Ix Digest

Weekly tech dose and other fascinating insights curated by Ionixx Technologies

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  • US takes regulatory steps for blockchain technology adoption | Coin Telegraph

    The United States’ concerns about the rise of cryptocurrency use in illegal activities have only been growing as developments in the space continue to push the envelope. There is a global race to launch stablecoins that could be potentially utilized by more than half the world’s population. Meanwhile, Facebook is committed to launching a Libra stablecoin that is regulatorily compliant and can be used by over 2.5 billion Facebook subscribers.

  • Facebook rolling out new web design with dark mode, here’s how to opt-in | 9to5mac.com

    Just a few weeks back at CES, Google gave a sneak peek of a feature that would let your Android devices read entire web pages aloud to you — perfect for when you don’t have a hand free to scroll but still need to catch up on some text, or for when you just don’t feel like looking at your screen anymore. You’d say, “Hey Google, read this page,” and they’d spin up Google Assistant’s neural networks to generate a pretty dang spot-on reading of it.

  • Three things central bankers can learn from Bitcoin | MIT Review

    For central bankers, the game changed last summer when Facebook unveiled its proposal for Libra. Many have responded by seriously exploring whether and how they should issue their own digital money. This article discusses the practical concerns central bankers should be considering as they begin to design their own digital money systems. One common theme: central bankers have plenty to learn from Bitcoin.

  • India’s Supreme Court Ruling Is a Win for the Whole Blockchain Industry | Coin Desk

    On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India overturned the Central Bank’s ban on trading in virtual currencies. This order is clearly a major victory not only for the digital asset industry but also for India’s fast-growing fintech and technology industries. This progressive decision paves the way for measured and progressive regulation that will allow India, a leading software exporter, and market for fintech, to benefit from rapid innovation in blockchain technology and digital assets.

  • Google Assistant on Android can now read entire web pages to you | Techcrunch

    Just a few weeks back at CES, Google gave a sneak peek of a feature that would let your Android devices read entire web pages aloud to you — perfect for when you don’t have a hand free to scroll but still need to catch up on some text, or for when you just don’t feel like looking at your screen anymore. You’d say, “Hey Google, read this page,” and they’d spin up Google Assistant’s neural networks to generate a pretty dang spot-on reading of it.

  • Blockchain Technology Partners unveil smart contracts on Amazon AWS | Coin Telegraph

    Customers can now integrate smart contracts on Amazon Web Services’ Quantum Ledger Database, or QLDB, thanks to tech company Blockchain Technology Partners. Blockchain Technology Partners, or BTP, unveiled general availability for its DAML incorporation, accessible through its Sextant for DAML platform, allowing those working with Amazon’s QLDB to harness smart contracts on the platform, according to a Feb. 25 statement provided to Cointelegraph.

  • Amazon opens its first cashier-less supermarket in Seattle | Fortune

    Amazon is aiming to kill the supermarket checkout line. The online retailing giant is opening its first cashier-less supermarket, the latest sign that Amazon is serious about shaking up the $800 billion grocery industry. At the new store, opening Tuesday in Seattle, shoppers can grab milk or eggs and walk out without checking out or opening their wallets. Shoppers scan a smartphone app to enter the store. Cameras and sensors track what's taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after leaving.

  • Why only one-quarter of the world will get true 5G wireless, McKinsey says | Fortune

    The wireless industry is spending tens of billions dollars annually to install superfast 5G networks, but the first wave of the technology isn't likely to reach most people in the next decade, according to a new report from consulting firm McKinsey.

  • Cloud computing: invisible, versatile and highly profitable | Techxplore

    With each passing quarter, Amazon, Microsoft and Google have been setting new records, while cloud computing has become the invisible backbone supporting much of our daily lives. Its potential to become an even bigger part of people's daily existence is sky-high.

  • Verizon to double the number of cities with its 5G mobile service this year | Fortune

    Verizon plans to double the number of cities covered by its superfast 5G wireless network by the end of the year while expanding coverage in the areas where it already has service.
    The company said on Thursday that it hopes to offer 5G for mobile customers in 60 cities (up from 31 at the end of 2019) and 10 cities for home 5G Internet service (up from five).

  • Facebook’s latest experiment is Hobbi, an app to document your personal projects | Techcrunch

    Facebook is adding another app to its group of experimental projects from the NPE Team, an initiative it announced last year focused on rapidly trying out new ideas in social to see how users react. This week, the team released its fourth app experiment with the launch of Hobbi, a photo and video sharing app designed for documenting your personal projects and hobbies.

  • India bets big on Quantum Technology | Nature

    Quantum technology has been given a massive boost in India’s latest budget, receiving 80 billion rupees (US$1.12 billion) over five years as part of a new national quantum mission. India’s considerable investment in the field places it alongside the United States, Europe and Russia. In December 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a bill to invest US$1.2 billion over five years in a national quantum initiative, and in 2016, Europe pledged US$1.13 billion for quantum technologies. Russia is also spending the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars on quantum technologies.

  • Already in 2020, IBM Announces Wealth of Blockchain Products Targeted at Many Industries | NASDAQ

    In the first days of February 2020, information technology giant IBM (IBM) announced a wide array of new blockchain initiatives that it is planning as part of a wider effort to develop sophisticated distributed ledger technology. IBM has come out swinging, demonstrating dominance in the world of creating and implementing novel use cases for distributed ledger technology.

  • Why private micro-networks could be the future of how we connect | MIT Tech Review

    Forget amassing likes or cultivating your online persona. Apps like Cocoon are all about being your true self with just a select few people. Cocoon is one of a new wave of apps aiming to change the way we interact on social media. These new platforms don’t encourage you to accumulate likes or followers or require that you diligently craft an online persona. Instead, they want you to connect with a small, curated group of people, and that’s it.

  • More than 700 new blockchain companies launch in China in January alone | Yahoo Finance

    Recent data has revealed that the number of new blockchain and crypto start-ups in China is still growing at a decent pace despite fewer new companies formed throughout 2019.The data, released by blockchain research firm LongHash, has revealed that 714 new distributed ledger technology companies have emerged during January alone.

  • China's nationwide Blockchain network BSN will launch in April 2020 | Coin Desk

    China’s nationwide blockchain network, the Blockchain-based Ser­vice Net­work (BSN), will launch in April 2020, six months after it was rolled out for testing. Backed by Chinese government policy think tank the State In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter (SIC), the ambitious project aims to provide a trusted and scalable infrastructure for supporting new blockchain projects as well as the development of smart cities and the digital economy.

  • Here’s everything Google announced at CES 2020 | TechCrunch

    Another year, another blast of Google Assistant news on the first official day of CES. Google slimmed things down a touch for CES this year, though they’ve still got a big presence here. While they didn’t build a whole damn amusement park ride this time around, they’ve still got a massive two-story booth (complete with slides?) parked right outside the front doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

  • 20 Blockchain Predictions for 2020 | Money.com

    Andrew Keys, Managing Partner at Digital Asset Risk Management Advisors (DARMA Capital), and former Head of Global Business Development at blockchain software powerhouse ConsenSys, writes on the rapid development of blockchain technology, the extreme volatility of crypto markets, and the emerging ecosystem and culture of decentralization.

  • San Diego’s massive, 7-year experiment with facial recognition technology appears to be a flop | Fast Company

    At the stroke of midnight on December 31, the City of San Diego’s long experiment with facial recognition technology came to an abrupt end. For seven years, police had used a sophisticated network of as many as 1,300 mobile cameras (smartphones and tablets) and compiled a database of some 65,500 face scans—placing California’s second-largest city at the center of a national debate about surveillance, privacy concerns, and algorithmic bias.

  • Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) in government services to get a boost through CoE | Business Line

    The Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology, which opened in Bengaluru, will focus on building a robust infrastructure to provide Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS).The CoE has developed Blockchain-based Proof of Concepts (PoCs) for select government use-cases to understand the potential benefits that this emerging technology offers.

  • Blockchain Is the Most Wanted ‘Hard Skill’ on LinkedIn in 2020 | Coinspeaker.com

    A report released by the professional social networking platform LinkedIn has put blockchain as the most sought-after “hard skill” for 2020. According to LinkedIn, being skilled in blockchain technology will ensure that such a person chased by recruiters. In 2018, LinkedIn rated “Blockchain Developer” as the top emerging job of the year.

  • World's first Blockchain powered phone arrives at CES 2020 | Bitcoinist.com

    Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 was a major game-changer, as it introduced the world’s first blockchain-powered phone, called Blok on Blok (BOB). BOB is a product created by a company in Singapore, and it acts as its first flagship smartphone product.The phone was originally known as XPhone, and it was presented during the Bali Blockchain Summit in 2018. After the Summit, the company rebranded and perfected the phone, ensuring the users’ utmost privacy by developing a new operating system, f(x) OS (Function X OS). The system ensures that every call, text, or other action, are made online, through a decentralized app or browser.

  • With Plaid acquisition, Visa makes a big play for the ‘plumbing’ that connects the fintech world | Fortune

    In late 2018, payments giants Visa and Mastercard both invested in fintech startup Plaid through a $250 million funding round that valued San Francisco-based firm at an impressive $2.65 billion. Described as “strategic investments,” the two financial services heavyweights sought not only to provide Plaid with financial backing, but also to leverage the fintech firm’s sprawling technological capabilities to improve their own services.

  • China May Soon Have Its First Blockchain Exchange-Traded Fund | CoinDesk

    China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the country's financial watchdog, has recently received an application for listing an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that will track blockchain-related stocks as underlying assets.

  • Best of TechBeacon 2019: DevOps lessons to learn from | TechBeacon.com

    Even so, many companies struggled to get the most out of their DevOps initiatives because of process inefficiencies, infrastructure deficiencies, and a variety of other issues. TechBeacon's list of the 12 best DevOps stories for 2019 examines many of the issues that are top of mind for DevOps practitioners and for organizations that are considering implementing it, or that are trying to figure out ways to improve upon existing processes.

  • The biggest technology failures of 2019 | MIT Tech Review

    From Autopilot run amok, bogus agriculture bots, and genetic gaydar, check out the technology failures of the year curated by MIT Technology Review.

  • 2020 Vision: 7 Trends Bringing Blockchain Into Focus in the Year Ahead | Coindesk

    2020 brings us the start of a new decade, and with it comes the gradual maturation of blockchain technology, bringing it down from the stratosphere to tangible impact on real-world problems. We may be a turning point for the industry. Read these seven trends for 2020, as the industry moves from experimentation to implementation.

  • BigTech companies see Bitcoin Technology as empowering | Bitcoinist

    Since Bitcoin’s inception, many in the financial and technology sectors saw Bitcoin and its blockchain technology as a threat. And, their first reaction was to oppose it vehemently. Inevitably, however, the concept of a decentralized Internet triggered by Satoshi Nakamoto is now increasingly driving technological innovation in all industrial and financial sectors.

  • With Xi’s backing, China looks to become a world leader in blockchain as US policy is absent | CNBC

    China is poised to take the lead in blockchain after it was given strong backing by the country’s leader President Xi Jinping, experts told CNBC. The move could allow the world’s second-largest economy to control the development of the nascent technology in the absence of competition from other regions like Europe and the U.S.

  • HTC to Increase Focus on Blockchain Phones, AI After New Staff Cuts | Coindesk

    HTC, which has around 3,000 employees, has not disclosed the scale of the lay-offs or the departments that will be most affected, according to a report from Taiwan News. This will be the third round of job cuts staff at the phone manufacturer have faced in the past five years. The company let go 2,250 employees in 2015, and cut a further 1,500 in July 2018.

  • Twenty tech trends for 2020 | The Guardian

    From new gaming consoles to activism at Apple, The Guardian Tech predict the things you will – or won’t – see in tech in 2020

  • China reportedly bans foreign technology in its government and public offices | CNN

    China is reportedly planning to ban all government offices and public institutions from using foreign software and computers in a move that could dent sales by US tech companies and increase tensions at a crucial moment in the trade war. Beijing had ordered that all hardware and software be removed within three years, according to a report by the Financial Times. It cited brokerage firm China Securities as estimating that as many 30 million pieces of hardware would need to be replaced as a result.

  • Nike Gets Blockchain Patent To Let Users 'Breed' Own Shoes | Benzinga

    Oregon-based footwear giant Nike Inc has been awarded a blockchain patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to create digital versions of its shoes. In the patent published on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website on Tuesday, Nike said that its customers would be able to register the purchase of their physical shoes with a unique identification number.

  • Next Big Wave of Tech Unicorn Listings Could Be in India | Benzinga

    India’s stock markets are set for a wave of unicorn listings, according to technology venture capitalist and former Infosys Ltd. official Mohandas Pai. Pai, who is also chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India committees on primary markets and financial technology, said 10 to 15 internet and tech companies are looking to list in India over the next three years. These firms are likely to be valued at $300 million to $10 billion, he said in an interview.

  • Microsoft reveals new Windows logo design and 100 modern app icons | The Verge

    Microsoft is tweaking its Windows logo and the icons for many of the operating system’s apps. We’ve known for a year that the software maker has been planning an icon overhaul, and the company’s new Office icons were only the start. Microsoft is now redesigning more than 100 icons across the company with new colors, materials, and finishes.

  • HSBC to Shift $20 Billion Worth of Assets to Blockchain-Based Platform | Insurance Journal

    The blockchain platform developed by HSBC will re-create the existing paper ledgers into fully traceable and real-time auditable on-chain transactions. HSBC, which is the seventh-largest bank in the world, is projecting that the global value of private placements will be at $7.7 trillion by 2022, which is a jump of 60 percent from five years earlier.

  • The Rise, Disappearance and Retirement of Google Co-Founders Larry Page And Sergey Brin | The Verge

    No two tech executives are quite as enigmatic and private as Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The two men, who started Google more than 20 years ago while computer science graduate students at Stanford University, have hardly been seen or heard from in the last half-decade or so, since restructuring the company to create Google parent Alphabet and leaving Sundar Pichai in charge of a newly streamlined Google.

  • Bitfury Launches First Enterprise Blockchain Secured By Bitcoin | Forbes

    Bitcoin mining giant Bitfury has taken another step in its transformation into an enterprise blockchain software developer. After previously releasing open-source software that anyone could use for free to run a permissioned blockchain similar to bitcoin, Bitfury today launched Exonum Enterprise, the first such blockchain built from the ground up to let large corporations streamline their business and increase transparency using the bitcoin blockchain.

  • Instagram Now Requires Users To Provide Their Age | NPR

    Users on Instagram will soon be required to enter their birth date in order to use the social networking app. The Facebook-owned company previously only checked that the new user was at least 13 years old. The changes are being made in the hopes of making the platform safer for younger users, Instagram said in a statement. The birth dates will be used to recommend different privacy settings and features. Birthdays will not be visible to the public.

  • Twitter prepares for huge cull of inactive users | BBC

    Twitter will begin deleting accounts that have been inactive for more than six months, unless they log in before an 11 December deadline. The cull will include users who stopped posting to the site because they died - unless someone with that person's account details is able to log-in.

  • Blockchain to ‘save food industry $31 billion,’ new research says | CNBC

    Blockchain will facilitate $31 billion in “food fraud savings” by the year 2024, according to new data from Juniper Research. According to the research, which was released earlier this week, blockchain, along with “internet of things” trackers and sensors, would help to drive down costs for retailers. This would be achieved through the streamlining of supply chains, efficient food recall processes and “simpler regulatory compliance.” The research is contained within the “Blockchain: Key Vertical Opportunities, Trends & Challenges 2019-2030” report.

  • End of an Era - Jony Ive has left Apple | The Verge

    Famed designer Jony Ive has disappeared from Apple’s Leadership page , signaling an end to his time in Cupertino. Ive joined Apple in 1992 and led the design team from 1996. Jony Ive’s last day at Apple was always a bit of a mystery. The June press release originally announcing his departure only said that it would occur “later this year.” Some would say Ive checked out of Apple product design a long time ago after becoming distracted by the design and construction of the company’s new spaceship headquarters.

  • China throws its weight behind A.I. and blockchain as it aims to be the world’s tech leader | CNBC

    China, once seen as an imitator when it came to technology, is now looking to take the lead in areas from blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI), much-hyped technologies that are seen as critical to the future. Despite the U.S.-China trade war, experts say the world’s second-largest economy will continue pushing its domestic technology sector.

  • BRIC nations propose cryptocurrency for payment settlement system | Decrypt

    BRIC nations this week proposed a cryptocurrency for payment settlements between its member countries—Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa—at an annual summit held in Brazil, BRIC member told reporters Thursday. According to Russian media outlet RosBiznesConsulting (RBC), the director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, General Kirill Dmitriev, said that payment transactions would go through the system and its associated cryptocurrency.

  • Amazon plans to open a supermarket format that uses its Go technology as soon as 2020 | Business Insider

    Google is experimenting with a badge of shame for websites that load slowly in Chrome. “In the future, Chrome may identify sites that typically load fast or slow for users with clear badging,” explains a blog post from the Chrome team. “This may take a number of forms and we plan to experiment with different options, to determine which provides the most value to our users.”

  • Walmart launches ‘world’s largest’ blockchain-based freight-and-payment network | Computer World

    The Canadian division of Walmart has launched a blockchain-based supply chain that includes freight tracking and payment processing for 70 trucking companies whose goods are transported to more than 400 retail stores. The system is now live and all of Walmart Canada's third-party freight carriers are scheduled to be on the network by Feb. 1, 2020, the company said in a statement . Walmart claims the blockchain network is the largest of its kind in the world, a claim not disputed by industry analysts.

  • More Data and AI in 2020 | US News

    THE UPCOMING YEAR WILL witness yet more change in technology, according to a newly released report, with advancements in data investment and literacy, automation and artificial intelligence, as well as increased regulation around the world. The overriding focus in 2020 will be the connection between energy consumption and values, say analysts from Forrester, a market research company in Cambridge, Mass.

  • Crypto and Blockchain Jobs Have Increased By 26% Since 2018: Research | Coindesk

    The number of bitcoin, blockchain and crypto-related employment ads in shares per million on the popular job listing site rose by 26 percent from 2018–2019, following a four-year trend of 1,457 percent growth in the sector, according to a “Seen by Indeed” study. The top 5 employers listing blockchain jobs are Deloitte, IBM, Accenture, Cisco and Collins Aerospace, coming in 1st through 5th, respectively. “Big Four” firm Ernst & Young joins Deloitte in the top 10.

  • JPMorgan and Singapore’s central bank develop a blockchain system for cross-border payment | The Block Crypto

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, and investment banking giant JPMorgan have developed a blockchain prototype for cross-border payments. Announcing the news, MAS said that the prototype enables payments to be carried out in different currencies on the same network.

  • JGoogle plans to give slow websites a new badge of shame in Chrome | The Verge

    Google is experimenting with a badge of shame for websites that load slowly in Chrome. “In the future, Chrome may identify sites that typically load fast or slow for users with clear badging,” explains a blog post from the Chrome team. “This may take a number of forms and we plan to experiment with different options, to determine which provides the most value to our users.”