Friday, 18 May 2018

Crypto Wealth Sinks $52 Billion in One Week.

So much for the Blockchain Week bounce. 

With thousands of cryptocurrency diehards swarming into Manhattan for this week’s Consensus 2018 conference, the prediction from Bitcoin bulls like Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors was that the hype-filled gathering would trigger a market rally. 

Alas, not even a trio of (rented) Lamborghinis, a 1,000-person yacht party and a performance by 46-year-old rapper Snoop Dogg could prevent the value of virtual currencies tracked by from sinking by $52 billion since May 11. Bitcoin, the most popular of the bunch, dropped 5.2 percent this week to $8,003.60 even as Arthur Hayes -- the crypto exchange executive who’s firm rented the Lamborghinis -- predicted a surge to $50,000 by year-end.

Full story at Bloomberg.
By Andrea Tan  and Blake Schmidt.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

NYC announces plans to test algorithms for bias.

The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, has announced the formation of a new task force to examine the fairness of the algorithms used in the city's automated systems. 

The Automated Decision Systems Task Force will review algorithms that are in use to determine that they are free from bias. Representatives from the Department of Social Services, the NYC Police Department, the Department of Transportation, the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, the Administration for Children's Services, and the Department of Education will be involved, and the aim is to produce a report by December 2019.

Full story at Beta News.
By Mark Wycislik-Wilson.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

​How Australia's Department of Defence is using IBM Watson.

The Department of Defence told ZDNet it has highlighted at least 14 use cases for its on-premises version of IBM Watson to use artificial intelligence to gain valuable insights out of its data.

The Australian Department of Defence is using what Matt Smorhun, Assistant Secretary for the ICT Strategy Realisation Branch at the Department of Defence, said was only the second on-premises instance of Watson globally. 

Speaking at the CeBIT Australia conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Smorhun said the department decided to invest in a secret, classified version of IBM's Watson platform, instead of spending valuable time working out how to do artificial intelligence, cognitive learning, and advanced analytics on its own. 

He said Defence decided to "just buy this thing" and then work out how it was going to fit into the organisation later. 

After a series of workshops, Defence decided to put its horded data to good use, and as Smorhun told ZDNet, the department has about 14 use cases across all services within the organisation.

By Asha McLean.
Full story at ZDNet.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Facebook data leak exposed 'intimate' details of three million users.

'myPersonality' app stored data on unsecured website for four years.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT things couldn't get any worse for Facebook, it's been revealed that another rogue app exposed the "intimate" details of three million users.

New Scientist has the scoop and reports that personality quiz app 'myPersonality', developed by Cambridge University academics, distributed user responses to researchers at companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo using an unsecured website.

A password and username granting access to the data - which was controlled by David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski at the University Psychometrics Centre - had been sitting on GitHub, publicly available, for the past four years.

By Carly Page.
Full story at The Inquirer.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Asiana plane collides with Turkish jet.

An Asiana airliner carrying 222 passengers hit a stationary Turkish Airlines plane in Istanbul, Sunday, damaging the latter's vertical stabilizer. 

No one was hurt in the collision. The transport ministry is set to launch an investigation to uncover who is at fault. 

It may serve as a setback for Asiana which hopes to catch up with Korean Air, given the industry leader is embroiled in a slew of controversies hurting its reputation and pushing its chairman to the brink of resignation. 

According to the nation's second-largest airline and international media, the Asiana Airbus A330 heading for Incheon was taxiing on the runway of Istanbul Ataturk Airport before its starboard wing tip touched the Turkish A321's stabilizer.

By Kang Seung-woo.

Full story at The Korea Times.

Friday, 11 May 2018

A New Era of Smartphone Operation.

Natalie Matthews-Ramo.
The iPhone X and Android P are laying the groundwork for a period dominated by gesture navigations.

Buttons have long been a mainstay of our smartphone experience. Then, in September, Apple introduced a suite of new navigation gestures it on the iPhone X in lieu of a home button. Now Google’s Android P is following its lead. In the next major update to the Android operating system, it will lose the signature trio of virtual buttons at the bottom of the screen—the back button, home button, and app switcher—in favor of swipe-based on-screen navigation. According to The Verge, this “completely revamps the core navigation” of your Android smartphone.

Unlike iOS, which did away with the idea of the home button entirely, Android P will still offer some semblance of a virtual home button you can tap to return to your phone’s home screen or long-press to launch Google Assistant. Now, however, you can also half swipe upward to go the “Overview” screen (the multitasking screen) or full swipe upward to open your device’s app drawer. You can also swipe to the right to flip through your recently used apps or, as before, swipe downward from the top of the screen for the notifications tray. The back button previously located semi-permanently in the bottom left of your phone’s screen is gone, although some apps may still offer an on-screen back button you can use.

Full story at Slate.

By Christina Bonnington.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

South Korea gets super-duper fast internet.

While Netflix buffers continue to bug you every night, people are enjoying lightning fast internet in the land of kimchi.

South Korea is home to the fastest internet on the planet. And it's gotten even quicker.

The country's internet provider, SK Broadband, has rolled out internet running at 2.5 gigabits per second in the country, ZDNet reported Thursday. The company will also make internet running at 5 and 10 Gbps available in the later half of this year, it added.

This will make internet in South Korea -- which CNET reporter Stephen Shankland called "a country obsessed with superfast networks" -- insanely fast compared to those in other countries.

The average connection speed in the US last year, for example, was 18.7 megabits per second, according to Akamai's State of the Internet Report.

By Zoey Chong.
Full story at CNET.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

SoftBank CEO Confirms Walmart to Buy Control of India's Flipkart.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Walmart Inc. has agreed to buy control of Flipkart Online Services Pvt, according to SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son, a major shareholder in the Indian e-commerce company.

The Japanese company, through its Vision Fund, invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart and that stake will be worth about $4 billion in the deal, Son told a briefing on Wednesday. He didn’t elaborate on other terms of the Walmart takeover. The deal values Flipkart at about $20 billion, people familiar with the matter have said previously.

An announcement is expected later on Wednesday.

Full story at Bloomberg.
By Saritha Rai and Mathew Boyle.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Founder of Worms maker Team17 in line for £50m windfall.

Debbie Bestwick will sell up to half her shares when Yorkshire-based video games firm floats.

The founder of the Yorkshire-based video games company behind hits such as Worms is set for a £50m windfall from a stockmarket listing valuing the business at up to £230m.

Debbie Bestwick, 48, founded Team17 in 1990 and her stake will be worth approximately £100m when the company floats on Aim this month. Bestwick, who received an MBE in 2016 for services to the video games industry, intends to sell up to 50% of her shareholding in the flotation.

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Bestwick has positioned the Wakefield-based business as a champion of independent games developers. In the “about us” section of Team17’s website it describes itself as “a games label created by independent developers for independent developers”. One of its games, The Escapists, has been developed by an ex-roofer from Derby.

By Mark Sweeney.
Full story at The Guardian.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Nestle pays $7.15 billion to sell Starbucks products.

Swiss food giant Nestle announced Monday it will pay $7.15 billion for the rights to market Starbucks products around the world, outside of the company's coffee shops.

The agreement gives Nestle, which owns the Nescafe and Nespresso brands, a strong platform for continued growth in North America, the company said in a statement.

"This transaction is a significant step for our coffee business, Nestle's largest high-growth category," said Nestle CEO Mark Schneider in a statement.

"Both companies have true passion for outstanding coffee and are proud to be recognized as global leaders for their responsible and sustainable coffee sourcing."

The deal does not include any of Starbucks' coffee shops and cafes.

Around 500 Starbucks staff will join Nestle, the company added.

Full story at Phys