SpaceX hits a new milestone by reusing a rocket, and landing it again

posted Mar 31, 2017, 1:40 AM by Barny CK

SpaceX made history today, when it successfully launched a satellite into space on a used rocket and landed it back on earth again. The Falcon 9 rocket, first used on the CRS-8 resupply mission to the Internation Space Station in April last year, is the world's first relaunch of the first stage rocket booster. This rocket booster was also SpaceX's first successful vertical landing on a floating platform out in sea. The new feat, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, was fifteen years in the making. SpaceX hopes to one day make man mission to Mars a reality, of which bringing down the cost of space flight is a prerequisite to that dream. The relaunch of the first stage rocket booster is part of the SES-10 satellite launch, a geostationary communications satellite. The client, Luxembourg-based SES SA, is said to have received an undisclosed amount of discount for participating in this inaugural launch. The rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 6.27pm EDT. After the success, Elon Musk later tweeted that SpaceX's next objective is to accomplish a 24 hour reflight or turnaround of their Falcon 9 rockets.

Marissa Mayer is resigning from Yahoo board, Yahoo to become Altaba Inc.

posted Jan 9, 2017, 9:53 PM by Barny CK

In a sign that Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo is moving forward, Marissa  Mayer is resigning from Yahoo's board of directors. Yahoo's $4.8 billion buyout by Verizon will leave remnants of the former giant to be renamed Altaba Inc., an investment company holding assets such as the 15% stake in  Alibaba and 35.5% in Yahoo Japan. While Mayer may move to Verizon to assist in Yahoo's integration into the company, five board members remain at Altaba; Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith. The news of the name change comes in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Verizon reportedly mulled requesting for a discount on the purchase when Yahoo disclosed multiple security breaches last year affecting more than 1 billion users.

Bitcoin's second halvening has occured, as scheduled.

posted Jul 11, 2016, 2:31 AM by Barny CK   [ updated Jul 11, 2016, 7:31 PM ]

Digital currency Bitcoin has undergone a second halvening since its inception. Moving right along, for each block mined, Bitcoin miners will now reap 12.5 Bitcoin units. This is down from 25.0 Bitcoin units previously mined. The first halvening occured in 2012 when Bitcoin units per block was halved from 50.0 to 25.0 units.

By design, this was meant to happen. As opposed to a centralised economy whose monetary base is controlled by a central bank, Bitcoin is a decentralised monetary system. There is no central authority that will regulate the monetary base, hence a system was put in place to regulate and control the currency supply.
In a centralised economy, a central bank controls the supply of money by printing banknotes whereas in a decentralised system like Bitcoin, miners supply the money or units by mining.

A mining activity essentially is the processing of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide which are grouped into blocks. By mining, Bitcoin units are created which will then be rewarded to the miners as incentives for the job done. Previously, by mining 1 block of transactions, miners get 25 Bitcoin units. Now, it is 12.5 Bitcoin units. This halving is the rule which was initially laid out when Bitcoin first started and is crucial to keeping a finite amount of Bitcoin units that will ever be in circulation.

Thus far, approximately 420,000 blocks have been mined since the beginning, generating over 15 million Bitcoin units. Bitcoin will eventually have a final total of 21 million units, which it is expected to reach by the year 2140. Since its introduction, the currency value have also risen astronomically. At press time, 1 Bitcoin unit equals USD 649.45.

Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 as a cryptocurrency and implemented as open source code. The currency now has a market capitalization of approximately USD 10 billion.

Apple's Siri saved toddler's life

posted Jun 8, 2016, 9:02 PM by Barny CK

Now here's why you should keep your Siri or Cortana feature turned on at all times. A mother in Cairns, Australia called an ambulance via Siri when her one year old daughter stopped breathing. Stacey Gleeson went to check on her baby Giana after noticing she had turned blue on the baby monitor. In a moment of panic, she dropped her phone on the floor and hurried to perform CPR on baby Giana. With her hands full and phone out of reach, she shouted to Siri to call the ambulance on speakerphone. She was then able to successfully communicate the family's address before paramedics arrived. By the time the ambulance arrived, Giana was breathing again. The child have since made a full recovery and doctors have told Ms. Gleeson there was no lasting damage. The incident happened in March but the story has now gone viral after Ms. Gleeson contacted Apple to express her gratitude.

She said, "As cheesy as it sounds, I wanted to say thank you. I've only had the phone since the start of the year. I had played around with Siri, I thought it was a fun feature. Now I have that feature turned on all the time and it will never be turned off again."

Apple sets date to WWDC 2016

posted Apr 18, 2016, 6:57 PM by Barny CK

Apple has sent emails to its registered developers about WWDC 2016. Its annual Worldwide Developers Conference is set to take place from June 13 to 17. Besides giving the opportunity for Apple Developers to meet with Apple engineers as well as attend technical lectures and lab sessions, Apple is expected to unveil the latest version of iOS and OS X, of which OS X is rumoured to be renamed MacOS.

More updates to follow.

Apple to hold an event on March 21st

posted Mar 14, 2016, 12:27 AM by Barny CK

Let us loop you in. So said Apple in its most recent press invite to an event this March 21st at the Apple Campus in Cupertino. The event is rumoured to unveil a scaled down version of its current phablets, the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. What that version of the phone is going to be called is not known but some are guessing it to be iPhone 5SE, because it is rumoured to feature a 4-inch display, or just iPhone SE. Other possible launches include a new iPad Air with functionalities similar to the iPad Pro and some news regarding the Apple Watch. The March 21st event's timing, though anticipated, is very out of the ordinary for Apple, who usually hold such events about product launches in the fall. Analyst say this timing was made to capitalise on sales of its entry level iPhone, the 5c variant, which normally picks up in this time of the year. Hence, the rumoured launch of a 4-inch display iPhone.

Google releases the The Android N Developer Preview

posted Mar 14, 2016, 12:26 AM by Barny CK

Heads up, Android developers! Google has made available its latest developer preview for the mobile operating system. Generally, Google won't discuss its next iteration of Android until Google I/O Developer Conference which will be held in May. This time however, Google wants to be the early bird. The Android N Developer Preview is actually still a 'work in progress' and Google's SVP for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast, Hiroshi Lockheimer, writes that they wanted to get more feedback from developers earlier so that device manufacturers can have the final N release this summer. Amongst some of the features showcased are, improved multi window API, picture-in-picture video mode and a redesigned notification panel. Now, developers can also use the Android Jack compiler with features like lambdas that will reduce the amount of boilerplate codes they have to write because of the improved Java 8 language support. The Android N Developer Preview is available for Google’s Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Nexus 9 and Pixel C devices.

Malwares are targeting mobile banking customers, says Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)

posted Dec 1, 2015, 10:05 PM by Barny CK

The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) has issued a warning to mobile banking customers after 50 smartphone users in Singapore were hit by malware attacks. Malicious malware hidden in software updates of third party apps have infected Android smartphones over the pass few months. However, the updates are not issued by the software makers. After downloading the updates, users were prompted to enter their credit card information. Once that was entered, the malware can intercept one-time passwords (OTP) sent by banks via SMS and make fraudulent online transactions. Apparently, the malware is not only limited to third part apps but are also disguised in the form of an operating system updates. Banks may refund victims of such fraudulent transactions on a case-by-case basis.

Apple Store is coming to Singapore

posted Nov 15, 2015, 11:03 PM by Barny CK

It is confirmed that Apple is going to have its very first Apple Store in Southeast Asia, in Singapore. Tech in Asia first reported this piece of news and today, Apple Senior Vice President for Retail and Online Stores, Angela Ahrendts confirmed the news. The Apple Store was formed in 2001 and opened its first store in Virginia. With 460 retail stores in 17 countries, Apple leads the US retail market in terms of sales per unit area with a global sales of US$16 billion. Apple is reportedly already hiring a team that will man the store and a retail space has been secured at Knightsbridge, Orchard Road. Apple currently contracts retailing to third-party licensed partners and carriers but for some time, Singapore has seen a number of first wave launches. With the Apple Store, Apple hopes to deliver the service, education and entertainment that is loved by Apple customers around the world. 

Activision Blizzard buys Candy Crush maker for $5.9b

posted Nov 2, 2015, 11:53 PM by Barny CK

Gaming giant Activision Blizzard has agreed to buy King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion. The deal will allow the video game maker better access to the mobile gaming industry. King, famed for its Candy Crush mobile app game, will continue under CEO Riccardo Zacconi as an independent unit of Activision. Activision Blizzard, the parent company for Activision and Blizzard Entertainment, is famous for games like the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series. Their online network game, World of Warcraft, is currently the world's most-subscribed MMORPG. Activision will use $3.6 billion of offshore cash for the purchase, with the remaining $2.3 billion to be borrowed on an incremental term loan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Bank. Activision will pay $18 a share in cash. Currently, King Digital's share trades at $15.54. Recently, King Digital has been struggling to repeat its past successes as it failed to create a successor to the aging Candy Crush series.

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