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Bing and Yahoo Search Outage Caused by Faulty Code Update

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On Friday, January 2nd, a few of Microsoft’s online services, including Bing and Live.com, suffered outages for about 20 minutes. Yahoo Search, which is actually powered by Bing under a 10-year deal announced in 2009, also went offline. Given the current trend of hackers taking down online services, it might be tempting to conclude that Microsoft’s services were once again victims of a DDOS attack. However, the reality is a lot more simple, if not more embarrassing. Microsoft pushed out a buggy code update that took down Bing and Yahoo Search.

Also read: Google Project Zero Reveals Windows Vulnerability Before Microsoft Fix

Bing, Yahoo, Siri, and Others Affected

Microsoft confirmed the outage around 3:30 PM Eastern Time, stating:

“This morning Microsoft experienced a brief, isolated services outage which has now been resolved. Our apologies for any inconvenience.”

About an hour later, Yahoo also offered a statement:

“We are aware that Yahoo Search is unavailable to users. Our engineers are working to restore the service at the earliest.”

While Google is widely the most popular search engine, Bing is used in a surprising number of places. As mentioned above, Yahoo Search relies on Bing, and the outage made Yahoo Search unavailable. Apple’s mobile assistant Siri and Windows Phone’s Cortana also rely on Bing for web searches, and as a result, were also affected.

Some users took to social media to report difficulty accessing other Microsoft sites, including Office Online and Live.com – Microsoft’s site for Hotmail and Outlook email.

Microsoft’s engineers scrambled to fix the update, but the rollback procedure failed. As a result, the company had to shut down groups of linked servers to return to a point where everything worked again. Even after Bing was back online, Yahoo Search continued to have issues due to a backlog of search requests.

All services have now been restored. Seems like a buggy update can cause just as much of a headache as Lizard Squad’s DDOS.

Yahoo image from Yahoo.com; other images from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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I've always been interested in the latest stuff in science and technology, and I'm currently a freshman undergraduate electrical engineering student at the University of Texas at Austin.




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Project to Watch: Eximchain

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The Eximchain project is designed to help companies organize supply chains. The solutions that will be implemented on the platform are aimed at ensuring the possibility of establishing effective and reliable business connections, transactions and information exchange.

Team

The American project Eximchain (Export and import on Blockchain) was founded in 2015 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, its authors have created a set of key-based toolkits to transform the global supply chain by integrating it into a platform. The ideas proposed by the project developers are aimed at improving the transparency of the ecosystem.

A group of 20 experts and consultants is working on the creation of the platform, including:

Hope Lew – Co-founder and CEO, received a bachelor’s degree from Peking University and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, handled international transactions at the Asian branch of UBS for 6.5 years, is the head of the laboratory of the Association of Office Supplies of North America.

Juan Sebastian Huertas -Co-founder and technical director, received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, began studying programming at age 13, previously advised many startups on technical aspects.

Jiang Xu – Business architect, previously worked at IBM for 14 years, with previous roles as executive project manager and enterprise software distribution manager.

Jia Zhang – Business analyst, has been in the supply business since 1994, has been managing global trade finance and international settlement at ICBC for seven years, then took the position of Chief Representative of MS Textiles in China, where she has been working successfully for about ten years.

Strategic partners of the project include:

  • blockseed.vc
  • alphabit.fund
  • fbg.capital
  • hashed.com
  • inblockchain.co
  • kenetic.capital
  • signum.capital
  • emurgo.io
  • enuma.io
  • gbic.io
  • YOOsourcing

Main Project Goals

Eximchain’s authors intend to innovate and change the current supply chain organization system by overcoming barriers, strengthening coordination and increasing confidence in cross-border operations using blockchain technology.

The Eximchain platform will offer ample opportunities, from networking with suppliers to inventory management. The product will operate from a public blockchain with a high level of confidentiality. It is ideal for corporate use by supply chain organizations and application developers who need blockchain technology.

All stakeholders involved in creating effective supply chains will be able to more effectively and securely cooperate, carry out mutual settlements and exchange information.

Partnership with YOOsourcing

Eximchain developers have developed a partnership with the YOOsourcing platform, which allows users to verify the authenticity and reliability of suppliers.

Thanks to the YOOsourcing partnership, users of mobile applications will be able to fulfill requests from suppliers directly from the supplier’s company profile. The platform has a built-in verification system designed to ensure the accuracy of the displayed information.

This will allow suppliers using the Eximchain platform to track their requests, promote new products and develop tactics to attract future business leaders. Using the blockchain technology in the platform will increase confidence in accountability, data storage and agreements between suppliers and buyers on the YOOSourcing platform.

Token 

Digital coins on the platform will be based on the standard ERC-20 protocol. The purpose of their creation is to act as a valid register for the genesis file of the Eximchain main network. The ERC-20 routers will be distributed across the Ethereum blockchain by the corresponding ERC-20 smart contract. They are repurchased for Eximchain’s internal tokens after the network has been launched.

With the launch of the main network, Eximchain’s internal tokens will be used to pay for network charges, check state changes, and management functions.

They are also designed to access applications built on the Eximchain network, such as smart contracts and products developed using the SDK platform.

Advantages of Smart Contract SDK

The use of smart contracts for developers provides many advantages and opportunities:

Financing. It is carried out through instant and transparent order confirmation and check on the blockchain. Suppliers will be able to receive prepayments, and buyers will be able to use the option of arbitration.

Procure-to-Pay. Users will be able to conduct an audit through a finally agreed contract at each stage of the payment procedure. This process will be carried out in real time via the network without the need for trust and the use of a secure protocol.

Platforms of suppliers or rating agents will be able to use the “Proof of Existence” (PoE) algorithm to control time, check the integrity of documents and other purposes. This will allow independent verification without the need for data disclosure.

Inventory Management. Conducted by sharing real-time demand information to create a supply chain. This will allow participants to improve their inventory plans and automate the alignment process in different registers and systems to save time and reduce costs.

Risk mitigation. Eximchain will allow for real-time dynamic monitoring of processes within the supply chain to ensure the visibility of all operations. Participants will be able to control risks through a single function.

Price and Liquidity

The EXC token price is currently valued at $0.0274281298 (-13.52%), which is equivalent to 0.0002654258 ETH and 0.00000712 BTC. Its 24-hour volume is$18,756 and has an overall market cap of $1,846,090.

Returns since ICO: 0.08x USD, which is equivalent to 0.70x ETH and 0.19x BTC. The token is listed on Bilaxy and Idex.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.8 stars on average, based on 23 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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Uber: $120 Billion IPO?

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Uber Technologies Inc., the global ride-hailing giant, is reportedly eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) worth as much as $120 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, the IPO could take place early next year, giving investors ample time to prepare.

More Valuable than the Auto Giants

The $120 billion value proposal was delivered to Uber last month by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS), two of Wall Street’s largest banks. The banks were presumably advising Uber on how to position stock offerings to potential investors before underwriting the IPO.

The new valuation far exceeds the one Uber received from Toyota Motors Co (TYO), which priced the ride-sharing service at %72 billion.

At $120 billion, Uber would be worth more than the General Motors Co (GM), Ford Motor Co (F) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) combined. The Detroit auto giants have seen their valuations rise in the wake of the financial crisis, buoyed by a prolonged recovery and increased appetite for automobiles. However, their growth has paled in comparison to Uber’s, which was founded in 2009.

Uber’s expansion hasn’t been without growing pains. The company has been mired by regulatory bottlenecks, workplace scandals and the alleged theft of trade secrets from Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), Google’s parent company.

It is not entirely clear what metrics the Wall Street banks used to evaluate Uber’s potential value. The company reportedly told Morgan Stanley it won’t be profitable for at least another three years, though annual revenues are expected to reach up to $11 billion this year. That’s a marked rise over the $7.78 billion generated in 2017.

While there’s no guarantee that Uber will go public in the proposed timeframe, it must issue a public offering by the end of 2019, according to WSJ sources. That’s the agreement it has in place with investor SoftBank Group Corp.

Uber by the Numbers

Uber’s startling growth over the past nine years can be represented by a few statistics. As of May 8, 2018, the company had 19,000 employees. This doesn’t include the more than 3 million drivers who are getting paid through the ride-hailing service. Since inception, Uber drivers have completed some 10 billion rides. This averages out to about 15 million rides each day. Gross bookings in 2016 alone amounted to $20 billion.

As of June, 75 million riders were using the Uber app. In the U.S. alone, adult users are projected to reach 48 million by the end of 2018. The Uber app is installed on 21% of U.S. adult Android devices.

Currently, Uber owns up to 87% of the U.S. ride-hailing market. The growth and widespread adoption of the service has opened the door to other competitors, with Lyft being the biggest. Founded in 2012, Lyft is available in about 220 cities across the U.S. as well as in major cities across Asia.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 691 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Argo Mining as a Means of Diversification

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Buying Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) is something we talk about a lot, but earning crypto is just as interesting. There are many ways to earn crypto that allow for arbitrage-like opportunities, but the focus of this piece is on mining companies.

More specifically, Argo Mining, which is the first cryptocurrency mining company to IPO. That might not sound like a big deal, but it gives Argo a critical competitive advantage over other companies.

The Mining Industry

One thing is clear right now, the mining industry is still very opaque. Users are constantly worried about being scammed, which is very similar to how it was when trading exchanges were popping up left and right. There are numerous options out there for companies that will help you mine cryptocurrency, but it isn’t always clear what the best choice is.

You can go one of two routes: have a mining application operate on your computer, or pay for a rented service. Honeyminer is an example of a native application that works well and pays out cryptocurrency, and Argo is an example of a “shared service”. Argo operates much like Amazon Web Services does. You pay to rent computational capabilities, but your goals end up being slightly different. The business models are sound, but very different.

Where Argo’s Advantage Comes From

Argo is the first mining company to IPO, which adds a level of trust that no other company can currently command. There are so many potential risks for users that they tend to shy away from these companies. They are worried about their payment information being ripped off, withdrawal of the coins, and the costs being greater than the revenues.

By raising $32 million in their June 11th IPO, Argo has alleviated many of these worries, and added a degree of trust to their brand. They started off mostly mining altcoins such as Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Zcash, but have recently announced Bitcoin mining packages as well.

The overall goal of Argo, as stated by their CEO, Jonathan Bixbay, is to democratize mining so everyone can participate. Right now, most of the mining is done by a select few of the elites, and Argo is enabling the wealth to be spread here.

Can Argo Actually Make You Money?

The big question to answer about Argo is whether you can actually make money doing this. The costs per month could potentially be higher than the value of the crypto you mine. Sure, you don’t have to pay trading fees on them, but it is important to calculate exactly how much you are coming out ahead.

It depends on the package, but you could potentially end up paying more for the fees than you earn. The trick is to remember that the crypto market isn’t like other markets – it isn’t perfectly efficient – and there are always arbitrage opportunities if you look hard enough.

An Alternate Route to Being Long Crypto

With much of crypto mining currently being done by elites because of the massive investment involved, it is clear that Argo has tapped a massive market. The company had a waitlist of 50,000 in September, and with the funds from the IPO, they can finally finance the expansion of their operations in a way that will speed up the number of people they can bring online.

If you believe Bitcoin (or cryptocurrencies in general) is coming out of a rut soon, then this is a good way to diversify into the market. Do your own tests and make sure that you are coming out ahead after the fees, but it should be a simple way to make some extra money in what is currently an inefficient market.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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