Opera Now Resolves the .Crypto Top-Level Domain

Opera recently announced that its browser would start resolving .crypto addresses. The interesting thing about that is that .crypto is not an officially recognized ICANN top-level domain.

Rather it is the work of Unstoppable Domains which is an attempt to “replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name.”

In an announcement of new updates to its browser, Opera wrote,

True crypto-geeks will appreciate the fact that Opera has also partnered with Unstoppable Domains, a blockchain naming system built on Ethereum.

Blockchain domain names are similar to .com or .org domains, the main difference being that they are stored on a decentralized public ledger (Ethereum). Registering .com or .org domains allows people to easily reach web addresses instead of having to type in a long IP address. A .crypto domain or wallet address works in much the same way, providing this experience on a blockchain. What this means in practice is that by owning a .crypto domain name, you can simplify your wallet address. Instead of sending someone a long set of numbers, you can use a short address like operafan.crypto, which makes it easier to send and receive cryptocurrencies in your wallet.

For those who don’t use Opera, there is a Chrome extension that will resolve the .crypto domain name space correctly within that browser as well.

How Big Is The Risk of Contracting COVID-19 or Delivery Packages?

Apparently fairly low, according to an article in The Washington Post by Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure and assessment science at Harvard University.

First, disease transmission from inanimate surfaces is real, so I don’t want to minimize that. It’s something we have known for a long time; as early as the 1500s, infected surfaces were thought of as “seeds of disease,” able to transfer disease from one person to another.

In that new NEJM study, here’s the finding that is grabbing headlines: The coronavirus that causes covid-19 “was detectable . . . up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.”

. . .

Yes, the virus can be detected on some surfaces for up to a day, but the reality is that the levels drop off quickly. For example, the article shows that the virus’s half-life on stainless steel and plastic was 5.6 hours and 6.8 hours, respectively.

. . .

You can leave that cardboard package at your door for a few hours — or bring it inside and leave it right inside your door, then wash your hands again. If you’re still concerned there was any virus on the package, you could wipe down the exterior with a disinfectant, or open it outdoors and put the packaging in the recycling can. (Then wash your hands again.)

What about going to the grocery store? The same approach applies.

Shop when you need to (keeping six feet from other customers) and load items into your cart or basket. Keep your hands away from your face while shopping, and wash them as soon as you’re home. Put away your groceries, and then wash your hands again. If you wait even a few hours before using anything you just purchased, most of the virus that was on any package will be significantly reduced. If you need to use something immediately, and want to take extra precautions, wipe the package down with a disinfectant. Last, wash all fruits and vegetables as you normally would.

Fraudster Used QR Code Generators to Steal Bitcoin

I’ve always wondered about the possibility of using QR codes for nefarious purposes, since they essentially encode URLs or other information in a format not easily readable by humans. ZDNet reports about some scammers who used QR code generators to steal tens of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoins.

The scam here is fairly straightforward. When requesting payment in Bitcoin, users often send QR codes to recipients that encode the wallet information that the Bitcoin payment should be sent to. This is because Bitcoin addresses are fairly lengthy.

The scammers set up a Bitcoin generator that would always generate a QR code pointing back to a wallet controlled by the scammers. Since QR codes are not human readable, the person using the QR code generator would likely not notice the issue until it was too late and money was transferred to the scammer’s wallet instead of their own.