party and of the need for repetitious recording of contract exchanges in different records: for example, the blockchain data could in principle, if regulatory structures permitted, replace public documents such as deeds and titles. In theory, a blockchain approach allows multiple cloud computing users to enter a loosely coupled peer-to-peer smart contract collaboration. Buterin proposed that after a DAO was launched, it might be organized to run without human managerial interactivity, provided the smart contracts were supported by a Turing complete platform. Ethereum, built on a blockchain and launched in 2015, has been described as meeting that Turing threshold, thus enabling DAOs. Decentralized autonomous organizations aim to be open platforms where individuals control their identities and their personal data. Examples of DAOs are Dash, The DAO and Digix.io.[12] A value token called DigixDAO finished its crowdfunding campaign and the token began trading on exchanges on 28 April 2016. Shareholder participation in DAOs can be problematic. For example, BitShares has seen a lack of voting participation, because it takes time and energy to consider proposals. The precise legal status of this type of business organization is unclear;some similar approaches have been regarded by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as illegal offers of unregistered securities.Although unclear, a DAO may functionally be a corporation without legal status as a corporation: a general partnership.This means potentially unlimited legal liability for participants, even if the smart contract code or the DAO's promoters say otherwise.Known participants, or those at the interface between a DAO and regulated financial systems, may be targets for regulatory enforcement or civil actions. The code of a given DAO will be difficult to alter once the system is up and running, including bug fixes that would be trivial in centralised code. Corrections for a DAO would require writing new code and agreement to migrate all the funds. Although the code is visible to all, it is hard to repair, thus leaving known security holes open to exploitation unless a moratorium is called to enable bug fixing. In 2016, a specific DAO, The DAO, set a record for the largest crowdfunding campaign to date. However, researchers pointed out multiple issues in the code of The DAO. The operational procedure for The DAO allows investors to withdraw at will any money that has not yet been committed to a project; the funds could thus deplete quickly. Although safeguards aim to prevent gaming the voting of shareholders to win investments, there were a "number of security vulnerabilities". These enabled an attempted large withdrawal of funds from The DAO that was initiated in mid-June 2016. However, after much debate, on the 20th July 2016, the Ethereum community arrived at a consensus decision to hard fork the Ethereum blockchain to bailout the original contract and thus $ETC was a result. First Bitcoin Capital Corp is planning to launch a series of DAOs in 2017. The Company continues to actively offer AltCoin (ALT), its first ICO as it approaches completion via http://www.altcoinmarketcap.com We are proud to report that ALT is now listed on 4 exchanges including CCEX.com, Cryptopia, OMNIDEX, and our own CoinQX.com. Altcoin (symbol ALT) was added to our competitor's website today, coinmarketcap.com. We have also listed the recently launched 6 (see list below) indicative Bitcoin hard fork outcomes for speculators to predict the successful one(s) on www.CoinQX.com as well as adding "Bond." First Bitcoin Capital is engaged in developing digital currencies, proprietary Blockchain technologies, and the digital currency exchange- www.CoinQX.com. We see this step as a tremendous opportunity to create further shareholder value by leveraging management's experience in developing and managing complex Blockchain technologies, developing new types of digital assets. Being the first publicly-traded cryptocurrency and blockchain-centered company (with shares both traded in the US OTC Markets as [BITCF] and as [BIT] in crypto exchanges) we want to provide our shareholders with diversified exposure to digital cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. At this time the Company owns and operates more than the following digital assets. List of Omni protocol coins issued on the Bitcoin Blockchain owned by the Company: http://omnichest.info/lookupadd.aspx?address=1FwADyEvdvaLNxjN1v3q6tNJCgHEBuABrS Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors as may be disclosed in company's filings. In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic conditions, and governmental and public policy changes. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of the press release .Such forward-looking statements are risks that are detailed in the Company's filings, which are on file at www.OTCMarkets.com. Contact us via: info@bitcoincapitalcorp.com or visit http://www.bitcoincapitalcorp.com


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

In 1902, Rudyard Kipling wrote the Just So Stories, which provided fanciful accounts of how, for example, the leopard got its spots. More than 80 years later, the mathematician James D. Murray suggested a mathematical mechanism that could explain this spotted pattern formation1. On page 173, Manukyan et al.2 tell an even more intriguing tale. The authors describe a strikingly beautiful biological pattern-forming system that spans the development of the ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus), which changes from a drab brown youngster with white polka dots (ocelli) to an adult whose skin is a rich black and green tapestry (Fig. 1). The authors call this patterning system a living cellular automaton. Originally conceived in the 1940s, a cellular automaton3, 4 is a system of spatially discrete but interconnected units that switch between different states depending on their own state and the states of their neighbours. Cellular automata have been used to probe theoretical concepts in computer science (such as a universal Turing machine5), study complex patterns in nature6, produce startling moving patterns based on simple rules (the 'Game of Life'7) and model biological systems8 and a panoply of discrete systems that are too numerous to list. The quest to understand pattern-forming biological systems has spanned more than half a century. It originated with the seminal work of Alan Turing, who published a much-cited paper9 on the chemical basis of morphogenesis — the developmental emergence of shape and form in living organisms. Similar ideas were proposed two decades later10, and have since been popularized in many papers and books. These theories established that interacting and diffusing chemicals can create spontaneous patterns of concentration: mountains and valleys in a chemical landscape. Such an uneven chemical distribution can direct morphogenesis. This concept has led to new scientific fields in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. How patterns form in living systems remains hotly debated and much discussed. The chemical signalling that underlies morphogenesis is fully understood in just a few systems. Moreover, tracking the fates of individual microscopic cells in a living tissue is a difficult problem that has been addressed only in the past two decades, albeit in various systems, including the transparent zebrafish embryo11, 12. Enter the team of Manukyan and colleagues. The authors present a case study in which a living pattern can be observed in detail as it unfolds. The skin pattern of T. lepidus is mesoscopic (a length scale between microscopic and macroscopic) and involves microscopic interactions of single pigment cells. These cells collectively give rise to the colour of the skin scales, and therefore the speckled pattern of the adult lizard's skin. The authors devised a remarkable way to track the skin pattern of an individual lizard over 3–4 years of its growth, matching skin-scale for skin-scale as the lizard's length increased fourfold. They used 3D scans of the lizard's skin and corrected for the curvature of its body and irregular surface texture to identify the centres of its scales. They then used a slight but sophisticated adjustment to map these points to the centres of hexagons; the resulting hexagonal array becomes a flattened 'tiling pattern', in which each tile represents one scale. The authors were able to track the skin scales because their number and relative position are maintained throughout the reptile's growth. The level of detail achieved by Manukyan et al. makes this study innovative in terms of providing empirical data with which to drive a theory of pattern formation. At the macroscopic scale, pattern formation is usually described as a smooth process that is continuous in space and time, and it is modelled by a set of reaction–diffusion equations — mathematical equations that describe how chemicals redistribute over space and time. The authors follow this convention, but with a key difference: they show that the boundaries between T. lepidus scales constrict during morphogenesis, and argue that this creates partial barriers to the diffusion of cells and chemicals between adjoining scales. As a result, the scales form discrete spatial units that each take on a uniform colour (black or green on the lizard's back) in a way that depends on the states of their neighbours. Formally, then, the biological pattern-forming system resembles the output of a cellular automaton. The scale pattern evolves by obeying a set of rules that transform one configuration of scale colours into another, with certain probabilities. It is in this sense that the authors describe T. lepidus as a 'living' cellular automaton. The authors determined empirically the probabilities of scales changing colour for distinct colour configurations of scales and their nearest neighbours. They then linked the reaction–diffusion and cellular-automaton approaches in a theoretical model. They found good agreement between the patterns that evolve over years on their reptilian subjects and the solutions to their model based on neighbourhood-dependent rules obtained from empirical data. This agreement is surprising and adds to the novelty of the authors' approach. What underlying mechanism drives this pattern formation? According to the authors, a system consisting of pigment cells (melanophores and xanthophores) interacting with a long-range, rapidly diffusing chemical suffices to explain the pattern formation — taking into account the partial diffusion barriers between adjoining scales that form during morphogenesis. The authors' model, which is modified from a pre-existing zebrafish pigmentation model13, reproduces the black and green labyrinthine pattern of the adult lizard's skin. Future work in which the chemicals and cellular interactions are identified in more detail (possibly in related but simpler in vitro experimental systems, such as cells and chemicals interacting in a tissue culture) would provide an opportunity for manipulating the patterns experimentally, and therefore allow us to learn more about the underlying cellular and molecular pattern-forming mechanisms. As the authors conclude, a cellular automaton is not just an abstract concept, but corresponds to a process generated by biological evolution. Nearly 80 years after its conception, the cellular automaton has come of age — it has matured from an abstract concept in the 1940s to in silico realizations since the 1960s and, finally, to a pattern-forming mechanism that has biological relevance and can be observed in reptilio.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

This year marks the centenary of what seems now to be an extraordinary event in publishing: the time when a UK local newspaper reviewed a dense, nearly 800-page treatise on mathematical biology that sought to place physical constraints on the processes of Darwinism. And what’s more, the Dundee Advertiser loved the book and recommended it to readers. When the author, it noted, wrote of maths, “he never fails to translate his mathematics into English; and he is one of the relatively few men of science who can write in flawless English and who never grudge the effort to make every sentence balanced and good.” The Dundee Advertiser is still going, although it has changed identity: a decade after the review was published, it merged with The Courier, and that is how most people refer to it today. The book is still going, too. If anything, its title — alongside its balanced and good sentences — has become more iconic and recognized as the years have ticked by. The book is On Growth and Form by D’Arcy Thompson. This week, Nature offers its own appreciation, with a series of articles in print and online that celebrate the book’s impact, ideas and lasting legacy. Still in print, On Growth and Form was more than a decade in the planning. Thompson would regularly tell colleagues and students — he taught at what is now the University of Dundee, hence the local media interest — about his big idea before he wrote it all down. In part, he was reacting against one of the biggest ideas in scientific history. Thompson used his book to argue that Charles Darwin’s natural selection was not the only major influence on the origin and development of species and their unique forms: “In general no organic forms exist save such as are in conformity with physical and mathematical laws.” Biological response to physical forces remains a live topic for research. In a research paper, for example, researchers report how physical stresses generated at defects in the structures of epithelial cell layers cause excess cells to be extruded. In a separate online publication (K. Kawaguchi et al. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature22321; 2017), other scientists show that topological defects have a role in cell dynamics, as a result of the balance of forces. In high-density cultures of neural progenitor cells, the direction in which cells travel around defects affects whether cells become more densely packed (leading to pile-ups) or spread out (leading to a cellular fast-lane where travel speeds up). A Technology Feature investigates in depth the innovative methods developed to detect and measure forces generated by cells and proteins. Such techniques help researchers to understand how force is translated into biological function. Thompson’s influence also flourishes in other active areas of interdisciplinary research. A research paper offers a mathematical explanation for the colour changes that appear in the scales of ocellated lizards (Timon lepidus) during development (also featured on this week’s cover). It suggests that the patterns are generated by a system called a hexagonal cellular automaton, and that such a discrete system can emerge from the continuous reaction-diffusion framework developed by mathematician Alan Turing to explain the distinctive patterning on animals, such as spots and stripes. (Some of the research findings are explored in detail in the News and Views section.) To complete the link to Thompson, Turing cited On Growth and Form in his original work on reaction-diffusion theory in living systems. Finally, we have also prepared an online collection of research and comment from Nature and the Nature research journals in support of the centenary, some of which we have made freely available to view for one month. Nature is far from the only organization to recognize the centenary of Thompson’s book. A full programme of events will run this year around the world, and at the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum in Dundee, skulls and other specimens are being scanned to create digital 3D models. Late last month, this work was featured in The Courier. One hundred years on, Thompson’s story has some way to run yet.

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