20190314_022805

4/4 Into The Last 8, EPL Teams Taking The UCL By Storm

Which league is the most competitive or strongest in Europe?

This is a debate that has been on the lips of football fans across the world for a long time, and while remaining a heated debate till the ‘end of days’.

European governing body, UEFA, uses statistics called UEFA Coefficients to rank countries or associations according to the collective performances of clubs in UEFA competition which includes UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, and it’s current ranking put Spanish association as number 1 as shown below.

The Spanish La Liga had consistently produced 3 teams in the quarterfinals of the Europe elite competition, UCL, for the past 6 seasons, a feat dated back to 2012-13 season, with Real Madrid and Barcelona even ever present for a longer period, Spanish association surely deserve their status as the number 1 ranked association. The last time another association rather than the Spanish La Liga produced 3 teams in the UCL quarterfinals was in 2010-11 season, when the English Premier League produced Chelsea FC, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs, a campaign where Manchester United went all the way to the final, losing 1-3 to, guess who? Barcelona FC of the Spanish La Liga.

It seemed the tide is turning towards the English Premier League, as Tottenham Hotspurs, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool are bringing back the glory days back to England, all advancing into the quarterfinals.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Leading the EPL charge was Tottenham Hotspur, the North London club became the 1st English side to advance into the last 8 after a 4-0 aggregate win over German side, Borussia Dortmund. Spurs put themselves into the driving seat with a 1st leg 3 nil win at White Hart Lane, goals from Son Heung-Min, Jan Vortonghen and Fernando Llorente settled the 1st leg, and they did it without their injured talisman, Harry Kane. Spurs knew they would have to weather the storm in the return league at the Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, and they had their French goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris to thank for not losing the 3-goal advantage early in the 1st half. A Moussa Sissoko through pass found Harry Kane, who held his nerves and coolly slotted past Roman Burki in Dortmund goal to make it 1 nil on the night, and 4 nil over the 2 legs, Spurs 1st quarterfinal place since 2011.


MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United joined Spurs in the last 8 with a historic 3-3 aggregate comeback victory on away goal rule over PSG, having won 3-1 on the night at the Parc Des Prince, Paris. All odds were stacked up against United who lost the 1st leg 2-0 on home turf, Old Trafford, goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kilian Mbappe condemned United to their worst home defeat in European competitions. However, United Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is no stranger to great comebacks, having helped United as a player staged a comeback 2-1 final win over Bayern Munich 20 years ago, pulled another masterpiece away at PSG. A seemingly mission impossible is now one of the greatest come back of all time (1st team in the UCL and European cup history to overcome a 2-goal margin home 1st-leg deficit). United achieved the feat without the services of 10 1st-team players, having lost Paul Pogba, Anthony Marshall, Juan Mata and others to either suspension or injuries.


MANCHESTER CITY

United ‘noisy’ neighbours, Manchester City joined their EPL counterparts in the last 8 with a 10-2 aggregate whitewash of Schalke 04 of Germany. The 1st leg had ended 3-2 away win for the Citizen, a double spot-kick from former Spurs ace, Nabil Bentaleb had put City in the back foot, but former Schalke o4 ace, Leroy Same scored a delightful free-kick to stage a comeback, then, Raheem Sterling finished off with a late goal.

City come into the return leg at the Etihad Stadium with the 3-away goals, a goalless draw could have been it for City, but City sure put up a ruthless display, once again, it was former Schalke 04 lad, Leroy Sane that orchestrated Schalke 04’s downfall, 7 nil it ended in favour of City, their biggest ever European win. Only Bayern Munich’s 12-1 aggregate win over Sporting CP in 2008-09 UCL round of 16 ties, was a bigger win than City’s 10-2 win over Schalke 04.


LIVERPOOL FC

Liverpool tie against Bayern Munich was seen as many as the tie of the round, and so it proves to be. The German heavyweight faced an inform Liverpool at Anfield for the 1st leg, and after an evenly contested 90 minutes, nothing could separate the 2 clubs as the tie ended in a 0-0 scoreline, making the return leg at the Allianz Arena even more gingerly poised.

Liverpool showed character in Germany, took an early 26-minute lead through Sadio Mane, Bayern equalized through a Joel Matip own-goal, but Liverpool would not be denied victory, as they regained the lead through defender Van Dijk header. Sadio Mane put the final nail to Bayern’s coffin, to make the scoreline 3-1 on the night, and on aggregate.


English Premier League is producing 4 teams in the quarterfinals for the 1st time since they did it back-to-back in 2007-08 and 2008-09, when Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United reached the last 8. It is an outstanding feat that will surely fuel the old argument of the strongest league in Europe once again. Is this another year for the English Premier League teams? time will tell at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.

Blog can be found on my other accounts under the same ID @peman85

Thank you all for your time.

 

winners n losers

Winners, Sinners & Loser Of English Premier League End Of The Year’s Hectic Fixtures.

End of the year hectic fixtures is a period when English Premier League Clubs play as much as 4 matches in little space of about 12/13 days, this period has always been a bone of contention between English Premier League coaches and the league body, most club managers had complained about the fatigue and injuries it brings on the team and had called for a break instead. It is a period where clubs/teams are stretched to the limit, the real spine and makeup of clubs are revealed during this period. Outgone year 2018 hectic fixtures had proven to be a pain in the rear for some of the ambitious clubs among the big/top 6 EPL clubs as far as title race and top 4 race is concerned, and there were winners, sinners, and loser of this year’s period fixtures.

WINNERS:

Manchester United: The clear-cut winner of the hectic schedule was Manchester United with maximum 12 out of 12 points from 4 matches. Former home favorite, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the mantle of affairs at the Theater Of Dreams after Jose Mourinho was shown the exit door, and what a time to take charge at Old Trafford. It was a dream start for Solskjaer as United won in emphatic fashion, 5-1 away victory against Solskjaers former employer Cardiff, it was the 1st time United would score as many goals since the big boss himself Sir Alex Ferguson left United, United fans have almost forgotten what it takes to score that much. United attacking display did not end there, it was soon followed days after with a desirable 3 straight win with goals aplenty, 1st a 3-1 home win against Huddersfield, then another 4-1 home win versus Bournemouth, and capped it all with a fine 2-0 win away at Newcastle. It was not just the win, but the manners at which they got it, with miss firing big boys like Pogba and Alexi getting their mojo back. Seems like the race for the top 4 just got fired up.

Liverpool: Closely followed up on winning table was Liverpool though not with an excellent points total of 12, but 9 out of 12 points not bad either. It was a period that saw Liverpool overtook their rival at the summit of the league table, after spending much of the early season breathing down Manchester City’s neck. It looks like Liverpool were going to end up with a perfect 4 just like United, especially after a commanding display against Arsenal, but they were cut shot by title chaser Manchester City 1-2 their last match of the 4 ended. Nevertheless, Liverpool still on top with 4 points over their closest rival City, thanks to their earlier wins; 2-0 at a tricky Wolves, 4-0 home whitewash of Newcastle and the emphatic 5-1 home win over Arsenal. Most teams that led at the turn of the year had gone on to win the EPL title, hopefully, Liverpool will replicate such feat.

Tottenham: Tottenham sure looked like they have made the 3rd place position theirs with equally very good return of 9 out of 12 points, only an unlikely collapse can see their London rivals overtake them. Started well with a rain of goals in their 1st 2 matches of the hectic period, 6-2 away thrashing of Everton was followed by a 5-0 home drubbing of Bournemouth, but Spurs were shocked by a tricky Wolves 1-3 at home, we seen Wolves taken points off Chelsea and Arsenal this season. Spurs picked themselves up to win their last match 3-0 at Cardiff. When you have rival clubs dropping as much as 5-6 points, earning 9 points is really a victory for Spurs.

SINNERS:

Chelsea: Sinners are the Clubs who could have had it all or done better than they did, and Chelsea falls under this category because they could have had it all (12 from 12 points). A return of 7 points out of 12 was never going to do their title chase any good, with rejuvenated Manchester United hot in the chase behind them, top 4 is even more of a concern now. Chelsea’s new manager Maurizio Sarri got his work cut out with his 1st baptism of fire of EPL annual busy schedules, a totally new one from where he was coming from (its winter break in Italy). Chelsea started the lined up fixtures with a shock 0-1 home loss to Leicester, picked themselves up with 2 straight slim away wins, 2-1 at Watford and a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, and then ended the fixture by a disappointing goalless draw at home against Southampton. Sarri and his Chelsea team will be kicking themselves for letting such valuable points slipped away.

Arsenal: Seasoned campaigner Arsenal was almost certainly going to be in this list, it has always been since the famous invisible, Arsenal fans were hoping the post-Wenger era will usher a new beginning, well! maybe next season because this past hectic schedule was the same old story. Nobody saw Arsenals early turn around coming, the strings of back to back wins had suddenly raised Arsenal fans to hope so high, so high that the top 4 seems achievable. It was Unai Emery’s 1st shot at busy schedules too, and realistically, it looks like a 9 points sure bet out of 12 ( with a Liverpool lost inevitably), Arsenal kick-started with a decent 3-1 home win against Burnley, then the disappointing 1-1 away at Brighton & Hove Albion FC, soon followed by the embarrassing 1-5 lost away at Liverpool, though Arsenal capped it all with a 4-1 home thrashing of Fulham, total of 7 out of 12 points for a Champions League spot chaser is a sin. Hard to see if Arsenal won’t rue this at end of the season.

LOSER:

Manchester City: Manchester City could easily fit under the sinners list, but just 6 points out of 12 points for a title challenger made them the sole loser of the busy fixtures. Manchester City had led for the majority of the season so far, and look like they were coasting home despite Liverpool’s hot chase, however, their gravy train was stopped by an unfazed Crystal Palace in a 5-goal thriller. Palace stunned City at home 3-2, the dust had not even settled, the Citizen was shocked again, this time away at Leicester. Though City rallied with quick fired double wins, 3-1 win at Southampton and a hard-fought 2-1 win to disrupt Liverpool’s unbeaten season, yet, 6 points out of 12 points is disappointing for City and had seen them dropped to second place on the log table, 4 points short of their rivals, and certainly will be hoping for a miracle to overtake high flying Liverpool.

Though the season is still far from over, and a lot can still happen between now and end of the season, each points matters, and one cannot afford to lose them lackadaisically.

ps: All images are sourced from Getty images and Sky Sport.

The blog was also made to my scorum account

Thanks for checking by, and I hope I did not bore you out.

Crypto Critic Roubini: Trump’s ‘Flirting With Mutually Assured Economic Destruction’

In an article published on MarketWatch, crypto critic Nouriel Roubini asserted that the risk of a financial crisis has grown significantly, mainly due to President Trump. While stock market indexes grew 20% in 2017, markets have been trading sideways for a major part of 2018, followed by steep drops across several sectors as markets closed for 2018.

Roubini stated that the growth in stock markets over 2017 can be attributed to tax cuts, which have accrued mainly to corporate entities. Secondly, the trump administration is ambitious towards deregulation within certain sectors. Apart from this, Trump has also gone after the Fed, which recently hiked their rates by a quarter point.

A professor of economics at the Stern School of Business at NYU, Roubini said:

Trump is now the Dr. Strangelove of financial markets. Like the paranoid madman in Stanley Kubrick’s classic film, he is flirting with mutually assured economic destruction. Now that markets see the danger, the risk of a financial crisis and global recession has grown.

Roubini Is Fervently Anti-Crypto

He made headlines when he bashed cryptocurrencies and bitcoin in general, stating that “Crypto is the mother or father of all scams and bubbles,” along with other severely dangerous claims, even going as far as taking a shot at stablecoins – which have gained steam throughout 2018.

And the biggest scam of all is the case of ‘stable coins’ – starting with Tether – that claimed to be pegged one to one to the US dollar but are not fully collateralized by an equal backing of true US dollars.

Roubini previously testified before the United States Senate Committee On Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and subsequently got into a heated debate against Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. He also falsely claimed that crypto is centralized.

Markets have had a shaky close toward the end of 2018, which is mostly attributed to uncertainty surrounding China. However, Roubini states that recent troubles are due to Trump. Tax cuts have pushed the Long-term interest rate. Moreover, Trump’s immigration policies might affect the growth of labour-supply which can have grave implications, given Silicon Valley’s dependence on foreign talent

The crypto community’s distaste in Roubini cannot be denied. He, however, predicted the financial crisis of 2008, that occurred due to the collapse of the housing market, which compels anyone to take his claims seriously. According to Roubini, almost all of the tax cuts accrued to the corporate sector, which isn’t a good sign. Secondly, US Sanctions against Iran pushed Oil prices up.

This was followed by Saudi Arabia ramping up their oil production at the behest of Trump, which resulted in a steep decline in oil prices.

The volatility caused by this indirectly affects US Energy based companies. Moreover, the volatile price of oil has severely impacted consumption and production.

Roubini also asserted that a full scale trade war with China cannot be ruled out, and if it does happen – will have a grave impact on the economy, along with disrupting supply chains worldwide.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

We are hiring full-time and part-time journalists based in the United States. Ideal candidates will have extensive knowledge of traditional markets and/or the cryptocurrency industry. Apply for a position here.

Advertisement



https://www.ccn.com/crypto-critic-roubini-trumps-flirting-with-mutually-assured-economic-destruction/

China’s Chang’e 4 makes historic first landing on the moon’s far side – CNET

change4
Xinhua

Humans have landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon for the first time in history.

China’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft achieved the milestone on Jan. 3, with the country’s space agency landing its lunar probe in Von Kármán crater on the moon’s mysterious far side. Official word was provided at 8 p.m. PT by Chinese State Media service CCTV.

Launched on Dec. 7, the Chang’e 4 craft contains both a lunar lander and a six-wheeled rover. The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on Dec. 12 before preparations for landing nudged the spacecraft into an elliptical lunar orbit, getting as close as 15 kilometres (around 9 miles) to the surface.

Unlike NASA‘s history-making mission to Mars in November and the agency’s flyby of the mysterious Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 on New Year’s Day, China’s landmark landing wasn’t televised. Social media accounts on Chinese giant Weibo reported that the lunar probe touched down at around 6:26 p.m. PT but confirmation of the reports was hard to come by. After tweets by Chinese State-owned media outlets China Daily and China Global Television Network made their way online, the Twittersphere was abuzz… but the tweets were quickly deleted.

According to Andrew Jones, a journalist reporting on the Chinese space program, Chang’e 4’s descent required “laser ranging and optical cameras for navigation, velocity and coarse hazard avoidance.” Practically, this meant Chang’e 4 was on its own as it descended to the surface with its important scientific payload, on a side of the moon marked by rugged terrain.

NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon almost 50 years ago, but navigating to the far side poses a unique communications challenge. Sometimes known as the “dark side” of the moon, even though it does receive sunlight, the far side never faces the Earth because of tidal locking. That means budding human (or robot) explorers have to find a way to establish and maintain radio contact.

To communicate with the Chang’e 4 mission on the moon’s surface, the Chinese space agency launched the Queqiao relay satellite into a halo orbit over the dark side of the moon in May. The satellite overcomes the communications challenge, allowing the lander and rover to phone home, via relay, and send scientific data back.

Both the rover and the lander are equipped with a suite of instruments that will allow the Chinese space agency to study the geology of Von Kármán crater, including three cameras. The ancient crater, part of the 13 kilometre deep South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin, is believed to hold material kicked up from deep within the lunar soil due to an impact early on in the Moon’s life, providing new insights on what makes up its interior. The lander also carries seeds and silkworm eggs within a sealed container and will examine whether the two lifeforms can thrive on the moon.

vonkarmannasa

Other instruments, developed by Swedish and German engineers, will allow the lunar robots to better study solar wind, charged particles that burst forth from the sun’s atmosphere. Payloads were also provided by partners in the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

The last lander on the moon was Chang’e 4’s predecessor, Chang’e 3, which soft-landed in a crater known as the Mare Imbrium in December 2013. In January 2014, the rover underwent a mechanical control abnormality and ceased to transmit data in March 2015. However, the lander remains on the near side of the moon. 

The moon really is the place to be in 2019, with various international space agencies ready to explore Earth’s only natural satellite. Chang’e 4’s mission is slated to last a year, but a subsequent lunar exploration mission — Chang’e 5 — is scheduled to launch toward the end of the year. If successful, it would be the first mission to the moon to return samples since Luna 24 in 1976.

NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.

Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens.

https://www.cnet.com/news/chinas-change-4-becomes-first-spacecraft-to-land-on-the-far-side-of-the-moon/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Bitcoin Network Loses Nodes and Difficulty, Militants Use Crypto In Struggle to Secede, NYU Professor Goes Off The Rails, and More: Last Week In Crypto

Bitcoin Price Recovery Alongside Network Changes

The Bitcoin price came back from the brink this week, reaching nearly $4,000 by Sunday. Analysts were at times throughout the week worried that it would lose support around $3,400 and then drop beneath $3,000, but this hasn’t happened.

At the same time, however, two important Bitcoin network metrics saw reduced performance over the week. For one thing, mining difficulty – which signifies the number of miners on the network – dropped by 7% during the week. David Hundeyin explained:

In the light of the bitcoin blockchain’s reduced hashrate caused by withdrawing miners, the network is designed to automatically adjust the difficulty level in order to avoid a situation where there is a huge transaction confirmation backlog and high confirmation fees. The 7 percent drop in difficulty is likely to be the start of a similar difficulty readjustment pattern as bitcoin below $6,000 increasingly becomes a prolonged reality.

The number of reachable Bitcoin nodes also dropped, meaning that a number of people have shut off their full nodes. This number is harder to discern, as not all full nodes are mining nodes, but certainly the miners no longer mining are represented in this figure. As CCN writer David Hundeyin wrote:

A falling number of reachable nodes could theoretically lead to increased centralization of the network if fewer and fewer entities control the remaining full nodes. Overtime if unchecked, this could at least on paper lead to 51 percent attacks and the nightmare scenario of double spends which would destroy the credibility of bitcoin. While this is obviously very far from happening and realistically not very likely, it does illustrate the impact of the continued bear market on the bitcoin blockchain.

Survey Shows 3% of Americans Ready for Blockchain Banking

A survey conducted by an ICO-funded blockchain banking solution found that 3% of American Internet users are ready to use blockchain banking. Over a third of those surveyed would be willing to try blockchain banking solutions if they felt they were ready, which they did not at the time of the survey (early December). More than 60% of those polled (over 3,000 people) were not interested in blockchain banking at all, not seeing any value in it.

Elsewhere, a poll by the Bank of England showed users preferred cryptocurrencies in remittances.

Six New Bitcoin ATMs Installed Every Day in 2018

CCN’s Alan Wass noticed that an average of six new Bitcoin ATMs were installed every day in 2018:

One of the most startling figures to come from the Data Light statistics is that six cryptocurrency ATM machines were installed per day on average in 2018. One of the main ingredients of wider crypto integration and adoption is the availability of crypto for the masses, and that is exactly what the increase in ATMs shows.

Ambazonian Secessionists Give Exclusive Interview to CCN

CCN’s David Hundeyin obtained an exclusive interview with Cameroonian militants who are attempting to establish their own country called Ambazonia. Chris Anu, the militant movement’s Secretary of State for Communications and IT, said:

Cryptocurrency is freedom! It takes away control from centralized power and gives the power to the people and the private sector. It is independent of the control of a centralized government structure. Cryptocurrency is the next logical step in the evolution of fiat currency!

Nouriel Roubini frequently blocks anyone who disagrees with him on Twitter, including CCN writer Samantha Chang, who authored some coverage of the tweet-storm.

NYU Professor Nouriel Roubini Throws Twitter Tantrum

Nouriel Roubin, an economics professor at New York University, decided to go on a multi-tweet rampage on the subject of cryptocurrencies, of which he is a major critic. The professor frequently blocks anyone who disagrees with him on Twitter, including CCN writer Samantha Chang, who authored some coverage of the tweet-storm.

Global Regulatory Push

Multiple jurisdictions had news on the regulatory front this week. Also, former presidential candidate Ron Paul finally embraced Bitcoin and said the US should switch to it from debt-backed fiat.

Brian Armstrong Commits Most of His Wealth to Charity

Coinbase CEO and crypto billionaire Brian Armstrong has publicly announced that the majority of his wealth will be donated to charity over the course of his lifetime. Armstrong said:

This year, I started my first philanthropic effort, GiveCrypto.org, which makes direct cash transfers to people living in poverty. I’m excited about the potential for this organization to help people, but I’m still early on my journey of discovering how to have the most impact via philanthropy.

Bithumb Accused of Faking Volume

CCN received and reported on a detailed study regarding South Korean Bitcoin exchange Bithumb, which is alleged to have faked volume consistently over the course of 2018. Faking volume is an increasingly common allegation as regards crypto exchanges, but in the case of Bithumb, the researchers went to great lengths to justify their claims.

Upbit Denies Fraud Allegations

Fraud charges have been filed against South Korean excahnge Upbit, but they are denying all allegations. As CCN’s Mark Emem wrote:

According to the Financial Services Commission of South Korea, Upbit’s senior executives used a bot to manipulate the data processing system which consequently inflated the trading volumes. Additionally, it has also been alleged that underperforming coins on the cryptocurrency exchange were targeted and this was with the goal of assisting the platform and the issuer to save face by making it appear more popular and enjoying high demand than was really the case.

90% of All Monero Has Been Mined

Monero

Over 90% of the fixed supply of Monero has been mined, meaning that only 10% of the mining reward remains. Monero has a “long-tail emissions” policy in which every block after the mining has finished will yield a smaller amount of XMR than the mining rewards did. CCN’s Yashu Gola reported:

Per data available at MoneroBlocks.info, a Monero blockchain explorer, the privacy-enabled cryptocurrency have emitted close 16.6 million XMR. As the emission forms parity with the total supply, the Monero project will switch to a new supply program, dubbed as tail emission. The project’s earlier announcements indicate that miners will obtain a consistent mining reward of 0.6 XMR per block that would likely maintain the overall security and integrity of Monero blockchain.

Images from Shutterstock.

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.

Advertisement



https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-network-loses-nodes-and-difficulty-militants-use-crypto-in-struggle-to-secede-nyu-professor-goes-off-the-rails-and-more-last-week-in-crypto/

Huawei exceeds 200 million smartphone shipments, setting company record – CNET

honor-10-product-hoyle-9

Phones like the Huawei Honor 10 have helped the phone maker set a new shipment record for itself.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei has set a record for itself by shipping more than 200 million smartphones in 2018, the company said in a statement Sunday.

The Chinese phone maker said the numbers were largely driven by the success of products like its P20Honor 10 and Mate 20 series. 

Huawei’s smartphone shipments have grown from 3 million units in 2010, it added. Last year, it said it sold 153 million units. The company overtook Apple in the second quarter of 2018 to become the world’s second largest phone vendor, according to researcher Canalys.

“In the global smartphone market, Huawei has gone from being dismissed as a statistical ‘other’ to ranking among the Top 3 players in the world,” Huawei said in its statement.

Now playing: Watch this: The best Android phone around? Meet the Huawei Mate 20…

2:21

Despite its successes this year, Huawei has still faced some challenges, particularly with the US government. In February, US intelligence officials advised Americans not to purchase Huawei products out of fear they’re being used to spy for the Chinese government. In January, AT&T pulled out of a deal to sell the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, and Verizon reportedly followed suit.

Still, Huawei is popular in places like China and Europe. More than 500 million people in over 170 countries use Huawei phones, according to the company. 

In August, the company raised its shipment forecast for 2018 from 180 million to 200 million, and said it aims to become the world’s largest phone vendor by the end of 2019.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: An elite phone with the looks to match.

Huawei overtakes Apple: It becomes the No. 2 phone seller in the world.

Huawei P20

https://www.cnet.com/news/huawei-exceeds-200-million-smartphone-shipments-setting-company-record/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Huobi-Backed BHEX Launches Blue Helix Token (BHT)

Advertisement
James Ju

CCN spoke to James Ju, the CEO of the new Blue Helix Exchange (BHEX) and former CEO of Huobi Global.

Blue Helix is an exchange which is pushing toward a decentralized topology in a regulator-friendly manner. They raised $15 million from institutional investors including Huobi and OKEx by selling equity about six months ago, and last week they launched the beta of their exchange product, along with the BHT token.

Currently in Beta, the Blue Helix exchange offers OTC sales (for CNY) of Bitcoin, as well as a handful of trading pairs including EOS/USDT and ETH/BTC.

Not An ICO Token or ICO-Backed Exchange

The BHT token is not a typical fund-raising option in that people cannot simply make an investment in the network and receive a set number of tokens. Instead, BHT are rewards for buying “points” on the BHEX exchange. These points are then used to secure discounts on trading fees. It’s similar to the Binance BNB token, where for the first few years of the token’s existence, users get trading fee discounts if they choose to pay in BNB.

BHEX sells two types of virtual point cards. One is pegged to USDT and the other is pegged to BTC. The BTC card has each point pegged at .0001 BTC, but since Bitcoin is volatile, the points are first redeemed for that amount of BTC and then used against the trading fees due. This means that at various times points held in the BTC points card could be worth more than they were when they were secured.

When the BTC Point Card is used to offset the trading fee, the trading fee will be converted into BTC according to market price of the assets and then deducted from the corresponding Point Card.

The maximum points that can be purchased during the current period is 27,000 – don’t worry, it’s unlikely you’ll need that many, as that would cost you 2.7 BTC. The reward for buying points is BHT, 800 of the 2.1 billion issued for every 10 points (.01 BTC) you buy. The reward is roughly equal if you use the USDT version.

.0001BTC = 1 Point

Tokens Generate Revenue

Actual BHT that circulate in the free world, free of lock-ups or other delegated purposes, is limited. The company has a full explanation of BHT here. The tokens you would earn buying points cards today come out of the following allocation:

15% of the total issuance, or 315 million BHT, is used to motivate seed users who support the platform. 315 million BHT will be rewarded through platform activities with no lock-up period, while stocks last.

The BHT tokens are issued 80% of fee revenues from the BHEX exchange. Users receive these dividends based on how many tokens they own. Other benefits are associated with holding the BHT token. All of them are predicated on the success of the exchange, which may be why the only way to obtain them directly at present time is through the purchase of point cards, which necessitate a need of such.

James Ju told us that in the future, the platform will be totally decentralized, using technology that BHEX has been developing since its inception.

Everything that centralized exchanges have, we also have it. But we are a decentralized exchange in the sense that – in the future, our assets will be  stored and cleared through a decentralized technology.

The version that’s currently running isn’t fully decentralized, but BHEX is working hard toward this goal. They believe that a decentralized exchange will provide more security for users. In furtherance of this belief they also have BHOP – the Blue Helix Open Platform, which is a Software-as-a-Service product that other exchanges can use. This element speaks to why they’ve received investment interest from major exchanges like Huobi and OkEx.

BHEX Working Toward Fully Decentralized Exchange and Custodial Services

The advantage of decentralized exchanges for users is that they eliminate counterparty risk. Rather than the EtherDelta model, where the user simply connected his wallet to the exchange, the BHEX model will work as a staff member explained to this reporter:

We still adopt a username/password system, considering that if a user loses his private key, it is not retrievable. Decentralization comes into play in our “asset custody:” users store their assets not in their own wallets nor in BHEX wallets. Instead, users deposit their assets on the Blue Helix decentralized asset custody and clearing platform, which is the bottom layer beneath the BHEX exchange. This bottom layer is decentralized and not owned by BHEX exchange.

The other interesting aspect of BHEX is their social trading feature, called Super Guilds. Investors will be able to join a guild if they are invited to do so, and then they can optionally allow the guild to invest their funds for them. This is another way of building interest in the exchange, as it is a relatively unique feature. It formalizes trading groups. To motivate participation in super guilds, BHEX has set aside 3 million BHT which will be used to reward groups that are created.

Volumes have not yet developed in considerable fashion at BHEX, mainly due to its very young age and beta status.

BHEX is very new and thus its overall volume is negligible. However, the crypto exchange world is fast-changing. Binance was just an idea not so very long ago, and now it’s the dominant exchange in the world. There is a growing demand for decentralized exchanges for multiple reasons, and when BHEX launches their fully decentralized product, it would seem that users who have grievances with the existing system of exchanges will want to take advantage of it.

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.

Advertisement



https://www.ccn.com/huobi-backed-bhex-launches-blue-helix-token-bht/

Parts of viral glitter bomb video were faked, says engineer who made it – CNET

screen-shot-2018-12-18-at-10-25-30

Mark Rober removed some reactions to the glitter bomb prank after their veracity was questioned. 

Mark Rober via YouTube/Screenshot by CNET

This won’t make you feel good. Some of the reactions in that glitter bomb video that went viral earlier this week appear to have been faked. 

Former NASA engineer Mark Rober uploaded a video to YouTube on Monday that showed him getting back at thieves who were stealing his packages. He designed a fake Apple HomePod package that blasted glitter and fart spray after the box was opened. If that weren’t enough, four phones inside the package recorded all the action. 

The package was then placed outside of Rober’s house, as well as at other people’s homes. The revenge video has racked up more than 42 million views.

Now, Rober has acknowledged that some of the reactions in his original video masterpiece may have been staged. The suspect scenes took place when the packages were placed at other people’s homes, though he stood by the fidelity of the reactions recorded at his own home.

“I was presented with information that caused me to doubt the veracity of 2 of the 5 reactions in the video,” Rober said in a statement posted on YouTube and Twitter on Thursday. “It appears (and I’ve since confirmed) in these two cases, the ‘thieves’ were actually acquaintances of the person helping me.” 

Rober has since removed about a minute and a half of the original video to delete the apparently faked reactions, he wrote. 

Viewers began dissecting the original video soon after it was uploaded and noticed some inconsistencies, BuzzFeed reported. People on Reddit wrote that they found it odd no police were involved, and also noted that the thieves’ reactions were relatively calm after getting blasted with a cloud of glitter. 

Rober didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“I’m really sorry about this,” he said in the statement on YouTube and Twitter. “Ultimately, I am responsible for the content that goes on my channel and I should have done more here.”

https://www.cnet.com/news/parts-of-viral-glitter-bomb-video-were-faked-says-engineer-who-made-it/#ftag=CAD590a51e

US Lawmakers Seek Sanctions Against Iran’s Cryptocurrency Efforts

A bill introduced this week in Congress takes a hard line on Iran’s efforts to develop its own cryptocurrency.

U.S. regulators have warned in recent months that Iran’s government wants to use a sovereign cryptocurrency, similar to the petro in Venezuela, to evade economic sanctions.

Portions of the Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), call for a report on Iran’s efforts to create a sovereign cryptocurrency. A corresponding bill was submitted in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The proposals call for sanctions against those who knowingly provide Iran with funding, services or “technological support, used in connection with the development of Iranian digital currency.”

The move comes in context of the Trump administration’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Withdrawing from the JCPOA was only the first step in ratcheting up pressure on the Iranian regime,” Gallagher said in a statement. “We now have an important window to impose maximum economic pressure and degrade the Iranian regime’s ability to export violence across the region. This legislation does exactly that by effectively cutting Iran off from the international financial community.”

Iran has been in the news for a number of cryptocurrency-related issues in recent weeks.

Earlier this week an Iranian government official talked up the positives of embracing blockchain. Cheap electricity in the Islamic Republic has made Iran a hot destination for bitcoin mining farms.

Meanwhile, recently-released U.S. sanctions have ensnared Iranian bitcoin traders, one of whom later told CoinDesk that he’s innocent.

Iranian rial image via Shutterstock

US Lawmakers Seek Sanctions Against Iran’s Cryptocurrency Efforts

Coinbase President: Despite Bitcoin Price Crashes, 2018 was an Innovative Year

bitcoin price

Crypto players from around the globe are chiming in on the direction of the Bitcoin price in 2019. Will it continue to see price crashes? Or will the current recovery continue? Better yet, has the industry had a good year and will it continue to have significance in the new year?

Earlier in the week, we heard from bears, like Erik Finman who called Bitcoin “dead;” and we heard from Spencer Bogart, a Bitcoin bull, who not only said BTC will continue to rise, but that 2018, contrary to popular belief, has been one of the best years for the cryptocurrency.

Today, word surfaced that the President of Coinbase, Asiff Hirji, believes something similar to Bogart.

2018: A Good Year for BTC, Despite Bitcoin Price Crashes

Despite the crashes experienced in 2018 (such as the bearish run that sent the Bitcoin price to a low of $3,200), Asiff Hirji believes BTC is recovering.

In his interview with CNBC’s Fast Money, Hirji said this recovery isn’t surprising and that it’s likely to continue into 2019. That’s a statement in complete opposition of the thoughts of Erik Finman. “Some things are never as good as they seem,” said the Coinbase President, “and never as bad as they seem.”

During the interview, Hirji spoke on the performance of the crypto market in the last year. According to Hirji, there’s been more innovation this year in the market. “We’ve never had as much innovation as we have today,” Hirji explained, citing, for instance, how cryptocurrencies are getting more visible.

>> Facebook Cryptocurrency: Is the Tech Giant Developing a Stablecoin?

Spencer Bogart, also during a Fast Money interview, spoke on something similar, calling 2018 a “fantastic year” for BTC, despite the Bitcoin price crashes. Speaking also on innovation, Bogart said this year is the first time we have scaled the digital currency “with a lightening network,” making transactions quick and cheap.

Bitcoin Price

At the time of writing, the BTC price is $3,905.13.

Bitcoin price
Source: CoinMarketCap

The Takeaway

It’s vital to take comments such as Asiff Hirji’s into consideration. While it’s easy to oust BTC from your mind due to the recent Bitcoin price crashes, we must also recognize the good that occurred during the year, such as an increase in innovation.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/Piter2121

Autonio Welcomes Stan Larimer to Our Advisory Board

How Sony Digital Paper can help business pros go paperless

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women’s Wear Daily.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-sony-digital-paper-can-help-business-pros-go-paperless/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

How to become an Alexa developer: A cheat sheet

The launch of the Amazon Echo and its voice service, Alexa, brought virtual assistants out of our smartphones and into our homes and offices. While the Echo is a solid product, Alexa as a voice platform is where the real value is.

After starting off with 100 things Echo devices could do, the number of available Alexa Skills now tops 70,000. CES 2017 showed how eager tech companies are to integrate Alexa, as the Amazon virtual assistant was everywhere at CES, despite the fact that neither the Echo or Alexa had booth space on the show floor.

As such, the interest in developing tools for the platform has skyrocketed, with many developers eager to jump into the ecosystem. To help developers and companies better understand how to get started working with Alexa and its related services, we’ve pulled together the most important details and resources.

SEE: 21 technical Alexa Skills IT pros should know (Tech Pro Research)

Executive summary (TL;DR)

  • What is the Alexa developer platform? Alexa is the voice service that powers the connected speaker called Amazon Echo. Developers can create Skills for the Echo using the Alexa Skills Kit, or integrate Alexa into an existing product or device through its API via the Alexa Voice Service.
  • Why does the Alexa developer platform matter? Alexa is one of the most popular virtual assistants available today, and it helped catalyze the current market for standalone, voice-powered assistants. It is also increasingly being integrated into a host of popular products.
  • Who does the the Alexa developer platform affect? This affects developers who want to get started working with a voice interface and writing Alexa Skills, as well as businesses that wish to utilize the power of Alexa through its available API.
  • When did this launch? Alexa launched in tandem with the Amazon Echo in late 2014, but updates and fixes are delivered regularly, and Amazon is making a concerted effort to reach out to developers.
  • How can developers take advantage of Alexa? Developers can write Skills for Alexa using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) or Alexa Skill Blueprints, add intelligent voice control to additional connected products with the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), or use the Amazon Lex service to build conversational bots.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

What is the Amazon Alexa developer program?

Alexa is a smart assistant that relies on human voice commands to perform tasks. The Amazon Echo was the first device to utilize Alexa, and remains one of the primary ways through which these tasks are performed. Smart speakers like the Echo are often set up through a companion app, but the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) can be integrated into other products, as long as they have a microphone and speaker. Following the introduction of the Echo, Alexa has also been integrated into smart speakers by Bose, Harman Kardon, and others, as well as in Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire tablet series of products. In total, at the end of 2018, Alexa was available in over 28,000 devices from more than 4,500 brands. Amazon also offers the Amazon Lex service, which allows developers to build conversational bots using the same technology that Alexa is based on.

Terren Peterson, an Alexa Champion and the vice president of platform engineering for retail and direct bank at Capital One, said that many people see Alexa as simply a talking speaker. However, Peterson said that the real value of working with Alexa isn’t just the ability to talk back to the speaker, but “the ability to be able to change things with your voice.”

SEE: AWS re:Invent 2018: A guide for tech and business pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Users interact with Alexa through voice commands called Skills, which are created by developers to enable a specific experience through the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK). Amazon provides pre-built skill models to make getting started easier. These include Smart Home Skills for home automation, Flash Briefing Skills for information and news, Video Skills, Music Skills, and List Skills. For maximum flexibility, you can create a custom interaction model.

Sarah Sobolewski, who works on the PR team for Alexa, said that it is free to use both the ASK to develop skills and the AVS to integrate Alexa. Sobolewski also said that Alexa will continue to play into Amazon’s overall business strategy and its work with developers.

“Much like mobile was a decade ago, we see natural user interfaces like speech as a major shift in computing,” Sobolewski said. “We’re excited by the customer response so far, but it’s still very early and think there’s a lot of potential in this space.”

Additional resources

Why does the Amazon Alexa developer platform matter?

Alexa has helped to drive interest in the use of voice technology. While other services such as Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana launched before Alexa, it’s the Amazon service that has become synonymous with voice assistants.

Peterson said that, for software engineering professionals, the popularity of Alexa raises questions about how professionals should be thinking about user voice as an interface. When our hands are stuck on the keyboard, or consumed with our phone, a voice assistant like Alexa gives users access to information and services through hands-free operation, without them having to give up that dexterity.

“Voice provides an entirely new way of interacting with technology that we believe will fundamentally change and improve people’s lives. While the space is relatively new, we’re seeing tons of momentum, with tens of thousands of developers getting in early,” Sobolewski said.

Being that more and more companies are beginning to implement Alexa, and similar voice apps and services, it also opens the door for new products, and potentially for even more new jobs for software developers. When considering working with the platform, Peterson said that businesses should ask: “What are the things that I can be doing with a voice platform that actually drives value?”

Additional resources

Who does the Alexa developer platform affect?

Any developers or businesses that want to build out and utilize intelligent, voice-powered services will be affected by advances and changes that are being driven by Amazon Alexa.

Alexa is built using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, but Sobolewski said that would-be developers don’t need a background in natural language understanding or speech recognition to get started. Additionally, there are beginner tutorials available as well, so even very junior software engineers can start working with the platform. Non-developers can build their own simple skills using predetermined frameworks called Alexa Skill Blueprints, which were revealed in April 2018. Amazon also offers Alexa SDKs for Node.js, Java, and Python, as well as an ASK Toolkit for Visual Studio Code, making it easy for developers to build Alexa skills using familiar languages and IDEs.

Alexa is not confined to home and consumer use cases. Alexa for Business provides functionality for professional/productivity use cases, and Alexa for Hospitality provides the Alexa experience in hotels for controlling in-room devices, playing music, and contacting the hotel for guest services, among other features. Amazon has also introduced the Echo Dot Kids Edition, and provides guidance for developers to build Alexa Skills for children.

Brian Donohue, another Alexa Champion and a product engineer at Pinterest, noted that businesses building skills should keep in mind that the platform is new and sometimes skill discoverability can present some challenges. “Skills are not sold like a mobile app is,” Donohue said. “They are free, and Amazon has said it has no intentions of directly monetizing the platform any time soon.”

While skills themselves cannot be sold, there are ways to monetize them. Amazon unveiled in-skill purchasing (ISP) for Alexa Skills in May 2018, which allows developers to sell a one-time purchase for feature or content upgrades, or offer premium content subscriptions. If the Alexa Skill drives customer engagement, developers can earn money through Alexa Developer Rewards. Goods and services can be sold through Alexa Skills.

Startups that want to build new products and services with AVS or ASK have the opportunity to apply to the Alexa Fund, a $100 million fund for investing in new voice technologies. In addition, Amazon offers the Alexa Developer Rewards program, Alexa developer promotions, and AWS promotional credits to discount the cost of AWS resources used for Alexa Skills, or otherwise incentivize developers to build in the Alexa ecosystem.

Additional resources

When did Amazon Alexa launch?

Amazon originally debuted Alexa alongside the original Echo smart speaker in 2014. While the first Echo device was impressive in its own right, the ecosystem around Alexa has grown tremendously over the past few years.

Amazon and its partners have rapidly multiplied the number of Skills for Alexa from a handful when the Echo launched to over 70,000 available today—with more being added almost daily. Amazon has continued to advance the product with new services like its Alexa-powered Music, updates to the Alexa app, and new form factors like the low-cost Echo Dot, the Echo Tap, the Echo Look, and the Echo View, which have helped drive additional interest in the product. Amazon recently added new developer tools like the Alexa Presentation Language (APL) for the Echo Show series, and the Alexa Smart Screen and TV Device SDK, which allows developers to bring the APL to more screen-based smart devices.

Outside of Amazon’s proprietary hardware, Alexa is showing up in new and interesting integrations for major brands around the world. Alexa can now be found in notebook PCs, headphones, wearable and smart home devices, as well as in vehicles from Audi, BMW, Ford, Lincoln, Lexus, SEAT, and Toyota. Additionally, some hobbyists are even creating their own versions of the Echo using a Raspberry Pi.

Additional resources

How can developers take advantage of Amazon Alexa?

Getting started with Alexa as a developer requires an understanding of what pre-formed Skill type is best suited for the use case of your app, or if a custom interaction model is needed to achieve the outcomes desired for your use case. Building with the pre-formed Skill types and associated APIs is easier when getting started with Alexa.

“These APIs give less control over the user’s experience, but simplify development since Amazon has already done the legwork to create the voice user interface,” Sobolewski, said.

Donohue explained that the Flash Briefing skills “use either an RSS or JSON feed containing the daily items that would be part of the flash briefing.” However, using the Smart Home skills API “requires an AWS Lambda function that acts as an adapter for the integration, and an account-linking integration that allows the end user to link their Amazon Alexa account with the smart home appliance account for authenticated control of smart home devices,” Donohue said. One example of a Smart Home skill would be using Alexa to control a Philips Hue lightbulb.

For use cases not suited to the aforementioned Smart Home or Flash Briefing Skills or Video, Music, or List Skills, deve;p[ers can use a custom interaction model. “This is the most flexible kind of skill, but also the most complex, since the developer will need to provide the interaction model,” Sobolewski said. “The interaction model is essentially the ‘conversation’ between Alexa and the user. It maps the various ways users make their request, how Alexa collects more information from the user, how the user can respond, and how Alexa completes the user’s request.”

SEE: Amazon’s Alexa Skills can borrow each other’s tricks now (CNET)

Custom interaction models can use either AWS Lambda or a custom HTTPS-enabled web server for the integration, Donohue said. Although, a “complicated certificate verification that’s enforced by Amazon makes developing with Amazon Lambda generally easier,” Donohue added. Custom interaction models also support custom slot type syntax, allowing developers to go beyond Amazon’s built in types. One Skill utilizing a custom interaction model was developed to tell users the status of the BART transit system in the Bay Area, offering information like when a train is leaving Balboa Park or North Berkeley, for example.

Developers who opt to use Lambda can author the functions in Node.js, Java, or Python, Sobolewski said, while a web service can be built in any appropriate language.

Even if you don’t plan on utilizing Lambda, it would be worthwhile to know as you begin to experiment in the ecosystem. Additionally, Peterson recommends that would-be Alexa developers learn Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML). There is documentation for it provided by Amazon, and it is worth diving into, Peterson said.

“If I were to do it all over again, I would have probably not skipped by the [SSML] chapter, if you will,” Peterson said. “Amazon provides that documentation, I think that I just glossed over it.”

Another thing to keep in mind with custom skills is that there are specific formats for the response that your service returns. For example, a JSON response is limited to 8000 characters in its output speech and 24kB.

SEE: Amazon Alexa, why aren’t more people doing voice commerce? (ZDNet)

As with any application, understanding how it will be used and what features will be critical is important to do before starting the building process. Unfortunately, Peterson said, analytics for the platform are weak, so potential builders won’t be able to glean that many insights. It is very important to learn some of the tenets of voice interface design.

“The ideal scenario is to avoid what some at Alexa have called ‘unhappy paths.’ Remember that you don’t have an ‘X’ in the upper right corner to click, so if someone goes down a path of no return, they’ll get frustrated and never use your skill again,” said Joel Evans, an Alexa Champion and the co-founder of Mobiquity.

To get started at the basic level, Amazon provides a tutorial for building a trivial skill in less than one hour. Amazon offers Skills templates and training tutorials in the Alexa Developer Portal. Additionally, developers can tune into live webinar office hours to get answers to technical questions and learn best practices, and pursue more advanced training and certification through Big Nerd Ranch.

Additional resources

This article was written by Conner Forrest and first published on Feb. 2, 2017. The cheat sheet was updated and republished on Dec. 21, 2018 by James Sanders.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-become-an-alexa-developer-the-smart-persons-guide/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

Malaysia Files Criminal Charges Against Goldman Sachs

Advertisement

Following months of investigation into the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia, the country’s attorney general Tommy Thomas has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs International and two of its Asian subsidiaries alongside former Goldman Partner Tim Leissner, alleged scam mastermind Jho Low and former 1MDB counsel Jasmine Loo. The Wall Street Journal reports that Malaysian authorities earlier today released a statement confirming the prosecution for omitting material information and publishing untrue statements, which are offenses under Malaysia’s securities laws.

Attorney General’s Statement and Goldman Sachs Response

In the statement, the attorney general revealed that the offenses in question were in relation to documents for international bond sale offering in 2012 and 2013 by Malaysia’s state-run investment ehicle 1Malaysia Development Bhd., also known as 1MDB. According to the prosecution, of $6.5 billion worth of bonds that were arranged by Goldman Sachs in that period, about $2,7 billion was embezzled, with the bank making profits of over $600 million in the process.

Since that time, 1MDB has become a political and legal black hole, bringing down the government of former prime minister Najib Razak and becoming the focus of a vast international investigation led by the United States Justice Department alongside authorities across Southeast Asia and Europe. Goldman Sachs is front and centre of the investigation, with former executive Roger Ng currently fighting extradition to the U.S.to face charges by the Justice Department.

An excerpt from the statement reads:

Malaysia considers the allegations in the charges against the accused to be grave violations of our securities laws, and to reflect their severity, prosecutors will seek criminal fines against the accused well in excess of the $2.7 billion misappropriated from the bonds proceeds and $600 million in fees received by Goldman Sachs, and custodial sentences against each of the individual accused: the maximum term of imprisonment being 10 years.

Leissner on his part has already pleaded guilty in a separate case brought against him by the U.S. Justice Department last month on charges of embezzling public money and bribing public officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi. While he awaits sentencing fixed for next year, Low and Loo have been charged in absentia with money laundering and a host of other charges, but their whereabouts are unknown for the time being.

Responding to the charges in a statement quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs said:

We believe these charges are misdirected, will vigorously defend them and look forward to the opportunity to present our case. The firm continues to cooperate with all authorities investigating these matters.

Cryptocurrency’s Significance

At a time when some are calling for aggressive regulation of cryptocurrencies, this case illustrates the potential that exists for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency systems to create a positive disruption within the existing banking paradigm which permits or even encourages theft and inefficiency through opaque processes and practices.

The complete transparency offered by cryptocurrencies makes it very unlikely that a single sticky-fingered public official would realistically get away with diverting the better part of a billion dollars, aided and abetted by private bankers whose only real interest is in their fees – $600 million in this case. The use of smart contracts for example, in carrying out large, high-level financial operations like 1MDB would make them substantially more efficient and much less prone to corrupt siphoning of public funds as in this case.

Images from Shutterstock.

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.

Advertisement



https://www.ccn.com/malaysia-files-criminal-charges-against-goldman-sachs/

How the Eclipse Foundation is saving enterprise Java

programmingistock-943655372nattaponkongbunmee.jpg

Image: Nattapon Kongbunmee, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Amidst the angsty finger-pointing over the cloud giants’ supposedly one-sided relationship to open source (all take, no give), with the accompanying claim that open source will dry up without someone lining the pockets of the VCs who fund (very little of) the code, foundations keep generating lots of fantastic open source code. Often overlooked, these foundations play an unusually important role in the development of open source software, offering a vendor-neutral setting for competitors to cooperate with legal protections around IP and antitrust.

SEE: Open source vs. proprietary software: A look at the pros and cons (Tech Pro Research)

We’re familiar with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, given its role in pushing Kubernetes development, among other things. Less familiar to many, however, is the quiet but important work being done by the Eclipse Foundation, now home to the future of enterprise Java under the community-voted moniker of Jakarta EE, the successor to Java EE (which remains licensed by Oracle and maintained under the JCP). Seemingly overnight this 15-year-old organization has put itself at the center of what many hope will be a modernized cloud-native Java environment. Eclipse has also been embraced by the burgeoning growth of Internet of Things (IoT) projects in open source.

Old dog, new tricks

Created in 2004 as the home for the Java integrated development environment (IDE) toolset called Eclipse, the Eclipse Foundation has recently been revitalized. With a relatively spartan professional staff of 30 people based mostly in Canada, the Eclipse Foundation today claims oversight of more than 360 projects and 1,550+ code committers who have contributed more than 162 million lines of code to date with an estimated software value of some $9 billion.That’s a lot of code and a lot of money. And a lot of thankless work.

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

No code is as important as the work with Jakarta EE. As Eclipse Foundation executive director Mike Milinkovich has said, Java had “always been single vendor, and always been specification-first, which I think [has] helped slow down the pace of innovation.” Indeed. Under Oracle’s stewardship, Java EE 8 was a year late in being released, and the enterprise edition hadn’t seen an update in four years.

Now with the Eclipse Foundation behind it, Java is moving faster, having already issued two releases in 2018. Whether it will maintain this pace is up to the community developing it, but given the need to keep pace with the rise of microservices and other innovations, Java (Jakarta) risks losing relevance if it can’t indulge modern developer requirements. With the help of the Eclipse Foundation, Jakarta is doing just that.

Credit where credit is due

It can be easy to overlook the hard and political work of keeping vendors with market caps that approach a trillion dollars aligned with a global community of dedicated developers (most of whom now work for these very same vendors). These groups have their flaws and shortcomings, and open source software can be very messy by the very nature of its open development processes. You don’t get access to the developer Slack channels at proprietary software vendors, but anyone can peruse the Linux Kernel mailing lists.

SEE: Where does Java in the enterprise go from here? (ZDNet)

But this generally thankless work by foundations like the Eclipse Foundation pays enormous dividends for all of us. It can even move markets. For example, the biggest tech acquisition in history? That was IBM buying Red Hat for $34 billion. Indeed, for all of 2018, open source software drove more than $65 billion in mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs.

So this year take a moment to thank the people behind open source who help create the environments where developers can focus on developing cool software and leave the thankless work of code hygiene to others. Thank the Apache Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation, and the newly revitalized Eclipse Foundation, among others, for the work they’re doing to corral corporations to give more, and to do so more efficiently.

Better yet, join with them and contribute your time and energy to their good works. Make 2019 an even better year for you and open source.

Also see

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-the-eclipse-foundation-is-saving-enterprise-java/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

Coinbase Adds Crypto-to-Crypto Trading for Retail Customers

Coinbase users can begin trading cryptocurrencies directly with other cryptocurrencies, the exchange startup said Monday.

The company is adding support for crypto-to-crypto trading for its retail customers, adding a feature that has long been available to professional cryptocurrency trading services, said product manager Anna Marie Clifton. Users on Coinbase.com, as well as the Android and iOS apps, will be able to begin trading bitcoin pairs in the coming days through the new feature, called Coinbase Convert.

She told CoinDesk that while trading pairs are “a pretty common paradigm in the crypto trading space,” they are not currently being served well to the broader retail audience.

“The functionality is giving customers the ability to directly convert between one cryptocurrency and another, which is pretty advanced,” she said.

The trading pairs were developed based on user feedback, Clifton said.

Unlike professional trading services, which use such pairs to take advantage of price fluctuations, retail users are likely to use these pairs for more utilitarian purposes.

As one example, she said, some customers have purchased bitcoin but now want to interact with decentralized applications (dapps), and therefore need to convert their holdings.

“I think one of the things that was most surprising was seeing a lot of customers frustrated because they wanted to use the product immediately [but] it required two trading fees,” she said.

Initially, Coinbase Convert will support bitcoin trading pairs, with customers able to convert to bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin and 0x. More pairs may be added in future based on customer feedback.

The exchange has been rolling out the functionality over the past week, with small groups seeing the new pairs last week. The feature will be “gradually” rolled out to each of the different countries Coinbase offers native payment access in.

“We’ll continue iterating on the product and expanding the functionality,” Clifton said. “An increasingly large number of customers will have this functionality available.”

Image via Shutterstock

Coinbase Adds Crypto-to-Crypto Trading for Retail Customers

Augur House Elections Market: Alleged Reporter Says Republicans Won The Market

capitol hill pixabay
Advertisement

A person claiming to be the designated reporter for an Augur predictions market which asked the question “Which party will control the House after 2018 U.S. Midterm Election?” has posted to Reddit saying that he will be reporting that the Republicans control the house today. The market ends today, 12/10, and the Decmocrats, who won the election, won’t take control of the house until January.

A Twitter user said that this is an arguable case:

At issue, of course, are several things as regards predictions markets. The question is ambiguous – it doesn’t clarify who will win the election, but who will control the House after the election. However, one could argue that if we’re going to play semantics, then both parties are correct – Republicans control it now, and Democrats will control it in January, and both periods of time follow the mid-term elections.

In fact, if the outcome is reported as it allegedly will be, then it belies a previous article on CCN where we said it correctly predicted the outcome. In fact, 90% of people probably did believe they were forecasting the election outcome, but according to the alleged market reporter, they were actually just predicting incorrectly who would be controlling the House on December 10th.

At time of writing, the market report had not been finalized. The alleged reporter, who goes by the handle Poyo-Poyo on Reddit, wrote:

Regarding 0xbbbc0a8baa03535e0a680ee2f057162aaaafd570,

I am sorry for any confusion or financial loss my gimmick house market may have caused. The intention is, and always has been, to measure the status of the House of Congress on the 10th of December, NOT the status after the new congress takes office.

Thusly, I shall, and am required to, report as “Republican” when I submit my official selection for this market later today.

Again, I am truly sorry for any damage to traders, or to the Augur Community as a whole for this ambiguity, and I hope the Augur World continues to thrive along toward the future, and I plan to continue to play my important role in its development over the coming years.

The Augur market allows reporters three days to report, and the market officially ended just under 24 hours ago. CCN will post an update at that time, regardless of the outcome. If the results go the way the alleged reporter says they will, then we 90% of those who bet on the market will have lost their money, totaling around over 3/4s of a million dollars in cryptos.

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.

Advertisement



https://www.ccn.com/augur-house-elections-market-alleged-reporter-says-republicans-won-the-market/

iPhone XS, Pixel 3, OnePlus 6T and 20 other phones without headphone jacks – CNET

Phones without a headphone jack

Continuing a trend that started in 2016 with Lenovo/Motorola and Apple, phone makers are turning away from the 3.5mm headphone jack and selling more phones that exclude this feature.

There are a handful of reasons for doing this, like saving space for other key components inside or eliminating it for better water resistance. But with these phones, users have to listen to their calls and music with either wireless Bluetooth headphones, or USB Type-C and Lightning port headphones. 

To see which phones waved goodbye to the headphone jack, click through the slideshow. And be sure to check out “22 great phones with headphone jacks you can buy right now.”

Published:
Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

https://www.cnet.com/pictures/best-phones-without-headphone-jacks/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Bumblebee director on replacing Michael Bay: ‘I couldn’t go bigger’ – CNET

It must be tough to direct your first live-action film with Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay looking over your shoulder. But for Travis Knight, director of Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, those two singular filmmakers weren’t just the movie’s producers, they provided the touchstones that inspired the film.

ET was my spirit animal in this movie”, explained Knight as I sat down with him in London to discuss Bumblebee. “I saw it when I was around 8 years old with my mom in a darkened theater and I was a big, blubbery mess at the end of it … On some levels Steven’s films from that era are responsible for me becoming a filmmaker.”

And it shows: Not only is Bumblebee set in the 1980s, but the spirit of ’80s movies like ET and Short Circuit shine through in the adorable adventures of a girl and her robot buddy.

Now playing: Watch this: Bumblebee transforms from action-packed to adorable

1:34

Spielberg was a producer on Bumblebee, as was Michael Bay — the man who resurrected Transformers by directing all five previous movies in the series.

“From a director’s perspective he was a dream producer,” Knight says of Bay. “We sat down early on and it was great for me, director to director, to pick his brain, to get a sense of his philosophy on the Transformers. He was really respectful and recognized this was someone else’s movie, my take on these characters, and the best thing that he could do was to support me and protect me. He let me do my thing, and I’m really appreciative of it.”

Bay gave Knight one memorable piece of advice for working on a mega-budget franchise movie surrounded by people from the studio, the toy company and elsewhere all pulling a director in different directions.

“He said the one thing you have to do is protect the movie,” Knight remembers. “That was advice Jerry Bruckheimer gave him, and he passed it on to me — remember the movie you intended to make and protect it.” 

Knight’s previous filmmaking experience was as an animator, directing the stunning stop-motion film Kubo and the Two Strings.

“Stop motion is probably the subset of animation that’s closest to live-action,” he says, “in the sense you’re physically shooting these things with real lights and real cameras, and there’s props and sets and costumes and hair.”

But there were still plenty of new things to learn on this, his first live-action film.

“A lot of times I was flying by the seat of my pants,” he says, laughing.

Knight brought what he called “an animator’s discipline and planning” to the film, mapping out each sequence in detail.

“I do believe in the adage that the trimmer the vessel, the more it can carry,” he says. “Animation is very organized and disciplined. You can’t shoot coverage, you can’t play around. But in live-action, you can play around, and sometimes you’ll create little magical moments.” 

John Cena provides several comic highlights in Bumblebee.

Jaimie Trueblood

He particularly enjoyed John Cena‘s ability to improvise in the role of a burly secret agent pursuing Bumblebee.

“John’s like a one-man ad-lib factory. We would do the scenes, and then we get to the end of the scene, I’m like, ‘All right, John, now let’s play a little bit,’ and he would always do something really unexpected. He’s just a very, very clever, funny man.”

Eye candy

A major criticism of Bay’s past Transformers movies is the fast-paced computer-generated action, an assault on the senses that’s often hard to follow. While it has plenty of action, Bumblebee tones down the CG carnage. But Knight insists this shouldn’t be seen as a criticism of Bay’s style.

“It wasn’t in any way addressing any feedback from the fans,” he says. “It was just a story I wanted to tell. That last one [Transformers: The Last Knight] is one of the biggest movies I’ve ever seen — and I couldn’t go bigger than that. So let’s go the other way, let’s focus in on a small corner of this canvas and really get to know one of these characters. Let’s balance the emotions with the explosions … The core relationship mattered to me more than anything else. And if that didn’t work, none of the other stuff matters. It’s just bombast. It’s just eye candy.”

Mixing the spectacular, visual effects-driven action with a character-led story was “a high-wire act”, but Knight credits writer Christina Hodson for striking the right balance.

“She’s gained something of a reputation in Hollywood as this kinda badass chick writer with these cool, action movies,” he says, “When you talk to her, the films that she always references are cool action movies like T2 … But when I sat down and talked to her about the film and my vision of it, I realized very quickly she has a big soft gooey heart just like I do.”

Knight’s next big project is 2019’s Missing Link, a new stop-motion adventure from his animation studio Laika. As for where the Transformers movies go next, Knight is sanguine.

“It’s hard to say. I think at this point, candidly, they’re probably just waiting to see how people react to [Bumblebee]. If people vote with their wallets for these kinds of Transformer movies, then they’ll get these kinds of Transformer movies.”

Bumblebee opens in Australia on Dec. 20, in the US on Dec. 21 and in the UK on Dec. 24.

CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.

Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers. 

https://www.cnet.com/news/bumblebee-director-on-replacing-michael-bay-i-couldnt-go-bigger/#ftag=CAD590a51e

One Month Later, Which Crypto Is Winning the Bitcoin Cash Split?

One month has officially passed since the bitcoin cash blockchain underwent a hard fork on November 15, resulting in the creation of two distinct networks.

They’re now commonly referred to as Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin SV. Yet in the weeks that followed the mid-November fracture, there is still no favorite in terms of overall price.

Bitcoin cash is designed in such a way that, every six months, its users must ‘fork’ the blockchain and adopt a software upgrade with changes determined by the project’s open-source software developers.

If the developers and miners reach consensus as to what the upgrades should be, the main chain stays intact and simply adopts the software upgrade known as a ‘soft fork’.

All bitcoin cash forks had fallen under the ‘soft’ category, but circumstances were different with the latest fork. This time around, the upgrades could not be agreed upon and tension grew among developers, so the main chain experienced a divisive hard fork – in other words, it split into two separate chains with their own cryptocurrencies.

Since the fork, both BCHABC and BSV have been trading on public cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase, but after 30 days of wild volatility and drastic swings in hash power, their prices stand just $10 apart.

Where are they now?

Bitcoin cash prices reached a peak of $621 in November but had fallen 32 percent to $421 on Nov. 14, the day before the scheduled fork. according to CoinDesk’s pricing data.

After the split, the two newly created cryptocurrencies bitcoin cash ABC and Bitcoin SV hit the market and began trading at $295 and $90 respectively on the Binance exchange.

It should be noted that multiple exchanges including Poloniex and Bitfinex engaged in ‘pre fork trading’ before the fork took place.

These experimental markets involved the trading of ‘IOU’ token place holders for BCHABC and BSV redeemable post-fork, theoretically allowing exchange users to decide amongst themselves which fork to support.

For much of November, BCHABC was the distinct price leader, at times valued as much as 10 times that of its counterpart.

The difference between the two narrowed as the month elapsed, so much so that Bitcoin SV was able to take a brief price lead on Dec. 6.

Since the fork, the broader cryptocurrency market has witnessed a significant sell-off of more than $80 billion in terms of total capitalization. As a result, the two forks depreciated greatly in price.

At the time of writing, BCHABC (currently trading under the BCH ticker on many exchanges) is valued at just $80, while BSV is $70, according to CoinMarketCap, so it’s clear the public has yet to pick an undisputed favorite.

Looking forward

While the long term success of BCHABC and BSV will likely be dictated by usage and hash power, technical analysis can be applied to their price charts so a more immediate direction of the assets prices can be anticipated.

As can be seen in the BSV/USDT chart above, price began forming a bearish consolidation pattern known as the descending triangle on Nov. 26, which broke down on Dec. 16. 

The break of triangle support at $84 opened the doors for more depreciation with just two notable support levels nearby: $74 and $54. Based on the large size of the triangle pattern, it seems the lower support level is likely to be reached although the oversold conditions seen on the intraday relative strength index (RSI) may slow the fall.

There is less to glean from the BCHABC chart since it has been in a steady, near 80 percent downtrend ever since hitting the market.

With no known support levels nearby, it’s difficult to predict where its price may eventually pick up bid although oversold conditions are evident on the higher time frame charts, so sellers may soon take a breather allowing for a corrective bounce.

Needless to say, it’s unlikely either of the newly forked cryptocurrencies pick up strong big until bitcoin and the broader market does as well.

Disclosure: The author holds BTC, AST, REQ, OMG, FUEL, 1st and AMP at the time of writing.

Locked forks image via Shutterstock; charts by TradingView

One Month Later, Which Crypto Is Winning the Bitcoin Cash Split?

Bitcoin Price Tumbles Further: New Low for the Coin

Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin price is tumbling further today, dashing any hopes of a rally that some felt was certain thanks to current extreme oversold conditions.

The world’s largest coin by market cap is currently selling for $3,301.60 USD according to coinmarketcap.com. But earlier today, it fell to $3,200, representing a 15-month low for Bitcoin and not helping bulls’ hopes for a revival.

This is the lowest level since September 2017.

Bitcoin Price Drop

In the last four weeks alone, Bitcoin has dropped 49% in price. Surely, sellers are exhausted, and Bitcoin is set to turn around. Earlier this week, BTC began moving upwards towards $3,633, but it did not last. The coin’s failure to produce a worthy bounce back despite being extremely oversold indicates that the bears are winning this war and negative sentiment is strong. A 200-week moving average support of $3,170 has been established and now heading below it may be a real possibility for Bitcoin.

Others Follow

Across the market, the sentiment is once again bearish. Bitcoin Cash’s recent forks Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash are both two of the biggest losers, with declines of approximately 11% and 14% respectively.

It seems the hashrate war between these two coins is doing neither of them any favors. The hard fork happened on November 15th, and the contentious split has caused both coins to lose more than they have gained.

Elsewhere, Stellar is down 7.5%, and EOS is down 5%. Ethereum is down 4.5%.

>> You Can Earn Bitcoin (BTC) While Shopping with the Lolli App

Sell-Off

What’s causing the market-wide sell-off?

Notably, investors are worried over the fate of a Bitcoin ETF gaining US approval in February. Also the uncertainty of whether or not (or when) this bear sentiment will end, leaves investors’ prospects for short-term Bitcoin price gains at a paltry level.

However, some are calling this period one of the “best buying opportunities.” At its current prices, rating agency Weiss is a firm believer that Bitcoin will turn around and now is the time to buy.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© vectorfusionart

Autonio Welcomes Stan Larimer to Our Advisory Board

You Can Earn Bitcoin (BTC) While Shopping with the Lolli App

Lolli app

Do you shop frequently at Sephora? Lululemon? Walmart? If you do, a new in-browser app has emerged and wants to give you Bitcoin (BTC). CoinDesk just reported that the app called Lolli just added Sephora to their list of retailers.

Earn Bitcoin (BTC) While Shopping

Lolli gives shoppers cash back after they make purchases at their list of partnered retailers. The Bitcoin rewards startup told CoinDesk that it recently won over Sephora by data. Around 30 percent of Lolli’s active users are women.

“We’ve gone back to a lot of these retailers that previously were not interested but now are coming on-board,” Lolli CEO Alex Adelman told CoinDesk. “One of the biggest ones that just joined us is Sephora, which adds an entire suite of retailers in the beauty category.”

Lolli is also partnered with Sephora’s biggest competitor, Ulta. These retailers pay Lolli for customer referrals in fiat currency, which in turn is converted into Bitcoin for rewards in the app. Many crypto-based startup companies have faced vast layoffs this year, due to the bear market. However, Lolli has only six employees and is gaining some traction.

>> Crypto Users Increased to 35 Million in 2018: What Will 2019 Bring?

Adelman told CoinDesk that Ulta is a huge retailer for the startup company. The tech CEO also claims that men and women alike were consistently requesting Sephora. To earn rewards on Sephora or Ulta, users just have to install the app in their Chrome browser and shop normally. So far, Adelman claims 60 percent of Lolli users become repeat shoppers.

Lolli is currently partnered with 500+ popular retailers. You can earn Bitcoin (BTC) through Lolli by shopping online with these major retailers: Barnes & Noble, Overstock, FinishLine, Michaels, Toms, Macy’s, Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, Lululemon, Groupon, and VRBO.

The Bitcoin startup was launched back in September of 2018, and it has raised $2.35 million so far. On average, Lolli pays out $10 per purchase in BTC.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© [email protected]

Autonio Welcomes Stan Larimer to Our Advisory Board

5G outlook: What’s to come in 2019 and beyond

The future of 5G is coming more into focus as we approach the end of 2018. I talked with Steve Ranger about the technology that is right around the corner and what we can expect to see by 2020. The following is an edited transcript of our interview.

Steve: So where we are right now with 5G is a lot of hype, a lot of excitement, not a huge amount of actual stuff happening. We have a lot of trials going on right now, quite a small scale. I mean, in the UK they’re happening around London. Small kind of things where the operators are testing out the aerials and things like that. But really, the action is going to be next year and into 2020.

See: IT pro’s guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)

Karen: So looking ahead to 2019 then, Steve, what is on the horizon, what are you seeing?

Steve: So that’s when things start to get a little bit more interesting. In the first quarter, maybe half of next year, we’re going to start seeing some actual smartphones with 5G on them. Which is a really the really important thing. You know, there’s no point in having a 5G network if you’ve got no 5G smartphones. So we will probably see the first of those April, May, June. And that’s kind of when it gets interesting to the consumers because they can see these things, they can actually work out whether they want to buy one.

Throughout the rest of next year what’s going to happen is those trials I talked about that are happening now, they will get bigger and bigger. So you’ll probably see that metropolitan areas, big cities, the bits of big cities that are really super busy. So railway stations, that kind of thing, big shopping areas. Increasingly those will have some kind of 5G in them. So you won’t see 5G everywhere, but you’ll see 5G in the places where is the most traffic requirement. Most people using video or doing whatever. So that’s what you’ll see.

Really as the year goes on through 2019 you’re going to see more and more of that, more and more 5G in more and more places. Probably what’s going to happen at the end of the year is you’ll have major metropolitan areas equipped with 5G for people with smartphones. The other wrinkle here is that 5G isn’t just about smartphones, it’s also about maybe replacing your home broadband with kind of a wireless, rather than a fixed router. So instead of having a cable to your house or wires, or you’ll have a wireless one. So that’s another business model that a lot of people are looking at.

Looking into 2020, that’s when 5G becomes more a real thing.

Karen: So when you talk about the benefits, we’re talking about some of these big major metropolitan areas that will be moving to 5G. What is it that people can look towards, how will it improve day to day operations for just individuals, or companies, or a major metropolitan area in general.

Steve: In the short term what you’re going to see is, whereas before your signal might drop out or you wouldn’t have enough of a signal to watch a movie or watch a video. Increasingly you’re going to have enough bandwidth, high speed bandwidth, to do pretty much what you want. So, kind of the way that 4G was sold to us as a way of being always on the internet on your smartphone. With 5G that becomes a reality. That’s kind of the short term benefit, and certainly a lot of the mobile operators really pleased it’s going to give them extra bandwidth to keep their customers happy because you know, we’re always using more video, we’re always sending more images, we’re always doing more with our phones.

Longer term, there’s some more interesting stuff that comes in. You could see, because 5G offers much lower latency, so the network will respond much quicker. You could have new things, like virtual reality might work better, or augmented reality. So if you’re doing either of those things with your phone, or even maybe on Smart Glasses in the future. At the moment there’s a bit of motion blur, a bit of motion sickness. In the future 5G will mean that that signal is very, very smooth, very very responsible. So you could do things in real time that you can’t do now.

Even further down the line there’s all sorts of things like, internet of things advantages, where you’ll be able to put sensors in everything because there’s so much bandwidth out there. That kind of stuff is a little bit further out. In the short term, it’s about getting you a lot more bandwidth so that your streaming video works properly. Way down the line, we’re talking about the interesting stuff around virtual reality or internet of things. But that’s maybe a few years down the line.

Karen: Steve, you mentioned 2020…talk a little bit about what is to come, what we can expect in that year.

Steve: So what’s really happening in … 2019 is the year where all the pieces start to come together. 2020 is probably when we’re going to see the real benefits here. Probably most importantly the thing that’s going to happen in 2020 is that a 5G iPhone will arrive. Obviously you never really know with these things, but at the moment there are lots of stories, lots of rumors suggesting there won’t be a 5G iPhone this year, so the version of the iPhone turns up in kind of, September, October, November time. Won’t be a 5G one. That doesn’t seem to be implausible because Apple usually tries to be a little bit behind the cutting edge with this stuff. By 2020 it’s entirely conceivable there will be a 5G iPhone. That 5G networks will be up and running. And that’s when we really start to see the benefits of this stuff.

Karen: Lots to look forward to. Steve, thank you so much for your insight. For more on the future of 5G, check out ZDNet and TechRepublic.

Also see:

20181214steve5gkaren.jpg

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/5g-outlook-whats-to-come-in-2019-and-beyond/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

The worst passwords of 2018 are just as dumb as you’d expect – CNET

It doesn’t look like we’re getting any smarter about our passwords.

Software company SplashData released its annual list of the top 100 worst passwords on Thursday, and it includes some pretty obvious blunders. Coming in at #1 is “123456,” and in second place is — you guessed it — “password.” This is the fifth year in a row these passwords have held the top two spots.

Newcomers to the list include “666666” (#14), “princess” (#11) and “donald” (#23).

“Sorry, Mr. President, but this is not fake news – using your name or any common name as a password is a dangerous decision,” SplashData CEO Morgan Slain said in a release. “Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations.”

SplashData evaluated more than 5 million leaked passwords, mostly from users in North America and Western Europe, when compiling the list. The company estimates around 10 percent of people have used at least one of the top 25 worst passwords, and about 3 percent have used “123456.”

“It’s a real head-scratcher that with all the risks known, and with so many highly publicized hacks such as Marriott and the National Republican Congressional Committee, that people continue putting themselves at such risk year-after-year,” Slain said.

Celebrities and government officials aren’t immune to choosing terrible passwords, a Wednesday report from Dashlane revealed. The top offender on that list was Kanye West, who revealed at an October meeting with President Donald Trump that his iPhone passcode is “000000.”

Here are the 25 worst passwords of 2018, according to SplashData:

1) 123456
2) password
3) 123456789
4) 12345678
5) 12345
6) 111111
7) 1234567
8) sunshine
9) qwerty
10) iloveyou
11) princess
12) admin
13) welcome
14) 666666
15) abc123
16) football
17) 123123
18) monkey
19) 654321
20) [email protected]#$%^&*
21) charlie
22) aa123456
23) donald
24) password1
25) qwerty123

https://www.cnet.com/news/the-worst-passwords-of-2018-are-just-as-dumb-as-youd-expect/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Pro-Crypto Fintechs Robinhood & Revolut Aim to Replace Bitcoin-Hostile Banks

Robinhood Baiju Bhatt bitcoin cryptocurrency crypto
Advertisement

Earlier today, two of the world’s hottest fintech startups, the US-based Robinhood and the UK-headquartered Revolut, separately announced new product offerings that could greatly benefit the crypto industry over the long-term and put pressure on bitcoin-hostile banks to begin modernizing their service lines.

Bitcoin-Friendly Fintech Startups Want to Replace Banks

Revolut, which recently achieved a $1.7 billion valuation, announced this morning that it had received a European banking license, enabling it to begin rolling out insured bank accounts to its more than 3 million customers in early 2019.

Revolut Receives European Banking License

The firm, whose app already features a built-in cryptocurrency exchange and will soon support commission-free stock trading, also plans to begin offering personal and business loans within the near future.

“With the banking licence now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of banking,’” said Nikolay Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut. “Our vision is simple: one app with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”

“Our vision is that retail and business customers will be able to apply for a loan in just two minutes from within the app, and then have the money in their account almost instantly,” he added. “We’ll remove the bureaucratic process and come in cheaper than traditional lenders.”

Robinhood Announces Checking & Savings Accounts

robinhood cryptocurrency trading bitcoin
Robinhood, which wants to become the largest cryptocurrency trading platform, will now also offer checking and savings accounts. | Source: Shutterstock

Stock trading app and Silicon Valley darling Robinhood has also expressed its desire to become a licensed banking institution, and while the firm has not yet achieved that goal, it did take a major step toward becoming a viable digital banking alternative.

Hours after Revolut revealed that it had received a European banking license, the $5.6 billion Robinhood announced that its more than six million customers (up from 3 million in February) could begin registering for early access to its new zero-fee checking and savings service, which offers an industry-leading 3 percent interest rate.

In lieu of waiting to receive a full-fledged banking charter, Robinhood is offering the service through its broker-dealer license and says cash deposits will be insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) up to $250,000. Customers will receive a free debit card, as well as zero-fee withdrawals at more than 75,000 ATMs across the United States.

Robinhood, like Revolut, operates an in-app cryptocurrency exchange alongside its flagship stock trading platform. The service is now available throughout more than half of the US, and executives have said that they expect it to be the largest crypto trading platform within the near future.

“We expect by the end of the year to be either the largest or one of the largest crypto platforms out there,” Robinhood co-founder and co-CEO Baiju Bhatt said in May. “But we also really feel we’ll have the absolute best experience for investing in crypto as well—from having a large variety of coins available to a more favorable cost structure—mainly no commissions—to just quality of product.”

Crypto-First Firms Eye Banking Licenses

Revolut and Robinhood are far from the only fintech startups seeking to provide a digital alternative to conventional banks, nor are they the only ones to do so with an eye towards increasing cryptocurrency adoption.

Square, the digital payments startup that allows customers to trade bitcoin through its peer-to-peer Cash App, previously applied for a banking license but withdrew that application in July. The firm said at the time that it would refile the paperwork in the future but demurred about when this would occur.

Cryptocurrency unicorns Coinbase and Circle are also said to have held early-stage discussions with regulators about registering as licensed banks, but it’s not clear whether these talks will result in concrete action.

Can Fintechs Upend Anti-Bitcoin Banks?

wall street bitcoin crypto cryptocurrency
Wall Street has a complicated relationship with bitcoin. | Source: Shutterstock

In the meantime, these new digital banking products from Revolut and Robinhood appear to be primarily targeted at individuals in their core demographics, who skew younger due to the mobile-first nature of their platforms. However, as they continue to grow — and acquire the necessary licenses — it would not at all be surprising if they expand their offerings to target enterprise customers as well.

Indeed, Revolut has already said that it intends to offer business loans as part of its future lending service. If once those relationships were in place, Revolut began offering standard business accounts, it would — to put it simply — represent a huge opportunity for a cryptocurrency industry that has long found banks a thorn in its side.

Cryptocurrency Firms Face Cold Shoulder from Many Wall Street Banks

While some major cryptocurrency firms have managed to establish stable banking partnerships, many crypto startups continue to struggle to establish permanent relationships with reputable financial institutions. When they do, it is often with smaller outfits like the US-based Silvergate Bank, which are more readily willing than larger firms to endure the perceived risks associated with taking on crypto clients.

To wit, even as some large financial institutions like Goldman Sachs have confirmed that they are working on cryptocurrency products, others refuse to take on crypto firms as clients or in some cases shutter their accounts after the fact.

“Banking in this ecosystem,” Silvergate CEO Alan Lane stated in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, “is not for the faint of heart.”

The situation is particularly dire in smaller markets like Chile, whose Supreme Court recently ruled that banks could discriminate against cryptocurrency exchanges. The move effectively prevents local firms from offering fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading, stunting the industry’s ability to grow.

Embracing this industry is a calculated risk, one that most Wall Street institutions have thus far decided is not worth it. However, Main Street banks like Silvergate have scooped up US crypto heavyweights like Coinbase, Kraken, Genesis Global Trading, and bitFlyer USA.

Revolut: Banks Won’t Catch up

Revolut Nikolay Storonsky bitcoin crypto cryptocurrency
Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky has said that fintechs will continue to lead the charge on crypto adoption, while ordinary banks will fail to keep up. | Source: Stephen McCarthy/Web Summit via Wikimedia Commons

Commenting on Wall Street’s hesitancy (and occasional outright hostility) to engage with crypto, Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky predicted that fintech would continue to lead the charge on mainstream cryptocurrency adoption, regardless of whether legacy institutions change their tune on this nascent asset class.

“Fintech will be very big in crypto for the foreseeable future,’’ he said last month. ‘’I just don’t think banks will catch up.’’

At this stage, it’s far too early to eulogize the legacy financial sector, but for the cryptocurrency ecosystem, one thing is certain: the advent of crypto-friendly banking alternatives like Revolut and Robinhood will at the very least increase the opportunity cost of Wall Street failing to engage with this burgeoning industry.

Featured Image from TechCrunch/Flickr

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.

Advertisement



https://www.ccn.com/pro-crypto-fintechs-robinhood-revolut-aim-to-replace-bitcoin-hostile-banks/

US Lawmaker Suggests ‘WallCoin’ Crypto to Fund Trump’s Mexico Border Wall

Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson thinks crowdfunding may provide a solution to the controversial proposal of building a wall on the Mexican border.

And, perhaps more notably, he suggested using a cryptocurrency to do so.

During an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, the U.S. lawmaker explained that he has already proposed letting the American public pay for the wall, which is opposed by Democrats but mades up a key aspect of President Donald Trump’s list of 2016 campaign promises. In particular, Davidson told Inskeep, he has suggested a private funding program wherein “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” (including residents of Mexico) would be able to fund the wall’s construction.

He went on to add:

“You could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins, but you could raise the money and frankly if we get it right at the Treasury you could even pay with Mexican pesos.”

Davidson noted that this funding would not support a full wall across the entire border and that some parts could likely be reinforced with fences.

“There are areas that you would want to secure with a wall, and if you look at the areas where you have secured them with walls, $5 billion isn’t going to build a wall like the Great Wall of China, this is going to build secure fences,” he said.

Davidson is an outspoken supporter of the cryptocurrency space, having previously held a round-table event with more than 80 representatives from both the crypto and finance industries to discuss possible legislation for initial coin offerings.

A spokesperson for Davidson did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Border wall image via Shutterstock

US Lawmaker Suggests ‘WallCoin’ to Fund Trump’s Mexico Border Wall

3 tips for choosing Chrome or Android devices for work

With G Suite, hardware often follows software—after a company moves to G Suite, I usually see Chromebooks replace Windows or macOS systems, for at least a few people in the organization. In my experience, this typically happens within 12 to 18 months of the initial adoption of G Suite.

What’s Hot at TechRepublic

The move to Google hardware makes sense because G Suite includes device management tools. Mobile device management capabilities for Android and iOS devices are part of the core G Suite services. An administrator can adjust many settings that apply within Chrome on all platforms, with comprehensive Chrome OS management available as a per-device subscription. When you begin to select Chrome or Android devices, the criteria you consider is a bit different than the criteria you use when you buy a Windows laptop or current model iPhone. As always, you need to be clear that a device will meet each person’s individuals needs and preferences. The standard criteria of device size, weight, battery life, speed, and screen resolution all will help refine your options. The following additional considerations may help you more quickly identify hardware that will work well in the long run for your organization.

SEE: G Suite: Tips and tricks for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

1. Get Google hardware

The most obvious and simplest choice? Standardize on Google’s Chrome and Android devices. As of December 2018, Google offers the Pixelbook laptop, Pixel Slate tablet, and Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones. These devices receive regular security updates and typically also receive new features first.

Prompt updates and premium performance come at a cost. The Pixelbook starts at $999, the Pixel Slate starts at $599, and the Pixel XL starts at $699. Preferred Care for each of these adds $249, $149, and $129, respectively, to the cost, as does the price of optional accessories, such as a keyboard for the Slate ($199) or a stylus pen ($99).

2. Consider Chrome devices

Several vendors, such as Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung, offer Chrome systems at lower prices than Google devices. In the $500 to $850 range, you can find excellent Chrome devices for work, including standard laptops and 2-in-1 format devices.

Before you buy one of these devices, look for Android app availability and the Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date for the device.

Most, but not all, newer Chromebooks allow you to install and run Android apps, which helps when a web-friendly app isn’t otherwise available, or when the Android app supports capabilities not offered via the web. Check the list maintained at The Chromium Project to see Android app support status for your device. If in doubt, I’d recommend a system that lists Android app status as available on the Stable Channel, which is the current standard version of Chrome OS.

Also check the AUE date list for your Chrome device: That’s the date beyond which your device is no longer guaranteed to receive Chrome OS updates. For example, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 has an AUE date of November 2022, while the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 has an AUE date of June 2024, since the Spin was released more recently than the Flip. The later the AUE, the longer your device will receive system and security updates.

3. Standard Android devices for work

When purchasing an Android phone, other than the latest Google Pixel model for work, I recommend a recently released device that appears on both the Android Enterprise and Android One lists.

These Google-maintained lists filter for two slightly different goals. Android Enterprise devices allow for bulk device enrollment, deliver a minimum of eight hours of battery life, and meet minimum hardware requirements (e.g., 2 GB RAM, 32 GB storage or 16 GB for rugged devices, and have a 2 MP front camera and 10 MP back camera). Android One devices offer a standard Android user interface, with minimal tweaks or customizations, and also include support for all the latest Google software. Devices on both lists will receive regular and consistent system and security updates.

SEE: BYOD spotlight: Mitigating risk and implementing policies and solutions (Tech Pro Research)

Choose a device that appears on both lists to ensure easy deployment, consistent security patching, and a relatively consistent user experience. For example, the mid-range Nokia 7.1 (about $350) released in 2018 appears on both lists, as does the less expensive Nokia 6.1 (about $180).

Your criteria?

If you use G Suite, what criteria does your organization use to select Chrome or Android devices? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

Also see

Photo of Chromebook (left) with Chrome logo on screen; Android phone (right) with Android logo on screen

Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/3-tips-for-choosing-chrome-or-android-devices-for-work/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

NASA solar spacecraft snaps first image from inside sun’s atmosphere – CNET

wisprcrop
NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on a mission to land the world’s hottest high-five as it orbits the sun, zooming ever closer to our solar system’s star.

Over 12 days in October and November, Parker sped through the corona — the ultra-hot cosmic oven of atmosphere that surrounds the sun — and snapped this absolute pearler of an image.

This is practically the first image from inside the sun. 

NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the image above was captured by Parker’s WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) when the prove was a mere 16.9 million miles from the sun — inside its corona. It clearly shows two distinct jets of solar material, known as coronal streamers, emanating from the left of the image. That bright spot in the distance is gas giant Jupiter, while the black spots are artifacts of background correction.

The image was released in conjunction with a press conference held at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, where NASA scientists discussed what they hoped to learn from the probe as the first data begins filtering back to Earth. The first set of data began downlinking to Earth on Dec. 7, but radioing back the complete data set won’t be complete until Parker undergoes a second flyby in April 2019. 

At four months old, the spacecraft has already had a busy working life. On Sept. 19, it beamed back its “first light” images from space, allowing NASA scientists and engineers the opportunity to ensure all its instruments were working as intended. Then in October, Parker smashed two long-standing records, becoming the closest object to the sun we’ve ever made and the fastest spacecraft in history.

That speed is important. Eventually the probe will travel so fast it will match the rotation speed of the sun. In such circumstances, the probe will be orbiting over the same region of the sun for short periods of time, giving NASA’s scientists the opportunity to discount the effects of the sun’s rotation on any data they may receive. 

With its suite of instruments examining the sun’s electromagnetic fields, ions and energetic particles, the Parker Solar Probe is perfectly poised to reveal some of the sun’s biggest secrets, like why the corona is so much hotter than the surface. Its mission continues until 2025. 

CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.

NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.

https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-solar-spacecraft-snaps-first-image-from-inside-the-sun/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson Explains Why ADA’s New Smart Contract Tools are a Boon for Fintech

Charles Hoskinson Ethereum Cardano
Advertisement

IOHK, a leading blockchain research and development firm, announced two tools developed by a world-leading team for writing smart contracts for the Cardano blockchain.

The apps are called Plutus and Marlowe and were launched in test format at the first PlutusFest conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. These powerful tools will enable start-ups, the financial services and fintech industries, and academia to prepare blockchain contracts that will run on Cardano (ADA).

Plutus provides a general purpose programming language and tools for the Cardano protocol. IOHK’s scientists and engineers have combined the discipline of the Haskell functional language with the ADA network to create a platform for fintech developers to write secure and robust smart contracts.

IOHK has provided an easy-to-use exploratory development and testing environment for Plutus contracts based on a novel blockchain emulator, called Plutus Playground. These contracts are ready to be deployed to the blockchain itself.

Speaking with CCN, Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson explained that the Marlow application provides instant global fund transfers for business. It also enables the holding of rental deposits in escrow to increase transparency.

He explained:

“As an example: The escrow mechanism allows Party 1 to deposit the money into a contract, in a way that the money will only be released when two out of three participants agree on whether Party 2 has indeed given Party 1 the item. The escrow participant (Party 3) is supposed to be a neutral third party that decides in case of dispute. This way if Party 1 and Party 2 are honest, they will just agree on the result of the transaction and Party 3 will not need to do anything. If Party 1 and Party 2 disagree, Party 3 will be able to choose whether the money must go to Party 1 or to Party 2.”

To put matters in a simpler context, Hoskinson said that, for example, if the money paid for Item A is 450 ADA and it must be committed by Party 1 before block 10, it will be refunded to Party 1 if there is no consensus before block 90.

For non-programmers, Marlowe is a simple way to generate code and create software products. It is an easy-to-use tool that enables professionals in the finance industry who have no programming background to build automated financial contracts on the blockchain. Marlowe comes with its own web-based testbed, Meadow.

The first PlutusFest, the event at which these tools were unveiled, has been hosted by the Edinburgh Blockchain Technology Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh. This facility was established in February 2017 as the headquarters for IOHK’s network of global university partnerships.

Featured Image from IOHK/YouTube

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.Advertisement

https://www.ccn.com/cardano-founder-charles-hoskinson-explains-why-adas-new-smart-contract-tools-are-a-boon-for-fintech/

Samsung rumored to bring cryptocurrency wallet with Galaxy S10 launch

Samsung is developing a cryptocurrency wallet service, which may be available as soon as the launch of the Galaxy S10, according to a report from SamMobile. The report cites the Korean smartphone giant as registering trademarks “Blockchain KeyStore,” “Blockchain key box,” and “Blockchain Core” in the European Union, though the report indicates that the names for the cold wallet and crypto wallet products have not been finalized.

Reportedly, Samsung will launch two different cryptocurrency services. The first is a cold wallet, which stores cryptocurrency offline, and requires physical access to a device to retrieve. The second is a hot wallet which can accept incoming and make outgoing transfers, as well as view account information and transaction history.

SEE: Research: The current state and predictions for the future of blockchain in the enterprise (Tech Pro Research)

Samsung’s reported entry into the blockchain space comes as a blow to former Android leader HTC, which launched the Exodus 1 blockchain phone in December. According to CNET, the Exodus 1 includes a Social Key Recovery feature, “which lets you pick a few trustworthy contacts to hold a portion of your crypto keys, so you can get access to your cryptocurrency if your phone is lost or stolen or if you forget your info.”

HTC’s attempt at a blockchain phone—which can only be purchased from HTC, using cryptocurrency—was widely seen as a desperate attempt at reclaiming relevancy, as the Taiwanese smartphone maker fell below 1% market share in 2018. Google purchased roughly half of HTC’s smartphone division, along with a non-exclusive license for HTC’s phone-related intellectual property for $1.1 billion in 2017.

Samsung is apparently working to make the Galaxy S10 everything to everybody, as reports indicate that Samsung is planning a gigantic version of the Galaxy S10 featuring six cameras, 5G support, and a monster 6.7-inch display. Presently, it is unclear how many models will be marketed under the Galaxy S10 name. Traditionally, Samsung’s flagship phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs in North America and Japan, and with Samsung’s internally developed Exynos SoCs in the rest of the world. It is likely that non-5G versions of the S10 will be made available as well. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told CNET that 5G-enabled OnePlus phones could be sold at $200 to $300 higher than LTE versions. On the opposite end of the price spectrum, rumors also indicate the potential for a budget-priced Galaxy S10.

Samsung’s blockchain aspirations should be taken with a generous amount of skepticism, as cryptocurrency website Cointelgraph reports that a Samsung representative declined comment on the report, calling it “rumour and speculation.” The cryptocurrency market has also faced sharp losses over the last month, with the price of Bitcoin falling $2,900 over the last month to a valuation of $3,500.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Samsung applied for the trademarks “Blockchain KeyStore,” “Blockchain key box,” and “Blockchain Core” in the European Union.
  • HTC launched a cryptocurrency-focused phone in December, though it can only be purchased directly from HTC using cryptocurrency.

Also see

samsung-fold.jpg

Image: Juan Garzon/CNET

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/samsung-rumored-to-bring-cryptocurrency-wallet-with-galaxy-s10-launch/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Backs $4 million Raise for Crypto-Lender BlockFi

BlockFi, a startup that offers U.S. dollar loans against crypto collateral, has raised $4 million in its latest round this year.

The New York-based firm announced Wednesday that the funds have been raised in convertible debt investments in a round led by Akuna Capital, with participation from Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Ventures, Anthony Pompliano’s Morgan Creek Digital, Susquehanna Government Products and Fidelity-linked Devonshire Investors.

With the new funds, BlockFi said it plans to grow its team and launch new products, including an interest-earning crypto savings account (slated for Q1 2019), a portfolio line of credit and crypto-backed credit cards. The firm currently provides dollar-denominated loans against bitcoin, ether and litecoin.

“We believe debt and credit markets in the crypto space will continue to grow and BlockFi is well-positioned to maintain its leadership position as the market expands”, said Dean Carlson, head of digital asset investments at Susquehanna.

Today’s funding round follows BlockFi’s previous $52.5 million raise back in July that was led by Galaxy Digital. In February, the firm also received funding of $1.55 million from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi and Kenetic Capital, among others, for its stated aim of “bridging the gap” between traditional capital markets and the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Earlier this week, Galaxy Digital also led a $30 million in a Series A funding round investment in digital banking platform Good Money.

Mike Novogratz image via CoinDesk Consensus archive

Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Backs $4 million Raise for Crypto-Lender BlockFi

Asus-ZenFone-Max-M2-1024

Asus zenfone max pro m2 vs realme 2 pro

With new launch of asus zenfone max pro m2 in India within a budget range and with tough competitive specs the new asus phone will sure make a good selling in Indian market.Asus is packed with some great features like gorilla glass 6, 5000 mah battery,etc

The realme 2 pro from realme has some of the same specs which confuses the buyer to choose one, so in this blog i will show you the specs of both phones.

Specification of Realme 2 pro 

Size
Width: 74.0mm
Height: 156.7mm
Depth: 8.5mm
Weight: About 174g (with battery)
Performance
CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE Processor
CPU cores:Octa-core
CPU frequency:1.95GHz
GPU:Adreno GPU 512
Storage:4GB + 64GB / 6GB + 64GB / 8GB + 128GB
External Memory:Up to 256 GB
Display
Size: 16cm (6.3”)
Screen Type:IPS (In-Cell) LCD
Screen Resolution:2340*1080, FHD+, 408 PPI
Touch Panel/ Type:2.5D, Gorilla® Glass 3
Camera
Rear Camera
Camera Pixel:16 MP + 2 MP
Camera Aperture:f/1.7 + f/2.4
Flash/Soft Light:Back LED Flash
Front Camera
Camera Pixel:16 MP
Camera Aperture:f/2.0
Battery
Battery Capacity:3500mAh (typical)
Charger:5V 2A
Connectivity
Card:Dual nano-SIM and microSD card
Wifi:802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz, 5GHz
Bluetooth:Bluetooth 5.0
GPS:GPS/aGPS/GLONASS/BeiDou
USB Type:Micro-USB
Audio Jack:3.5mm
Sensors
M-sensor
Gravity Sensor
Gyro-meter
Fingerprint Sensor
Light and Proximity Sensor
OTG
System
ColorOS 5.2, based on Android 8.1
 
Specification of Asus Zenfone max pro m2
 

Internal storage

eMCP 32GB / 64GB

MicroSD card

Supports up to 2TB

Weight and Dimensions
157.9mm
(6.22 inches)
75.5mm
(2.97 inches)
8.5mm
(0.33 inches)

Weight: 175 grams

Display

 15.9cm(6.26) FHD+ (2280×1080) IPS Notch display

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6 for best screen protection

19:9 Full view display

94% NTSC color gamut

450nits brightness

1500:1 contrast ratio

Capacitive touch panel with 10 points multi-touch (supports glove touch)

Processor

CPU:Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 660 Mobile Platform with AI Engine

GPU:Qualcomm® Adreno™ 512

Memory

 LPDDR4X 3GB / 4GB / 6GB

Main Rear Camera

 12MP Sony® IMX486 image sensor

F1.8 aperture

1.25μm pixel size

6P lens

0.03 seconds phase-detection autofocus

EIS

4K Video recording

LED flash

 
Second Rear Camera

 5MP

Depth sensing

Front Camera

 13MP

F2.0 aperture

1.12μm pixel size

Softlight LED Flash

Audio

 5-magnet speaker for louder, deeper and less distorted sound effect

NXP SmartAmp

Dual internal microphones with ASUS Noise Reduction Technology

FM radio

 
 
Wireless Technology

WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz; support Wi-Fi direct

Bluetooth 5.0

Wi-Fi Display

Navigation

GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS

SIM Cards

 Triple slots: Dual SIM & Dedicated microSD card

Slot 1: 2G/3G/4G Nano SIM card

Slot 2: 2G/3G/4G Nano SIM card

Both SIM card slots support 4G LTE & VoLTE network band.

Slot 3: supports up to 2TB microSD card

Network Standard

 FDD-LTE, TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE

Data rate
DC-HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42Mbps

FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20)

TD-LTE (Band 40)

WCDMA (Bands 1, 5, 8)

GSM (Bands 2, 3, 5, 8)

Sensor
Rear fingerprint sensor, Accelerator, E-Compass, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope
External Buttons and Connectors

 Fingerprint sensorOn/Off 

Sleep/WakeVolume up/down3.5mm audio jack 
(1 Headphone/Mic-in)
Built-in speakerUSB connector
 
Battery
5000mAh
Up to 46 days 4G standby

Up to 40 hours 3G talk time

Up to 26 hours Wi-Fi web browsing

Up to 22 hours online video playback

Power Adapter

Output: 5V 2A 10W

Operating System

 Stock Android™ Oreo™

 
Cost of realme 2 pro 4gb, 64 gb varient is Rs.13990
while cost of asus max pro m2 is Rs. 14999
 
Company site for realme 2 pro – https://www.realme.com/in/realme2-pro
 

China’s US-built vehicle tariff will reportedly drop from 40 percent to 15 percent – Roadshow

The Trump administration has successfully negotiated a rollback of Chinese tariffs on vehicles imported from the US from 40 percent to just 15 percent.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

We reported last week on Donald Trump’s tweet that China would be slashing its tariffs on US-built vehicles, though at the time neither US nor Chinese officials would confirm it, so we remained somewhat dubious on the subject. It turns out the President was right, and China is reducing its tariffs from 40 percent to just 15 percent, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He informed Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer of the decision to reduce the tariffs in a phone call on Monday night, WSJ said. This move shows a willingness to negotiate with the US and could spell a cessation to the expensive and problematic trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

According to the WSJ’s report, Vice Premier He didn’t give the US a specific date or time that China would effectively flip the switch on lower tariffs, but it’s likely that it would happen soon. The tariffs on both sides of the Pacific have had a significant impact on the American automotive industry. Ford CEO Jim Hackett claims that the escalations have cost Ford upward of a billion dollars in profits.

The 15 percent Chinese tariff that will remain on US-imported vehicles is comparable to those placed on vehicles imported from other countries, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. The US currently puts a 27.5 percent tariff on Chinese-made vehicles such as the Buick Envision and the Volvo S90. The Cadillac CT6 Hybrid is also built in China, but Cadillac is killing that model off.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/china-us-auto-tariff-reduced/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Still the King: Bitcoin Dominance Hits 3-Month High as Crypto Market Limps Toward 2019

Bitcoin’s share of total cryptocurrency market capitalisation is at its highest point in three months, currently standing at about 55.14 percent according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin Dominance Surges amid Crypto Price Panic The next four high volume cryptocurrencies in order of market volume are XRP with 11.14 percent, ethereum with 8.55 percent, bitcoin cash

The post Still the King: Bitcoin Dominance Hits 3-Month High as Crypto Market Limps Toward 2019 appeared first on CCN

https://www.ccn.com/still-the-king-bitcoin-dominance-hits-3-month-high-as-crypto-market-limps-toward-2019/

‘Teslaquila’ is ‘coming soon’

Tesla-brand tequila ‘Teslaquila’ is ‘coming soon’ says Elon Musk.

First mentioned as a joke earlier this year, the Teslaquila is going to become a reality. The distilled agave liquor was filed for a trademark in Friday and it is for sure that Tesla intends to develop the alcohol brand.
Safety aside, but how fun is that.

The application for this booze comes oddly close to the timing of Tesla’s SEC troubles and Musk’s private case with the Thai diver.

Questionable or not, there is no doubt that the brand will pull a major public attention.

Elon Musk is said to be a genius and this could be a good source of an extra income.

Elon Musk chooses Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced the first passenger for the first private SpaceX flight around the Moon to be – beyond a surprise – an insanely rich Japanese fashion designer and founder of Japan’s online fashion mall, Zozotown.


Image source

Now, everyone knew this is going to be some rich guy taking the first seat with an upfront payment because Musk couldn’t possibly acquire that much money to build a cutting edge carbon based spacecraft that is said to cost more than the Holly Grail…

Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will spend 4-5 days on a mission around the Moon and expressed the desire to take with himself a crew solely made of various artists. The mission is scheduled for 2023- 2024 approx. when the SpaceX builds a rocket and makes all the necessary preparations.

In other words the rocket is not going to be ready for a while but Yusaku Maezawa already made a lucrative down payment which is by no surprise a secret to public. Personally I thought, why secret? I mean everyone knows spacecrafts don’t fall from the sky as they are insanely expensive.

I think this is a good choice. A billionaire will help him build a rocket with his investment. Personally I think that guy is very brave ( or a bit nuts and dumb, lol – you have to be) because the complexity of a project gives me a feeling that anything can go wrong and the worst case scenario is not so far from the reality.

If doomed, a loss of a rich person who lived his life to the fullest ( unless you are him) and a few artists ( unless you are them) is not fundamentally important for the advancement, security or evolution of the rest of us. I am just stating the obvious, plus Musk already explained numerous times that the thing get blown, rocket explode and the first ( space) mission (s) ( to Mars) could result in catastrophe.

One of the reasons why this is a so hard to do, is a size of a rocket that is said to be ( partially ??) made of the carbon fibers. The problem is that it is a tacky job, and stuff could easily go wrong. That material is much lighter, and a spacecraft size in that way is not a problem. But, a material is suspect-able to various errors which could be dooming in the space or even during the takeoffs… so an every part of this thing has to be cured perfectly. In short – one very tedious thing to make.

Leave me your opinion below. A live show video is in the cover.

More to read on the similar topic:

Elon Musk shut his trap and it rains cheese again

Love, joy and perpetual happiness to all good people.

Thank you for visiting my blog


Elon Musk shut his trap and it rains cheese again

The actual title of an article was ‘Tesla had a scandal-free week, and the stock gained 12 percent’ but in fair translation it would be Elon Musk not granting some pedestrians an opportunity to irk his flakes up the ‘zucking’ ceiling…

I would like to say the dandruff, but then again, all those sassy libel cases..Didn’t that guy ‘fagottized’ Musk, just before the subject of the graphical imagery decided to go full Monty and demonize the rooster out of him?
Yes, that verbal spoof holds a legal relevance…

Personally, I don’t even think that dove-dive dip of a drop had anything with all the beef, bacon and curd splashed on the plebeians.
We might entertain it is because of us, but what’s the point.
The things get notion if a garlic starts trending. Depends not on the garlic, right?

Also, stay tuned, a blond boi is blasting some lucky chimp ( champ, sorry) up around the Moon ( an actual moon) in short notion.
Now, that should be interesting. Prepare all your divinities for higher force assistance.
Nothing wrong with a pinch of a good vibe.

Cover Image Source SpaceX on Pexels

 

Stish Air Drop

1 Million Stish Air Drop!

We Want To Make Your 2019 New Year A Blast!

Stish will be sending out 1 Million Stish to encourage trading in 2019 after the end of the Token Event. Only people who fill out a short form will be added to the list. Members of the Stish community already receive some Stish from rewards credits when they are involved in the community.  Stish has a lot to offer the community and we appreciate your support in helping grow the micro crypto economy.

Be Sure You Use An Ethereum Wallet Address That You Have Full Control Of Not One Created On An Exchange. Members now have a light wallet they can use get your  Stish Wallet Address. 

Air Drop! Get Some Stish Now!

Notice: Light Ethereum Wallets Like The Social Wallets, Coinbase, Bittrex, Or Other Exchange Light Wallets Will Not Accept Stish or ERC-20 Tokens. You Will Need A Wallet That You Have Full Control Of Typically With A Private Key! These can be made with MetaMask Browser Extension or MyEtherWallet.

NOTICE POST UPDATE: The 1 Million Stish Air Drop Was Successful! Early Adopters and Supporter Received Some Bonus Stish! Thank you!

Stish.io Set To Dominate Social Rewards Crypto Space In Months Ahead

Stish.io Looks Ahead To A Bright Future Where Social Media Rewards Platforms Are Built Around Quality People Passionate About Building Micro Crypto Economies.

Stish is an excellent cryptocurrency built on the Ethereum blockchain. It has some real fuel that will push it into a whole new world soon and likely dominate the social media rewards space. Sure there is competition and everyone shilling their own tokens but Stishit doesn’t just let you use their token Stish exclusively. Stishit is a real blogging platform and a real micro blogging platform all wrapped into one. With similarities with the big “Fbook” and “Tbird” but built with a goal of non censorship of political viewpoints or religious ideas or other things the established multinational corporate elite social media companies decide offends them today.

The Stishit social portal is unique as it allows users to create and share content on Stishit but also share content from other platforms as well such as YouTube or Instagram. Many members re-publish existing high quality content to monetize their hard works. Sure you can make friends and get followers on other social media platforms but do you earn any real rewards for all of your  hard work? Article writers can easily create content with a visual html editor or they can use markdown. Articles are automatically wrapped up and shared with the social portal and comments, likes are all integrated for a smooth transition. Instead of bouncing between 10 different websites to get all of the tools you need to be involved with the platform Stishit is bringing everything great into one epic platform!

Once you start publishing articles or short posts in the social portal you will see the notifications and can check your Rewards easily from the transaction ledger or see the Stish Credits in your profile area. All rewards are straightforward and published clearly. There is limited confusion but if you ever have questions you can ask in the social portal or search for the hashtag. If that doesn’t find what you need there is a big search bar for the whole website which is massieve in the top right area of the website. Generally someone can help just ask around. There are several groups where people hangout and Stish all day long. (By Stish I Mean Relax).

Groups, where people of like minds can have a fairly safe space to discuss topics that concern them is pretty nice. There are also some really awesome features found around the website that can help you really feel like a part of the community. One is at the top of the website. Just below the Rewards graphic are links to all of the posts in the categories they were created for. This discovery zone can help you find the content you are looking for. If you do not see the type of content you are looking for and have writing skills you can write and article and share with the community automatically. It doesn’t hurt to promote your masterpiece on other platforms just to help give it some more traction. Unlike some platforms that restrict rewards to 7 days Stishit allows rewards to continue for 90 days currently!

Another excellent feature that no other Social Media rewards platform has is tipping. The platform rewards content creators automatically when other users engage with their content so why offer tipping? That is a great question. Sometimes people might have more of one currency than another. Generally speaking most people will possess one of the top 5 cryptos Bitcoin, Ether, Ether Classic, Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash. If someone wanted to tip you with one of these that they already had but then had to pay exchange fees or make a sell order and then buy the currency that you can accept you are likely not going to get a bonus even though they really wanted to give you one. It is just too much work. The Stish team decided to integrate Social Wallets.

It's Our Little Secret!

Stish crypto is set to integrate the Stish cryptocurrency into the platform just like Bitcoin, Ethereum and the others are now. Members win by having more opportunities to be rewarded for their hard work. Many followers and fans who maybe used patreon or paypal to send donations can now easily support your work with cryptocurrency. It is a smooth transition for existing social media giants who must leave their natural habitat for a new type of payday as their work is being censored and de-monetized. Sometimes things happen for a reason and perhaps all of the borderline illegal activity by the tech giants will awaken the masses to the micro crypto economy being developed on Stish.io

Stish.io is clearly dominating the social media rewards space and with a successful token event should surpass all competition fairly quickly as far as daily active users and other key success metrics. One competitive advantage Stishit has over all of the competition is we have built a slow and steady reliable product from the ground up. We listen to our users and for that reason alone we are a stronger platform. Stish will be listed again on the new version of https://Saturn.Network trading platform which is decentralized once it becomes available.

When users can easily send and receive crypto as tips, or for selling goods and services, or from faucets, or bonuses for community involvement, etc it is an epic event. We look forward to the future and raising the needed capital to expand the way Stish is integrated into the platform. We look forward to writing dapps for interaction with our Smart contract for possible game development. We look forward to thousands of websites being able to use our api to build stish into their web applications. We look forward to one day developing our own blockchain technology that revolutionizes blockchain tech the way that Stish.io revolutionizes social media rewards. But really is is more than that. Stish.io is creating a whole new era of Micro Crypto Economies where each members plays their own role in the community to increase the value of the platform and the value of the currency. Quality content is king and low quality content or scammers can get banned or lose their Stish Credits for abusing the system. It is pretty open and free but don’t take advantage of the rewards pool and mistreat your fellow Stishians!

Thank you and we hope to see you with some Stish in your wallet really soon!

FB Wants User’s Banking Data

Source: tomshardware.com

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, FB now is requesting that banks share detailed information on their customers. They are asking for data on credit card transactions and checking account balances.

FB wants to form a partnership with the banks to allow FB to financially serve their users. Using the Messenger app, users are already able to send and receive money but currently it is an opt-in feature.

According to FB spokesperson, Elisabeth Diana, “We don’t use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads. We also don’t have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit card companies to use their customers’ purchase data for ads”. Are you willing to place your trust in FB after their past actions. It is also hard to place any faith in the banking system so when all is said and done, you should be hoping for a new financial transfer system which circumvents the banks as well as FB.

EU to Pay for Countries Accepting Immigrants

Source: zerohedge.com

As European countries are becoming staunch adversaries of the ‘open borders’ for immigrants, the European Commission is now proposing to offer countries which accept immigrants a stipend.  They propose a stipend of 6,000 euros for each immigrant admitted.
It is obvious that the commission is working to get these refugees integrated into European countries, but what isn’t obvious is the purpose of destroying these countries.  It is a fact that the waves of immigration has decimated the culture and the rule of law that existed in these countries.  It has also impacted the economies, but to what end?
One could venture a guess that the end goal is to depopulate the globe and to put an end to old traditional beliefs.  It makes little to no sense to decimate countries just for an economic coup.  It the long run, it will produce a failed state and any short term economic gain will be forfeited by the cost to rebuild these failed countries.  True the cost of the rebuilding will fall upon a future generation(s).  Are the current leaders so determined to make it rich that they will sacrifice their offspring’s future? 

China, Iran and US – Flip Flop

Source: presstv.com

One week ago, PressTv ran an article about a Chinese refiner that stopped buying US crude.  ShanDong Dongming, China’s largest independent oil refinery announced the move was due to the trade dispute between China and the US.  The refinery stated that they would contract with the Iranian to obtain their crude oil.

In May, Trump announced the US’s withdrawal of the Iran agreement much to the chagrin of the other members to the agreement.  Trump forecasted that Iran’s oil sales would hit zero by November 4.  The move of ShanDong Dongming made sense as China’s retaliation of the US’s tariffs and it would stymie Trump’s plan to zero out Iran’s oil exports.

Source: presstv.com

Reported by halturnerradioshow.com, on Saturday night Beijing will halt its petrochemical purchases (chemicals made from oil) from Iran.  Supposedly because China does not want to be one of the sides in the war.  It will make future oil purchases from Saudi Arabia.

It is rumored that a statement from China will be issued.  Here is the alleged release.

“China is not like the United States and Russia; it has no aggressive foreign policy; it does not want to be one of the sides of the war; it avoids the policies of the axes in our region. However, it is a large state with huge interests in the region; one of the interests of China in the Middle East is oil.

The Middle East region is the vital artery of China, and its subjection to regional or international governments and the chaos of terrorist organizations is a source of concern for Beijing. China has an important role to play, although it does not have a specific position, and it strives as an economic power to protect its interests without resorting to military power. Its policies are pragmatic, and during the US-Iran controversy, Beijing did not help Washington, it did not withdraw from the nuclear deal and did not accept Iran’s sanctions. But at the same time, China has decided to abandon Iran as a major source of its petrochemical purchases and move toward Saudi Arabia. This could be a painful blow to Tehran.

The strategic proximity between Saudi Arabia and China is not accidental and is the result of the actions of Saudi politicians in relation to China. Last year, Malik Salman’s trip to Beijing was an important step during which extensive cooperation agreements between Beijing and Riyadh were concluded.

In addition, the visit of the Chinese president to the Emirates was an exceptional journey. This is while China has good relations with Kuwait. Economics is the power of the Gulf states and the way to the intellect and heart of China; a partnership without other obligations. China is currently moving towards Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states and has abandoned Iran’s oil. In the past, Iran was the first supplier of Chinese oil. The same thing has provoked the rage of Tehran and has led the authorities to engage in reading readings with a different logic.

In this context, it can be said that China has become an important partner for Saudi Arabia, irrespective of Iran’s oil, and this can be aligned with its enormous economic plan.”

Source: halturnerradioshow.com

This report makes mention of solidifying ties with the Saudis but it makes no mention of the diametrically opposed switch on China’s position with Iran.  It also makes mention of a war.  There is not sufficient clues to elicit a concrete conclusion.  Is there a war coming in the near future, if so, what countries will be involved.  Is this a ploy to ensure trade ties between the US and China?  It is a fact that the US is a major market for goods made in China and economically the US would buy more than Iran.  Regarding Saudi Arabia, China as well as Russia have been in talks with the Saudis to strengthen trade relationships.  Saudis are partners with the US with the petrodollar, so if China trying to gain support with Saudi Arabia to ultimately pull the plug on the US dollar’s reserve status?

Source: halturnerradioshow.com

Iran has stated that “If Iran cannot sell its oil from the Gulf Region, then NO ONE will sell their oil either”.  In the past as well as currently, Iran has made threats to shut down the Strait of Hormuz.  As you can see from the map, this is entirely possible and the Strait closure will certainly affect the transportation of oil from the OPEC countries.  If this occurs, it will be shock to oil prices as well as the global economy.  It will also be a strong impetus to the start of a war.

Iowa Supreme Court Rules Against Forfeiture Law

Source: thedailycoin.org

The court moved to strengthened the constitutional protection for owners facing civil forfeiture.  Under the forfeiture law, police and prosecutors can keep up to 100% of the proceeds from forfeited property.  Since 1985, they have confiscated 4,200 vehicles and over $55 million in cash.

Last year an investigation done by the Des Moines Register uncovered abuses arising from this law.  The Iowa legislators took action by amending the existing law.  They amended the law to allow more protection for innocent owners.  They required a criminal conviction for police to apply the forfeiture to property valued under $5,000.  The law allowed for confiscation of property even without filing a criminal charge against the owner before the amendment.

The court didn’t address the low threshold required to convict an owner so there is still the distinct possibility that the police and prosecutors will continue their confiscations.

One case which was investigated concerned Jean Carlos Herrera whom was pulled over for going 4 miles over the limit in Pottawattamie County, IA.  After being pulled over a police drug dog alerted Sergeant Kevin Killpack to Herrera’s car.  A search of the car was performed without consent, some drug paraphernalia and remnants of marijuana were found.  Killpack cited Herrera for speeding but no other crime.  Herrera’s car was seized with all property contained inside the vehicle.  The vehicle was owned by Herrera’s friend, Fenando Rodriguez.

Come Monday

Two House Republicans are seeking to file impeachment documents against Rosenstein as early as Monday.  At issue is Rosenstein whom oversees Mueller’s probe into the alleged Russian collusion has repeatedly ignored requests from congressional Republicans for access to documents pertaining to the investigation.  Another salient issue is his attempt to provide protection for Strzok.

It has been confirmed that Representative Meadows was in possession of the impeachment documents while Rosenstein was announcing the indictments of 12 Russians connected with the Russian collusion.  I find that very ironic and in this case hopefully telling if things go south for Rosenstein on Monday.

Here is a video of the House Judiciary Committee meeting.

Source: youtube.com

Upon viewing this, it shows why the government is dysfunctional.  This looked more like a street brawl rather than a meeting to get out the facts.  It would be refreshing to see some answers that only address the issue rather than a defensive statement to CYA.  I called this a statement instead of an answer because the responses provided by Rosenstein did not answer Jordan’s question.  The Chairman Goodlatte was having a difficult time to control this group of uncivilized children (sorry, I didn’t mean to demean children).

I’m hoping Monday will bring some news about Rosenstein’s impeachment and Strzok’s termination.

Source: bizpacreview.com

Future of NATO

Source: rt.com

There are many conflicting stories coming out about Trump’s position on NATO.  Some are saying that he has threatened to put out of NATO, some are saying that Trump demanded that other member nations allocations will be increased and others are denying that Trump made any such claims.

Some things are obvious without anyone needed to verify it.  One is that only 5 members are living up to the agreement to pay 2% of their country’s GDP for defense spending and the US is spending more than all the other 28 members combined.  The most blatant is Germany whom only spent 1.2% of its GDP.

Globally, all countries are suffering from the economic downturn so these members are cash strapped.  Geo-politically, the world seems like it is on the verge of the next world war so a strong military presence is vital.  The global alliance structure is in flux as more countries are moving to making alliances with the BRICS as the western supremacy is failing.  A question should be asked will the next war have the current NATO members on the same side as the US / UK?

Although it has been said that Trump never broached the point of withdrawing from NATO, he was asked by journalists if he were to decide to withdraw would he need to consult with congress.  His response was that he thinks he can pull out of NATO without congressional approval.  As the exact context is not known, it would be errant to draw an assumption but it does indicate that the possibility is on his mind.  If it were not, his answer would have been more on the lines of consulting with congress is not even an issue.

Canada Provides $23 Million to Islamic Groups

Source: torontosun.com

MP Iqra Khalid announced that the Trudeau government has invested $23 million into its multiculturalism program.  Two of the recipients are The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and Islamic Relief.  Both of these organizations have affiliations to radical Islam groups.  Khalid has been an outspoken advocate of the multiculturalism program.  She made this announcement in front of a small group of mostly Muslims with little fanfare.  There was no main stream media in attendance.  It is odd that Trudeau as well as Khalid would not want this achievement to be made public.

The NCCM is a former branch of the US based CAIR.  CAIR was named in 2008 as a co-conspirator connected to the largest terror funding trial in US history.  NCCM denies their links to CAIR.  Islamic Relief is a worldwide charity that has been accused of links to Islamist extremism by the Middle East Forum, Israel and the UAE.

Some in the Canadian Muslim community has decried that M103 initiative (multiculturalism program) will result in the spread of jihad, polygamy, FGM and Sharia throughout Canada.

No Honor Among Thieves

Source: thedailycoin.org

Before I begin, I must state that I found nothing to verify if Rep. Jim Jordan is culpable for the alleged failure to report the abuse of Ohio State athletes by Dr. Richard Strauss.

Rod Rosenstein was lambasted by Jim Jordan during the House Judiciary Committee hearing.  Jordan was pressing Rosenstein on turning over political sensitive documents from the Mueller investigation, Rosenstein refused.

Source: youtube.com

It was obvious that Rosenstein was upset by the exchange.  Now a former Ohio State wrestler comes forth to reopen the accusations against Jordan.  Allegedly Jordan who was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994, was privy to the abusive crimes perpetrated on athletes by Strauss.  Strauss was the team’s physician from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s.

Jordan has denies the accusations and he contends that he had no knowledge of the abuse to the students.

The timing of this is too coincidental to ignore, it is apparent that Rosenstein’s hand was involved in this.  He is pulling out all the stops to sway the committee’s opinion as he must be aware that he is being exposed.  Regarding the title of this post, although it is not evident that Jordan is guilty, there is compelling statements from 3 former wrestlers that point to his complicity.  It is becoming evident that as more politicians get fingered, they have no compulsion to keep secrets if they believe selling others out might save their own skins.  If one plays in the swamp, they will get dirty.

DOJ Files Charges for Medical Fraud

Source: naturalnews.com

The DOJ’s Sessions said “This year we are charging 601 people, including 76 doctors, 23 pharmacists, 19 nurses, and other medical personnel with more than $2 billion in medical fraud.  In this latest operation, with the help of our fabulous partners at HHS, we have charged another 162 people – including 32 doctors – with the illegal distribution of opioids.  This is the most doctors, the most medical personnel, and the most fraud that the DOJ has ever taken on in any single law enforcement action”.

He added “We are sending a clear message to criminals across the country.  We will find you.  We will bring you to justice.  And you will pay a very high price for what you have done”.

Sessions’ speech is all well and good but surely the public is awaiting concrete results.  He has back peddled on his commitment to prosecute politicians and has gone so far as to taking a recusal from the Russia probe.  It is hard to put faith in someone whom has failed to live up to his promises in the past, no matter how tough he his words sound.

Is this another case of political rhetoric or will this result in the prosecution of these medical fraudsters.  Hopefully right will prevail and the DOJ can move to the prosecution of those whom have ‘sealed indictments’ pending.

Justice Kennedy Retires

Source: zerohedge.com

Kennedy was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1987 and has been on the bench for over 3 decades.  He is consider to be a conservative but his viewpoint is to the left of Trump’s.  He has indicated that he would be retiring for the last few months.  He has submitted his resignation to be effective on July 31.

Presently the court is comprised of four liberal leaning judges and four conservative judges.  Kennedy was the swing vote on several recent landmark votes by the SCOTUS, like the legalization of same sex marriages, the preservation of Roe v. Wade, the upholding of warrantless wiretapping and the overturning of the handgun ban.

Potential replacements are Brett Kavanaugh, William Pryor, Thomas Hardiman, Amul Thapar, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.  Since the Republicans hold a 51 – 49 edge in the Senate, a Trump nominee could be approved without any bipartisan support.  Democrats are not happy.

Katie Arrington Injured

Source: nyt.com

After her victory over Sanford in the primary election, she was involved in a strange motor vehicle accident which left her hospitalized.  The car Arrington was a passenger in was struck by another vehicle which was heading the wrong way.  The driver of the other vehicle was killed in the collision.

It seems odd that soon after her victory, she is a victim of an accident where a wrong way driver slams into the vehicle she is riding in with so much force that the other driver is killed.  It looks as if some entities were miffed about her winning the nomination.

Source: wikipedia.org

Looking at the person she defeated may provide some clues.  Sanford was the governor of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011.  In 2009, he mysteriously disappeared and his whereabouts were unknown.  He was gone for about a week, when he resurfaced he admitted that he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina meeting with a woman whom he was having an extramarital affair.

Sounds like the type of politician that the deep state likes to have in power.  It appears that politicians that have skeletons in their closet are easier to manipulate and toe the subversive agenda.  As more politicians are exposed for their underhanded activities, TPTB need to do what they can to keep their benefactors in power.

It is becoming more apparent that people whom buck the system have a short life span.

It Is Definitely In The Water

Source: thedailycoin.org

After just reading about California senator Feinstein introducing a rogue bill to make felonies committed by immigrants with children, this new story broke concerning another California politician inciting people to harass anyone affiliate with Trump.

Maxine Waters, a democratic representative who has been in office since 2013, has been an outspoken advocate of impeaching Trump.  She has followed the sage advise of not letting a crisis go to waste like Feinstein.  She got on her soapbox to incite people to actively harass any member of Trump’s Cabinet to their legal right to eat at a restaurant, go shopping or be seen in any public venue.  She blatantly advocates for people to prevent members of the Trump team to enjoy a private life.  This is another example of why term limits are so necessary and voter need to make better choices.

Source: youtube.com

Agreed that Trump probably added fuel to her rage by pointing out her likeness to James Brown.  But Waters seems to be dead set on tearing down the establishment based on her personal vendetta.  It is ironic that over her tenure, she has bent several rules to increase her personal or her family’s wealth.  As an example, her daughter has been paid $750,000 to send out campaign mailers.

It appears that there must be something in the California water that is responsible for democratic members to elicit laws that are clearly unconstitutional or display irrational outbursts based on an issue that the majority of people polled blame the parents of the separation of immigrant children from their parents.

I’m sure an enterprising person will soon bottle the California water and market it globally so more people can experience the delusion.

StishApp

FREE
VIEW