May 19, 2020

Online poker websites, accounts shut down by FBI

NBC
FBI
Full Tilt Poker
Online gaming
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Online poker websites, accounts shut down by FBI

 

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN sports cable channel will remove its poker advertising and programming after the government shook up the gambling industry and indicted all websites that sponsor televised poker tournaments. The U.S. froze individual accounts of online poker players in 14 different countries after seizing websites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, major advertisers and sponsors of such televised tournaments. These websites have been charged of fraud, money laundering and of running illegal casino operations.

The FBI has since seized the domain names of five gambling sites, including Pokerstars.com, Fulltiltpoker.com, Absolutepoker.com, Ultimatebet.com and UB.com. These websites were forced to wear display notices imposed by the FBI saying:

“This domain name has been seized by the F.B.I. pursuant to an Arrest Warrant in Rem obtained by the United State Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York….

“For persons engaged in the business of betting or waging, it is also a federal crime to knowingly accept, in connection with the participation of another person in unlawful Internet gambling, credit, electronic fund transfers, or checks. Violations of these laws carry criminal penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.”

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Kelly Langmesser, a spokerswoman for the FBI’s New York office says about 76 bank accounts have been frozen to prevent players from accessing balances held by online betting companies. “We are looking at the funds and accounts to determine if they are the profits of an illegal enterprise,” Langmesser said. “The funds won’t be available until a determination has been made,” she said.

NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports Net and the Game Show Network have been major players in supporting poker. PokerStars based in Isle of Man, Full Tilt Poker based in Ireland, and Absolute Poker based in Costa Rica are the leading online poker sites that are doing business with U.S. companies, according to prosecutors.

“We are aware of the indictment only through what has been announced publicly,” ESPN said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “For the immediate future, we are making efforts to remove related advertising and programming pending further review.”



 

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Jun 16, 2021

Dr Peng Wei: Designing the Future of Autonomous Aircraft

NASA
Sustainability
IATA
Airbus
3 min
NASA has announced that it will fund a new project, headed by Dr Peng Wei, to develop safety management systems for autonomous electric aircraft

Air traffic is expected to double by 2037. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the world will need 37,000+ new passenger and freight aircraft, and more than half a million new pilots—unless we come up with another solution. Right now, a George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science professor, Dr Peng Wei, is starting to research autonomous electric aircraft design. 

 

NASA will fund the research, which will study how to minimise risks for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL). As Airbus states: ‘Autonomous technologies also have the potential to improve air traffic management, enhance sustainability performance and further improve aircraft safety’. 

 

Who is Dr Wei? 

An assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dr Wei has researched aircraft control, optimisation, and AI and ML applications in aviation. Over the next three years, he’ll lead the US$2.5mn NASA grant project in collaboration with researchers from Vanderbilt, the University of Texas at Austin, and MIT’s Lincoln Lab

 

Why is His Research Important? 

Even though the wide adoption of self-piloting cars, much less aircraft, is still far down the road, technologies that Dr Wei and his colleagues are researching will form the commercial transport of the future. But aviation manufacturers, in order to produce autonomous aircraft, will have to meet extremely high safety standards. 

 

‘The key challenge for self-piloting capabilities is how the system reacts to unforeseen events’, said Arne Stoschek, Wayfinder Project Executive at Acubed. ‘That’s the big jump from automated to autonomous’. In the air, AI-piloted aircraft will have to manoeuvre around adverse weather conditions, such as wind and storms, and other high-altitude risks, such as GPS hacking, cyberattacks, and aircraft degradation. And the stakes are high.

 

‘If a machine learning algorithm makes a mistake in Facebook, TikTok, Netflix —that doesn't matter too much because I was just recommended a video or movie I don't like’, Dr Wei said. ‘But if a machine learning algorithm mistake happens in a safety-critical application, such as aviation or in autonomous driving, people may have accidents. There may be fatal results’. 

 

What Are His Other Projects? 

In addition to the new NASA research, Dr Wei has been awarded three other grants to pursue AI-piloted aircraft: 

 

 

Research like NASA and Dr Wei’s three-year programme will help improve how AI reacts and adapts to challenging air conditions. In coming years, autonomous aircraft will likely take off slowly, starting with small package delivery, then upgraded drones, and finally commercialised aircraft. But congestion issues will worsen until autonomous aircraft are the best alternative. 


According to BBC Future, by 2030, commuters will spend nearly 100 hours a year in Los Angeles and Moscow traffic jams, and 43 cities will be home to more than 10 million people. The final verdict? Bring on the AI-operated transit.

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