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Comic for August 23, 2019

Dilbert - August 24, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Alleged “snake oil” crypto company sues over boos at Black Hat

Ars Technica - 1 hour 37 min ago

Enlarge / Things got weird during a sponsored talk at this year's Black Hat USA conference. Now it's spawning a lawsuit. (credit: Getty Images)

One of the strangest moments at the Black Hat USA security conference in Las Vegas this month has now become the subject of a federal lawsuit against the conference.

In a filing to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (PDF), attorneys for the "emerging digital cryptography" firm Crown Sterling alleged that Black Hat USA had breached "its sponsorship agreement with Crown Sterling and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing arising therefrom." Crown Sterling goes on to accuse the conference organizers of "other wrongful conduct" connected to events surrounding the presentation of a paper by Crown Sterling CEO and founder Robert E. Grant. In addition to legally targeting the conference, Crown Sterling has also filed suit against 10 "Doe" defendants, who it claims orchestrated a disruption of the company's sponsored talk at Black Hat.

Grant's presentation, entitled "Discovery of Quasi-Prime Numbers: What Does this Mean for Encryption," was based on a paper called "Accurate and Infinite Prime Prediction from a Novel Quasi-PrimeAnalytical Methodology." That work was published in March of 2019 through Cornell University's arXiv.org by Grant's co-author Talal Ghannam—a physicist who has self-published a book called The Mystery of Numbers: Revealed through their Digital Root as well as a comic book called The Chronicles of Maroof the Knight: The Byzantine. The paper, a slim five pages, focuses on the use of digital root analysis (a type of calculation that has been used in occult numerology) to rapidly identify prime numbers and a sort of multiplication table for factoring primes.

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Tesla working to resolve dispute with Walmart over solar panel fires

Ars Technica - 2 hours 11 min ago

Enlarge / Fire damage on the roof of a Walmart store in Indio, California. (credit: Walmart)

Walmart and Tesla are actively negotiating to resolve the lawsuit Walmart filed against Tesla earlier this week over defective solar panels, the two companies said in a joint statement sent out on Thursday evening.

"Walmart and Tesla look forward to addressing all issues and re-energizing Tesla solar installations at Walmart stores, once all parties are certain that all concerns have been addressed," the statement said. The companies say they're both committed to a "sustainable energy future" as well as safety and efficiency.

Spokespeople for Tesla and Walmart declined to provide any further details about the state of the negotiations, but it's not hard to guess what happened. The optics of Walmart suing Tesla over multiple fires on its store roofs were not good for Tesla. Tesla wants the public—and potential customers—to know that it's now working to address Walmart's concerns.

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