Tag Archives: Better

South Korea regulator flags better deal for cryptocurrency industry
February 21, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

SEOUL (Reuters) – A better deal for South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry might be in the offing as the market regulator changes tack from its tough stance on the virtual coin trade, promising instead to help promote blockchain technology.

The regulator said on Tuesday that it hopes to see South Korea – which has become a hub for cryptocurrency trade – normalize the virtual coin business in a self-regulatory environment.

“The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation,” said Choe Heung-sik, chief of South Korea’s Finance Supervisory Service (FSS), told reporters.

The latest news suggests authorities might adopt a lighter regulatory touch, a step change from the justice minister’s warnings in January that the government was considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, throwing the market into turmoil.

FSS has been leading the government’s regulation of cryptocurrency trading as part of a task force.

Cryptocurrency operators see Choe’s comments as positive step for the industry’s plans for self-regulation.

“Though the government and the industry have not yet reached a full agreement, the fact that the regulator himself made clear the government’s stance on co-operation is a positive sign for the markets,” said Kim Haw-joon of the Korea Blockchain Association.

South Korea banned the use of anonymous bank accounts for virtual coin trading as of January 30 to stop cryptocurrencies being used in money laundering and other crimes.

Three local banks including Shinhan Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, NH Bank, are currently offering cryptocurrency accounts to around five local virtual coin exchanges.

Choe said that Kookmin Bank and KEB Hana Bank may have also put in place an appropriate system, though they haven’t as yet started handling transactions.

“I hope they (the banks) no longer fear authorities once they have the right system,” Choe added.

An official from FSS told Reuters tough regulatory oversight of illegal trade in cryptocurrencies will remain in place.

Bitcoin BTC=BTSP, the world’s most heavily traded cryptocurrency, is now changing hands at a three-week high of $ 11,160 on the Luxembourg-based Biststamp exchange after falling as low as $ 5,920.72 in early February.

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has already started production of cryptocurrency mining technologies, local media reported in January.

Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer & Shri Navaratnam


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iPhone Battery Scandal: Apple Had Way Better Options Than Slowing Down Your Phone
December 22, 2017 12:55 am|Comments (0)

On Wednesday, Apple confirmed what many customers have long suspected: The company has been slowing the performance of older iPhones. Apple says it started the practice a year ago, to compensate for battery degradation, rather than push people to upgrade their smartphones faster. But even giving that benefit of the doubt, there are plenty of better ways Apple could have accomplished the same goal without betraying customer trust.

Earlier this week, John Poole, a developer at Geekbench, published a blog post indicating that a change in iOS is slowing down performance on older devices. According to Apple, factors like low charge, cold climates, and natural battery degradation can all affect the performance of its mobile devices, and the company confirmed that this policy was implemented last year to counteract these effects.

As much sense as that explanation may make, Apple could have made plenty of choices that would have benefited consumers instead of penalizing them. These same choices could have also saved the company from the public shaming it suffered this week.

Fresh Juice

In a statement to WIRED, Apple confirmed Poole’s findings, saying it was purposely slowing down older iPhones to compensate for the effects of age on their batteries. “Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” the company says.

While many have speculated that the company has been doing this for years, Apple says the feature was implemented last year for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone SE. Now, with iOS 11.2, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are getting the same treatment, and the company intends to bring other devices into the fold down the road.

Rather than secretly hamstring the iPhone’s CPU, though, Apple could have simply educated users about the limitations of lithium-ion batteries, says Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a company that sells repair kits and posts repair guides for consumer electronics. While Apple does say in the iPhone user manual that batteries degrade over time and should be replaced, you’d have to dig through a few links outside of the manual to learn that by 500 charge cycles, your phone’s battery will hold a charge of about 80 percent.

Another tactic Apple could employ is selling battery replacement kits to consumers, letting them pop a fresh battery into their aging iPhone. It would be an easily understandable solution to an easily understandable problem, rather than software manipulation that feeds into a long-running, planned obsolescence conspiracy theory. But Apple has actively fought against laws that would require it to provide a way for users to repair their devices. According to a report from HuffPost, Apple argues that allowing consumers to replace the battery could make the iPhone more vulnerable to hacks, and that letting people peek inside would make the iPhone easier to counterfeit.

“Apple won’t sell batteries to consumers, people should be furious about that,” Wiens says. “Your battery is a maintenance item, and everyone should expect to replace their battery fairly frequently.”

Apple does cover one battery replacement under its one-year warranty program, but only for “defective batteries,” a term that isn’t clearly defined on the company’s site. If your phone is out of warranty and you don’t have an AppleCare+ plan, the company offers a battery replacement for $ 79 plus a $ 6.95 shipping charge. The problem, Wiens says, is that Apple doesn’t advertise this policy to consumers, leaving iPhone users to believe that the only solution is to buy a costly iPhone.

Choices Choices

Direct battery fixes certainly would have made the most sense. But even allowing that a software tweak was the only way Apple could have proceeded—untrue, but just for argument’s sake—it had a much better option than making its software solution covert.

Rather than quietly push out an update that crimped older iPhones, it should have made that throttling opt-in. As it stands, there’s no way to avoid having your phone slowed down once the battery reaches its limits. By giving users the choice, and giving them the information necessary to make their own decision, Apple could avoid the frustrations many have expressed over the policy.

While making the throttling opt-in could cause performance issues for users who opt-out, it would give users a sense of control over the situation and avoid making them feel like they’re being tricked into buying a new phone. As it stands, Apple’s move comes off as deceptive.

Instead of leaving users confused about why their phones are suddenly slowing to a crawl, Apple could take user education a step further by providing a battery health monitor in the Settings app. That way, an iPhone owner could figure out if the battery is the issue, or if something else is going on.

Lay Down the Law

The damage, unfortunately, is already done. But it’s also unlikely that Apple will behave differently going forward. At the very least, the company almost certainly won’t shift gears and start selling battery replacement kits to consumers. For starters, the iPhone’s casing uses proprietary Pentalobe screws, which make it hard for average users to get inside to swap the battery.

Apple has also lobbied against right-to-repair legislation, which would allow third-party repair shops and typical consumers to more easily fix their broken phones. Proposed right-to-repair laws typically require companies to publish their repair manuals, as well as make the necessary repair tools available for purchase rather than requiring a specialist to make these repairs.

Wiens says that, ideally, right-to-repair legislation would pass and ensure consumers have the ability to fix their devices on their own terms without having to deal with warranties or acquire difficult-to-find tools.

Apple’s throttling is misleading, and it’s far from the best way the company could have handled the situation. Still, lithium-ion batteries are riddled with problems users should be aware of. The company isn’t likely to change its stance on the matter, but if you’ve noticed your iPhone getting slower over the last year, at least you know it wasn’t all in your head—and that a battery fix might bring your iPhone back up to speed.


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Toshiba shares gain after Western Digital offers to exit chip bid for better JV terms
September 6, 2017 12:43 am|Comments (0)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba shares rose 3 percent in early trade on Wednesday after sources told Reuters that Western Digital Corp has offered to drop out of a group bidding for its flash memory chip business to take a stronger position in their joint venture instead.

The move could see Toshiba finally seal a deal to sell the chip business after months of delays, providing it with the funds needed to cover billions of dollars in liabilities arising from the failure of U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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4 Simple Steps to Write a Better Professional Bio
August 29, 2017 2:00 pm|Comments (0)

I make my living as a writer. Yet, every single time I’m asked to submit a professional bio for something, I end up tearing my hair out.

You too? It’s tough. Summarizing yourself in a few concise sentences — that still manage to pack a punch, no less — presents a unique challenge that’s usually enough to have you staring slack-jawed at that blinking text cursor. Plus, writing in the third person can be just plain awkward.

But, after having to scribble out my fair share of bio attempts, I think that I’ve finally landed on a formula that helps me quickly pull something together that’s impactful, memorable, and — perhaps most importantly — easy.

1. Start with what you do.

This part’s obvious. Any sort of professional bio or elevator pitch won’t bury the lead — it’ll start by explicitly stating who you are and what you do.

While it can be tempting to rely on buzzwords or flowery language to add some extra interest to your bio, a better strategy is to explain your role in as clear of terms as possible. Remember that your bio is a piece of your brand and reputation, so you don’t want any doubt that it’s sending the right message.

If necessary, your opening sentence is also a great place to touch on your geographic location, if that’s important or relevant.

What This Looks Like: “Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer specializing in career and self-development advice.”

2. Explain why you do it.

Typically, saying what you do isn’t quite enough to provide the whole picture. The very purpose of your bio is to give people a greater understanding of who you are, and that typically goes beyond the basics.

One way that you can do this — without going way beyond the character constraints of a notoriously short bio — is to talk about what drew you to that particular position or career field.

In addition to what inspired your career, you can also go one step further and discuss not only what you do, but also who you do it for. Everybody has a target customer or audience, and sharing yours can bring some much-needed clarity.

What This Looks Like: “After discovering a love of writing at an early age, she soon realized that brands and businesses could use the content she loved creating to engage and enlighten their own audiences.”

3. Touch on your most notable accomplishments.

Of course, you want your bio to be impressive — which means it’s the perfect place to pull out some of your most noteworthy accomplishments.

Whether it’s an award or recognition you received, a certification or degree you obtained, or something else entirely, dedicate one sentence of your bio to touting a few of the amazing things you’ve achieved.

What This Looks Like: “Today, her work has been published by numerous notable publications, including Inc., Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider, TIME, and many others.”

4. Add a little personality.

In most cases, your bio needs to be professional. However, that doesn’t mean that it needs to be stiff and cold.

People reading your bio are interested in learning more about you as a professional, yes. But, they’re also curious about you as a whole person.

So, don’t be afraid to inject a little personality and touch on a few of the things you like to do when you aren’t accomplishing big things in your career. It serves to make your bio a little less formal, and a little more personable.

What This Looks Like: “When she’s not hard at work on her next article, Kat enjoys reading, kayaking, golfing, baking, and spoiling her rescued terrier mutt.”

There you have it. Put those pieces together in order, and you’ll have a concise and impactful bio to use — with little stress required.


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10 new Android O features that will make your phone better
July 30, 2017 9:05 am|Comments (0)


Though we got out first peek at Android O back in March, Google finally revealed  more details this week at its I/O developers conference about the soon-to-drop version of Android.

Though we’re still quite a ways away from the official release, we now a lot more about the update. At first glance, many of the new changes are subtle, building on updates Google introduced last year with Nougat. (Yes, it’s another boring year for Android.)

Still, there are quite a few features to look forward to, here’s what’s caught our eye so far. Read more…

More about Tech, Google, Android, Apps And Software, and Android O


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Dridex: First banking Trojan with AtomBombing to better evade detection
April 2, 2017 7:20 pm|Comments (0)

The Dridex Trojan, one of the most destructive banking Trojans, has been upgraded with a new injection method so the malware is even better at evading detection.

The newest version of Dridex, v4, is now the first banking Trojan to take advantage of AtomBombing, according to report by IBM X-Force. Unlike some of the more common code injection techniques, AtomBombing is meant to evade security solutions. Once one organized cybercrime gang successfully pulls off a slick trick, other cyber thugs are expected to adopt the method.

“In this release,” the researchers wrote, “we noted that special attention was given to dodging antivirus (AV) products and hindering research by adopting a series of enhanced anti-research and anti-AV capabilities.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


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Better health care through the cloud? Don't count on it
February 21, 2017 1:10 pm|Comments (0)

According to market researcher Technavio, the global health care cloud computing market will grow more than 21 percent from 2017 to 2021.


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DreamHost launches its Remixer website builder to better compete with Squarespace, Wix and …
February 7, 2017 6:15 pm|Comments (0)

While you probably know DreamHost for its hosting services, the company has also long played a major role in the OpenStack ecosystem. OpenStack …

Cloud Computing

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This New Tool Helps Designers Find Better Insights
December 22, 2015 3:25 am|Comments (0)

This New Tool Helps Designers Find Better Insights

10,000ft Insights is a new tool for desktop and tablet that clarifies the design process.

The post This New Tool Helps Designers Find Better Insights appeared first on WIRED.


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New Tool Analyzes a Video’s Sound for Better Search Results
November 8, 2015 12:30 am|Comments (0)

New Tool Analyzes a Video’s Sound for Better Search Results

You can search for all the Donald Trump videos, and this will bring up a video when Trump turns up only when someone asks Lady Gaga if she’s a Donald fan.

The post New Tool Analyzes a Video’s Sound for Better Search Results appeared first on WIRED.

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