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Cryptocurrencies Fall as Korean Exchange Says $32 Million of Coins Stolen

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Cryptocurrencies dropped after the second South Korean exchange in as many weeks said it was hacked, renewing concerns about the safety of digital-asset trading venues.

Bithumb, ranked by Coinmarketcap.com as the world’s seventh-largest crypto exchange by traded value, said on Wednesday that hackers stole about 35 billion won ($32 million) and that Ripple was among the coins taken. The exchange halted cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, said it will compensate victims and moved investor assets to a so-called cold wallet, which is disconnected from the Internet and less vulnerable to theft.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, dropped as much as 2 percent and was trading at $6,624 as of 7:24 a.m. in New York, bringing this year’s decline to 54 percent, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin also retreated, along with some Asia-listed stocks with exposure to digital currencies

Enthusiasm for virtual currencies has waned this year partly due to a string of cyberheists, including the nearly $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc. in late January. Last week, a South Korean venue called Coinrail said that some of the exchange’s digital coins appeared to have been stolen by hackers, though it didn’t disclose how much.

While the latest theft has weighed on sentiment, investor reactions have been relatively subdued, said Ryan Rabaglia, head trader at cryptocurrency dealing firm Octagon Strategy Ltd. in Hong Kong. “The market has sort of become a bit more battle-hardened. It can weather the storm on these negative reports.”

The crypto-mania that spread worldwide last year was particularly intense in South Korea, with Bitcoin prices in the country at one point climbing to a 50 percent premium over those in America.

The fervor has since cooled amid a government crackdown, but South Korean exchanges are still among the world’s most active. The country’s policymakers are debating comprehensive regulations for cryptocurrencies, with proposals ranging from shutting down local exchanges to allowing them to operate under increased supervision.

The South Korean government said it started an investigation into the Bithumb hack and that it will review the security systems at 21 of the nation’s crypto exchanges.

The hacks in South Korea show “how ill-prepared a lot of the exchanges still are across large markets,” said Vijay Ayyar, the Singapore-based head of business development at Luno, a cryptocurrency exchange. “The overall market is seeing a lot of regulatory action and incidents like these will only hasten the process.”

from Bloomberg website

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Apple, Google continue inclusive push with new emojis

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Apple and Google are rolling out dozens of new emojis that of course include cute critters, but the tech giants also continue to push the boundaries of inclusion and diversity.

The announcement coincides with Wednesday’s World Emoji Day.

Apple Inc. is releasing new variants of its holding hands emoji that allow people to pick any combination of skin tone and gender, 75 possible combinations in all. There are also wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs, as well as a new guide dog and an ear with a hearing aid.

And then there’s the sloth, the flamingo, the skunk, the orangutan, as well as a new yawning emoji.

Apple said its new emojis will be available in the fall with a free software update for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

Source: https://tucson.com/entertainment/apple-google-continue-inclusive-push-with-new-emojis/article_196a025f-e23a-569c-ac71-828a1491f1ce.html

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Facebook-Driven Area 51 Storming May Be Countered With Force, Says US Air Force

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Fun and games on Facebook may have serious consequences for the foolish. That was the message delivered by the US Air Force, who have responded to a Facebook’s group’s efforts to have 450,000 people storm a top secret military base.

Conspiracy theorists have always believed that Area 51 in Nevada holds information about extra-terrestrial activities on our planet, possibly including actual alien remains and aircraft. That belief spawned a Facebook group suggesting that a wave of humanity could overwhelm the defenses at the base and discover the truth.

More than 400,000 people have joined a Facebook event page calling for storming Area 51, with many more indicating interest. The proposed event is scheduled for Sept. 20.

“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” the event description reads. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.”

Naruto Run refers to the unique running style of the protagonist Naruto Uzumaki in the Japanese anime series Naruto, where he is often depicted sprinting with his hands behind him to decrease wind resistance.
The Washington Post on Friday asked how officials will deal with anyone showing up for the event. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews declined to elaborate on specific details of the military’s plans.
However, she did issue a warning.

“[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” McAndrews said. “The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”

Source: https://deadline.com/2019/07/area-51-storming-may-be-countered-with-force-says-us-air-force-1202646103/

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Amazon Prime Day 2019: The Best Deals So Far

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Did you think Amazon Prime Day 2019 started on Monday, July 15? Think again. While Monday marks the official start of the sales, just like last year, Amazon has jumped the gun and some of the best deals you’ll find on Prime Day are already live. These are the deals you need to move on now.
Amazon Prime Day 2019 – Early Live Deals

All these “early access deals” are available right now but they come with one catch: you must be an Amazon Prime subscriber. If you aren’t one, don’t worry because there’s an easy hack. Sign-up for Amazon’s free 30-day trial membership and you can cancel the moment Prime Day is over at no cost.

  • Echo Dot: $22 (saving $27.99) – easily the show-stopping deal right now for this hugely popular product – product link
  • Echo (2nd Generation): $49.99 ($50 saving) – at under half price, this very hard to ignore – product link
  • Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote: $14.99 ($25 saving) – a very popular item which is almost an impulse buy at this price point – product link
  • Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote: $24.99 ($25 saving) – another 50% off bargain product link
  • Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet: $79.99 ($50 saving) – one of Amazon’s most popular tablets – product link
  • All new Fire Tablet (7-inch Display, 16GB) – $29.99 ($20 saving) – product link
  • Fire HD 10 – 10-inch, 1080p edition – $99.99 ($50 saving) – product link
  • All-new Kindle (built-in display light) – $59.99 ($30 saving) – a bargain now it matches the best fature of the Kindle Paperwhite – product link
  • Kindle Paperwhite – $84.99 ($45 saving) – product link
  • Kindle Oasis – $199.99 ($50 saving) – product link
  • All-new Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet: $59.99 ($40 saving) – product link
  • Echo Show (2nd gen) – $159.99 ($70 saving) – a new edition with a strong early reduction – product link

You’ll notice a clear theme here: Amazon is pushing its products early. That’s understandable, but given Amazon devices are typically among the biggest selling devices on the site anyway, it doesn’t make them any less desirable. I also know that these prices will also not be lowered any further when Prime Day officially launches, so grab yourself a bargain now and beat the rush.

Note: Prime Day starts on July 15 at 12am through July 16. It will be Amazon’s biggest ever Prime Day sale and the best deals will go quickly.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/07/14/amazon-prime-day-2019-best-deals-echo-dot-fire-tv-kindle-paperwhite/#313d418f76a7

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