Is blockchain living up to the hype?

Posted by & filed under Bitcoin, Blockchain.

As we approach Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary at the end of this month, we ask whether blockchain – the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency – is fulfilling its promise, or a tech still looking for a better reason to exist. There have been some very grandiose claims made about blockchain. Source: BBC Business Technology Date: November 30th, 2018 Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45919700… Read more »

Why tech is taking a hammering

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix.

  Technology stocks have had a very bad week. For the FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) which have led the charge in growth over the past decade, it was grim. At their lowest point, all five were down more than 20 per cent from their peaks. This translates to hundreds of billions of… Read more »

Is Apple getting sloppy?

Posted by & filed under Apple.

Well, you don’t see that every day – Apple has rushed out a patch to fix a major security bug.  It had been revealed that users of its new MacOS High Sierra operating system can access it without using a password. Just use “root” as a username, leave the password field blank and hit “Enter” a few times.  It’s an… Read more »

The Brutal Fight to Mine Your Data and Sell It to Your Boss

Posted by & filed under Big Data, Bots, Business Analytics, Civil Liberties, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues.

HiQ is a “people analytics” firm that creates software tools for corporate human resources departments. Its Skill Mapper graphically represents the credentials and abilities of a workforce; its Keeper service identifies when employees are at risk of leaving for another job. Both draw the overwhelming majority of their data from a single trove: the material that is… Read more »

Now computers are writing perfectly acceptable pop songs

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Ethical issues.

Taryn Southern, a YouTube star and content creator, has just released a song she wrote with the help of artificial intelligence.  Called Break Free, it’s a brooding ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Hunger Games soundtrack. Southern wrote the lyrics and melody, but the backing track was built by her laptop, after she punched in… Read more »

Bitcoin Mining Now Consuming More Electricity Than 159 Countries

Posted by & filed under Bitcoin.

  Bitcoin’s ongoing meteoric price rise has received the bulk of recent press attention with a lot of discussion around whether or not it’s a bubble waiting to burst.   However, most the coverage has missed out one of the more interesting and unintended consequences of this price increase. That is the surge in global electricity… Read more »

FCC Approves SpaceX to Launch New, ‘Very-Low-Earth-Orbit,’ Internet-Beaming Satellites

Posted by & filed under Innovation.

In a move that is expected to expand satellite Internet connectivity, the US Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted Thursday to allow SpaceX and three other companies to deploy new satellites systems. The approval allows Elon Musk’s company to operate more than 7,000 “very-low-Earth orbit” satellites and the additional flexibility to provide “both diverse geographic coverage and the… Read more »

Amazon HQ2 process highlights the company’s data obsession

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Ethical issues.

Amazon’s search for a second headquarters was never just about finding a new home. Throughout the process, Amazon skillfully obtained data from 238 cities and metro areas in North America for free, including proprietary information about real estate sites under development, details about their talent pool, local labor cost and what incentives cities and states were willing… Read more »

IMF’s Lagarde says central banks could issue digital money

Posted by & filed under crypto-currency.

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde said central banks around the world should consider issuing digital currency. Speaking in Singapore, Ms Lagarde said this could make digital currency transactions safer. Source: BBC Technology News Date: November 15th, 2018 Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46203869 Discussion 1) How much do you know about how cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is just one example?  Why… Read more »