Mastercard Will Use the USDC Stablecoin As a Bridge Asset For Cardholders Who Want To Pay For Goods Using Cryptocurrencies
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CoinDesk:
Mastercard has named the first stablecoin and a handful of partner companies that will help cryptocurrency holders spend their digital assets at merchants that accept the payment giant's cards. In the pilot announced Tuesday, Circle's USDC will serve as a bridge between the cryptocurrency in consumers' digital wallets and the fiat currency paid to merchants. USDC is a digital token that almost always trades at $1 because the issuer promises to redeem it 1-for-1 with greenbacks at any time.
While it might sound like adding an extra step, swapping a cryptocurrency for a stablecoin and then exchanging the stablecoin for dollars can be quicker or simpler than going directly from crypto to fiat. For example, some cryptos cannot be easily traded on an exchange for dollars but can be for USDC. Adding this way station will assist cryptocurrency firms that want to offer Mastercard-branded products to their customers, the company said. "Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we're making it easier," said Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard's executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products, in a press release. The announcement, five months after Mastercard said it planned to bring select stablecoins into its network, was framed as a step toward that eventual goal.
EU Plans To Make Bitcoin Transfers More Traceable
Proposed changes to EU law
would force companies that transfer Bitcoin or other crypto-assets to collect details on the recipient and sender. The BBC reports:
The proposals would make crypto-assets more traceable, the EU Commission said, and would help stop money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The new rules would also prohibit providing anonymous crypto-asset wallets. The Commission argued that crypto-asset transfers should be subject to the same anti-money-laundering rules as wire transfers. "Given that virtual assets transfers are subject to similar money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks as wire funds transfers... it therefore appears logical to use the same legislative instrument to address these common issues," the Commission wrote.
While some crypto-asset service providers are already covered by anti-money-laundering rules, the new proposals would "extend these rules to the entire crypto-sector, obliging all service providers to conduct due diligence on their customers," the Commission explained. Under the proposals, a company transferring crypto-assets for a customer would be obliged to include their name, address, date of birth and account number, and the name of the recipient. To become law the proposals will need the agreement of member states and the European Parliament. The proposals could take two years to become law.
Nasty Linux Systemd Security Bug Revealed
discovered a new systemd security bug that
enables any unprivileged user to cause a denial of service via a kernel panic. Slashdot reader
inode_buddha shares the news via ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols:
As Bharat Jogi, Qualys's senior manager of Vulnerabilities and Signatures, wrote, "Given the breadth of the attack surface for this vulnerability, Qualys recommends users apply patches for this vulnerability immediately." You can say that again. Systemd is used in almost all modern Linux distributions. This particular security hole arrived in the systemd code in April 2015.
It works by enabling attackers to misuse the alloca() function in a way that would result in memory corruption. This, in turn, allows a hacker to crash systemd and hence the entire operating system. Practically speaking, this can be done by a local attacker mounting a filesystem on a very long path. This causes too much memory space to be used in the systemd stack, which results in a system crash. That's the bad news. The good news is that Red Hat Product Security and systemd's developers have immediately patched the hole.
LG Might Sell iPhones In Its Stores After Quitting Android Devices
LG will reportedly
start selling iPhones and iPads in its South Korean stores this August -- mere months after the company
quit making Android devices. Android Authority reports:
According to MacRumors, the Herald Economic Daily claims LG has struck a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone and iPad in 400 stores across South Korea starting in August. LG may have to overcome some hurdles to make this happen. The company reportedly signed a "win-win" agreement with the country's National Mobile Communication Distribution Association that bars it from selling a direct competitor's phones in its stores. That deal was made in 2018, however, or well before LG signaled that it would quit making phones and tablets. LG is supposedly planning to renegotiate the agreement once it officially sells the iPhone and iPad in its shops. The deal unsurprisingly wouldn't include Macs, as systems like the MacBook Air compete directly with the Gram series and other LG computers where the iPhone and iPad are relatively safe.
Denuvo DRM Removed From Upcoming Strategy Game, Dev Blames 'Performance Impact'
A video game developer is
abandoning the Denuvo DRM platform for its upcoming game's PC version, blaming Denuvo-related performance issues for the decision. An anonymous reader shares an article written by Ars Technica's Sam Machkovech:
Amplitude Studios, a French studio known for PC-exclusive 4X strategy games, had previously announced that its next game, Humankind, would ship with a Denuvo implementation in August 2021. This prompted a post titled "The day Amplitude broke my heart" on Amplitude's official forum, with a fan declaring their love of prior Amplitude strategy games and then expressing their disappointment that Humankind had a Denuvo tag on its Steam page. After pointing to their disagreement with Denuvo's practices, including the block of offline-only gameplay, the fan offered a reasonably levelheaded plea: "To be fair, I totally understand why Denuvo was chosen (probably by [Amplitude studio owner] Sega). I understand how important it is for sales to protect the game around release, but PLEASE Amplitude, PLEASE consider to remove Denuvo after some months!" This request lines up with other game publishers' decisions to remove Denuvo protections after a PC game's launch window has passed.
Amplitude co-founder and CCO Romain de Waubert de Genlis replied to the thread on Thursday, July 15, with a surprising announcement: the fan wouldn't have to wait "some months" to see Denuvo removed. Instead, Humankind will launch on August 17 with no Denuvo implementation to speak of. On his company's forum, de Genlis admits that business considerations played into Amplitude's original decision: "We've been one of the most wishlisted games on Steam this year, so we know we're going to be targeted by pirates, more so than any of our previous games," he writes. "If Denuvo can hold off a cracked version, even just for a few days, that can already really help us to protect our launch."
But ultimately, his teammates felt they couldn't justify its inclusion after running into issues. While de Genlis admits that there's a chance his team could have added Denuvo to the game without impacting PC performance, tests during the game's June closed beta showed the performance hit was too great—and that it's "not something we can fix before release. So, we are taking it out." In other words: when left with the choice between delaying the game to optimize a Denuvo implementation and to launch the game without Denuvo at all, Amplitude opted for the latter. "Our priority is always the best possible experience for the players who buy our games and support us," de Genlis writes. "Denuvo should never impact player performance, and we don't want to sacrifice quality for you guys." After this, the topic's creator edited the thread title to read, "The day Amplitude broke my heart (and how they reassembled it)."
Bitcoin Crashes Below $30,000 As Cryptocurrency Free-Fall Accelerates
The price of bitcoin has come
crashing below the $30,000 mark for the first time in a month. "At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $29,694.34," writes Paul Lilly via HotHardware. "That's down from around $31,000 yesterday, and less than half of where Bitcoin peaked at in April of this year, when it topped $60,000." From the report:
Will it go back up? Probably, but for Bitcoin investors, there are definitely reasons to be cautious, outside of the normal volatility associated with cryptocurrencies. For one, China is cracking down on cryptocurrency in general. As such, crypto miners recently dumped a bunch of used GeForce RTX 3060 cards on eBay for relatively cheap (compared to what they had been selling for), as well as ASIC hardware, the latter of which is what Bitcoin miners use these days. But it's not just China.
Malaysian police recently seized and then steamrolled 1,069 ASIC mining rigs after discovering that miners had illegally tapped into a power grid to steal electricity for their operations. Talk about sending a strong message. In addition, six people were arrested, jailed, and fined (but hey, at least they weren't steamrolled). Tighter regulations in various territories could affect Bitcoin's value, too. For example, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said lawmakers must "act quickly" to construct and adopt new rules on stablecoins. "Bringing together regulators will enable us to assess the potential benefits of stablecoins while mitigating risks they could pose to users, markets, or the financial system," Yellen said in a statement. "In light of the rapid growth in digital assets, it is important for the agencies to collaborate on the regulation of this sector and the development of any recommendations for new authorities." It's worth noting that other cryptocurrencies are down too. Dogecoin is down more than 5 percent to $0.16, while Ethereum dropped more than 3 percent to $1,755.99. Just over two months ago it was at nearly $3,900.
Hmmmmmm shares a
blog post from
Stockfish announcing a lawsuit against
The Stockfish project strongly believes in free and open-source software and data. Collaboration is what made this engine the strongest chess engine in the world. We license our software using the GNU General Public License, Version 3 (GPL) with the intent to guarantee all chess enthusiasts the freedom to use, share and change all versions of the program. Unfortunately, not everybody shares this vision of openness. We have come to realize that ChessBase concealed from their customers Stockfish as the true origin of key parts of their products (see also earlier blog posts by us and the joint Lichess, Leela Chess Zero, and Stockfish teams). Indeed, few customers know they obtained a modified version of Stockfish when they paid for Fat Fritz 2 or Houdini 6 -- both Stockfish derivatives -- and they thus have good reason to be upset. [ChessBase released Fat Fritz 2, described on their website as the "new number 1" chess engine "with a massive new neural network, trained by Albert Silver with the original Fat Fritz." They advertise Fat Fritz 2 as using novel strong ideas compared to existing chess engines, but in reality Fat Fritz 2 is just Stockfish with a different neural network and minimal changes that are neither innovative nor appear to make the engine stronger.] ChessBase repeatedly violated central obligations of the GPL, which ensures that the user of the software is informed of their rights. These rights are explicit in the license and include access to the corresponding sources, and the right to reproduce, modify and distribute GPLed programs royalty-free.
In the past four months, we, supported by a certified copyright and media law attorney in Germany, went through a long process to enforce our license. Even though we had our first successes, leading to a recall of the Fat Fritz 2 DVD and the termination of the sales of Houdini 6, we were unable to finalize our dispute out of court. Due to Chessbase's repeated license violations, leading developers of Stockfish have terminated their GPL license with ChessBase permanently. However, ChessBase is ignoring the fact that they no longer have the right to distribute Stockfish, modified or unmodified, as part of their products. Thus, to enforce the consequences of the license termination, we have filed a lawsuit. This lawsuit is broadly supported by the team of maintainers and developers of Stockfish. We believe we have the evidence, the financial means and the determination to bring this lawsuit to a successful end. We will provide an update to this statement once significant progress has been made.
Jeff Bezos On Critics of Billionaires Going To Space: 'They're Mostly Right'
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC:
Jeff Bezos has heard the complaints about billionaires like himself funneling their money into private rocket companies instead of donating to causes on Earth, and he doesn't disagree. In an interview with CNN ahead of his planned Tuesday morning space voyage in a rocket built by his company Blue Origin, Bezos was asked for his thoughts on critics who call the extraterrestrial flights "joyrides for the wealthy, and [who say] you should be spending your time and your money and energy trying to solve problems here on Earth." "Well, I say they are largely right," said Bezos, who Bloomberg estimates is worth $206 billion. "We have to do both. We have lots of problems here on Earth and we have to work on those."
Bezos and fellow billionaires [...] have been characterized by critics as deaf to issues on the ground and too obsessed with making space more accessible when they could put their resources elsewhere. The 57-year-old Bezos, who earlier this month stepped down as CEO of Amazon, said it's important to "look to the future ... as a species and as a civilization." In his view, the work being done today will lay the foundation for future generations to work in space, which "will solve problems here on Earth." In
an opinion piece for MSNBC, Talia Lavin views billionaires going to space through a more incendiary lens, writing: "What they seek to leave behind is a planet burning and flooding and full of the kind of small and ordinary suffering such fortunes could alleviate in an instant."
The space program of the 1960s, which resulted in the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, "may have been mired in the bitter and petty rivalries of the Cold War, and limned by prejudice about who could excel," writes Lavin, "but it was a project funded and created by our government, an achievement held in common by the masses. No such common pride can be held in the launch of the titans of capital."
"In this billionaire battle, there is no pretense at a sense of collective pride or communal achievement. Even the drumbeat of nationalism would be better than this obscene egotism, whose fumes are more putrid than rocket-jet emissions. It feels like a parody of hubris, and a colossal celebration of the social failure to moderate preposterous accumulations of wealth."
Venmo Drops the Global Social Feed That Could Make Your Payments Visible To Strangers
Venmo announced it's
removing its global social feed on Tuesday, the payment appâ(TM)s notorious feature that allows strangers to potentially view payments you make and receive on Venmo. From a report:
Now Venmo's social elements will be limited to your actual friends on the app in the "friends feed" without you having to toggle any features in the app. The company buried the change in a blog post detailing an update to the Venmo app. [...] Until recently, Venmo also offered users no control over who saw their friends list within the app, which is potentially incriminating in an entirely separate way from seeing the content of a transaction. After Buzzfeed News discovered President Biden's Venmo account and the accounts of people in his inner circle via the friends list, the company added additional privacy controls for the visibility of your Venmo contacts.
US Needs Japan and Korea To Counter China Tech, Says Google ex-CEO
China's capabilities in artificial intelligence are
"much closer than I thought" to catching up to the US, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt told Nikkei Asia, stressing that America would not succeed without a "very strong partnership with our Asian friends." From a report:
In an online interview, Schmidt, now chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, said China was closing in on the US in certain areas of AI and quantum computing -- faster than his previous estimate of "a couple of years." That's a really, really big deal," he said. Schmidt stepped down as executive chair of Google parent Alphabet in 2018. He was nominated as the commission chair in 2019 to make AI-related policy recommendations to the US president and Congress.
The commission's final report, released in March, warned that "if the United States does not act, it will probably lose its leadership position in AI to China in the next decade and become more vulnerable to a spectrum of AI-enabled threats from a host of state and non-state actors." To win the tech competition with China, the US had to maintain its lead in "strategic" areas such as AI, semiconductors, energy, quantum computing and synthetic biology, Schmidt said. And for that, he said, "we need much closer relationships with Japanese researchers, Japanese universities, Japanese government -- the same thing for South Koreans and same thing for Europeans."
FCC Investigating Whether Cuban Government Is Jamming HAM Radio
HAM radio operators in Florida have said that Cuba is
jamming radio frequencies that prevent them from communicating with operators in the country since anti-government protests began last week. Now, the Federal Communications Commission says it has started an investigation into the issue. From a report:
"Too many people around the world are fighting uphill battles to be able to use technology to expand economic opportunity, express themselves, and organize without fear of reprisal," an FCC Spokesperson told Motherboard. "The FCC is committed to supporting the free flow of information and ensuring that the internet remains open for everyone. We are assessing these reports in conjunction with our field agents and communicating with the Department of State as this issue develops." The Cuban government has notoriously controlled communications on the island; until recently there was little internet connectivity in the country and during the protests the government has taken steps to shut down the internet. Cuban exiles living in Florida and other parts of the country often use HAM radio to talk to the mainland.
France Investigates Report Morocco Had Macron's Phone Hacked
France is looking into a news report that the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron
may have been tapped on behalf of Morocco using spyware developed by Israel's NSO group, his office said Tuesday. From a report:
A Moroccan surveillance agency attempted to access his private conversations in 2019, according to an international investigation cited by France Info, which took part in the project. Other heads of state and government members -- including about 15 French ministers or ex-ministers were also targeted -- the probe showed. Morocco has denied responsibility, France Info reported. The Pegasus spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, activists and business executives worldwide, according to the investigation led by the Paris-based not-for-profit Forbidden Stories, which relied on evidence extracted from the phones through forensic analysis by Amnesty International.
Biden To Name Google Foe Jonathan Kanter as DOJ Antitrust Chief
President Joe Biden plans to nominate Jonathan Kanter as
head of the Justice Department's antitrust division,
Bloomberg Law reported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter, the latest sign that the administration is preparing a broad crackdown on large technology companies. From the report:
Kanter, who left one of the country's biggest law firms last year to start his own firm, is a long-time foe of Alphabet's Google, representing companies that have pushed antitrust enforcers to sue the search giant.
Astronomers Push for Global Debate on Giant Satellite Swarms
Aerospace companies have launched about 2,000 Internet satellites into orbit around Earth over the past 2 years, nearly doubling the number of active satellites. This has sparked concerns among astronomers and other skygazers, who
worry about interference with observations of the night sky. From a report:
Now, in what would be the biggest international step yet towards addressing these concerns, diplomats at a United Nations forum next month might discuss whether humanity has a right to 'dark and quiet skies.' The debate could initiate a framework for how scientists and the public would deal with the flood of new satellites -- with many more expected.
Tens of thousands of satellites could be added to Earth orbit in the next few years to provide broadband Internet, if companies and governments build and launch all the networks, or 'megaconstellations,' they have publicly announced. The sheer number of these could mean that hundreds are visible all night long, affecting the sky like never before in human history. "These constellations are changing dramatically the way space has been used," says Piero Benvenuti, an astronomer at the University of Padua in Italy and a former general secretary of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). He and other astronomers have been working through the IAU to raise international awareness of how the megaconstellations are affecting scientists and members of the public. They say the goal is not to pit astronomers against satellite companies, but to develop a vision of how to fairly use the shared realm of outer space.
China Calls Out Amazon, ByteDance, NetEase for Violating Users' Rights in Latest Crackdown
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has called out apps made by Amazon, NetEase and Tiktok-owner ByteDance, as well as 142 other apps,
for violating users' rights. From a report:
Amazon's China app and NetEase's Dashen, an online community for gamers, have illegally collected user information, the ministry said in its latest list of problematic apps released on Monday. In addition, Douyin Lite, a version of TikTok's Chinese app made for lower-end phones, did not clearly display app information on the app store while Huya, a major live-streaming platform backed by Tencent Holdings, was found to have deceived, misled or forced users to turn on certain permissions, according to the ministry. Amazon said in an emailed statement that it will "continue to coordinate closely with the ministry to ensure we are meeting its requirements." Other app operators did not immediately reply to requests for comment. As part of the regular naming and shaming of Chinese apps by the central government, the MIIT has exerted its authority since 2019 with a total of 15 lists of problematic apps, including 6 so far this year.
The West's Punishing Summer Heat Dries Out Thunderstorms and Fuels Raging Wildfires.
Another scorching summer heat wave was
set to peak across portions of the western United States early this week, with air so dry that rain from thunderstorms evaporated before reaching the ground and smoke from wildfires delayed hundreds of flights at one of the region's largest airports. From a report:
Temperatures reached the upper 90s and lower 100s in parts of the Northern Rockies on Monday, and forecasters warned of "dry thunderstorms," which bring lightning that can spark fires, but no rain to quench them. It was the fourth major heat wave to afflict parts of the West since early June, bringing dangerously hot temperatures and helping fuel the deepening drought and exploding wildfires across the region. An excessive heat warning was also in effect for parts of Montana and Wyoming through Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
Glasgow, a town in northern Montana, hit 110 degrees on Monday, the Weather Service said. By 2:45 p.m. local time, Billings, toward the southern portion of the state, was officially hotter than Death Valley, Calif., at 110.4 degrees. Weather officials in Billings took advantage of the toasty temperatures and baked a batch of cookies on the dashboard of a car. "It may have taken 5 hours but we have fully baked cookies," they shared on Twitter. Lander, in central Wyoming, reached a record 100 degrees on Monday, according to the Weather Service. In 130 years, it was only the 21st day in Lander to reach triple digits. Parts of Idaho, including Boise and Twin Falls, saw much needed rain showers.
DuckDuckGo Launches New Email Protection Service To Remove Trackers
DuckDuckGo is launching a new email privacy service
meant to stop ad companies from spying on your inbox. From a report:
The company's new Email Protection feature gives users a free "@duck.com" email address, which will forward emails to your regular inbox after analyzing their contents for trackers and stripping any away. DuckDuckGo is also extending this feature with unique, disposable forwarding addresses, which can be generated easily in DuckDuckGo's mobile browser or through desktop browser extensions.
The personal DuckDuckGo email is meant to be given out to friends and contacts you know, while the disposable addresses are better served when signing up for free trials, newsletters, or anywhere you suspect might sell your email address. If the email address is compromised, you can easily deactivate it. These tools are similar to anti-tracking features implemented by Apple in iOS 14 and iOS 15, but DuckDuckGo's approach integrates into iOS, Android, and all major web browsers. DuckDuckGo will also make it easier to spin up disposable email addresses on the fly, for newsletters or anywhere you might share your email.
Together Price Helps Strangers Share Subscription Passwords
An anonymous reader shares a report:
Earlier this week, I bought a month of Starz for a fraction of its typical asking price. Instead of paying $9 per month, I paid $3.24. Then I added a subscription to Spotify for $3.49, and a Disney Plus subscription for just $3. All told, my bill comes to about $10 per month for $28 worth of services. Those cut-rate subscriptions come courtesy of Together Price, a service that lets people rent out access to a share of their digital subscriptions. In exchange for a cut of each transaction, Together Price essentially serves as a marketplace for organized password sharing. The service, which started five years ago in Europe and has 80,000 paying customers, just launched in the U.S. last week.
Wally Funk And Three Crewmates Travel To Space And Back In Under 15 Minutes
Wearing a cowboy hat under the West Texas morning sun, Jeff Bezos crossed the bridge to enter the capsule made by his company Blue Origin. He was accompanied by three others -- his brother Mark Bezos, female aviation pioneer Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen. Then the shuttle hatch closed and just before 9:15 a.m. ET, the four blasted into space on the first human flight on Blue Origin's New Shepard launch vehicle. Bezos is the second billionaire this month to reach the edge of space: Richard Branson rocketed there last week aboard a vessel made by his company Virgin Galactic. The date of the New Shepard's maiden launch is no accident: July 20 was the day in 1969 that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.
'Mercury 13' pilot Wally Funk carried 60 years of history to space on Blue Origin flight.
Scientists Create the World's Toughest Self-Healing Material
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Interesting Engineering:
[Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata] along with those at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur decided to focus on developing something that is harder than conventional self-healing material, as reported by The Telegraph India. The researchers used a piezoelectric organic material, which converts mechanical energy to electrical energy and vice versa, to make needle-shaped crystals that aren't more than 2 mm long or 0.2 mm wide, according to the experimental results which were published in the journal Science. Due to their molecular arrangement in the specially designed crystals, a strong attractive force developed between two surfaces. Every time a fracture occurred, the attractive forces joined the pieces back again, without needing an external stimulus such as heat or others that most self-healing materials would need.
"Our self-healing material is 10 times harder than others, and it has a well-ordered internal crystalline structure, that is favored in most electronics and optical applications," lead researcher Professor Chilla Malla Reddy of IISER said. "I can imagine applications for an everyday device," said Bhanu Bhushan Khatua, a member of the team from IIT Kharagpur." Such materials could be used for mobile phone screens that will repair themselves if they fall and develop cracks."
iOS and Android Activations Now Split Evenly In the US, Research Shows
Activations of iOS and Android devices
are now evenly split in the United States, with little sign of movement toward either platform dominating over the past two years, according to data sourced by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP). MacRumors reports:
CIRP estimates that iOS and Android each had 50 percent of new smartphone activations in the year ending this quarter. iOS's share of new smartphone activations climbed from 2017 to 2020, but has now remained at its peak level for a second consecutive year. CIRP Partner and Co-Founder Josh Lowitz said that the finding is significant because for several years, Android smartphones "had a significant edge, with over 60 percent of customers opting for an Android phone in most quarters. In the past couple of years, though, iOS has closed the gap, and now splits the market with Android."
Both Android and iOS users have had a high level of loyalty historically. Android loyalty has varied very slightly, in a narrow range of 90 to 93 percent in the past four years. iOS loyalty, on the other hand, has gradually increased over the past four years, from a low of 86 percent in early 2018 to 93 percent in the most recent quarter ending in June 2021. Loyalty and tendency to switch platforms may explain some of the change in the share of new smartphone activations, where iOS has gained loyalty in a market with a limited amount of switching.
Our Universe Might Be a Giant Three-Dimensional Donut
fahrbot-bot shares a report from Live Science:
Imagine a universe where you could point a spaceship in one direction and eventually return to where you started. If our universe were a finite donut, then such movements would be possible and physicists could potentially measure its size. "We could say: Now we know the size of the universe," astrophysicist Thomas Buchert, of the University of Lyon, Astrophysical Research Center in France, told Live Science in an email.
Examining light from the very early universe, Buchert and a team of astrophysicists have deduced that our cosmos may be multiply connected, meaning that space is closed in on itself in all three dimensions like a three-dimensional donut. Such a universe would be finite, and according to their results, our entire cosmos might only be about three to four times larger than the limits of the observable universe, about 45 billion light-years away.