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Showing posts from December 31, 2017

2018: Another Year Of Cryptocurrency Speculation, Or Finally A Digital Currency

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2017 was the year in which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies hit the mainstream public consciousness, with reports of Bitcoin holders becoming Billionaires, it was always going to be so. The result was a massive boost in the value of all cryptocurrencies as every man and his dog speculated on the value of the digital coins heading up.
Like a massive pyramid scheme that has indeed proven to be the case. Ordinary people gambled their savings on the hope of a quick return. Which some made and some didn't, as all digital coins went through massive periods of positive and negative growth. Mapped out over time cryptocurrency exchange rates so the sort of boom and bust of traditional currencies, but compressed from years of movement to days.
Digital coins have become the new gold. And as long as everyone agrees they have value, they'll continue to have value. Pity coinholders on the day that the pyramid is no longer attracting new investment and the bottom falls out of the market t…

Spotify Hits 70 Million Subscribers

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Spotify will go public this year and in preparation for its public offering it has announced that it has now reached 70 million subscribers - boosting its numbers by 10 million in just six months. By comparison, its closest rival, Apple Music, has just 30 million subscribers and is growing at about half that rate.
To put that into perspective, when Apple launched its Music service, Spotify had just 20 million subscribers. 
Things aren't all rosey in the Spotify garden though, having also received a lawsuit for $1.6bn as a result of mechanical royalty claims in the US.
Still as long as Spotify continues to grow subscribers at this rate, its move to become a publicly listed company should go smoothly.

YouTube Is Broken, Google Can't Fix It

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YouTube plunged new depths over the last twelve months. With every man, woman and child fighting to make the breakthrough which will bring them millions of subscribers and the resulting millions of dollars in advertising income.
The biggest outrages of the year have included the recent posting of a video showing the aftermath of a suicide, the death of a man shot by his girlfriend in a YouTube stunt gone wrong, children being exploited by channels for views, children being directed to videos purporting to be child friendly content - which morphs into something completely different halfway through and the deaths of rooftoppers and parkour runners attempting to buy viewers with ever more dangerous stunts.
It's a shocking list and an issue Google is completely unable to mitigate. Those seeking to achieve fame and fortune are uploading videos in ever greater numbers. The only way to stand out from the crowd is to be ever more outrageous, take greater risks or be more dangerous.
With …

F1: Williams Look To Sirotkin, Kubica Dream Over

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Williams will replace Felipe Massa with Sergey Sirotkin this season, putting paid to dreams of a return to the grid for Robert Kubica. 

Although Kubica was faster of the two drivers in the head to head tests in Abu Dhabi at the end of season session last year, it appears that equalising tyre and fuel load factors showed the 22 year old Russian to be the faster driver. 

That, plus a reported sponsorship package of $15m, was enough to over ride concerns of having the most inexeperienced driver line up on the grid. 

How that plays out with title sponsor Martini, which will be unable to use Sirotkin or team mate Lance Stroll for promotional work remains to be seen. With both under 25 years old they aren't able to promote alcohol. 

Sirotkin's selection means the battle for midfield pecking order is going to be an interesting one this season. Force India and McLaren will have much stronger driver line ups than Williams and will both be looking to seize fourth place in the Constructor…

Welcome To 2018: Spectre And Meltdown Promise Endless Misery For Intel

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If there's a company facing a worse start to 2018 than Intel I don't know of it. The company is facing the wrath of consumers, enterprise and cloud platform customers, after two security issues in processors produced since 1995 hit the headlines.
Spectre and Meltdown are bugs which violate the separation of the computer's application memory and secure core memory - potentially forcing applications to share information which the calling application has no right to access.
Spectre affects all CPUs from all manufacturers, whilst Meltdown is a specific Intel issue.
The high profile of this weakness has already had two major impacts - talk of a 30% slowdown in system performance  and a raft of class action lawsuits against Intel.
The former looks and sounds like scaremongering - and there are others who will explain why that is better than I - claiming that fixes will have a significant impact on computer performance. 
The latter is a feature of a blame - claim society, someth…