The Morning After: White House proposes a 30 percent tax on electricity used for crypto mining
If passed, the tax will be phased in over three years.
The Biden administration wants to impose a 30 percent tax, called the Digital Asset Mining Energy or DAME excise tax, on the electricity used for cryptocurrency mining. It explained it wants to tax crypto-mining companies because they aren't paying for the "full cost they impose on others," including environmental pollution and high energy prices.
Does mining crypto-currency use that much power? Yes. In April, The New York Times published a report detailing the energy used by the 34 large-scale Bitcoin miners in the US. Just those 34 operations together use the same amount of electricity as three million households. If the proposal becomes law, the government will impose the excise tax in phases. It would start by adding a 10 percent tax on miners' electricity use in the first year, 20 percent in the second, and 30 percent from the third year onwards.
– Mat Smith
The Morning After isn’t just a newsletter – it’s also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through Friday, by subscribing right here.
The biggest stories you might have missed
AMD's Ryzen 7040U chips promise speedier graphics for thin-and-light laptops
New ‘Double Dragon’ game trailer promises nostalgic beat-em-up thrills
'Fortnite' lands on Amazon Luna
Google rolls out support for passkeys across its services
Watch the first trailer for ‘Dune: Part Two’
Chalamet catches a ride on a sandworm.
The first trailer for Dune: Part Two is here, and if you were a fan of Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the first half of Frank Herbert's seminal sci-fi novel, let's say Part Two looks more of the same. The trailer offers us our first look at Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan. Her character didn't appear in Dune: Part One, but judging by the clip, Irulan will at least narrate some of the story, a change that could bring the movie closer to Herbert's 1965 novel. Another critical character that wasn't in Part One but appeared here is Feyd-Rautha, played by Austin Butler.
ChatGPT scams are the new crypto scams, Meta warns
Meta plans to roll out new Work Accounts for businesses to guard against hacks.
In a new report by Meta, the company says it’s seen a sharp uptick in malware disguised as ChatGPT and similar AI software. In a statement, the company said that since March 2023 alone, its researchers have discovered “ten malware families using ChatGPT and other similar themes to compromise accounts across the internet” and that it’s blocked more than 1,000 malicious links from its platform. According to Meta, the scams often involve mobile apps or browser extensions posing as ChatGPT tools.
Meta’s researchers aren’t the first to warn about fake ChatGPT tools leading to hacked accounts. Recently, researchers warned about a Chrome extension posing as ChatGPT software that led to the hacking of several Facebook accounts.
The best smartphones you can buy right now
Beyond iPhone or Android.
If you’ve already determined you only want an iPhone, your decision-making process for buying a new phone is slightly easier. (And even then, Apple’s lineup offers more options than ever.) However, if you’re looking for an Android, you will have even more options and likely more questions. For example, do you want a camera that can zoom into extremely far-away subjects (Samsung’s Galaxy S series?), or do you want intuitive AI to screen incoming calls for you? (Hello, Google’s Pixel series.) And is it time to get into foldable?
Google is replacing Chrome's lock icon because most people don't know what it means
The replacement is even more confusing, though...
Google plans to replace the lock next to the address bar in Chrome with a variant of the "tune" icon you see above. According to Google's research, only 11 percent of users realize the lock refers to HTTPS encryption. Many others think it means the site is trustworthy — a problem when even phishing sites use the technology.
The tune icon doesn't imply trustworthiness, Google says. It signals security is the default state. It invites a click, making it more likely to use site controls. I’m not sure the new icon is clearer than a lock…