Less than two weeks after sales of recreational marijuana kicked off in Nevada, stores are running out of pot to sell, according to the state Department of Taxation.
On July 7, Governor Brian Sandoval endorsed the department’s call for a "statement of emergency," which would allow more dispensaries to become licensed distributors, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
Nearly 50 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area have licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use. Those sales got underway on July 1.
But in a legal snafu, those same retailers do not have the authority to restock their inventory.
Nevada is the only state with legalized marijuana that has such an arrangement.
As of Friday, the taxation department issued zero distribution licenses to alcohol wholesalers, because of incomplete applications and zoning issues, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
Dispensaries started selling the marijuana they had in stock to recreational users on July 1. Several establishments told state officials they expect to run out in the coming days.
A "statement of emergency" — which the taxation department said received the governor’s endorsement on July 7 — could bring relief. The regulation would allow the department to issue distribution licenses to a larger pool of applicants, including those outside the alcohol business. The Nevada Tax Commission is expected to vote on the regulation on Thursday.
Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the state Department of Taxation, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that a collapsed marijuana market has far-reaching consequences. A 15% tax on cultivation of marijuana generates revenue for the state, which it spends on public education.
"A halt in this market will lead to a hole in the state’s school budget," Klapstein said.
Residents and tourists who are 21 and over can buy up to an ounce of marijuana (or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates) — but only while supplies last.
The Moon is the Tango to Earth’s Cash, the Hall to our Oates, the Lennon to our McCartney before they hated each other. Simply put, our planet and the Moon are soul mates: except, of course, if something were to happen to one of them. Like, I don’t know, what if we just blew up the Moon?
For this week’s Giz Asks,Gizmodo spoke to astronomers and planetary scientists about the ramifications of blowing up our beloved satellite. While the idea has been excellent fodder for sci-fi (hello, Neal Stephenson), it’s worth understanding what would actually happen if some madman decided to destroy the Moon. Just… don’t get any ideas, okay?
Astronomer, physicist, and PhD candidate in Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arkansas
Let’s say we wanted to explode the Moon, just for fun. What are our options?
The moon is a spherical piece of rock with gravity. This means that all the rocks and grains are gravitationally bound with what is called “binding energy.”
With a cute little mass of 7.3×10^22 kg and a radius of 1,737 km (oh, how adorable), we’re going to blow it up.
Now, blowing it up won’t come easy. Anything smaller than the binding energy, and the rocks will rearrange themselves back to a sphere. The binding energy of the Moon is 1.2×10^29 Joules.
So let’s put this into perspective, with 3 possible weapons of choice:
1. Nuclear: the moon’s binding energy converted to TNT energy equivalent is 2.86×10^13 Megatonne TNT. The most powerful bomb during the Cold War produced 50 megatonnes. You would need 572,000,000,000 of those bombs!
2. Laser: the amount of energy from the Sun every 6 minutes produces 3×10^13 Megatonnes. That’s just enough light energy to cook and vaporize the moon! (Maybe even lesser chunks?)
3. Drilling: if we were to “cause a moon quake”(because why not), it would need to be higher than a 16.45 magnitude quake! (The largest earthquake [ever recorded] was at 9.5 Magnitude)
Astronomer, writer, and Director of Technology and Citizen Science at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
How dangerous would it be for life on Earth if we exploded the moon?
There are times when we all say (jokingly), “And now, we are all going to die.” I know this is how I feel trying to cross the rush hour streets of Jakarta. While death is a possibility in these situations, it’s not certain or common.
If we were somehow to pump enough energy into the moon to make it explode, the correct response is a serious utterance of “And now, we are all going to die.” The moon is held together globally by gravity and on smaller scales by the chemical bonds that hold together boulders, rocks, and even grains of sand. If the moon were made to go Ka-Boom, the needed forces would send chunks of Moon flying at high velocities. Larger chunks would crater our world, while smaller chunks would burn up in the atmosphere.
In a weird case where only big chunks are created, some chunks would hit Earth and generate massive shockwaves, potentially global tsunami, and would throw massive amounts of debris into the atmosphere. The impactors could leave boiling hot spots where bodies of water are involved.
While it may seem that debris (or smaller pieces of moon) falling through the atmosphere shouldn’t be too deadly, this intuition is wrong. As high speed material slows down in the atmosphere, [and] its kinetic energy gets turned into heat energy. The more stuff (either debris splashed up and falling down, or small moon bits falling) that goes through our atmosphere, the more heat goes into our atmosphere. At a certain point, our planet becomes a convection oven, and life outside of the oceans and not burrowed beneath the soil will be baked.
This is a bad way to die.
How would the tides be impacted if the moon exploded?
Taken semi-literally, the tides would be splashed to kingdom come.
Taken as intended, whatever bodies of water reformed as the Earth recovered from this devastating event would potentially be shaped by non-tidal forces – which would mean their would be no tides. It’s possible that some chunks of the exploded Moon and tossed up debris could reform into a new, smaller object, and this would in turn drive new tides that had times dictated by the new moon’s orbital period, and heights dictated by that new moon’s size and distance from Earth.
Astronomer and Assistant Professor of Planetary Sciences at Caltech
Would Earth look different if we blew up the Moon?
The moon is precious—it stabilizes the Earth’s spin-axis. Without the moon, the Earth will tumble chaotically between zero and 85 degrees. Although the timescale on which such changes would unfold is exceedingly long (tens to hundreds of millions of years), chaotic variation of the Earth’s obliquity can prove detrimental to the stability of our climate, and the overall habitability of our planet.
We might not have been here to ask the question of what would happen if the moon were not there, if not for the moon’s existence!
Do you have a question for Giz Asks? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concept of StockStream is a novel one, crowd-sourcing investment decisions from users who vote on which stocks should be bought and sold. Roberts, who fronted $50,000 of his own money to kickstart the operation, has programmed the game to make a trade every five minutes based on voting results.
Now Roberts will be doing so as an employee of Cheddar, which acquired StockStream for an undisclosed amount. He’ll expand the game’s offerings and work on other projects down the line.
For starters, Cheddar will double the original account balance to $100,000 and expand the asset classes available for investment, such as commodities. The live stream of Roberts’ game will also be incorporated into Cheddar.
The portfolio managed in the game has actually beaten equity benchmarks since its launch. It’s up roughly 0.7% over the period, compared to a 0.6% increase for the S&P 500 and 0.6% loss for the Nasdaq Composite.
When StockStream was first launched in May, Roberts said that the idea had been kicking around the web for years, with users of sites like Reddit letting anonymous commenters vote on the next stock they should buy. Roberts released StockStream as a more focused, and applied, version of that concept.
As for scoring, players are rated according to how their stocks perform. If you suggest buying Apple, and it pops right after the trade is made, you get points. But if it dives, your score is docked accordingly. Roberts said at the time of launch that the current scoring system is confusing for a lot of players, and will likely be revamped.
Check out Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Eisen’s full story here.
Decades of work have paid off for Nvidia. The next computer revolution is here, and the company is set to dominate its competition, according to Jefferies.
"IBM dominated in the 1950’s with the mainframe computer, DEC in the mid 1960’s with the transition to mini-computers, Microsoft and Intel as PCs ramped, and finally Apple and Google as cell phones became ubiquitous," Mark Lipacis wrote in a note to clients. "We believe the next tectonic shift is happening now and NVDA stands to benefit the way these aforementioned tech giants did in prior transitions."
Nvidia has been working on its CUDA computing platform and its graphics processing unit (GPU) technology for years. Traditionally, a computer has worked in a linear way, processing one task at a time on the central processing unit (CPU).
Shortly after GPUs were introduced in the 1990s, programmers began using them to break tasks into lots of smaller problems and solving them all at the same time on the GPU. This is called "parallel processing."
For certain types of problems, like rendering lots of graphics elements in a video game, GPUs were far superior to the single-minded CPU. They were slower at single tasks, but could handle lots of problems at the same time. Nvidia developed a programming platform, called CUDA, to take advantage of the way their GPUs could handle these multi-faceted problems. CUDA made it easy to break traditional problems into multiple parts that ran much faster on a GPU than the traditional CPU.
Jefferies thinks these two technologies give Nvidia a huge advantage over the competition.
"We see NVDA as a major beneficiary of the 4th Tectonic Shift in Computing, where serial processing (x86) architectures give way to massively parallel processing capabilities as the next wave of connected devices approach 10b units by 2022," Jefferies said.
As tech giants build out new data centers to handle their ballooning artificial intelligence research, they often turn to Nvidia to supply the hundreds or thousands of GPUs they need. MIT recently said Nvidia has spent around $3 billion to develop its current data center chip, and it’s a move that has paid off for the company. MIT named Nvidia as the smartest company in the world in 2017, in part, because of this investment.
Nvidia has been making waves in the autonomous-car business as well. The company recently announced partnerships with Baidu, Volvo and Volkswagen to improve their self-driving car technologies and its technology is already being used in vehicles made by Tesla, Audi and Toyota.
Investors have been rewarding Nvidia as it takes the computer world by storm. Shares of Nvidia are up 48.55% this year.
While it might take some time before Nvidia’s $87.04 billion market cap comes close to the companies that dominated the last computing revolution (Alphabet at $598.61 billion and Apple at $751.88 billion), Jefferies has faith in the company. The investment bank raised its price target to $180, up about 19% from Nvidia’s current price.
It’s been one week since the newest (and therefore scariest) cyberattack, which caused pandemonium across Ukraine and Russia before spreading to other countries. But that came only a few weeks after the WannaCry ransomware targeted Windows XP machines worldwide, which infamously held data from the UK’s National Health Service hostage. You might think we’ve entered a new era of cyberattacks, one that could threaten all of the machines in your home and every internet-connected service you rely on.
The truth is much more boring: It’s what we’ve always dealt with. Sure, in a post-Stuxnet world, there are more countries than ever dabbling in cyberwarfare. But they’re generally relying on the same sort of software flaws hackers have been using for decades. If this is all old hat, though, why aren’t we getting better at preventing major cyberattacks? Simply put, there still isn’t enough motivation for organizations to step up their security practices — even in the midst of an avalanche of headline-grabbing attacks.
"The larger problem is you have to think about how to get people to do the basics — get them updating and using better authentication," James Lewis, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Engadget. "I don’t think there’s enough of an incentive yet for the market to do this. And when the market isn’t doing it, you have to think of regulation."
After a series of cyberattacks targeted New York financial and insurance companies — including the 2015 Anthem breach, which exposed personal data of 78 million people — the state responded with one of the country’s first set of cybersecurity regulations. It requires that financial-service firms hire a chief information security officer (CISO) to manage and document their cybersecurity plans. Additionally, companies must notify New York’s Department of Financial Services of any breach attempts and ensure third-party firms that handle their data implement their own cybersecurity measures.
The New York regulations force potentially vulnerable companies to step up their efforts and accept accountability. Even with the looming threat of losing customer data, it’s difficult to make huge companies change their security behavior on their own. While it’s too early to tell if the regulations have actually helped stop any major attacks, the measures are at least more proactive than what organizations have done in the past. On the national front, Trump’s cybersecurity order doesn’t bring much to the table aside from more calls for surveillance.
"The economy would be better off if we could deregulate. That doesn’t work for cybersecurity," Lewis said. "Companies hate regulation, I get it. But then you’re going to say, ‘Well, we’re giving up on public safety.’" He likens the current situation with how American car companies, in particular, Ford, were resistant to seat belts and other safety regulations in the 1960s. And that was despite widespread research that seat belts would save customers’ lives.
"Many of the temporary standards are unreasonable, arbitrary and technically unfeasible," Henry Ford II, then-CEO of Ford, warned at the time. "If we can’t meet them when they are published, we’ll have to close down."
Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A darker possibility that could make security a priority is a massive cyberattack. While WannaCry came close, especially with its effect on the NHS, Lewis notes it really just exposed people who were slow to patching. There’s the potential for attacks to be even more aggressive and put even more lives in danger. While it would be nice to see extensive regulations pushing security initiatives, it’s not hard to imagine that many firms will resist any change until they’re forced to deal with serious consequences.
Following the WannaCry attacks, Microsoft’s legal head and president, Brad Smith, blamed the NSA and the US government for "stockpiling" the exploit behind it. That security flaw was discovered by the NSA but stolen earlier this year by hackers. And while Microsoft patched the issue once it was made aware, that didn’t help the millions of people running Windows XP and Windows Server 2012 who didn’t update. Some companies are stuck with XP because they rely on legacy software and, of course, some users just never get around to updating. XP is 16 years old, and Microsoft officially stopped supporting it in April 2014, so it’s surprising they patched it at all.
"We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world," Smith wrote. "Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its tomahawk missiles stolen. And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today: nation-state action and organized criminal action."
Lewis considers Microsoft’s appeal an attempt to pass the blame, but he notes that governments should be more transparent about their cybersecurity discussions. We’ve been hearing about talks occurring between the US, China and Russia during the past decade, but they haven’t been well-publicized. And while Microsoft’s Smith is calling for digital Geneva Conventions to get countries to agree to a certain set of cyberwarfare rules, Lewis doesn’t think there’s much incentive for a country like Russia to come to any agreement. "What’s a cyberattack? People can’t even agree on that," Lewis said.
Because it will be incredibly difficult to force other countries to play fair when it comes to cyberwar, the need for regulation seems more pressing than ever. We can’t control what other people do, but we can at least prepare for potential attacks as best we can.
Certain phrases tap into our innate psychology. Behavioral scientist Nicolas Gueguen at the University of Southern Brittany tested for this to see how you could more easily get what you want — just by prefacing your request with this simple phrase.
In an old barn that Jackson Pollock transformed into a studio, the artist laid his massive canvas on the wooden plank floor. He hurled white, yellow, blue, and black paint with sticks and knives at it. As he finished, he pressed his cigarette butt into the canvas, dripping with color.
"He made everyone aware of the potential of letting paint have its own way and the overall impact of a painting without any configuration," Thomas Crow, Associate Provost for the Arts at New York University, told Business Insider.
These are the must-see paintings from Pollock and other painters who transformed the world of painting, from the prehistoric era to today.
Jackson Pollock’s "Number 1, 1949" at MOCA in Los Angeles.
This painting reflects Pollock’s signature style: a wild explosion of color.
Pablo Picasso’s "Les Demoiselles d’Avignon" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
This early 20th century work abandoned perspective in favor of a 2D, abstract portrait. "Picasso made everybody aware of a new cubist logic of painting, a certain kind of distortions that brought all the painting’s elements forward," Crow says.
Picasso’s "Guernica" at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain.
One of the most moving anti-war paintings in history, this is a response to the 1937 bombing of Guernica, a village in northern Spain.
Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports that the Trump administration is gearing up to block a rule, called "The International Entrepreneur" rule, from taking effect on July 17. The rule was created by former president Barack Obama, and its purpose is to help foreign entrepreneurs come to the US to start their own companies. Though Trump has not yet made a final decision, the tech community is alreadyupinarms about the possible rollback.