Stocks in the U.S. Close Worst Year Since 2008 – Slate

  1. Stocks in the U.S. Close Worst Year Since 2008  Slate
  2. 2018 was the worst for stocks in 10 years  CNN
  3. 2018 Was Worst Year for Stocks Since 2008 Financial Crisis  KTLA Los Angeles
  4. Wall Street Rises to End Turbulent Year  Newsmax
  5. Stock market closes out year with worst decline since 2008 financial crisis  Corvallis Gazette Times
  6. View full coverage on Google News

Source: Google News | Stocks in the U.S. Close Worst Year Since 2008 – Slate

The most distant space encounter in history is happening now – New Zealand Herald

  1. The most distant space encounter in history is happening now  New Zealand Herald
  2. NASA rings in new year with farthest spacecraft flyby  Aljazeera.com
  3. NASA is about to make space exploration history  Axios
  4. Brian May – New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix) [Official Music Video]  Queen Official
  5. The Most Distant Place We’ve Visited  The New York Times
  6. View full coverage on Google News

Source: Google News | The most distant space encounter in history is happening now – New Zealand Herald

Beijing uses face-detecting smart locks to curb public housing abuses

China's ever-growing reliance on facial recognition is spreading to public housing. Beijing is ramping up the use of face-detecting smart locks in public housing projects to bolster security for tenants (such as denying access to strangers) and crac…
Source: Engadget | Beijing uses face-detecting smart locks to curb public housing abuses

Nokia's five-camera phone will include an in-screen fingerprint reader

Thanks to some leaks, Nokia's five-camera smartphone is no longer a mystery — and it might just be one of the more intriguing handsets of 2019. Well-known leaker Evan Blass and MySmartPrice have posted stills and videos of the Android One phone, no…
Source: Engadget | Nokia's five-camera phone will include an in-screen fingerprint reader

FCC to suspend operations January 3rd unless funding resumes

It looks like the FCC will be joining the list of government offices that will shut down in light of the ongoing funding lapse. The commission released a statement today saying that if the partial funding lapse continues into January 3rd, it will ini…
Source: Engadget | FCC to suspend operations January 3rd unless funding resumes

Faraday Future comes crawling back to its main investor

Faraday Future is ending its very tumultuous year on a positive note… in a manner of speaking. The electric car startup has reached a restructuring deal with its main investor, Evergrande Health's Season Smart, that will put legal battles in the pa…
Source: Engadget | Faraday Future comes crawling back to its main investor

'Fortnite' New Year's event forces players to dance when it turns 2019

If you're spending New Year's eve playing Fortnite, be prepared to party. Epic Games has set up an in-game event to celebrate the changing of the calendar by dropping a giant disco ball from the sky and forcing everyone on the map to dance. The event…
Source: Engadget | 'Fortnite' New Year's event forces players to dance when it turns 2019

NYSE operator’s crypto project Bakkt brings in $182M

The Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) cryptocurrency project Bakkt celebrated New Year’s Eve with the announcement of a $182.5 million equity round from a slew of notable institutional investors. ICE, the operator of several global exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, established Bakkt to build a trading platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets.

This is Bakkt’s first institutional funding round; it was not a token sale. Participating in the round are Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm (M12), Pantera Capital, Naspers’ fintech arm (PayU), Protocol Ventures, Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners and more.

Bakkt is currently seeking regulatory approval to launch a one-day physically delivered Bitcoin futures contract along with physical warehousing. The startup initially planned for a November 2018 launch, but confirmed this morning an earlier CoinDesk report that it was delaying the launch to “early 2019” as it awaits permission from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Along with the funding, crypto news blog The Block Crypto also reports Bakkt has hired Balaji Devarasetty, a former vice president at Vantiv, as its head technology.

ICE’s crypto project was first announced in August and is led by chief executive officer Kelly Loeffler, ICE’s long-time chief communications and marketing officer. Bakkt quickly inked partnerships with Microsoft, which provides cloud infrastructure to the service, and Starbucks, to develop “practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks,” Starbucks vice president of payments Maria Smith said in a statement at the time.

Many Bitcoin startups floundered in 2018, despite record amounts of venture capital invested in the industry. This was as a result of failed initial coin offerings, an inability to scale following periods of rapid growth and the falling price of Bitcoin. Still, VCs remained bullish on Bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2018, funneling a total of $2.2 billion in U.S.-based crypto projects — a nearly 4x increase year-over-year. Around the globe, investment hit a high of $4.6 billion — a more than 4x increase from last year, according to PitchBook.

“Notably, 2018 was the most active year for crypto in its brief ten-year history,” Loeffler wrote. “This was evidenced by rising investment in distributed ledger technology and digital assets, as well as by blockchain network metrics such as daily bitcoin transaction value and active addresses. Yet, these milestones tend to be overshadowed by the more narrow focus on bitcoin’s price, which has been seen by some, as a proxy for the potential of the technology.”

Today, the price of Bitcoin is hovering around $3,700 one year after a historic run valued the cryptocurrency at roughly $20,000. The crash caused many to dismiss Bitcoin and its underlying technology, while others remained committed to the tech and its potential for complete financial disruption. A project like Bakkt, created in-house at a respected financial institution with support from noteworthy businesses, is a logical bet for crypto and traditional private investors alike.

“The path to developing new markets is rarely linear: progress tends to modulate between innovation, dismissal, reinvention, and, finally, acceptance,” Loeffler added. “Each step, whether part of discovery or adversity, ultimately strengthens the product. Twenty years ago, it was controversial to suggest that commodities or bonds could trade electronically on a screen, and many steps were required for that evolution to play out.”


Source: Tech Crunch Startups | NYSE operator’s crypto project Bakkt brings in 2M

Google aims to fix laggy interface on Chrome OS tablets

Chrome OS tablets still have some problems, not the least of which is lag. Even if you buy a higher-end model like some configurations of Google's own Pixel Slate, there's a real chance you'll grapple with a sluggish, stuttery interface — it's been…
Source: Engadget | Google aims to fix laggy interface on Chrome OS tablets