Yet Another Week In Tech or YAWIT is a weekly summary of the latest top 5/10 big Technology and Blockchain stories of the week from here at GTecheek and from around the web. Here are this weeks Top 10/5 Technology & Blockchains Stories:
Technology (Apps/Gadget/Gaming) News
- Galaxy Note9 is official: Bigger battery, powered S Pen, and Fortnite for $1,000: In keeping with Samsung’s yearly tradition, the latest entry in the Note series has been formally revealed. The new Note9, like the S9 before it, is an incremental advancement over its predecessor rather than an outright revolution in design. Packing the latest Snapdragon 845 and a sizeably increased 4,000mAh battery, Samsung’s new Note phone includes all the best features we have come to expect from a 2018 flagship, with none of the notch. In keeping with the swelling specifications, the price has also increased to a round $1,000.
- Google launches Cameos, a video Q&A app aimed at celebs and public figures: Google has launched a new video-based Q&A app called Cameos on the App Store, which allows people to answer questions about themselves, then share those answers directly on Google. The app is aimed at celebrities and other public figures, who are often the subject of people’s Google searches. With the Cameos app, they can address fans’ questions in their own voice, instead of leaving the answers up to other websites.
- Discord is launching a game store: Just a few weeks back, Valve moved into Discord’s turf a bit with a dramatic overhaul of Steam’s chat system. Today, Discord is returning the favor by playing with the idea of selling games through its namesake chat platform.The company says it’ll launch a beta of the game store later today, though it’ll initially be limited to a small slice of its user base (which now sits at 150 million users). More specifically, the beta will roll out to just 50,000 users from Canada at first.
- The SEC wants Tesla to explain Elon’s 420 tweet: Elon Musk, billionaire founder of Tesla, startled the Twittersphere yesterday by announcing he wanted to take the company private at the price of $420 per share. While some speculated the tweet was a joke or a marijuana reference, others took to the market. The tweet sent the stock soaring up 11 percent, causing a halt in trade for a portion of the day.
- Hack the planet: vulnerabilities unearthed in satellite systems used around the globe: So this is bad. Black Hat, the king of enterprise security conventions, kicked off today, and most noticeable amid the fusillade of security research was some impressive work from Ruben Santamarta of IOActive, whose team has unearthed worrying vulnerabilities in satellite communication systems, aka SATCOM, used by airplanes, ships and military units worldwide.
- Facebook builds its own AR games for Messenger video chat: Facebook is diving deeper into in-house game development with the launch of its own version of Snapchat’s multiplayer augmented reality video chat games. Today, Facebook Messenger globally launches its first two AR video chat games that you can play with up to six people.
- PUBG developer admits PUBG is broken with ‘Fix PUBG’ campaign: PUBG Corporation has announced a new initiative called “Fix PUBG” in which the developers will attempt to, well, fix PUBG. The team says it plans to “destroy bugs, deliver long-needed quality-of-life features, and take [PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds] to the next level by shipping fundamental performance improvements,” focusing resources on these aspects of development over the next three months.
- Oppo F9 PRO set for an August 21st India Launch: Oppo has officially confirmed the 21st of August as the launch date of its Oppo F9 PRO device for India via a press invite. Thanks to an earlier Official Teaser, We already have an idea of how the device actually looks.
- Facebook launches Mentorships, matching people within Groups to help them guide each other: Facebook — under fire for the role it has played in helping spread misinformation through its social media platform — has been turning its attention to more positive applications of its tools, such as strengthening communities, fundraising for good causes, and maybe even finding The One. Today comes the latest in that list: the company today announced the official launch of Mentorships, a free service that will pair people who need help or guidance with those who can provide it.
- Facebook is shutting down Friend List Feeds today: Facebook is shutting down Friend List Feeds sometime today, according to a message posted in the Facebook app. The feature allowed users to scroll through only those posts from one of their designated friend lists — for example, family, work colleagues, neighbors, industry peers and so on. The end result was a much more personalized version of Facebook — one where you could catch up on the updates that were important to you, without the clutter from Facebook Pages, posts from acquaintances or those from friends whose updates you didn’t care to follow for any other reason.
- US targets 2020 for the creation of a Space Force: In a speech before the Department of Defense at the Pentagon today, Vice President Mike Pence outlined the broad contours of the new Space Force that the Trump administration wants to create as the sixth branch of the U.S. military.
- SoundCloud on the blockchain? Audius raises $5.5M to decentralize music: Audius wants to cut the middlemen out of music streaming so artists get paid their fair share. Coming out of stealth today led by serial entrepreneur and DJ Ranidu Lankage, Audius is building a blockchain-based alternative to Spotify or SoundCloud.
- SEC Postpones Bitcoin ETF-Filing Rule Change: To the dismay of cryptocurrency markets, the SEC decided to postpone its decision to the pending rule change filed by CBOE, VanEck, and SolidX until September 30th, 2018 at the latest. The SEC commented, “The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change.”The motion originally aimed to launch a Bitcoin-backed ETF, as opposed to one backed only by futures. An ETF is essentially a financial product that follows an asset’s price and is itself listed on an exchange for trading. So, investors don’t have to actually buy the underlying asset but can have a stake in its price growth or decrease.
Upon the news, the cryptocurrency market took a nosedive with Bitcoin (BTC) declining by 6.15%, Ethereum (ETH) declining by 8.2%, and Ripple (XRP) declining by 13.77%.
- DEA Agent Claims Illegal Activity No Longer Dominant Use for Bitcoin: DEA special agent, Lilita Infante, explained to Bloomberg that five years ago, her study of blockchain data showed that 90% of Bitcoin transactions involved criminal activity. Today, she claims, illegal activity has shrunk to about 10% and speculation is the dominant driver of transactions. Infante also noted, “The blockchain actually gives us a lot of tools to be able to identify people. I actually want them to keep using them.’’
- Twenty States Get SALTy: SALT (Secured Automated Lending Platform), a platform that allows users to put up their cryptocurrency holdings as collateral in exchange for cash loans, announced that it was opening its doors to 20 more states. SALT currently sits at 35/50 states in the United States. The platform has currently issued more than $50M in U.S. Blockchain-Backed Loans, with over 70,000 users on its platform.
- It’s Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings: The publicly traded, Norway-headquartered Opera (NASDAQ: OPRA) integrated its crypto wallet into its desktop browser. Opera currently has north of 322 million users and aims to please its users with new built-in features such as this. To put this into perspective, Google Chrome has about 2 billion installs, and Opera seems to be one of the only mainstream browsers to allow for a cryptocurrency wallet integration without bulky plug-ins.
- Okcoin Exchange Sued by One of Its Users: According to the source, an Okcoin user by the name of Feng Bin is suing the exchange for not receiving 38.75 in Bitcoin Cash from the August 2017 fork. When Bin contacted the Okcoin team, he was told that the deadline set for post-fork recovery had passed and he was no longer eligible. If the investor is able to successfully sue the exchange for his post-fork tokens, this will set an interesting precedent that could be quite scary for cryptocurrency exchanges with poor customer support (ie. all of them).
Blockchain Wins and Losers
This week’s winners at the time of writing determined by statistics from coinmarketcap.com top Gainers and Losers over a 7 day period.
|#||Name||Symbol||Volume (24h)||Price||% 7d|
|4||Global Currency Reserve||GCR||$50,125||$0.122861||88.95%|
|#||Name||Symbol||Volume (24h)||Price||% 7d|
So that was this week’s most newsworthy technology and blockchains happenings, Join us next week for episode 3 and feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.