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Facebook Admits to Draining Phone Batteries

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Ordinarily, bug fixes are welcomed, but now and then, someone needs blame. In Facebook’s mobile app version, this is the case.

The company has a market capitalization of nearly 300 billion dollars. It would seem that they could get their act together in regards to mobile applications. Ostensibly, that’s what they’ve done, with the notes in their iOS version 42 stating that “continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.”

The app would run twice as long in the background as it did in the fore when users closed it. Continuous GPS tracking is not just creepy; it’s expensive in terms of battery life. Moreover, for many in the security community, it’s suspicious. Isn’t it true that phones could run just fine without GPS? Users would have to decide to have no map functionality. Isn’t that what they invented dedicated GPS devices for?

Also read: Facebook Disrupting Digital Journalism with Instant Articles battery drain

In any case, the iOS app isn’t the only Facebook app that uses a lot of battery life. If you’ve been able to install the massive application on your Android device in recent times, you’ll notice your battery life drop quickly. Even if GPS tracking is not on by default, what really is causing this high battery usage? Persistent use of anything, be it data or GPS, is going to draw battery life. The application is closed source, of course, so no one has the chance to audit it besides Facebook engineers.

Android users have long had concerns about the Facebook app, a user writing on an Android forum a couple years ago:

So today I noticed that my battery was draining really fast so I checked Wakelock Detector and saw that Facebook alarm manager had woken my phone up more than 500 times in a few hours. My Facebook notifications are turned off and so is sync. […] I can’t figure out what could be causing this. I use the app a lot so I don’t want to uninstall but it’s really killing my battery.

Reports have it that Android 6.0, dubbed Marshmallow, has serious improvements to battery usage. However, one reviewer says that this is not necessarily the case, and that they had problems with a Nexus 5 updating to the new version of Android. This is due to the upgrade process more than anything, according to the review.

Apps like Facebook that are data heavy and GPS heavy could be even worse. Given that the most important thing about having a smartphone is being able to use it when you need it, it’s ironic that some of the most common ways of using them shorten the amount of time that users can do so.

The current generation of Internet users is hooked on Facebook. Facebook is hooked on their data. Will the future be something like the local hair salon knowing when someone is walking by who recently wrote about needing a haircut? At this point, anything seems possible.

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5 stars on average, based on 2 rated postsP. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link




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Tech Titans Bullish on Bitcoin

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If you reflect on the Trojan War, you might recognize some modern-day parallels. In the movie Troy, which is based on the Trojan war, Achilles, played by Brad Pitt, leads his rogue fighters and the Greek Army to take control of the city of Troy, which is guarded by great walls and a Hector-led Trojan army.

It’s a drawn-out battle filled with duels and sneak attacks from both sides, the famous and final one being the Greek army’s ability to infiltrate their way into the city walls through the gift of a Trojan horse. Perhaps Troy was a bit of foreshadowing on the global monetary system.

Bitcoin in a sense has been a surprise attack on fiat money. Nobody could have predicted a decentralized digital currency that would challenge the merits of a centralized monetary system that’s been in place for centuries. Now that it’s here, bitcoin and its digital currency soldiers aren’t going anywhere. And if you ask a couple of tech titans, bitcoin should subvert fiat currencies.

Tech Titans

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter CEO/Square Founder Jack Dorsey may not be leading armies of the usual kind. But they are tech giants whose influence has gone beyond corporate walls and changed the landscape of modern day technology as we know it. Both are bitcoin bulls and agree that bitcoin deserves the title as the single global currency.

Dorsey is a bit more aggressive about his prediction, having said that bitcoin will win the title as the sole global currency over the course of the next decade or sooner.

When asked about it, Wozniak softened the forecast a bit, saying: “I buy into what Jack Dorsey says. Not that I necessarily believe it’s going to happen. I just, I want it to be that way,” Wozniak said.

Ebbs and Flows

The Apple co-founder reportedly first bought into bitcoin at the $700 level. And even though he says it wasn’t an investment and more of an experiment, he still believes that the bitcoin price will continue to rise even if there are ebbs and flows along the way, similar to the internet during its rise.

Currently, the bitcoin price is experiencing one of those ebbs, having failed to break through the $7,600 level in a weekend rally and falling to about $7,443. While market bulls like Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee aren’t relenting on their forecasts for bitcoin $25,000, the trading volume since year-end 2017 at bitcoin’s pinnacle has dropped and some analysts predict it could get worse before it gets better.

Wozniak’s Portfolio

Wozniak told CNBC he likes bitcoin for its decentralized features that make it more natural, such as the public ledger technology underpinning the coin and the rewards system that keeps it going.

Wozniak’s cryptocurrency portfolio is comprised of one bitcoin and two ether, the former of which he owns for pure experimentation purposes. He likens Ethereum to a platform that tends to grow because “there tend to be lots of people working on applications.” Sounds like another platform that Wozniak knows a little something about.

Meanwhile, whether or not bitcoin overtakes fiat currencies, the digital currency that boasts a market cap of $127 billion is sure to be remembered, which if we could ask Achilles of the Trojan war is what it’s all about anyway.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 16 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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IMF Official Urges Central Banks to Compete with Cryptocurrencies

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A high-ranking official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging central banks to developer “better” fiat currencies in order to maintain their leadership pace over cryptocurrency.

A Call to Innovation

In an article published Thursday, IMF deputy director Dong He makes the case that “crypto assets may one day reduce demand for central bank money” and that government institutions must do more to not let that happen. In other words, to “forestall the competitive pressure crypto assets may exert on fiat currencies,” central banks need to adopt some of the core concepts driving digital assets.

“Central banks must maintain the public’s trust in fiat currencies and stay in the game in a digital, sharing, and decentralized service economy,” he said.

The Washington-based institution is carefully evaluating cryptocurrencies, though it has not adopted a formal position on the matter. However, it has urged governments to utilize technology to offset the risks posed by digital currencies (or as IMF chief Christine Lagarde says, “fight fire with fire”).

In the article, He seems to argue in favor of a central bank digital currency, but didn’t offer a rubric for implementation.

Central Banks and the Blockchain Divide

Many in the blockchain community believe crypto offers the best alternative to the fiat banking system and its hyper-inflationary nature. In the current system, central banks control a vital means of production: capital. By controlling the money supply, central banks have enormous power, including discretion to print money, adjust interest rates and set the reserve requirement.

As He stated in his paper, some cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have limited inflation risk because their supply is capped. Of course, he offered a caveat: bitcoin is not as well equipped to handle the risk of “structural deflation.”

Although they were initially resistant to the idea of blockchain, central banks are now widely exploring its use. It is unclear whether this will result in widescale adoption of a centrally administered cryptocurrency or whether blockchain technology will enable the current monetary system to operate more efficiently. Of course, for crypto purists, the idea of a central bank-run crypto asset is itself a contradiction.

By adopting blockchain technology, central banks are essentially following in Wall Street’s footsteps – not in terms of blockchain itself, but in embracing innovation. As we’ve seen repeatedly, the wheels of innovation churn very slowly at major financial institutions and it often requires disruptors (startups) to open the door to new business opportunities. We’ve seen it with mobile, apps, big data, cloud computing and now the blockchain.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 458 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Yale Economist Robert Shiller Has Little Faith in Cryptocurrencies

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Yale economist Robert Shiller warns that for all their innovation, the new money that is cryptocurrencies is an experiment that in the end may fall short. According to Shiller in a blog post posted today, computer programmers are the only ones who get cryptocurrencies enough to explain them, which he suggests “creates an aura of exclusivity”, attaches a certain “glamour” to this “new money” and inspires the devout loyalty within blockchain circles.

It’s déjà vu for Shiller, who has seen this all play out before in the history books, each time over the past 100-plus years ending in utter failure. This time it’s the rise of some 2,000 digital currencies and millions of believers who are not deterred by the smoke signals that regulators are sending up. Cryptocurrencies aside, money “is rich in mystique,” he says, and fueled by the faith that people and institutions place in it.

Shiller harkens back to the Cincinnati Time Store, which was a retail store in the 1800s founded by Josiah Warner and fueled by labor notes as well as “time money” surfaced shortly thereafter, which relied on time instead of precious metals. Neither of those experiments succeeded.

The revolution, he says, is nothing new, and the shine associated with reinventing money eventually grows dim.

“The cryptocurrencies are a statement of faith in a new community of entrepreneurial cosmopolitans who hold themselves above national governments, which are viewed as the drivers of a long train of inequality and war.” – Shiller

Shiller taps into the emotional case for cryptocurrencies, suggesting that the allure of new money is shrouded in the mystery of “advanced science.” Perhaps.

But while payments are a key application of cryptocurrencies, they’re not the only use case. And blockchain and cryptocurrencies have a symbiotic relationship, one in which neither wouldn’t exist without the other. But not once in his epilogue does he mention blockchain, the very technology that sets cryptocurrencies apart from historical attempts at new money, or the $143 billion market cap achieved by bitcoin alone currently.

‘A Clever Idea’

Shiller is a Nobel prize winner for his theory on asset prices. His Twitter profile evokes Alan Greenspan’s Fed with a description as being “irrationally exuberant.” Shiller actually shines when he is predicting doom and gloom, having presciently called both the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the housing crisis.

As economists go, Shiller has been more open-minded about bitcoin than his peers, his prediction for a “total collapse” notwithstanding. Shiller once called bitcoin a “clever idea.”

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 16 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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