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China’s Blockchain Index Ranks Ethereum First, Bitcoin at 13th

China’s Blockchain Index Ranks Ethereum First, Bitcoin at 13th

In the newly released Global Public Chain Assessment Index of the Chinese government, Ethereum was voted as the top public blockchain in the cryptocurrency space, while Bitcoin came only in 13th place. The index, which has 28 blockchain projects with their corresponding cryptocurrencies, ranked Steem, Lisk, NEO and Komodo in second, third, fourth, and fifth places respectively. Created and released by the China Center for Information Industry Development, which is part of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in Beijing, the index evaluates each blockchain according to usefulness, innovativeness, and technological capability. Source: Reuters

Tianjin Announces $16 Billion AI Fund

Tianjin Announces $16 Billion AI Fund

Last Thursday, China’s northern port city of Tianjin announced that it will be allocating around 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to support the growth of country’s artificial intelligence sector. The funds will be used for the development of intelligent robots and hardware and software while around 30 billion will go to intelligent devices and upgrades for traditional industries. A separate fund of 10 billion will be set up to promote intelligent manufacturing. Tianjin vice mayor Sun Wenkui also pledged around 30 million yuan for each scientific research institution, whether a provincial- or national-level body, that sets up in the province. […]

Zuckerberg to Testify Before US House Panel Next Week

Zuckerberg to Testify Before US House Panel Next Week

It was announced last Wednesday that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11 over the misuse of Facebook user data by a political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook said that it had already shut down the accounts of Cambridge Analytica and its parent company and is investigating whether the firm still has the data. However, governments are still pressuring the social network to do more to protect user privacy and misinformation on its platform. It is said that Zuckerberg is also being invited to appear by two other […]

Amazon Cuts Ties with Top Lobbying Firms

Amazon Cuts Ties with Top Lobbying Firms

Bloomberg reported last Friday that Amazon has cut its ties to top Washington lobbying firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Squire Patton, and replaced them with outsiders. Amazon hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc as replacements a week after US president Donald Trump blasted the retail giant for not paying enough taxes, taking advantage of the USPS, and taking businesses from smaller retailers. Both firms are outside lobbyists who have previously worked with Airbnb Inc and Oracle Corp. Amazon is said to have 15 lobbyists, with another 15 […]

Chinese Cyber Criminals Create 5 Million Strong Botnet

Chinese Cyber Criminals Create 5 Million Strong Botnet

Researchers from Check Point recently reported that a Chinese cyber criminal group is creating a botnet made up of almost 5 million Android smartphones powered by a malware named Rottensys. Rottensys was originally used only to aggressively show ads, but cyber crooks have reportedly deployed a Lua-written module to give the malware more capabilities including the silent installation of additional apps and UI automation. The malware is said to be active only in the Chinese market as of now and is being bundled in Chinese apps, infecting mostly popular local phones such as Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo, LeEco, Coolpad, and […]

Facebook: No Evidence Pointing to Russian Brexit Interference

Facebook: No Evidence Pointing to Russian Brexit Interference

Last Wednesday, Facebook’s UK policy director Simon Milner told the House of Commons Committee on Digital, Culture Media and Sport that they have found no new evidence on Russia’s use of social media to disrupt Brexit. Milner said that they reviewed both Facebook accounts and activities of thousands of advertisers during the period leading up to the June referendum, which was the same methodology used in identifying the social media activity of the Russian propaganda group that disrupted the 2016 US presidential elections. However, in contrast with the results of the inquiries into Russia’s involvement in US politics, the investigation […]

Facebook, Telecom Infra Announce Series of Global Connectivity Projects

Facebook, Telecom Infra Announce Series of Global Connectivity Projects

Earlier this week at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, Spain, Facebook and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) announced that it is embarking on a number of new projects to bring connectivity to around 3.8 people without internet access in various parts of the globe. The partnership will be launching Terragraph, a millimeter-wave, multi-node wireless backhaul system with the help of industry partners including Deutsche Telekom, Magyar Telekom, and Telenor. This is expected to improve connectivity in urban locations where broadband and mobile solutions often get congested. Facebook will also be starting new trials for OpenCellular, a low-power base station […]

Zero-day Flaws Used by North Korean “Reaper” Group to Spy on Governments

Zero-day Flaws Used by North Korean “Reaper” Group to Spy on Governments

Researchers from cybersecurity firm FireEye have warned that an APT (advanced persistent threat) group called Reaper is using various malware and zero-day vulnerabilities against countries within the interests of the North Korean government. The group, also known as APT37, is said to be primarily targeting South Korea, and may now be expanding its targets to include Japan, Vietnam, and the Middle East. However, the group has also been observed to strike industrial players in the chemical, military, electronics, aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. Reaper has been active since 2012 and mainly conducts surveillance for North Korea. Source: ZDNet

Virtual Currencies to Stay Despite Deflation of Bubble: ECB

Virtual Currencies to Stay Despite Deflation of Bubble: ECB

European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch recently remarked that regulators and legislators should still keep watch over virtual currencies even after the bubble has burst as the innovation may remain even if market leaders die out. Mersch added that cryptocurrencies are not real money and will stay as such in the foreseeable future due to its small market share and limited ties to the real economy. He also revealed that the ECB will not be issuing digital money as it is unnecessary and may even have a negative impact on the financial system.   Source: Reuters

Australian Government Accidentally Leaks Data After Disposing of Filing Cabinets

Australian Government Accidentally Leaks Data After Disposing of Filing Cabinets

The Australian government was recently reported to have inadvertently leaked its own secrets when a cabinet full of sensitive and even classified documents were found to be for sale in a second-hand shop in Canberra. The shop had apparently been selling old furniture from the government, and the files were found after the cabinets had been bought and the loks had been drilled off. The found files was said to have revealed that the Australian Federal Police had lost hundreds of national security documents over 5 years. The incident also revealed that the former Labor governments did not follow document […]