Sunday, March 7, 2021
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Apple iPhone 11 still turns on after sitting at the bottom of a lake for six months (VIDEO)


An Apple iPhone spent six months in the bottom of a lake in British Columbia before a diver rescued the device and turned it over to its rightful owner in working condition. According to the CBC, the soggy but still alive handset was found by Clayton Helkenberg and wife Heather; the pair enjoy diving to the bottom of lakes to find lost objects and clean up after others. On a recent trip, Clayton found a flip phone on the bottom of the lake while Heather did better; she found an iPhone 11.
The iPhone belonged to one Fatemeh Ghodsi who had lost the device in September while riding on a bumper boat. She explained what happened to her phone, “I was in a situation where I kind of lost balance and dropped it in the water.” The staff at the water park told her that it would be impossible to find in such deep water. So, she said, “Distressed and in tears, we went back to Vancouver just kind of hopeless,” Fatemeh bought a new phone, but hadn’t backed up photos, contacts and other data (let that be a warning to you to back up your data often!).


The flip phone found by Clayton was severely damaged, but as for the iPhone 11, “I took it home, cleaned the dirt off of it and it just turned right on, so it was pretty amazing.” After taking the SIM card out and putting it in another phone to get the iPhone owner’s phone number, he called Ghodsi who at first thought that she was being pranked by friends. She later gave an update on the condition of her iPhone 11. She notes that the microphone on the iPhone 11 is broken and the speaker sounds weird. but everything else is working perfectly. Still amazed by the return of her phone, Ghodsi stated, “I was in complete shock, initially to start with. It was kind of like a zombie phone coming back to me, because I’d totally made peace with it being gone.”

We should point out that the Helkenberg’s do not ask for one penny when they reunite someone with their lost property. Last year Clayton found more than a hundred pairs of sunglasses, 26 cellphones and two GoPro cameras. This year, he has recovered 35 pairs of sunglasses, five handsets and one GoPro.

The world’s top smartphone market has a new number one brand


In 2019, the U.S. placed Huawei on the entity list. Why? The Trump administration considered Huawei to be a threat to U.S. national security because of its alleged ties to the Communist Chinese government. Some also noted that Huawei had recently surpassed Apple as the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and wondered whether that had anything to do with the U.S. action. Some might argue that in some regard, placing Huawei on the entity list might have backfired since it banned the firm from its U.S. supply chain and those companies had done $18 billion with Huawei the year before.

Huawei has been replaced as the top smartphone brand in China

The Trump administration might have thought that it had sunk Huawei’s Battleship by forcing it to replace the Google licensed version of Android with the open source version. But early last year, Huawei had actually taken over the top spot briefly to become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer for a month. That forced the Trump administration to take the next step. The Commerce Department tightened up an export rule which now prevents foundries from delivering cutting-edge chips made using American technology to Huawei without a license.

Announced exactly a year to the day as the entity list placement, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It prevented Huawei, at the time the second largest customer of contract foundry TSMC (behind Apple) from receiving the chips that power its flagship phones. And TSMC had just started churning out Huawei’s most technologically advanced 5nm chip, the Kirin 9000; that component was earmarked for the sequel to Huawei’s foldable phone along with the latest versions of its flagship handsets. Where the placement on the entity list might have failed, the chip shipping ban was a grand slam as far as the Trump administration was concerned. The move forced Huawei to sell its Honor sub-brand for $15 billion, a shrewd move by the Chinese manufacturer since it moved Honor out of Huawei’s orbit and prevented the U.S. restrictions from affecting it.
Counterpoint estimates that Oppo had 21% of the Chinese smartphone market in January with Vivo’s 20% share placing it second. Huawei, Apple and Xiaomi are in a logjam at 16%. Varun Mishra, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research, explained how Oppo made its way to the top in China. “Oppo has been successfully able to reposition its product lines in 2020,” Mishra said. “The rebranding of the Reno series and launching a more capable device at a lower price point than its predecessor helped Oppo capture the affordable premium segment. The strong momentum of the A series in the mid segment strengthened the product portfolio for Oppo and it was able to cater to the 5G demand in China across a wide price band. This was further helped by the decline of Huawei.”

The scary part for Huawei is that the U.S. ban will soon leave it with no inventory of 5G components. Considering that more than 65% of the devices sold in China during the fourth quarter of 2020 supported 5G, Huawei faces some serious trouble ahead. The company has tried to maintain an optimistic view and its homegrown HarmonyOS will make its smartphone debut on the Mate X2. But the real mood inside the company just might be described as gloomy, at least for the time being. Tom Purdy, the Chief Security Officer of Huawei USA said, “It’s been a very difficult struggle. But we’re taking a very long term approach, and it’s helping us prioritize which products are most important, which components do we have.” Purdy says that Huawei would like to eventually be able to work with Google again. And as far as that is concerned, it will be up to President Joe Biden to remove the restrictions on Huawei.

Bitcoin’s Market Cap is Bigger than JPMorgan, Facebook and Tesla


In brief:

  • Bitcoin is getting harder to ignore as an investment option
  • Bitcoin’s market cap is now greater than JPMorgan, Facebook, VISA and Tesla individually
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad author continues to recommend Bitcoin as a hedge against possible global financial turmoil
  • Tyler Winklevoss has also reiterated that Bitcoin is the best hedge against incoming inflation

Bitcoin is getting harder and harder to ignore. This is according to an analysis done by the team at Ecoinmetrics that pointed out that Bitcoin’s market cap has exceeded that of VISA, JPMorgan, Facebook and Tesla on an individual basis.

Additionally, Bitcoin’s market cap is 59% of Amazon’s; 43% of Apple’s; 35% of the gold in the financial system; and 8% of the physical gold market.

The team at Ecoinmetrics shared their observation via Twitter and through the following infographic comparing Bitcoin’s rising market cap, alongside major companies and gold.

The US Government is in Debt, Buy Bitcoin – ‘Rich dad, Poor Dad’ Author

As Bitcoin continues to make headlines, the author of ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, Robert Kiyosaki, has once again urged retail investors to buy Bitcoin, Gold and Silver as a hedge against the ongoing money printing habits of the US Federal Reserve.

According to Mr. Kiyosaki, the US Government is broke yet the stock market keeps going higher hinting that a collapse of some sort is in the pipeline. His analysis of the current financial times can be found below.

Total US Debt $28 T.

Total US Gov spending $8 T. US Gov Tax collection $3.5 T.

US Gov short $4.5 T. Biden to spend $1.9 T stimulus.

US bankrupt yet stock market higher.

Economy sick. Very very sick. Buy gold, silver Bitcoin

Inflation is Coming, Bitcoin Will Save You – Tyler Winklevoss

Mr. Kiyosaki’s comments on the state of the US economy echos Tyler Winklevoss’s warning that the US economy is at the cusp of inflation and Bitcoin is the best hedge against it. Mr. Winklevoss was commenting on a CNN article that quoted Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, predicting an increment in consumer prices this summer.

Below is Mr. Winklevoss’s tweet alongside the quoted article.

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EIP-1559 update to change fee model approved for July


  • Change in fee model for Ethereum to be introduced with a difficulty bomb in hard fork “London”.
  • Miners oppose EIP-1559, expert predicts eventual Ethereum fork by this sector.

EIP-1559 has been one of the most controversial updates to Ethereum 1.0 for quite some time, with a time horizon of July and an implementation with the “London” hard fork being discussed until recently. Yesterday, the Ethereum Core developers now managed to reach a consensus.

Originally proposed by Vitalik Buterin, EIP-1559 is intended to modify the Eth 1.0 fee model. To that end, a pricing mechanism will be introduced that will include a fixed network fee for each block. Such a fee will be “burned” and will allow the size of blocks to dynamically expand or decrease. In theory, this will allow congestion on the blockchain to be mitigated.

After the “Berlin” hard fork, “London” is the next update to be deployed on Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) based blockchain, followed by a third fork called “Shanghai.” These updates are intended to introduce improvements while advancing the development of the “Beacon Chain”.

End of Ethereum mining?

Some community members are eagerly awaiting the aforementioned proposal. High rates have become a challenge for DeFi users and the update is expected to be a solution. EIP-1559 will be introduced with a difficulty bomb also known as “Ice Age”, as confirmed by developer Tim Beiko.

This bomb makes Ethereum mining more difficult and, as developer Peter Szilágyi commented, coupling it with the introduction of 1559 is also intended to discourage a possible fork of the blockchain. Szilágyi added:

(…) if it is coupled with a refund removal EIP, because refunds can lead to blocks being 2x the gas limit, which 1559 can also do, which would result in a potential max increase of 4x.

As CNF reported, EIP-1559 is facing a strong pushback from a large portion of the mining sector. Journalist Collin Wu has reported on the sentiment among miners in China. While F2pool and other major pools support the proposal, others believe their profits will be significantly reduced. One estimate indicates that miners will lose between 20% and 30% of their income.

According to Wu, a similar proposal to EIP-1559 has been applied to Filecoin. From the experience on that blockchain he concludes the following:

(1) from inflation to deflation, prices will be stimulated; (2) Network congestion will not be relieved; (3) The income of miners will be greatly reduced, more than 20%

Therefore, some Ethereum miners have considered forking the blockchain. On this possibility, researcher Hasu claimed:

Miners will 100% fork Ethereum, but not for EIP-1559. They have one bullet, and they need to save it for the end of PoW mining.

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Microsoft Exchange exploited to hack 30,000 US organization emails


What just happened? Four exploits found in Microsoft Exchange Server software have led to some 30,000 U.S. government and commercial organizations – including police departments, hospitals, and nonprofits – having their emails hacked. Microsoft rolled-out a patch to fix four zero-day exploits in Exchange Server a few days ago, but that hasn’t stopped a hacking group from taking advantage of the situation.

According to Microsoft, the vulnerabilities in Exchange Server are being targeted by a previously unknown Chinese hacking group known as “Hafnium.” In the days since Microsoft issued the patch for Exchange, the group is said to have dramatically doubled-up its efforts, targeting unpatched servers around the world and accessing the accounts of some 30,000 U.S. organizations. This is said to include local governments, banks, and credit units, as well as police departments, hospitals, and nonprofits.

Krebs on Security explains, “In each incident, the intruders have left behind a ‘web shell,’ an easy-to-use, password-protected hacking tool that can be accessed over the Internet from any browser. The web shell gives the attackers administrative access to the victim’s computer servers.”

Although the attacks have exploded in recent days, the group has reportedly been taking advantage of the vulnerabilities since early January. In fact, the first attacks were quietly targeting users on January 6, 2021 – a day when all eyes were focused on the U.S. Capitol.

Microsoft explains that self-hosted servers running Exchange Server 2013, 2016, or 2019 are at risk and should download its security patch as a matter of urgency. If your organization uses Exchange Online, it won’t be affected.

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IOG CEO said that Cardano will be adopted at scale within 3 to 5 years


  • Cardano will provide tools to build a new financial system for millions of people in developing economies.
  • Charles Hoskinson predicts the creation of universal markets and wallets on ADA.

“We’re just starting to see Cardano awaken,” said IOG CEO Charles Hoskinson in an interview for Real Vision. There he talked about Cardano‘s beginnings and the future of the platform which has successfully built a community of 1 million users.

Cardano’s real use cases and adoption at scale

One of the goals of the interview was to answer the question, “What does Cardano actually do?” This is due to the recent surge in the cryptocurrency’s adoption and the attention, negative and positive, it has received from the community. About Cardano, Hoskinson said:

Cardano is a collection of protocols and technology that allows you to transform, store, and manage value, identity, and governance.

Created to be a global platform to fulfill these functions, Cardano’s purpose is to “repair” the traditional system of the developed world. It also aims to give tools to developing countries where, in many cases, the financial system is “non-existent”. Hoskinson said:

There are tons of people out there who are bright, honest, hard working. They are completely removed from the global economy.

Africa is one of the core regions for Cardano. There, the platform will be the backbone that will allow citizens in countries such as Ethiopia to get an ID on Cardano’s blockchain and then be able to access loans, have verifiable medical records across the continent, and other use cases. Hoskinson referred to Cardano as “the swiss army knife of protocols” and added:

Where you can build applications on top of it that handle that brokering of value, identity and governance to solve real problems. And you solve them with everyone involved already knowing the rules (…). There is no information asymmetry, there is no gatekeeper that can shut you out.

In this way, all participants in the economy will be able to reduce costs in all processes and trade in “universal markets” with “universal wallets”. These wallets would allow users to deal in any currency or commodities tokenized on the blockchain.

Having made a “deeper” investment in science and in regions where Cardano will be able to make a difference, Hoskinson believes they positioned themselves ahead of their competitors. The biggest challenge for the platform is governance, but “Project Catalyst” has made significant progress with “great partnerships.” Hoskinson added:

We have some concepts of universality (…) but is there a country in the world where you can point and say, “everything there works, is the land of utopia”? No (…). Governance is the hardest thing and I think that will take decades (to build). We have a process to gradually move on the right decision, there will be setbacks and failures, but really the use and adoption at scale that will happen between 3 and 5 years (…). That is inevitable.

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Call on FCC to update definition of “high speed” Internet, from 25/3 Mbps to at least 100/100 Mbps


In context: For years, high speed internet has been defined as a minimum download speed of 25Mbps and upload of 3Mbps, according to the FCC. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) instead defines “high speed” as just 10Mbps down and 1Mbps up. Now, a bipartisan group of senators is calling on the FCC to update its definition of high-speed broadband, and argues for a base of 100Mbps up and down – figures which the group claims reflect the needs of modern Internet users.

Without a doubt, 2020 was the year when our home broadband was put to the test, and it’s likely that many of us realized our “high speed” connection wasn’t all that. Base speeds of 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up as defined by the FCC are barely enough to maintain one Zoom call – let alone multiple ones – which is why a bipartisan group of senators is calling for an updated definition.

Updating the definition would mean the FCC would be unable to identify an area as being served by high speed access unless the new symmetrical speed of 100Mbps was offered.

In an open letter, the group writes, “Broadband has helped millions of students maintain their education and provided patients access to vital care through telemedicine services. It has also given family and friends a way to connect in this difficult time while supporting social distancing. All of these vital economic, social, and healthcare-related functions are only possible with access to adequate broadband, the demands for which only continue to increase.”

It’s hoped this would drive forward improved Internet access for Americans across the country. “There is no reason federal funding to rural areas should not support the type of speeds used by households in typical well-served urban and suburban areas,” the letter adds.

Equity of Internet access is a longstanding issue, with many families living in underserved areas struggling with speeds as low as 768kbps. One AT&T customer recently went so far as to shame AT&T with a $10,000 newspaper ad complaining about his 3Mbps DSL (TL;DR: it worked).

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Co-Founder of Floyd Mayweather-Backed Centra Tech Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison


The co-founder of a fraudulent ICO project that duped more than $25 million from investors, Sohrab Sharma, has received a sentence of eight years in prison for his role.

The project itself, dubbed Centra Tech, was previously backed by several celebrities, including the boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and the producer DJ Khaled.

Centra Tech Co-Founder Behind Bars for 8 Years

Founded in 2017, Centra Tech marketed itself as a debit card provider that supposedly allowed purchases with cryptocurrencies at any businesses accepting Visa and MasterCard.

The trio behind the project, namely Robert Farkas, Raymond Trapani, and Sohrab “Sam” Sharma, claimed that a Harvard-educated CEO with over 20 of experience will run the project and that the card had licenses to operate in 38 US states.

However, an investigation from the Department of Justice concluded that the three co-founders had fabricated the information. Consequently, the authorities charged the three men with deceiving investors into allocating over $25 million in the fraudulent ICO project.

Farkas and Trapani pled guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud initially, while Sharma joined them last year, as reported. Now, several months later, he has received his sentencing – eight years in prison, according to the DOJ’s statement.

US Attorney Ilan Graff said that Sharma has “led a scheme to deceive investors by falsely claiming that the start-up he co-founded had developed fully functioning, cutting-edge cryptocurrency-related financial products.”

He added that “in reality, Sharma’s most notable inventions were the fake executives, fake business partnerships, and fake licenses that he and his co-conspirators touted to trick victims into handing over tens of millions of dollars.”

Mayweather and DJ Khaled Involved

Taking advantage of a common occurrence at the time, Cantra Tech received the endorsement of at least two celebrities – DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather. However, both failed to disclose that they had accepted funding for their actions.

Both received charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a result of the investigation. Shortly after, they agreed to pay penalties without admitting to wrongdoing.

The boxer paid $300,000 in disgorgement, a $300,000 penalty, and $14,755 in prejudgment interest. He also agreed not to promote any securities, digital or otherwise, for a period of three years.

The musician paid $50,000 in disgorgement, a $100,000 penalty, and $2,725 in prejudgment interest while agreeing to avert any ICO promotions for two years.

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These 5 altcoins will go mainstream in March, according to analyst


  • As per Altcoin Daily, Ethereum and VeChain are among those set to go mainstream after partnerships with Amazon Web Services and Norsk Hydro respectively.
  • PayPal is also going full-on into cryptocurrencies with the purchase of custody firm Curv as Sony research center joins the Theta Network.

This month, investors must keep a close eye on five developments that are taking cryptocurrencies mainstream. According to Altcoin Daily, these developments could spark price spikes that could reap huge profits for investors.

The first and arguably the most significant is that Amazon Web Services has integrated Ethereum onto its Amazon Managed Blockchain. The integration will solve challenges such as data unreliability due to out-of-sync nodes and data storage scaling concerns. AWS customers will now be able to provision Ethereum nodes in minutes and connect to the Ethereum network.

“Ethereum doesn’t need Amazon, but Amazon needs Ethereum if they want to stay relevant,” Austin Arnold told his 541,000 subscribers.

Arnold is also bullish on VeChain after its recent partnership with one of the world’s largest aluminum companies. The blockchain-as-a-service network joined hands with Norwegian firm Norsk Hydro, a company with annual revenues above $12 billion. As CNF reported, Hydro partnered with DNV GL to leverage VeChain to enable customers to verify the validity and authenticity of product data with an environmental profile.

“A Small but significant step for VeChain that could very much lead to a big step if they [Hydro] opt in fully,” Arnold believes.

PayPal eyes Curv as Sony joins Theta

PayPal has been doubling up its interest in the cryptocurrency industry. In the latest development, the payments company is said to be interested in purchasing cryptocurrency custody firm Curv. According to sources with knowledge on the matter, PayPal is bidding half a billion dollars for the startup.

PayPal has reportedly been eying the cryptocurrency custody field for some time now. It was in talks with BitGo, one of the leaders in the field, but the deal fell through.

This could be big in my opinion as a fundamental green flag for the space, and by the way, the altcoins that PayPal supports. Big green flag for them as well.

Next on Arnold’s watchlist is the Theta Network which recently welcomed Sony as a validator node. Sony’s R&D Center in Belgium will seek to further enhance “the global experience for users of the Theta Network.”

Besides Sony, Google, Samsung, Binance, Blockchain Ventures, and gumi are also Theta Governance Council members. So the big players are actually already on the council of Theta Network.

Last on Arnold’s list is Hex Trust, a custody service that is now targeting the fast-rising NFT space. The firm launched ‘NFT Safe’ custody for non-fungible tokens recently. In doing so, it became the first licensed global custodian to provide NFT custody for investors.

Arnold believes that is the start of a new wave of companies offering NFT custody. “This space in cryptocurrencies is really moving fast,” he concluded.

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Tron’s Justin Sun Bids $0.5M For NFT of Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet


In brief:

  • Tron’s founder, Justin Sun, has bid half a million USD for Jack Dorsey’s first Tweet on the Valuables NFT market
  • Jack Dorsey listed the tweet for sale earlier today
  • The Ethereum based Valuable NFT marketplace allows users to buy and sell tweets autographed by their original creators

The founder and CEO of Tron, Justin Sun, has just bid half a million dollars for Jack Dorsey’s first tweet on the social media platform. Mr. Sun made public his intention of buying Jack’s tweet for $0.5 million via the following tweet.

Winning Bids Get an Autographed Version of the Tweet

Mr. Dorsey listed the tweet for sale on the Ethereum based Valuables NFT marketplace earlier today and Justin Sun’s is the highest bid thus far as seen in the following screenshot from the said marketplace.

The Valuables NFT marketplace allows users to mint any of their tweets on the Ethereum blockchain and put them up for sale. Potential buyers continue bidding for the Tweet and the winner gets an autographed version of it.

According to the Valuables FAQ’s page, the Tweet will continue to live on Twitter. The new owner of the Tweet will now have a digital certificate of it signed using cryptography and includes metadata of the original tweet. Such metadata includes when the tweet was posted, the text contents of the tweet, the timestamp and the digital signature from the creator’s digital wallet address.

NFT’s and Crypto will Fundamentally Change Social Media – CZ

The CEO of Binance, CZ, was particularly optimistic about the future of NFTs based on Jack Dorsey’s decision to mint his first Tweet on the blockchain. According to CZ, crypto and NFTs will fundamentally change social media and content platforms. He explained this concept as follows.

The #NFT monetization model for content platforms that @jack is pioneering now is MUCH MUCH better than ads, tracking users, etc.

#Crypto is going to fundamentally change social media now. Expecting a few flippenings if the top players don’t adapt/adopt quickly.

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