Lucas Mearian

About the Author Lucas Mearian


Blockchain and cryptocurrency may soon underpin cloud storage

Through blockchain, Roberto Galoppini sees an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: His organization, FileZilla, can offer users free online data storage while also allowing them to earn valuable cryptocurrency.

Galoppini, director of strategy for FileZilla, the popular, open-source FTP client, said his service is planning to shift direction this year by using a peer-to-peer (P2P), distributed storage platform from Atlanta-based Storj Labs Inc. that will be managed via blockchain.

FileZilla, which has been piloting the Storj decentralized storage for several months, had been making money through its free file-sharing service, which is hosted on SourceForge.net. It pitches users third-party software or offers to let them make money by testing a new web or mobile application. In turn, FileZilla would share revenue with the third-party software vendors.

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Blockchain will be the killer app for supply chain management in 2018

This year, blockchain testing programs will evolve from pilot tests to real-world platforms, and supply chain management is among the industries the distributed ledger technology is set to disrupt.

On Tuesday, Maersk and IBM announced a joint venture to deploy a blockchain-based electronic shipping system that will digitize supply chains and track international cargo in real time.

The new platform could save the global shipping industry billions of dollars a year by replacing the current EDI- and paper-based system, which can leave containers in receiving yards for weeks.

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Maersk, IBM create world’s first blockchain-based, electronic shipping platform

Maersk and IBM today announced a joint venture to deploy a blockchain-based  electronic shipping system that will digitize supply chains and track international cargo in real time.

The new platform could save the global shipping industry billions of dollars a year by replacing the current EDI- and paper-based system, which can leave containers in receiving yards for weeks, according to the companies.

Blockchain will enable a single view via a virtual dashboard of all goods and shipping information for all parties involved, from manufacturers and shippers to port authorities and government agencies.

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China’s moves against cryptocurrencies could affect blockchain growth

While the hype around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has sent their prices  skyrocketing, some governments and companies are restricting activity to head off potential money laundering and protect consumers from a credit meltdown.

Cryptocurrencies have begun to exit once-friendly China for more open nations and other regions and businesses are beginning to impose restrictions on how – or even whether – they can be used.

Open blockchains, such as bitcoin, are only the first to be affected by increased regulatory oversight. Depending on how they’re used, permissioned blockchains, or those that are centrally administered and used for general transactions, could also be affected by the push to reign in the cryptocurrency technology.

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Powermat joins the Wireless Power Consortium, touts 15-watt underdesk charging

Wireless charging firm Powermat has joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), a group that promotes the adoption of the popular Qi charging specification.

The move signals a further consolidation of the wireless charging industry, which has seen three previously competitive industry groups share various specifications and join forces to promote them.

The move was not completely unexpected as Powermat also formally announced the release of its Charging Spot 4.0 with SmartInductive technology platform, which supports two of the major charging formats.

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Blockchain jobs continue to explode, offer salary premiums

An uptick in job openings for technologists with blockchain development skills  continued through the last quarter of 2017.

Blockchain developers rank second among the top 20 fastest-growing job skills, and job postings for workers with those skills have more than doubled this year.

Next in the list of fastest-growing job skills is another blockchain-related topic: Bitcoin cryptocurrency developers.

Taking second fiddle only to robotics specialists, blockchain technologists are advertising their services for as much as $150 per hour, according to Upwork, an employment site that specializes in freelance workers.

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Powermat to upgrade to 15W wireless charging, support Apple’s new iPhones

Powermat plans to release an upgrade to its wireless charging technology in January  that will enable 15-watt power transfers through a 1.5-in. thick solid surface and provide support for new Apple iPhones and other Qi-enabled devices.

The wireless charging company also plans to release an under-tabletop product that allows users to simply place enabled mobile devices atop a desk, for example, to begin receiving a charge.

By moving from 5 watts to 15 watts with the upcoming software upgrade, Powermat chargers will transfer power to a mobile device at the same rate as a traditional charging cable, according to Powermat CTO Itay Sherman.

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How blockchain will underpin the new trust economy

Over the next two years, enterprises are expected to ramp up their efforts to test blockchain technology as part of a new method of establishing trust in a digital economy.

New research from consultancy Deloitte LLP shows a “trust economy” is now developing around person-to-person (P2P) transactions enabled by blockchain technology and not dependent on more traditional methods such as credit ratings or guaranteed cashier’s checks.

“Rather, it relies on each transacting party’s reputation and digital identity – the elements of which may soon be stored and managed in a blockchain,” Deloitte analysts said in a report.

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The best mobile threat defense is mobile threat detection

As enterprises push ahead with mobile-first strategies – and employee smartphones and tablets increasingly becoming business tools – the importance of mobile threat defense (MTD) is growing.

Using mobile threat detection and defense, however, is no small task; the technology must cover applications, networks and device-level threats to iOS and Android phones and tablets to be effective.

“We talk about mobile threat defense, rather than detection – the reason being these solutions not only detect, but also can prevent and remediate threats,” said Dionisio Zumerle, research director for mobile security at Gartner.

The MTD market is growing in terms of adoption, and has started to attract attention from endpoint protection platform (EPP) vendors and in other related markets, according to a recent report from Gartner.

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iOS 11 overtakes earlier versions of Apple’s mobile OS

Apple’s iOS 11 is now on almost six in 10 of the company’s mobile devices, according to new data shared by the company.

On Nov. 8, less than two months after its Sept. 19 release, the mobile platform had achieved just over a 50% adoption rate, according to Apple’s App Store support webpage for developers. Today, the company said that number has grown to 59%, with iOS 10 dropping to 33% and all earlier versions of iOS running on just 8% of devices.

Apple iOS 11 adoption Apple

Within a week of its initial release, the latest version of iOS was already powering 30.21% iDevices, according to Apple. While that uptake rate may seem fast, it was far slower than last year’s iOS 10 or 2015’s iOS 9, which achieved the fastest uptake to date.

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What is blockchain? The most disruptive tech in decades

Blockchain is poised to change IT in much the same way open-source software did a quarter of a century ago. And in the same way that Linux took more than a decade to become a cornerstone in modern application development, Blockchain will take years to become a lower cost, more efficient way to share information between open and private networks.

But the hype around this seemingly new, secure electronic ledger is real. In essence, blockchain represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared and tech vendors and companies are rushing to figure out how they can use the distributed ledger technology to save time and admin costs. Numerous companies in 2017 began rolling out pilot programs and real-world projects across a variety of industries – everything from financial services to healthcare to mobile payments and even global shipping.

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Wireless charging explained: What is it and how does it work?

Wireless charging has been around since the late 19th century, when electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla deomnstrated magnetic resonant coupling – the ability to transmit electricity through the air by creating a magnetic field between two circuits, a transmitter and a receiver.

But for about 100 years it was a technology without many practical applications, except, perhaps, for a few electric toothbrush models.

Today, there are nearly a half dozen wireless charging technologies in use, all aimed at cutting cables to everything from smartphones and laptops to kitchen appliances and cars. 

Wireless charging is making inroads in the healthcare, automotive and manufacturing industries because it offers the promise of increased mobility and advances that could allow tiny internet of things (IoT) devices to get power many feet away from a charger.

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Apple just bought its own wireless charging company. Here’s why.

Apple has purchased a New Zealand-based wireless charging company whose technology can send power to multiple devices, from headphones to remote controls, at the same time.

As appealing as that may sound for mobile devices, Apple likely hopes to use the technology for a vast array of electronics such as the Apple TV remote control or its own computer mouse – and perhaps even for industrial applications.

PowerByProxi wireless charging IDG/Lucas Mearian

A prototype of PowerByProxi’s wireless charging box, which can charge multiple devices at the same time. Inside the box is a remote-controlled car, a Wii controller and a TV remote control, all using wirelessly chargeable AA batteries. 

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Dell integrates desktop, mobile management for UEM

Dell has integrated its cloud-based desktop management console with AirWatch’s mobile platform to create a single console that allows admins to remotely manage end-user systems.

Dell and VMware’s AirWatch also introduced Windows 10 provisioning through the AirWatch mobile management service.

Dell made the AirWatch integration announcement in conjunction with its efforts to  expand its PC-as-a-Service offering (PCaaS). Dell’s service combines hardware, software, lifecycle services and financing into one solution priced per seat per month.

Thirty-one percent of the commercial PC market is expected to move to a PCaaS model by 2020, according to IDC.

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