Winklevoss Twins Lose Bid for Bitcoin Trade Fund

The irrepressible Winklevoss twins, known for having sued Mark Zuckerberg over the idea for Facebook, have suffered a setback from federal regulators in their push to expand the use of bitcoin to a wider universe of investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission rejected Friday a proposed Winklevoss exchange-traded fund that could have opened the digital currency to larger numbers of ordinary investors.

The SEC said the proposal from Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss was inconsistent with rules for securities exchanges designed to prevent fraud and manipulation, and to protect investors.

Bitcoin, which is stored in encrypted digital wallets, allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties. About 8 years old, it has yet to be broadly embraced and has been prone to wild price swings.

The value of a single bitcoin fell 7.6 percent to $1,101 on Friday following news of the SEC’s rejection. Since 2013, its value has rocketed from $13 to a peak of around $1,300. On a given day, bitcoin can fluctuate by 20 percent or more. It’s increased nearly 30 percent so far this year.

Currently the ways of buying and investing in bitcoin are fairly limited: on online exchanges or through a trust that charges premium prices.

The 35-year-old identical-twin entrepreneurs have been evangelists for bitcoin in recent years, insisting it could even replace gold as a stable currency. They’ve promoted their company Gemini as a stock market for bitcoin. Last year, New York state approved regulations governing a new exchange operated by Gemini for a virtual currency called Ether.

In a 38-page order posted on its website, the SEC rejected the application by the Winklevoss brothers and the BATS BZX Exchange to list and trade Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares, an exchange-traded fund based on bitcoin.

“The significant markets for bitcoin are unregulated,”…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Internet-Connected 'Smart' Devices Are Dunces About Security

These days, it’s possible to use your phone — and sometimes just your voice — to control everything from your TV to your lights, your thermostat and shades, even your car or medical device. (At least, once you have gadgets that can listen.)

But the WikiLeaks allegation that the CIA commandeered some Samsung smart TVs as listening devices is a reminder that inviting the “Internet of Things” into your home comes with some risk.

How safe are your connected devices? Tread carefully, but don’t freak out, experts say.

A Growing Industry

Connected devices are unquestionably popular. Research firm Gartner expects there to be 8.4 billion connected “things” in use in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016. By 2020, this number could reach 20.4 billion, with smart TVs and digital set-top boxes serving as the most popular consumer gadgets.

For businesses, meanwhile, smart electric meters and commercial security cameras are expected to be the most popular “internet of things” products.

Such gadgets are convenient, but they can present easy targets for hackers. In October of 2016 hackers seized control of webcams and digital video recorders and recruited them into internet “botnets” that launched denial-of-service attacks against popular websites such as Netflix and Twitter, forcing them offline for some users.

Limited Government

There’s a growing call for regulation to secure connected devices, but it’s unclear whether this will happen. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security released a report describing runaway security problems with devices that recently gained internet capabilities, a collection that includes medical implants, surveillance cameras, home appliances and baby monitors.

“The growing dependency on network-connected technologies is outpacing the means to secure them,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said at the time. This, of course, was during the Obama administration; more regulation so far appears unlikely under President Donald Trump.

Forrester Research analyst Josh Zelonis said consumers…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Pandora Launches Premium Music Service

Pandora today finally launched its long-awaited Pandora Premium music service for mobile devices and the web. Pandora Premium is a $10-per-month music streaming service that competes with Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music. Like similar products, Pandora Premium offers ad-free, all-you-can-eat streaming of millions of tracks. It includes unlimited skips and downloads for offline listening. Pandora Premium competes with Pandora’s own $5 monthly product, which is also ad-free and allows for some skipping. The major difference between the two is the recommendation engine. Pandora Premium relies on the data Pandora has collated via the Music Genome to the tune of one billion data points per day. It also takes advantage of users’ own “thumbs up” activity and creates playlists based on those songs. The Premium product will be more aggressive about pushing recommendations, particularly when users reach the end of a play list or album. Pandora first announced Pandora Premium late last year. Today marks the service’s official launch. The Pandora app is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

U.S. Cellular Debuts LG K8 and Unlimited Plan

U.S. Cellular recently added the LG K8 (2017) to its roster of inexpensive Android smartphones. The K8 features a 5-inch 720p HD screen and it is powered by a 1.9 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor. The main camera has an 8-megapixel sensor with flash and the user-facing camera has a 5-megapixel sensor. Both cameras include LG’s gesture controls. Other specs include 16 GB of storage with support for memory cards, 2,500mAh battery, Bluetooth, WiFi, LTE, and Android 7 Nougat. The LG K8 costs $50. The K8 is also sold by MetroPCS. In other U.S. Cellular news, the company recently added an unlimited plan to its service offerings. The plan costs $60 per month and includes unlimited talk, text, and data with all taxes and fees included. U.S. Cellular doesn’t charge overages, but will slow the speeds of customers who use excessive amounts of data (>22GB). Other options include 6 GB for $50 per month or 2 GB for $40 per month. Monthly discounts are available for additional lines. Autopay and paperless billing are required to qualify for these prices.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Debuts #myAndroid Homescreen Picker

Google recently launched a new web site that lets people configure and design their home screen experience. The tool is meant to help those who might not be fully versed in all the different options available within Android to create a home space that works for them. Using #myAndroid, people answer a series of questions concerning the preferences for design usability, and likes/dislikes. At the end of the test, Google recommends wallpaper packs, alternative launchers, icon packs, and even some applications to help people achieve the look they created. Anyone can use #myAndroid online.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Blow away the Monday blues with a couple of great deals!

It’s the start of the week. Your boss is still being a tool and you’re wondering where the heck the weekend went. Wasn’t it Friday just a few minutes ago? It was.

Don’t worry though, because I see blossom on the trees here in the UK. Sure, our councils are taking months to fix monsterous potholes, some orange-faced nut-job is in charge over in America and we’re about to exit Europe, but … the flowers are out my friends. The daffodils are coming through and, if all else fails, there’s always beer. Lovely, lovely beer.

There’s phones too. We can walk around and stare at them, thinking that everything good in the world is on that LED panel. We can use them to send out angry tweets, share pointless Facebook posts and sign petitions, even though it’s probably more productive to actually go out and actually do something.

Sorry.. I think I’m slightly losing it because I cranked out about 189 articles as part of Mobile World Congress.

Spring is here folks, lambs are being born and I’ve become slightly giddy because I actually mowed the lawn this weekend.

Blow away the Monday blues with a couple of great deals!

So let’s buy more phones eh? How about a well-priced Moto G for a mere £79.01 !? It’s a great mid-ranger, coming complete with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core 1.2GHz CPU, 8 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel front camera and a 2800 mAh battery. It’s water-repellent and has NFC, WiFi and GPS.

It’s powered by Android 6.0.1 and has 1GB RAM with 16GB storage. You can also whack in a microSD card slot. It has a 5″ 720p HD (1280×720) screen and does 4G.

The Moto G4 Play is £129.98 but, if you put “KENSMOTO” and “UKWELCOME10” in together as promo codes, you’ll get it for just £79.01!

Blow away the Monday blues with a couple of great deals!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an Honor 6X (we took a look at it here) then it’s now available for just £199.99 on Three. Sure, you’ve got to whack a £10 top-up onto it, but still – that’s a bit good for a 5.5″ 1920×1080 HD display at 403ppi. It has a 12 megapixel and 2 megapixel camera arrangement on the back, an 8 megapixel front camera, Android 6.0 and a 2.1GHz octa-core Kirin 655 CPU. There’s 32GB storage on board, microSD card slot, fingerprint sensor but alas no NFC..

Blow away the Monday blues with a couple of great deals!

If Pay As You Go doesn’t float your boat, don’t forget that you can get it at this price and then do SIM-only or choose one of the other plans.

The post Blow away the Monday blues with a couple of great deals! is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.


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  • Rich Communication Services: why we should care about RCS.

    Rich Communication Services: why we should care about RCS.

    Most phone users have used the Short Message Service at one time or another. Nowadays, we just call it texting people. Then came the promise of MMS (Multi Media Messaging), or picture messaging. That never really took off in the same way as texting people, since the costs to send an MMS was prohibitive. Soon enough, these Over The Top (OTT) messaging platforms took over and started to eat the operator’s proverbial lunch. Think WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Apple Messaging, Line, and the list goes on.


    So these services were about more than being able to send more than 160 characters at a time. You could send voice notes, or stickers, pictures and photos, or emoji. In some apps, you even have the ability to put some words in bold, or italics, to make things stand out. You could easily confirm when your message was received and/or read by the other person. All of a sudden, the experience you had communicating with your friends was a whole lot richer.

    And there you have it – the option of your standard SMS, but without having to have a plan or allowance for these services. They all came out from your data limit…. And most smartphones have a data allowance. That’s why they’re able to be smarter, right? They’re more connected.

    As mentioned earlier, although these services are platforms, they don’t connect to each other. You can’t use WhatsApp if your friend swears by Signal. Your best friend treats any blue messages like second class citizens. All in all, interconnection is a problem, and no app manufacturer has a vested interest in allowing other platforms to have access.

    That’s depressing.

    Yep. But don’t worry the GSMA (Global System Mobile Association) has an answer. They’ll make these Rich Communications that you’re so used to, and like into a standard. In fact, they already have. Some time ago. In 2007, the GSMA even went so far as to come up with some branding, and named the initiative Joyn. Snazzy, right? And yet, it didn’t take off. In order to take advantage of this new system, a couple of things had to be in place.  RCS has to be baked into every phone wanting to use the service. Then not only would it take new phones that support these Rich Communication Services, RCS, but the network operators themselves have to install equipment. And for the longest amount of time, there was no incentive for them to do so. A picture message was prohibitively expensive to send, and that equalled profit. Then the operators started giving away text messages for free as part of a tariff, so how would they monetise RCS?

    Rich Communication Services: why we should care about RCS.

    What’s next?

    All the while, WhatsApp, iMessage, and Skype continued to grow. These effective walled-gardens still gave people a way to enjoy RCS and nobody really cared about being able to have the one app to talk to everyone. If you really needed to, you could fall back to sending a text, right?

    Right. Plain old text. Then a couple of years ago, Google bought a company called Jibe, who specialised in RCS. Maybe the hope was that all Google phones would pioneer the service and other manufacturers would follow suit…

    Wait, why do you keep saying was?

    Because after years in the mobile tech wilderness, things are starting to roll – kind of. Google is now building out RCS inside their Messages app. At the same time, in a move that will surprise literally nobody, Messages will likely go through a slight rebranding to Android Messenger. We haven’t seen it over here yet, so time will tell. However, the kicker is that both the networks and the handset manufacturers, who are not always the fastest at agreeing to work together.

    Yes, we do have a standard. Yes, the GSMA has confirmed it, and all we’re waiting for it everyone else to get their act together. But this is a slow process. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have all signed up and implemented RCS on their network.

    Rich Communication Services: why we should care about RCS.

    So all great! What’s the problem?

    In a word, implementation. RCS has been rolled out in Canada, and it works normally. But AT&T implementation will only allow on-net calls and the ‘RIch Communication’ of RCS if you use AT&T’s app. The good news is that things aren’t the same over in Europe, if not quite the U.K. Vodafone Italia and TIM in Italy have RCS rolled out. Even Russia has a network, MTS, that’s had RCS since 2016.

    Does that mean we aren’t going to get RCS?

    Maybe, but probably not. Handset makers like Samsung are implementing RCS, but in their own fashion. We don’t know if Samsung handsets will have Samsung specific profiles that ‘enhance’ their usefulness when they talk to other Samsung handsets. We don’t know if the U.K networks will want to put in the time and effort. Why would they? How would it affect their bottom line? People who want to talk to each other can already to do, using the apps above? Sure, it doesn’t provide that full ubiquity and ease of use that a default app will have. Yes, I’m looking at you, iMessage. But anyone who wants to be able to communicate with emoji, picture messages, gifs, voice notes, attachments, pictures, memes and whatever you can think of, can still do so. All in their own little ecosystem. So the data is being used one way or another. However, I can’t see the networks deciding any time soon that having one messaging protocol to rule them all is financially worth while.

    I mean, it’s not like off-network calls and text messaging made mobile take-off way back when, is it?

    The post Rich Communication Services: why we should care about RCS. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.


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  • G Suite Wants To Be Your Business Meeting Chat System

    In its continuing effort to appeal to enterprise users, Google has announced new team video and messaging capabilities for the Hangouts app in its G Suite productivity platform. It also introduced a new intelligent bot, @meet, to automate the scheduling of chat-based meetings.

    Announced during the Google Cloud Next ’17 event in San Francisco that ran from March 8 – 10, Hangouts Meet was designed to make it easy for groups of people to quickly launch and join video meetings from wherever they’re working. And the new Hangouts Chat app is aimed at enabling easy mobile messaging for enterprise team members on the go.

    Beyond the new Hangouts features, Google also unveiled a number of other updates to G Suite. These include enterprise team-focused file-sharing, streaming and storage capabilities for Google Drive, along with add-ons that bring new support for integrating third-party applications into Gmail.

    One-Link Access to Video Meetings

    “Hangouts Meet is a new video meeting experience with one goal: make joining meetings effortless so that people can be as productive as they are when they’re face-to-face,” Scott Johnston, director of product management for Hangouts, wrote in a post on the Google G Suite blog. “We’ve consistently heard from customers about ways we can improve Hangouts, like making it easier to work with external clients or reducing the ‘time to start’ a meeting to zero.”

    Johnston said Hangouts Meet allows even large business teams to easily launch video conference meetings through a shared link without the need to download new software or set up new accounts or plugins. Users can dial in from anywhere to enter a meeting with “just a few clicks,” he said.

    Paid customers of G Suite Enterprise services can also access dedicated dial-in phone numbers for the video meetings they create using Meet, Johnston noted. This will…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Elite Dating Apps Are Welcome by Some, Offensive to Others

    Bad news for ugly, unsuccessful people: Tinder is no longer keeping up the pretense that they might one day enjoy a quirky romcom relationship with someone from a different league.

    Already, a velvet curtain is being drawn around the world’s facial one-percenters with the launch of Tinder Select. The Select sub-platform is the world’s biggest dating app’s entry into the increasingly popular market for elitism.

    No one is yet sure what the criteria are for entry to Tinder Select. Some suggest it might be based on your Tinder Elo score, a sort of romantic Uber rating. Those whom Tinder invites to join are apparently allowed to invite someone else. But their invitees aren’t allowed to nominate anyone in turn, capping the spread.

    As all the hotties get beamed up into a secret champagne room from where the rest of us can only hear the distant tinkling of laughter, it is time to look at the key dating apps doing the bodysnatching.

    The League

    This should really be renamed the Ivy League. The League synchs with the greatest digital prophylactic of all time — LinkedIn — to offer thrusting business-oriented types the opportunity to touch each other’s base going forward. It seems to pride itself on having a waiting list longer than Yale: 100,000 at the last count.

    Its key selling point is that it finds people as career-focused as you are — the sort of people who will understand that you can’t go to see that German arthouse comedy because Tokyo needs the tort law briefing by 3am UTC. However, its founder, Amanda Bradford (Stanford, MBA), suggests that there is still a glimmer of hope for normies everywhere: “Maybe you didn’t go to Oxford, but you started a non-profit to help underprivileged children in Africa and you’ve run that company from the ground up.”


    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    This Temporary Tattoo Tells You When You’ve Had Enough to Drink

    As we usually say, what will technology think of next? People usually get tattoos either because they want to decorate themselves or they want to show off how much pain they can take.  Now, there’s new technology that can make ultra-thin temporary electronic tattoos using a household printer that has been developed by researchers. These […]
    Source: Mobile Magazine