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| February 23, 2019

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CNN

US-backed forces face fierce resistance from ISIS in ‘final battle’

February 10, 2019 |

Fighters from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have launched an assault to oust ISIS from its last remaining enclave in Syria, the final remnant of the jihadist group’s so-called “caliphate.”
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Zimbabwe Forces ‘Total Internet Shutdown’

January 18, 2019 |

Zimbabwe’s government has again forced a “total Internet shutdown,” a media group says, after a days-long violent crackdown on people protesting dramatic fuel price increases. MISA-Zimbabwe shared a text message from the country’s largest telecom company, Econet, calling the government order “beyond our reasonable control.” The shutdown faces a court…
Newser

CNN

Suicide blast may be a taste of what’s to come as US forces leave Syria

January 17, 2019 |

The drive down to the frontlines with ISIS is long and dangerous. Our escorts from the Kurdish-led forces insisted on taking us in armored vehicles from their base in the al-Omar oilfield. There are ISIS sleeper cells all around, they explained. They come out at night to plant roadside bombs.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Strike forces Halos grower to roll back farmworker pay cut

January 15, 2019 |

A four-day walkout by 1,800 farmworkers who pick Halo mandarins has forced Wonderful Co. to restore a pay cut.

Other job issues were left unresolved, though the nonunionized contract workers chose to return to picking the palm-sized fruit popular in school lunches.

The United Farm Workers of America,…


L.A. Times – Business

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security Features

January 8, 2019 |

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security Features

Samourai Wallet has announced that, due to the Google Play Store’s “new extremely restrictive policies,” a number of security features are being removed from the wallet. The developers have applied for an exemption to the new rules, but Google has rejected their request.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Google’s New Policies

Developers of privacy-enhanced mobile BTC wallet Samourai announced on Monday that they have been forced to disable a number of security features due to the Google Play Store’s new policies. They wrote:

It is with great sadness that we are disabling the following features within Samourai Wallet as of version 0.99.04 – which will be released tomorrow – due to new extremely restrictive policies Google has decided to introduce in their effort to become more of a ‘walled garden’ experience.

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security FeaturesThe three features being disabled are called “Stealth Mode,” “SIM Switch Defense,” and “Remote SMS Commands.”

Samourai detailed that they applied for an exemption to the new rules. The self-proclaimed privacy activists explained to Google that “removing such functionality would cause users who rely on those features to be less secure and more exposed.” However, the tech giant still rejected their application.

The developers noted that Google does not care about any of the security benefits the wallet offers, adding:

Samourai Wallet would have been removed from the Google Play Store had we not complied with this dictate.

Three Hardcore Security Features Gone

The three soon-to-be missing features have been part of Samourai Wallet since its first release in 2015. They are optional settings that are turned off by default. According to the developers, “To this day no other wallet has enabled these types of features, and now it is very likely no other wallet will, thanks to the heavy hand of Google.”

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security FeaturesOne of the three features to be removed — SIM Switch Defense — Samourai described as a feature that alerts “users to the fact that their SIM card was being hijacked due to extremely poor opsec by their network carrier.” It accomplishes this by stealthily sending an SMS message to a trusted mobile number when the phone’s SIM card has been changed.

Another feature to be disabled is Stealth Mode which gives users a way to hide their wallet app from attackers who have physical access to their smartphones. Enabling the feature requires granting the app access to make undetected outgoing calls. The developers tweeted on Monday:

Many users in South America who use this feature are now at risk, thanks to @Googleplay

The last feature Google has a problem with is Remote SMS Commands which “allows users who lost their device to remotely erase their bitcoin wallet to prevent further loss of their bitcoin stash,” the wallet developers described. “@Googleplay has killed that as well.”

Bypassing Google’s Restrictions

Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security FeaturesThe Samourai team said that they “hope to bring these features back somehow in the future in the Google Play Store.”

Meanwhile, they expect to resume offering all features “via alternative distribution methods such as direct download and F-Droid in the coming months.” F-Droid, the most popular alternative Android app marketplace, has fewer restrictions than the Google Play Store but its install process can be too complicated for some users. Samourai developers further wrote:

In the coming months we will expand our distribution model to include self-hosted APK [Android install package file] downloads and inclusion in the open source F-Droid app store. These versions will all include the Stealth Mode, Remote SMS, and SIM Switch Defense features.

In the meantime, Samourai developers have advised users to disable stealth mode prior to updating to the new version.

What do you think of Google’s new policies which force Samourai Wallet to remove these security features? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Samourai Wallet.


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The post Google Play Store Forces Samourai Wallet to Remove Security Features appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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CNN

Special forces training speeds up US downhillers

January 1, 2019 |

Lips turning blue, they shiver in ice baths, unable to escape. Only the cooperation of teammates solving mental puzzles and completing physical challenges can release them from the water’s frozen grip.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

CNN

Report: Egypt security forces kill 40 suspected terrorists in raids

December 29, 2018 |

Egyptian security forces killed 40 alleged terrorists in raids in the Giza and North Sinai regions early Saturday, state media reported, a day after four people were killed when a roadside bomb struck a tourist bus in Giza.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Trump threatens to kill GM’s electric-vehicle subsidies. But even presidents can’t stop market forces

November 27, 2018 |

Donald Trump can fret over General Motors Co.’s plan to close plants, slash jobs and ditch models. He can even threaten, as he did Tuesday.

But market forces are tough to beat, even if you’re president.

Trump captured the White House thanks in large part to the story he told — that he could reverse…


L.A. Times – Business

Canadian Law Forces Woman to End Her Life Early

November 6, 2018 |

Audrey Parker used Canada’s medically assisted death law to legally end her life—but a provision in that law forced her to do so months earlier than she wanted to. The Guardian looks at the 57-year-old’s case and the debate it has generated: Parker’s stage 4 breast cancer was painful…
Newser

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces

October 12, 2018 |

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces

The last 24 hours has been one of those all-too-rare periods in which the cryptosphere unites against a shared enemy. We’ll detail who in The Daily, right after we’ve discussed blockchain spam, Blockfolio’s new funding round, and how we learned an opsec lesson from Kanye West.

Also read: Bitcoiners Shoot Down Roubini’s US Senate Testimony

Coinbase Gains an Altcoin, Bitfinex Loses a Bank

Coinbase finally listed 0z (ZRX) on Oct. 11, sending the price of the Ethereum-based token into a sharp climb. This miniature pump paled in comparison to that going on over at Yobit, whose exchange-orchestrated pump sent putincoin up 1,370 percent in just 15 minutes, prompting widespread condemnation. While pump and dumps have been part of crypto since the start, they’re rarely instigated by the exchanges themselves.

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces
0x trading volume (in green) spiked upon confirmation of its Coinbase listing

Two other noteworthy exchange stories also broke on Thursday. Firstly, Bittrex made the unusual decision of relisting metal (MTL), an altcoin it had previously delisted. Elsewhere, it was reported that Bitfinex has paused all USD deposits while it resolves banking issues, believed to have been caused by HSBC terminating the arrangement the exchange had in place via a private account with Global Trading Solutions. The same publication also revealed that Coinbase is shuttering its index fund for high-net-worth individuals, and will be focusing on selling its bundled baskets of cryptocurrencies instead.

Blockfolio Completes $ 11.5M Funding Round

10 Bitcoin Apps That Everyone Should HaveCryptocurrency portfolio app Blockfolio has completed a Series A round led by Pantera Capital. All told, over a dozen investment funds chipped in, as the project seeks to become more than just the industry’s go-to portfolio checker. Exchanges Bitmex and Huobi also got involved as part of the deal.

“Blockfolio Signal is the beginning of our effort to help the ecosystem move from an era of speculation to an era of participation,” enthused the team. “With our new investment partners, our continued collaboration with token teams and exchanges, and our millions of dedicated users, the future is exceedingly bright. We’re excited to work together to push the ecosystem forward, one block at a time.”

Litecoin Has a UTXO Problem

UTXOs, also known as “dust”, are a problem faced by all Bitcoin-based blockchains. Generally, these nominal wallet balances are swept to aggregate the leftover satoshis from previous transactions into a single wallet. In the case of litecoin, however, that’s not possible for the more than 50 percent of UTXOs that measure just one ‘litoshi’ in size. Sweeping them would cost more in transaction fees than the value of the dust itself. The issue can be traced back to a spam attack in late 2011. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee has now asked the community what should be done with the UTXOs that are lying in limbo.

So far, crypto Twitter is split between doing nothing and having them marked as unspendable. Vitalik Buterin had a different idea however: the Ethereum founder suggested that Lee “consider an ongoing tax where all UTXOs lose 1 litoshi per N blocks.”

Kanye Teaches the Value of Opsec

Kanye West (or “Ye” as he now wants to be known) had a characteristically bizarre meeting with President Trump on Thursday. During the course of Ye’s nine-minute monologue in the Oval Office, the artist pulled out his cellphone and punched in his password. Onlookers gleefully noted Ye’s code to be six zeroes, prompting crypto commenters to use the incident as an opsec refresher.

“Pro-tip: if you’re going to be in a highly public place surrounded by cameras, change your phone’s passcode to something easy to remember that you wouldn’t use otherwise to avoid revealing your real passcode,” tweeted Peter Todd. Others used the opportunity to meme Ye’s screen when he flashed it at the president:

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Joins Forces

Cryptosphere Unites as One

Finally, in a rare moment of solidarity, crypto Twitter took time out from arguing on Thursday to unite against Nouriel Roubini. The economist, whose views have been heavily discredited in bitcoin circles, testified before a Senate committee on cryptocurrency.

Shortly afterward, “Nocoiner” Roubini, as he had been dubbed, embarked on an unhinged Twitter rant that sent his mentions into overdrive.

“A broken clock is right twice a day, or in @Nouriel’s case, once every 10 years,” came one retort, acknowledging the fact that Roubini has been cheering Bitcoin’s demise since 2013, when it dropped below $ 58. There is realistically no price bitcoin can climb or fall to at which Dr. Doom will concede that he was wrong. Like the Christmas truce of World War I, however, Roubini is to be commended for fleetingly bringing crypto foes together.

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Joins Forces

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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