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South Korea To Ban Crytocurrency Trading

January 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

South Korea’s government has announced it will ban cryptocurrency trading, sending bitcoin prices plummeting and throwing the virtual coin market into turmoil as the nation’s police and tax authorities raided local exchanges on alleged tax evasion.

The clampdown in South Korea, a crucial source of global demand for cryptocurrency, came as policymakers around the world struggled to regulate an asset whose value has skyrocketed over the last year.

Justice minister Park Sang-ki said the government was preparing a bill to ban trading of the virtual currency on domestic exchanges.

“There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and the justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges,” Park told a news conference, according to the ministry’s press office.

After the market’s sharp reaction to the announcement, the nation’s Presidential office hours later said a ban on the country’s virtual coin exchanges had not yet been finalized while it was one of the measures being considered.

A press official at the justice ministry said the proposed ban on cryptocurrency trading was announced after “enough discussion” with other government agencies, including the nation’s finance ministry and financial regulators.

Once a bill is drafted, legislation for an outright ban of virtual coin trading will require a majority vote of the total 297 members of the National Assembly, a process that could take months or even years.

The government’s tough stance triggered a selloff of the cryptocurrency on both local and offshore exchanges.

The local price of bitcoin plunged as much as 21 percent in midday trade to 18.3 million won (12,730.35 pounds) after the minister’s comments. It still trades at around a 30 percent premium compared to other countries.

Bitcoin BTC=BTSP was down more than 10 percent on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp at $13,199, after earlier dropping as low as $13,120, its weakest since Jan. 2.

 South Korea’s cryptocurrency-related shares were also hammered. Vidente and Omnitel, which are stakeholders of Bithumb, skidded by the daily trading limit of 30 percent each.

Once enforced, South Korea’s ban “will make trading difficult here, but not impossible,” said Mun Chong-hyun, chief analyst at EST Security.

“Keen traders, especially hackers, will find it tough to cash out their gains from virtual coin investments in Korea but they can go overseas, for example Japan,” Mun said.

Park Nok-sun, a cryptocurrency analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said the herd behaviour in South Korea’s virtual coin market has raised concerns.

Indeed, bitcoin’s BTC=BTSP 1,500 percent surge last year has stoked huge demand for cryptocurency in South Korea, drawing college students to housewives and sparking worries of a gambling addiction.

“Some officials are pushing for stronger and stronger regulations because they only see more (investors) jumping in, not out,” Park said.

By Thursday afternoon, the Justice Ministry’s announcement had prompted more than 55,000 South Koreans to join a petition asking the presidential Blue House to halt the crackdown on the virtual currency, making the Blue House website intermittently unavailable due to heavy traffic, the website showed.

Is The iPhone X The Best Smartphone

January 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Mobile

Realizing that few people were buying the iPhone X despite being told it was wonderful, the Tame Apple Press decided to carry out an investigation to discover why. 

A CNET reporter visited four carrier stores to ask their salesmen if they’d recommend an iPhone X. But after visiting stores for Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, “I couldn’t even find a salesperson to tell me it was the best iPhone I could buy,” he whined.

Realizing that no sane customer loving sales person would recommend an Apple product he thought he would go to an Apple store instead. There, at least a Genius recommending the most expensive product on the list could reassure him.

Unfortunately not even in Apple land could he find anyone dumb or brainwashed enough to recommend the iPhone X.

“Well, it depends on what you like… The biggest problem I have with it is using Face ID for Apple Pay. You really have to put the phone at a certain angle or it doesn’t work.”

The reporter was outraged at the genius’s sales pitch. “He started with a problem. I was already suspicious. I was in something of a hurry, but I asked him: “So are you selling a lot more of these than other phones?”

The sales genius suddenly sounded like a politician, moaned the hack. “All our phones sell well,” he said. Which sounded not entirely reassuring. Indeed, it sounded like a “no.”

Another Apple store “Genius” (who was testing his iPhone 6), CNET’s reporter was told that “The X and the 8 are the same phone… Inside, I mean. With the X, you’re just paying the extra money for the design.”

The hack noted that the salesman’s $999 iPhone X was wrapped in an ugly pink case, because after four weeks he’d already cracked it. And a third Apple salesman — who touted the glories of an OLED screen — also kept his iPhone X in a case at all times “It’s glass,” he explained. “You’ll definitely need a case.”

This means that you can’t see the lovely phone and show it to your friends, so they can see how beautiful it is, moaned the hack.

“Get a see-through case,” the Apple staff member advised.

Sales of the iPhone X are proving disappointing and it looks like Apple’s get punters to pay more for less strategy is finally not working.

Courtesy-Fud

British Company Sues Uber, Alleges Ad Fraud

January 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A British mobile ad firm has filed a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc to force the ride-hailing company to pay millions of dollars of bills that Uber had refused to pay after claiming that ads being generated were fraudulent.

Fetch Media Ltd filed its lawsuit on Tuesday in the same California federal court where Uber had sued Fetch in September, accusing the agency of billing it for nonexistent, nonviewable or fraudulent ads, and failing to pass back rebates and commissions.

Uber voluntarily dismissed that lawsuit on Dec. 22, two weeks after the case was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, and said it would instead pursue related claims in a San Francisco state court.

Ad fraud, sometimes called click fraud, is a persistent issue in online advertising, occurring when automated programs mimic legitimate users by clicking ads.

Fetch, a London-based unit of Japan’s Dentsu Inc, suggested that Uber dismissed its federal case on concern it might lose after it was assigned to Rogers, who has overseen other litigation involving the San Francisco-based company.

 In Tuesday’s lawsuit, Fetch asked that Rogers be assigned to determine both companies’ contractual responsibilities, and direct Uber pay more than $19.7 million of invoices still owed for 2017.

“Fetch does not believe that Uber can avoid federal-court scrutiny of its incorrect contract theories so easily,” the company said.

Uber did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.

The Association of National Advertisers, a trade group, last May estimated that marketers would lose $6.5 billion in 2017 because of fake web traffic caused by “bots.”

Uber said in September that it had hired Fetch to place ads to encourage new riders to download the Uber app, and would pay for “legitimate clicks” that helped attract riders.

But it said Fetch wrongly claimed credit for app downloads that occurred without ads ever being clicked. Uber said it paid Fetch more than $82.5 million, but that Fetch’s failure to stop ad fraud contributed to at least $50 million of damages.

According to Uber, the alleged fraud surfaced in early 2017 as customers began complaining about where its ads appeared.

 Uber said, in one example, it had asked Fetch not to place ads on Breitbart.com, the conservative news website run by Steve Bannon, a former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, but that ads appeared there anyway.

In court papers, Fetch called Uber a “faithless business partner,” and said it had helped Uber monitor ad fraud despite not being contractually required. Fetch also said its work helped Uber register more than 35 million riders.

The case is Fetch Media Ltd v. Uber Technologies Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-00015.

Chinese AI Chipmakers Joining Forces

January 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Computing

China’s major AI chipmakers, including HiSilicon, Cambricon Technologies, Horizon Robotics and DeePhi Tech,have signed up under the glorious TSMC umbrella

According to Digitimes they are expected to make a killing in 2018 from their launch of various AI (artificial intelligence) chipsets, mostly ASICs and NPU (neural processing unit) chips, for a variety of applications in the second half of 2017.

TSMC will make the chips and its AI chip foundry services are expected to grow exponentially in 2018 along with volume shipments of the AI chips by the China makers, according to industry sources.

Huawei’s HiSilicon chip design arm worked out the Kirin 970 as the new flagship SoCwith built-in AI computing capabilities and it was adopted in Huawei’s Mate 10 and M10 Pro smartphone models launched in mid-October 2017. Official production of the Kirin 970 chips kicked off in mid-2017 using TSMC’s 10nm FinFET process at a monthly capacity of 4,000 pieces of 12-inch wafers, placing Huawei among TSMC’s top-5 customers.

Huawei is working on sprucing up AI capabilities on smartphones and wants to capture a 40 percent share of the China smartphone market. Huawei requires stable and sufficient supply of AI chips and even has to seek second supply sources other than TSMC, the sources said.

Cambricon Technologies released three new AI processor IPs in November 2017: the Cambricon-1H8 for lower consumption computer vision application, the higher-end Cambricon-1H16 for more general-purpose applications, and the Cambricon-1M autonomous driving applications.

While licensing AI processor IPs to end device vendors, Cambricon is selling chips to those in the cloud market. The company has newly debuted MLU100 AI chips to support inference application by datacenters and small- to medium-size servers, and MLU200 chips to support training applications at AI R&D centers of enterprises. These two AI chips will be manufactured using TSMC’s 16nm process.

Horizon Robotics officially rolled out two Gauss-based AI processors, 1.0 Journey and 1.0 Sunrise, in December with the former for image processing and the latter supporting smart city applications with low power consumption. The company plans to introduce Bernoulli-based processor in 2018 and Bayes-based processor in 2019 with higher-performance AI chips.

Horizon has recently raised around US$100 million in series A+ financing led by Intel Capital to support its development of a prototype driverless car and driving technology innovations. The company aims to have its AI chips applied to more than 100 million IoT (Internet of Things) devices by 2020 before realizing the goal as a leading supplier of autonomous driving chipset solutions by 2025.

DeePhi Tech plans to debut two system chipsets in 2018, one for AI cloud services and the other for AI terminal devices applications, with the latter to adopt the firm’s in-house-developed Aristotle architecture and manufactured using TSMC’s 28nm process.

Courtesy-Fud

Google Drops The Pixel C

January 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Google has finally given up on its Pixel C flagship tablet.

Google started flogging the Pixel C about two years ago, but it was not exactly committed to the market. The world had mostly woken up to the fact that keyboardless netbooks were not going to be the cure for cancer that Steve Jobs claimed they were.

The Tame Apple Press was hard on the Pixel C, mostly because it was rather good, and it had a high price – something which the iPad already claimed for its own.  The Pixel had been originally designed to run Chrome OS, but Google couldn’t get it to go on time. So, the Pixel C became an Android slate, and it has been selling continuously since late 2015.

Google stopped selling the 32GB Pixel C, but the 64GB flavour was around for $599. There’s no new tablet to replace it so it might indicate that Google’s interest in Android tablets is over and it is sticking to Chromebooks instead. After all, a netbook with a keyboard is always going to be better than a netbook without one.

Still, the Tame Apple Press is happy, as there is one less high-end tablet for Apple to have to compete with. In fact, many announcements of the news claim that it failed because it was too expensive, however it was nearly $100 cheaper than the equivalent iPad. 

Courtesy-Fud

Does CryptoCurrency Have Staying Power

January 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Cryptocurrency bitcoin has seen its value fall by 26 percent from in December 2017.

That comes as regulators in South Korea are threatening sanctions against cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

The value of bitcoin fell below $14,000 today. That, according to Bloomberg, is compared to the $19,000 plus figure on December the 18th.

Many financial analysts see bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as bubbles which are ready to pop, leaving traders with a hole in their pocket. The South Korean moves follow concerns from other countries around the world, which wonder where the adoption of cryptocurrencies is going to end.

Meanwhile, according to CNBC, the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth described bitcoin as wild, uncontrollable and dangerous.

William Galvin said that investors in cryptocurrencies are playing with fire because of the way they can be manipulated. He said that the “wild” values showed how bitcoin is “entirely speculation”.

Courtesy-Fud

Is HTC Preparing To Exit The Smartphone Market

January 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Mobile

The rumor mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn claiming that HTC is slowly pulling out of the smartphone business.

Deep throats are briefing Digitimes and claim that the Taiwanese company will be limiting the number of phones it will be releasing next year. While this might have something to do with the company’s ongoing smartphone market woes, it could also be a sign of HTC’s substantial loss of resources after Google acquired a significant number of employees from HTC’s mobile division.

HTC didn’t release that many smartphones in 2017. There were as few as six models this year, not counting variants or market specific models, with the U series being most of them.

If it launched two to four models next year, it could be attempting to mirror the launch strategies of smaller companies like OnePlus. However, that is being optimistic because reduced phone numbers are usually a sign that the writing is on the wall for any company’s smartphone empire.

We are not sure that HTC will care much. It has been long rumored to be mulling over selling its mobile business, leaving it free to focus on a more lucrative VR market. Most expected Google to be that buyer, but the two might have worked out a strategy that would lessen regulation requirements and government scrutiny.

There are two HTC phones expected for 2018, one even as early as January. That would be a mid-range variant of the HTC U11+. The timeline for the company’s next flagship –  the HTC U12, is still unknown.

Courtesy-Fud

Chrome Browser To Begin Ad BlockingIn February

January 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Google said that it will start blocking ads in its Chrome browser on Feb. 15.

Websites that want to avoid the Chrome hammer can either shed several broad categories of online ads or pay a consortium of advertisers, advertising trade associations and technology companies, including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, to become “certified.”

“Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition’s guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a ‘failing’ status,” Google said on its website, referring to the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), a group that’s promised to scour the web of the most annoying advertisements.

Chrome’s ad-blocking timeline matches what Google said six months ago, when it confirmed that it would launch the controversial effort in early 2018. At the middle of February, most users will be running Chrome 64, now slated to release the week of Jan. 21-26. The current version of the browser is Chrome 63.

On the desktop, Chrome will block four types of advertisements (out of six considered), while on mobile – iOS and Android – the browser will bar eight kinds of ads (out of a dozen scrutinized): These categories were identified by the CBA and its consumer panel as the least acceptable.

The four ad classes to get the ax on the desktop include pop-ups, ones that automatically play video and audio, “prestitial” ads accompanied by a countdown clock, and those dubbed “large sticky ads,” which blanket more than 30% of the screen and remain in place no matter how furiously the user scrolls.

Rather than block those ad types on all sites – as most ad-blocking browser add-ons do – Chrome will take a different tack.

The browser will rely on a whitelist generated by the the CBA. Site publishers will be able to start the certification process, and thus secure a spot on the list, next month, when more details will be made available. Certified websites must meet certain standards, the most important being a low ratio of unacceptable ad types.

In the first two months of the project – the start date will be revealed in January, the CBA said – disreputable ads must not account for more than 7.5% of all page views on a certified site. The cutoff falls after that, so that after six months, ads can comprise just 2.5% of a site’s page views. In effect, the CBA will let certified sites ease into the blockade, with a smaller quota of “bad” ads over time.

Sites that do not “volunteer” to become certified by the CBA, or are judged by the organization to be non-compliant – effectively all sites but those on the whitelist – will have ads in the banned categories blocked. Even a single objectionable ad will trigger a block by Chrome.

Although the CBA revealed some specifics about the standards, the whitelist and how sites can contest the ad blocking decision, much of the program remains a black box. It was unclear, for instance, how often sites would be re-evaluated for violations, or how long it might take to appeal a ruling.

Nor is there information about fees.

Brendan McCormick, a spokesman for the CBA, said that payments would be required from most sites that seek certification. Although he stressed that there is much “to be worked out” between now and the January launch of the program, McCormick confirmed what AdAge reported Tuesday. Quoting an unnamed coalition spokesperson, the publication said that the CBA would charge the largest publishers up to $5,000 using a sliding scale. Some “very small publishers” may be certified at no charge.

“A lot has not been finalized,” McCormick told Computerworld. “There’s still much to be worked out. The essential part is to make this affordable [to site publishers].” He declined to say whether fees would be one-time only, or assessed annually.

Evaluations and certifications will begin in January, McCormick said, but he would not specify a timetable.

Britain Wants Social Media Giant To Do More To Fight Extremism

January 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Britain may enact new tax laws for tech giants like Google and Facebook unless they do more to combat online extremism by taking down material aimed at radicalizing people or helping them to prepare attacks, the country’s security minister said.

Ben Wallace accused tech firms of being happy to sell people’s data but not to give it to the government which was being forced to spend vast sums on de-radicalization programs, surveillance and other counter-terrorism measures.

“If they continue to be less than co-operative, we should look at things like tax as a way of incentivizing them or compen­sating for their inaction,” Wallace told the Sunday Times newspaper in an interview.

His quotes did not give further details on tax plans. The newspaper said that any demand would take the form of a windfall tax similar to that imposed on privatized utilities by former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government in 1997.

Wallace accused the tech giants of putting private profit before public safety.

“We should stop pretending that because they sit on beanbags in T-shirts they are not ruthless profiteers,” he said. “They will ruthlessly sell our details to loans and soft-porn companies but not give it to our democratically elected government.”

 Facebook executive Simon Milner rejected the criticisms.

“Mr Wallace is wrong to say that we put profit before safety, especially in the fight against terrorism,” he said in an emailed statement. “We’ve invested millions of pounds in people and technology to identify and remove terrorist content.”

YouTube, which is owned by Google, said it was doing more every day to tackle violent extremism.

“Over the course of 2017 we have made significant progress through investing in machine learning technology, recruiting more reviewers, building partnerships with experts and collaboration with other companies,” a YouTube spokeswoman said.

is The iPhone X Selling As Expected

December 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

The numbers for the iPhone X are well down on what was expected with only 30 million units sold in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the figure is expected to drop slightly in the first quarter of 2018.

 This number was dug up by Digitimes which has been asking its chums in the semiconductor packaging and testing service industry.

The sources pointed out that the pre-orders for the iPhone X in some markets such as Taiwan, the US and Singapore, are not as strong as expected.

The poor iPhone X performance is unlikely to hurt Apple much. The markup on the phone is so high that Apple is still coining it in.  However, it does show that there is still a general slump in things Applish. 

Because of the iPhone X’s weak performance, the upstream supply chain has been rumored that Apple is planning three new smartphones for 2018 with two using OLED displays and one LCD display, and the 3D sensing functionality may be more broadly used in these devices.

Apple is also rumored to adjust its pricing for iPhone devices in early 2018 and has even started preparing a prototype iPhone with the support of pre-5G features.

Whether or not that will be enough to save the iPhone, is hard to say.  People are generally starting to wake up that the iPhone is behind in technology terms and price.

Courtesy-Fud

Will The Broadcom Hostile Takeover Succeed

December 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Over the last few weeks we’ve met with a few dozen Qualcomm and industry C level executives and of course discussed the potential Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm. The general conclusion is that this won’t happen as Broadcom might profit from it at the big expense of Qualcomm.

Qualcomm has quite a good roadmap with Snapdragon 845 and a few successors lined up for the years to come. A very important 5G NR chip should be ready for 2019. This will, without a doubt, be one of the most important technology transitions at the end of the decade.

Most analysts we talked about this matter including Patrick Moorhead and Anshel Sag of Moor Insights and Strategy, Jim McGregor from Tirias research and Bob O’Donnell from TECHnalysis Research think that Broadcom’s acquisition of Qualcomm is a bad idea. Here at Fudzilla we’ve had a lot of discussion about the acquisition and we cannot see how can this possibly be good for the industry or for Qualcomm.

As we said earlier, Broadcom, a company with a very unsexy roadmap, would benefit a lot. It would be able to show to its investors that it acquired the world leader in 5G, Android SoC, many wireless related technologies, and a great automotive and IoT portfolio. The list goes on.

Fudzilla got quite bullied by Broadcom’s  PR agency about the last article where our colleagues from the New York Post expected that Broadcom would slash one third of Qualcomm employees.

After many talks with senior stuff at Qualcomm, we haven’t heard a single head talking positive about it. Some of these off the record conversations resulted in comments including: “they (Broadcom) would fire us all.” Of course, Us in this semantic would be Qualcomm management.

Acquisitions are a long and painful process. One side must always suffer. A few weeks back, we talked about ex ATI employees who were in AMD’s graphics division. Despite the fact that AMD acquired ATI technologies in 2006, in some ways graphics people still felt that the acquisition didn’t finalize, 11 years later.

Of course, this sounds crazy but to some extent there is always “us and them” in this equation. As Fudzilla predicted, Broadcom’s putative acquisition of Qualcomm would slow down innovation and skew the roadmap with some significant delays.

Qualcomm senior management is very clear, they don’t want the company to be acquired. We doubt that a hostile takeover with the help of board members would work out either, this is never a good idea.

Tom Horton, Qualcomm’s Presiding Director also said: “No company in the industry is better positioned than Qualcomm in mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking and to lead the transition to 5G. Qualcomm stockholders expect a Board that will support this innovation while evaluating objectively the full range of opportunities available to maximize value for all Qualcomm stockholders.”

 Fudzilla has implied that the accusation might be to give Broadcom more business and enter into an eternal peace with Apple.

Courtesy-Fud

Sony Focuing On Its Sensor Business For Growth

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Sony Corp is on track to report its highest-ever profit this year on strong sales of image sensors after years of losing ground in consumer electronics and hopes to develop the technology for use in robotics and self-driving cars as competition heats up.

The results will mark a significant turnaround for the conglomerate, once famed for leading the world in consumer gadgets such as its Walkman music player, but now finding a new focus on image sensors and gaming.

Sony  forecasts that operating profit in the year through March will more than double to 630 billion yen ($5.6 billion) compared with the year earlier and expects the chips division, most of which is made up of the image sensors business, to be the conglomerate’s biggest growth driver.

Executives say a technological breakthrough in image sensors and sea change in the company’s thinking are behind the success. The breakthrough, creating a sensor that captures more light to produce sharper images, coincided with soaring consumer demand for better smartphone cameras for sharing photos on social media.

The breakthrough, which involved reconfiguring the sensor layout and known as backside illumination, allowed Sony to grab nearly half of the market for image sensors.

“We knew we wouldn’t be able to win if we did what our rivals were doing,” said Teruo Hirayama, technology chief of Sony’s chip business, recalling initial skepticism around the technology that is now used widely.

Japanese names such as Hitachi Ltd,  NEC Corp and Fujitsu Ltd,  which dominated mainstream chips through the late 1980s, have lost business to Asian rivals such as Samsung Electronics.

 Sony’s success “is really a function of having decided a long time ago to focus on that niche within semiconductors,” says Andrew Daniels, a Tokyo-based managing director at Indus Capital, an investment management firm. He declined to say whether his fund owns Sony shares.

“The process technology is very much that kind of ‘takumi-no-waza’,” he said, using a Japanese phrase for the pursuit of manufacturing perfection.

Are Smartphone Hazardous To Your Health

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

There is some bad news for Apple fanboys who take their mobile phone to bed with them so that they will dream that Siri is a real girlfriend. It could be that this behavior is just nature’s way of taking you out of the gene pool.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of mobile radiation this week. It is asking people to stop using the devices and keeping them as far away from your body as possible.

The warning comes after findings were offered up this week from a 2009 department document, which was published after an order from the Sacramento Superior Court.

A year ago, UC Berkeley professor Joel Moskowitz initiated a lawsuit to get the department to release the findings after he started looking into whether mobile phone use increased the risk of tumours. A draft of the document was released in March, but the final release is more extensive.

According to the Federal Communication Commission’s website, there is no national standard developed for safety limits.

However, the agency requires cell phone manufacturers to ensure all phones comply with “objective limits for safe exposure.”

The CDPH recommends not keeping your phone in your pocket, not putting it up to your ear for a prolonged amount of time, keeping use low if there are two bars or less, not sleeping near it at night and to be aware that if you are in a fast-moving car, bus or train, your phone will emit more RF energy to maintain the connection.

Courtesy-Fud

Bitcoin Hits Another Record High

December 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Bitcoin sailed past another record of almost $18,000 on the Bitstamp exchange on Friday, up 9 percent on the day, as warnings grew over the risks of investing in the highly volatile and speculative instrument.

The cryptocurrency’s staggering recent price rises — more than 1,700 percent since the start of the year — have driven worries that the market is a bubble that could burst in spectacular fashion.

Bitcoin has climbed almost 80 percent so far in December alone, putting it on track for its best month in percentage terms since December 2013.

On Friday it reached as high as $17,900 BTC=BTSP on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

While bitcoin has added another fifth to its value since Monday, trading has been slightly calmer than the wild price swings the market has seen in recent weeks, with volatility lower since the launch of bitcoin futures from Cboe Global Markets on Sunday.

Market-watchers said bitcoin’s price was being lifted by the launch of rival CME Group’s bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday.

“The hope (is) that futures signal the unlocking of institutional money into the digital arena and (that there will be) a rapid demand increase and ratification of the technology and its principles,” said Charles Hayter, founder of industry website Cryptocompare.

But outside of the crypto market, worries continue to grow about the amount of money piling into the space.

A study by Anglia Ruskin University, Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University released on Friday said bitcoin could pose a threat to the financial stability of traditional currencies and markets.

“Our evidence finds that the price of Bitcoin has been artificially inflated by speculative investment, putting it in a bubble,” said Larisa Yarovaya, one of the report’s authors and a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University.

“Although bitcoin is not regulated by governments, it could still have a knock-on effect on traditional markets due to the interconnectedness of cryptocurrency markets with other financial assets.”

Others, however, say bitcoin’s total market size — around $300 billion — mean the impact of any future price collapse would not be large enough to have a knock-on effect on financial stability.

The BBC reported late on Thursday that the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey, had warned that bitcoin buyers should be prepared for the possibility that they could “lose all their money”.

Outages on some of the world’s biggest exchanges this week, which left millions of investors unable to access their funds during periods when trading volumes are high, have also fueled concerns about the fragility of the market’s infrastructure.

T-Mobie TV Coming Next Year

December 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

T-Mobile US Inc announced that it would launch a new streaming television service next year after buying startup Layer3 TV for an undisclosed amount.

The moves come as competitors seek ways to provide content to win over customers in a saturated mobile market, and after the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier and No. 4 rival Sprint Corp ended merger talks last month.

 T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter said last week at an investor conference that the company would now focus on smaller, “tuck-in” acquisitions.

T-Mobile plans to launch a subscription service with advertising next year using Layer3’s technology platform and relationships with content providers. The company will create a “variety of offers,” some low cost, its executives said on a conference call with reporters.

While T-Mobile will not rule out original content, it will not be a focus to start, Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert said.

Sprint in November said it would offer unlimited data plan customers free subscriptions to the streaming service Hulu LLC, two months after T-Mobile introduced a similar offer with Netflix Inc.

AT&T Inc, which is in the process of buying Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion, has already started bundling the premium channel HBO with wireless service.

T-Mobile’s service will enter a crowded market for online television streaming that includes competitors such as AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Dish Network Corp’s Sling TV.

The wireless carrier said it expected its 17,000 retail stores and more than 30 million smartphone shipments per year to help drive customer trials.

 “We believe the near-term revenue and profitability outlook will be more muted as T-Mobile scales the product and integrates it with their wireless customer base,” said Jennifer Fritzsche, analyst at Wells Fargo, in a research note. “But we would not underestimate T-Mobile longer-term in the TV space after the disruption they’ve caused in the traditional mobile ecosystem.”

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