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News Roundup: The "real" Satoshi, phone cancer, and Elon worship

A roundup of the week’s tech news including FB reactions, Fiorina’s VP bid, and tear & share screens.

Craig wright ≠ Satoshi Nakamoto?

After being “outed” by both Wired and Gizmodo in November, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright this week proclaimed he was in fact Satoshi Nakamoto, inventor of Bitcoin.

Wright conducted interviews with the BBCEconomist, and GQ outing himself as Satoshi, as well as showing a proof demonstration in London and publishing a lengthy post on his own blog outlining his evidence. “I was the main part of it, but other people helped me,” he told the Beeb.

However, many were unconvinced of his evidence - a cryptographic signature associated with one of the earliest blocks added to the Blockchain ledger and likely to be used by Satoshi – with Vice going so far as to label Wright’s demonstration “worthless”.

Wright promised to publish more evidence, but has failed do so. Instead, he has written a post on his blog entitled “I’m Sorry”. “I believed that I could do this,” he wrote. “I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. I do not have the courage. I cannot.”

The price of Bitcoin dropped on Monday following Wright’s initial outing, but today’s withdrawal has seen the value of BTC jump. Meanwhile, the mystery around the identity of Bitcoin’s creator continues.

Facebook likes, and only likes, Facebook Likes

For years people clamoured for an alternative to the Like button on Facebook. Thousands fell for Unlike button scams. Now that Facebook finally pushed out a set of alternatives, no one is using them. According to social media analytics startup Quintly, Reactions make up just 3% of interactions. The German company studied over 130,000 posts, and found the traditional Like still accounts for over 76% of all interaction with FB posts, followed by Shares (14%), Comments (7%), and then Reactions.

Braaaiins

Mobile phones don’t give you cancer. It’s long been thought by some that they do, but a new study looking at the increasing usage of phones and number of cases of brain cancer in Australia over the last 30 years has found no evidence to suggest mobiles are frying our noggins. Hooray!

Fiorina’s VP bid didn’t last long

You’ve got to feel for former HP CEO Carly Fiorina. After a (very) brief stint as a potential Republican Presidential nominee, her run as a potential Republican Vice President ended before it really began. Ted Cruz named Fiorina as his running mate on the 27th April, but dropped out of the race just a week later. CruzCarly.com has mysteriously gone dark.

M&A

Dell has announced the new branding for its merger with EMC. The parent company will be Dell Technologies (and include Dell, EMC, VMware, Pivotal, SecureWorks, RSA and Virtustream), the enterprise business will be known as Dell EMC and the client services business will just be called Dell.

Microsoft has acquired IoT startup Solair, Oracle has bought Opower, Google has snapped up Synergyse, Adobe has purchased Livefyre, Pinterest has acqui-hired AI startup URX, eBay now owns AI startup Expertmaker, Cyprus has snaffled Broadcom’s IoT business, and Vonage has got its hand on Nexmo.

NSA

-          The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approves 100% of surveillance requests.

-          Brazil blocked Whatsapp again. It’s back again, but Telegram did well from the hiatus.

Facebook has released its latest government requests report. Government requests for account data increased by 13% for the last six months of 2015, from 41,214 requests to 46,763.

Weird patents

Have you ever thought; “You know what needs more tech? My eyeballs.”? No, me neither. But that’s not stopping those darn technology companies. Both Google and Sony recently filed patents for smart contact lenses. Sony’s is focused around being able to record and store what you see (a la Black Mirror), while Google wants to inject electronic lenses into your eyes. Not place a contact lens on top. Inject. Into your eye.

Google also recently filed another patent for an odd device: tear and share screens. Flexible electronics are one thing, but what possible advantage does a rippable screen have over normal paper?

iOS/HANA

Apple has renewed its push into the enterprise and this week announced a partnership with German software giant SAP. Following on from similar agreements with IBM and Cisco, the two companies will develop native iOS apps - written in Swift - that use SAP’s HANA in-memory platform, as well as releasing and SDK for further app development.

Given the fact Apple is now over as a mobile company – clearly only making $50 billion a quarter shows Tim Cook & Co. should give up on iPhones – it’s a move that makes sense and may just save the company from extinction.

Microsoft goes wild

Microsoft’s undersea data centre project isn’t sunk yet. According to Data Center Dynamics, the Redmond Company’s Project Natick has showed promising results and planning for the next step is currently underway. “We haven’t worked out the details yet. It might be about four times larger, about the size of a container,” said Microsoft’s Ben Cutler. “We are a coastal society. We like the ocean. By deploying these in the ocean, we can reach more people more easily than the land-based data centers of today.”

Elsewhere, Microsoft showed off a nifty new project for mobile UI called Pre-Touch Sensing. The new display technology can detect how you are holding the phone and sense your hand approaching the screen, reacting in different ways depending on the context. If Windows 10 phones had this, maybe people would buy them. 

Microsoft Research has also been dabbling in the world of tech tattoos. Dubbed Tattio, this new development allows aesthetic metal temporary tattoos to be imbued with technology such as NFC tags and circuitry. Not quite as fun as its Picco experiment, but still pretty leftfield.

3D printing spiders

How’s your arachnophobia? Does it get worse if the spiders are robots? Siemens has created a set of autonomous robotic arachnids that can cooperate to build 3D structures. The German company says its Siemens Spiders, or SiSpis, could someday be a new species of industrial worker and used to develop large-scale, complex structures such as the fuselages of planes and the hulls of ships.

Drones & cars

The Federal Aviation Administration currently has no plans to re-classify low-altitude airspace to make room for drones. In news that will disappoint the likes of Amazon, Google and others, Randy Willis, manager of the FAA Air Traffic Organization emerging technologies team has said the current pace of change is marking integration rules difficult.  

Another week, another survey showing people are wary of driverless cars. This week’s comes from IAM RoadSmart and reports that 35% of British people think AI cars are a bad idea. It also found 65% feel a human should always be in charge of their vehicle and just over half don’t think driverless vehicles will become the norm on UK roads.

Perhaps the British public will change their minds once they hear what they can get up to now they don’t have to focus on driving. According to one expert, we’ll all be getting frisky on the back seat. “I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars,” said Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence. “That's one of several things people will do which will inhibit their ability to respond quickly when the computer says to the human, 'Take over.'”

Elsewhere, Volvo has been taking potshots at Tesla over its autopilot feature. “It gives you the impression that it's doing more than it is,” says Trent Victor, a senior technical leader at Volvo, in an interview with The Verge. “[Tesla's Autopilot] is more of an unsupervised wannabe.”

Holochess

The holochess game in Star Wars where C-3PO warns you have to let the Wookie win is one of the most iconic in cinema. 

So the news that the man behind that iconic scene is creating an Augmented Reality version of that game you can play for real will no doubt get the fanboys of this world (and others in galaxies far, far away) super excited. Hologrid: Monsters Battle is currently raising money on Kickstarter, and is ¼ of the way to its $100,000 goal. 

Raptor Command

Many see Elon Musk as something of a rockstar CEO. So it’s fitting there’s a heavy metal tribute band dedicated to the Tesla CEO. Raptor Command’s first single, “Elon: Champion for Humanity”, is online now. 

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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