Samsung Galaxy S10 poses for more photos to show its hole-punch display and cryptocurrency …

The Galaxy S10 has already leaked out a few times this month, and now it’s popped its face out once again. Photos of the Samsung Galaxy S10 have …


The Galaxy S10 has already leaked out afewtimes this month, and now it’s popped its face out once again.

Photos of the Samsung Galaxy S10 have leaked, giving us another look at the upcoming flagship and its hole-punch display. This model has just a single front camera in its hole-punch, suggesting that this is the standard Galaxy S10 model.


Today’s images also show a “Samsung Blockchain KeyStore”. According to the device, the app will offer a “secure and convenient place for your cryptocurrency”. The photos show that the app supports Ethereum (ETH), and in the phone’s settings we can see a way to “secure and manage your blockchain private key”.


We’ve gotten a few looks at the Galaxy S10 and its hole-punch display lately, but these new photos give us a pretty good look at the screen and its front camera. The hole-punch is notable because it’s becoming a new trend in smartphones and because Samsung avoided the notch on its Galaxy S flagships, but it looks like the company will embrace the hole-punch with the S10, possibly as a way to further slim the bezels surrounding the screen.

Also of note is the Samsung Blockchain KeyStore shown in these images. There haven’t been a ton of blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused phones and apps from major smartphone makers, though HTC did sell a blockchain-centric device last year. Now it appears that Samsung will be trying to get in on the trend and make its new phone a bit more appealing to those who are into cryptocurrency.

What do you think of hole-punch displays like the one found on the Galaxy S10?

Source: Ben Geskin (Twitter)

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Bithumb Could Become First Publicly Traded Crypto Exchange Co. in the US

Ltd. The merger is part of an initiative that involves listing cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb as a publicly traded company in the US.

Blockchain Industries, Inc. (BCII), a holding company that trades publicly on US over-the-counter (OTC) markets, has announced its plans to “merge with” Singapore-based firm, BTHMB Holdings Pte. Ltd. The merger is part of an initiative that involves listing cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb as a publicly traded company in the US.

$1 Million Committed To Escrow Account As “Consideration For Entering Into LOI” 

The “binding letter of intent” (LOI) to merge both business entities was reportedly signed on Tuesday (January 22nd). According to the LOI, the “anticipated merger” is scheduled to be finalized “on or before March 1, 2019.” As mentioned in the announcement’s press release, BTHMB Holdings will be renamed as Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA). The deal has been formalized by BXA as it has deposited $1 million into an escrow account as “consideration for entering into the LOI.”

Commenting on the planned merger, Patrick Moynihan, the CEO of Blockchain Industries, remarked:

We are thrilled to be part of this important initiative that is expected to bring liquidity, accessibility and expansion to the blockchain industry. By merging with BXA, we expect to bring more advanced technology and better compliance practices into the public marketplace via a consolidated focus.

BXA “intends to use” Blockchain Industries, a publicly traded merchant bank, to “market and expand” its operations in North America. At present, Blockchain Industries focuses on the blockchain and crypto industry as it provides initial coin offering (ICO) advisory and investment management services.

Blockchain Industries Expected To Provide Guidance 

Blockchain Industries also operates a Global Conference Series which is a social network for entrepreneurs and investors. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California with additional business offices in New York, Puerto Rico, and Tokyo, Blockchain Industries is expected to provide BXA the guidance and resources needed to list as a publicly traded company in the US.

Explaining why it’s important to establish business operations in the US, Dr. Byung Gun Kim, the CEO of BXA, said:

BXA is a global exchange alliance and the United States is a key factor to any global initiative. By unifying our businesses, we benefit from the focused expertise of Blockchain Industries. As a result, we have tremendous growth opportunities in this region, and we expect quality results from this in North America.

The “potential merger” between BXA and Blockchain Industries aims to address issues related to “liquidity, accessibility and expansion.” The growth of the digital currency market depends on the development of a proper regulatory framework and appropriate measures for ensuring the security of crypto exchanges.

As explained in the announcement, the BXA and Blockchain Industries aim to create a “more secure global exchange platform.” This trading platform will reportedly support “emerging blockchain e-commerce, payments, and other digital finance functions.”

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Elected Leaders Need Operations Research and Analytics to Deliver Better Results from …

What could be more important for our elected leaders than using the best data and insights to make a positive difference for the American people and …

With midterm elections behind us and the 116th United States Congress ahead of us, Washington has a unique opportunity to advance operations research (O.R.) and analytics as a priority to enhance how the federal government implements public policies, makes critical decisions, and conducts its day-to-day operations. What could be more important for our elected leaders than using the best data and insights to make a positive difference for the American people and to strengthen our position vis a vis our nation’s allies and enemies?

In an era where we have vast amounts of data readily available, the challenge for government is not to access that information, but rather to understand what the data is revealing and how best to act on it. Misunderstanding or misapplying data has serious repercussions. It is imperative that government decision-makers at all levels have the advanced scientific tools necessary to make the right decisions using the right data.

One of the best proven ways to do this is through the use of O.R. and analytics. O.R. and analytics are the application of advanced mathematical tools that enable organizations to turn complex challenges into substantial opportunities. These powerful tools do not merely evaluate existing solutions to problems. More usefully, they relentlessly seek solutions that provide the best possible outcome, and thereby deliver prescriptive value to decision-makers. They do so by structuring data into solutions and insights for making better decisions which offer improved results.

In summary, O.R. and analytics offer policymakers proven scientific and mathematical processes that save lives, save money and solve problems. Some recent examples include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Christopher E. Marks of the U.S. Army and colleagues, Tauhid Zaman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jytte Klausen of Brandeis University, found a way to identify extremists—such as those associated with the terrorist group, ISIS—by monitoring their social media accounts and identifying them even before they post threatening content;
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eradicated the last pockets of the Wild Polio virus around the world;
  • The Federal Communications Commission completed the world’s first two-sided auction of valuable low-band electromagnetic spectrum, contributing more than $7 billion to reduce the federal deficit; and
  • The Federal Aviation Administration deployed the Airspace Flow Program to improve air traffic management and reduce flight delays, saving hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) created the PreCheck passenger screening program—a risk-based aviation security policy that affects more than one million passengers in the U.S. every day—enabling low risk passengers to utilize expedited airport security screening, saving the federal government one-third of a billion dollars every year.

The power of O.R. and analytics also extends to state and local governments, including:

  • The City of Philadelphia redesigned districts for its council members based upon the 2010 census to increase public engagement and minimizing gerrymandering;
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections transformed the complex process of assigning inmates to one of the Pennsylvania Department of Correction’s 25 facilities, reducing a week of seven employees’ time to less than 10 minutes; and
  • The New York City Police Department created the Domain Awareness System, a robust network of sensors, databases, devices, software and infrastructure that informs a variety of tactical and strategic decisions which officers make every day, saving at least $50 million per year.

Despite these outstanding achievements, more can and must be done to expand the use of O.R. and analytics at all levels of government. As a university professor and an operations research professional who has spent his entire career working to improve and expand this field, I am certain that expanding the use of O.R. and analytics would make significant contributions to solving our nation’s problems.

There is broad, bipartisan agreement that various federal government programs and missions continue to operate under antiquated methods, accrue excessive costs and perform inefficiently. I propose O.R. and analytics as an original, powerful and proven approach to fix these problems. The correct application of O.R. and analytic principles to compelling public policy issues will provide robust insights that inform sound, reasonable and bipartisan policy making and program implementation.

Applying these practices to a wide swath of policy areas—such as predicting future outbreaks and pandemics, influencing the design and construction of tomorrow’s communities, building new, cutting-edge transportation and power generation systems, and preventing gun violence through advanced social media monitoring and interventions—will fundamentally improve the government’s fulfillment of its public service mission.

For seven decades, O.R. and analytics have delivered proven and profound value in the private sector with documented savings amounting to many billions of dollars. Now, it is time for O.R. and analytics to become the driver of a higher level of efficiency in Washington, DC.

About the Author

Nicholas G. Hall was the 2018 president of INFORMS. With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research and analytics professionals. He is also the Fisher College of Business Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University. He holds a Ph.D. (Management Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1986), and B.A., M.A. (Economics, University of Cambridge). His research and teaching interests include project management, scheduling and pricing. He has published 82 articles in Operations Research, Management Science, Mathematics of Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, Games and Economic Behavior, Interfaces and other journals. He has served as Associate Editor of Operations Research (1991–) and Management Science (1993–2008). His 335 presentations include 11 keynote addresses, 8 INFORMS tutorials and 98 invited talks in 23 countries.

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Struggling to understand what blockchain really is? Me too.

At a glance, the blockchain and larger cryptocurrency space seem to be just another Silicon Valley hype machine at work once again: initial coin …

At a glance, the blockchain and larger cryptocurrency space seem to be just another Silicon Valley hype machine at work once again: initial coin offerings (ICOs,) $6.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018 alone without creating any real impact on our lives.

Beyond the select few trying to keep the hype machine alive and those technical enough to actually understand the system’s architecture, how much meaning (not impact, not value, not quantifiable metrics that venture capitalists can take credit for during pitches) does the space holds for the rest of us, the so-called “mass audience”?

Counting myself in the latter, I know that I can barely pay attention to a podcast episode about crypto buzzwords I must learn to appear smarter, or the occasional Medium post alleging to give the ultimate rundown for dummies I try to read but never finish.

Personally, the blockchain space has no real essence for me. And it probably doesn’t for you.

That’s because those writing the blockchain story are still trying to figure out how to tell it.

“Blockchain is still a very much engineering-driven culture, which means the marketing is still focusing on the features, the bells and the whistles. But they often don’t get to,why should I care?Jesse Ratner, founder of the Blockchain Agency, said. A simple Google search of “how do people feel about blockchain” proves Ratner’s statement, with article headlines like “Blockchain is meaningless”, “What’s so great about blockchain”, and “Bitcoin is ridiculous, blockchain is dangerous” leading the search results.

It’s why Ratner decided to tackle this issue head-on, by founding a marketing agency that focuses on branding blockchain companies, just a couple of months ago. Ratner saw the dire need for storytelling in the space, especially since most of the marketing out there is highly technical. While there are blockchain businesses talking about seemingly tangible use cases, he argues that it’s not done well and perhaps, not the most realistically applicable.

“Your crypto kitties app, your new messenger on the decentralized Web, or various forms of decentralized identification — are these the right use cases?” he said. “It’s now the marketer’s job to go beyond the technical and get to the tangible value. You don’t want to go to the store to buy flour and butter, you want to eat cake.”

Ratner’s first step towards that, right now, is just creating clear, easy-to-understand websites for blockchain companies. He points out to me that his approach to writing isn’t any different than when he was a Creative Lead at Google. “You really don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater,” he tells me. “But I do think it will take some time to crystallize what the story is to developers, to investors, to journalists, to early adopters, and finally, to the point that the technology is contributing really in a global way on an everyday basis.”

Zi Wang, CEO of Timeless, a company aiming to actuate the service economy, really hopes someone will crack the code to blockchain in the next year.

“We must create some meaningful value, something people can bring home and say, Oh, I really enjoy this,” Wang said. “Other than the investors and the crypto holders, you don’t get joy out of blockchain.”

Wang tells me his ideal future scenario is one where everybody would be using blockchain and actually enjoy using it, just as today’s mobile apps work, but he doesn’t think the space is quite there yet.

It’s why Wang wanted Timeless to first narrow down the exact problem they aim to solve, in order to provide a tangible, helpful use case for the market. Wang tells me that the team collectively processed at least 200 white papers in the process of publishing their own.

What Wang finds interesting in this process is having discussions around topics he never thought about in his career in tech: basic economics. “Before this, it was just the business model of buying low and selling high,” he said. “Now, we’re digging deep into economic theories from the last 2–3 years to help us think about the market design for blockchain.”

Ratner agrees in that the space needs a system that more user-friendly. “That’s the real story of blockchain — how are we going to design a system that is easier to use?” he said. “Because right now, it’s not, which makes whatever associations blockchain has with the mainstream population isn’t necessarily positive. And changing the perception is going to be the biggest hurdle, along with technological ones, to move the whole industry forward.”

“That’s the real story of blockchain — how are we going to design a system that is easier to use?” Ratner said. “Because right now, it’s not.”

Even Jacqueline Kwok, Head of Business Development at crypto wallet company Arcana, tells me she finds it hard to keep track of all the updates in her industry, which makes me feel a little better about my own level of understanding. What differs between her and me (and perhaps everyone else outside of the space) is that she enjoys the constant learning process.

“I was actually debating between going into cannabis and blockchain, but I found that I was so much emotionally and intellectually drawn to blockchain,” Kwok said. “It’s so humbling to be in this industry. There are so many smart people in the industry who are willing to teach you. ”

Despite the non-believers, the cynics and the outsiders of the industry, the privilege of constructing the building blocks of Web 3.0 is still a joy for those working to craft the story of blockchain. “I was too old to participate in the PC revolution, and I was working for a big company in the middle of the mobile revolution,” Wang, previously a Creative Director at Google, said. “This time, we are getting a chance to reimagine the architecture of the Internet. Very few of us are going to have a chance to take a crack at it.”

Similarly, Kwok enjoys being a part of Arcana, a company she sees building an essential part of the blockchain economy. Since it is currently very risky to execute crypto trades using smart contracts alone, Arcana thus built a security framework to solve human negligence in digital asset management and create a custodian solution for retail investors as its first tangible use case. “Unless these problems are solved, this industry won’t take off,” she said.

It leads me to ask Kwok — how does she predict the blockchain industry will take off in five years? Kwok argues that those thriving in the space at that point should provide a viable meaning in their customers’ lives. “In five years, if a lot of current blockchain solutions or tokens don’t end up providing solutions to the user, I just don’t see them being around anymore,” she said.

Wang’s personal goal is to work towards that future: a point where all can not only hear about the joy of blockchain, but actually understand and experience it.

Because beyond the skepticism of the space, blockchain has provided a lot of real solutions such as streamline supply chains and enable a much easier global transaction of money. Kwok tells me that she is actually glad the hype around the space is dying down, because it was “creating a lot of distraction around the actual good projects that are happening.” But hey, even the Internet in its early days had its skeptics. That didn’t stop it from changing our lives as we know it.

Wang’s personal goal is to work towards that future: a point where all can not only hear about the joy of blockchain, but actually understand and experience it. “I hope that by 2022, we will reach the inflection point, the same point for those of us who were involved in the rise of iPhone or Android in 2012 or 2013,” he said. “There are roughly 25 million crypto wallets today. Hopefully, there will be 500 million users in blockchain in five years.”

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Israeli big data co Varada raises $7.5m

Israeli big data inline indexing company Varada today announced a $7.5 million seed funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with …

Israeli big data inline indexing company Varada today announced a $7.5 million seed funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation by StageOne Ventures and F2 Capital. The round was secured in two phases, with $2.5 million of investment initially led by StageOne Ventures and F2 Capital last year and the completion of the round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, including existing investors, to expand business operations and development.

Based in Ramat Gan, Varada was founded by chief architect Tal Ben Moshe, VP R&D Roman Vainbrand and CTO David Krakov, veterans of the Dell EMC XtremIO core team, with the mission to establish a new data infrastructure which gives data practitioners complete control over performance, cost and flexibility.

Varada CEO Eran Vanounou said, “We know firsthand the daily struggle felt by many data practitioners who are continuously having demands placed on them, often resulting in the compromising of the quality of their work. I have led large data driven global organizations for the past 15 years. When I met Varada’s founding team and saw their technology, I realized immediately it’s value for enterprises – it solves the pain points that many CTOs and CIOs across the industry are experiencing. I also knew that I wanted to help them bring this technology to market.”

Enterprises are seeing exponential growth in the amount of data generated daily and in the business opportunities that data can enable, however most of the value of data is untapped, due to the heavy investment that is required for data infrastructure, data preparation and simplifying data access. Additionally, the architecture of most data infrastructures is rooted in outdated hardware where the main storage media is spinning drives, the network bandwidth is limited and the I/O latency is high, creating many limitations that necessitate data preparation.

With the advent of cloud, data lakes are becoming the primary storage solution for enterprise data, enabling a simple, highly available and low cost ‘source of truth’. Enterprises can store data in a data lake and worry about its uses later. However, using the stored data to build data products is challenging, requiring a constant trade-off between time to market and cost effectiveness.

Varada’s on-demand SQL analytics tier allows data practitioners to define any dataset of interest directly on the data lake, and to analyze it interactively using SQL or BI tools without the need for data preparation or modeling. Varada’s inline indexing technology can provide interactive sub-second analytics across any dimension or schema, directly on petabyte scale data lakes.

“Most of today’s’ big data software has been designed for decade old hardware assumptions,” said Tal Slobodkin , Managing Partner at StageOne Ventures. “Varada is unique in its approach, as it leverages the innovative hardware trends in SSD storage and networking to completely rethink how analytic software architecture should be built.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on January 23, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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