Australian Securities Market to Begin Trading Bitcoin Shares

The Australian Securities Market (ASX) is preparing to debut the Bitcoin Group on the public market under the symbol BCG. This is seen as a potentially billion dollar opportunity by Bitcoin Group, with at least $20 million expected to be gained from the initial sale of 100 million shares at $0.20 each on February 9th.

The Melbourne-based bitcoin mining company currently operates around 6000 “mining” rigs worldwide, split across 12 mining centres. Less than 2% of the companies mining power is concentrated in Australia, with the majority of the power coming from their 5 Chinese mining centres. The majority of the funds raised by the sale of shares is planned to be put directly into increasing the firm’s hashing power.

The CEO of Bitcoin Group, Sam Lee hopes that the floating of his firm on the Securities Market will help to increase the acceptance of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency worldwide and to increase the number of investors in the technology. “It’s about giving ourselves and the industry accountability and legitimacy; people often doubt whether our industry is ‘real’ as bitcoin has been declared dead many times over,” Lee said. “Unlike private companies, however, listed companies have a higher level of compliance; audited numbers will assist us in educating people interested in our industry with facts, not fiction.” He believes that when backed with legitimacy, Bitcoin’s ability to be converted to any worldwide currency and reusability will solidify the crypto-currency as a legitimate monetary platform.

Bitcoin’s emerging acceptance of Bitcoin is only the start of worldwide acceptance of the technology, with some US financial commissions taking the digital currency under their jurisdiction. Additionally, the US Securities Exchange Commission will be allowing companies to issue shares using the blockchain technology, similarly to ASX selling shares of BCG. ASX itself is also reported to be looking to convert their current settlement and clearing system to Bitcoin blockchain technology, with the switchover expected to be complete before the end of the year.

Your Smart Home Appliances Are Not as Safe as You Think

Are you a proud owner of smart lock? How about motion sensors, temperature sensors, bulbs or other Internet of Things gadgets? Well, if they’re made by ZigBee, chances are your house is vulnerable to hacking, according to a paper revealed at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

ZigBee, a company that specializes in IoT smart appliances that supplies big name companies such as Samsung, Philips, Motorola and Texas Instruments, is said to have implemented just enough security measures to pass the requirements to ship, which means that security measures are almost non-existent. Hackers are said to easily be able to sniff out exchange network keys, gaining access to the entire network and all smart appliances.

The security experts say that the main cause for the lack of security is due to the companies, who want to quickly ship out the latest tech, make it communicate and interact with everything, all while keeping prices down to a minimum. As a consumer, I get the bit to keep prices down, but if I have to pay a bit extra to prevent someone opening my door or fiddling with my lights, I think that would be an option all of us may opt for. In the end, security is more important than cheap product, don’t you think?

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Architect’s Toy Box

Smartphone Wi-Fi Will Be Smarter Than Ever Before With This New Tech

Up until now, Wi-Fi devices on your smartphones were able to connect to saved access points and act as a means of connecting you to the Internet. Sure, there are some apps that let you stream over Wi-Fi, but essentially it was not used to its full potential.

The Wi-Fi Alliance now came up with a new technology by the name of Wi-Fi Aware, which lets your smartphone do even more with its wireless power. The tech is said to allow your smartphone to communicate with nearby devices and exchange information. Think of it as a heartbeat, letting devices know it is present in the vicinity and gathering what other devices have to ‘say’ if they are near you.

Wi-Fi Aware is an alternative to low-powered Bluetooth connectivity and yes, this means it’s even better at saving power than just having your Wi-Fi always on. So how can this help you? It’s simple. Let’s say you have something you like on Facebook and can find in a store. Once you enter a mall and a store has the items you want on sale, Wi-Fi Aware will send you a notification about it once you get near the store. Have a friend you haven’t seen in a long time? No problem. If he is in town and near you, Wi-Fi Aware will tell you and ask if you would like to send him a direct message.

Essentially, Wi-Fi Aware is a smart way of keeping aware of what is near and of interest to you. This means that all information received is tailored to you specifically based on your interests, so it won’t tell you about what shoes are on sale early in the morning when all you want to know is where you can get the best deal on coffee.

We are not aware of any Wi-Fi Aware-enabled apps at the moment, but Wi-Fi Alliance officials say that the tech could land in social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn sooner than expected.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Logjam Can Hijack Your HTTPS Connections

There are a lot of techniques involving malware, trojans or other sort of attacks, but this one seems to affect the common and widely used HTTPS protocol, making it more ‘nasty’ than the rest. Logjam is a cryptographic attack that targets the Diffie-Hellman key exchange in HTTPS, SSH, SMTPS and other sort of negotiation protocols used by the server and browser.

So why is it so important for us to know about? It’s simple. The technique uses a man-in-the-middle approach to break the 512-bit encryption and make it readable. An academic team said that it was even able to beat a 768-bit encryption, but word is that even a 1024-bit encryption can be taken down with enough effort. What this means is that hackers using the latter technique can easily spy on the top 1 million HTTPS domains and even 66% of VPN servers.

Security specialists say that users should upgrade their browsers to the latest version and server owners should disable support for external cypher suites that generate 2048-bit Diffie-Hellman group along with updating to the latest OpenSSH. They say that the technique at hand can even be used by government agencies to easily spy on your web traffic, so hackers aren’t your only concern.

So, are you keeping everything up to date?

Thank you macnn for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of PSDGraphics

Leaked Windows 10 Build Reveals Mail and Calendar Apps

Leakers seem to always be one step ahead, even if Microsoft provides regular updates to its Windows 10 Technical Preview. The latest Windows 10 leaked build (10051) seems to include some new updates, but the most important one is that the build comes with the latest Calendar and Mail apps.

The apps are said to be very basic at this stage, but they are functional at least. Users will notice that they feel and look better than the ones found on Windows 8.1, having Microsoft adding its swipe features that are currently available on iOS and Android clients. Other features include support for multiple accounts and an easy way to add Google or Exchange accounts. The Mail client seems to be branded as plain ‘Mail’ right now, but Microsoft has plans to change its name in the final release to Outlook.

Looking at the Calendar app, users will be excited to know that Microsoft has finally added support for Google Calendar. The current Windows 8.1 calendar has no such support, but Microsoft seems to be correcting its mistake in its next OS version. Its aesthetics have also changed compared to the current version, having it be more colourful and feel like an actual Office app this time. One strange thing that Microsoft did with this version of Calendar seems to be that it did not integrate it with the Mail app, meaning that your synched calendars are separate to your email accounts.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Bing Rewards App for Windows Phone Launched, 5 Months after iOS and Android

Latest news from Microsoft point to having its Bing Rewards app being released (finally) for Windows Phone, having it come out for its own handset operating system almost 5 months after the release on Android and iOS.

The company’s reward program has been around since 2010, having it be launched as an incentive to increase Microsoft’s share in the search engine market. For who is unaware, the tool is designed to reward users working with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Credits are earned over time with usage which users can then trade in for some goods Microsoft is offering.

The Windows Phone version of the application features basically the same functions as the iOS and Android counterparts, having the only advantage be in the operating system at hand. While the iOS and Android versions need to be accessed by tapping on the application icon, Windows Phone lets you pin it as a tile on the home screen and allows you to quickly monitor your credit.

In terms of goods offered, Microsoft appears to have gift cards, items on Amazon.com, Starbucks discounts, Xbox goodies, Fandango and others. Users who feel more humanitarian can also opt in to donate their credits to a local school or charity.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TheNextWeb

Dogecoin Expected To Bring ‘Real Money’ To Owners In The Near Future

Dogecoin is one of the most known cryptocurrency out there, after Bitcoin. It may be pretty easy to pick up some Dogecoin, but, until now, it’s been difficult to convert it into cash. On Wednesday, Canadian electronic currency exchange Vault of Satoshi announced that it will now support Dogecoin, making it far easier to convert the currency into U.S dollars.

Anyone interested in turning their dogecoins into government-backed currency with wider acceptance up until now had to make an individual deal with someone willing to trade for Bitcoin, which could then be exchanged for dollars, Euros, and outer currency. However, this intermediate step not only made the entire process significantly more onerous, but it also inserted an element of risk.

Reports are that Reddit r/DogecoinScamWatch moderator u/goodshibe explained how the majority of the scams posted on the forum involve people having their coins taken from them while trying to convert dollars into dogecoins, or vice versa.

‟Once … [Dogecoin] gets a direct USD/CAD conversion … in place, many of these kinds of scams will fall away,” u/goodshibe predicted.

This newfound ability to easily and safely convert Dogecoin into dollars could change the nature of how the currency is used. According to BitInfoCharts.com, dogecoins with the equivalent of $212,500,000 were said to have been traded over the past 24 hours. To give a sense of how ridiculous that transaction volume is, the total value of every dogecoin in existence is reported to be only around $60,300,000.

The generosity seems to be related to the fact that a single dogecoin is worth a tiny fraction of a penny, so handing out a few dogecoins takes only slightly more commitment. However, it’s likely also a function of there not being a whole lot of things someone could easily do with a wallet full of dogecoins other than hand them out just like that. Now that converting dogecoins into dollars is no more difficult than exchanging any other cryptocurrency, there’s the chance that the community surrounding Dogecoin may come to more closely resemble that of any other cryptocurrency

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information

Better Connections Offered With Bluetooth 4.1

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced the Bluetooth 4.1, which prepares Bluetooth devices for the Internet of Things by laying the groundwork for IP-based connections, similar to the way a router connects to multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices, extending Bluetooth technology’s role as the essential wireless link for the IoT. The new spec also promises better connectivity and larger data transfers.

“Bluetooth Smart technology put us on a rocket ship of growth, with Bluetooth annual product shipment projections skyrocketing to more than 4.5 billion in the next five years,” said Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG CMO. “We updated the Bluetooth specification to address this projected growth, making changes to give developers more control in assigning a role to their product, limiting interference with other wireless technologies, and allowing Bluetooth Smart products to exchange data faster and maintain connections with less manual intervention.”

The Bluetooth 4.1 release brings better cooperation between LTE radios and Bluetooth devices to avoid interference. The release also promises better connections, as reconnection time intervals will be more flexible and variable, thus devices can reconnect automatically when they are in proximity of one another. As an example, the consumer can leave the room and upon returning, two recently used devices reconnect without user intervention.

The technology also supports features like bulk data transfer, such as sensors that gathered data during a run, bike ride or swim can transfer that data more efficiently when the consumer returns home. The new spec adds a standardized way to create a dedicated channel, which could be used for IPv6 communications in the Core Specification.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of cunotic.com

Bitcoin Soars Past $1,000 At Mt.Gox Exchange

Bitcoin has been going crazy this last few weeks, with prices soaring and crashing, but for the most part rising on average. Now the digital currency sets a new record as the coins reach an all time high, passing the $1,000 mark.

Mt.Gox is one of the largest exchanges for Bitcoin, and at time of writing the coins were worth a tidy $1,073, not bad given that they were worth a few hundred dollars this time last month!

The last few days have been great, those with saving in Bitcoins will no doubt be celebrating, or cashing in then celebrating. Perhaps the guy who forgot he had 5000 Bitcoins is happy that his forgotten fortune just keeps on growing.

Mining coins is a hard job these days, but that doesn’t mean one cannot simply invest in the coins by simply buying some. I know I’m kicking myself for not having bought more a few months ago! However, be warned, a big rise is often followed by a crash and we expect the value is a little too high at the moment as people buy into the trend.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.