Blockchain and bitcoin roundup: what’s current with cryptocurrency

As always there’s a lot happening in the blockchain and bitcoin space, which seems to move at 100mph on a slow day. To help you keep track we’ve combined the headlining stories this week.


Zcash promises anonymious transfers
Zcash promises anonymous transfers

We’ve had Peercoin, Emercoin, Nxt and even Dogecoin but now Zcash has emerged as the latest cryptocurrency wave-maker.

Zcash, much like its bitcoin predecessor, utilises the blockchain. Where this new currency differs, according to its creators, is in its ability to be completely anonymous. Zcash can mask the sender or receiver of the transaction if either party wish it so, unlike bitcoin which is processed via a public ledger.

‘Consumers want to buy and sell things over the internet and need privacy from snips who might use the knowledge of their transactions against them,’ Zooko Wilcox, cryptographer and creator of Zcash.

A number of investors have jumped on board, with particular attention being paid to Naval Ravikant, who was an early champion of Twitter and Uber.

The interest in Zcash could be down to its interesting ‘for-profit’ model, whereby all transactions using the currency will be ‘taxed’ 11%.

What’s a bitcoin?

A Rutgers University study has found that no matter how much you use bitcoin you never really understand that much more.

The research found that more experienced users showed similar levels of knowledge and ineptitude as those completely new to the cryptocurrency. The largest misconception displayed by users was an overestimation of just how private bitcoin usage actually is.

‘Many of the users’ descriptions of the bitcoin protocol did not match how the protocol actually works,’ the paper writes. ‘Yet this did not prevent them from being able to buy, sell and trade bitcoins for goods and services.’

To see the rest of the roundup head to IBS Intelligence.

Weekly tech news roundup – 21/05/14

Welcome to another week’s tech news roundup! As always there’s a good load of news for you to digest.

IBM has discovered a new polymer that is stronger than human bones and can fully repair itself. The possibilities are endless, as it can be sued to increase the strength of plastics and materials by 50%.

China and the US have been in a hissy-fit throwing contest. The States declares (in one of the most hypocritical announcements ever made) that China has been illegally spying on its industries. In retaliation China has decided to stop buying Windows 8 for its government computers. Poor Microsoft!

Here’s the rest of the news, as per usual!

Primary school develops unique social network for pupils

Cisco to free users from boardroom with cloud meeting service

Oracle acquires VDI startup GreenBytes

Companies risk all by skimping on security say Verizon

Dropbox taps up 3D photo startup Bubbli

Cisco CEO: Tech City is no Silicon Valley competitor

IBM discovers self-healing polymer stronger than bone

Microsoft Azure to ceritfy SAP apps in new cloud deal

Information overload driving up office worker stress

Box Android app overhaul introduces revamped UI & features

IBM to make big data accessible to users via cloud

Employees steal data to make good impression in a new job

Amazon & Snapchat ranked bottom for government requests

Google linked to $1bn acquisition of video game site Twitch

Apple & Google settle long-running patent war

Outage cripples Creative Cloud

US slams China for state-sponsored cyber-espionage

Windows 8 banned by Chinese government

Half of accountancy clients want cloud-based services

BlackShades malware distributors targeted in global arrests

WhatsApp for Windows Phone pulled due to 8.1 bug

Are Apple, Microsoft & Samsung using slave labour?

Tech news roundup – 14/05/2014

Aaaand I’m already late the party. I was in Amsterdam yesterday attending a meeting so I didn’t have the time or the Wi-Fi to get a good tech news roundup in.

At any rate I hope you haven’t missed me too much and are ready to dive into some choice news!

Samsung have made a bit of a blunder in revealing the specs and looks of their new tablet the Galaxy Tab 6 in a filing to the FCC in the US.

Facebook has said that it wants to open an office in China despite the company’s social network being banned in the country since 2009.

In a landmark ruling, search engines in Europe will be liable for the data that is shown by their results. Google has been successfully brought to court over failing to remove a man’s credentials.

As always, here’s the rest:

Samsung Galaxy S Tab specs revealed in FFC filing

Apple WWDC 2014: iOS 8, iWatch and OS X 10.10

Security being left in the dust amidst rising cloud adoption

AWS adds professional exams to cloud certification scheme

OpenStack Marketplace aims to clear up open-source confusion

Facebook wants to open an office in China by 2015

Office iPad apps top 27m downloads in 6 weeks

Box to light up General Electric with cloud collaboration

Google has to delete private data, says EU court

Samsung Galaxy S5 ships 10 million units in 25 days

IBM CEO outlines 10-year growth plan for Big Blue

Amazon CTO: focus on the customer to aid cloud adoption

Heartbleed bug still a threat after flawed patches

Apple iPhone 6 release set for August?

Data breach leaves Bitly accounts compromised

Met Police to trial body cameras

Apple waves goodbye to US sales head and PR chief

Is Microsoft planning a smartwatch?


Wednesday technews roundup – 07/05/14

It’s been a while since I did one of these!

But now I’m back with some lovely fresh news for all of you who look to WordPress (and me) for what’s going on in tech.

I’ll hopefully be doing these every Wednesday to keep everyone informed, since it seems to be when the news really peaks for us in the office.

So, without further ado, here we go!

HP have announced their new Helion portfolio, offering enterprise customers an open source solution to their cloud management whilst also protecting them from indemnity.

On the weirder side of cloud, spreadsheets hosted in it are being used to track Mexican immigrants and pregnant goats.

Google has caused a bit of a stir as emails have emerged detailing that they may have been a bit more friendly with the NSA than they claimed.

As always, here’s the lot, below:

HP backs open source cloud computing with Helion launch

Immigrants and goats tracked by cloud-based spreadsheets

Controversial copyright firm sets sights on UK

Cloud storage users accidentally leak vital data

Leaked emails show NSA’s close ties with Google

Oculus Rift headset trialled by Norwegian army

Companies confused by cloud security with encryption on the rise

AMD banks on ARM & x86 merger with Project SkyBridge

Symantec: “Anti-virus software is no moneymaker”

US court orders cloud providers to hand over customer data

Tesco to follow-up Hudl success with Samsung Galaxy S5 “challenger”

OneNote for Mac & iPhone receives functionality boost

Apple, Google & Microsoft set to notify users of government data requests

Apple headphones to feature health monitors in future?

Almost one-fifth of UK theft leads to data loss

“Dark Wallet” bitcoin software aims to keep users anonymous

Drop in data breach fines despite uptick in security leaks

Microsoft reinforces commitment to UK start-ups

Scott Guthrie named new Microsoft Azure head honcho

Satya Nadella has announced the appointment of Scott Guthrie to fill the position at the head of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division Azure.

Guthrie had been “the driver behind the unprecedented growth of Microsoft Azure” according to Nadella in a company email to employees.

Already acting head of cloud efforts following Nadella’s step-up to CEO, Guthrie is officially executive vice president just in time for Build 2014.

Since joining the company in 1997, Guthrie has made “critical contributions” to .NET and other Microsoft technologies, and has shown, according to Nadella, “incredible energy and insight into how we create the technology that other can build on.”

Stephen Elop, who was rumoured to be another candidate considered for the role, will also be joining back up with Microsoft as the executive vice president of its Devices Group.

Nadella has also appointed 25-year veteran Phil Spencer to take on a new role in leading a combined Xbox and Xbox Live development team. Spencer was a one point head of Microsoft Studios, which helped push through major gaming franchises like Halo.

Microsoft also revealed three new features for Outlook Web App in Office 365 and announced that Azure has been used to discover a new 342,000 digit prime number, according to Cloud Pro.

Among the new updates is the ‘clutter’ feature which maps an employee’s behaviours to automatically sort emails into categories of importance. If a worker ignores emails from a certain source they will be deemed as less important to ones they reply to.

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