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Riveter CEO and husband dispute FBI’s seizure of their financial institution accounts in AWS kickback investigation

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In a brand new courtroom submitting, attorneys for Seattle entrepreneur Amy Nelson and her husband contend that her wage and earnings are being unfairly held by the federal government as a part of the FBI’s seizure final 12 months of greater than $892,000 from their financial institution accounts.

The case is certainly one of a number of disputes stemming from allegations that Nelson’s husband, former Amazon actual property transaction supervisor Carl Nelson, conspired with a colleague and others to obtain hundreds of thousands of in kickbacks in trade for steering Amazon Internet Providers knowledge heart offers to a Colorado actual property developer, as detailed in a GeekWire story final week.

Carl Nelson denies claims that he and a coworker duped Amazon into working with the developer in trade for bribes. His attorneys say broad allowances for outdoor work in his Amazon employment contract gave him leeway to do enterprise with Amazon purchasers and clients.

Along with being a defendant in a civil swimsuit filed by Amazon, Carl Nelson is without doubt one of the topics of an FBI prison investigation, courtroom data present.

Amy Nelson, CEO of The Riveter. (Riveter Picture)

Amy Nelson is CEO and founding father of The Riveter co-working startup and girls’s community, which raised practically $20 million in funding with plans to open as many as 100 places by 2022. That was earlier than the pandemic, which compelled the corporate to shut all 9 of its places final 12 months.

She isn’t named in Amazon’s civil swimsuit. The Riveter itself isn’t concerned or talked about by title in any of the authorized proceedings. Legal professionals for the Nelsons say the federal government has not recognized Amy Nelson as a goal or topic of the FBI investigation.

The Feb. 17 filing formally opposes a movement by the federal authorities to delay, for six months, courtroom proceedings associated to the seizure of the Nelsons’ financial institution accounts. These seizures now quantity to $633,916 after deducting cash put aside for attorneys’ charges within the case.

“Primarily based on the Authorities’s personal representations, $475,892 of that cash will not be even purported fraud proceeds, however had been seized due to potential commingling with cash that the Nelsons earned from their jobs or investments,” attorneys for the Nelsons say within the submitting.

Citing a delay in grand jury proceedings as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the Division of Justice asked the court on Feb. 3 to pause the civil forfeiture case. Justice Division attorneys referenced a sealed declaration wherein an FBI particular agent indicated that the traditional technique of discovery within the forfeiture case “would have an antagonistic influence on a pending prison investigation,” because the DOJ submitting defined it, by publicly disclosing delicate data.

“No indictment has been issued at this level, however the case is actively continuing,” attorneys for the federal government wrote within the submitting,” including that “not all who could also be implicated are conscious that they’re topics of the investigation.”

In response, attorneys for Amy and Carl Nelson say within the submitting that key particulars of the case have already been made public by way of Amazon’s lawsuit and information reviews, citing reporting for GeekWire by journalist Levi Pulkkinen. The quantity of publicly obtainable data renders the federal government’s issues largely moot or simply dealt with with customary redactions, they assert.

“We look ahead to the chance to litigate the case and search the return of the Nelsons’ cash,” stated Suneeta Hazra, a lawyer for the Nelsons, a companion at regulation agency Arnold & Porter in Denver and former chief of the Prison Division within the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Colorado.

Within the meantime, the submitting says, the seizure of the funds is having “a profound impact” on the Nelsons. They offered their Seattle house for $1.three million in January, in line with King County property data. They’ve been unable to pay their 2019 revenue tax invoice, as a result of the $125,000 they put aside for the aim has been seized, in line with the courtroom submitting.

As well as, the submitting notes that “the in depth publicity relating to the proceedings involving Amazon and this forfeiture criticism has compromised the power of each Mr. and Mrs. Nelson to earn a residing and care for his or her massive, younger household.”

Somewhat than requesting a keep after beginning the forfeiture case, they are saying, the federal government may have initially requested for a continuance, giving it extra time to file the case within the first place.

“Right here, it selected not to take action regardless of the extremely dangerous impact its naming of Amy Nelson within the caption of the criticism would have on her enterprise and popularity,” the submitting says. “Having made that selection, with out consulting with the Nelsons’ attorneys or Mr. Nelson, the reduction the Authorities seeks would give Mrs. Nelson no avenue to acquire even a scintilla of knowledge to which she is entitled to beneath the invention guidelines.”

The submitting additionally gives particulars on how the prison investigation has unfolded. It says Carl Nelson first discovered about it on April 2, 2020, “when FBI brokers arrived unannounced at his home in Seattle, in the course of the pandemic, and knowledgeable him that he’s the goal of a federal investigation within the Japanese District of Virginia.”

The funds had been seized on Might 22, 2020, from six of the Nelsons’ financial institution accounts, the submitting says.

“On June 5, the FBI once more confirmed up unannounced to look the Nelsons’ house within the presence of Mr. Nelson, his spouse, and their 4 daughters — then ages 5, three, 2, and 9 months,” the submitting says. “They stayed for lower than an hour, throughout which they seized Mr. Nelson’s cell phone, laptop computer, and numerous paper paperwork.”

For pals of Amy Nelson and members of the Seattle tech group who’ve carefully adopted her entrepreneurial journey, particulars of the investigation and swimsuit towards her husband have shed new mild on what she has been experiencing prior to now 12 months, serving to to fill within the gaps left by social media posts wherein she alluded to the authorized entanglements.

“There is no such thing as a recommendation I may have given myself a 12 months in the past as a result of, like, you couldn’t make this 12 months up,” she wrote in an Instagram put up in December. “Your corporation has an incredible crew of 100 and is rising 20% month over month? You personal the house you labored years to purchase? Your husband has a profitable consulting enterprise? Your youngsters go to highschool? You aren’t at the moment mired in authorized hell? It’s going to look actually completely different in 12 months. Buckle up.”

Amazon alleges in courtroom filings that Carl Nelson and his former Amazon actual property colleague, Casey Kirschner, engaged in outright fraud, not a aspect enterprise, in receiving hundreds of thousands in funds from the true property developer, Northstar Industrial Companions.

Northstar and its CEO Brian Watson “obtained all of their enterprise with us by fraud, and particularly by paying bribes and kickbacks to deprave insiders inside our firm,” stated Elizabeth Papez, an legal professional for Amazon, throughout a courtroom listening to in January.

Carl Nelson has filed his personal swimsuit towards Amazon in King County Superior Court docket in Seattle, alleging partially that the corporate has run afoul of Washington state’s new regulation limiting non-competition agreements. His attorneys declare Amazon violated his contract by suing him in federal courtroom in Virginia relatively than in Washington state courtroom, the venue set within the settlement.

The newest submitting by the Nelsons’ attorneys says that Amazon initially based mostly its civil swimsuit on an employment settlement signed by one other Amazon worker, not Nelson, with “a wholly completely different employment contract with completely different phrases relating to outdoors revenue.”

Amazon has since up to date its criticism with the proper contract, however attorneys for the Nelsons assert within the submitting that the corporate nonetheless “predicated a considerable portion of these preliminary allegations towards Mr. Nelson — and presumably all of its preliminary discussions with the Authorities — on an employment contract that had nothing to (do) with him.”

The submitting additionally presents a glimpse of Carl Nelson’s authorized protection, noting that “Amazon has steered Mr. Nelson’s actions constituted an undisclosed battle of curiosity, which the Supreme Court docket has explicitly held doesn’t qualify as honest services fraud,” which federal regulation defines as “a scheme or artifice to deprive one other of the intangible proper of sincere companies.”

In its earlier submitting within the forfeiture case, the federal government stated that the seized funds represented proceeds not simply from alleged honest-services wire fraud or a conspiracy to commit fraud, but additionally from alleged cash laundering or illegal financial transactions.

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On October 25, Apple will release iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. What we know so far

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Apple released important updates for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on Tuesday, to address several issues and a severe security hole affecting the two platforms. Now, according to reports, Apple is working on iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 builds for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPads.

Also, Twitter user named RobertCFO received confirmation from an Apple Product Security Team member about the final build’s release date. On October 25th, according to a leaked email that was then deleted from Twitter, iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 will be released, a week after Apple holds its conference.

This follows Apple’s general software upgrade policy, which is to release new updates a week after its events.

SharePlay, which allows you to remotely watch and listen to streaming material with your friends via FaceTime, ProRes video support, as well as Covid-19 vaccination document support in the Wallet app, are all expected features of iOS 15.1.

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PSA: Mining Chia on an SSD Will Completely Wreck It in No Time Flat

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When SSDs first started transport in shopper merchandise, there have been comprehensible issues about their longevity. Time, steadily enhancing manufacturing methods, and a few low-level OS enhancements have all contributed to solid-state storage’s popularity for sturdiness. With experiences praising SSDs as provisionally extra dependable than arduous drives even beneath heavy utilization, it’s straightforward to see how individuals may not see the brand new Chia cryptocurrency as a serious trigger for concern.

It’s. Chia is first plotted after which farmed, and whereas farming Chia takes little or no in the way in which of processing sources, plotting it should completely hammer an SSD.

It’s been years since we talked about write amplification, but it surely’s a difficulty that impacts all NAND flash storage. NAND is written in 4KB pages and erased in 256KB blocks. If 8KB of information must be changed out of a 256KB block, the drive might want to learn the unique 256KB block, replace it, write the brand new block to a unique location on the drive, after which erase the earlier block.

Write amplification has been an issue for NAND for the reason that starting and a substantial amount of work has gone into addressing these issues, however Chia represents one thing of a worst-case situation. Right here’s an excerpt from a latest Chia blog post:

Producing plot recordsdata is a course of known as plotting, which requires short-term space for storing, compute and reminiscence to create, kind, and compress the information into the ultimate file. This course of takes an estimated 256.6GB of short-term house, very generally saved on SSDs to hurry up the method, and roughly 1.3TiB of writes in the course of the creation.

The ultimate plot created by the method described above is simply 101.3GB. There seems to be an order of magnitude of distinction between the full quantity of drive writes required to create a Chia plot and the storage capability mentioned plot requires when accomplished.

Motherboard producers have gotten in on the motion, with one Chia-compliant board providing 32 SATA backplanes.

Right here’s what this boils right down to: A number of shopper SSDs are actually unhealthy decisions for mining Chia. TLC drives with SLC / MLC caches will not be really useful as a result of they provide poor efficiency. Low-end and midrange shopper drives will not be really useful, as a result of they don’t provide excessive sufficient endurance. It’s important to watch out through which SKUs you buy and enterprise and enterprise drives are extra extremely really useful normally.

Don’t purchase a QLC drive to mine Chia.

Optane would appear to be a near-perfect match for Chia, given its a lot greater endurance, however I can’t discover any data on whether or not individuals have tried deploying it in massive sufficient numbers to have some concept of what efficiency and endurance seem like beneath the 24/7 load Chia plotters are placing on their hardware. Possibly any individual will put a rig collectively utilizing it, as a lot out of curiosity as the rest.

Past that, ExtremeTech recommends customers not try and plot Chia on any SSD they aren’t snug with dropping, and to not purchase an SSD for the aim until you don’t thoughts throwing it away if it dies far more rapidly than anticipated. Chia plotting is a worst-case situation for SSD longevity and it needs to be handled as such.

One notice of fine information: To this point, Chia mining has had a a lot stronger affect on high-capacity arduous drive costs than on SSDs and smaller drives. Hopefully, this continues to be the case.

Now Learn:

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Microsoft adapts OpenAI’s GPT-Three pure language expertise to mechanically write code

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduces the brand new GPT-Three integration into Energy Apps in a recorded keynote tackle for the corporate’s digital Construct convention.

Microsoft unveiled new tools for automatically generating computer code and formulation on Tuesday morning, in a brand new adaptation of the GPT-Three natural-language expertise extra generally identified for replicating human language.

The aptitude, to be supplied as a part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, is among the fruits of the corporate’s partnership with OpenAI, the San Francisco-based synthetic intelligence firm behind GPT-Three. Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019.

“The code writes itself,” stated Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, saying the information in a recorded keynote tackle to open the corporate’s Build developer conference.

The characteristic is named Power Apps Ideas. It’s a part of a broader push by Microsoft and different expertise corporations to make software program growth extra accessible to non-developers, often called low-code or no-code growth.

Microsoft fine-tuned GPT-Three to “leverage the mannequin’s current strengths in pure language enter to offer Energy Apps makers the power to explain logic similar to they’d to a good friend or co-worker, and find yourself with the suitable system for his or her app,” says Ryan Cunningham of the Energy Apps staff in a publish describing the way it works.

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